The Board of Trustees serves as the governing body and fiduciaries for the Merit School of Music. Our Trustees are passionate ambassadors for Merit and music education, and contribute their skills in various ways to fulfill our mission. Trustees are nominated by the Governance Committee of the Board of Trustees and elected by a majority of the Board of Trustees.


Board Chair
Charles K. Huebner*
RCP Advisors, LLC

Vice Chair
Ryan DeVore*
William Blair

Vice Chair
Jennifer MontagueA*

Julie Baumeister*
Ernst & Young

Marisela Rosales Lawson*

President & Executive Director
Charles Grode

Associate Board Representative
Andy Scroggins#
Seyfarth Shaw


Susan S. Aaron
DePaul University; Chaddick Institute for Metropolitan Development

Duffie Adelson
Merit School of Music (ret.)

Michael Andrews
Reynolds Consumer Products, LLC

Sonia Antolec
The 1937 Group

David P. Bolger
Civic Leader

JeNyce Boolton
US Bank 

Jeffrey Breslow
Jeffrey Breslow Sculpture

Binta Niambi Brown
omalilly Projects

Nick Bubnovich
Willis Towers Watson (ret.)

Huan J. Chang
University of Illinois-Chicago & Jesse Brown VA Medical Center

Carol Clavadetscher*
Skills For Chicagoland’s Future

Samuel H. Ellis
Samuel H. Ellis & Co.

Ginny Foreman
Civic Leader

Peter B. Foreman
Sirius Partners, LP

Jason Gatchell
JPMorgan Chase

Derrick GayA
Diversity and Inclusion Strategist 

Joseph B. Glossberg*
Gofen and Glossberg, LLC

Howard L. Gottlieb*
Glen Eagle Partners (ret.)

Janice Honigberg
Sun Belle Inc.

Jeremiah S. James
Edward R. James Partners, LLC

Emily T. Knight, Ph.D.
Clinical Psychologist

Thomas Leopold
Bank of America (ret.)

Thomas Linguanti*
Morgan, Lewis & Bockius LLP)

J. Barry Mitchell
ComEd (ret.)

Cynthia Mufarreh
CAM Comm

Shelley Ochab
Civic Leader

Edward H. Oppenheimer
Oppenheimer Family Foundation

Nishad Parmar
Loud Capital

Ellard L. Pfaelzer, Jr.*
Bruss Company (ret.)

Harry Porterfield
CBS (ret.)

Jon L. Powell
People Advisory Services

Michael J. Powers
Howard and Howard

Abiman Rajadurai
McDonald’s Corporation

Earl J. Rusnak, Jr.
Harris Associates L.P. (ret.)

Raymond L. Rusnak
Civic Leader

David Schulz
Salucro Healthcare Solutions

Julie K. Stapel
Morgan, Lewis & Bockius LLP

Nina G. Stillman*
Morgan, Lewis and Bockius, LLP (ret.)

Susie Pfaelzer Sultan
Advocate Medical Group

Thomas H. Stone
Stone Capital Group, Inc.

David P. Thomas*
Bright Horizons Family Solutions (ret.)

Richard L. Thomas
First Chicago NBD Corp. (ret.)

Jennifer TurnerA
Sony Pictures Entertainment

Jennifer Vianello 

John F. Young*
Norton Rose Fulbright US

*   Executive Committee
†   Life Trustee: Life Trustees are individuals who have served at least four terms as a Regular Trustee and have given outstanding service to Merit.
A   Merit Alumni

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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