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.
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.
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
Mrs. Haber-Kovach is a senior level professional who has lead large scale initiatives to drive specific strategic and financial objectives. Her primary focus is on an intergrated approach to the people side of change to include plans which motivate a faster adoption and greater utilization of new processes, systems and orgiztional structures. Alina has worked with and/or consulted to Excelon Corporation, Arthur Andersen, Baird & Warner, the Beaird Group, Boys and Girls Club of Chicago and Naperville Community Unit School District 203. 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.
Brock Kaericher is the President of REMO Inc. and over the last few decades has worked closely with the company’s founder, Remo Belli, to develop the many programs supporting music education and music wellness. In addition to serving on the Board of Trustees at VanderCook College of Music, Kaericher was also a member of the Board of Directors of NAMM, National Association of Music Merchants.
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.
Ron Korbitz received his B.M.Ed. in 1990 and M.M.Ed. in 1996 from VanderCook College of Music. He spent several years performing with local Chicago theater groups at The Royal Castle Dinner Theater and Captain Dick’s Voyage, where he was also the musical director. He has performed as a solo artist and chamber musician in Chicago and the suburbs, and has worked in the popular music world with The Sound Connection and The Frank Pellico Orchestra. Korbitz is a collaborating author for the children’s book “Mr. Everybody’s Recorder Book” published by Myles Music, and contributing writer to the American String Teachers Association Journal. Korbitz has served on faculties at The Hinsdale Center for the Arts, Moraine Valley College, and School District 117. He has adjudicated for the Illinois Grade School Music Association and ASTA. He is on faculty at Brookdale School in Naperville and teaches K-5 general music and directs the chorus, choir chimes ensembles, and guitar ensembles.
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.