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2021 Midwest Virtual Event

On September 23, 2021, supporters from across the Midwestern region came together for the Museum’s flagship annual fundraiser and reaffirmed our resolve to ensure the lessons of the Holocaust shape the way forward.

We heard from teachers, students, and multiple generations from the Midwest community who share in that commitment. Featured speaker Dr. Albert Bourla, chairman and CEO of Pfizer, shared his own family’s history and how it has shaped his outlook in an interview with Peter Alexander of NBC News.

This moving experience is now available to watch and share:


Your gift is essential to helping the Museum meet rapidly evolving needs and increasing demand during these challenging times of escalating antisemitism and hatred.

Featured Guests


Albert Bourla, DVM, PhD
Albert Bourla, DVM, PhD Chairman and CEO, Pfizer

As chairman and chief executive officer, Dr. Albert Bourla leads Pfizer in its purpose: Breakthroughs that change patients’ lives, with a focus on driving the scientific and commercial innovation needed to have a transformational impact on human health. Recently, he shepherded the development in less than a year of a COVID-19 vaccine.

Born in Thessaloniki, Greece, Albert’s parents were among the few Holocaust survivors of that historic Jewish community. Albert is a doctor of veterinary medicine and holds a PhD in the biotechnology of reproduction from the Veterinary School of Aristotle University. He began his Pfizer career in 1993 in the animal health division as technical director of Greece.

During his more than 25 years at Pfizer, Albert has built a diverse and successful career, holding a number of senior global positions across a range of markets and disciplines. Prior to taking the reins as CEO in January 2019, Albert served as Pfizer’s chief operating officer beginning in January 2018, responsible for overseeing the company’s commercial strategy, manufacturing, and global product development functions.

In 2020, he was ranked as America’s top CEO in the pharmaceuticals sector by Institutional Investor magazine. He is on the executive committee of The Partnership for New York City, a vice president of the International Federation of Pharmaceutical Manufacturers & Associations, a director on multiple boards—Pfizer, Inc., The Pfizer Foundation, PhRMA, and Catalyst—and a trustee of the United States Council for International Business. In addition, Albert is a member of the Business Roundtable and the Business Council.



Peter Alexander
Peter Alexander Co-Anchor, Weekend Today, and Chief White House Correspondent, NBC News

Emmy Award-winning journalist Peter Alexander is the co-anchor of Weekend Today and chief White House correspondent for NBC News, covering all aspects of the Biden administration. His reporting appears across all platforms of NBC News and MSNBC, including NBC Nightly News with Lester HoltTodayMeet the PressDateline, and

Alexander was assigned to cover the White House for NBC News in 2012. Previously, he led the network’s on-the-ground coverage of the 2012 Republican presidential race, reporting from the trail on GOP nominee Mitt Romney through Election Day. His reporting earned him recognition as one of Politico’s “10 Breakout Reporters of 2012.”

Since arriving at NBC News in 2004, Alexander has covered numerous international stories—from Iraq’s historic 2005 election to the death of Osama bin Laden. He interviewed then-Cuban president Fidel Castro during Hurricane Ivan in 2005. In addition to his news responsibilities, he has also served as an NBC Sports host and covered the 2008 Beijing Olympic Games, the 2010 Vancouver Olympic Games, and the 2016 Rio Olympic Games.



Sheila, Joe, and the Gutman Family
Sheila, Joe, and the Gutman Family

Sheila and Joe Gutman are long-standing Museum leaders in the midwest region. Their commitment to honoring survivors and Holocaust remembrance and education is a passion shared by their family.

Sheila was a former Cook County state’s attorney and is certified in family mediation. She is actively involved with and currently serves on the board of advisors for the Helping Hands Network. Sheila is a member of Personal PAC, the Joint Action Committee for Political Affairs (JAC), and the JUF Women’s Board.

Joe, the son of Holocaust survivors, was appointed to the United States Holocaust Memorial Council by President Barack Obama in November 2011 and served a five-year term. Joe is currently on the dean's business council of the Gies College of Business at the University of Illinois and a board member of the Make a Better Place Foundation. He formerly served as a member of the executive committee of the Birthright Israel Foundation and the board of directors of Lurie Children’s Hospital of Chicago.

Sheila and Joe reside in Highland Park. Their family includes Danny and Carlee (and their two children, Lola and Kameron), Brian and Johanna (and their daughter, Kennedy), Michael, and Angela. Angela was the former chair of the Chicago Teen Committee for the Museum, and all are members of Chicago’s Next Generation. 



Meredith Bluhm-Wolf and Bill Wolf
Meredith Bluhm-Wolf and Bill Wolf

Meredith Bluhm-Wolf and Bill Wolf are longtime Museum supporters and are deeply involved in supporting educational organizations in Chicago and nationally.

Meredith is currently in real estate and is a director of the Bluhm Family Foundation. She also works in the hotel and retail area. She has led hotel renovations, commercial retail and restaurant renovations, as well as leasing plans for commercial spaces. In addition, she devotes her time to charitable interests including the board of trustees at the Latin School of Chicago, Teach for America, the Boys and Girls Club of Chicago, Steppenwolf Theater, the Art Institute of Chicago women’s board, and the Art Institute of Chicago photography associates. Previously, she was a practicing attorney with the Corporation Counsel of the City of Chicago Law Department.

Bill is a co-founder and managing partner of Method Capital, LLC, a Chicago-based venture capital firm focused on investing in B2B SaaS opportunities. He previously was an investment banker at Salomon Brothers Inc. and William Blair & Company; an executive overseeing operating company investments for Henry Crown & Company; and a principal at Talon Asset Management. Bill is chairman of the board of trustees of Columbia College Chicago.

Meredith and Bill have two children, Anna and James, who are college students. The family lives in Chicago’s Lincoln Park neighborhood.


Event Leadership

2021 Midwest Virtual Event Leadership

Honorary Chair

Governor J. B. Pritzker
Mayor Lori E. Lightfoot


Meredith Bluhm-Wolf and Bill Wolf

Vice Chairs

Amy and Andy Bluhm
Leslie Bluhm and David Helfand 
Karen and Stephen Malkin
Cari and Michael Sacks

Regional Co-Chairs

Bloomfield Hills, MI: Rose and David Handleman
Boulder, CO: Robby and Annie Nathan
Cleveland, OH: Becky and David Heller
Kansas City, MO: Mary Stahl and Sam Devinki
Milwaukee, WI: Madeleine and David Lubar
St. Louis, MO: Dee Dee and Eliot Simon
Tulsa, OK: Alice Blue

Program Agenda

America’s Memorial to the Holocaust: A Global Institution for Every Generation

Honoring Fritzie Fritzshall and Holocaust Survivors for their vision and commitment
Hal Gershowitz, Museum Supporter
Meredith Bluhm-Wolf And Bill Wolf, 2021 Event Chairs 

Presentation of the National Leadership Award to Sheila and Joe Gutman Family

Jill Weinberg, Director, Midwest Regional Office
Sheila and Joe Gutman; Carlee and Danny Gutman; Johanna and Brian Gutman; Michael Gutman; and Angela Gutman

The Power of Holocaust Education to Counter Antisemtism

Sara J. Bloomfield, Museum Director
Kalua Lauber, High School Teacher, Texas
Logan Greene, High School Teacher, Alabama
Robin Judd, College Professor, Ohio

The Responsibility to Remember and Act:

A Conversation with Pfizer Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Dr. Albert Bourla

Peter Alexander, NBC White House Correspondent

Midwest Regional Office

Midwest Regional Office

The Midwest Regional Office serves Colorado, Idaho, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, New York (upstate), North Dakota, Ohio, Oklahoma, South Dakota, Wisconsin, and Wyoming. Find out more about past programs and how to contact us.

Thank You to Our National Partners and Donors

Risa K. Lambert was dedicated to the Museum from its inception and involved many of her friends in supporting this historic venture. As a fitting tribute, her family and friends generously named the annual Chicago luncheon, this year to be held virtually and include the whole midwest region, in her memory.

Visit the Deanie and Jay Stein Museum Shop online.