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Board of Directors


Brenda Grusecki (President) is an English teacher who retired from Oak Park and River Forest High School where she chaired the English Division for seventeen years.  Subsequently, she has worked as instructor and supervisor of student teachers at Northwestern University and Dominican University. She spent many years teaching in the gifted program (Center for Talent Development) for middle and high school students at Northwestern.  As a Board Director of the Family Service and Mental Health Center of Oak Park and River Forest (re-named Thrive Counseling Center), Brenda served in several capacities including officer positions, gala co-chair, and co-chair of a successful endowment campaign.  In 2009,  she received the Rita Johnson Humanitarian Award from the organization.  Currently, Brenda is a member of the Emeritus Board of Landmarks Illinois. With her husband, she administers a family foundation that funds education, the arts, and housing and social service initiatives and programs. The Gruseckis enjoy and support the many cultural opportunities that Chicago offers.  

Richard Skolly (Vice President) is technology engineer for ArcelorMittal Inc. His professional interests focus on developing high strength materials and new equipment acquisition and commissioning. After work interests encompass the wide variety offered Chicago’s artistic scene. His past not-for profit board tenures include technical and artistic organizations. Richard is married to Kate A Feinstein and lives in Chicago.


Diane M. Falk (Treasurer) is a residential lender with First Midwest Bank. She brings extensive experience in financial services and sales to Remy Bumppo. She has co-chaired the annual Gala for the last four years and considers it her mission to bring as many people as possible to the theatre and into the Remy Bumppo family. She is an avid theatre goer and a long time supporter of the arts having previously been involved with Music on Stage in Palatine and the “Patrons of the Arts” organization at St Viator high school. She also serves on the board for the North Shore Women’s Council of Realtors and is an active affiliate member of the North Shore Barrington Board of Realtors (NSBAR).


Dave Weidenfeld (Secretary) retired (mostly) in 2012 after a 28 year career, mostly handling technology transactions for both McDonald's (24 years) and Xerox from both the legal and business functions. In that role he was responsible for Software Contract Management, Pricing and Decision Support, Asset Management and Customer Account Procurement Management. Prior to that he served in various positions and worked on technology transactions for McDonald’s Corporation from January of 1984 until his retirement in November of 2007. Dave has served as an Adjunct Instructor at the University of Chicago Graham School, where he taught "Harvesting Value From I/T," a course designed to train executives who were new to IT. He has been a guest lecturer at the University of North Carolina's Principals' Executive Program and at the Lake Forest Graduate School of Management on technology acquisitions and negotiations and has taught several Internet classes on various aspects of software licensing. Prior to his longer than expected sojourn in the world of technology Dave served as a stage manager for numerous productions for the Green Room Theater at Franklin and Marshall College.


Nick Sandys (Producing Artistic Director) More about Nick >


Annabel Armour More about Annabel >

Jeff Armstrong has 20 plus years of career IT experience in financial services, technology, healthcare and advertising.  He currently serves as a Chicago-based Cloud architect designing Amazon Web Services implementations for fortune 500 clients with Cloudreach. With an established record of leveraging new technologies, Armstrong has streamlined and improved productivity for a half-dozen companies over the course of his career.  Armstrong earned a Masters of Science degree in IT Security and Assurance from Western Governors University, a Certificate in Executive Leadership from Cornell University, and a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration & Computer Information Systems from Thomas Edison University. His personal interests include reef-keeping, aviation, theater, dance, art and cultural institutions.


Beverly Berneman Lieberman is an Intellectual Property attorney with Golan Christie Taglia LLP. Bev holds a B.A. in Theater from the University of Colorado. Theater has been part of Bev’s life since she was in middle school. Before law school, Bev acted, costumed and stage managed productions in regional non-equity theaters. Bev brings her knowledge of the legal aspects of creative arts such as rights creation, rights protection and contract negotiation. Bev has a deep seated love of the theater in all its aspects and is an avid attendee of theaters in the Chicago area and in New York City. Bev teaches Bankruptcy and Intellectual Property and Financing the Development of Intellectual Property at John Marshall Law School. She has volunteered for religious organizations in various capacities. 

M.J. Black is a real estate broker with Berkshire Hathaway Koenig Rubloff. Prior to entering real estate, MJ was in the computer industry for over 20 years. Having been employed by major and small corporations and now being self-employed, MJ brings multiple talents to the Remy Bumppo Board -- development and execution of marketing plans, financial analysis and goal setting, organizational analysis, negotiating, personnel development, long term/strategic planning, “educator” and “hand holder”. MJ has been interested in theater since junior and high school at New Trier - mostly in backstage activities! Over the years, she has been an avid attendee of many theatres in Chicago. MJ serves as Women’s Board Member at The Rehabilitation Institute of Chicago, Chicago Chamber Music, The House of Good Shepherd, The Guild of the Chicago History Museum. She is a member of The Fortnightly of Chicago.


Joan Callahan is a school nurse with the Sacred Heart Schools in Chicago. She resides with her husband, Michael Callahan, on the northside.  She was an English/Theater major in college and taught theater at a private high school on the city's southside in the 70s'.  She worked with the Blackhawk Restaurants as manager and educator, attained a Masters in Social Work and then worked as parish social worker at St. Clements in Chicago before staying home to raise their three children. She returned to school to get her RN and has combined all those previous careers to work as a school nurse.  Theater has always been close to her heart and spirit. Thankfully Chicago provides well for this.  Remy Bumppo has always been a favorite and appeals for its attention to language and complex ideas and being part of the board seems a perfect way to give greater support to Remy and Chicago theater. 


Joanna Cohen is a Program Officer in the Office of Evaluation at the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation. After growing up on the beaches of New Jersey, Joanna moved to Chicago in 2011 where she's been able to apply her interests and skills in social justice programming and research ever since. As someone who believes that a robust arts and culture sector is a critical component of a thriving city, Joanna is excited to support the artistic vision of Remy Bumppo. She is also happy to serve on the Advisory Council of Openlands, a conservation organization based in Chicago.     


Laura Cook is the Investor Relations Associate for Tuscan Ridge Asset Management, a Hedge Fund located in Chicago, IL. She is responsible for all correspondence and reporting between Tuscan Ridge and current and potential investors; and has been instrumental in crafting the branding and messaging of the firm. Prior to joining Tuscan Ridge, she was an Investor Relations Associate for RSK Capital Partners, a Multi-Family Office. Here, she interfaced among several constituencies, including: the Senior Families’ Representative, the portfolio companies and investments, and the Managing Members of the Family Office, insuring that investment strategy and results were communicated effectively and transparently. Laura’s marketing career began in the Retail Industry. She was instrumental in increasing consumer engagement and revenue growth through innovative branding and marketing strategy for several start-up retail organizations. She is an active member of the Midwest Committee of Hope, a group based out of Help For Children, and a Business Volunteer for the Arts through the Arts & Business Council of Chicago. In her spare time, she attends shows throughout Chicago, consults various arts and cultural organizations, and writes poetry. She is very excited to lend her talents to facilitate the growth of Remy Bumppo!


Nancy A. McDaniel (Founding President) had a 28-year career in the Research Department at Leo Burnett. She is the former co-owner of Dumela Contemporary African Art, contributing editor of GoInside Internet magazine, and a frequent volunteer for Chicago Greeters, Lincoln Park Zoo, and Earthwatch. She is a former Board member of the Goodman Theatre's Discovery Board and Wrightwood Neighbors Conservation Association.

Mary Pavia has been involved with theater her entire life. Over the years she has appeared onstage in over one hundred productions, has worked backstage, directed, and even helped to start a theater group. She is an active member of the Theater of Western Springs. Outside of the theater, Mary is an avid runner, and volunteer for PADS of DuPage County. She is a graduate of Elmhurst College and has studied with the Royal Shakespeare Company at Oxford. After seeing Remy Bumppo's first production (and all of the subsequent ones!) she knew she wanted to be a part of this amazing company.

Karen Randolph is a marketing consultant. She currently serves on the Board of the American Refugee Committee, a not-for-profit organization that works for the survival, health and well being of refugees, displaced persons and those at risk. Karen was a member of the Goodman Theatre's Discovery Board and has contributed many hours as a volunteer marketing and audience development consultant for the Goodman and the Ravinia Festival.


Marilyn B. Schaffer has worked as a fundraiser for non-profits for the past 18 years. She is currently working as the Director of Planned Giving at Lincoln Park Zoo in Chicago. She is also a frequent speaker on planned giving topics. Marilyn is a graduate of Lake Forest College in Lake Forest, Illinois. She earned a MAT from Northwestern University, in Evanston, Illinois, an MA from DePaul University in Chicago, and the designation of Chartered Advisor in Philanthropy® from The American College in Bryn Mawr, Pennsylvania. Marilyn and her husband Joel have 5 grown children scattered around the country and one grandson. She began her involvement with Remy Bumppo through the Benefit Committee. She is very excited to step up her involvement by joining the Board and helping to grow this wonderful theater.


Be in good company – by volunteering!

We’re looking for individuals who first and foremost love Remy Bumppo and theatre. Additionally, we are seeking individuals who have experience in the fields of finance/ accounting, information technology, fundraising, program planning/ development & evaluation, and/or strategic planning. Ideal candidates have diverse networks and/or ties to art-supporting companies in the Chicago area. Is this you?

Volunteers contribute, on average, about 6-10 hours a month attending board and committee meetings as well as board-related events. In exchange for your service, you have the opportunity to interact with a dynamic group of people and play a vital role in Chicago’s cultural community. From the members on our Board to our patrons, Remy Bumppo attracts a remarkable group of creative and diverse personalities.

To learn more about becoming a Remy Bumppo Board or Committee volunteer contact Karen Randolph at