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Women’s Board

Women's Board

Since 2002, the Women’s Board has been the Adler’s lead partner in supporting science education programs, research, and community outreach. The Board is vital to the museum’s efforts to reach underserved youth—with a special focus on young women—in the fields of science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEAM).

The Board consists of philanthropic and professional women, with significant experience in corporate or public service, representing a diverse range of industries including financial services, law, education, consulting, travel, and the arts.

Each member of the Board is passionate about fulfilling the Adler’s mission of inspiring the next generation of explorers, extending the Adler’s presence into more Chicagoland communities, and creating a model for STEAM engagement with youth.

Each year, the Board hosts two main fundraising initiatives: the Women in Space Science Award Celebration (WISS) and the Celestial Ball. In 2016, these events raised more than $1.9 million combined. Funds raised by the Women’s Board support the museum in its commitment to reach underserved public school students. Currently, the Adler serves students from 57 area schools, and anticipates serving upwards of 2,000 youth annually by 2019.

Women in Space Science Award Celebration (WISS)

A cornerstone event for the Adler Women’s Board, WISS supports the Adler’s STEAM education programs. At this annual event, the Board recognizes a woman who has made significant contributions to the field of space science by honoring her with the distinguished Women in Space Science Award. Since its inception in 2003, WISS has raised more than one million dollars.

Following a luncheon and keynote presentation by the honoree, the highlight of WISS is an afternoon program, held at the museum, for more than 200 young women from Chicago-area middle schools. Students have the unique opportunity to hear the honoree speak, participate in a Q&A session with her, and challenge themselves in hands-on STEAM workshops facilitated by Adler educators.

Celestial Ball

The Celestial Ball, the Adler’s annual black-tie gala hosted by the Women’s Board in partnership with the Board of Trustees, is attended by more than 650 guests—including influential business, civic, and philanthropic leaders. At this year’s event, Across the Universe, the museum recognized S&C Electric Company, represented by Kyle Seymour and John Estey, with the 2016 Corporate Partner Award for its ongoing partnership and support of the museum. Through the generous contributions of sponsors and guests, the event this year raised more than $1.7 million for exhibitions, shows, and programs that inspire young people to pursue careers in STEAM.

Current Women’s Board Members

Caroline Becker Joss

Linda I. Celesia

Cynthia L. Ballew
Erika Lautman Bartelstein
Caroline Becker Joss
Donna Beering
Carolyn Berg
Lisa H. Bertagna
Sherry Schmitter Block
Kate Boege
Jennifer Burnette
Rebecca Childers Caleel
Kate Cicchelli
Vera Clark
Mel Cooney Higgins
Angie DiCarlo
Susan V. Downing
Yasmina Duwe
Lilly Farahnakian
Tacy Flint
Linda Ieleja Gerstman
Laura Glick
Jacqueline G. Hawwa
Dr. Carsi Hughes
Kelly Kaiser
Mary Ann Karris
Susan Kirshner
Adrienne Kolb
Giovanna Krozel
Melissa Leet
Jeannette L. Lewis
Lisa H. Lewis
Susan K. Lovell
Carlette McMullan
Theresa Montes
Laura Myntti
Penelope Obenshain
Pamela Paziotopoulos
Pamela Pohl
Meg Prendergast
Elisa Primavera-Bailey
Janet Rauschenberger
Kerri Schoonyoung
Mihra Seta
Tanya Silvio
Orli D. Staley
Kristine Stoner
Nancy A. Temple
Michelle Vanderlaan
Almira Yllana
Claire York



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