Board of Directors
Genevieve Thiers has founded several companies in the Chicago area. Her first company, Sittercity.com, is America’s first company to take caregiving services online. Sittercity.com now has millions of users nationwide, and serves clients like the U.S. Department of Defense, Avon, Mastercard, Monster WW and many others. With new locations in the UK and Canada, it is an international success. Genevieve was recognized by President Bush at the White House as the Small Business Administration Young Entrepreneur Champion of the Year for 2006, her companies have won over 16 major awards, including the CEC Momentum Award, the WBDC Rising Start Award, the UPS Out of the Box Award, the INC 500 list, and more. Genevieve has been featured thousands of times in the press for her work, by the TODAY show, Ellen, the View, the CBS Early Show, CNN, Live & Style, The Wall Street Journal, The New York Times, Redbook, Parents, Parenting, Marie Clare, TIME, Better Homes and Gardens, Working Mother and more. She has lectured or spoken at the CEO Conference, Microsoft, Harvard business school, Kellogg, Columbia, Babson, Boston College, U Chicago and for hundreds of other entrepreneurial groups around the country. She is a writer for Crain’s Chicago Business and on the board of the CEC. Her specialty is in the 0-10mm revenue range with web startups.
Todd Belcore is a staff attorney at Sargent Shriver National Center on Poverty Law and Equal Justice Works Fellow (also sponsored by Greenberg Traurig) focusing on litigating, organizing, educating, and crafting legislation to ensure that individuals with criminal records are not unjustly denied employment or occupational licenses. Todd is a graduate of the Northwestern University School of Law, where he served as President of the public service organization (SERV) and, later, as the Student Bar Association (SBA) President. In these roles, he was able to significantly increase the amount of exposure law students had to public interest and public service. In recognition of Todd’s commitment to service, he was the chosen recipient of the 2009 PSLawNet Pro Bono Publico Award, which honors one law student nationwide for their pro bono contributions to society. In 2010, Todd was also the chosen recipient of Northwestern University School of Law’s Wigmore Key, which is given to the one graduating student who has done the most to preserve the traditions of the law school. Since law school, Todd was chosen to receive the Kimball and Karen Anderson Public Interest Fellowship award which honors one attorney for their commitment to public interest work, academic achievement in law school, and their outstanding character and integrity. He was also recently selected as a White House “Champion of Change”, which is an honor awarded to attorneys who dedicate their professional lives to closing the justice gap in America.
Mary Lutz Govertsen
Mary is an emerging young professional in the Chicago opera scene. She has performed with Chamber Opera Chicago, Verismo Opera, Main Street Opera, OperaModa, Opera for the Young, the DuPage Symphony and Chorale, the Music Institute of Chicago, Katydid Opera, and Chicago Symphony Chorus. With these companies, she has been seen as First Lady/The Magic Flute; Mimi/La boheme, Madame Lidoine/The Dialogues of the Carmelites; Anna Maurrant/Street Scene; and Mlle. Silberklang/Der Schauspieldirektor, among others. She has been an apprentice at Opera New Jersey, where she covered the role of Clorinda/La Cenerentola and at Opera Cedar Rapids, as Fiordiligi/Cosi fan tutte. Other roles include Rusalka/Rusalka, Mariane/Tartuffe, Natalia/A Month in the Country; and Female Chorus/The Rape of Lucretia. Equally at home performing musical theater, Mary has sung the roles of Lily/The Secret Garden and Mrs. Nordstrom/A Little Night Music in the Chicago area. Mary is active in promoting and performing modern opera and vocal music. She has sung new works with Fulcrum Point; is a member of Lingerie Lyrique, a new opera company that fuses opera with old-school burlesque/cabaret elements, and was a founding member of OperaModa, a company dedicated to performing 20th and 21st century works. Upcoming engagements include Olympia/Antonia/Giulietta in Les Contes d’Hoffmann with Katydid Opera, a concert featuring music of the Belle Epoque with Lingerie Lyrique, and a return to American Chamber Opera as Donna Anna in Don Giovanni.
Emile Cambry, Jr. received his Bachelor’s degree in Economics from the University of Chicago and his MBA on Merit Scholarship from Northwestern University’s Kellogg School of Management. Emile is a Professor at North Park University and a Visiting Professor at the Keller Graduate School of Management. Emile has experience in Investment Banking for J.P. Morgan Chase, was the Interim CEO of a Certified Public Accounting firm, and co-founder of MetroWorks, an award-winning film production company. Emile’s films have been licensed by HBO and Cinemax, as well as Showtime. Emile is the Founder and CEO of social entrepreneurship projects, the 21st Century Youth Project and theChicago Film Group. Emile is an Ideas Award Fellow, recognizing “leaders and change agents of the world tomorrow, who are making a huge impact on their local and regional communities today.” Emile is the President and Festival Director of the Chicago International Social Change Film Festival”.
Brandon Gardner, a medical student research fellow at the Howard Hughes Medical Institute at the University of Chicago, is an executive board member and owner for the American Chamber Opera Company. After graduating from the University of Chicago Laboratory Schools in 2002, he received his Bachelor of Science in Neuroscience, from Pomona College in 2006. Brandon’s previous activities included teaching for the Princeton Review in Chicago for 3 years and Research Coordinator at the University of Chicago for 2 years. Brandon was also the Research and Development Consultant for Namaste Laboratories for 5 years. Brandon’s music training includes guitar, brass instruments, and percussion. For fun, he plays rugby in semi-professional leagues and is an avid fan and player of ice hockey and basketball. He also served as a drum instructor at CoachArt, a volunteer at La Rabida Children’s Hospital and a research intern at the Emergency Room at John H. Stroger Hospital of Cook County. View his LinkedIn profile here.
Lyric Baritone Christopher Skyles’ vocal talent was discovered by his freshman college roommate (a music major) who heard him sing in their room at the dorm, and ‘dared’ him to try out for his college choir because Christopher thought he was ‘too cool to sing’ . Christopher became lead soloist for his college choir all four years and has been singing ever since. He is known for his clear and powerful singing voice, versatility in several vocal styles, and expertise as a wedding soloist. Previous experience includes having sung for the Grant Park Symphony Chorus, The South Shore Opera Company, The Savoyaires, The Gilbert and Sullivan Opera Company, Schola Cantorum of St. Peter the Apostle, Ecclesia, Jedlicka Performing Arts, The Greater Chicago Opera Guild, Classic Act Choral Ensemble, and the Baroque Choral Ensemble City Musick. He has portrayed both Figaro and Antonio (Le Nozze Di Figaro), Tom (Blue Monday), The Innkeeper (Man of La Mancha) and was also a Featured Baritone in Phantom of the Opera. Christopher is also a soloist/bass section leader with 1st United Methodist Church (Chicago Temple) in downtown Chicago. He has produced ‘Silver and Gold’, a holiday benefit concert for the Mission at Our Lady of the Angels for 2 years which has raised over $8000 toward the renovation of the Mission. Christopher is dedicated to mentoring youth with his ‘if I can do it, you can’ attitude. Christopher holds a B.A. in Broadcast Journalism/Communications from Roosevelt University.