Wolcott College Prep Board of Trustees
Governance for the school is provided by the Board of Trustees whose membership includes the Head of School. The Board carries the overall and ultimate responsibility of the school’s management, policies, and perpetuation. It hires and evaluates the Head of School, who is responsible for the oversight of the daily operations and for the implementation of Board policies. The Board of Trustees serves as a major resource for the support and growth of the school.
Jennifer Levine, President
Jennifer Levine, along with her husband Jeff Aeder, is a founder of Wolcott and parent of four Wolcott graduates. Subsequent to the founding of the school, she and her husband were named 2013 Chicagoans of the Year by Chicago Magazine. She currently volunteers at Wolcott in a variety of capacities.
Formerly a practicing lawyer, Jennifer worked as a litigator in corporate, government, and private practices. She also served as an administrative law judge at the Illinois Human Rights Committee. She formerly served as board chair of the Renaissance Society at the University of Chicago.
Jennifer is a graduate of Brown University and the Georgetown University Law Center.
Jeff Aeder is the Chairman and co-founded JDI Realty in 1988. Before forming JDI, Jeff worked from 1985 to 1988 as a Vice President with LaSalle Partners, a Chicago-based national commercial real estate firm.
Jeff is a graduate of New York University with a Bachelor of Science
Jeff and his wife Jennifer Levine co-founded Wolcott to make quality high school education possible for Chicago students with learning differences. Jeff created Milt’s BBQ for the Perplexed a Kosher BBQ restaurant located in Chicago’s Lakeview Community.
Joel received his undergraduate degree in Kinesiology from the University of Colorado-Boulder and then went on to attend the DePaul College of Law where he received his JD in 1989. He worked for the firm of Hlusitk, Huizenga, Williams and VanderWoulde from 1989 through 1995 focusing on transactional matters and environmental law. In 1995 Joel joined Help At Home to become General Counsel. Help At Home provides home care services to elderly, disabled and intellectually disabled individuals with the goal of allowing them to remain connected to their community and avoid institutional placement.
Currently, Joel is a principle at Help At Home where he also serves as President and General Counsel.
Geoffrey P. Dybas
Geoffrey P. Dybas, Executive Managing Director, heads the Duff & Phelps’ Global Real Estate Securities team. He is Senior Portfolio Manager and co-founder of all dedicated REIT strategies managed by Duff & Phelps. He joined Duff & Phelps in 1995. Mr. Dybas was a corporate banker for Bank One and began his investment career in 1989.
Mr. Dybas holds a BS degree, cum laude, from Marquette University (1989) and an MBA from the Kellogg School of Management at Northwestern University (1995).
Mr. Dybas became a CFA Charterholder in 1992 and is a member of the CFA Institute, the CFA Society of Chicago, National Association of Real Estate Investment Trusts (NAREIT), NAREIT’s Real Estate Investment Advisory Council (REIAC), and European Public Real Estate Association (EPRA). He is also a member of the Chicago Regional Advisory Board for CareerSpring, a recently launched non-profit organization committed to helping first generation college students, graduates and high-quality employers realize mutual and maximum benefits through each other.
Mr. Dybas enjoys playing golf with his wife Lisa and their son Evan, a Wolcott student. They can be heard speaking Spanish on the course. Mr. Dybas also speaks French and Portuguese. In the offseason, Mr. Dybas spends a fair amount of time rebounding basketball for Evan as he practices his outside game.
Mr. Dybas was born in Princeton, N.J. He enjoys catching up with extended family each year in the Adirondacks.
Rich Gamble is the Founder and President of Realized Value Collaborative LLC, a consulting practice focused on business and talent optimization. He is a strategic and tactical leader with over 30 years of experience collaborating with partners and high performing teams to convert organizational objectives into successful outcomes. He draws on a diverse set of professional
experience in industrial supplies, quick service restaurants, media, and not-for-profit cultural institutions.
Rich has a bachelor’s degree in Behavioral Sciences from the University of Chicago and a master’s degree in Marketing from Northwestern University’s Kellogg Graduate School of Business.
As a lifelong Chicagoan, Rich is civically active serving on several not-for-profit boards. He, his
wife (Melissa) and their daughter (Lily, a Wolcott student) live in Chicago’s South Loop. In his
free time, he enjoys time with his family, travel, culture, fitness, and dining – a foodie at heart.
Eric Henschel is a partner of Wolverine Holdings, L.P., a diversified financial services company that primarily engages in proprietary trading, order routing, and asset management. Mr. Henschel has been with the firm since its inception in 1994 and has been an integral member of the management team. He is responsible for overseeing risk management and operational areas within the company. Prior to joining Wolverine, Mr. Henschel was Certified Public Accountant at Arthur Andersen.
Mr. Henschel is a graduate of Northeastern University with a Bachelor of Science degree in Accounting. He holds Series 24, 56, and 99 registrations.
Mr. Henschel, a founding Trustee, became involved with Wolcott early on after having a conversation with founders Jeff Aeder and Jennifer Levine about making quality high school education possible for Chicago students with learning differences.
Stacey Kole is a clinical professor of economics at the University of Chicago Booth School of Business. From 2004-2020 she served as the deputy dean for MBA Programs at the same institution. Previously Stacey served as a member of the faculty and associate dean for MBA Programs at the University of Rochester’s Simon School of Business. Prior to her career in academics, Kole was a financial economist in the Office of Economic Analysis at the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission and began her career at the New York Federal Reserve Bank working on country risk analysis.
Stacey Kole received a bachelor’s degree in history and economics from the University of Rochester in 1982. She received her PhD in economics in1992 from the University of Chicago.
Stacey became involved with Wolcott School as the parent of a Wolcott student and seeks to make quality high school education possible for Chicago students with learning differences.
Jill Mirkovic is a parent of Kyle Mirkovic, Class of 2020 from Wolcott Colllege Prep. She has served as a Wolcott trustee since 2019. Prior to serving on the Wolcott Board, she was elected to the Sunset Ridge School (SRS) District 29 school board for 4 years in Northfiled IL. During her term on the District 29 board, the board approved and built a $27M state of the art middle school without requiring a referendum on the ballot. She also served on the Education Committee and Professional Development Committee.
Mrs. Mirkovic’s professional background is in marketing and information systems. She has worked in various roles for Deloitte & Touche, Ameritech and Electronic Data Systems. She has a BS Economics ‘83 from the Pennsylvania State University and an MBA from Harvard Business School ‘89. Her husband, Dr. Srdjan Mirkovic is an orthopedic surgeon with Northshore University Health Systems and they have two other children Erin (22) and Matthew (20).
Leah Pittacora is a results-driven strategy and operations professional with experience leading global teams in the identification and implementation of growth and continuous improvement initiatives.
Leah is a graduate of the University of Illinois with a BS in Biochemistry and the University of Chicago Booth School of Business with an MBA with concentrations in Finance, Strategic Management, and Economics.
Leah became involved with Wolcott to contribute to the school’s mission to make an improved high school experience, education, and future an option for students in the Chicago area with learning differences.
Mark Salisbury is a seasoned leader who brings over twenty-five years of HR expertise to his current role as Chief Human Resources Officer (CHRO) at Transdev U.S., the country’s largest transportation services provider employing over 13,000 people who serve the public’s municipal bus and paratransit needs across 90 locations.
Prior to joining Transdev, Mark’s diverse industry experience includes healthcare, pharmaceuticals, biotech, supply chain, and marketing for companies such as Blue Cross & Blue Shield, Pfizer, and McDonald’s.
Mark has supported Chicago’s youth as a volunteer leader with the Chicago Society of Human Resource Management’s Education Advocacy Committee. This team of professionals provides live interactive training sessions in Chicago schools focused on career preparation including sessions on resume building, interviewing skills, and the responsibilities of holding a job.
Originally from the Twin Cities, Mark earned a Bachelor of Arts degree from Gustavus Adolphus College in St. Peter, Minnesota and a Master of Arts degree from St. Mary’s University in Minneapolis. Mark has been a Chicago resident since 2000, living in the Edgewater and River North communities. He is an aviation enthusiast and enjoys travel and the outdoors.
Jamie Diamond Schwartz
Jamie Diamond Schwartz is a member of the Next Generation Board of the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum (USHMM). She co-chaired the Museum’s 2015 Chicago Luncheon which raised nearly $6 million. In April 2017, Jamie received the National Leadership Award for the Midwest Region of the USHMM. Jamie recently served for more than a decade on the board of Friends Against AIDS at The University of Chicago Comer Children’s Hospital.
Mrs. Schwartz has a BA from the University of Michigan.
She is a founding Trustee who became involved with Wolcott to help make it possible for Chicago students with learning differences to get a quality education without having to leave home to attend high school.
Dr. Nancia Shawver is an experienced psychotherapist and Clinical Supervisor at the Center for Personal Development. Dr. Shawver operates a private practice in downtown Chicago where she works with a broad range of clients, and consults with families of children with learning challenges.
Nancia, a founding Trustee, became involved with Wolcott to help create a quality high school where students with learning differences can thrive.
Evonne is the CEO and President of Taylor Made Business Solutions LLC. She worked with Fortune 1000 companies to structure their short- and long-term investment grade debt at First Chicago/Bank One/Chase and managed a $185 million real estate portfolio for CIGNA Investments. She also worked as the Chief Financial Officer of Francis W. Parker School.
Evonne earned a BBA from Howard University and an MBA from the University of Chicago Booth School of Business.
A special thank you to all of our past Board of Trustees members for your dedication and commitment to our mission. Wolcott owes a particular debt of gratitude to George Gaines, Founding Board President Emeritus and Don Monroe, Founding Board Member.