Founder and Executive Director
Director of Operations
Abigail Harris Ridker
Development Coordinator and Teaching Artist
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.
Eric Doctors, SVP of Learning and Organizational Development at Leo Burnett and Publicis Communications NA, has had 30 plus year career as an artist, actuary, people developer and creativity evangelist. Eric works within companies and organizations to develop connection to community and with their employees to enhance their career experiences, specifically around inclusion and diversity. Being part of the LFAOU community is an opportunity to help the organization grow and have broader impact to the communities it serves and put into action his passion to help people discover their dreams and make them happen.
Lydia Evans joined the LFAOU Board in 2016 after several years of being a proud "chronic volunteer" in which capacity she co-chaired the LFAOU signature event, Honor Thy Mother. Following a career in educational publishing, Lydia started her own letterpress printing and design business. Her previous volunteer work also supports her passion for learning, education, and equality. She enjoys traveling with her husband, who is a pilot, and loves reading and teaching printing.
A Northeastern Illinois University faculty member and former principal, Courtney Francis joined the LFAOU board in 2015. Courtney, who was an LFAOU book group leader many years ago, has always believed that all people have talent and potential, and that it is up to education, and other systems, to help individuals realize their potential. Courtney, a member of the Local School Council at Franklin Fine Arts Center, has always had a love of literature and poetry and has seen, firsthand, how they can be real vehicles for empowerment. Courtney, a native of New York City, lives in Hyde Park with her husband and children. She loves all the cultural attractions that Chicago has to offer.
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.
Tim Harrington joined the LFAOU Board in 2013 as Treasurer after careers in local government and environmental protection. He has watched young people change their lives at LFAOU by writing and owning their own stories. Tim lives with his wife in West Rogers Park on Chicago’s north side where he indulges in bookbinding, reading, and enjoying life in the city.
Lynn Hiestand joined the Board of LFAOU in 2015, having previously been on its Advisory Board for 12 years. She is a retired corporate lawyer and former partner of the law firm, Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom LLP. Lynn served as Iraqi Legal Programs Director and then Country Director for Heartland Alliance International, a human rights organization providing legal, social and mental health services to vulnerable populations. Lynn has lived in both Chicago and London and serves on a number of boards in those cities. She now divides her time between family in South Carolina and California.
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.
A former Chicago Public Schools primary grade teacher and reading tutor, Maryjane Klein joined the Board of LFAOU in 2016 where she is currently serving as Secretary. A Landscape Architect, Maryjane has enjoyed using her skills for a series of projects that enriched and empowered the lives of individuals with disabilities through creative design of gardens & landscapes. A believer in public education, her twin sons were educated in the Evanston/Skokie Public School where she is a long-time resident.
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.
After working in publishing and as a consultant to nonprofits, Susan Munro now calls herself a free-range activist. She attended the first-ever coffee held to introduce LFAOU to potential donors in 1997 and has been involved since then as a donor, volunteer, consultant, and board member (2005-2012, 2015-present). She is currently board vice-president and co-chair of the Honor Thy Mother event. Susan lives in Evanston; she loves spending time with her four grandchildren, volunteering, taking classes, and traveling the world.
Sandy Toback, former board co-chair, was attracted to the mission of LFAOU because of her deep interest in both literature and education, and by the opportunity to serve the youth of Chicago. She had a twenty-year career in advertising, followed by her “second chapter” as a mother, teacher and member of other educational oriented boards. When not spending time with her grown children and husband, Sandy loves to travel and make things like jewelry and oil paintings, and has authored several humor books.
Beth Uyenco Shatto
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.
Kristen Vehill, a lover of human beings and their stories, joined the LFAOU board in 2017. She has spent the bulk of her career in Consumer Insights, describing what she does as 'Margaret Mead Meets the Marlboro Man'--exploring the heads and hearts of consumers, especially as it relates to advertising and marketing. She is thrilled to bring her passion and expertise to an organization dedicated to helping people find their own voices to tell their stories. When she's not on the road working, Kristen loves and supports theater, especially new voices and new works. She also serves on 2 theater boards: The National New Play Network and the tiny but mighty 16th Street Theater in Berwyn.
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.
Newlin O. Wallaston
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 community where he also resides. Newlin's passion is community development by impacting individuals through providing spiritual, financial & economical awareness.
|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 Action Council 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.
Joseph Brooks IV