Back Row L to R: Tom Koulentes, Eric Ephraim, Peter Flanzer, Jon Levey, Robyn Schuster, Debby Finn
Front Row L to R: Betsy Brint, Taryn Kessel, Laurie Levin, Alyssa Knobel, Jean Meadows, Julie Kraff, Karen Reisin, Cookie Kohn, Nancy Mills, David Reich, Terri Olian, Amy Small, Sofia Alvarez, Bobbie Hinden, Jamie Strait Muller, Don Stewart
Board Members Missing from Photo: Deb Cogan, Craig Leva, Wally Nathan, Joe Reinstein

Highland Park Community Foundation Directors


David Reich* – Chairman
David Reich brings nearly 10 years of previous Board experience to his role as Chairman of the Highland Park Community Foundation. Before becoming Chairman, he served as Vice-Chairman for 2 years and Secretary of the Foundation for 3 years. He has been a valuable member of the Executive Committee and Grants Committee since 2015.More

Betsy Brint* – Vice-Chairman
Betsy Brint was born and raised, and still lives in Highland Park, IL. She loves her community and believes in giving back. Betsy served on the Highland Park Human Relations Commission for six years, two of them as its chairman. An avid proponent for teen sex education and women’s health, Betsy volunteered at Angels (Links) as an itinerant health educator in north shore schools, and also at their teen sexual health clinic.  Currently, Betsy is Vice-Chairman of the Highland Park Community Foundation. More

Julie Kraff* – Treasurer
Julie holds a BS Degree in Management from Tulane University, an MBA with a concentration in Finance from The University of Chicago, and received her Certified Public Accountant License. More

Laurie A. Levin* – Secretary
Laurie is a member of Highland Park Community Foundation’s Executive Committee and has been on the Board since 2013. She previously served on the Highland Park Traffic Commission and held Board positions at Music of the Baroque and Urban Gateways. More


Sofia Alvarez
Sofia Alvarez is a relationship management specialist fueled by genuine interest, compassion and providing excellent service. She is a Chicago-native and a graduate from Millikin University (B.S.) and the Illinois Institute of Technology (M.S.). More

Tonia Arrington
Tonia Arrington is a business relationship leader for RSM US LLP, an audit, tax, and consulting firm. She brings strategic talent and experience as a management consultant tour Board, as well as her passion for community service and helping others.

Eric Ephraim*
Eric has lived most of his life in Highland Park. He is the President/Chief Operating Officer of First Bank of Highland Park.  More

Peter Flanzer§
Peter has been in the investment industry for over 30 years and currently serves as a Director and Senior Portfolio Manager at Bartlett Wealth Management. Prior to that he was a Managing Director at Lodestar Investment Council, LL, a Principal with the investment management firm of More

Bobbie Hinden
Bobbie is the Director of Family Focus Highland Park. As a resident of Highland Park, she has been an active volunteer for many local schools and community organizations and has served on a number of other boards. More

Taryn Kessel
Taryn was raised in Highland Park and is currently raising her two children in the area. She is passionate about the Highland Park/Highwood area and feels it’s more important now than ever to give back to the community she loves.

Cookie Kohn*
Cookie is pleased to be a member of the Highland Park Community Foundation as it seeks to address so many of the goals of what is most Important to her and to work with a wonderful board and organizations to ameliorate the unmet needs of Highland Park and Highwood. More

Tom Koulentes
Tom has been working as a high school teacher and administrator for nearly 25 years. Tom began his career teaching Social Studies and ESL at Highland Park High School in Highland Park, Illinois. After teaching for several years Tom spent a year in Costa Rica where he taught English and created an adventure-based travel study course for high school students that integrated Latin American history and culture, environmental science, Spanish and physical education. More

Craig Leva
Craig is the president and owner of Arway Confections (Chicago, IL) and Long Grove Confectionery (Buffalo Grove & Long Grove, IL) and is a twenty-year resident of Highland Park. A graduate of University of Wisconsin (1990), Craig has been married to Monette since 1993, and together they have four kids (Ellee, Alex, Rachel, & Eli). More

Jon A. Levey*
Jon is a Financial Business Executive with expertise in the integration of entrepreneurial vision with financial and human capital management to achieve winning results. A resident of Highland Park, Levey is the President of Highland Park Bank & Trust (HPBT), a member of the Wintrust community banking system, where his responsibilities include guiding the growth of the bank and representing the bank within the Highland Park community. More

Jean Meadows
Hard to believe, but I have been a resident of Highland Park for 45 years! My husband Stanley and I have raised our 3 children, Matthew, Judy and Peter in Highland Park. They have attended the schools in District 108, 112, and High School District 113. Additionally, I have been a teacher for 50 years, in various capacities, grade levels, systems. More

Nancy Mills*§
Nancy joined the HPCF in 2009 out of a desire to assist local families and support educational equity. As immediate past chairman, she led the Foundation through a transformational period during which both grant dollars awarded and fundraising revenue more than doubled. She currently serves as an executive board member of the HPCF, a board member for the Noble Network of Charter Schools, and a member of JUF’s Health and Human Services Commission. More

Cristina Mota
Cristina is the Director of Regulatory Policy and Intelligence, Japan, Emerging Markets, and Australia. As such, she represents AbbVie on trade association working groups and meetings, developing and maintaining effective relationships with AbbVie SMEs and trade association staff involved in influencing regulatory policy for the regions. She has lived in Highland Park since 2016, loves our community, and passionate about giving back to it.

Jamie Strait Muller*
Jamie joined the Highland Park Community Foundation in 2018 and brings deep experience in philanthropy and community outreach. She is the Executive Director of Schools and Programs for Alumni Relations and Development at Northwestern University. In this role, Jamie leads the teams More

Walter R. Nathan§
Wally has lived in Highland Park most of his life. He is a graduate of Colgate University and the University of Chicago. He is the founder and president of Blue Ribbon Fastener Co. in Skokie, Illinois. More

Joe Reinstein
Joe Reinstein is a marketer who builds brands, online communities and high performing teams. He has been marketing products, brands, dreams, environmental awareness and social justice for 25 years. He has worked on some of the biggest and most iconic consumer brands in the advertising world. More

Karen Reisin
Karen joined the Highland Park Community Foundation in 2016, as she believes strongly in giving back to her community. In the past, Karen helped students to improve their reading and comprehension skills at Oakton Elementary School in Evanston. She then followed her passion for nutrition and became a Nurture instructor, teaching Nurture’s nutrition and wellness curriculum designed for children, in the District 112 elementary schools. More

Robyn Schuster
Robyn Schuster grew up in the northern Chicago suburbs, and, after living on both coasts, found a true home for her family in Highland Park. Robyn serves as the senior director of operations at Medill, the storied journalism and integrated marketing school at Northwestern University. More

Amy Small
Amy was born and raised in New York and is a graduate of the University of Michigan and Loyola University School of Law. She and her husband, Andy, have lived in Highland Park since 1996. More

Donald Stewart
Don is married to Linda (nee) Seessel of Memphis, TN and has lived in Highland Park since 1951. Don attended Highland High School and the University of Illinois. Don is President of Stewart-Miller Inc., a cash meat broker based in Deerfield, IL. More


Alyssa Knobel, Highland Park City Council
Alyssa is a two-term Highland Park City Councilwoman. Prior to her election to the City Council, she served as Chair of the City of Highland Park Business & Economic Development Commission from 2011-2012. Alyssa works in support of the community as City Council liaison to various business groups in addition to the Human Relations Commission and School District 112. More

Debby Finn, Highland Park High School
Debby joined Township High School District 113 in 1996. She served as the Math Lab Supervisor at Highland Park High School and a math teacher at Deerfield High School before serving as the Math Department Chair at HPHS in 2008. She assumed the role of Interim Principal in July 2018 and was selected to serve as Principal of Highland Park High School in the spring of 2019. Throughout her career, she has supported many programs that benefit District 113 students, staff and the community. Specifically, she has acted as the liaison for Working Together, one of the programs sponsored by the Highland Park Community Foundation, which provides families of Highwood and Highland Park with access to cultural and recreational activities.

Kevin Ryan, North Shore School District 112
Kevin Ryan, EdD, is the assistant superintendent for teaching and learning at North Shore School District 112. In his role, he is responsible for overseeing curriculum, instruction, and assessment to improve student growth and success. His work focuses on implementing Illinois state learning standards. He works with teachers on the development of aligned standards and assessment practices to help them determine how to approach instruction. Dr. Ryan has been an instructional leader for many years, most recently serving as the director of 21st-century learning, curriculum, and instruction with Kildeer Countryside District 96. Dr. Ryan received his EdD from Illinois State University in educational leadership, his master’s degree in educational leadership from DePaul University, and a bachelor’s degree from Florida Southern College in business administration.


Lawrence Block

David Blumberg

Deborah Bleich Cogan

Richard Cortesi

David Hoffman

Patty Pell

Ginny Schulte

Bruce Sperling

Sallyan Windt


Taryn Kessel, Chairman

Ali Barnett

Joey Bleiman

Erik Gimbel

David Israel

Ashley Kelly

Sofia Konstantino

Simon Leibovich

Heather Sher

*  Executive Committee       § Past Chairman