ABOUT US

Our Mission

Ignite the Spirit – What comes to your mind when you hear these words? The Board Members of Ignite the Spirit would like you to be aware of the countless efforts that our charity represents, such as community involvement, assisting our brothers and sisters of the Chicago Fire Department, and the passion and commitment to make a difference.

Ignite the Spirit is a charity that has been around since 2003 and has helped over 500 families in need. Ignite the Spirit has donated over a million dollars to ease the hardship of Chicago Fire Department families. We understand what it means to give back to the less fortunate, and to be there for a person in his or her darkest moments. It is never good to see strong, brave people who protect and help the public every day in such despair, often with nowhere to turn. In all that we do for others, we not only respect each other’s privacy, we also respect each other’s pride.

That is why Ignite the Spirit takes great pride in being able to make a difference in the lives of people when called upon. Whether it is delivering toys to sick kids in the hospital at Christmas, or riding a bicycle 1000 miles to help raise money for pediatric cancer research, Ignite the Spirit has proven it wants to make a difference. The Ignite the Spirit Firefighter and Paramedic Calendar is just one of many things we do throughout the year to raise money for our families and others in need. The support we have been able to give has been significant, and the overwhelming amount of gratitude given back is priceless. Ignite the Spirit continues on without much fanfare, embodying the spirit of our slogan “We are HERE when you need us.”

We encourage you to learn more about Ignite the Spirit and the great work we do throughout the year. We ask for your support in spreading the word about our charity and all the great work Ignite the Spirit has done. Please take time to review our website for upcoming events, fundraisers and to learn how you can become involved. As always, we appreciate your encouragement and continued support – we couldn’t do what we do without it.

  • Igniting The Spirit
  • Igniting The Spirit
  • Igniting The Spirit
  • Igniting The Spirit

Board of Directors

Richard Pinskey

President
richardp@ignitethespirit.org

Coming Soon

Kenneth Soo

Vice President
kenneths@ignitethespirit.org

Coming Soon

Michael Ahern

Board Member
michaela@ignitethespirit.org

Coming Soon

Mark Jadwin

Board Member
markj@ignitethespirit.org

Mark J. Jadwin, active member of Tower Ladder 21 since 1980. 40 plus years on the Chicago Fire Department. Ignite The Spirit board member since 2003. I am a proud member of this organization, we have made many accomplishments. I have always been excited when it comes to our coast to coast bike rides and when we have traveled from city to city. I look forward to the many years ahead and the great accomplishments that are awaiting for us in the near future. Much thanks to Rich Pinskey, without his dedication to Ignite The Spirit none of this would be possible. I am very honored to be part of this incredible group.

Jeffrey Porter

Board Member
jeffreyp@ignitethespirit.org

As members of the same 1988 CFD 88 strong, Rich called me one hot summer day after 911 happened and said, “hey, what do you think about doing something for our guys?” I said sure, fantastic idea. From that day forward, with a collection of other individuals, all close friends of Rich—lifelong friends, the idea of Ignite The Spirit began. As the board started to form in the early days, we met with an Internet company to start our first website. We were then tasked with choosing a name for our charity. After several hours in the boardroom discussing possible names, Ignite the Spirit was born. As the southside board member, we bring the city together. We are there when they need us—whether it’s a simple phone call to talk or to help with the meal or two. Ignite The Spirit is there to help all.

Jim Pack

Board Member
jimp@ignitethespirit.org

Jim Pack is a 19 year veteran of the Chicago Fire Department serving as a Relief Lieutenant in the 2nd District. He was born and raised in Chicago’s Northwest side attending St.Edwards Elementary and Weber High School. Jim has served in many parts of the city and has also taught at the Quinn Fire Academy as an Instructor and Drill Master for candidate classes. He also was one of the founding members of the CFD Blaze a first responder football team that plays around the country for charity. Jim is an active member of the CFD Honor Guard. Prior to joining CFD, Jim also served in the United States Army in Infantry and Phsycological Operations units. Jim is married to Lisa Pack and has three girls Allison (22) Grace (20) and Mackenzie (15) who also are all involved in helping the Ignite The Spirit mission. In his free time, Jim loves to fish and travel and is currently working on his Bachelor Degree in Public Safety Management through Southern Illinois University.

Sam Kamberis

Board Member
samk@ignitethespirit.org

Coming Soon

Dave French

Board Member
davef@ignitethespirit.org

Loving Husband. Proud father of 4. Member of CFD since 1994. Engineer assigned to Engine 12 O’Hare Airport. Ignite The Spirit board member since 2019.