Chelsey M. Thomas is the Marketing Coordinator for the Chicago Cultural Alliance. As a second generation college graduate, Chelsey proudly celebrates their own identity as a Queer, Black and Dominican multimedia professional and recognizes the importance of highlighting underrepresented and minority voices. Before working for the Alliance, Chelsey held a diverse career in media, including projects with ABC, PBS, Broadway in Chicago and Live Nation Entertainment. Their professional experiences range from video production, graphic design, and technical writing for small businesses and tech companies to flying circus artists and stage managing professional theater for Teatro ZinZanni. Their main professional goal is to diversify popular media and to facilitate the creativity of under-represented and minority media makers through collaboration. They hold a Bachelor’s of Arts from Emerson College with a concentration in Writing and Producing for Television.
Ivonne Romo is a self-proclaimed lover of the arts, coming to ArtCore as a past member of the Arts & Business Council of Chicago’s Business Volunteers for the Arts program, where she served on a pro-bono consulting project to investigate potential revenue opportunities for ArtCore.
Ivonne was a guitarist in a Mexican mariachi band for half her life, and her work includes auditing future/options traders as a regulator, as an external auditor/public accountant for hedge funds with millions or billions in revenues, and as a public accountant/book-keeper for small to medium family owned businesses. Other experience she brings is gained either through volunteering on her church’s finance council for two years or via founding student groups in college where she reviewed and approved budgets, made recommendations, and raised questions about finances or efficiencies.
Teresita Avilés Bailey is the Membership & Development Associate at the Chicago Cultural Alliance. Growing up in Nicaragua, Teresita speaks both English and Spanish fluently. She completed a Bachelor of Arts in History from Purdue University in 2012 and a Master of Arts in Museum Studies from Johns Hopkins University in May 2017. Prior to working at the Alliance, Teresita held positions at Adler Planetarium, Lincoln Park Zoo, Kohl Children’s Museum, and the Children’s Museum of Indianapolis.
Andrew is a fifth generation Chicagoan with an education and professional experience in historical archaeology and museum anthropology. He completed a master’s degree in historic preservation from the University of Texas at Austin and worked for nearly ten years in the Anthropology Collections Center at the Field Museum of Natural History. Andrew is interested in material culture, heritage studies, memory, and community engagement. His most recent work involves the study, interpretation, and preservation of ruins.
He joins us after completing research on grass roots preservation of the built environment at the Falmouth Heritage Renewal in Jamaica for US/ICOMOS. He is very excited to be a part of the Chicago Cultural Alliance team as Conservation and Collections Program Manager.
Peter Vega is the Executive Director of the Chicago Cultural Alliance. Before working at the Alliance, Peter worked in various roles within the museum industry, including at Museum Hack, The Guggenheim Museum, the Intrepid Museum, the Jewish Museum, and more. His experience extends to visitor services, marketing, and education. Peter holds a Bachelor of Arts in Social Studies Education from Manhattanville College and a Master of Arts in Museum Studies from New York University.
As Senior Vice President, John Russick oversees the departments of Exhibitions, Education, Publications, Collections and Curatorial Affairs, Information Technology, and the Research Center on behalf of the Chicago History Museum. Since 2008 he has organized the American Association of Museum’s annual Excellence in Exhibition Label Writing Competition. Among many other contributions to the Chicago History Museum and to the museum field, Russick served as vice chair for the Museum’s Visioning Committee, chair of the Digital Future Committee, and chair of the Anti-Racism Task Force. He has won awards for both his preservation and exhibition work.
Todd Palmer has 19 years of experience in conceptualizing and orchestrating program-rich interventions that define public space, articulate cultural uses of architecture, landscape and historic preservation and serve in communal processes of making meaning. His understanding of curatorial, mediatic, art-making and exhibit design processes is coupled with a deep concern for forging collaboration in the public sphere and supporting the growth of innovative collectives and transformative organizations.
Palmer’s transdisciplinary work and collaborations have been profiled in a variety of outlets including The New York Times, ArtNews, Domus and ID. He engages consistently in national and international conferences of architecture, culture, design, technology, museology and urban concerns from planning to preservation.
Vanessa B. M. Vergara earned her B.A., summa cum laude, in Political Science and English from Hamline University and J.D., cum laude, from Northwestern University School of Law. She served as a law clerk to the Honorable Karen Nelson Moore of the Sixth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals. Vanessa practiced law at the Chicago law firms Goldberg Kohn and Grippo & Elden. She has extensive experience in the area of complex commercial litigation, including securities fraud, lender liability, insurance coverage disputes, class action defense, multidistrict litigation and mediation. Vanessa is proud to be a first-generation Filipino-American. She is honored to serve as a cultural heritage advocate working to support the critical mission of the Alliance to promote cultural equity and inclusion in the Chicago region.
Randy Adamsick is currently a non-profit consultant and Co-chair of the Board at Facets Multi-media. In 2018, he retired as the Director of Institutional Advancement at the Chicago History Museum, and previously served the Development Director at the National Museum of Mexican Art. Randy has also served as Executive Director of the Gene Siskel Film Center (2001-2002), the Minnesota Film Board (1990-2001), Minneapolis Office of Film, Video & Recording (1986-199), Minnesota Film Center (1980-86). He studied Art History at the University of Chicago, and received a B.A. in English from the University of Minnesota.
Professor Uysal’s earned his B.S. in mathematics from the Bilkent University and M.S. degree in economics from the University of Texas at Austin. He received his Ph.D. in Finance from the University of Texas at Austin (UT). His research interests include capital structure, mergers and acquisitions, corporate social responsibility and payout policy. He has been published in major journals including a single-authored paper in the Journal of Financial Economics, a paper in the Journal of Finance, a paper in the Information Systems Research, and in the Journal of Financial Intermediation. His papers have been presented at premier meetings hosted by the American Finance Association (AFA), the Western Finance Association (WFA) and the Academy of Management. He is the recipient of several research and teaching awards.
Tracey Suppo is the CEO and co-founder of Book+Main, an online platform that connects authors and readers. Since launching in November ’17, Book+Main has more than 50,000 registered users, including 3,500+ published authors, in over 150 countries. Tracey’s 25-year marketing career spans many industries including fashion, cosmetics, live entertainment, and real estate. Prior to co-founding Book+Main, Tracey held the position of vice president of marketing at a national commercial real estate firm for 18 years. Clients included General Electric, British Petroleum, 7-Eleven, and more. She also owns a book review blog and reader group with more than 25k followers and a cooking Instagram feed with 7.5k followers. She is an avid traveler and has visited 44 states within the US and 18 countries worldwide, a voracious reader that often reads 150+ books each year, and is a proud foster failure mom to two cats from PAWS Chicago. She graduated from Boston University in ’95 with a BS in Business Administration with a concentration in marketing.
Heather Miller is an enrolled member of the Wyandotte Nation from Oklahoma and has a passion for seeing Native American organizations succeed. She began her professional career working for Hopa Mountain in Montana where she helped Native Nonprofit organizations develop their capacity. She then worked in Seattle with a Potlatch Fund, Native American Foundation where she continued to provide capacity building trainings to Native organizations as well as teach non-Native Foundations how to work appropriately with Indian Country. She has worked to develop programs, lead organizations and direct grants of various sizes. Her passion for developing capacity led her to start a consulting business where she helped Native nonprofits grow their own abilities to be successful. She holds a Bachelors of Philosophy from Miami University in Ohio and a Masters of Native American Studies from Montana State University. Heather is also a graduate of the Leadership, Apprentice, Economic and Development program through First Nations Development Fund and a graduate of the Cascade Executive Program through the University of Washington. She recently moved to Chicago and is happy to have joined the American Indian Center team. In her free time Heather loves cooking with her partner Ryan and taking their puppy dog Winnie Cooper on walks as they explore the city.
CCA’s former Interim Executive Director Suzanne Franklin is a dynamic executive manager with more than 25 years of proven leadership and management in the not-for-profit community. She is skilled in working with culturally diverse communities and has extensive knowledge of fundraising, program development, and strategic planning. She served as senior manager of community programs, planning and development at Jewish Child and Family Services and previously for 15 years as executive director of HIAS Chicago, an immigration service agency. She is a well-respected leader in the immigrant and refugee world in Chicago and nationally, and knows many of the Alliance’s Core Members, as well as Chicago neighborhoods and the policy environment.
Jessica Miley is a Principal Business Analyst at Exelon Corporation in the strategic planning department supporting Exelon’s utility business. Trained as a tax accountant, with a B.S. from the University of Illinois and a MPA from the University of Texas, Jessica has honed her skills at both Ernst & Young and the Exelon tax department in the areas of finance, effective communication, efficient processes, and adherence to deadlines. Her love of project management grew when she was nominated to take a temporary role to help lead the finance department during merger integration. In her current role, she coordinates and facilitates enterprise risk management projects, regulatory/legislative projects, and various strategic projects across Exelon’s fleet of utility companies. In addition to CCA, Jessica supports the United Way, Special Olympics, and the Network of Exelon Women. She can currently be found either facilitating a conference call or partnering with her husband, Jason, as they try to keep up with their daughter, Cassie, as she enters her toddler years. In addition, you may see her in attendance each Spring at the Roger Ebert Film Festival in Champaign, Illinois.
Vandita Garg is an interdisciplinary artist and writer. As a part of the Advisory committee for the Singapore Art Biennale in 2015-16, she started a panel discussion on the shared histories of South East Asia and the various demographic which passed through, formed and dwell in Singapore. This dialogue guided the selection of the works of art for the Biennale, and helped illustrate their connection to the community. She has written articles about fostering creativity and building a positive society through art. Vandita has developed and forged partnerships for private and corporate giving at the Singapore Art Museum. She was also a part of the docent training program and mentored new docents in the program. As the Auction Chair for the Ronald McDonald House Charities, Singapore, from 2012-16, Vandita was instrumental in driving fund raising efforts, and in materially increasing the visibility and impact of the charity. She was a part of the team that planned the inaugural RMHC gala in Singapore and channeled the profits towards setting up the first Ronald McDonald House at National University Hospital, Singapore. Vandita holds a Masters of Business Administration in Marketing and Finance from Fairleigh Dickinson University.
Demetrio P. Cardona-Maguigad is a strategist and educator in the areas of communication, design, and web technologies. As the director of strategic design at LimeRed Studio, he leads collaborative and process-driven methods between clients and design teams to uncover insights and align organizational goals towards innovative design solutions. Cardona-Maguigad is an adjunct faculty in the Communication & Media Innovation Department at Columbia College Chicago. He is also a multimedia producer whose work has focused on cultural diversity, social justice, and community development. He is also the former host and executive producer for Chicago is the World, a weekly on-air radio program on WHPK where he curated and featured music, voices and stories from around the globe.
David most recently served as Vice President of External Relations at the Chicago History Museum where his responsibilities included overseeing marketing, membership, and communication strategies as it relates to the museum brand, exhibitions, programming, as well as membership and visitor services. Deyhle maintained key relationships within the public and private sector communities as well as participated in joint activities with other cultural organizations and museums. Deyhle directed strategies for the institution to build, manage, and grow its brand while maintaining and raising visitor attendance and museum membership. Prior to his work at the Museum, Deyhle served as Director of Development Communications at the University of Oregon, and the Marketing and Sales department at the American Heath Information Management Association as the association’s Vice President of Marketing and Sales. Deyhle has long ties to Chicago including earning a Master of Business Administration degree from DePaul University as well as belonging to several Chicago based professional organizations.
Jacob Campbell is a Cultural Anthropologist with the Keller Science Action Center at The Field Museum, where he leads the social science team for the Chicago region program. His applied research, pedagogy, and collaborative programming has focused on cultural connections to the natural world in cities. He works with partners across Chicago to create more equitable city institutions and green spaces that help communities thrive. Jacob also co-directs the Urban Ecology Field Lab undergraduate summer course at the Field Museum, and is adjunct professor of environmental science at DePaul University. Previously, he worked for five years with artists, organizers and educators on Chicago’s West Side as program manager with the Center for Community Arts Partnerships at Columbia College Chicago. He earned an M.A. and Ph.D. in Anthropology from the University of Arizona.