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MEET THE TEAM

KEVIN BARSZCZ

In 2012, Kevin left the U.S. Navy and returned to his home town of Chicago. While a student at DePaul University he connected with other student veterans and helped launched Chicago Veterans. Kevin is a Board Member and spends his free time supporting the veteran community and his VFW post on the south side of the city. 

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MARICELI SERRANO

Mariceli served in the U.S. Army Reserve from 2004 – 2011, with a tour in Afghanistan. She earned a Master of Business Administration with concentrations in Marketing and Entrepreneurship from the University of Illinois at Chicago. Mariceli is currently a Board Member of Chicago Veterans and works on marketing, branding, design and development.

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MIKE PALAGUACHI

Mike served in the U.S. Marine Corps as a Field Radio Operator until 2012, with a combat tour in Afghanistan. After separating, he moved back to Chicago and graduated from DePaul with a Degree in Finance. Mike currently works as a Business Analyst for the Latin American Chamber of Commerce. He is a Board Member of Chicago Veterans assisting with the Financial Reporting for the organization.

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NOEL RIVERA

Noel served in the U.S. Navy from 1990 – 1996 (Active) and from 2000-2009 (Reserve). He previously held a leadership position at the Ted Stempien VFW Post and is still very involved in their work. He is a Board Member of Chicago Veterans, assisting with the Community Engagement.

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JOSE CARLOS VEGA

Jose Carlos Vega joined the U.S. Army in 2003 after experiencing the events of 9/11 first hand while working for a corporate investment firm located in the World Trade Center. He went on to serve three tours in Iraq. He recently graduated from DePaul with a degree in IT. He currently works as an associate at a Chicago based corporate investment firm.

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STEPHEN HELLAUER

Stephen joined the U.S. Marine Corps in 2006, with two deployments with 1st Battalion, 9th Marines. After separating, Stephen enrolled in college and graduated with a degree in Web Development. He is now a web developer working for a company in St. Charles, IL. Stephen helps with website maintenance and updates.

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LAUREN GANDARA

Lauren was stationed in Yokosuka Japan while she was in the U.S. Navy. She currently works as a Safety Officer in Chicago. Lauren joined Chicago Veterans as a photojournalist and continues to document our events and activities with her amazing photos.

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CESAR MEDINA 

Cesar is a U.S. Army Veteran with a tour in Afghanistan. He will commission as an Intelligence Officer in 2017, where he will continue serving in the Army reserve. Cesar holds an degree in Economics from Northern Illinois University and a Masters in Public Administration with concentrations in Public Policy & Management from the UIC. Cesar is currently working as a Community and Military Liaison, where he builds partnerships with local business and organizations.

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JOSE CAMPOS

Jose served in the U.S. Marine Corps and is a veteran of the war in Afghanistan. He is a huge supporter of the Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of America (IAVA) and is currently an officer at the American Legion Dorman Dunn post on Chicago’s south side. Jose works on veteran outreach for Chicago Veterans and is a Board Member.

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