anniversary co-chairs            

Paul Tagliabue

Former NFL Commissioner

Vice Chair, Georgetown University Board of Directors

Jeanne Ruesch

Founder, Ruesch Center for the Cure of Gastrointestinal Cancers,

Georgetown University LCCC

Bill Roberts

President and Chief Executive Officer, WR Roberts Company

              Chair, MedStar Health Board of Directors                 



DeMaurice Smith, NFL Players Association

Honorary Chair

DeMaurice Smith returns to the 2016 Lombardi Gala in his sixth consecutive year as honorary co-chair.  Mr. Smith was elected Executive Director of the NFL Players Association in March 2009. The NFLPA is the organization representing all players, current and former, of the National Football League.

Previously, Mr. Smith was a federal prosecutor, serving as a deputy under current U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder before becoming a trial lawyer and litigation partner at Latham & Watkins LLP and later Patton Boggs LLP. His practice focused on white-collar criminal defense and tort liability trials and he served as Patton Boggs’ Chair of Government Investigations and White-Collar Practice Group.

Mr. Smith graduated from the University Of Virginia School of Law and received his Bachelor’s Degree in Political Science from Cedarville University, Cedarville, Ohio. He currently resides in Bethesda, Maryland, with his wife and their two children.

Brian Katz, American Real Estate Partners

Event Co-Chair

The 2016 Lombardi Gala will mark the seventh consecutive year in which Brian Katz will serve as an event co-chair.

Mr. Katz is President and COO of American Real Estate Partners and has over 23 years of extensive experience in all aspects of commercial real estate including capital markets, acquisition, leasing, asset management and development.

Together with co-founder Doug Fleit, Brian Katz has been responsible for American Real Estate Partners’ growth and expansion of it’s portfolio, representing more than $1.25 billion and spanning major office markets in the Eastern Seaboard.

Prior to founding American Real Estate Partners, Brian Katz spent the previous 12 years as a Senior Director at Cushman & Wakefield’s Commercial Brokerage Group (C&W) in Northern Virginia. During his 12 years of practice at C&W, Brian Katz’s vision and guidance helped to grow the firm’s corporate and institutional ownership practices.

Jill Kirkpatrick

Event Co-Chair 

Serving in her fifth year as a Lombardi Gala co-chair, Jill Kirkpatrick has been involved with the event since 1992. As a dedicated volunteer, Jill’s efforts directly contributed to bringing the Gala silent auction to prominence in Washington, DC. Her dedication extends to her tireless service as an ambassador for Lombardi, spreading information about its research and clinical care to her family, friends, and community. Due to her efforts, Jill was honored during the 2001 Lombardi Gala as the first recipient of the Margaret Hodges Leadership Award.

Paul Schweitzer, Serten Advisors

Event Co-Chair

Paul Schweitzer has been involved with the Lombardi Gala for over 18 years as a member and co-chair of the corporate executive committee.  The 2016 Gala will be the seventh consecutive year in which he will serve as an event co-chair.

Mr. Schweitzer is managing principal at Serten Advisors, a commercial real estate firm.  Since entering the real estate business in 1982, Paul has been involved in a wide array of lease, joint venture, build-to-suit, investment and sales transactions totaling over ten million square feet. He specializes in financial engineering, innovative transaction structures and negotiating strategies designed to create a competitive environment in order to maximize market place leverage on behalf of tenants across the country. Paul provides his clients with full-service commercial real estate counsel from strategic planning and portfolio management to space acquisition and lease negotiation.

In addition to serving his clients, Paul was a branch manager of the Studley Suburban Washington office beginning in 1995.