Director of Stewardship & Operations
Abigail Harris Ridker
Director of External Relations
Emily Argentine is a native of Ohio who joined the Board in 2018. She will be assisting the Finance Committee and Corporate Giving. She works with financial institutions to mitigate money laundering opportunities and enhance risk compliance methods. She is also a certified SCUBA diver and enjoys going to the theater as often as possible. She is a lifelong bookworm and chatterbox who loves to share the joy of reading and is excited to be working with LFAOU to share this passion for reading with Chicago and the surrounding communities.
Libby Bankoff, now retired from the Clinical Psychology faculty of Northwestern University, joined the LFAOU Board in 2016. She has served on numerous civic boards and school based committees, including twice serving as President of the League of Women Voters of Wilmette. Libby was a Children’s Great Books Leader where she delighted in the growth of each child as they explored and discussed the written word. An avid reader and member of three book clubs, Libby and her husband live in Wilmette. They are taking advantage of their retirement by traveling extensively in order to experience other cultures.
Co-founder of Chethik & Dellaria Consulting (CD Consulting), Jessica Chethik, joined the LFAOU Board in 2018. At CD Consulting, she helps connect community organizations and businesses to schools in order to open dialogue, create understanding, and break down barriers to social progress. Previously, Jessica ran educational programs for Constitutional Rights Foundation Chicago (CRFC), a civic education non-profit that works with Chicago Public Schools (CPS) and taught middle school language arts and social studies at a CPS school. A lover of books who feels strongly that people of every age need to feel that they are part of a community, Jessica is passionate about LFAOU’s mission and believes that coming together over literature is a wonderful way to listen, learn, share and grow.
With a diverse background in psychology and business, Claire Goulding has owned a small business, managed practice development for a large public accounting firm, consulted with federal, state and local governments, and counseled clients in job transition. Outside of her own family, Claire’s most rewarding work has been leading an educational foundation to ignite a passion for learning with students grades K-12. Writing, photography, book clubs and empowering young women have also added rich layers to Claire’s life. She joined the LFAOU board in 2017.
Jennifer Grau joined the LFAOU Board in 2012, feeling a strong tie to the organization's mission of personal transformation, equity and social justice. A career educator, Jennifer spent a decade working as a special education teacher for the Chicago Public Schools and took a hiatus while she received her MBA from Tulane University. She has an affinity for event planning and helping others. Jennifer lives in Chicago and spends her time volunteering, traveling, ballroom dancing and loving her puppy, Clementine.
After taking a one year hiatus, Loretta Kaplan rejoins the Board of LFAOU. She and her husband raised their four children in Northfield where Loretta continues her community involvement. In addition, she serves on the Northshore Giving Circle of the Chicago Foundation for Women, the Alumni Advisory Board of Lake Forest Academy, and the National Machinery Foundation.
Paul N. Keller
Paul Keller joined the LFAOU board in 2017. He is a retired partner from Ancel Glink Diamond Bush DiCianni & Krafthefer where he advised and represented a wide range of governmental entities. Currently, Paul serves as Assistant Chancellor of the Episcopal Diocese of Chicago, is director and general counsel of the Kuling American School Association, and is on the board of The Lady Elgin Foundation. Paul values helping people connect to their inner life and to their community through reading and writing. A certified scuba instructor who enjoys playing multiple musical instruments and reading his favorite poetry. Paul lives in Lincoln Park.
Donna Landsman found LFAOU through participation in a book group run by its founder and joined the board in 2016. A semi-retired physician, Donna discovered new passion and meaning in the wake of a life changing personal event. She has lived in Lincoln Park for more than 20 years, where she raised her children. She is pleased to utilize her assessment and problem solving skills to empower young adults.
A podiatric physician working in academic medicine, Karona Mason joined the LFAOU board in 2017. Karona has worked in private practice, and at Provident Hospital on the Southside of Chicago. Through her own personal experiences and interactions, she understands the need for children and young adults to have a voice. She lives in Oak Lawn with her husband and her tuba-playing teenage daughter and can be found at Chicagoland festivals that celebrate diverse cultures.
Tamara McKnight joined the LFAOU board in 2017 and is serving as Treasurer. A lifelong community volunteer, Tamara was taken with the mission of LFAOU after learning about the organization at a fundraising event. With degrees and certificates in Computer and Information Science and accounting, Tamara is SVP of a Life Sciences consulting firm, The Evanston Group. Tamara is an avid reader who loves to travel. Empty nesters, she and her husband live in Lakeview in Chicago.
Beth Uyenco joined the board of Literature for All of Us in 2015 and currently serves as board president. Prior to running her own marketing research consultancy, Beth worked in the field of media research serving in a variety of leadership capacities for comScore, Microsoft Advertising and Omnicom. A staunch Chicagoan, she and her family love to explore the city's rich culture. With that abiding love for her city is a deep concern for the daily struggles faced by its youth.
For more than 30 years, Sonia Velazquez has been a leader and advocate working to advance social issues around the globe. She has led partnerships with public and private organizations, and in communities and worked with numerous boards and volunteers. Most recently, she served as Executive Director of the ECLT Foundation in Geneva, Switzerland. In addition to Literature for All of Us, Sonia serves on the boards of the National Association on Counsel for Children, the Changing Children’s World Foundation, and on the advisory committee of a project funded by the US Department of Labor aiming to eliminate child labor. She is a published author on issues of immigration and child welfare and father engagement, and blogs on issues of child labor.
A career social worker, now in private practice, Julie Victor joined the LFAOU board in 2013 and currently serves as co-chair on the Board Development Committee. Passionate about personal growth and community development, Julie worked in Chicago Public Schools where she experienced the profound impact that school based opportunities can offer children and teens. Julie and her family live in Chicago where they love taking advantage of the many unique and diverse experiences living in the city of Chicago has to offer.
Lindsey Wade is an Adult Education Instructor and Employment Case Manager at Howard Area Community Center, where she works to reduce recidivism among the prison reentry population and deliver economic empowerment to other underprivileged populations. She is also a graduate student in the Master of Public Administration program at University of Illinois at Chicago, where she studies Public Policy. Lindsey is a former participant of LFAOU’s teen mom book group. She found those three years of participation so impactful on her life that she was inspired to give back to the organization through service work and leadership. Lindsey currently lives in Evanston with her three children, two cats, and bearded dragon and enjoys assisting with animal welfare causes in her free time.
Newlin O. Wollaston
Newlin O. Wollaston has been in the financial services industry for over 20 years and is currently a Private Client Advisor for JP Morgan Chase. He also serves as the Assistant Pastor of his local church located in Chicago's southside inner city.
Najolie Wright joined the board of directors in 2018. She came to Literature for All of Us as a book group participant in 2004. Her book group experience fueled her passion for reading and writing leading her to become a teacher. Najolie enjoys offering her skills and passion while learning alongside her students and their families. Najolie lives in Evanston, IL with her two children. She plans on returning to college. In her spare time, Najolie loves to read and write and being a stage performer.
A longtime volunteer, Liz McCabe joined the board in 2018 after several years on the Junior Board and 9 years as the LFAOU coordinator of Chicagoland’s Poetry Out Loud contest (a program of the Illinois Arts Council, the Poetry Foundation, and the National Endowment for the Arts). Liz holds a Ph.D. in English from Northwestern, where she now leads the faculty cohort of the Chicago Field Studies program and works closely with the Center for Civic Engagement. Her teaching and research interests range from Victorian literature, to representations of labor and office culture, to political theory, Chicago history, and social justice frameworks. She shoehorns poetry into all of her courses and endlessly celebrates the communal power of people coming together around poems and books.
|Marilynn J. Cason
|Carol Lynn Connell
||Howard S. Dubin
||Keri Holleb Hotaling
|Susan K. Kaden
|Lisa E. Lewis
||Leslie J. Millenson
|Ann Ohlrogge Johnson
||Eileen L. Share
||Denise Philip Winter
Barbara A. Shapiro
The purpose of the Junior Board is to further Literature for All of Us' mission by building awareness of the organization with young people, supporting outreach initiatives and organizing small fundraisers. Members are people who value literature, philanthropy and social justice and are typically between the ages of 20 - 40.