The Distribution Committee consists of members of two generations of the Christopher Family. Preparation to involve the third generation is underway.
Doris is the Founder and Chairman of Pampered Chef, one of America’s great entrepreneurial success stories.
After graduating from the University of Illinois at Urbana, Doris spent her early career working for the Illinois Cooperative Extension Service, where she taught home economics to adults and 4H youth. Doris returned to the workforce in several capacities after raising her own daughters to school age, before arriving at the plan to start a company. Her vision was to create a company that would offer professional quality kitchen tools through in-home cooking demonstrations. The Pampered Chef was started from the basement of her suburban home in 1980. The company blossomed into a multimillion dollar enterprise serving millions of customers with tens of thousands of consultants worldwide. In 2002, it was acquired by Warren Buffet’s Berkshire Hathaway. Doris remained active in the company until 2011.
In 2013, Doris returned to Pampered Chef as chairman and interim CEO to help chart a new course for the company’s success. In 2014, Tracy Britt Cool was hired as CEO, and the role later transitioned to Andrew Treanor in April 2020. However, Doris remains active in the company as chairman.
Doris serves and has served on several boards and advisory boards including those of the University of Illinois Foundation, Opportunity International, Feeding America, the ELCA Presidents Council, and currently serves as Board Chairman at Walther Christian Academy.
She has earned numerous awards, including the 2012 BBB Torchbearer Award, given by the Better Business Bureau of Chicago and Northern Illinois for her leadership and dedication to ethical business practices, and the Order of Lincoln Medallion, the highest honor for outstanding achievement the State of Illinois bestows on people who were born or have resided in the state. She has received two honorary doctoral degrees, one from Valparaiso University in Valparaiso, Indiana and the other from Dominican University in River Forest. She has also written two books: The Pampered Chef: The Story of One of America’s Most Beloved Companies and Come to the Table: A Celebration of Family Life.
Jay W. ChristopherTrustee
Jay W. Christopher is Founder and Chairman of Thatcher Corporation of Naperville, Illinois, an incubator for entrepreneurial startups in the business fields of apparel manufacturing, event concert merchandising management, credit card manufacturing and real estate investing. He has a Bachelor’s degree in business administration with a major in marketing and a minor in finance from Valparaiso University.
As a co-founder of The Pampered Chef, with his wife Doris, in 1980 Jay held the position of Vice President-Corporate Development with an emphasis on the back of the house operations, financial analysis, warehouse distribution and IT Systems development and support.
Jay has had a history of service on philanthropic boards throughout his career including Valparaiso University Board of Directors, Valparaiso University School of Business Dean’s Council, board member of the National Foundation for Teaching Entrepreneurship, both national and Chicago area boards. He is currently chairman of the Chicagoland Lutheran Educational Foundation supporting Lutheran primary and secondary schools in the Chicago area. He serves on the board of the Van Lunen Center at Calvin College in Grand Rapids, Michigan, a big tent Christian organization that provides leadership training to Christian grade and high school executives.
He is the recipient of honorary doctorates from Valparaiso University in Valparaiso, Indiana and Concordia University in River Forest, Illinois. He was the recipient in 2005 of Concordia’s “Gloria Christi Award” for service to the school and local community.
Jay currently resides on his 500-acre farm and gardens in Sheboygan, Wisconsin on the western shores of Lake Michigan. He is very active with the Sheboygan County Fresh Meals on Wheels program that supports nutritional meals for seniors and shut-ins.
Julie Christopher is an active volunteer, fundraiser, and board member, serving many organizations in the Chicago area and beyond. These include, among others, The Ann & Robert H. Lurie Children’s Hospital of Chicago (Founders’ Board), Boys & Girls Clubs of Chicago (Corporate Board), and Indiana University (IU Foundation, Women’s Philanthropy Leadership Council).
Julie is a 1994 graduate of Indiana University Bloomington, where she earned a BA in Journalism.
Julie grew up in West Suburban Chicago and currently resides downtown. She enjoys frequent time and travel with family and friends. Other interests include writing, photography, interior design, fashion and entertaining.
Kelley Christopher SchuelerTrustee
Kelley Christopher Schueler is a past Executive Director and current Trustee and Chair of the Christopher Family Foundation, roles in which she has been formative in setting the goals and direction of the Foundation. She continues to maintain a high level of involvement in its operation.
Kelley spent eight years as a grade school teacher, first at Our Saviour Lutheran School in Chicago, Illinois, and then at Trinity Lutheran School in Roselle, Illinois, where she was an advocate of differentiated learning and integrating technology across the curriculum.
She earned her B.S. in Education from Valparaiso University (Valparaiso, Indiana) in 1997. She received her M.Ed in Curriculum and Instruction, with a concentration in Technology, from Loyola University (Chicago, Illinois)in 2002.
Kelley is currently a Trustee of the Chicago Zoological Society.
She resides in Hinsdale, Illinois with her four children. By example and through experiences, Kelley is teaching her kids about the importance of sharing their time, talent and treasure with those in need.
Scott Christopher, brother of Jay Christopher, is deeply embedded in the philanthropic endeavors of the family. The Foundation mission of thriving families is mirrored in Scott’s own family, including his 46-year marriage to his late wife, Nancy. Scott resides in Elmhurst, Illinois. He and Nancy have two daughters, Amy and Joy. Scott graduated from Grace Lutheran School in 1960, Walther Lutheran High School in 1964, Valparaiso University in 1968 with a B.A degree and Valparaiso University Law School in 1973 with a J.D.. Scott practiced law for 20 years and then became Jay and Doris Christopher’s personal business manager. He has been a trustee or distribution committee member of the Christopher Family Foundation since its inception. He is a lifelong member of Grace Lutheran Church in River Forest, Illinois. Scott served on the Board of Directors at Walther Lutheran High School for over 10 years. He also has served on various Boards at Grace Lutheran Church.
Clare ButterfieldExecutive Director
Clare Butterfield joined the Christopher Family Foundation as Executive Director in 2018. Her broad interests and experiences will help the Foundation to develop its strategic approach, and to form strong partnerships with grantees. Prior to joining The Christopher Family Foundation, she served as Program Director at the Illinois Science and Energy Innovation Foundation, initiating their grantmaking in support of non-profits that provide energy literacy education to Illinois consumers. Prior to that she was the founding Executive Director of Faith in Place, which works with communities of all faiths to connect the teachings of their tradition to practices of care for the Earth. She has practiced tax and transactional law in private practice and at the Internal Revenue Service, and is an ordained Unitarian Universalist minister. She studied history at the University of Illinois, where she also obtained her J.D. She earned an M.Div. from Meadville Lombard and a D.Min. from Chicago Theological Seminary.
Monica ThornsGrants Manager
Monica Thorns joined the Christopher Family Foundation as Grants Manager in 2022. Her immediate past position was as Assistant to the CEO of Youth Guidance, a national social service agency providing school-based services. In her work with Youth Guidance, she drew upon her prior for-profit and non-profit work history, prioritizing social impact with people identified as marginalized. Her expertise includes project management, marketing and public relations, national account reconciliation and performance management, recruitment, event planning and logistical coordination, cost tracking and analysis, and fundraising. When not working, she enjoys philanthropic work at local and regional levels. Monica is also a University of Chicago alumna, with a B.A. in Behavioral Science and a trained Special Education Advocate, supporting families in meeting preparation, goal setting, and outcome tracking. She was born and raised on the West Side of Chicago.
Molly TrugliaProgram Associate
Molly Truglia joined the Christopher Family Foundation as Program Associate in 2019. Prior to that, she served as Learning Programs Manager at Chicago Shakespeare Theater, where she managed teacher professional learning programs, developed standards-based curricular resources, redesigned program evaluation tools, and led the pilot process and program launch of a regional high school performance program. She has also led efforts to increase access to the arts for Chicago Public Schools students with Communities In Schools of Chicago and American Theater Company. Molly is an alumna of the University of Notre Dame, where she holds a B.A. in anthropology and theater. She is currently studying at UIC Jane Addams College of Social Work, with anticipated completion by 2024.