Board of Directors

 

                                                                          OFFICERS

Evan Trad / President
Evan Trad is a distinguished educator from Chicago, Illinois. Evan is passionate about helping people with disabilities succeed in school and in life. Evan was the founding special educator at a new charter school in Chicago, where,  for nearly ten years, he built the special education program from the ground floor having been the only special educator in the building to leaving the program with a team of seven distinguished educators, and continuing to thrive today. Evan now works to build a successful inclusion special education program at a high performing public school in Chicago. Within this school, he mentors teams of teachers to have successful co-teaching partnerships. He also is a leader in implementing Restorative practices and justice within the building. 

Evan has the vision that people with disabilities have so much power and potential and are more than their disability. This has led Evan to his latest venture, Team EVAN, with the vision of passionately developing people with disabilities to more than and stronger than their limitations, shaping their vision into reality, to become successful entrepreneurs.

 

Carol Jungman / Past President
Carol Jungman is past-president of Tellin’ Tales Theatre where she served for 4 years as president, 3 years as secretary, and volunteered for more than 10 years total. She loves the power of storytelling and has been on stage a few times in the last several years.

In her daily work, Carol is an organization development consultant, specializing in team development, relational leadership, strategic planning, and multicultural & diversity education. She teaches Interpersonal Dynamics at the University of Chicago Booth School of Business and co-facilitates Racial Healing Circles for TRHT Greater Chicago (Truth, Racial Healing & Transformation) and the YWCA Evanston/NorthShore. Carol is also a community counselor for young women from all over the world who are in the Chicago area serving as au pairs for Au Pair in America.

 

Jim Bensdorf / Past President
Jim is currently teaching as an adjunct faculty member for DePaul University in the school of education. He works with career switchers who are obtaining Master’s degrees in special education at Northeastern Illinois University and is also a private educational therapist. He is the former Director of Special Education at Martin Luther King Lab School in Evanston, Illinois.

 

Tekki Lomnicki / Artistic Director & Co-Founder
Tekki Lomnicki is the founder and Artistic Director of Tellin’ Tales Theatre, a 23-year old company dedicated to shattering the barriers between the disabled and non-disabled worlds through the power of personal story. Tekki’s two full-length plays When Heck Was a Puppy: The Living Testimonies of Folk Artist Edna Mae Brice and Blurred Vision (which she remounted at 16th Street Theater in 2019) were critically acclaimed by The Chicago Reader and The Chicago Sun Times. She has written and performed over 26 solo performance pieces, and starred in the award-winning film, The Miracle by Jeffrey Jon Smith. She taught youth at Chicago’s Gallery 37 and After School Matters, and adults at the Victory Gardens Training Center, and ADA 25 Advancing Leadership. She is a recipient of an Illinois Arts Council Artists Fellowship in New Performance Forms, the 2008 3Arts Award in Theater, the 2010 Grigsby Award for Excellence in Solo Performance, the 2014 Dan Van Hecke Award for outstanding leadership and service to the disability community and was named a 2016 Duke of Distinction at York Community High School in Elmhurst. Tekki is on the Inclusion & Diversity Council at True Value Company and does disability awareness presentations for corporations. She is currently working on a new full-length musical spotlighting the disability experience. 

 

Molly Weisman / Secretary
Molly Wiesman has been involved with Tellin’ Tales Theatre for the last fifteen years in varying capacities, first as a performer in Six Stories Up and the annual Young Adult Writers Workshop, then as a member of the Tellin’ Tales marketing committee and now also on the Board of Directors. She has a passion for disability advocacy, and has done volunteer work with several disability organizations such as Best Buddies, Easter Seals and Access Living.  She is truly honored to be a part of the board after so many years of involvement with Tellin’ Tales.

 

Michael Funk / Treasurer
Mike (a licensed CPA) has been in public accounting for 18 years, and has been with Schneiderman, Kohn and Winston, Ltd for 14 years. During this time Mike has been involved with financial statement audits of small to medium sized businesses, not for profit organizations, and employee benefit plans. He also prepares federal and state income tax returns, sales tax returns, payroll tax returns, and exempt organization filings. He is a member of the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants and the Illinois CPA Society. Mike is also a member of the finance council at Mary Queen of Heaven Church in Elmhurst.

Board of Directors

Jeneane Ally
Jeneane is a Southside native and residential Realtor since 1997 where she helped produce some of the city’s most successful residential developments. A graduate of the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign, Jeneane earned additional graduate certificates from Northwestern University’s Kellogg School of Management (Corporate Communications) and North Park University (Non-profit management). She is one of the founders of Multiple Solutions, the first National MS Society Junior Board and spends her free time playing golf, 16” softball and following the Chicago White Sox.

Su Metzel 
Suzanne was a litigation partner at Phelan Pope & John and Cahill, Kunkle & Christian.  She retired after 23 years to have more hands on time with her son, Jackson, who has spina bifida; he has experienced first-hand the amazing benefits of Tellin’ Tales.  In 2010, Suzanne together with three other colleagues founded Perspective Group and Gallery, a not-for-profit group whose purpose is to promote photography as a fine art.  Suzanne is a former board member and chair of the gallery’s Student Perspectives, a free juried exhibition featuring Chicago area high school students.

Matt Nelson
Matt has been a real estate professional since 2005, currently focusing on the management and disposition of high value commercial properties in the Chicagoland area.  He is a member of the Chicago Association of REALTORS® and the Chicagoland Apartment Association. Matt became interested in working with Tellin’ Tales after attending several of their events over the years and is excited to help the organization fulfill its mission. 

Mike Russell
Mike is the Principal Consultant for ODS where he designs HR solutions for employers in transition.  Mike began consulting in 1995 building out HR functions for tech start-ups in Seattle and then moved on to consult in San Francisco and San Diego before returning to his hometown of Chicago in 2011.  Since 1985, Mike has also been an active Volunteer for multiple ASO’s and was a founding Board Member for a 501c3 in California that was the first organization in the U.S. dedicated to transitioning HIV+ individuals back to competitive employment.  Mike did his post-grad work at UCLA and possesses Master’s Degrees in Human Resources, from Drake University, as well as Organizational Behavior from Marquette University.

Les Zunkel 
Les was a distinguished educator and administrator at York High School in Elmhurst, IL, for 36 years.  He is uniquely heralded as one who inspired thousands of young performers and stage professionals during his tenure, instilling confidence and teaching valuable life lessons to all his students. Currently the Senior Designer with Walter E. Smithe, Les continues to share his talents with charities serving on the board of Humboldt Christian School and Tellin’ Tales Theatre.

 

Managing Director

Jesse Swanson
Jesse is a producer, arts administrator and life-long storyteller. He has led organizations large and small and presented original work across the country and around the world. Originally from the east coast, Jesse began his storytelling career as a comedian and theater artist in Philadelphia, where he produced and directed original sketch, stand-up and several world premier comedic plays and musicals. His independently produced work won acclaim at The Philadelphia and DC Fringe Festivals as well as the CrisisArt Festival in Italy. After deciding to take comedy a little more seriously, he came to Chicago in 2012 and went to work for The Second City where he oversaw talent development and production of new work, partnering with companies like The Kennedy Center, LucasFilm and Disney. As an artist with a disability Jesse led the charge in Accessibility at Second City forming it’s first Access committee and producing it’s first access focused programming.