Omar is one of the founding members of the Budda’s Brotherhood Foundation since its inception in 2008. A cousin of Marco and in the medical field, he was there as Marco received word of what was to be his battle with Acute Lymphoma Leukemia (ALL). Seeing first-hand the obstacles and journey that cancer patients go thru, Omar was driven to assist in any way possible to see the foundation grow and give.
A native to the Fox Valley area, Omar received his BA from Northern Illinois University. With 15 years in the Healthcare industry with a focus on project management, Omar is excited to support the Foundation by putting his skills to work to aide firefighters stricken with cancer as well as their families. “The joy of being able to provide assistance from our brotherhood is indescribable; it sheds a light of hope and lets them know we are with them thru this fight”
Nate is a founding member of the foundation although he did take a leave of absence. He is back and excited to help make a difference in the lives of not only firefighters but also their families. He witnessed first hand what cancer can do to not only the person battling the disease but also the family and is ready to make sure everyone involved gets taken care of. Nate watched his childhood friend Marco pass from complications due to Acute Lymphoma Leukemia (ALL). He believes that this foundation is the best way to help. To shine a little light in an otherwise dark time.
Tricia opened Budda’s Brotherhood Foundation in memory of her husband Marco “Budda” Ordaz. The wife of Marco, Tricia understands the hardship a family faces when a loved one is diagnosed with cancer. During Marco’s fight, he was unable to work which resulted in a loss of income for the Ordaz’. Tricia continued working fulltime and caring for Marco which was extremely difficult but she wouldn’t give up. She knew the harder she fought for Marco, the more determined Marco became to beat cancer. Marco had stated when he was better, he wanted to do something to help other firefighters going through a cancer battle. While hospitalized Marco created and planned what he wanted to do to help. Unfortunately Marco passed before he could put his plan into action. Tricia, knowing what his final dream was, opened Budda’s Brotherhood Foundation. Marco created the concept and Tricia made his final dream happen. It has now become Tricia’s goal to keep Marco’s last dream alive and assist firefighters battling cancer
Her goal is to not only financially assist firefighters with cancer but to also educate firefighters on how to protect themselves from the harmful agents they come in contact with daily.
As Marco always said, “Live the Dream and Fight the Good Fight!”
Knowing of the Budda Brotherhood Foundation since its existence in 2008 and being good friends with Tricia and Marco Ordaz, (having met through the Batavia Fire Department) in 2015, Lynn was looking for a great group to “get involved” with. Having past fund raising experience with a local firefighters union, she approached Tricia and asked if she could help with any fundraising opportunities. Soon after, 2 board members resigned and Lynn was asked to become more involved and serve on the board. For 2 years (2016/2017), Lynn served as secretary of the Foundation. Lynn also was a Batavia resident for 27 years and has been employed with the Park District and City during the past 23 years, which brings community knowledge and a vast array of local friends to invite to fundraising events!
Lisa Kish has been working in the Fire Service for the past 22 years. She became a paid-on-call firefighter/paramedic with the North Aurora Fire Protection District in 1996. In 1999, Lisa was hired fulltime with North Aurora and was promoted to her current rank as Lieutenant in 2006. Marco and Lisa worked together in different capacites from 1999 until his passing in 2008. It was during Marco’s battle with cancer Lisa and Tricia (Marco’s wife) became close friends, allowing her to see first hand the emotional and financial struggles Marco and Tricia endured.
Lisa joined the Budda’s Brotherhood Foundation to help others going through the same struggles Marco and Tricia experienced. She considers it a honor to serve as a Budda’s Brotherhood Board Member and is dedicated to keeping Marco’s dream alive.
Mark Bozik is a 28 year veteran of the fire service and is currently employed as Deputy Fire Chief with the Village of Roselle Fire Department. Prior to Roselle, Mark served with the Naperville Fire Department and North Aurora Fire Protection District. Mark also is currently the School Facilities Coordinator for the Kane County Regional Office of Education. Mark currently holds a Master’s degree in Public Safety and Homeland Security Management from Southern Illinois University and Chief Fire Officer Certification from the OSFM. Mark serves as the DuPage County Fire Chiefs representative on the DuPage County School Safety Task Force, treasurer for Maddie’s Mitten March that provides winter clothing to those in need, and treasurer for Budda’s Brotherhood Foundation that financially assists firefighters diagnosed with cancer.
Chief Charles (Chuck) Kuhn currently holds the position of Fire Chief at Fermilab National Accelerator Laboratory in Batavia, Illinois. Chief Kuhn has risen through the ranks and has worked at Fermilab for over twenty-eight years holding the position of Chief since 2012. As a Battalion Chief, he had been tasked with the electronic program for tracking items such as vehicle checks, inspections and fire extinguishers inventory in buildings and its preventative maintenance program. He was also in charge of the building inspection program and Public Education. Chief Kuhn is currently updating the building inspection program utilizing Predictive Solutions. He was also instrumental of revamping the AED program for the Laboratory. Chief Kuhn is very involved with Lab wide fire inspections, fire drills and Public Education. He is supportive of having shift members making regular visits to the onsite day care to read books and help educate fire prevention and safety to teachers and students.
Chief Kuhn began his Fire career with the Batavia Fire Department in 1977 as a Paid-on-Call member and retired from the department in 2015 as the rank of Lieutenant after 38 years of dedicated service. His responsibilities at Batavia were recruiting and hiring of new Paid-on-Call firefighters, building inspections for all schools, daycares target hazard’s and shift officer for Paid-on-Call members. In Total, Chief Kuhn has spent over 40 years in the fire service. Chief feels he is very fortunate to have worked in the best job one can have and has dedicated himself to teaching others so that his leadership skills can be shared with others. This is where he met Marco and saw his true passion for his fellow workers. It was an easy decision when asked to help and assist with his wishes.
Chief Kuhn enjoys his time away from work and volunteering with his wife traveling and spending time with their eight grandchildren. He has been a board member for the Valley Sheltered Workshop in Batavia, a Special Needs Facility, for 20 years and helps at Special Olympic Events.