Board of Trustees
LEWIS SCHMIDT, Chairman
Dr. Lewis Schmidt received his M.M.Ed. from VanderCook in 1963. He taught music in Wisconsin schools for 41 years until he retired in 1998. Dr. Schmidt spent 25 years of his career in the public school system, the last 16 of which were as head of the department and high school band director at River Valley High School in Spring Green, WI. He spent the following 16 years as chairman of the creative arts division, associate professor of music education, and band director at Lakeland College in Sheboygan, WI. Dr. Schmidt continues to serve as a consultant and adjudicator for the Wisconsin School Music Association and has conducted the Kiel Municipal Band since 1984. In addition, he has been on VanderCook’s Alumni Board at and served as president. Dr. Schmidt currently serves as Chair of VanderCook’s Board of Trustees.
GEORGE QUINLAN, JR., Immediate Past Chairman
George Quinlan, Jr. serves as the President of Quinlan & Fabish Music Company. Prior to joining Quinlan and Fabish, Quinlan worked in marketing at both The Selmer Company and G. Leblanc Corporation. In addition to serving on the VanderCook Board, Quinlan also serves on the Board of Directors for NAMM (National Association of Music Merchants-International Music Products Association). He is Secretary/Treasurer of NASMD (National Association of School Music Dealers) and has served on the Board of Directors of South Shore Brass Band. Quinlan has Bachelor of Music Cum Laude from the University of Miami (FLA) in 1977.
JOHN HUSTON, Vice Chairman
John Huston is a partner at Tressler LLP in downtown Chicago. Huston has established himself as an expert in all areas of tort litigation with an emphasis on complex products and professional liability in the fields of architecture and engineering. Huston has a B.S. in industrial administration, from Yale University and a BE in electrical engineering from Yale University and a J.D. with a concentration in Litigation and Administrative Law from Loyola University of Chicago School of Law.
Huston served as a lieutenant in the United States Naval Reserves, where he was the Electrical Officer on the flagships of the NATO (2nd) and Mediterranean (6th) fleets, and an engineering instructor at the Great Lakes Naval Training Center as part of the Nuclear Power Program. Huston is a percussionist and has been a VanderCook board member since 1998.
ERICA CHIANELLI, Secretary
Erica Chianelli is a Marketing & Special Events Consultant for Lakeside Bank. Through her work, she develops community partnerships in an effort to promote Lakeside Bank and encourage new business. Prior to joining the bank, Chianelli was Executive Director of the Chinatown Chamber of Commerce, where she focused on making Chinatown a major destination point for visitors.
Chianelli graduated Summa Cum Laude from Loyola University Chicago with a B.A. in Communication in Social Justice. She minored in peace studies and sociology. Chianelli also serves on the board of the Historic Arlington Neighborhood Association and the First United Methodist Church Preschool.
John Armato is a marketing communications veteran who provides strategic counsel for corporate, nonprofit, and association clients. Known as a creative thinker, passionate presenter, and insightful facilitator, he helps organizations position their brands, develop their messages, and generate effective ideas for achieving their business objectives. He has spent 15 years at Fleishman-Hillard, 25 years in communications, and a lifetime pursing creativity as a musician, graphic designer, and writer.
Armato is in demand to lead “big idea” brainstorm sessions, which he has done for such clients as Hallmark, Gatorade, Visa, and Novartis. He also designs and delivers professional development programs related to the creative process, plan development, and writing. He is a popular speaker across the Fleishman-Hillard network and at client meetings and professional conferences. A graduate of the University of Missouri-Kansas City, Armato is also a professional musician.
PATRICK BENSON, Alumni Association President
Mr. Chernoff received both his undergraduate and law degrees from the University of Chicago, and retired as Associate General Counsel of the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation in 2012. Prior to joining MacArthur Foundation, he was a partner in a Chicago law firm where he specialized in corporate transactions and real estate law.
He is a member of the Bar in the States of Illinois and Wisconsin, the U.S. District Court for the Northern and Southern Districts of Illinois, 7th Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals and U.S. Court of International Trade, and is active in the Tax Section of the American Bar Association and the Real Property Law and Federal Tax Committees of the Chicago Bar Association. He is a member of the Illinois Attorney General's Charitable Trust Advisory Council and is an Adjunct Professor at The John Marshall Law School. Mr. Chernoff also chairs a taskforce of the Exempt Organization Committee of the ABA's Section of Taxation, which has recommended and is now working with the IRS to finalize changes in the Treasury Regulations dealing with program-related investments by private foundations.
Mr. Chernoff is presently on the Board of VanderCook College of Music, Vice Chair of Goodcity NFP, Treasurer of the Cliff Dwellers Club, and chairs the Planning & Zoning Committee of the Mid-North Association. He previously served on the Boards of the Chicago Architecture Foundation, Chicago Bar Foundation and Chicago Bar Association, and chaired the CBA’s Real Property Law and Corporate Law Departments Committees.
Mr. Chernoff has published numerous articles on various aspects of non-profit law, practice and governance, and a monograph Duties and Responsibilities of Directors and Trustees of Illinois Private Foundations. He has spoken at many conferences and seminars hosted by the American Bar Association, Chicago Bar Association, Chicago-Kent Law School, Council on Foundations, Midwest TE/GE Council, and other organizations.
Saul Friedgood is Executive Vice President of Eastman Music Company. He earned his B.A. in Political Science at American University. Eastman Strings is a leading maker and supplier of fine stringed instruments.
ALINA HABER - KOVACH
Ms. Haber-Kovach founded MAHK1, LLC, a company which specializes in project management, as result of her passion for helping organizations achieve their goals. She uses a proactive approach to getting things done with her primary focus being the people side of change. She has worked for Fortune 500 companies as well as provided business transformation services to non-profits. She holds an MBA from the University of Chicago's Booth School of Business.
Jon Harris is President of Harris-Teller Inc., a full-line music products distributor based in Chicago. Harris served on the board of directors for the International Music Products Association from 2008 to 2010. He is past president and current historian of the Music Distributors Association and a member of the National Association of School Music Dealers. He also served on the Latin School of Chicago Alumni Board from 2008 to 2011. Harris received a B.A. from Tulane University in New Orleans in 1992. He currently resides in Chicago with his wife and two young children.
Glenn Holtz has spent over 50 years in the field of music. A leader in the music industry he has spent time in retail, wholesale, and teaching. His father, who was the sales manager for the Ludwig Drum Company, introduced Holtz to the musical product industry. Holtz spent many years in the industry as a sales manager for Selmer and President of Gemeinhardt Flutes for 17 years. Holtz currently also serves as a member of the Midwest Clinic Board. Midwest recognized his achievements in 1996 by presenting him with the Music Industry Award. Holtz also played a vital role as chairman of NAMM’s International Foundation for Music Research (IFMR). In 2002, he established the G. Holtz Musical Instrument Company and a brand of products called Glenn Edward, which included flutes, piccolos, saxophones, trumpets, and tubas. Holtz is a graduate of the University of Michigan, B.M.Ed. 1960 and M.M.Ed. 1964, where hwas a member of the marching band.
Mead Killion founded Etymotic Research, Inc. in 1983. Dr. Killion has spent 21 years in the hearing aid industry. He helped develop the first subminiature ceramic microphone, subminiature electrets microphone, and subminiature directional microphones. He is probably best known for developing earmold coupling systems to improve both the useful bandwidth and the sound quality of hearing aids. Dr. Killion earned Degrees in Mathematics from Wabash College and Illinois Institute of Technology and completed his doctorate in audiology at Northwestern University. Dr. Killion has also taught and given lectures on audiology around the world and is Fellow of the Acoustical Society of America and the Audio Engineering Society. He has been presented many awards in appreciation of his contributions to the field of hearing. Dr. Killion is also an accomplished choir director, violinist, and jazz pianist.
Herman Knoll is the Senior Vice President of Hal Leonard Publications. Knoll joined Hal Leonard during the early 1980s and led the team that wrote and designed the landmark Hal Leonard publication Essential Elements books, redefining the way students and teachers approach the early stages of music education. This is one of countless products Knoll has helped develop since joining Hal Leonard. Knoll’s approach to his publications includes the idea of getting out to the schools to witness first-hand how the students are being taught in order to develop meaningful materials to assist both student and teacher.
Following his years in senior management positions with Billboard Magazine, Forbes, McGraw-Hill and Dow Jones & Company, Irwin Kornfeld founded In Tune Partners in 2003 and currently serves as its CEO. In Tune Partners publishes music education magazines In Tune Monthly, Music Alive! and their websites. In Tune andMusic Alive! reach a half million student musicians in grades 4-12 and their teachers in 45,000 music classrooms across America.
In Tune publishesTeaching Music magazine for the National Association for Music Education (NAfME), Drum Corps International magazine and The DCI Yearbook for Drum Corps International, WGI Focus for WGI Sport of the Arts, and a series of music education textbooks in partnership with the Hal Leonard Corporation. In Tune also manages public relations and channel development for hearing health company Etymotic Research.
Mr. Kornfeld is also CEO of Westchester Media, Inc. Westchester Media produces concerts and other live events including ASCAP’s “I Create Music” EXPO,” in Los Angeles. Westchester Media publishes Playback magazine for ASCAP, and represents ascap.com and the ASCAP Inside Music e-newsletter to advertisers. Irwin also founded Westchester Media in 2003. In Tune and Westchester Media’s offices are located in White Plains, New York.
Mr. Kornfeld has lived in Pleasantville, New York for 27 years with his wife Mona. Both are graduates of Boston University. His daughter Susan joined Westchester Media in May of 2010 after graduating with honors from Tufts University. His son David is a graduate of The University of Pennsylvania and is a writer for the humor newsweekly and media company, The Onion.
David Mann is a Senior Partner in the Business Practice Group at the national law firm of Holland & Knight. Mann is an active member of the Chicago, and American Bar Associations, serving on various committees and serving on the Board of Managers of the Chicago Bar Association. Mann is the chair of the Sun-Times Fellowship Awards selection committee, serves on the Honorable Abraham Lincoln Marovitz Scholarship selection committee, pro bono and public service awards selection committee, and is panel chair of the inquiry board of the Attorney Registration and Disciplinary Commission of the Illinois Supreme Court. Mann is also an adjunct professor at Northwestern University School of Law. Mann received a bachelor’s degree from the University of Notre Dame and a J.D. from Northwestern University School of Law.
Leonard McGee is the president of the GAP Community Organization and the Bronzeville Alliance, both based in Chicago. Mr. McGee is also the vice president of the Dunbar Park Advisory Council, Chicago Park District. A leader in the south Chicago community, McGee is on the board of the Illinois College of Optometry, the Harvard Club of Chicago, and the Lydia Home for Children. He is a member of the Apostolic Church of God and is the television director of Saving Grace Ministries. He joined the VanderCook Board of Trustees in December of 2012.
Christopher Motogawa is a Director at Quest Turnaround Advisors LLC. Quest provides business consulting, crisis management and turnaround advisory services to company stakeholders. He attended Northwestern University, where he earned his B.A. degree in 1994, and DePaul University, where he earned his CPIM Certification in 1996. Previously, Motogawa was a managing director for The Brandenburg Group, Inc. He was also the chief financial officer of MotorCoach Industries, Inc., corporate controller at SourceLink, Inc., and principal for Harmonie Coffee and Beverage. Throughout his career, he has served in various financial and accounting positions. Motogawa also serves on the Board of Directors of Changing Worlds, a nonprofit educational arts organization that works with students to improve literacy through community-building writing and arts programs. He has been on the VanderCook Board since 2007.
Robert Reich is CEO of Vanguard Tours, Inc. In 1984, Reich founded Vanguard Tour Service, Inc., dedicated to providing the highest quality travel experiences for performing groups. Reich received his B.M.Ed. degree from Illinois Wesleyan University and completed graduate studies at Northern Illinois University, Northwestern University, and VanderCook College of Music. Reich has been actively involved in music education for almost 40 years. His professional affiliations include Phi Mu Alpha Sinfonia as a life member, National Music Educators Conference, National Band Association, International Association of Jazz Educators, and the American String Teachers Association.
Ray Spaeth is President Emeritus of Lakeside Bank. He studied at DePauw University, from where he graduated in 1958. He began his career in banking at Lakeside Bank in 1966 as a loan officer. In 1982, when Illinois law changed to allow branch banking, Spaeth convinced his board to open a branch facility in Chinatown. Over the years he has helped develop Chinatown to what it is today by financing many of the restaurants and businesses vital to this community. When Spaeth became president of Lakeside Bank in 1995, he reflected on his father’s advice to him to give back to the community, and in 1979 he became involved with a new social service agency called Chinese American Service League (CASL). Spaeth has served several terms as president and chairman of the Chinatown Chamber of Commerce and continues to serve on the boards of CASL Senior Housing Corporation and the Chinatown Parking Corporation. Spaeth has served as a trustee of Illinois Institute of Technology
Chris Sweetland is the senior vice president at FirstMerit Bank, in charge of North and Northwest Regions. Prior to joining FirstMerit, Sweetland was Subsidiary Bank CEO, Chairman of Windtrust Financial Corporation, senior vice president and group manager of Charter One Bank, and senior vice president of Harris Bank. Sweetland graduated from Wabash College, where he earned a B.A. in German and a B.S. in economics.
Danny Wilson is a Senior Relationship Manager, New Business with the United Way of Metropolitan Chicago. Danny joined United Way in 1988, with the United Way of Central Alabama, Birmingham as a Campaign Associate, later becoming a Resource Development Director with the United Way of Tarrant County, Fort Worth, Texas. Danny is a member of the Diversity and Inclusion Committee, African American Business Resource Group with United Way World Wide. Danny has held the position of Technical Resource Specialist with the European Aeronautic Defense and Space Company, Addison, Texas and Public Relations Coordinator for the Governors Special Commission on Education, Baton Rouge, Louisiana. Wilson received a B.A. in Journalism, and a M.A. in Media Communications from Southern University, Baton Rouge, Louisiana. He is a past Chairman of the Community Schools of the Birmingham Board of Education, and a veteran of the United States Air Force/Air National Guard. Danny helps support the Wounded Heroes Foundation, Comcast Internet Essentials Learning Zone Team, and Illinois Joining Forces. Wilson is a member of the Apostolic Church of God and a Native of Bessemer, Alabama.