Mark Peysakhovich

As a stroke survivor Rep. Biggins' leadership was instrumental in helping get the Illinois "Primary Stroke Center" bill (HR 2244 ) passed in 2009. He is eager to help further SSEEO's cause to promote legislation in Springfield which will help all Illinois stroke survivors. 

​Bob currently lives in Elmhurst with his wife Judy. He is a graduate of Northeastern Illinois University and has been involved in public service throughout his career.

Bob Biggins

Treasurer -  Mark Egelston

Michelle provides administrative support to the SSEEO organization. She began her volunteerism with SSEEO after surviving a stroke at the age of 42. As a stroke survivor she recognizes the challenges other survivors face. She understands the need for stroke and caregiver resources, which is why SSEEO is so important to her. 

During her free time she enjoys reading and spending time with her family. Michelle knows the importance of never giving up. She encourages other survivors to keep moving forward in their life-long recovery journey.


President - Phyllis Weiss

Cari Biamonte has been a SSEEO board member since 2007 and a stroke survivor since 2004. Prior to her stroke Cari worked in the print/publishing industry for The American Medical Association and World Book, Inc.

At present she now resides in northwest Illinois where she works as a full-time visual artist. Most days are spent either in the studio, working out in the gym or with her husband remodeling their home in the country. 

Click here for more info. 

Cari Biamonte

Christina Miller

Lisa Robertson


Phyllis is a stroke survivor who is passionate about being a voice of encouragement to other survivors and inspires them to never give up no matter how hard their journey is. Celebrate what you accomplish today – no matter how small. 
Currently, she serves as President for Stroke Survivors Empowering Each Other (SSEEO). In this position, she is works with other volunteers to create and implement programs and provide resources to stroke survivors, caregivers and their families. Previously, Phyllis volunteered with the American Heart/Stroke Association sharing her story to help raise awareness of heart disease and stroke.  Prior to her stroke she worked in Corporate America (marketing and administration) and City Government (administration). Phyllis is a runner, an avid bicyclist and enjoys hiking.  She lives in Winthrop Harbor with her husband Fritz and has one married son and two grandsons.  

Christina Miller—Board Member, SSEEO Christina is the proud daughter of a stroke survivor. In the summer of 2009, Christina’s father suffered two consecutive strokes while undergoing general anesthetic for an unrelated surgical procedure. Christina became a short-term caretaker for her father in the weeks and months that followed. Gratefully, her father made enormous strides in his recovery.

After returning to her full time job as an attorney, Christina saw an opportunity to assist other stroke survivors and caregivers in volunteering to give pro bono legal advice to Stroke Survivors Empowering Each Other (SSEEO) as it transitioned from a small grass-roots charity to a tax exempt 501(c)(3) organization. 

After her pro bono representation concluded, Christina became more involved with SSEEO, first serving as its Secretary and now as a Board Member. She is so proud of the amazing work that SSEEO does and continuously inspired by the bravery, strength and perseverance of her father and the many stroke survivors and caregivers that she has met in the course of her service to this incredible organization. 

Christina recently moved from downtown Chicago to San Francisco, where she resides with her husband, Brett. Together they enjoy running, hiking, wine tasting and seeking out great BBQ. 

Lisa has been the caregiver for over 6 years to two stroke survivors, her mother and sister.  Lisa’s experience in dealing with the complicated healthcare system led Lisa to SSEEO, an organization that she believes needs to exist to provide a voice for the patients and caregivers, while providing a platform for sharing information.  

​Outside of her work with SSEEO, Lisa works in the pharmaceutical healthcare industry, where she has over 20 years of experience in sales, marketing and management. She is a happy wife and proud mother of a blended family of five children. After volunteering with SSEEO for nearly two years, Lisa was named to the SSEEO Board of Directors in 2014 and is happy to provide support in any way possible.


Dr. Nagar earned her Medical degree from JSS Medical College, Mysore University in India in 1991.  She completed residency at Loyola University Medical Center in Chicago and her Neuromuscular fellowship at Barnes Hospital ,Washington University School of Medicine.  

Dr. Nagar is a Northwestern Medical Faculty Foundation Neurologist who works primarily at Northwestern Lake Forest Hospital.  She also serves in a teaching appointment for the Ken and Ruth Davee Department of Neurology, Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine.  Dr. Nagar has been featured in the following articles “Relief for Patients with Neurological Problems” and “The Picture of Stroke Survival” – these articles can be found on the website

Medical Education, Patient education, clinical trials are her interests.

Mark Peysakhovich currently serves as VP of External Relations and Strategic Partnerships for Open Doors Organization, a group that advocates for accessible travel for people with disabilities. 

Previously Mark held the Senior Advocacy Director for the American Heart Association working on public policy and also served as a campaign consultant to a number of Illinois political candidates. 

Mark lives in Oak Park with his wife Barbara and daughter Sophie. He is based in AHA’s Chicago office but spends relatively little time there as he frequently travels throughout the state. 

Mark Egelston is a stroke survivor of 30 years. He joined SSEEO in 2012 to help others navigate the stroke journey. He shares his story monthly to new stroke patients and families at local hospitals and stroke support groups. 

He is a banker by day and also serves as SSEEO, Treasurer. In addition, he oversees and leads volunteer teams for SSEEO’s Survivor2Survivor (S2S) program. 

Secretary -  Michelle Jordan

1 (888) 988-8047

Christine Winiecki

Christine Winiecki has been with SSEEO since 2007, first as the Manager and in 2010 as Director. In this role, Christine is responsible for program development, volunteer management, fundraising, communications and support. 

​Prior to working for SSEEO, Christine worked as the Health Initiatives Director for the American Heart Association. She collaborated with hospitals, health departments and other businesses to coordinate and implement community-wide strategies, programs and services. Her role also included assisting hospitals to become Primary Stroke Centers.

​​Christine lives in Downers Grove and is the mother of two beautiful children and enjoys long walks with her dog.




Laurie has been a part of SSEEO's accounting and finance function for the last four years. A graduate of the University of Wisconsin-Parkside with a degree in Business Management with an emphasis in Accounting.

Laurie has been actively working in the non-profit community for the last twenty years. Her prior experience includes social service agencies, theatre and condo/co-op associations.

Laurie is currently employed full-time with a public accounting firm in Southeastern Wisconsin where she lives with her husband, Kurt.

Laurie Illes

Charu Nagar, MD