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Raven’s Board of Directors is made up of a team of 10 dedicated professionals and community leaders that manage the organization and volunteer their time and talent to assure that Raven is performing to its best possible capacity!
Current Board Members
Richard Jamerson, President
Jeannie McGrory, Vice President
Stephen Johnson, Treasurer
Susan Rozendaal, Secretary
Carol Zsolnay, Board Development Liaison
Stuart is a life-long Chicagoan, raised on the southwest side near Midway Airport and attended CPS Schools - Mark Twain Elementary and Kelly High Schools He received a bachelor’s degree from University of Illinois Chicago, MBA from Loyola University and Principal’s Certificate from the State of Illinois. Stuart was a teacher in the inner city for sixteen years, a principal for thirteen years and an administrator for four years. He worked with the worst schools in Chicago - schools that had less than 20% of their students on grade level. Now retired for over ten years, his hobbies and interests include racquetball, weight training, politics, gardening, cooking and cooking gadgets, building computers, traveling, reading, movies, theatre, and projects around the house. Other volunteer experience is cooking for the Monday Meal at Temple Sholom for a over a year, and Reading Is Fundamental for seven years including one year as President of the Board of Directors. Stuart has been on the board of directors at Raven for the last eight years and takes great deal of satisfaction and enjoyment from his service. His favorite part of service for an arts organization: “It is amazing to watch how creative the productions have been and will continue to be. Raven has so many talented and dedicated people involved and it has been so much fun to be associated with them. I am always proud to say I am on the Raven Board.”
Richard received a BS in electrical engineering from the University of Illinois, and joined Jamerson & Bauwens Electrical Contractors in 1980 as a project manager. He worked closely with the company founders, Charles Jamerson, his father, and Howard Bauwens. He became a stockholder and was named Vice President in 1994 and became Co-President in 2005. In addition to his board service for Raven, Richard serves as the President of the Electric Association of Chicago, a non-profit association that interfaces between the various organizations serving the electrical industry in Chicago. He also serves as the Secretary for the Riverwoods Preservation Council, a non-profit group of residents dedicated to preserving the ecological heritage of Riverwoods. Richard sings with “The Men of GBN”, a men’s chorus at Glenbrook North High School. In his free time, he is slowly restoring and renovating his Prairie Modern home with his wife Susan and will begin beekeeping this spring at his Riverwoods property.
Vahan is currently working as a Management Consultant with clients in Chicago and New York. Prior to his current work, Vahan worked for the Crisis Prevention Institute leading the training services organization. His degrees are from Lake Forest College (BA) and Loyola University (MEd in Adult Education). He has been a Raven Supporter since the Ravens inception and joined the board in 2013.
Stephen moved to Chicago immediately following his retirement, after having worked in academia during his 20s (mostly in Austin, Texas), in public accounting during his 30s and early 40s (he was a tax partner in the Houston Office of Ernst & Young), and in a publicly traded, global manufacturing company from his early 40s to his early 60s (holding every major senior financial position on either a permanent or an interim basis with Belden Inc.) Despite having worked in finance for most of his adult life, his formal educational degrees are a B.A. in History and a Ph.D. in Philosophy. Life apparently plays tricks on us all. In retirement he spends his time reading widely, learning to play the piano, puttering around in his gardens, cooking for the weekly family dinners at his house for his two sons and their families, going to the ballet, spending time with his three children and seven grandchildren who reside both here in Chicago and just south of St. Louis, and trying to see on average one play every week.
Michael Menendian is a founding member and the Producing Artistic Director of Raven Theatre, where he has directed and designed sets for many productions, earning numerous Joseph Jefferson and After Dark awards. Along with JoAnn Montemurro, Menendian received a 2007/2008 Jeff Award for Outstanding Contribution to Chicago Theatre and he recently received a 2010 Jeff nomination for his direction of Raven's Death of a Salesman. Other productions include Cat on a Hot Tin Roof, Hedda Gabler, Jesus Hopped the 'A' Train, The Night of the Iguana, Dancing at Lughnasa, Golden Boy, Marvin’s Room, A Streetcar Named Desire, A View from the Bridge, and Glengarry Glen Ross.
Walter Pophin moved to Chicago from Waco, Texas about 25 years ago. While he still has roots in Texas, he considers Chicago to be hishome. A CPA who had worked primarily in public accounting and insurance industries, in 1991, he joined the not for profit world as the business manager of Northside Catholic Academy, just down the street from Raven. Walter and his partner Bob have kids aged 22, 20 and 17; a 9 month old granddaughter and two dogs. Walter says, "I love the theater and feel so lucky to live in a great theater town like Chicago and am honored to serve on the board at Raven."
Susan received degrees in performance and teaching in Minnesota and Illinois with additional studies at the Aspen Music School, and in Bolzano, Italy. Co-founder of the Cleveland branch of the Suzuki violin program at the Cleveland Institute of Music, she has also taught on faculties of the Music Institute of Chicago, Winnetka Public Schools, Avoca Public Schools and DePaul University Community Music. She has been a guest clinician at the Suzuki Institutes of Deerfield, Stevens Point, and Blue Lake.
As a specialist in original instruments she has performed with Early music groups such as Basically Bach, Chicago Baroque Ensemble, City Musick, Genosee Baroque Players, New York Early Music Ensemble, Kansas City Early Music Ensemble, Ars Musica of Ann Arbor, Ensemble Musical Offering, Baroque Band, Chicago Opera Theatre and Haymarket Opera Co; modern groups include Ars Viva, Cleveland Lyric Opera, Lake Forest Symphony, Metropolis Symphony, City Lights Orchestra and live broadcasts on WFMT and recordings on Cedille and Centaur labels.
Sally retired from Ford Motor Company, where she was Assistant General Counsel responsible for transactions, purchasing and real estate and devoted her time to Michigan Community Resources, a statewide organization providing pro bono legal services and community planning advice to non-profits that she co-founded in 1998. A little over two years ago, she moved to Chicago in part to enjoy its robust theater scene, attended Raven’s Bus Stop and became a Raven enthusiast.
Carol is Assistant Director of the Center for Family Enterprises at Kellogg School of Management of Northwestern University in Evanston, Illinois. Prior to that position, she was a marketing and marketing communications consultant for business-to-business and healthcare products and services. Her degrees are from Northwestern University: BA in Asian Studies, MBA in Marketing and Finance, and a Master of Arts in Literature (in process). She is an enthusiastic audience member of theater arts, and especially relishes her role as a board member for Raven Theatre, which she has held since 2008.
Raven is Currently Seeking Board Members
Raven is currently looking to expand its Board of Directors. We are looking for individuals who are passionate about theatre and have some time and skills to share with a worthy organization.
For information about joining the Board of Directors, please contact Kelli Strickland at (773) 338-6537 or click here to contact us online.