A diverse and talented group of people – all of whom have significant ties to Evanston – serve on the Evanston RoundTable Advisory Committee. One important role of the Advisory Committee is to provide input to members of the Board and the editorial staff about ways to improve the educational value of the paper and help ensure that we address issues with a lens on social justice and equity.
Katie Bailey is a 30-year resident of Evanston with a long history of community involvement and leadership. She holds an MBA from Wharton and worked for 15 years in corporate roles before serving eight years on the Evanston/Skokie District 65 School Board. She believes that schools serve as anchors in their neighborhoods and are critical to the health of the communities surrounding them. For the last seven years, Katie has worked with Big Shoulders Fund supporting schools in under-resourced communities to improve their marketing, planning, communication and financial stability. Katie is a proud graduate of Kenyon College, and she and her husband Wynn have four grown children
Derrick Blakley spent 41 years as a television news reporter and anchor, including 32 years covering the people of Chicago and their stories. Mr. Blakley currently is a contributing editor at the Center for Illinois Politics, a data-driven bipartisan website about policy and political campaigns. He has also been an adjunct faculty member at DePaul University’s College of Communications. He began his TV reporting career at WBNS-TV in Columbus, Ohio, and broke into journalism at the Chicago Tribune. A five-time Emmy Award-winner at Chicago’s WMAQ-TV and WBBM-TV stations, he served there as a news anchor, political reporter and general assignment reporter. In addition, he spent seven years as a CBS News Correspondent, covering developments around the country and around the world while based in Chicago, London and Bonn, Germany.
Ray Boyer is a communications and media relations consultant working with clients in the private and non-profit sectors. From 1991 through 2004 he was head of public affairs for the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation, leaving to set up his own fi rm, Boyer Media. He provides communications strategy for Chicago Innovation and serves as senior advisor to the communications team working with the Chicago-based Retirement Research Foundation, as well as to the National Opinion and Research Center at the University of Chicago. He also serves as media consultant to the McCormick School of Engineering at Northwestern University. His 15 years of volunteer work with the Evanston Youth Baseball and Softball Association increased participation in baseball and softball from about 450 boys playing on 40 teams each year to almost 2,000 boys and girls playing on almost 150 teams.
Marianna Brady is a journalist for BBC News based in Washington, D.C. Ms. Brady attended Evanston Township High School and earned a master’s degree from the Medill School of Journalism, so she will always call Evanston home. In her role as Audience Engagement Editor, she oversees content from the U.S. and Canada on the BBC’s social media platforms. She also serves as a senior producer and reporter on the BBC’s weekly Facebook news show, Cut Through the Noise.
Omar Brown is an Organizational Transformation Leader in Deloitte’s Human Capital Consulting Practice. His expertise is in diversity and inclusion, organizational design, change management and communications. He holds a Master’s of Public Policy from Northwestern University, a Master’s of Business Administration from Loyola University Chicago, and Bachelor of Arts from Northeastern Illinois. Mr. Brown volunteers with the Fellowship of Afro American Men (FAAM) as a boys basketball coach. He was a member of the Chessmen Club of the North Shore and has served on the District 65 School Board and on the boards of the Youth Job Center, Youth & Opportunity United and the Democratic Party of Evanston. He lives in Evanston with his wife and two children.
Candance Chow has led growth and change at the intersection of business and purpose throughout her 25+ year career. She is currently Managing Director and Co-Founder of NextGroup which supports women returning to and pivoting careers in Chicagoland. She also serves on several local boards and was a member of the Evanston/Skokie District 65 School Board for seven years. Candance received an undergraduate degree in Public Communications from The American University and MBA from the Kellogg Graduate School of Management at Northwestern University.
Alan Cubbage is retired after serving for more than 20 years as the Vice President for University Relations of Northwestern University, where he was responsible for direction and management of all of Northwestern’s top-level communications activities. He served as the University’s chief spokesman and directed all crisis communications efforts. He is an adjunct lecturer in Northwestern’s Medill School of Journalism, Media, Integrated Marketing Communications. He has served as a volunteer leader in his church and community organizations. He received his undergraduate degree in communications from Grinnell College and earned a master’s degrees in journalism and in advertising from Medill. He also holds a law degree from Drake University and is a member of the Illinois Bar. He and his wife live in Evanston and have two adult children.
Julie Cowan is an artist, an arts educator and an active member of the Hemenway Soup at Six soup kitchen. She also works at Northwestern University as a Digital Designer. In 2011, she and her husband developed artruck, a project to provide a non-commercial “pop-up” gallery space for artists to show their work and to build an arts community in Evanston. For two or three evenings during the year, the work of local artists is displayed in two trucks, and their friends and neighbors are invited to gather and celebrate the work.
Pam Cytrynbaum is the restorative justice coordinator for the James B. Moran Center for Youth Advocacy in Evanston. Formerly she was senior editor for Injustice Watch and executive director of the Chicago Innocence Center. A graduate of District 65 schools and Evanston Township High School, Ms. Cytrynbaum received the 2018 ETHS Distinguished Alumni Award. She is a Northwestern alumna who taught in the Medill School of Journalism, winning the Students’ Choice Award for teaching in 2012. She was Mike Royko’s “legman,” a staff writer for The Chicago Tribune and The (New Orleans) Times-Picayune, and her work has appeared in The New York Times, The Washington Post, The Chicago Sun-Times and The Oregonian. She co-founded the Justice Brandeis Law Project at Brandeis University, and served as associate director, Schuster Institute for Investigative Journalism.
Dave Davis is currently the Executive Director of Neighborhood and Community Relations at Northwestern University. In this role, he advises University leaders on opportunities to create mutually beneficial partnerships between Northwestern and the City of Evanston that strengthen the Evanston community. He also serves as the University’s ambassador to City government officials, business and school district leaders, community and civic groups, and residents. Before his Northwestern service, Mr. Davis worked as senior staff and Grant Coordinator for Congresswoman Jan Schakowsky. He served as the Congresswoman’s liaison to federal, state and local elected offi cials, and assisted organizations in the 9th Congressional District to secure funding from the federal government.
Peter de Jong
An Evanston resident since 1998, Peter De Jong has had diverse work experience in industry, as the production manager at a non-profit organization, and as a job developer and coach for people with diverse abilities. He has volunteered as the director of an emergency homeless shelter in Chicago. He is a member of the Age Friendly Evanston Task Force, which is working toward affordable housing for seniors. He volunteers regularly with the Evanston Repair Clinic, teaching people how and why to fix their broken appliances rather than replace them.
Long-time Evanston resident Douglas Doetsch is a partner with the law firm Mayer Brown LLP, where he serves as head of the firm’s Latin America/Caribbean practice and is a member of the firm’s Banking & Finance practice. He advises clients on infrastructure financings in the port, airport and road sectors, acquisition and other leveraged lending transactions, and structured credit transactions.
Marcelo Ferrer arrived in Evanston in 1976 with his parents and siblings as a refugee in order to escape the Agusto Pinochet dictatorship in Chile. He attended public schools here and has spent most of his life in Evanston. For the past 20 years Mr. Ferrer has worked in Chicago for the community-based, non-profit Logan Square Neighborhood Association (LSNA). LSNA is a multi-issue community organization, directly serving more than 6,500 residents across the Logan Square, Hermosa and Avondale neighborhoods of Chicago and impacting tens of thousands more through nationally recognized issue campaigns and programs. His current role at LSNA is the Director of Immigration Services. His responsibilities include both direct legal services as well as immigrant rights advocacy work.
Marya Flood Frankel
Marya Flood Frankel attended Nichols and Evanston Township High School (class of ‘83) and holds a B.A. and M.A. from the University of Illinois. Long ago, she was a junior high school teacher and freelance writer. Currently, she serves on the Y.O.U. board, the Justin Wynn Fund and the Frankel Family Foundation. She volunteers for several Evanston organizations and enjoys gardening and travel. She and her husband, Peter, have a blended family of six kids, including four ETHS graduates.
Anna Galland is a national organizer, strategist and nonprofit leader with two decades of experience leading progressive campaigns. A graduate of Brown University, she was the Executive Director of the grassroots group MoveOn Civic Action until 2019, overseeing a period of explosive growth, organizational transformation, and increased visibility and impact. She grew up in Evanston and now lives here with her husband and three children.
Larry Gavin is the former Secretary of RoundTable NFP. He holds a law degree from the University of Michigan Law School, J.D.,1972. He practiced law in Chicago for 36 years, with a focus on business litigation. He was a partner in the law firms Boodell, Sears, et al, and Bell, Boyd & Lloyd. He volunteered in Cabrini Green for three years; worked on the Contract Buyers League case in Chicago for five years; served on School District 65’s Long Range Planning Committee, which proposed a 10-year plan to address the achievement gap and a model to preserve desegregated schools; co-founded and volunteered at Evanston’s first soup kitchen for 20 years; co-founded and served as a Board/Advisory member of Housing Options for the Mentally Ill in Evanston, now Impact Behavioral Health Partners, since 1988; and co-founded Evanston RoundTable LLC, where he has served as a journalist/editor for 20 years.
Mary Gavin is the former President of RoundTable NFP. She was the Manager of the RoundTable LLC, and the publisher and a journalist of the Evanston RoundTable newspaper since 1998. She holds a Ph.D. in Classical Philology from Indiana University (1976) and a J.D. from DePaul University, J.D. (1996). She taught at Oakton Community College, Illinois Institute of Technology and Loyola University, served on Evanston’s Mental Health Board, and co-founded Soup at Six, Evanston’s first soup kitchen, which she managed for 20 years. As publisher and manager of the RoundTable, she received the Studs Terkel award and the Evanston Chamber of Commerce Small Businessperson of the Year award. She and her husband, Larry, have lived in Evanston 42 years; their two children attended District 65 schools and ETHS.
Barbara Goodman is retired from a 40-year career as a librarian, first at DePaul University, and, most recently, at the Wilmette Public Library. She’s held a lifelong interest in journalism and spent a number of summers teaching at Northwestern University’s National High School Journalism Institute. Among her community activities, Barbara was on the founding boards of Cherry Preschool and the Evanston Dance Ensemble as well as a founding co-chair of the annual Evanston Jazz Festival at ETHS. She and her husband, Seth Weinberger, have lived in Evanston for more than 30 years, and their adult son and daughter are proud graduates of Evanston Township High School.
David Greising joined the Better Government Association in 2018 and is currently the president and chief executive of the government watchdog group. His career started at the City News Bureau of Chicago, with stops at the Chicago Sun-Times, Business Week magazine, the Chicago Tribune and Reuters. He was a co-founder of the Chicago News Cooperative and worked briefly as a consultant to World Business Chicago. Today, Mr. Greising writes on government issues in regular columns for the Tribune and Crain’s Chicago Business and is a regular commentator on local radio and television stations.
Laura Hohnhold is a longtime magazine and book editor. She is the former deputy editor of Outside, former executive editor of Play: The New York Times Sports Magazine, and is currently an editor at the digital book publisher Scribd Originals. She has worked closely with a broad range of acclaimed fiction and non-fiction authors, including Jon Krakauer, Ann Patchett, Annie Proulx, Mary Roach, Hampton Sides, Susan Orlean, Sebastian Junger, Mark Bittman, Barry Lopez and many others. Ms. Hohnhold helped lead Outside to five National Magazine Awards, including a record three consecutive awards for General Excellence, the industry’s highest honor. She has also worked as an editor and consultant for media companies including Condé Nast, Hearst Communications, Time Warner Publishing, Hachette Magazines and New York Media.
Patrick Hughes started Inclusion Solutions believing that all people deserve equal access. He asked business owners and election officials how he could find practical and affordable solutions that would ensure compliance with the ADA. Most were willing to make changes to provide accessibility and inclusion but were unable to fi nd solutions that fit their budget. This was the challenge facing Inclusion Solutions.Conversations with people with disabilities helped in developing the company’s fi rst product, the BigBell. Previously Mr. Hughes founded and led the non-profit organization Natural Ties, which fostered relationships and friendships between people with disabilities and those without. He served on the Evanston Chamber of Commerce and helped create Evanston MashUp to build stronger City-Northwestern relations.
Mark Jacob is website editor for Northwestern University’s Medill Local News Initiative, which promotes financial sustainability for local journalism. A former metro editor at the Chicago Tribune and former Sunday editor at the Chicago Sun-Times, he was Tribune columnist Mary Schmich’s editor when she won a 2012 Pulitzer Prize. Mr. Jacob is the co-author of eight books on history and photography.
Les Jacobson has been a reporter and editor since 1973, except for a 28-year-detour through corporate America in various communications roles. He has won Chicago Newspaper Guild and Northern Illinois Newspaper Association writing awards. He plays the viola and reads Harry Potter with his grandson.
Journalism brought Kathy Kastilahn to Evanston, to the Medill School of Journalism at NU, in 1964. Ever since, she has been “at home” in the work and in the City. Reporting for the Evanston Review in the early 1970s often took her to city hall at Oak Avenue and Lake Street. She and her husband recently moved to a condo where city hall once stood. For years, Ms. Kastilahn freelanced for area and national publications and volunteered at her two sons’ schools. She continues to volunteer with the Evanston School Children’s Clothing Association (ESCCA). In 1992 she joined the staff of The Lutheran, national magazine of the denomination. She reported from many developing countries. Continuing interest in them led her to Ten Thousand Villages, where she has volunteered for 20 years.
Julie Kimmel grew up in Evanston and is a proud graduate of Lincolnwood, Haven, and Evanston Township High School. She holds a B.A. from Cornell University and an M.P.A. from New York University. Her professional career has centered on non-profit fundraising with experience in the health care and educational sectors, and she is currently working as a development consultant. When her (now grown) children were young, she was an active volunteer in both the Evanston schools and in event planning for Connections for the Homeless.
Rodney S. Masarirambi
Rodney S. Masarirambi enjoys the challenges presented by software glitches. He is employed by Mediafly, where he resolves the problems of clients/customers who wish to strengthen their sales enablement and content management strategies. Born in Harare, Zimbabwe, he now lives in Evanston.
Sharon McGowan is the Collaborations Leader at the Institute for Nonprofi t News. She was the founding editor of Milwaukee Neighborhood News Service and formerly assistant news director/managing editor at WBBM-AM Radio; assignment manager at WBBM-TV; and reporter and managing editor at Chicago Reporter. She also was an adjunct journalism faculty member at Northwestern University and Marquette University.
Therese J. McGuire
Therese J. McGuire is a professor at the Kellogg School of Management at Northwestern University. Previously, she was a faculty member at the Institute of Government and Public Affairs at the University of Illinois. Ms. McGuire’s area of expertise is state and local public economics. She has a BA from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln and a PhD from Princeton University.
Marianne Moberly has served in a variety of leadership roles in non-profit, community and school-based organizations including as executive director of North Shore Interfaith Housing Center and Interfaith Housing Development Corporation, executive director of Housing Options for the Mentally Ill in Evanston (now Impact Behavioral Health Partners), and as Chief Advancement Officer at Youth & Opportunity United (Y.O.U.). She has served on the boards of Cherry Preschool, Open Studio Project and the Woman’s Club of Evanston and as an active volunteer in Evanston schools.
Dick Peach has been general manager of Dempster Auto Rebuilders, Inc. for the past 35 years. He has served twice as president of the Evanston Chamber of Commerce, chaired the City of Evanston’s Minority, Women and Evanston-based Enterprise Committee and co-founded the Evanston Small Business Association and maintained membership in the West End Business Association. He served on the Evanston Township High School Automotive Advisory committee and is currently a board member and mentor for the WE Foundation. He was president of the Rotary Club of Evanston two times and has been Celebration Manager and a trustee of the Evanston Fourth of July Association and a member of Leadership Evanston’s Steering Committee. His love of fishing led him to write Hooked on Fishing, his award-winning column for the Evanston RoundTable. He has called Evanston his home for 73 years.
Children and youth are Nicki Pearson’s biggest passion, with politics and good government a close second. In 1982, she co-founded Rose Hall Montessori Preschool in Wilmette. Ms. Pearson has been involved in many school board and City elections, offering support to candidates she believed in, and listening to and advising them during their tenure in office. She has served on numerous City of Evanston committees and been a member of the board of directors of the McGaw YMCA, Warren Cherry Scholarship Fund and Childcare Network of Evanston. She and her husband, Greg, have lived in Evanston for more than 45 years.
Lindsay Percival has spent her professional life in early childhood education. She holds a Bachelor of Arts in Early Childhood Education from Princess Christian College in Fallowfield, England. She served as teacher and site coordinator in the PACE program at National-Louis University, helping students secure internships in social service and early childhood education programs. At Unity Nursery School, where she taught and served as Director, she created a developmentally appropriate curriculum for 2 year olds. She is now in her ninth year as Director of Learning Bridge Early Education Center (formerly Child Care Center of Evanston), where she oversees a staff of 29 in five education programs: 2 year olds, Preschool For All, Montessori, center-based and home-based care.
Ravi Randhava currently serves as Assistant Provost and Executive Director of the Center for Identity + Inclusion at the University of Chicago. His work focuses on enhancing the experiences of students of color and multi-cultural students; LGBTQ students; and fi rst generation, low-income, and immigrant students (inclusive of all immigration statuses). Born and raised in Evanston, Mr. Randhava has volunteered with a number of non-profit organizations that are part of the fabric of the community, including the Justin Wynn Fund and Special Olympics. He holds an MEd from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and a BA from Northwestern University.
An Evanston businessman with a degree in business administration from Loyola University of Chicago, Robert Reece also devotes time to organizations that benefit Evanston youth, including the McGaw YMCA; Warren “Billy” Cherry Scholarship Fund, of which he is a founding member and current president; Fellowship of Afro American Men (FAAM), where he coached youth basketball for more than 40 years; Evanston Community Works Advisory Board; and Chessmen Club of the North Shore. In 1997, he was elected Chairman of the Board of Directors of the McGaw YMCA, the first African American to hold this position. The McGaw Y’s Talley-Reece Award annually recognizes an Evanstonian who has made significant contributions to the YMCA.
Over the past 20 years, Mr. Rykhus has served as a talent development and technology leader for a variety of organizations. He was a member of the District 65 School Board from 2011 to 2017, during four years of which he served as Vice President of the Board. He has also served as Board Chair of the Illinois Safe School Alliance, helping to make schools safer for LGBT students and teachers.
Lifelong Evanstonian Oliver A. Ruff has been working most of his life with children. In the 36 years he spent in public education, he served as a teacher, an assistant principal, an associate principal, a principal and a professional development consultant. He has served on the Warren “Billy” Cherry Scholarship Board, the Justin Wynn Board, and the Oliver A. Ruff Educational and Mentoring Scholarship Board. Recent civic activities include service on the boards of OPAL (Organization for Positive Action and Leadership) and United Way and working with the Black Coalition for Equity in Education, the NAACP Education Committee and the Evanston Action Team, as well as a variety of church activities.
As the first African American grocery checker in the North Shore area, Geraldine Sizemore overcame workplace hostility to become the trainer of new checkers. For 20 of her 36 years at the U.S. Postal Service, she served as Supervisor for Customer Service Retail Operations.Ms. Sizemore volunteers her time with Ebenezer A.M.E. Church, the Evanston/North Shore Branch of the NAACP, Youth Job Center, Foster Senior Citizens Club, Snell Post, V.F.W. #7186 Ladies Auxiliary, Warren “Billy” Cherry Foundation, the Levy Se-nior Center Foundation Board and the Forrest E. Powell Foundation.She has received the Family Focus Evanston Those who Make a Difference, Evanston Outstanding Volunteer of the Year, Youth Job Center Volunteer, Vision Keepers, and Ebenezer A.M.E. Church “Shero” and Fruit of the Spirit awards.
Peter Slevin, a contributing writer for The New Yorker, is based in Evanston, where he is an associate professor at Northwestern’s Medill School of Journalism. He spent a decade on the Washington Post’s national staff and is the author of “Michelle Obama: A Life,” which was a finalist for the PEN/Jacqueline Bograd Award for Biography.
Emma Garl Smith
Emma Garl Smith is an attorney with the Elder Justice Initiative at Legal Aid Society of Metropolitan Family Services. Emma attended Evanston Township High School and received a Bachelor of Arts from Middlebury College before returning to the Midwest. She received her law degree from Loyola University Chicago School of Law, where she specialized in health law, public interest law and trial advocacy. At Legal Aid Society, Emma provides direct legal representation to elders in Cook County through housing law, guardianship, orders of protection, and other areas of advocacy. Emma also serves on the Board of the Evanston Animal Shelter and is passionate about issues affecting the Evanston Community. She is a former Evanston RoundTable editorial intern.
Ingrid S. Stafford’s professional expertise includes financial, enterprise risk, debt and investment management domains, that was honed through her professional and director service on credit, audit, and asset/liability commit-tees in higher education, financial services and the non-profit sectors. An Evanstonian since 1976, Ms. Stafford attended the Kellogg School of Management at Northwestern University, where she spent her entire career, retiring in 2019 as Vice President for Financial Operations and Treasurer. She currently volunteers with the Evanston Community Foundation, YWCA/Evanston North Shore and Northlight Theater. She is a member of the Board of Directors of Wintrust, Inc., and a trustee of the Evanston Alternative Opportunities Fund, which is advised by Evanston Capital Management. She and her husband, Bill, raised their two sons in the Evanston school systems.
Caryn Weiner moved to Evanston in 1981 while an MSW student at Loyola University, subsequently working as a therapist with clients ranging from preschoolers to young adults at the Uptown YWCA Childcare Center and Response Center. More recent work focused on children’s literacy through Foster Reading Center, Childcare Center of Evanston and Innovations for Learning. Caryn was an active volunteer in the Evanston schools and served on the founding boards of Cherry Preschool and Talking Pictures Film Festival, and is currently a mentor with Evanston Scholars. Caryn and her husband, Howard Ellman, are the proud parents of two adult children who attended King Lab and ETHS.