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Advisory Council

Wonder Works Children’s Museum’s Advisory Council is comprised of 36 amazing individuals from all walks of life and backgrounds from early childhood educators to bankers, museum executive directors and developmental therapists and everything in between! An Advisory Council is a collection of individuals who bring unique knowledge and skills which enhances the knowledge and skills of the formal board of directors. Their collective wisdom allows a Board of Directors and management to more effectively guide an organization.

We formed our Council to give advice and recommendations to our Board of Directors and to the management of the Museum. Our Council act as our ambassadors, our supporters, our experts and our advisors. We are forever grateful for their time, ideas and energy.

Wonder Work’s Spring 2017 Advisory Council was focused on the learning that goes on in children’s museums. Dr. Nicole Rivera from North Central College shared some wonderful findings from her research on the value of children’s museums. Some highlights: (1) the “academic pushdown” can be relieved at children’s museums because they provide a gateway to exploration; (2) families feel very comfortable at children’s museums and allow their children to explore freely with the confidence that the child is safe, nurtured, and engaged; (3) children’s museums can act as a community builder for caregivers as well as children and it was noted, especially for immigrants.

Please see below for a list of our Advisory Council Members 2017:

The Advisory Council

Matt Baron
Owner, Inside Edge PR

Meg Braccco Liebreich
Physical Therapist

Christina Crumlish
Examination Coordinator, American Academy of Orthopedic Surgeons

Gary Cuneen
Founding Executive Director, Seven Generations Ahead

Angela Fowler
Project Director, Ericson Institute

Linda Francis
Director, Success for All Youth

Jo Ann Gantar
Owner, Oak Leaf Academy Child Care

John Harris
Board Member, Wonder Works, Advisory Council Chair

Nevin Hedlund
Owner, Nevin Hedlund Architects

Laura Jordhal
Board Member, Collaboration for Early Childhood

Doris Knuth
Retired Director, Concordia's Early Childhood Center

Mike Kozak
VP - Team Lead Business Group at Huntington National Bank

Jim Lencioni
Aria Group Architects

Kyle Lombardo
Board member, New Moms

Paula Maggio
Board member, Wonder Works

Eric Masoncup
Owner, Geppetto's Toy Box

Laura Maychruk
Buzz Cafe

Maureen McCarthy
Superintendant of Recreation, Oak Park Park District

The Advisory Council

Cheryl Munoz
Sugar Beet Coop

Julianne Nery
Board President, Wonder Works

Sarah Orleans
President and CEO, DuPage Children's Museum

Colin Reynolds
Learning Curator

Rev. Wiley Samuals

Kim Smith
Architect, Oak-Leyden Board Member

Mani Swarnam
VP, Commercial Banking

Dr. Jerry Udelson
Pediatric Dentist

Sarah Valaika
Early Childhood Professor

Pam Van Natter
Owner, Prarie Home Kids Daycare

Nicole Rivera (speaker)
Assistant Professor of Psychology, North Central College

Diana Rosenbrock
Collaboration for Early Childhood

Michelle Vanderlaan
Owner, Sugercup Trading

Kristin Vogen
Chicago Community Trust

Erin Walsh

Lauren Wellen
Professor of Literacy and Early Childhood Education

Joan White
Director, First United Nursery School

Camille Wilson White
Executive Director, Oak Park Area Arts Council

Jenny Yang