The Trusted Adviser
July - August 2012 | Volume 5 · Number 5

ATG President Peter Birnbaum Announces Staff Promotions

Please join me in congratulating the following ATG employees who have recently been promoted:

Donna Kogut photoDonna Kogut, Vice President – Commercial Title and Escrow Department | For more than ten years, Donna has been a valuable member of the ATG legal team. She manages the Commercial Department and has recently added the Escrow Department, including construction escrows, to her job responsibilities. Her new title reflects her extensive knowledge and background—prior to her return to ATG as a Staff Attorney in 2001 (she worked here in 1977 as a paralegal) she spent nearly twenty years building a successful real estate practice and was a top-issuing ATG member. Her current responsibilities include facilitating efficient commercial real estate closings, where she is in constant contact with ATG members and others in the commercial real estate business. John Marshall Law School, Chicago, J.D. 1982; University of Dayton, Dayton, Ohio, B.S. 1976.

Christine Sparks photoChristine Sparks, Vice President – Managing Attorney, Claims and Audit | Christine began in the Claims Department handling reimbursements and now handles all title and closing claims with Mike Brandt, Vice President – Claims and Legislation. She supervises the Claims Department staff and also works with the Audit Department by training staff on title issues and assisting with problem audits. She is a frequent author and speaker at ATG Legal Education programs and recently coordinated the updating of the Closers’ Manual. I am pleased to announce her new title reflecting her expanded responsibilities. Prior to joining ATG in 2003, Christine was an associate at the law firm of Jump & Associates, P.C. John Marshall Law School, Chicago, Master of Laws in Real Estate 2004; DePaul University College of Law, Chicago, J.D. 2002; Recipient of the Stanley W. Marion Real Estate Law Fellowship Northern Illinois University, DeKalb, B.S. (with honors) 1999.

Laura Wittrock photoLaura Wittrock, Controller | Laura will continue in her role in managing the Finance and Policy Processing Departments and will take on added responsibilities in our expansion efforts presently underway. Additionally Laura will be working closely with Ron Trubiana, Chief Financial Officer, to implement at ATG the American Land Title Association (ALTA) audit standards. Laura started with the company in 1985 and has been a valued member of the Finance staff. Illinois State University, Normal, Illinois, B.S. 1981; CPA Certification 1981.


Tania Stori photoTania Stori, Senior Managing Attorney – Underwriting Department | Tania has been a member of the ATG staff since March of 1996. She is a frequent author for ATG publications and a speaker at ATG Legal Education programs. Tania was instrumental in developing the underwriting section of the new ATG website. Her new position is a natural fit because of her past experiences at ATG. She handles legal and underwriting questions as well as closing problems for Illinois, Indiana, and Wisconsin. Tania edits Casenotes and Underwriters’ Bulletin, one of ATG’s monthly electronic publications, is a a co-author of ATG’s underwriting guidelines and manuals, and a contributing author to the IICLE’s Commercial Real Estate and IICLE’s Illinois Mortgage Foreclosure Practice. University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign College of Law, J.D. 1998; University of Chicago, M.A. 1994; Augustana College, Rock Island, Illinois, B.A. summa cum laude 1993.

Dave Galise, Manager, Internal Audit Department | Dave Galise has been promoted to the newly created position of Internal Audit Manager. As the compliance requirements of our member agents continues to grow, it became necessary to have an added focus by the Audit Department. This ensures that our member agents have the necessary controls in place to minimize fraudulent activities. These audits also determine whether the member is in compliance with the Rules and Regulations of ATG. Dave will be responsible for the management of the audit staff relating to these compliance requirements. In addition, Dave will be leading the risk assessment initiative of our subsidiary companies. John Carroll University, Cleveland, Ohio, B.A. 2002.

Linda Robertson, Manager, CPL Department | On January 1, 2011, Linda took on responsibility for the new CPL Department, a three-person department responsible for issuing all Closing Protection Letters for Illinois transactions, and assisting with the issuance of CPLs in Wisconsin and Indiana. Linda and her employees utilize and maintain the proprietary CPL program developed by ATG's IT Department. Their responsibilities also include phone and reception duties for calls on ATG's toll-free number and visitors to the Champaign office. The Department also assists with updating member information in ATG's Member System and registration of new ATG members with the Illinois Department of Financial Responsibility-Title Insurance Section. Southern Illinois University, A.A. 1965.

Jessica Bunner, Assistant Manager, Search Department | Jessica is responsible for all aspects of the Search Department, in addition to EZ DEC files and any accounting functions, when Barb Fuller (Search Department Manager) is unavailable. On a day-to-day basis she has primary responsibility for Comprehensive Title Searches, all Commercial Lot Updates, Minutes of Foreclosure, and UCC Searches.

Sarah Boeckman, Counsel - Office of the CEO, beginning August 2012 | Sarah worked for ATG as a law clerk in the Chicago office while attending law school. She graduated in May and took the July 2012 bar exam. University of Wisconsin, J.D. 2012; University of Michigan, B.A. 2009, Sigma Kappa.

Kathy Xie, Underwriter - Legal Department, beginning August 2012 | Kathy worked for ATG as a law clerk in the Champaign office while attending law school. She graduated in May and took the July 2012 bar exam. University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign, (Law Review), J.D. 2012; University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, B.A. 2006.


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