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Dr. Sandy Goldberg
Dr. Sandy Goldberg has been a regular contributor to NBC5 News since 1994. Her regularly scheduled series “Food for Thought” is featured on NBC5 twice weekly and her Better Health podcasts can be downloaded each Friday. Throughout the years she has appeared in several special series, notably Real Life Weight Loss and One Woman’s Story, a history of her own struggle with breast cancer.

Dr. Sandy Goldberg is a clinical nutritionist specializing in nutrition counseling and the treatment of eating disorders. Her treatment mode is intensely personal working one-on-one with clients to develop an individual plan for healthy eating specifically tailored to their lifestyles.

Since 1988, Dr. Sandy, as she is known, has been in private practice successfully treating a variety of medically related nutritional problems. Her concern with eating disorders: anorexia, bulimia, compulsive overeating, and obesity has made her a sought-after counselor and speaker.

She received a BA from South Arkansas University and an MA from Northwestern University in 1969. After successfully losing 160 pounds, she continued her education by earning a CN (with High Honors) from the American Culinary Federation in 1987. She has also earned an M.S. and Ph.D. in Clinical Nutrition from the American College of Nutrition (UAB) in 1991, and a Master’s Certificate in Addictions Counseling, Specialization Eating Disorders certified by the National Board of Addictions Counselors.

Dr. Sandy is an active chair and board member on the American Cancer Society’s Downtown Leadership Board, a member of two boards at the University of Illinois at Chicago, and volunteers for the numerous organizations including After School Matters, The American Cancer Society and Y-Me.

As Founder and Chairman of A Silver Lining Foundation her mission is to ensure socioeconomic status does not impact the outcome of an individual’s cancer diagnosis. (

Soledad O'Brien
Soledad O’Brien is a Special Correspondent and Anchor for CNN. She joined CNN in 2003. The program is based in New York City and is CNN’s flagship morning program. At CNN she was part of the team that won a George Foster Peabody award for coverage of Hurricane Katrina and its aftermath. She was part of the team that won an Alfred I DuPont award for the coverage of the tsunami disaster in Southeast Asia in December 2004.

Before joining CNN, Soledad anchored NBC’s Weekend Today show. She has covered the Columbia Shuttle disaster, the Columbine school shootings, the Pope’s historic visit to Cuba, the recovery of Elian Gonzales, the crash of JFK JR’s plane off the coast of Nantucket, Yasser Arafat’s burial, the funeral of Pope John Paul II, and every other major news story over the past decade. She was the only broadcast journalist to travel with Laura Bush to Paris and Moscow. She’s reported from Havana, Cuba and Guantanamo Bay, from London on the terror attacks and anchored live coverage on the hostilities between Israel and Hezbollah from Cyprus and Jerusalem.

Soledad won the Hispanic Heritage Foundation Vision Award in 2005 and the Reuben Salazar Journalism Award from the National Council of La Raza in the same year. She was awarded the Woman of Power Award by the National Urban League in 2006, and the National Association
of Minorities in Cable (NAIMIC) Vision Award in 2006. Soledad won an Emmy award for anchoring the Discovery Channel’s The Know Zone. Newsweek magazine named Soledad one of its 15 People Who Make America Great (The Giving Back Awards) the first year the award was given in 2006. O’Brien graduated from Harvard University with a degree in English and American Literature. She has honorary PhDs from Sienna and Mercy Colleges. She is married with four children and lives in New York City.

Johnny Morris
Johnny Morris was a pioneer as an athlete turned sportscaster. His television career began at WBBMTV in 1964 and concluded in 1996 – 32 years.

Morris’ record-setting career as an athlete began at the University of California at Santa Barbara where, as a football and track star, he tied the world’s record for the 50-yard dash. After graduation from Santa Barbara in 1958, where he received a Bachelor’s Degree in Economics, Morris was drafted in 1958 by the Chicago Bears in the 12th round. He went on to play with the Bears for 10 years.

Morris remains the Bears’ all-time leading pass receiver in yardage gained – 5,059. His single season mark of 93 receptions, set in 1964, stood as an NFL record until 1984. His football career hit all of the highlights, including the College All-Star Game, the Pro-Bowl, and the World Championship Game of 1963 in which the Bears defeated the New York Giants 14 – 10.

Morris began his television career in 1964 while still playing for the Bears. As Sports Director
at WBBM-TV, he was responsible for sports broadcasts on the 5:00, 6:00, and 10:00 p.m. news.

In the 1970s and 1980s, Morris also worked with CBS Television Network, serving as an analyst during Chicago Bear and other NFL games. Johnny was the first football analyst in the U.S. to use the now famous telestrator on football replays. Morris’ sports reporting earned him awards from the Illinois Association Press, the Illinois UPI, the Illinois Broadcasters Association, and the Chicago Chapter of the National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences. Among his shows that captured awards were “The Mike Ditka Show”, “Bears Extra”, “Sports Behind Prison Bars”, “The Fridge – A Legend Grows” and “Adventures in the Blue Beast”.

Johnny was inducted into the Chicago Television Hall of Fame, “The Silver Circle Award”, in April 2000.

Bill Kurtis
An acclaimed documentary host and producer, network and major market news anchor and multimedia production company president, Bill Kurtis has spent the past 40 years creating a body of work that is virtually unparalleled in the field of broadcasting.

Born in Florida and raised in Independence, Kansas, Mr. Kurtis graduated from The University of Kansas with a B.S. in Journalism. He attended Washburn University School of Law where he was awarded a Juris Doctor.

Mr. Kurtis began his television career at WIBW-TV (CBS) in Topeka, Kansas. In 1966, after being recognized for his 24-hour coverage of a devastating tornado, Mr. Kurtis was hired by WBBM-TV in Chicago where he was a field reporter and later anchor of The Channel Two News. Mr. Kurtis moved on to the network level at CBS where he anchored the CBS Morning News and contributed to CBS Reports. During his career as a network newsman, Mr. Kurtis covered such notable stories as the Richard Speck murders and the Charles Manson trial. He is also credited with breaking the Agent Orange story, and the story of Amerasian Children in Vietnam.

Returning to Chicago and WBBM-TV as news anchor in 1985, Mr. Kurtis began his career as a documentarian, traveling to the far ends of the earth for the Peabody Award-winning series The New Explorers, which aired on PBS. In 1990, he founded Kurtis Productions and began producing programs for the A&E Television Network, including the long-running, award-winning Investigative Reports, American Justice, and Cold Case Files. Cold Case Files was nominated for a 2004 and 2005 Emmy for Outstanding Nonfiction Series. The 100th episode of Cold Case Files will air on A&E this month. Mr. Kurtis is also Executive Producer of a new ten-part series, Investigating History, airing on The History Channel. This exciting series challenges accepted historical fact and uncovers the true story, utilizing forensic scientists and historians, beginning October 18th, 2004. Mr. Kurtis also provides satirical narration for the feature film comedy Anchorman: The Legend of Ron Burgundy, starring Will Ferrell.

THE DEATH PENALTY ON TRIAL: CRISIS IN AMERICAN JUSTICE (Public Affairs) is Bill Kurtis’ book on issues surrounding capital punishment in America, available since November 9, 2004.

In his home state of Kansas, Mr. Kurtis is a rancher, radio station owner, art gallery owner, small businessman, supporter of small town America and an active conservationist. His 10,000-acre Red Buffalo Ranch is a working cattle ranch, raising and marketing organic grass-fed beef. The ranch is located in the last section of North America to enjoy untouched tall grass prairie, a personal point of pride for Mr. Kurtis. The ranch is also the site of environmental artist Stan Herd’s latest earthwork, Prairiehenge, a half-acre native stone homage to the prairie and the Osage Nation, which once laid claim to the land.

The Red Buffalo borders the small town of Sedan, Kansas, where Bill has worked closely with residents to renovate and restore an historic and charming downtown, now full of art galleries and antique shops, restaurants and Bill’s own Red Buffalo Gift Shop. Nearby, in his hometown of Independence, Bill and local investors own KIND Radio, the station that gave Bill his first broadcasting job.

Mr. Kurtis is the recipient of numerous humanitarian, journalism and broadcasting awards including Emmys, CableACE Awards and the Thurgood Marshall Award for his Investigative Reports installment on the death penalty. He is a published author and a member of the board of directors of several distinguished organizations including The Nature Conservancy, The National Park Foundation and The Field Museum of Chicago.

Carrie J. Hightman
Carrie J. Hightman is executive vice president and chief legal officer for NiSource Inc. Her responsibilities include serving as a member of the company's senior management team, with responsibilities for all legal functions, as well as environmental health and safety.

Prior to joining NiSource, Hightman served as President of AT&T Illinois (formerly SBC). In that position, she was responsible for all regulatory, legislative, governmental and external affairs activities, as well as community and industry relations, throughout Illinois. During her tenure at AT&T, Hightman led the company through a series of important public policy initiatives that helped AT&T evolve from a traditional telephone company into a provider of diversified communications and entertainment services.

Prior to joining AT&T, Hightman practiced telecommunications and energy law for more than 17 years. She was a partner in the Chicago law firm of Schiff Hardin, where she led its Energy, Telecommunications and Public Utilities practice group. Hightman is Vice Chair of the Telecommunications Committee of the Public Utility, Communications and Transportation Law Section of the American Bar Association and past Chair of the Public Utility Law Section of the Chicago Bar Association.

Hightman began her career in the public sector in 1983, serving as Staff Counsel at the Florida Public Service Commission. In 1986, she served as associate counsel at the Florida Office of Public Counsel, handing a variety of public utility cases on behalf of consumers.

Hightman earned her B.A. from the University of Illinois and her juris doctor from Florida State University. In February 2007, Hightman was appointed Chair of the 15-member Illinois Board of Higher Education by Illinois Governor Rod Blagojevich. She also serves on the boards of the Lyric Opera of Chicago, Chicago Urban League, the Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library Foundation, and the Chicago Bar Foundation.

Ashley Hatfield
24-year-old Ashley Hatfield of downstate Anna, Illinois was crowned Miss Illinois 2007 on the night of Saturday, June 30th before a huge crowd at the Dellora A. Norris Cultural Arts Center in St. Charles.

Hatfield will now spend the next year touring the state of Illinois speaking at schools, public events and charitable functions about CHARACTER COUNTS! and Right Decisions, Right Now as well as her personal community service platform, "Breast Cancer - Action, Awareness & Advocacy".

Since her crowning, Hatfield has already established a partnership with Y-Me Illinois of Chicago to serve as a spokesperson to promote breast health and education in teenage women. She was also named an honorary board member for the Southern Illinois branch of the American Cancer Society’s Teen Division, where she will serve as the keynote speaker at their state meeting in October.

She also hopes to spread the word about her breast cancer education platform by implementing programs that are already in the making. Hatfield has contacted the office of
First Lady Patricia Blagojevich in hopes of becoming involved with her breast cancer initiative. She also will continue advocating for early detection by encouraging young women to take breast self-examination classes in their area and providing them with information regarding breast health.

A graduate of the University of Mississippi with a Masters of Science Degree in Communicative Disorders, Hatfield’s goal is to obtain her doctoral degree in Communicative Disorders and establish a career as a speech-language pathologist in an educational, medical, or voice rehabilitation setting after her year of service as Miss Illinois is completed.

Hatfield will also compete with 51 other titleholders from across the United States for the title of Miss America at the 2008 Miss America Pageant, which will be held next January in Las Vegas, Nevada.

Miss Illinois would be thrilled to appear at your child’s school or at your company or organization’s next event or fundraiser. To book Miss Illinois 2007 Ashley Hatfield or to coordinate media interviews, please contact Miss Illinois’ Business Manager Jason Pawlowski at (630) 977-9290, via e-mail at or visit the Miss Illinois website at

Heidi Ekstrom
Heidi Ekstrom of Mundelein was crowned Miss Illinois 2006 on July 29, 2006 at the Dellora A. Norris Cultural Arts Center in St. Charles.

After completing her year of service as Miss Illinois in June of 2007, Heidi returned to school this past Fall to complete her Masters Degree in Art Education at Northern Illinois University. A graduate of Columbia College Chicago with a BA in Photography, Heidi is hopeful of one day becoming a high school art or photography teacher.

As Miss Illinois 2006, Heidi toured the state of Illinois speaking at schools and other community events delivering positive messages about CHARACTER COUNTS!, the importance of making good decisions, healthy living for young people, and her personal community service platform “Enriching the Lives of Children with Disabilities” - a cause very close to her heart having had two sisters born with disabilities and losing one at a very young age due to a congenital heart defect.

She was also a spokesperson for the Make-A-Wish Foundation, an honorary member of the Best Buddies Illinois Junior Advisory Board, a celebrity spokesperson for the American Heart
Association, a certified presenter of CHARACTER COUNTS! and she also made appearances on behalf of Children’s Miracle Network - the official platform of the Miss America Organization.

Among the more notable highlights of Heidi’s year as Miss Illinois 2006 included serving as keynote speaker at prominent events including the Best Buddies Gala, Kids Fight Cancer Dinner Dance, Red Ribbon Week, Stars for the Stripes Zebra Ball to Fight Carcinoid Cancer and the Alliance Against Intoxicated Motorists Luncheon.

Heidi was also guest of honor of the new Chicago Shamrox Indoor Lacrosse team, and along with Bears’ kicker Robbie Gould, she was a special guest of the Chicago Bulls at Little City Foundation’s Night at the United Center. Heidi was also honored with her own horse race, the Miss Illinois Stakes, at Hawthorne Race Track (which she successfully picked the winner of) and was even honored with her own day as January 15, 2007 was declared Heidi Ekstrom Day in her hometown of Mundelein.

She appeared in the C.M.T. Reality TV Show entitled, “Pageant School - Becoming Miss America” and competed with 51 other titleholders from across the country at the 2007 Miss America Pageant in Las Vegas in January 2007.

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