About

David L. Bea, principal, focuses on nonprofit law, social enterprises, intellectual property, publishing, contracts, commercial real estate, and general business law.  In addition to creating and advising nonprofits in the United States, he has experience advising on the opening and closing of foreign branches and affiliated organizations.  Mr. Bea has experience protecting his client’s intellectual property interests in the United States and around the world.  His intellectual property clients include publishers, authors, artists, and other creatives.  Mr. Bea has presented seminars in connection with the Chicago Bar Association, the IRS TE/GE Advisory Council, The Illinois State Bar Association, Capin Crouse, and numerous other organizations about matters of nonprofit law or intellectual property. He has guest lectured at Wheaton College and the School of the Art Institute of Chicago. He has presented seminars and in-service training for creative departments within publishers and other creative companies about trademark law and copyright law. He formerly served as the chair of the Exempt Organizations division of the Federal Tax Committee of the Chicago Bar Association and remains a member of the committee.   Mr. Bea received a Juris Doctor degree from DePaul University College of Law in Chicago, Illinois. Prior to that, he earned a master’s degree at Wheaton College in Wheaton, Illinois and worked for several years as a marketing consultant for nonprofit organizations. He has served on boards or volunteered for several nonprofits.
Kathryn VandenBerk, of counsel, focuses on nonprofit, tax-exempt organizations, including nonprofit start-ups, corporate and tax law, and employment issues. Kathryn Vanden Berk practiced law in Madison, Wisconsin, for 9 years before serving as the president of two residential treatment centers for children.  Ms. Vanden Berk has taught a graduate level seminar in Employment Law at North Park University and has guest lectured at North Park’s School of Business and Nonprofit Management. She is a member of the Advisory Board of the Axelson Center for Nonprofit Management at North Park University, the Tax Exempt Division of the Chicago Bar Association, and a former officer of the Association of Consultants to Nonprofits.
Julia Hahn Erickson, associate, focuses on the formation of new tax-exempt organizations and employment issues.  She earned her Juris Doctor degree from Washington and Lee University School of Law, Lexington, Virginia. She earned a bachelor’s degree in Political Science from Wheaton College, Wheaton, Illinois.  Prior to joining David L. Bea & Associates, Ms. Erickson had a background in insurance, having experience as a casualty claims adjuster, as well as experience as an attorney handling insurance defense litigation. Ms. Erickson has served on boards and volunteered for nonprofits.  She is a member of the Illinois State Bar Association.
Daniel J. Mays, associate, practices in the areas of tax-exempt organization law, intellectual property, contracts, and general business.  Mr. Mays started working for the firm in 2007, and his practice involves assisting tax-exempt organizations with initial and on-going legal matters, providing trademark and copyright counsel, and drafting contracts.  Mr. Mays has served on the board of directors of Cornerstone Counseling Center of Chicago since 2008 and was formerly its board president.  He also taught business law as an adjunct at Wheaton College.  Mr. Mays earned his Juris Doctor from Baylor University and bachelor’s degree from Calvin College.

Avery S. Buffa, associate, focuses on nonprofit and tax exempt law, corporate formation, commercial real estate, and employment law. Mr. Buffa also counsels clients on a wide array of federal, state, and municipal tax matters.  Prior to joining Bea & VandenBerk, Mr. Buffa was an associate at Mosher & Associates, LLC, a law firm focused on serving tax exempt organizations. In addition, Avery has volunteered for the Chicago Legal Aid Clinic and was appointed by the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals for a direct criminal appeal. Mr. Buffa graduated from DePaul University College of Law in 2010, where he also received his bachelor’s degree. Mr. Buffa is a member of the Chicago Bar Association and its Federal Taxation and Real Property Law Committees.