Back row L to R: Betsy Brint, Deborah Cogan, Robyn Schuster, Joe Reinstein, Peter Flanzer
Middle row L to R: Don Stewart, Virginia Schulte (former Board member), Walter Nathan, Laurie Levin, Cookie Kohn, Nancy Mills, Karen Reisin, Alyssa Knobel (City Council Liaison), David Reich, Jean Meadows, Cynthia Witten (former Board member), Sofia Alvarez
Seated L to R: Jack Blane (founder and former Board member), Jon Levey, Julie Kraff, David Fairman (former Board member), Tom Koulentes

Current Board Members Missing from Photo: Eric Ephraim, Bobbie Hinden, Amy Small

Highland Park Community Foundation Directors

OFFICERS

Nancy Mills* – Chairman
Having lived most of her life in Highland Park, Nancy joined the HPCF in 2009 out of an interest in causes that support families and promote education. Her commitment to inclusivity and her desire to make a difference locally led her to the Foundation, whose mission addresses the issues that matter most to her. As Chairman of the Foundation, Nancy hopes to increase the Foundation’s visibility and impact in the community by giving out more grants, larger grants and addressing more of the community’s needs. More

David Reich* – Vice-Chairman
David Reich brings nearly 8 years of previous Board experience to his new role as Vice-Chairman of the Highland Park Community Foundation. He has served as Secretary of the Foundation for the past 3 years and served on the Executive Committee and Grants Committee for the past 4 years, during which time the number of grant recipients has grown to 35 organizations receiving $183,000 in grants. More

Betsy Brint* – Secretary
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 an Executive Board member 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

DIRECTORS

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

Deborah Bleich Cogan
Deborah brings years of experience to the Highland Park Community Foundation Board. Ms. Cogan served on the Glencoe Village Board where she chaired the Affordable Housing Legislative Committee, the Home Rule Task Force, and the Real Estate Committee. More

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*§
Managing Director at Lodestar Investment Counsel, LLC. Prior to joining Lodestar, he was a Principal with the investment management firm of Cedar Hill Associates and a Portfolio Manager for Smith Barney. 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

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

Laurie A. Levin*
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

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

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 ReinsteinJoe 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 for 23 years. 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

Jamie Strait
Jamie is the Executive Director of Schools and Programs for Alumni Relations and Development at Northwestern University. In this role, she leads the teams that fundraise for Northwestern’s non-degree conferring units, including Student Affairs, University Libraries, Financial Aid and the Block Museum of Art, as well as the Parent Giving program. More

LIAISONS

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.

ADVISORY COUNCIL

Lawrence Block

David Blumberg

Richard Cortesi

David Hoffman

Andrew Livingston§

Patty Pell

Daniel Pierce

Ginny Schulte

Bruce Sperling

Sallyan Windt

ASSOCIATE LEADERSHIP COUNCIL

Taryn Kessel, Chairman

Ali Barnett

Joey Bleiman

Erik Gimbel

Ashley Kelly

Sofia Konstantino

Simon Liebovich

Heather Sher

*  Executive Committee       § Past Chairman