Ernie A Arias
Ernie A. Arias is the Area Director of Sales and Marketing for the Park Hyatt Hotels in North America.
Arias is responsible for evaluating, implementing and leading sales, marketing and branding initiatives for these high–profile, luxury hotels in both the local and global markets.
In addition to studying at the University of Colorado at CU Boulder in business, Arias received Hotel & Restaurant Management certification at the Conrad N. Hilton College at the University of Houston. Throughout his career, he has been actively involved in industry organizations as a member of Meeting Planner International, National Business Travel Association, Professional Convention Management Association, Hospitality Sales and Marketing Association International, American Society of Association Executives, and Association Forum of Chicagoland.
Arias has a passion for the theatre and arts and has been on the Lookingglass Theatre board since 2005.
Mary Baglivo currently serves as the Chief Marketing Officer and Vice President of Global Marketing for Northwestern University. She is one of the senior advisors to the President of the University.
Prior to taking her current role at Northwestern, Baglivo held the position of Chairman and CEO, Americas for Saatchi & Saatchi Worldwide. At Saatchi & Saatchi she led the global business relationships with General Mills, JC Penney, Mead Johnson, and Lenovo. Her tenure produced significant financial, operational, and reputational turnaround of the Saatchi flagship New York office and led to record revenue and profit growth for Latin American agency operations. Baglivo’s agency career also includes terms as President of Arnold Worldwide and COO, North America at J. Walter Thompson.
In 2011 she received the AAF Diversity Achievement Award, Industry Career Achiever and in 2006 was named New York Advertising Woman of the Year by the Advertising Women of New York.
She began her career as an assistant account executive at Euro RSCG Tatham in its Chicago office and advanced through supervisory and management positions to become the president and CEO of that agency’s Chicago office.
Baglivo holds an MS in Integrated Marketing Communications from Medill and a BA in English, Phi Beta Kappa from Rutgers University.
Gerry Barad, Chief Operating Officer of Live Nation Global Touring, a division of Live Nation, the world’s most successful leader in the live entertainment industry, has been a music industry trailblazer for over 35 years. Gerry and his team have promoted and produced most of the top grossing tours of our time. Past and present clients include U2, Madonna, Lady Gaga, Justin Timberlake, Beyoncé, Rihanna, Barbra Streisand, Rush, Sting, Paul Simon, The Police, Neil Young, David Bowie, Rolling Stones.
His passion for live entertainment also extends beyond the world of Rock and Roll and Pop to the theatre world. An avid theatre patron, his appreciation of the arts came at an early age with his love for theatre, musicals, and old movies.
Originally hailing from the beautiful rugged west coast of Canada, Vancouver, British Columbia, Gerry has resided in Chicago since 2010. Gerry shares his passion for the music industry often and has had a major association with The Berklee College of Music in Boston for the past 15 years. He delivered the prestigious James G Zafris lecture in 2010 and is a frequent guest lecturer at the school. He plays an active role in the school’s fundraising initiatives including the implementation of a scholarship for students in financial need.
Leigh B Bienen
Leigh B. Bienen is a senior lecturer at Northwestern University School of Law and a criminal defense attorney whose areas of expertise include capital punishment, sex crimes, and rape reform legislation. She has published extensively in legal journals and taught law at the Woodrow Wilson School of Princeton University, at the University of Pennsylvania School of Law and at Boalt Hall, the University of California (Berkeley) School of Law. She is licensed to practice law in Illinois, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, New York, and D.C. and is a member of the Bar of the United States Supreme Court.
She is a member of the Illinois Capital Punishment Reform Study Committee and the Director of the Chicago Historical Homicide Project. This Project involved the analysis and exegesis of a hand written data set kept by the Chicago Police of more than 11,000 homicides in Chicago from 1870–1930. The original data set along with contextual and archival materials is available on an interactive web site, Homicide in Chicago, 1870–1930 (homicide.northwestern.edu). This Project has been generously supported by grants from The Joyce Foundation, The MacArthur Foundation, The McCormick Tribune Foundation and Northwestern University School of Law. In 2009 she published a study of the cost of capital punishment in Illinois which played a role in the abolition of the death penalty in Illinois.
A graduate of Cornell University, the University of Iowa Writers’ Workshop, and the Rutgers–Newark School of Law, she has worked as a journalist and an editor and published widely in TriQuarterly, The Ontario Review, Transition, and The O’Henry Prize Stories. A short play of hers was included in Winters’ Tales 1994, McCarter Theatre’s New Play Festival. In 2001 her first book length collection of fiction, The Left Handed Marriage, was published by Ontario Review Press, Princeton, New Jersey.
ALLEGRA E. BIERY
Allegra E. Biery is a Region President in Illinois and a member of the Wealth Management Central Region Operating Group. In her role, Allegra leads the Illinois Suburban Advisory Teams in Cook, Lake and DuPage counties. These teams are comprised of experienced investment, fiduciary and banking professionals who deliver comprehensive wealth management solutions to high net worth individuals and families for building, preserving and transferring their wealth.
Her previous management positions at Northern Trust include the Managing Director of the Advisory Team in Winnetka, the Managing Director of the Oak Street Financial Center (Chicago), a Division Manager in the Middle Market Banking Group and the Division Manager of the Trade Finance Division.
Prior to joining Northern Trust in 1991, Allegra was a Vice President at Bankers Trust in New York. After completing the Credit Training Program in 1985, she held various positions in international banking for six years, with a focus on Latin America.
Allegra received a B.A. degree from Smith College in Northampton, Massachusetts in 1984 and a M.M. degree from Northwestern University Kellogg Graduate School of Management in 1996. She is a CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER ™.
Allegra is a Board Member of the Chicago Humanities Festival, and chairs the Development Committee. She is a member of Northwestern University Women’s Board and is a member of the Daughters of the American Revolution (Skokie Valley Chapter).
Formerly, Allegra was a Board Member of the Golden Apple Foundation, City Year Chicago, the Chicago Foundation for Women, and the Bankers Association for Finance and Trade. She was also a Steering Committee Member of POWER: Opening Doors for Women.
She is Chair Emeritus of Women in Leadership, Northern Trust’s business resource council focused on women.
Allegra was honored by the Anti-Defamation League in 2008, receiving the Woman of Achievement Award.
Thomas Newton Bolling
Tom Bolling is Vice President and Deputy General Counsel of United Airlines in Chicago, Illinois. He joined the Board of Directors of Lookingglass Theatre Company in September 2014.
Tom leads United’s legal teams for litigation, regulatory, alliances, international, antitrust, competition, labor, benefits, intellectual property, environmental, health and safety. He is also responsible for administration of United’s Legal Department. He is a fellow of the American Bar Foundation and a member of the Governing Committee of the American Bar Association Forum on Air and Space Law. He is also a member of the Advisory Board of the International Aviation Law Institute at DePaul University in Chicago. In 2008, Tom was named Regulatory (Non-Financial Services) Individual of the Year at the Global Counsel Awards, which are sponsored by International Law Office in association with the Association of Corporate Counsel.
Tom received his A.B. degree from Columbia College of Columbia University in New York and his J.D. degree from Washington University in St. Louis, where he was elected to the Order of the Barristers. He also attended Georgetown University Law Center in Washington, D.C.
Tom lives with his wife, daughter and two dogs in the Lincoln Park neighborhood of Chicago. Tom’s daughter, who played Alice during Summergglass Camp, introduced her father to Lookingglass and the magical blend of exploration, discovery and transformation that is uniquely evident on the Lookingglass stage.
Joe has been a member of the Lookingglass Board of Directors since 2000 when he joined the Board as Chairman of the Facilities Committee and managed the construction and delivery of the Water Tower Water Works theatre. Joe is Lookingglass Board Chairman and was a co–chair of the 2010 and 2011 gglassquerades with Board members John McGowan and Frank Clark.
Joe is Managing Director of Solutions Development, Banking Industry Vertical Growth Lead and Chairman of Jones Lang LaSalle’s Corporate Retail Platform. For Solutions Development, Mr. Brady works with leading companies banking, financial services and retail in all aspects of outsourced services. For Corporate Retail, JLL manages both high-growth new store rollouts and existing store portfolio management. Corporate Retail services include: Research & Strategy, store criteria and profitability analysis, transaction management, project management and store opening, facilities management, portfolio management and lease renewals, and development team planning and recruitment. Corporate Retail Solutions was created in 2009 when JLL acquired The Standard Group (TSG), where Mr. Brady was a founder.
Joe received a Master’s in business administration, real estate development and finance from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and a Bachelor’s of electrical engineering from Villanova University. He serves on the ICSC Government Relations Committee as well as a Trustee for The Nature Conservancy for Wyoming. Joe lives in Hinsdale with his wife Shannon and children Grace and Joey.
Richard is a member of the Litigation Practice Group of Clark Hill PLC. He has had more than 30 years of successful experience as a trial lawyer concentrating in complex and highly contested business, trust and estate, and employment litigation for businesses, including financial institutions, real estate and professional service providers, manufacturers and distributors. With this experience, he has been able to work with clients to provide strategic guidance to enhance protections to reduce the necessity of litigation and to enhance their positions should litigation be necessary. Richard has been selected to be an “Illinois Super Lawyer”; (Top Five Percent) in Business Litigation, Law and Politics – Illinois Super Lawyers (2005–2013) and as member of Super Lawyers Top 100 List (2012), as well as an “Illinois Leading Lawyer” in Commercial Litigation and Bankruptcy and Workout Law (Commercial), Illinois Leading Lawyers Network (2006–2013), and has received Martindale Hubbell’s highest peer review rating of “AV Preeminent.”
“I learned about Lookingglass through Ed Filer and Clark Hill’s on going seasonal sponsorship. Beyond that introduction, Lookingglass intrigues me because its presentations and its ensemble make one feel and wonder, rather than just being part of an audience.
“As importantly to me, Lookingglass is not the mere fancy of people with means. Rather, Lookingglass puts a premium on not only being an unequaled experience for actors and learners, but also to those who come to witness the products of all of the members of the Lookingglass Community. This is truly an exciting opportunity and I am gratified to be a part of it.”
Mr. Clark is the Founder and Managing Partner of Clark Enterprises Group LLC (CEG), an investment firm and holding company. Mr. Clark brings operating experience to CEG based on his 18 years in various sales, marketing and executive roles in corporate America.
He has extensive industry experience in printing, technology and telecommunications. During his successful tenure at RR Donnelley as Corporate Vice President, Mr. Clark created and operated the Alliance Markets Group, where he targeted several companies for mergers, alliances and acquisitions; driving enterprise wide growth.
Clark Enterprises Group combines experience and financial expertise to create a leading leveraged buyout firm of choice, with a global reach, offering world–class service and substantial growth opportunities.
Lester Coney serves as executive vice president in Mesirow Financial’s Office of the Chairman. He is responsible for originating and nurturing new business opportunities, and expanding and maintaining client relationships across the firm’s investment management, insurance, global markets and consulting divisions.
As a civic leader, Les has been actively involved in many organizations in support of the arts, civic betterment, and minority and ethnic issues. He is a trustee for many organizations including the Art Institute of Chicago, Columbia College Chicago and was named a life trustee for the Goodman Theatre. Les is a board member of the Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library Foundation, the League of Chicago Theatres, the Art Alliance Illinois and serves on the board of governors of the School of the Art Institute of Chicago. He is a member of the presidential advisory committee for the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts, is a founding chairman of Congo Square Theatre Company and currently serves as Illinois board president of Wades World Foundation.
Les was recently named the Happiness Club 2013 Honoree for his longstanding support of the Happiness Club and his contributions to the arts. In 2012, he was honored by the Chicago Area Morehouse Alumni Association for his contributions to the Chicago arts community and by the Chicago Area Council of the Boy Scouts of America for his contributions and leadership in creating alternative programs for Chicago’s youth. He was also honored by Kohl Children’s Museum for his continued efforts to connect communities and received the 2012 MVP Award from the Wade’s World Foundation. In 2011 he received N’Digo Foundation’s 2011 N’Corporate award and the 100 Club of Chicago and Apparel Industry Board’s 2011 Philanthropic Leadership Award. He’s the recipient of the 2008 Spirit of Achievement Award from Loretto Hospital, the 2007 Executive Leader Award from the Association of Fundraising Professionals Chicago, the 2007 King Legacy Award from Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Boys and Girls Club of Chicago, and was awarded for Leadership in the Arts by the Arts and Business Council of Chicago in 2006.
Les earned a Bachelor of Science degree from George Williams University. He currently resides in the West Loop neighborhood of Chicago.
Al is originally from the Kansas City area, where he began his career in the broadcasting business. He came to Chicago to join the Fox television station as its General Sales Manager in 1983, soon becoming its General Manager.
After a number of years at Fox, he was recruited by Fred Eychaner as partner/general manager at WPWR–TV 50. Al was instrumental in building the station from a small local concern to a large, successful business.
WPWR was known for its wonderful support of the arts and culture in Chicago, especially for small and mid–sized institutions such as Lookingglass Theatre Company, and Al was an original Board member of the WPWR Channel 50 Foundation, now Alphawood Foundation. The station was sold to Fox in 2002, after which Al retired from broadcasting.
Al has two children, a daughter named Britt who lives in the River North neighborhood of Chicago and a son, Scott, who lives in Berkeley, CA with his wife and two children.
Richard A Ditton
Richard A. Ditton is a Co–founder and Executive Vice President of Incredible Technologies. He has used his extensive technical development background to help grow the company to become the industry leader it is today. A key developer of hardware and software tools since Incredible Technologies inception, Ditton is credited with developing the first commercially successful online tournament system, and he continues to take an active role in the technical development side of the company. He earned a B.S. in Mathematics and a M.S. in Computer Science from Purdue University. Early in his career he worked for IBM as a designer of launch software for the Space Shuttle at NASA.
Kathleen B. Fanning, Chief Financial Officer, has 25 years of professional experience in financial
management and has practiced with large accounting and architecture firms. At AS+GG, she oversees the firm’s financial operations, human resources, information technology, day–to–day operations, strategic planning, investment portfolio and cash and risk management.
Before joining AS+GG in 2008, Kathy was Chief Financial Officer for DeStefano + Partners, where she was deeply involved in daily operations, serving on several committees that govern human resource and administrative operations of the firm. She was also the principal in charge of the firm’s information technology division, responsible for implementing, maintaining and upgrading all electronic information equipment and software.
Kathy spent 10 years at Skidmore, Owings & Merrill, where she served as Chicago office controller and firm–wide controller. Her career also includes tenures at American Hospital Supply Corp., American Hospitex Division and KPMG.
Ed Filer is currently a Partner at Freeborn & Peters and chair of their Construction Services Group. Ed also practices law in the area of banking, crediting rights, real estate, and corporate transactions.
Ed currently serves as Vice President of the Lookingglass Board of Directors.
Credits & Awards
J.D., University of Wisconsin (1991), with Honors
B.A., University of Michigan (1987)
Charlie has over twenty years of business software experience, encompassing systems engineering, product design and leading large–scale development efforts as well as broad sales and marketing experience.
Charlie is the President and Founder of Easy Ware Software Solutions, and the Integrated Software Advisor for Lookingglass.
Charlie holds a BS in Mechanical Engineering from Massachusetts Institute of Technology (1983) and a Masters in Management degree from Northwestern University’s Kellogg Graduate School of Management (1990).
Kate is currently responsible for leading the Central Zone of Marsh Private Client Services. Her team of specialized professionals work with high-net-worth individuals and families to minimize risk and optimize wealth preservation by employing a comprehensive personal risk management program.
Prior to joining Marsh in 2007, Kate spent 11 years at Nationwide, Inc., where she was responsible for overseeing business development, national sales strategies, and account management and retention, as well as building strategic relationships.
Earlier in her career, Kate spent several years working on Wall Street at Merrill Lynch, Smith Barney, and Oppenheimer & Company, where she achieved top ranking trading positions, created and managed successful sales teams, and developed successful strategic partnerships. She was also a founding officer and a board member of Tandem Financial Group, a joint venture between Merrill Lynch and the Equitable Life Assurance Society formed to sell interest-sensitive insurance products.
Kate’s personal pursuits include board membership of the University of Chicago Women’s Board, the Chicago Finance Exchange, the Ryan Licht Sang Bipolar Foundation, the Chicago Service Club, and the Lookingglass Theatre. She is the chairman of the executive committee of The Primo Center for Homeless Women and Children, is a member of the Goodman Theatre Business Council, and is the 2014 Woman of Vision, Primo Classico.
Kate holds a bachelor’s degree in English literature and music from the University of Massachusetts.
A dynamic and seasoned real estate executive, Lee Golub is Executive Vice President of Golub & Company and has overall responsibility for the firm’s U.S. operations. With experience spanning more than three decades and all facets of commercial real estate, Lee brings a strategic and comprehensive approach to his oversight of Golub’s real estate development, acquisitions, finance, marketing, leasing, sales, and asset management activities. Under his direction, the company has risen to meet the challenges and opportunities of a steadily growing real estate firm, further enhancing Golub’s reputation as a major developer and investor in the U.S. and Central and Eastern Europe. An active participant in the Chicago business community, Lee continues to foster relationships that span all industries and provide significant value to the company overall.
Prior to joining Golub in 1987, Lee was a Commercial Real Estate Leasing Representative with Chicago-based Frain Camins & Swartchild, Inc. and earlier was a Commercial Loan Production Officer with BA Mortgage of Denver. Lee served major multinational corporations, professional firms, and smaller organizations operating in a wide variety of industries and diverse markets.
A graduate of the University of Colorado with a Bachelor of Science degree in Finance, Lee serves on the Board of Directors of the Greater North Michigan Avenue Association and Friends of Prentice Women’s Hospital of Northwestern Memorial Hospital. He is an Illinois Real Estate Broker and a member of the Chicago Office Leasing Brokers Association (COLBA), the International Council of Shopping Centers (ICSC), and the Chicago Development Council. He also is a long-time supporter of numerous charitable organizations.
Paul Gray is the Managing Partner of Richard Gray Gallery Chicago/New York, 1982-present. He has served on the Lookingglass Theatre Company Board of Directors since 2002.
“Theatre is one of the principal passions in my life. I have worked as a producer and co-producer in for-profit theatre before entering the art world and remain in awe of the magic wrought by writers, actors, directors, and everyone who makes their work possible.”
Born in Chicago, Paul and his wife Dedrea are very involved in fundraising for progressive education, a variety of political candidates, and for social and environmental causes. In addition to his position with the Board at Lookingglass, Paul is currently Chair of the Renaissance Society at the University of Chicago International Committee; member of the Museum of Contemporary Art, Chicago, Education Committee, member of the Human Rights Watch Chicago Committee; and is a founding board member of the Abraham Path Initiative.
Originally from New York, Lisa has made Chicago home for quite some time. Lisa trained as an attorney and specialized in securities and real estate law both in New York and Chicago. Lisa left the law to spend more time with her family. She has actively served on the boards of numerous community and arts organizations.
Lisa is married to Howard Green and has three children: Jeremy, Anna and Isaac.
Lisa became interested in Lookingglass through her children, who enrolled in Lookingglass programs in 1997. Her first Lookingglass production was Eleven Rooms of Proust and she has been a loyal fan ever since. She joined the Lookingglass board in 2000 and was honored to serve as co–chair of Theatre that Moves—The Campaign for Lookingglass from 2000–2003. Lisa served as Chairman of the Board at Lookingglass from 2006–2011. She serves as a National Council member of Theatre Communications Group, the national service organization for American nonprofit theaters.
Jon Harris is the official Announcer for the Meredith Vieira Show which debuts in national broadcast syndication in September 2014.
Named one of the world’s top in-house communications professionals by the Holmes Report, Jon Harris served as Chief Communications Officer, Senior Vice President, Hillshire Brands (NYSE: HSH), where he oversees all aspects of integrated communications for the leading food company and its extensive line of high-quality brands, including Jimmy Dean, Hillshire Farm, Ball Park, Sara Lee, Aidells and State Fair. Harris is responsible for managing the company’s network of communications professionals and a multi-million dollar budget that includes corporate communications, employee communications and internal/external public relations. In addition, he serves as President of the Hillshire Brands Foundation.
Harris had previously served as Senior Vice President, Global Communications for Sara Lee Corporation, where he was responsible for leading marketing communications for the company’s core food and beverage brands and oversaw the spin-off of the company into two pure-play, publicly-held entities.
Prior to joining Sara Lee in 2005, Mr. Harris served as Vice President, Communications and Corporate Development for Bally Total Fitness Corporation, where he led media development, public relations, product placement and image marketing for the Company.
Previously, Mr. Harris led communications at OurHouse.com preceded by four years at Pepsi-Cola Company in Purchase, NY. Among his many roles at Pepsi-Cola Company, Mr. Harris served Senior Manager of Public Affairs and headed up communications efforts behind the Company’s core brands and marketing initiatives. Earlier in his career, Mr. Harris worked at Ketchum Public Relations and Medicus Public Relations.
Mr. Harris is an adjunct professor at the Graham School at the University of Chicago. He holds a Bachelor of Arts in Communications from Rutgers University.
Lindsay Hearn joined HEARN in 2010 as Vice President, helping to pursue property acquisitions and identify repositioning and value enhancement opportunities in major markets nationwide. She also facilitates HEARN’s green retrofits and sustainability efforts. Prior to coming to HEARN, Lindsay was the Director of Marketing and Leasing for The Empire State Building in New York City, spearheading their $550M Green Building Retrofit and LEED Certification process. She also served as Exclusive National Agent for Starwood Hotels & Resorts, Worldwide, tasked with creating a standardized business model for valuation, determining optimal value-enhancement strategies and facilitating the implementation of repositioning and redeveloping assets in Starwood’s National portfolio.
Lindsay sits on The Ann & Robert H. Lurie Children’s Hospital’s Fundraising Board of Directors, as well as the Executive Board of The Jackson Chance Foundation (Hard Rock Hotel Chicago and Ann & Robert H. Lurie Children’s of Chicago), with proceeds benefiting families of children in the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU). She was a founding member of the 100 Club of Chicago, raising money for the families of fallen Chicago Police and Firefighters, sits on The Art Institute of Chicago’s Evening Associates’ Board of Directors as well as the Chicago Children’s Museum Metropolitan Board and the Board of Directors of the Magnificent Mile Association.
Lindsay holds a Master’s Degree in Real Estate from New York University with a concentration in Real Estate Finance and Creative Development, and received a dual Baccalaureate from the University of Miami, Florida.
Dr. Elena Kamel is an Associate Professor of Clinical Obstetrics and Gynecology at the Feinberg School of Medicine, Northwestern University. She is the founder and President of The Women’s Group of Northwestern, one of Chicago’s first all female Obstetric and Gynecologic practices.
“I have always had a love for the arts with a particular interest in classical music and opera. My exposure to Lookingglass Theatre Company has opened up so many doors and has sparked my appreciation for theater in Chicago. My involvement with Lookingglass has also been a wonderful opportunity for my family and colleagues in medicine to glean an exposure to the marvelous talent housed at Lookingglass. I love telling my patients, friends, fellow physicians about my experiences at Lookingglass and sharing my admiration for all the work Lookingglass does in the greater Chicago Community.
“My husband, Perry Lindsey Kamel who is a Gastroenterologist at Northwestern and three children share my enthusiasm for the theater and arts. Over the past several years, Lookingglass has played an active role in their lives. I look forward to combining my professional life empowering women with knowledge about their health care and playing an active role in their health care choices and enlightening them about the amazing artistic opportunities in Chicago and at Lookingglass.”
Lindsay Knight is the Marketing Associate at Chicago Ventures, a seed-stage venture capital firm that invests in exceptional entrepreneurs and their innovative technology companies in Chicago and the Greater Midwest. She focuses on marketing, communication, events, PR and brand management for both Chicago Ventures and its portfolio companies.
Prior to Chicago Ventures, Lindsay acted as Vice President of CHOUmedia, a marketing and communications firm specializing in the intellectual property industry; and as Marketing and Events Coordinator at Ocean Tomo, an intellectual property merchant bank.
Lindsay has been a member of Lookingglass Theatre Junior Board since 2010. She currently acts as President, and previously served as the Vice President of Event Production, overseeing the production of the group’s largest annual fundraiser, the Madhatter’s Ball. She also serves on the Executive Committee of the Open Books Associate Board, a non-profit social venture that promotes literacy in Chicago and beyond. She graduated from Miami University with degrees in English/Journalism and Strategic Communication.
Rachel E Kraft
Rachel Kraft has been working in the arts for 25 years. Before accepting her position as Executive Director of Lookingglass, she spent 12 years as Director of Development for the Goodman Theatre. Working for Chicago’s oldest and largest nonprofit theater, Rachel led a department that raised funds for an annual campaign with a goal of more than $5 million, and oversaw the completion of the theater’s successful capital campaign raising $34 million in gifts and pledges. She also played an integral role in guiding the board development efforts of the board of trustees, including the cultivation, recruitment and acclimation of many of the high–profile members on the company’s current board.
Previously, Rachel served in development and marketing positions with the Arts & Business Council, Northlight Theatre, and the Chicago Dance Coalition. She completed a year–long Community Renewal Leadership Program through the A. H. Wilder Foundation in Minnesota and a summer Harvard Business School program in “Strategic Perspectives in Nonprofit Management.” A member of the Alumnae Council of the Chicago Foundation for Women, Rachel has also participated as a mentor in a program initiated by the Illinois Arts Alliance. She is a charter board member of the Kindling Group, a nonprofit group supporting documentary filmmaking and a trustee of the Jewish Women Foundation of Chicago. Rachel serves as the Past Vice President of the Theater Communications Group and the Past Vice Chair of the League of Chicago Theatre, the local and national service organizations for theater.
Rocque is a Managing Director at J.P. Morgan Securities Inc., the investment banking division of JPMorgan Chase. He joined the firm in New York City in 2004 and transferred to their Chicago office in 2005. In this role he provides strategic advice to clients on mergers and acquisitions and corporate finance issues, including capital–raising in the equity and fixed income markets.
Prior to joining J.P. Morgan, Rocque was a Vice President with Goldman, Sachs & Co. in New York City, where he lived for 10 years. While in New York, his philanthropic activities included fundraising and committee leadership for Search and Care, an organization providing services to home–bound elderly in Manhattan. He began his career in 1991 here in Chicago, working with John Nuveen & Co., and was active in the Partners in Education student mentoring program.
Rocque graduated from the University of Michigan and also holds a degree from the Kellogg School of Management. He resides in the city of Chicago with his wife, Anne Rickert Lipford, and their young sons.
Laura Matalon is the President of Allied Live, a full-service marketing-advertising-publicity firm catering to live entertainment. With offices in Chicago, Los Angeles, and Washington D.C., Ms. Matalon and her firm represent numerous Broadway shows, national tours, performing arts institutions, retail centers, and attractions throughout North America.
Ms. Matalon is an active member of The Broadway League, where she has served as a co-chair for four Road Marketing Conferences. She also sits on the Intra-Industry Marketing and Road Marketing Committees. Ms. Matalon was one of the first recipients of The Broadway League’s Outstanding Achievement in Road Marketing Award. Ms. Matalon actively participates as a lecturer at meetings and conferences including NAMP and the Commercial Theatre Institute.
John McGowan is a director at CTC | myCFO, a part of BMO Financial Group, where he and his team help ultra-affluent clients achieve their financial goals, care for their loved ones and provide a legacy for their charitable interests.
Prior to CTC | myCFO, John was at Northern Trust for 16 years where he most recently led a national practice specializing in managing the financial complexities of LGBT (lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender) individuals and families where benefits of marriage may not be present. Prior to Northern Trust, John was a marketing director for 10 years at Thomson Reuters, the news and financial markets data company.
John holds his B.S. in Mathematics from Loyola University of Chicago, and his M.B.A. in Finance from the University of Chicago. He is a Certified Financial Planner™ (CFP®).
In addition to being President on the Lookingglass Theatre Board of Directors, John is affiliated with Lambda Legal, Howard Brown Health Center, GLBT Community Center of Colorado, and the Land Trust of the Upper Arkansas.
John lives with his partner, David Robbins, in Chicago’s Gold Coast neighborhood. He enjoys spending time hiking and skiing near their Colorado retreat, and helping Dave raise their terrier, Tater Tot.
“I was first introduced to Lookingglass Theatre when I saw Arabian Nights in the early 1990’s. The Lookingglass ensemble are master story tellers; there was magic and I was hooked. Great theater strikes those fundamental themes that come with living, and teaches me more about myself. When I reached that point in my life when I was in a position to give back, I was drawn to Lookingglass. I want everyone to have the opportunity to experience these stories.”
Melinda McMullen has more than 30 years of experience in communications and community involvement at corporations, public relations agencies and the non–profit sector. Currently a public relations consultant, Melinda was previously head of communications for Chase, the bank previously known as Bank One, where her responsibilities included the Chase Foundation, media relations and employee communications.
Prior to joining the bank in 2001, Melinda spent six years in communications at IBM Corporation. Before IBM, Melinda was co–founder of Food From the ‘Hood, a student–owned business based at South Central’s Crenshaw High School that arose out of the Los Angeles Riots. Based at South Central’s Crenshaw High School, Food from the ‘Hood marketed salad dressings to more than 2,000 grocery stores. The company was featured in the New York Times, People Magazine, and the Washington Post, among others. In addition, it was the subject of a cover story in Newsweek and was the recipient of a $100,000 Angel Network Award from Oprah Winfrey. Additionally, Melinda worked for American Express, Edelman Public Relations, Burson Marsteller Public Relations and Ketchum Communications. McMullen earned her bachelor’s degree from University of the Pacific in Stockton, California.
“During my more than 10 years on the Board of Lookingglass, I have continued to be struck by the level of collaboration between the board, the staff, and the ensemble. I have served on a number of boards in my lifetimes and Lookingglass stands out because it’s a place where we, as Board members, can assert our creative (as well as financial!) muscle to help Lookingglass achieve its mission of Collaboration, Transformation, and Invention.”
Jill Reznick Meier is a Vice President in the Investment Management Division of Goldman Sachs & Co. She has served in many capacities in her years with the firm, and is currently the Business Unit Manager, responsible for the day–to–day operations of the Private Wealth Management group.
Born in Chicago, she is married to Jonathan Meier, a high school theatre director and has three rambunctious children.
Jill received her BA, summa cum laude and Phi Beta Kappa, from the University of Minnesota. She is a member of the Goldman Sachs Chicago Women’s Network Steering Committee and and is an active member in the Illinois Theatre Association. She has also been active in her children’s schools, chairing a National Arts Program and introducing an arts integration program to the curriculum. Prior to her corporate life, Jill picked up grant writing skills with Manhattan Punch Line, an off–Broadway NYC Theatre and worked on new play development at the Cricket Theatre in Minneapolis.
Dr. Mendelson is a cardiologist at the Northwestern Feinberg School of Medicine and Northwestern Memorial Hospital, where she has worked for twenty years. She directs the Center for Womens Cardiovascular Health of the Bluhm Cardiovascular Institute, Heart Disease and Pregnancy and Adult Congenital Heart Center. She is a member of the Northwestern Adult Congenital Heart Center. She also is co-director of the Marfan program.
A leader in the study of women and cardiac diseases, Dr. Mendelson is the founder and director of one of the largest programs for the care of women with heart disease during pregnancy in the country. She has also been an educator for the Cardiovascular Disease in Women to both professional and lay groups. She is a fellow of the American College of Cardiology. She has served on committees of the local and national American Heart Association.
Dr. Mendelson is an associate professor of Medicine and Pediatrics at Northwestern University’s Feinberg School of Medicine. She conducts research on heart disease during pregnancy, heart disease in women and adult congenital heart disease. She serves on the Medical Advisory Board of the Children’s Heart foundation which reviews scientific grants for organizational funding.
Dr. Mendelson graduated from Loyola University Medical School in 1982. She went on to complete her internship and residency at Michael Reese Hospital and Medical Center in Chicago and a fellowship in Cardiology at the Feinberg School of Medicine, with a special interest in Nuclear Cardiology and Adult Congenital Heart Disease. She is board certified in internal medicine and cardiovascular disease.
Tom O’Neill is Senior Vice President of Regulatory and Energy Policy and General Counsel of Commonweatlh Edison Company (“ComEd”). Tom oversees the company’s regulatory policy and strategy and rates functions and also serves as the primary legal advisor to ComEd’s Board and senior management. ComEd is a unit of Chicago-based Exelon Corporation, the nation’s leading competitive energy provider, with approximately $33 billion in annual revenues. ComEd delivers electricity to approximately 3.8 million residential and business customers across northern Illinois, or 70 percent of the State’s population. Exelon Corporation (NYSE: EXC) is the nation’s leading competitive energy provider with approximately $44 billion in annual revenues and more than 35,000 megawatts of owned capacity comprising one of the nation’s cleanest and lowest-cost power generation fleets.
Prior to joining Exelon in 2001, Tom was a partner with the law firm of Jenner & Block in Chicago.
Tom has a Bachelor’s degree in English from the University of Illinois-Urbana and a law degree from Notre Dame.
“Personally, I am thrilled to serve on this Board. It provides a portal to the artistic world, which is very different from the world I live in day-to-day. Lookingglass continues to grow and expand and excite in every aspect and it shows on stage, backstage, and in the numbers. The Board is actively involved in and dedicated to the Theatre Company’s future and that is fulfilling to me. And we have fun!”
Bob Palffy has nearly 30 years in the commercial real estate industry and serves as President of Steinco Corporate Real Estate Advisors. He has practiced tenant representation for major corporations through a spectrum of services that includes leasing, subleasing, purchasing and build to suit. His additional experiences as partner, manager, and developer provide his clients focused insight in creating real estate solutions.
Prior to Steinco, Bob served as President of Advocate Commercial Real Estate Advisors and Executive Vice President and Co–Leader of the tenant representation division at U.S. Equities serving such diverse clients as Clark Hill PLC, Lookingglass Theatre and Southern Wine and Spirits. In 2004, Bob had returned to servicing clients full–time on a consulting and transaction basis after leading the Chicago region for Grubb & Ellis. He had previously been affiliated as a Principal at Tanguay Burke Stratton (now a part of Jones Lang LaSalle) in Chicago. Bob has represented companies in the acquisition or disposition of several million square feet, including Ernst & Young, LaSalle National Bank and Liberty Mutual among others.
Bob graduated from the University of Michigan with a Bachelor’s Degree in Economics and Political Science and an MBA in Accounting and Finance. He is a member of the University of Michigan’s Order of Angell Honor Society, Past President of the Michigan Alumni Club of Greater Chicago, and a recipient of numerous awards and honors from the University, including the President’s leadership award.
Bob Lives in the historic Hutchinson district in Chicago with his wife Georganne. He has three children: Madison, who is a dancer residing in Amherst, MA; Kara, a junior at the University of Colorado in Boulder, CO; and Dylan, a 8th grader at Lincoln Elementary’s International Gifted program.
Brenda Robinson is a Director at Mueller & Co. LLP in Chicago, leading its Entertainment, Media and Sports Consulting Practice, and also acts as Of Counsel to the entertainment law firm of Leavens, Strand & Glover LLC. Brenda focuses her practice on intellectual property, including copyright and trademark, and entertainment matters on behalf of clients in the music, film, television and sports industries, bringing her industry expertise, business acumen and compassion for those she serves.
Brenda has provided legal counsel to numerous recording artists, musicians and composers, actors and actresses, production companies, authors, arts organizations, athletes and entertainers.
Brenda is a graduate of the University of Michigan and obtained a law degree from the University of Pennsylvania Law School and a certificate in Business & Public Policy from the University of Pennsylvania Wharton School.
During her career, Brenda has received many notable honors, including being named as a Rising Star on the list of Illinois Super Lawyers for the past three years and was recently named one of 50 Attorneys of Note in the Music Biz as published in Billboard Magazine.
Brenda currently serves as Chair of the Board of Children Mending Hearts, and also serves as a Board Member of Ballet Chicago, Piven Theatre Workshop, Congo Square Theatre, Cinemagic and InsideOUT Writers. Brenda is a proud associate member of The Recording Academy, a Patron of the Arts Circle of Film Independent and a member of The Creative Coalition, where she serves as co-chair of the Young Hollywood Influencers Committee.
“My interest in Lookingglass started simply from attending productions over the last few years. I’ve been looking for a theatre that invites and expects original work, takes advantage of three dimensional space (maybe some would say four dimensional), encourages its audience to look behind its curtains, and most importantly invests in education. Having been a dancer in college (and initially planning to major in theatre management), I am attracted to the physicality of Lookingglass productions as well as its international performers.”
Dr. Abbie Roth’s other Not–For–Profit Affiliations: John Frederick Oberlin Society of Oberlin College, Spertus Institute, Rush Medical College, Coalition for Abused Women and Children, and the Art Institute of Chicago.
Credits & Awards
Education: Oberlin College Oberlin, Ohio Rush Medical College Chicago, IL.
Post-Doctoral Training: Rush–Presbyterian St. Lukes Medical Center Chicago, IL.
Darren Snyder has over a dozen years of private equity experience in addition to his six years in middle market lending and insurance. He currently serves as Partner in Prairie Capital, and is responsible for investment origination, due diligence, deal structuring, and negotiation. Darren also has portfolio management responsibility for Prairie Capital, with board responsibilities for over sixteen companies across Prairie’s five funds. Darren is currently a director for five portfolio companies, including Messenger, Pioneer Metal Finishing, Fortis, Plastimayd, and GPA.
Prior to joining Prairie, Darren spent six years working closely with privately–held businesses as a Vice President for American National Bank (now part of J.P Morgan Chase). While with ANB, Darren financed leveraged buyouts, venture backed firms, and managed a portfolio of middle market loans.
Prior to American National, Darren was a commercial underwriter for an insurance company, and owned and operated a family–held business. Darren has served on the board of the National Association of Small Business Investment Companies (NASBIC), and is a former President of the Midwest Region. He is also Vice Chairman and a board member of the Illinois Venture Capital Association (IVCA), serving as Chairman of the legislative committee.
Darren graduated magna cum laude from Drake University with a BA in Economics. He received an MBA from the University of Chicago, and continues to be active with the university, guest lecturing in private equity classes and acting as a judge in the New Venture Challenge competition. Darren, his wife and three boys live in the Lincoln Park neighborhood of Chicago. In addition to his responsibilities at Prairie, Darren sits as President on the founding board of Polaris Charter Academy, a free, public school option for K–8 children in the West Humboldt Park neighborhood of Chicago.
Tom is an innovation strategist, design thinker, technologist, architect, project leader, teacher and speaker focused on innovation, entrepreneurism, business, brand, design and engineering. He is an independent innovation consultant, leveraging over 25 years of experience in the design and innovation space. Prior to establishing his own consultancy, Tom was a partner at IDEO, one of the world’s premier innovation consultancies, where for 12 years he co-led the Chicago office and was a member of the firm’s global leadership team.
Tom’s consulting work focuses on the intersection of brand, innovation, experience, design, brand, marketing and growth. He helps companies and organizations move beyond incremental ideas to more transformational and experiential futures through a human-centered design approach to experience and strategic growth. In addition to his independent work directly with clients, Tom also provides design leadership and innovation strategy guidance to a number of other consultants and consultancies.
His clients have included companies across a wide range of industries including Ford, Chrysler, Sony, NAVTEQ, AT&T, PNC Bank, Starbucks, W.W. Grainger, Motorola, 3Com, Walgreens, 3M, Tetra Pak, SAS, Kraft, Nestle, Nationwide Insurance, Whirlpool, P&G, McDonalds, Eli Lilly, AstraZeneca, American Express, Lurie Children’s Hospital, Lookingglass Theatre, Bayer, The American Red Cross, Nanosphere, the Alzheimer’s Association, the Chicago Museum of Science & Industry, American Greetings, Jones Lang LaSalle, PepsiCo, Sodexo, Cardtronics, Crain’s and Quaker, among many others.
Tom co-founded Rivet News Radio and is an active senior advisor to the company, one of the leading internet-based news radio applications for iOS and Android that empowers listeners with a personalized news radio experience. He is also a co-founder and interim CEO to HERE Life, an off-campus student housing, marketing/predictive analytics company.
Prior to his evolution into innovation strategy, strategic design and brand, as a degreed architect and real estate professional, Tom was involved in the planning, design, and construction of a number of large-scale corporate headquarter buildings, airports, hospitals and educational/training facilities. He has provided independent real estate advisory services and design guidance to a number of companies, organizations and firms. Projects have included buildings for the U.S. Department of Energy (Argonne National Laboratories), Saudia Airlines, the New Jeddah International Airport, and headquarter buildings for Bridgestone, Ameritech, The Tribune Company, Andersen Consulting, Kraft, Discover Card and The Menninger Foundation, among others. Tom managed a joint venture, focused on facility management and development, between Kinden Corporation (a large infrastructure and building engineering firm) and Lohan Associates (a renowned architectural firm) residing in Osaka, Japan for two years and has traveled extensively throughout Asia and Europe.
In addition to projects focused on technology, product development, service and experience, Tom has designed and led design thinking orientation sessions, experiential workshops, learning simulations and brand explorations for a number of multinational companies. He also co-led a multi-year initiative to develop a new innovation curriculum and associated pedagogy funded by a consortium of colleges, corporations and the U.S. Department of Labor.
Tom is an adjunct lecturer at Northwestern University, The University of Chicago’s Booth School of Business, Lake Forest Graduate School of Management, The Kellstadt Graduate School of Business, and The Carlson School of Management. He also routinely speaks at industry and company-sponsored conferences. He served on the board of The Edison Awards from 2008 to 2012 and chaired the 2012 Edison Awards. He is on the advisory board of Chicago Ideas Week (CIW), curated and hosted the 2012 CIW Edison Talks and has attended the main TED Conference for many years, speaking on the TED main stage in 2012. Tom is on the board of Lurie Children’s Hospital Foundation and serves as a senior design advisor to the Chicago Museum of Science and Industry.
Tom has a multi-disciplined background that includes Aerospace Engineering studies at Purdue University, a Bachelor of Science in Social Psychology from Boston University, a Bachelor of Fine Arts from the Rhode Island School of Design, a Bachelor in Architecture from the Rhode Island School of Design and a Certificate in Marketing Management from Stanford University (now Stanford’s executive MBA program).
Heidi Stillman (Artistic Director) is a director, writer, actor, and Ensemble Member of Lookingglass Theatre Company where she has been working on staff in charge of artistic development for the last eleven years. Heidi was previously artistic director (with David Kersnar) from 1997-2000. She most recently directed Death Tax at Lookingglass, and co-created/co-directed Cascabel, in collaboration with Tony Hernandez and Rick Bayless. She has both written and directed for Lookingglass: The North China Lover; Hephaestus, with Tony Hernandez; The Brothers Karamazov (2009 Raven Award); Hard Times (5 Jeff Awards including director, new work, and production; also produced at Arden Theatre Company in Philadelphia); The Master and Margarita. Additional writing credits with Lookingglass: The Last Act of Lilka Kadison with Nicola Behrman, David Kersnar, Abbie Phillips and Andy White; The Old Curiosity Shop with Laura Eason and Raymond Fox (Jeff Award for adaptation), and The Baron in the Trees with Larry DiStasi. Directing work with Lookingglass includes: Bengal Tiger at the Baghdad Zoo, Trust, The Wooden Breeks, and Hillbilly Antigone. Heidi’s adaptation of The Book Thief premiered at Steppenwolf Theatre Company in 2012.
David leads Livingstone’s Private Equity practice and directs client engagements, specializing in the Consumer sector. With ten years’ experience in investment banking, he has extensive cross-border and financial buyer expertise. Prior to co-founding Livingstone USA, he was a Managing Director at Brown Gibbons Lang & Co. and spent four years at William Blair & Co. Previously, he was General Counsel to the Illinois Development Finance Authority and an advisor to Illinois Governor Jim Edgar.
Education: JD, University of Illinois College of Law / BS. BA, University of Illinois College of Commerce
Nancy began her career as a model at age 15. She progressed into acting and received her SAG card starring in an Oprah Winfrey Show commercial…before Oprah became Oprah. Nancy is an award winning feature filmmaker as writer, producer and director. Her film “Everything He Touched” won a gold Remi award from WorldFest Houston 2001.
Nancy co–chaired the Lookingglass gala gglassquerade for three years in a row with her dear friend and fellow Board member, Ernie Arias. Nancy is also on the Development Board of PAWS Chicago. Nancy also Co–chairs the Lookingglass Theatre Board Development Committee along with Board member, Darren Snyder.
Bill Vainisi is a Senior Vice President and Deputy General Counsel of Allstate Insurance Company.
Bill began his career with Allstate in December of 1985 and held various positions within the Law and Regulation Department. In January 1995, he served on the Catastrophe Exposure Team, charged with the responsibility of managing Allstate’s exposure to natural disasters throughout the United States. He returned to the Law and Regulation Department in December of 1995 and was appointed Assistant Vice President, Assistant Secretary & Assistant General Counsel in April of 1996. In this position, Bill was responsible for leading the Company’s regional counsel program. This staff of lawyers provides legal, legislative, and regulatory services to the entire Allstate field organization. In addition, Bill was responsible for the Company’s countrywide efforts in influencing public policy on behalf of Allstate’s customers, shareholders, and employees. In December of 2006, Bill was promoted to Senior Vice President and Deputy General Counsel. In this position, Bill continues his role leading the state legislative and regulatory operations in the Law Department. In addition, Bill is responsible for the Public Policy Analysis and Development group as well as the State Filings group.
Prior to joining Allstate, Bill held various government relations positions with the National Association of Independent Insurers. Bill also served as Chairman of the Board of the Florida Insurance Council, as well as Chairman of the Board of the Florida Insurance Council’s Political Action Committee.
Bill graduated from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and DePaul University Law School. Bill and his wife Janine are the parents of three sons and make their home in Inverness, Illinois.
Diane Whatton is Vice President of Community Affairs at BMO Harris Bank. Diane leads a team of regional community affairs managers with responsibilities across the country. She also manages the bank’s board placement and training program and nonprofit sponsorships in Chicago.
Diane came to Chicago to study at Northwestern University, where she earned a BA in Economics. While theater is not what brought her to the Windy City, it is one of the reasons she stays. She is a (long ago) graduate of both Player’s Workshop and The Second City Conservatory, and even attended Emeritus Board member Geoffrey Baer’s introduction to acting class!
Diane is a Board Member of both Lookingglass Theatre Company and Arts Alliance Illinois.
Char Whitaker is a Corporate Vice President of Motorola Solutions, Inc., and the lead IP counsel for Motorola Solutions. She is responsible for providing IP counsel in connection with Motorola Solutions’ merger and acquisitions, and legal counsel to various Motorola Solutions business operations. Char provided IP and legal counsel for the former networks, mobile devices and semiconductor businesses of Motorola, Inc. and was the lead IP transactions counsel in the separation of Motorola Mobility. Prior to joining Motorola Solutions, Char worked with the law firm of Spensley, Horn, Jubas and Lubitz, and was an engineering manager in the semiconductor industry. Char received her undergraduate degree in Electrical Engineering from California State University in San Francisco, and her law degree from the University of Texas at Austin. Char is admitted to practice before the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit, the United States Patent and Trademark Office, and in the states of Texas and Illinois.
“As a Chicago resident, I take pride in the rich legacy of the theatre arts in Chicago, and I would like to increase my support of Chicago theatre. I have had the pleasure of attending many productions at the Lookingglass Theatre and have always been impressed by the quality and creativity of each production.
“Specifically, I am impressed by the artistry of the Lookingglass ensemble and the manner in which the production staff constantly re–invents the Theatre. The diversity of the work also attracted me to the Lookingglass Theatre.”