aboutus_board_trustees

Board of Directors

The Baker Board of Directors oversees the strategic, long-term direction of the school and establishes goals and plans consistent with Baker’s mission and vision. There are 18 directors who serve three-year terms, and both standing and ad hoc committees to address fulfillment of strategic goals. Our directors are current and former parents, alumni, and friends from the local community.

The day-to-day operations of the school are overseen by the Head of School and his administrative team. If you have questions, please feel free to contact the Board of Directors via email.

Board of Directors, 2016-2017
Ralph Walsh, President
Mike Doornweerd, Vice President
Matt Rooney, Secretary
Jonathan Cowan, Treasurer
Stacey Empson
Elizabeth Gillette
Tammy Ho
Charis Irving
Bill Michalski
Jeffrey O’Koon
Ade Patton
Kim Ptak
Jay Robinson
Lisa Sparrow
Alexa Starr
Shane Winn

Ralph Walsh
Current Parent, Director since 2010
Board President
Co-Chair of the Transition Committee
Serves on Advancement, Board Development, Finance, Diversity, Executive, Admissions & Retention, Transition, and Search Committees 

Ralph is a current stay-at-home parent. He has worked as a research associate for a local child advocacy organization, taught English at the university level in China, and for twelve years was co-director of Walsh Gallery, specializing in contemporary Asian art.

Jonathan Cowan
Current Parent, Director since 2012
Board Treasurer

Co-Chair of Finance Committee
Serves on Executive and Transition Committees

Jonathan is the Chief Research, Design, and Innovation Officer at the KIPP Foundation, a non-profit organization that supports the national network of KIPP public charter schools. KIPP schools serve over 40,000 students from educationally underserved communities and help them develop the knowledge, skills, character, and habits of mind needed to succeed in college and the competitive world beyond. Prior to joining KIPP, Jonathan worked for over 10 years at The Boston Consulting Group where he assisted senior executives of large, complex organizations in addressing strategic, operational, and organizational issues and in managing large scale change.

Mike Doornweerd
Current Parent, Director since 2014
Board Vice President
Chair of Diversity Committee
Serves of Executive and Board Development Committees

Mike is a litigation partner at the national law firm of Jenner & Block LLP, where he is a member of the Firm’s Complex Commercial Litigation and International Arbitration Practices. Mike has a broad range of experience handling trial, pre-trial, and post-trial proceedings in state and federal courts, and extensive experience in alternative dispute resolution forums, having successfully litigated several large and complex arbitrations to final awards. Mike also has an active pro bono practice and has represented indigent clients in federal appellate and trial courts.

Stacey Empson
Current Parent, Director since 2010
Chair of Search Committee
Co-Chair of Transition Committee

Serves on Executive and Advancement Committees

Stacey has been a healthcare consulting executive for approximately 20 years. She currently serves as a partner with PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC). Trained as an attorney, Stacey brings legal experience to the board, in addition to expertise in strategic planning, marketing and fundraising.

Elizabeth Gillette
Current Parent, Director since 2015
Serves on Advancement, Board Development, and Search Committees

Elizabeth has been involved with fundraising for healthcare, independent schools, and cultural institutions for more than 20 years. As the Senior Director of Major and Planned Gifts at Lincoln Park Zoo, the nation’s oldest zoological institutions that remains admission-free, she is responsible for the planning, oversight, and implementation of a strategic and comprehensive major and planned giving program. Lincoln Park Zoo annually raises more than $8 million and is currently launching the $125 million “Pride of Chicago” Campaign.

Tammy Ho
Current Parent, Director since 2012
Co-Chair of Board Development Committee
Serves on Executive and Diversity Committees

Tammy is a nephrologist with the Division of Nephrology and Hypertension, NorthShore University Healthsystem. She serves as Medical Director of the Acute Dialysis Facilities and Chronic Kidney Dissease Care Program. Her responsibilities outside of direct patient care include internal medicine resident and nephrology fellow training and clinical research in the area of chronic kidney disease management and care. She sits on the Department of Medicine Quality Committee and oversees quality assessment of provided care and ongoing policies of the Division. She is active in a number of national organizations and sits on a variety of additional committees.

Charis Irving
Current Parent, Director since 2014
Co-Chair of Board Development Committee
Serves on Search Committee
Baker Parent Organization (BPO) Liaison 

Charis has eleven years of experience as a licensed Realtor working in a variety of areas within the real estate industry including sales, marketing, and customer service. She owned and operated a children’s retail store specializing in natural, earth friendly products for babies and young children. Through her store she organized parent education events as well as entertainment events for children and their families. Currently, Charis is a stay-at-home parent who volunteers her time to support the Baker community.

Bill Michalski
Current Parent, Director since 2016
Chair of the Admissions & Retention Committee
Serves on Board Development and Finance Committees

Bill is the Chief Product Officer at ArrowStream, a technology company that provides supply chain management and logistics software to national restaurant chains, foodservice distributors and suppliers. In his role, Bill leads the Product Management, Software Development, and Marketing functions within the company, and has held senior positions in Sales and Process Engineering. Bill has spent over 20 years leading software product and development teams with technology companies across multiple industries, including financial services, telecommunications, online retail, and logistics.

Jeffrey O’Koon
Current Parent, Director since 2015
Serves on Board Development Committee

Jeffrey has practiced as a Clinical Child Psychologist for 16 years and is a Partner at The Pediatric Consultation Center, which provides comprehensive learning, social/emotional, and academic evaluations for children and adolescents. Jeffrey has published research on childhood resiliency to stress and has presented to parents and schools on executive functioning, classroom differentiation, and behavioral concerns in children.

Ade Patton
Current Parent, Director since 2015
Serves on Finance Committee

Ade J. Patton currently works at Millennium Management LLC, where he is a Senior Portfolio Manager focused on Media, Telecom, Cable, and Internet. Most recently, Mr. Patton served as Senior Research Analyst at Citadel Investment Group, helping to manage the Media, Telecom, and Cable portfolio for five years. Prior to Citadel, Mr. Patton served as Technology, Media, and Telecommunications Analyst at Magnetar Capital LLC. Prior to joining Magnetar, he developed his cross-functional expertise in finance and media/telecom via positions at The Carlyle Group, in their Media and Telecommunications Buyout Group, at Lehman Brothers, in Leveraged Finance, and at Bain and Company as a Strategy Consultant.

Kim Ptak
Current Parent, Director since 2016
Serves on Advancement and Finance Committees

Kim Ptak currently serves as the Director of Operations for Glenbrook High School District 225, where she is usually the only project manager wearing a hard hat with a dress. For the past 14 years, Kim has led financial and facilities efforts including budgeting, bidding, risk management, strategic planning, construction, accounts payable, and food and transportation services. Prior to employment at the Glenbrooks, Kim worked at Arthur Andersen as the Director of Finance and Operations.

Jay Robinson
Current Parent, Director since 2012
Chair of Advancement Committee
Serves on Executive Committee

Jay is an industrial designer specializing in the generation, specification, and pre-visualization of custom aircraft interior concepts. His company, Robinson Design, consults to state, corporate and private jet owners. His previous work has been as an employee of Learjet, Bombardier, and consulting for companies such as Boeing and Lufthansa.

Matt Rooney
Alumni Parent, Director since 2012
Board Secretary

Co-Chair of Finance Committee
Serves on Executive, Diversity, and Search Committees

For 30 years Matt was a litigation partner at the international law firm of Mayer Brown, in Chicago, handling complex commercial, antitrust and securities cases. For his last three years as a partner, he co-chaired the firm’s worldwide pro bono committee, which supervised the provision of free legal services to people of limited means and for the advancement of human rights. He spearheaded the firm’s efforts to give its pro bono program a global reach. As of January 1, 2011, he became a Senior Counsel at the firm and since then has devoted his time to helping developing counties strengthen their rule of law and ensuring that their citizens’ human rights are protected. As part of those efforts he has provided free legal and consulting services in Cambodia, Iraq, South Africa, China and Sri Lanka. Matt served for three years on the Board of Directors of the Chicago Bar Foundation and chaired its Advocacy Committee.

Lisa Sparrow
Current Parent, Director since 2016
Serves on Finance and Transition Committees

Lisa Sparrow is the President and CEO of Utilities, Inc., a national water and wastewater utility with operations in 17 states. Prior to joining UI she was with BP and General Motors. She has spent over 25 years in infrastructure and energy. Ms. Sparrow brings a variety of management, leadership and governance experience. She has held board positions with Kennicott Brothers Company, PharMore Drugs, the Water Research Foundation, the National Association of Water Companies, the University of Missouri’s Financial Research Institute Advisory Board, and Michigan State University’s Mechanical Engineering Advisory Board among others.

Alexa Starr
Current Parent, Director since 2016
Serves on Finance and Diversity Committees

Alexa is the Senior Director of Finance for the Kellogg School of Management at Northwestern University. She has spent over 10 years working in finance for higher education helping drive strategic financial planning, leading teams responsible for accounting operations, financial reporting and analytics, and project management. She participates on school initiatives including the Diversity & Inclusion staff council for Kellogg and the Finance/IT prioritization planning committee for Northwestern. In previous years she worked for SunTrust Bank and taught Microeconomics to undergraduate business students at the University of Illinois at Chicago.

Shane Winn
Current Parent, Director since 2016
Serves on the Admissions & Retention Committee

Shane is the General Manager of the Chicago office of Allison+Partners, a global public relations and integrated marketing agency based in San Francisco. In addition to his responsibilities growing new business and the Chicago office, Shane spearheads the Chicago office’s pro bono efforts, which are focused on education. His team does pro bono work on behalf of WITS, or Working in the Schools, which is the largest volunteer organization in the City of Chicago, fostering a love of reading at an early age through one-on-one mentoring relationships amongst Chicago Public School children. The Chicago office also volunteers with the City Colleges of Chicago, with a goal of attracting more diversity in the field of public relations, while providing mentorship to entering students. Shane’s career spans 20+ years, and includes both public relations and public policy work with companies and organizations across Chicagoland.