Mity Nice

Make A Reservation

835 N Michigan Avenue, Chicago, Illinois 60611 • Phone: 312.335.4745

Skip Navigation

show MITY NICE people

Mity Nice Award
Imran Khan

Imran Khan

CEO & Co-Founder of Embarc

READ MORE

Nominate a
MITY NICE person!

GO!

*indicates required fields

Mity Nice Award
Imran Khan

Imran Khan

CEO & Co-Founder of Embarc


A graduate of Chicago Public Schools, Imran returned to the district and taught for five years at W.R. Harper High School in West Englewood. While serving as English Department Chair, AVID Coordinator, and a member of the school’s Instructional Leadership Team, he was a 2011 Finalist for the Chicago Drive Award, a presenter at the Annual ASCD Conference (the world’s premier education development event), and a Gold Medal Winner for Highest Student Gains in Chicago’s Area 12 for three consecutive years.

In 2010, Imran co-founded Embarc and piloted the program with 100 students, and in 2013, he left the classroom to lead the organization’s growth. Embarc is a three-year program that provides experience-based learning opportunities to low-income high school students to prepare them for college and career success. Embarc’s goal is to drive student success with long-term social and cultural exposure. By engaging school districts, community partners and students, Embarc triggers intrinsic motivation in students, transforms how schools educate, and creates a more aware and integrated society.

Under Imran’s leadership, Embarc has grown in five short years into a highly-demanded, social and cultural education program serving more than 600 students in ten Chicago public high schools spanning the city. Through this growth, Embarc has sustained critical student outcomes, including a 98% high school graduation rate among Embarc students graduating in 2015, an average 89% student attendance rate, and 93% college enrollment. Furthermore, the program has proven a social return on investment of 7:1 (due to the social savings of a high school graduate vs. a high school dropout). As a result of evaluation systems and this proven impact, Embarc have won several competitive grant awards in the past three years, including: A Better Chicago’s Project Impact, Impact 100 Chicago, and Invest For Kids.

The Mity Nice Award is our way of thanking people for truly selfless acts of kindness, charity or goodwill. Nominate someone today!

Mity Nice Award
Glenda R. Spearman

Glenda R. Spearman

Ann & Robert H. Lurie Children’s Hospital of Chicago


Glenda R. Spearman is a Senior Staff Chaplain at Ann & Robert H. Lurie Children’s Hospital, with a primary role in the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU) with the newborn and premature babies. As a chaplain, Glenda works with a dedicated team to meet any and all needs of patients and families. She offers spiritual, pastoral and emotional support daily, defining who she is – a loving, caring and Mity Nice person.

Glenda shares, “No two days are ever the same: no two patient families, religious beliefs, or hospital experiences are ever alike. After 15 years, I still look forward to going to work every day and being with the babies, the children, their families and the great team of co-workers. My job is meaningful, fulfilling and derives a great sense of purpose for me, our patient families, and staff.”

After spending many years in the legal and corporate world, Glenda craved a career that satisfied her need to give back. This change has given her a sense of purpose and fulfillment that she instills in the patients and families she touches.

Currently, Glenda is part of a team of chaplains at Lurie Children’s who is available to patient families and staff 24 hours a day, seven days a week. The team is present at every code, trauma and death. Additionally, they celebrate the many victories and medical marvels of patient care. Their focus is family-centered care, providing spiritual care support not only to the patient in the bed, but to the entire family. “People often ask me how I can work with sick and dying babies and children. My response is true of most who work at Lurie Children’s – the work we do is a special calling and a sacred trust.”

Mity Nice Bar & Grill appreciates the passion and dedication of the entire staff at Ann & Robert H. Lurie Children’s Hospital of Chicago. To show our appreciation, we will be honoring members of the hospital staff within a series of Mity Nice Awards. Please feel free to nominate your favorite staff member today!

Mity Nice Award
Carl Rinder

Carl Rinder

Ann & Robert H. Lurie Children’s Hospital of Chicago


Carl Rinder has been working at Children’s Memorial/Lurie Children’s Hospital for 36 years. His dedication to his job is unparalleled. He goes about his role of creating business plans that add value to the hospital and most importantly, patient care. Carl is retiring at the end of this year, and with that it is only fitting to recognize a man who has given years of service to an incredible institution.


Carl is always accommodating. He volunteers to come in at a moment’s notice and happily modifies his schedule to accommodate others. He is always willing to assist others on projects or analyses and shares information freely.

Carl always welcomes a challenge and played a significant role in planning for future facility requirements as the hospital moved from Lincoln Park to Streeterville. In the process, Lurie Children’s has expanded its capacity to care for children throughout the region and has provided a safer and more comfortable environment for families and children to get the care they need.

Carl will be celebrating his 36th anniversary this month. All of his years of service and his dedication to what was Children’s Memorial Hospital (Lincoln Park) and now, Ann and Robert H. Lurie Children’s Hospital (Streeterville) is nothing short of amazing. Carl is the “gold bar” that sets the standard for customer service at the organization. He is also the “brain trust”. His colleagues describe him as simply the best.

Mity Nice Bar & Grill appreciates the hard work and dedication of the entire staff at Ann & Robert H. Lurie Children’s Hospital of Chicago. To show our appreciation, we will be honoring members of the hospital staff within a series of Mity Nice Awards. Please feel free to nominate your favorite staff member today!

Mity Nice Award
Courtney White

Courtney White

Culinary Care


culinarycare.org

Courtney White is the founder of Culinary Care, the only non-profit organization dedicated to delivering free and balanced meals to caregivers and fighters managing the stress of cancer. When Courtney was 17 years old, her father passed away from lung cancer. In the months leading up to his passing, Courtney and her family spent their time bustling between school and the hospital. During such a tumultuous, hectic time, there was one thing that always provided a light at the end of their day — the meals friends and neighbors provided them each night. These meals gave her family time to be together and helped them avoid some of the daily stresses they were facing. This kind gesture gave her and her family the strength to keep moving forward.

After graduating from the University of Arizona in 2011, Courtney hoped to volunteer with an organization that helped other families affected by cancer in the same way her friends and neighbors helped her. When she was unable to find such an organization she decided to start one of her own. Founded on the precept of providing one less worry, Culinary Care partners with local restaurants to take away the stress of cooking a meal, and give those affected by cancer time to nourish and heal.

Culinary Care is continually looking for volunteers and support in its mission.

Mity Nice Award
Imran Khan

Imran Khan

Embarc Inc.


embarcchicago.org

A graduate of Chicago Public Schools, Imran returned to the district and taught for five years at W.R. Harper High School in West Englewood. While serving as English Department Chair, AVID Coordinator, and a member of the school’s Instructional Leadership Team, he was a 2011 Finalist for the Chicago Drive Award, a presenter at the Annual ASCD Conference (the world’s premier education development event), and a Gold Medal Winner for Highest Student Gains in Chicago’s Area 12 for three consecutive years.

In 2010, Imran co-founded Embarc and piloted the program with 100 students, and in 2013, he left the classroom to lead the organization’s growth. Embarc is a three-year program that provides experience-based learning opportunities to low-income high school students to prepare them for college and career success. Embarc’s goal is to drive student success with long-term social and cultural exposure. By engaging school districts, community partners and students, Embarc triggers intrinsic motivation in students, transforms how schools educate, and creates a more aware and integrated society.

Under Imran’s leadership, Embarc has grown in five short years into a highly-demanded, social and cultural education program serving more than 600 students in ten Chicago public high schools spanning the city. Through this growth, Embarc has sustained critical student outcomes, including a 98% high school graduation rate among Embarc students graduating in 2015, an average 89% student attendance rate, and 93% college enrollment. Furthermore, the program has proven a social return on investment of 7:1 (due to the social savings of a high school graduate vs. a high school dropout). As a result of evaluation systems and this proven impact, Embarc have won several competitive grant awards in the past three years, including: A Better Chicago’s Project Impact, Impact 100 Chicago, and Invest For Kids.

The Mity Nice Award is our way of thanking people for truly selfless acts of kindness, charity or goodwill. Nominate someone today!

Mity Nice Award
Melanie Goldish

Melanie Goldish

SuperSibs!


supersibs.org

Melanie Goldish from Hoffman Estates, IL founded SuperSibs! after her 5-year old son, Travis, was diagnosed with ALL PH+ Leukemia and she became aware of the devastating impact on her 4-year old son, Spencer, as well.

Now, SuperSibs! is a national non profit organization that provides ongoing comfort and care to over 30,000 children whose brother or sister has cancer. Every day in the United States, 46 children are diagnosed with cancer. With every child diagnosed with the disease, many siblings are left feeling afraid, insignificant and alone. SuperSibs! ensures the siblings of children with cancer are honored, supported and recognized so they may face the future with strength, courage and hope.

“As a mother of a pediatric cancer survivor, I know firsthand how overwhelming the fight against cancer can be. While our family struggled to help our ill child survive, we watched helplessly while our other son felt insignificant, afraid and ignored. SuperSibs! was created just for this reason” says Goldish.
Since 2002, SuperSibs! has been a resource for these families, receiving approximately 400 referrals a month from medical care professionals, social-emotional practitioners and family members. The number of families supported by SuperSibs! has grown by over 25% each year, demonstrating the great need for support. As one teen SuperSib stated, “Thank you for understanding what I’m going through. Thank you for helping me remember that I’m not alone as my family fights cancer.”

SuperSibs! actively supports siblings of children with cancer and encourages medical practitioners to integrate sibling awareness and activities for the SuperSibs! children and teens, like journal expressions, group discussions, sibling art galleries and healing activities to help them in their day to day lives. They also award scholarships to in-coming college students on a yearly basis and provide grief comfort services to siblings who are bereaved. SuperSibs! understands that when a child has cancer, the siblings need healing, too.

For more information visit supersibs.org and stay in touch on Facebook & Twitter (SuperSibs!) All this month, check out sibtember.orgfor a fun way YOU can help

SuperSibs! is a 501c3 Non-Profit Organization

Mity Nice Award
Francine Spacek

Francine Spacek

SEWONDERFUL QUILTS


312-307-7733 • sewonderfulquilts.org

Chicago Native and Interior Designer, Francine Spacek has two passions: Children & Fabric.

Six years ago, she combined those passions and founded SEWonderful Quilts.org, a non-profit organization.

SEWonderful Quilts recycles designer fabric into one-of-a-kind quilts which are gifted, free of charge, to children (0-21yrs) suffering with life-threatening illnesses, as well as children who have been sexually abused.

After studying art and design in Florence, Italy, Francine returned to Chicago and opened her design firm in 1986, giving her limitless access to showrooms, workrooms and fabric.

She began SWQ by gathering discontinued fabric, creating quilt kits and distributing the quilt kits to volunteer sewers and quilters.

Once completed, the crib-sized quilts are returned to Francine for her to distribute. SWQ’s has currently gifted over 2600 quilts to hospitals, hospices and sexual abuse centers such as; Children’s Memorial, Rush Children’s, Luthern General & St. Jude’s Cancer Center.

Spacek believes that SWQ may have been green before the concept became popular, keeping tons of discontinued fabric out of our  landfills, and “turning trash into treasures”, but the real reward is in knowing that these “gifts of kindness help reduce the anxiety surrounding healthcare for children and their families”.

“Children are diagnosed on a DAILY basis”, so if you would like to make a quilt, become a donor, or know a child who is eligible to receive a quilt, please visit SEWonderfulQuilts.org  and contact Francine to get involved. We think that would be MITY NICE of you!

Mity Nice Award
Michael Johnston & Adam Thurston

Michael Johnston & Adam Thurston

Audiotree Music


audiotreemusic.com

When Adam Thurston and Michael Johnston launched their new company, Audiotree, they wanted to make sure they gave back to the Chicago community as well.

Audiotree is an artist services music company that wears many hats. They are involved in everything from recording to live sessions, artist management and licensing/publishing. Most of all, they love music and want to use that love to positively
impact the lives of as many people as possible. Whether it is through their artists or through the support of the many charitable causes they believe in. One of those causes is Rock For Kids, a not-for-profit organization here in Chicago that provides free, quality music lessons to children living at or below the poverty level.

According to Thurston, “Audiotree believes that music is the one true language of the world. We believe every child should have the opportunity to be exposed to music at a young age and hopefully inspire them to pursue a career in music. In order to ensure that human beings will continue to express their feelings and connect with others around the world through music we have decided
to do everything we can as a music company to support youth music programs.” This includes sponsoring a Rock For Kids music class at Melody Elementary School in West Garfield Park.

Audiotree didn’t stop with a financial contribution. They also invited students from the school to visit the Audiotree recording studio, where they got to see all of the high-tech equipment, meet a band, see a recording session take place and get answers to their questions about the music industry.

Audio Tree has aligned itself with some of the most influential players in the music industry. These connections allow them to work with talent that is committed to achieving success and push them to their highest potential. Their organic, team-oriented approach gives a fresh outlook on the “new” music business. Music for Good. Good for Music.

Mity Nice Award
Betty Berk

Betty Berk


In today’s fast-paced world, people who take the time to reach out to others and offer a helping hand are rare and special. Betty Berk, the Benefactor Relations Associate for Northwestern Memorial Foundation, is one of those people. Embodying loyalty and compassion, Betty has dedicated her life to caring for and serving others.

The desire to be a source of help and comfort to those in need, coupled with Betty’s gentle nature, led her to seek a career in the healthcare arena. More than 40 years ago, Betty began her first job at one of the hospitals that preceded Northwestern Memorial Hospital.

Betty’s positive attitude, vast experience, and unique combination of skills—honed in both clinical and academic environments at the hospital—led her to work for Dr. Larry Michaelis, Northwestern Memorial’s senior vice president of Medical Affairs, from 1988 to 2000. Always willing to go the extra mile, to stay late at the office, and to help those around her, Betty proved to be a great asset to the senior leadership team at Northwestern Memorial. In 2000, she accepted a position as an assistant to Dean Harrison, the current president and chief executive officer of Northwestern Memorial HealthCare. Betty served in this capacity until 2007, when she embraced yet another new challenge and began working as a member of the Benefactor Relations team at Northwestern Memorial Foundation, the fundraising arm of the hospital.

“Betty loves the patient contact that her job affords her,” says her husband George Baldock, also an employee of Northwestern Memorial. “She is always telling me about the day to day challenges she encounters while assisting patients through the system and derives great satisfaction from helping people when they need it most. Both of us really believe in the hospital’s Patients First mission.”

Indeed, in both her work and her other pursuits in life, Betty puts others ahead of herself. Her unique brand of caring has even earned her a place of honor on the menu at Lettuce Entertain You’s own MBurger restaurant. The healthy vegetarian sandwich—a delicious combination of tomato, avocado, and pepper jack cheese—is known as the Nurse Betty, in recognition of Betty Berk’s great dedication to assisting and healing others.

Above all, Betty is devoted to George—with whom she has traveled through life for the past 32 years—as well as to her sisters, brothers-in-laws, and many nieces, nephews, great-nieces, and great-nephews. Whether welcoming family and friends to her and George’s weekend home in Wisconsin, boating with her husband, or nurturing one of her many creative talents—knitting and painting chief among them—Betty finds the joy in life.

“Betty loves her work and is happy doing everything she can to make people’s lives happier, better, or easier,” says George. “Her incredible commitment and thoughtfulness are what make her such a wonderful partner, best friend, and employee.”

As Betty continues to strengthen her legacy of service, she reminds all of us of an essential truth: By giving generously, and by sharing pieces of ourselves with others, we make our own lives more complete, and we honor the human connections that bind us all.

Mity Nice Award
JONNY IMERMAN

JONNY IMERMAN

IMERMAN ANGELS

400 W. Erie Street, Suite #405, Chicago, IL
312.274.5529 • imermanangels.org

Jonny Imerman is a young adult cancer survivor who founded Imerman Angels, a non-profit organization that connects a cancer fighter (or caregiver) with someone who has fought and survived the same cancer. Here is the story:

At 26 years old in 2001, Jonny was diagnosed with testicular cancer.  After doctors surgically removed one of his testicles, he did five months of chemotherapy and became cancer-free. But almost a year later, four tumors popped up again near his spine. After another surgery, an 11-inch incision, and three months of recovery, Jonny was back in remission.

During his cancer fight, he realized what needed to change in the cancer world. Despite loving support from family and friends, he was unable to find a cancer survivor like him. Jonny wondered: “What if every cancer fighter could talk to a cancer survivor, who not only had beaten the same type of cancer, but who also was around the same age and gender as the fighter?” The cancer survivor would be an angel ⎯ walking, living proof that the fighter could win too. That amazing connection would provide inspiration, knowledge, and hope. This is why he created Imerman Angels.

Imerman Angels carefully matches and pairs up a person touched by cancer (a cancer fighter or survivor) with someone who has fought and survived the same type of cancer (a Mentor Angel). Cancer caregivers (spouses, parents, children and other family and friends of fighters) also receive 1-on-1 connections with other caregivers and survivors. These 1-on-1 relationships inspire hope and offer the chance to ask personal questions and receive support from someone who is uniquely familiar with the experience. The service is absolutely free and helps anyone touched by any type of cancer, at any cancer stage level, at any age, living anywhere in the world. Today, Imerman Angels has more than 3,500 cancer survivors and more than 1,500 caregivers in its network.

Imerman Angels was chosen as Haute Living’s #1 Charity in Chicago in 2010; Chicago Scene’s #1 Charity in Chicago in 2010; Chicago Scene’s #1 Charity in Chicago in 2008; and Chicago Social’s #1 Charity in Chicago in 2007. Imerman Angels has been featured by The Wall Street Journal, Harpo Radio’s “Oprah and Friends” with Dr. Oz, NBC Chicago News, CBS Chicago News, ABC Chicago News, WGN Chicago News, FOX Chicago News, FOX Detroit News, ESPN Radio Chicago, WJR Radio Detroit, Chicago Sun-Times, Detroit Free Press, HOUR Detroit, LIVESTRONG Quarterly, CURE Magazine, Oncology Nursing News, and Clinical Journal of Oncology Nursing.

Jonny received the 2010 Jefferson Award for Public Service; 2010 University of Michigan Humanitarian Service Award; 2009 Ulman Cancer Fund For Young Adults ‘Hope Award’; and 2007 Daily Candy ‘Sweetest Thing’ Award.

ABOUT THE FOUNDER:

Jonny was born in Saginaw, Michigan, in 1975. When just a baby, his parents divorced, and he moved to Bloomfield Hills, a suburb of Detroit.  He attended Cranbrook Kingswood School from kindergarten through high school.  After graduation, he moved to Ann Arbor, Michigan, where Jonny earned a bachelor’s degree in psychology from the University of Michigan. After college, he returned to the Detroit area. He worked during the day while earning an MBA from Wayne State University at night when he was diagnosed.

Imerman Angels has been a federally registered 501(c)(3) not-for-profit organization since 2006.

Mity Nice Award
Alan Stone

Alan Stone

The Emergency Fund

651 W. Washington, Suite 504 Chicago, IL 60661
312.379.0301 • emergencyfund.org

Mr. Alan Stone served as the Senior Vice President of Stone Container Corporation for the majority of his professional career. One would think the most of his hard work was behind him as he entered retirement, but this was not the case. His fortunate success in business provided him the opportunity to help others and he has taken full advantage.

One of the many endeavors that make Mr. Stone “Mity Nice” is his commitment to the “Emergency Fund.” This organization was founded by his father Norman H. Stone. As Co-Chairman of the “Emergency Fund,” Alan Stone has helped prevent homelessness for more than 36 years. In 2008 alone, the fund provided $4.7 million to help 8,868 families. Totaling more than 20,000 individuals! The “Emergency Fund” offers assistance with medical bills, utilities and food costs, just to name a few. The fund provides immediate assistance to those in need or on the verge of financial crisis.

Mr. Stone is also an active member of the Executive Service Corps. This service utilizes the expertise of retired executives to help serve non-profit organizations. This valued service utilizes the skill set of former business leaders then applies their knowledge to organizations that help others in need.

His involvements in both of these organizations are just a couple of the reasons that Alan Stone was recently presented the Business Leadership and Philanthropy Award by the Jewish Vocational Service (JVS). JVS is a nonsectarian agency that provides comprehensive employment, educational and vocational services to more than 10,000 individuals a year.

In addition, Mr. Stone is also on the board of the Gastro Intestinal Research Foundation at University of Chicago. He also serves on boards of both the Lurie Cancer Center and the Norman and Ida Stone Institute of Psychiatry at Northwestern Memorial Hospital and University.

These are just a few of the many great things Alan Stone has accomplished. It is clear that he is a more than worthy Mity Nice Award recipient. His self-admitted fascination with “input turning into output” and his firm belief that “life is all about surrounding yourself with the right people” are both “Mity Nice” philosophies that we should all live by.

Mity Nice Award
DR. JOSE OBERHOLZER

DR. JOSE OBERHOLZER

UIC College of Medicine

1853 West Polk Street, Chicago, IL 60612
312.996.3500 •

Dr. Oberholzer, Associate Professor of Surgery with the University of Illinois at Chicago College of Medicine, has coordinated the Chicago Diabetes Project where he has put together fifteen highly qualified scientists whose full commitment is to find a functional cure for diabetes. He and his team are leaders in cell-based therapy in which islet cells, from a donated pancreas, are harvested and transplanted to diabetic patients to replace the missing insulin-producing cells that control our blood sugar levels. This treatment enables the recipients of these cells to live with little, if any, dependence on medication such as insulin shots.

Unfortunately, many of us are all too familiar with type 1 diabetes and its effects. Millions upon millions of people either experience it themselves or watch as it impinges on loved ones close to our hearts. Fortunately for us all, there are individuals such as Dr. Jose Oberholzer who are not only up to the task, but are taking giant steps towards providing a functional cure for type 1 diabetes which will greatly improve the quality of life for so many individuals affected by this disease.

One great example of the work done by Dr. Oberholzer and his team’s efforts is evident with a patient of his, Judith-Rae Ross, who after suffering through symptoms of diabetes for thirty years now lives injected insulin and symptom free. A hobby of hers, among many others, has been the design and creation of one-of-a-kind jewelry. Her previous plan was to make her granddaughters amber necklaces to remember her by, but after treatment she knows she has plenty of time for that and is now more concerned with creating lasting memories with her granddaughters.

In the words of Judith-Rae Ross, “Dr. Oberholzer is more than a pleasant, caring doctor. He’s a life changer, who one of these days will slay the Mity nasty dragon, diabetes.”

In addition to the Chicago Diabetes Project, Dr. Oberholzer also leads Cellmates on the Run in which he and his team of runners raise money for cell transplant work by running marathons.

Facebook Mity Nice Person

© 2017 Mity Nice. All Rights Reserved. Lettuce Entertain You ® Restaurants.