Board of Directors
Joan Callahan (President) was a school nurse with the Sacred Heart Schools in Chicago who recently retired. 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.
Marilyn B. Schaffer (Vice President) 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.
Richard Skolly (Secretary) is a 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.
Becky Coleman (Treasurer) is a Partner at Coleman & Associates, a Chicago-based full-service public accounting firm providing tax, accounting, and financial consulting services to small to medium sized closely held, family businesses in the retail, service, photography, construction, real estate, non-profit and manufacturing industries. Becky graduated from the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign with a BS in Accountancy and DePaul University with a Masters in Taxation. Becky fell in love with theatre and travel when she saw her first live theatre production in London while backpacking through Europe as a college student. Becky is currently a subscriber to five Chicago theatre companies and also enjoys attending live music. Her travels have since taken her to six of the seven continents and she travels each year to see live theatre or music throughout the country. Becky is thrilled to be the newest member of the Board and looks forward to supporting the growth of this tremendous theatre!
Charin Alvarez (Core Ensemble Member) More about Charin >
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.
Laura Cook is a Legal and Compliance Analyst for Walton Street Capital, a private equity real estate investment firm located in Chicago, IL. Before Walton Street, Laura was Head of Investor Relations for Tuscan Ridge Asset Management. Her career began in the Retail Industry, where she was instrumental in increasing consumer engagement through innovative branding and marketing strategies for several start-up organizations. In her spare time, Laura consults arts and cultural organizations through the Arts & Business Council of Chicago and assists The Noble Grape with social media and virtual tastings. She is very excited to be a part of Remy Bumppo!
Brenda Grusecki (Past 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.
Margaret McCloskey (Executive Director) has been with Remy Bumppo since 2014, and has served as Director of Development and Managing Director before becoming Executive Director in July 2020, working closely with the Artistic Director to develop and steward strategic initiatives for organizational growth. Previously, she was a fundraising consultant with Aaron Consulting in New York City, managing high-level fundraising campaigns for a number of east coast organizations, and served in the office of communications at the Ford Foundation, among other roles. Margaret started her career in Chicago, holding positions at the Chicago Opera Theater, Rotary International and the League of Chicago Theaters. Theatre is her first love, and she holds both an MFA in Playwriting from the New School for Drama in New York City and a BFA in Theatre Studies from the University of Illinois at Champaign-Urbana.
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.
Terrance A. Stevenson is a retired foreign language instructor who taught for 33 years at Oak Park and River Forest High School. During his tenure there he chaired the local chapter of the National Spanish Honor Society, was a NCAA evaluator, an organizer of an intercultural school exchange to Spain, and an elected representative to the Faculty Senate. After retirement from Oak Park, he became an adjunct professor at Dominican University where he finished his professional career. Terry has had a longtime interest and involvement in the arts in Chicago. More than 35 years ago, he was a founding member of The Edgewater Singers, in which he has been both accompanist and singer. He also sang with the St. Clement’s Church choir and today is a member of the Contemporary Choir of Our Lady of Mt. Carmel Church. He is an active theater-goer, a lover of opera and symphonic music, and an avid fan of the cinematic arts — all of which are available in marvelous abundance here in the Windy City.
Charlotte Toerber is an attorney in private practice representing clients involved in the development, acquisition, construction and operation of independent power facilities, primarily in renewable energy, distributed energy and recycled energy applications. She previously was General Counsel of E.ON Climate & Renewables North America, LLC a major national developer and operator of wind and solar energy facilities. Charlotte has a passion for theater, generally, averaging attendance at 40+ theater productions a year, either locally or traveling to other cities (London, New York and Stratford, Ontario being favorites) to experience all types of theater options.
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 the administrative office at 773.244.8119 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.