Merit School of Music

Board of Trustees

We are proud to have a dedicated Board of Trustees who are passionate ambassadors for Merit and music education. Business leaders, artists, innovators, as well as Merit alumni and parents—this group of dedicated volunteers supports our mission by contributing their skills in various ways.

Trustee Officers

board Chair

Charles K. Huebner*

RCP Advisors, LLC

What inspires you to be a Merit Board member?

I’m inspired by a desire to perpetuate the amazing mission that has been followed for over 40 years; along with the opportunity to innovate and meet challenges that are unique to today’s environment.

Vice Chair

Ryan DeVore*

William Blair

What inspires you to be a Merit Board member?

Seeing young, talented, impressive musicians and students find success and pride and confidence in their abilities. Human spirit and finding the discipline to become great are truly inspiring.

Vice Chair

Jennifer Montague*A


What’s your favorite Merit moment?

My favorite Merit moment was at the Conservatory graduation in 2018. I got to award a college scholarship to a student I had driven to Merit for the past three years—a youth choir member at my church.


Julie Baumeister*

Ernst & Young

What inspires you to be a Merit Board member?

I was introduced to Merit by another long-time board member who invited me to be his guest at the Merit gala. I will never forget how incredibly moving it was to listen to the talented Merit students perform and hear their stories of how the opportunity to study music and to be a part of the Merit community had changed their lives in sometimes dramatic ways. I instantly knew this was an organization that I wanted to become involved with and soon thereafter started my journey as a Merit parent and board member.


Marisela Rosales Lawson*



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

omalily projects

Nick Bubnovich

Willis Towers Watson (ret.)

Dr. 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

Dr. 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

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.)

Dr. 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
# Associate Board Representative