Associate Board

The Merit Associates are a group of young Chicago-area professionals committed to supporting Merit School of Music and its mission of providing high-quality music education to students in metropolitan Chicago. The Merit Associates strive to develop themselves as model philanthropic leaders and next-generation advocates for the musical arts. Their primary goal is to work together to develop new resources for and to increase public awareness of Merit’s music education programs and services.

The Associates also sponsor an annual fundraising event in the fall that helps support Merit School of Music’s music education programs and helps keep the cost of programming affordable for all Chicago families.


Jake Schnur
MB Financial Bank

By-laws Chair
Nicole Allen
Jenner & Block LLP

Michael Andrews
Reynolds Consumer Products

Event Chair
María Luisa Paúl Rivero
Baker & McKenzie LLP

School Relations Co-Chair
Jerald Garyᴬ
Community Capital Investment Partners

School Relations Co-Chair
Michael Pope
University of Chicago

Member Relations Chair
John Kalil
Tacklebox Brand Strategy




Joseph Becker
Winston & Strawn

John Boryk
PNC Bank

Lori Bravi
Rehabilitation Institute of Chicago

Luis Catalan

Ryan Chambers
NAI Hiffman

Antonio Daniels

Dustin Furnari
HUB International

Damian Joseph
SW10 Creative

Mary Pat Kohberger
Deloitte & Touche LLP

Terrance McKinneyA

Pamela MeadowsA
University of Illinois at Chicago

Emily Meier
Deloitte & Touche LLP

Christine Nelson
Deloitte & Touche, LLP

Deborah Newman

John Oppenheimer
RedNoFive & Hydrate Nightclubs

LeRoy Ousley, Jr.
Royal Bank of Scotland

Nishad Parmar
Xylem Inc./Yourtech

Travis Rosenthal
Chicago Jazz Orchestra

Geoff Rothman

Susan Rothman
Pure Barre West Loop

Emily Schmitt
Smith Bucklin

Samuel Scranton
Northwestern University

Andrew Scroggins
Seyfarth Shaw LLP

Joshua Sultan
Nora & Partners, LLP

Daniel Weiss

Lisa Wiznitzer
Katten Muchin Rosenman

Cathleen Wloch
Davis Bancorp

Matt Wloch
JPMorgan Chase

Kara Yokley
Catalyst Group Global



Tammy Adams

Sara Kobaissi
Deloitte & Touche LLP

Cathleen Marine

Kunal Mehta

Rachel Pawlisz
Kaplan Higher Education

Colleen Walter

James Walter
Northwestern Memorial Hospital


ᴬ Merit Alum

Steven, viola

"My dream is to be a professional violist, and Merit is helping me to reach this goal with quality training and excellent performance opportunities."

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