Christine Everett
President and Founder
Everett Wealth Solutions, Inc. - Forest Park, IL

If you are looking for someone who recognizes the importance of fiduciary advice and correct strategy before implementing any financial move, Chris Everett may be who you are looking for.  If your focus is preparing for retirement, estate planning or reducing the cost of college for your family, Everett Wealth Solutions has the resources and best practice strategies to help you create your personal wealth solution.  Whether you are building wealth or have achieved significant wealth, EWS can become an important resource as you create your personal wealth, retirement and/or college solution.

Chris has been helping clients with money decisions for over 25 years and absolutely loves what she does. She began her career in 1988 with a large financial services firm, but soon realized the many limitations of being a single line financial advisor.  She has built an independent firm with seasoned professionals including Certified Financial Planners™, Chartered Financial Consultants, MBAs, Certified Financial Analysts, independent College Admissions Counselors, Advanced Birkman Consultants and even a CPA versed in the rules and regulations of higher education.  Chris also owns Everett & Associates, Inc. a multi-line insurance agency.  She discovered that providing planning advice was simply not enough.  Clients also wanted her help implementing their solutions. 

Whether you are looking for honest, straightforward fiduciary advice for your assets and financial planning decisions, desire to reduce college costs and help your son or daughter successfully launch a college experience for a best fit career, or looking to be well-informed about insurance choices before you buy, it would be Everett Wealth Solutions’ pleasure to speak with you.

She is a regularly featured guest on AM560’s Get Down To Business with Shalom Klein to provide financial, estate, retirement and college funding insights.  Chris hosted the Everett College Funding Show on AM1160 to help parents reduce the cost of college and has been quoted in local news sources.  In addition to operating a successful advisory practice, Chris is regularly asked to speak at corporate events, federal agencies and conducts educational seminars throughout the year to help area residents on the importance of proactive planning and the potential challenges that may arise without sound strategies in place. 

Chris lives with her husband, and is an active member in a number of local non-profit organizations including local area Chambers of Commerce, is an Executive Board Member of Parenthesis Family Center and on the Ministry Team of Greater Chicago Church.  Her charitable participation includes Greater Chicago Church, Parenthesis Family Center, Family Coaching Org, Goodwill, SIL International, Sid Roth Organization, Faith Christian Church Campus Ministries and CROP Hunger Walk.

Phone:  708-771-7777

Karin M. Grimes, LCSW
Life Transitions Coaching - Oak Park, IL

Karin M. Grimes is a Licensed Clinical Social Worker who has a private therapy and life coaching practice in Oak Park, Illinois.   Karin grew up in Iowa and knew from high school volunteer work that her passion was in helping people.  She also knew that she wanted to live in a big city someday.  After Karin received her BA degree from Morningside College in Sioux City, Iowa, she followed her dreams by moving to Chicago and pursuing her MSW degree from Jane Addams College of Social Work at the University of Illinois Chicago.  She started her social work career as an inpatient psychiatric social worker in the Adolescent Program at the Illinois State Psychiatric Institute (ISPI) in Chicago.  When her son entered kindergarten ten years later, Karin decided that a switch to school social work would be a good career change to allow her to spend summers with her children. She discovered that a benefit of working as a mental health professional in schools was that she was able to work with children, adolescents and families who might never access treatment in the community.  During Karin’s 25 years as a school social worker with the Chicago Public Schools, she provided assessments and treatment for students ages 3 to 21, worked with families and provided consultation to teachers and other educational staff.  She retired from the Chicago Public Schools in June of 2014.

For the last 18 years Karin has also had a private therapy practice in Oak Park, working with adults and adolescents.  In 2007 she became interested in the field of life coaching, did training with MentorCoach, LLC and started Life Transitions Coaching. Many of the clients Karin now sees are adolescents and adults who have been diagnosed with ADHD.  In Karin’s work in schools with students who struggled with learning, attention, social and emotional issues, it became clear to her how important preparation at home and at school was for a student to have a successful transition to college or to other post-secondary settings.  Karin started a program called On-Track-For-College Coaching to help students and their families with this process.  She also completed the series of four College Counseling workshops offered by the Academy for College Admissions Counseling.  Karin is a member of NASW (National Association of Social Workers), CHADD (Children and Adults with Attention Deficit Disorder) and the Oak Park-River Forest Chamber of Commerce.

Karin has lived in Oak Park since 1986 and she raised her two children here. The value of diversity is important to Karin, and in 1992 she and some of her friends became concerned when they noticed that even in Oak Park, young people were separating by race by junior high and high school.  In response to this concern, Karin and her friend Cheryl Capps co-founded Project Unity, a grass-roots, not-for-profit organization which brought adults and families together cross-racially to get to know each other and to build relationships through educational events, book groups and social events.  Karin was also trained to lead “Valuing Diversity” workshops for the National Coalition Building Institute (NCBI). She is currently an Oak Park Community Relations Commissioner and is chair of the commission’s Diversity Dinner Work Team.  Karin is also chair of Pilgrim Congregational Church’s Sacred Conversations on Race Committee.  She has been participating in the Committee for Equity and Excellence in Education (CEEE), which is a local advocacy group for educational equity.  Karin is also a member of the Social Emotional Learning Team of SAY (Success of All Youth), an initiative of the Oak Park-River Forest Community Foundation which facilitates community engagement to meet the diverse developmental needs of all children/youth.

Phone:  708-383-5354

September 2017 | SPRING 2015 ready for take-off Conference speaker

Theresa E. Laurie Maitland, PhD, CPCC
Educator and Author
Senior ADHD/LD Specialist & Coach with The Learning Center's ADHD/LD Services
The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill

Theresa E. Laurie Maitland earned her undergraduate degree at Bowling Green State University in Ohio and her M.Ed. and Ph.D at the University of Pittsburgh.  She is currently a Senior Learning Specialist and Academic Coach at the Learning Center at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.  She has been on the staff at UNC since 1994. It is Dr. Maitland’s passion to work with individuals with learning, attention and emotional challenges and to assist them in turning those challenges into gifts.  Since 1996 Dr. Maitland and her colleagues at UNC have been studying the field of professional coaching and its application to college students with special learning needs.  As a result, in 2003 she became a Certified Professional Co-Active Coach (CPCC). 

Dr. Maitland has been the primary investigator on two research projects: one studying coaching and its impact on college students which resulted in the publication of an article in March 2014.  The other large scale study investigated the graduation rates and enrollment patterns of college students with ADHD/LD and is currently being prepared for publication.  Dr. Maitland co-authored one of the first books written on the subject of coaching:  Coaching College Students with ADHD: Issues and Answers with Dr. Patricia Quinn and Nancy Ratey.  She and Dr. Patricia Quinn also published two books on the subject of transition to college.  Ready for Take-Off: Preparing Teens with ADHD or LD for College was awarded the 2011 National Parenting Publication Honors Award, and On Your Own: A College Readiness Guide for Teens with ADHD/LD which is targeted to high school students.  Both books were selected as Mom’s Choice Gold Award winners for 2011.  She has been a member of the Professional Advisory Board of CHADD (Children and Adults with Attention Deficit Disorder) and contributed to the development of The National ADDA (Attention Deficit Disorder Association) Guiding Principles for Coaching Individuals with Attention Deficit Disorder.

Prior to joining the staff at UNC, Dr. Maitland worked as a special class teacher at all grade levels, a college professor, an in-service trainer, and a clinician.  Dr. Maitland helped develop and implement a unique, private, multidisciplinary clinic for individuals with cognitive, emotional and behavioral challenges and their families.  Throughout her career, Dr. Maitland has conducted numerous local and national presentations on topics related to teaching and parenting children, adolescents and young adults with these challenges.  Dr. Maitland has a private practice which allows her to function as a professional coach, speaker, and a consultant to families, schools, colleges, organizations and professionals.  She specializes in issues related to the preparation of individuals with learning differences for life after high school.

Phone:  919-962-9350

April 2016 Guest Speakers

Eye to Eye Diplomat
University of Wisconsin-Madison

Growing up in Chicago, Gerald knew that he was a different thinker.  It wasn’t until his junior year of high school, though, that he was diagnosed with learning differences.  By discovering the power of accommodations and developing his self-advocacy skills, Gerald achieved academic success.  At the University of Wisconsin, he has found allies in the McBurney Disability Resource Center—and in turn, he has become an ally to his mentees as an Eye to Eye mentor. 

A creative writing and journalism major, Gerald is a Powers-Knapp Scholar and was class Co-chair of the scholarship program.  In his free time, he enjoys playing water polo, writing for the school newspaper, and tutoring.  He hopes to pursue a career in journalism and education.


Eye to Eye Diplomat
University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

As a kid in suburban Chicago, Brianna knew that she was a different thinker from a young age.  After she was diagnosed with learning differences in the fourth grade, Brianna effectively made use of accommodations throughout her school journey and developed strong self-advocacy skills.  

As a result, she achieved her academic goals — and was accepted to the James Scholar Honors Program at the University of Illinois.  She was the founding chapter coordinator for Eye to Eye, and was selected to meet with U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan on his “Back-to-School Bus Tour.” 

Additionally, Brianna is the campus president of Girl Talk (a women’s empowerment group), the Vitality Dance Team Vice President, and a member of Alpha Delta Mu Honors Society. 



Karen Thomas, M.S.
Special Education Program Director
College Internship Program (CIP) - Bloomington, IN

As a special educator, Karen has supported young adults with developmental disabilities including those with autism spectrum disorders in secondary classrooms and community settings in the Bloomington area for the last 15 years. For 6 years she directed and coordinated a post secondary service for Bloomington students 18 to 21 years old. Karen believes that curriculum and instruction is most effective when it is person centered, student directed, and related to real life experiences.

Through the years Karen has built collaborative partnerships with Bloomington community organizations, adult service agencies, local business leaders, Indiana University, and Ivy Tech Community College. These partnerships have increased student opportunities for social connections, employment options and successful college experiences both academically and socially. Karen also encourages involvement in the arts as a means of personal expression and has worked with local writers, artists, musicians, and university students to develop and promote inclusive media and arts programs.

Digital story telling is one of Karen’s interest areas. She has been teaching students with autism, Asperger Syndrome, and other developmental disabilities to use a variety of technology tools (e.g., PowerPoint, video, digital photography, augmentative communication devices) to tell their own personal stories and direct their own planning conferences.

Karen has presented on topics related to transition issues, self-determination, self advocacy and technology at local, statewide and national conferences. She has directed and produced two videos focused on transition and creating family-school partnerships. She has also supported numerous student authored videos and PowerPoint presentations. Karen has co-authored an article that appeared in the journal Focus on Autism and Other Developmental Disabilities.

Phone:  812-323-0600