Board of Trustees
The Catherine Cook School Board of Trustees supports the school’s mission through strategic goal setting and direction, fundraising, hiring and managing the Head of School, and creating general school policy. Trustees have an objective commitment to the school through their own support and leadership. They contribute to the school's growth and financial well-being, seek to work voluntarily on a variety of committees, and, through their leadership in the community, bring recognition and honor to the school.
- David Laurenson, Chair
- Ellen Best, Vice Chair
- Jeffrey Zappone, Treasurer
- Michelle Kilkenney, Secretary
- Flavio Arana, At Large
Dave Laurenson is the Chief Information Officer of the Finkl Steel Group, responsible for the strategic and tactical planning, coordination, and implementation of technology systems across the group. Dave has held a variety of positions within the organization, including Vice President of Information Technology and Vice President of Operations, and was instrumental in the sale of the business and subsequent design and build of the new steel manufacturing facility in Chicago.
Dave sits on the board of directors of several not-for-profit organizations focused on economic and employment development. He holds a B.S. degree in Mechanical Engineering from Marquette University.
He currently serves as the Vice Chair of the Catherine Cook School Board of Trustees and is the past Treasurer. He has four children, three of whom are graduates of Catherine Cook and one currently in 4th Grade. Dave lives in Chicago with his wife, Melissa.
Ellen Best is the CEO at Eire Direct Marketing, LLC in Chicago’s River North neighborhood. Ellen founded Eire in 1997 and is proud to be a certified Women’s Business Enterprise organization. The team at Eire has the expertise to meet any marketing objective to grow their clients’ businesses – from strategy development and communication planning to customer engagement and implementation – focusing on customer and stakeholder behavior to deliver results.
Ellen began her career at Wunderman Worldwide and directed client services for national brands, some of which continue to be clients at Eire today. She is successful at marketing to businesses and consumers for clients like the American Bar Association, American Dental Association, BP North America, ComEd, FleetCor Technologies, The Morton Arboretum, and Nicor Gas. Ellen is an active member and currently the Director of Fund Development for the Women’s Energy Network, supporting STEM education for our Chicago youth.
For Catherine Cook, Ellen serves on the Executive Committee of the Board of Trustees, and is a member of the Marketing Committee, responsible for working with the school’s administrative team on branding, admission, and community engagement. She is also co-chair of the Trustee Nominating Committee.
Ellen lives in Chicago’s Old Town neighborhood with her husband Greg and son Christopher, who is a proud Alumnus of Catherine Cook.
Jeff Zappone is a Partner and Senior Managing Director at Conway MacKenzie, Inc., a consulting and advisory firm in Chicago. He has over twenty-five years of restructuring experience with specific expertise in interim management, including profit and cash flow enhancement and organizational improvements. He has served companies as an advisor, as well as in the role of Chief Executive, Operating, Restructuring and Financial Officer. Mr. Zappone has a Bachelor of Arts in Economics from Westminster College and a Master of Business Administration in Accounting and Finance from the University of Pittsburgh’s Katz Graduate School of Business. He and his wife, Carie, have two children at Catherine Cook School.
Michelle Kilkenney is a corporate partner at Kirkland & Ellis LLP, who focuses her practice on debt financing transactions. Michelle represents private equity groups, commercial lending institutions and other private and public companies in connection with the negotiation, structuring, and documentation of secured and unsecured financing transactions for both borrowers and lenders, including senior, mezzanine, and subordinated debt transactions, acquisition financings, and loan workouts and restructurings, including debtor-in-possession financings. Michelle serves as a Pro Bono Coordinator in the Firm’s Chicago office. In this role, she assists Kirkland attorneys in pursuing a broad range of pro bono opportunities, with a focus on ensuring that access to adequate legal representation is available to all who need it, not just those who can afford it.
As a sought-after speaker, Michelle has given presentations and participated in panels to clients, the LSTA, the ABA and the Women in Law Empowerment Forum. In 2015, Practical Law The Journal published an article authored by Michelle entitled “An Expert’s View: Trends in Large Cap Market Loan Terms”.
Michelle has been recognized in the 2010-2017 editions of Chambers USA, America's Leading Lawyers for Business and described as "talented, bright, creative and incredibly hard-working." She has also been recognized by IFLR1000 as a Leading Lawyer in bank lending. In 2017, Michelle was awarded “Transaction of the Year: Mega Company” for her work with Texas Competitive Electric Holdings Company LLC by the Turnaround Management Association.
In addition to the Catherine Cook School Board of Trustees, Michelle is actively involved in the boards of Cradles to Crayons and the Chicago Lawyers Committee for Civil Rights.
Michelle earned her law degree from The Ohio State University and her B.A. in Politics and Government from Ohio Wesleyan University.
Michelle is an active Catherine Cook parent and lives in the Lincoln Square neighborhood with her husband, Ryan. They have three children, including two that attend Catherine Cook.
Flavio Arana is Founding Partner of Meridian Psychiatric Partners, LLC, a multidisciplinary mental health private practice group with offices in Chicago, Evanston, and Lake Forest. He earned his medical degree from the University of Wisconsin School of Medicine and Public Health and completed his psychiatry residency at Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine, where he also served as Chief Resident. Flavio specializes in perinatal psychiatry, the care of women with mental health issues before, during, and after pregnancy.
Flavio has been a member of the Annual Giving Campaign Cabinet and served as co-chair from 2015-2017. He has been an active member on the Diversity Committee and also served as a Room Parent.
Flavio and his partner, Matthew, live in Lakeview with their two sons, both students at Catherine Cook.
Marta Delgado is co-founder of Delgado Rompf Bruen LLC, a Chicago-based law firm representing clients in all types of immigration matters, including family applications, employment immigration and compliance, removal proceedings, naturalization, and appeals.
Marta has been an attorney for over 20 years and has concentrated her practice in the area of immigration and nationality law for the majority of her career. She received her B.A. from Northwestern University and her law degree from the University of Wisconsin-Madison and has been recognized as a Leading Lawyer by Leading Lawyers, a distinction held by only 5% of Illinois attorneys.
Prior to co-founding Delgado Rompf Bruen LLC, Marta spent over 17 years in private practice with Chicago immigration law practices. She also has substantial experience working in not-for-profit agencies, as a former staff attorney for the Mexican American Defense and Educational Fund (MALDEF), and as an attorney for the Midwest Immigrant Rights Center (MIRC, now known as the National Immigrant Justice Center) where she concentrated her practice on citizenship and naturalization issues and providing comprehensive trainings to various community-based organizations throughout the Chicagoland area.
Marta is a member of the Mujeres Latinas En Accion Board of Directors, has been appointed to serve as a Member of the International and Immigration Law Section Council of the Illinois State Bar Association, and has served as chair or co-chair of several liaison committees for the Chicago Chapter of the American Immigration Lawyers Association.
She lives in Chicago with her husband, Sam, and their three children, two of whom are currently enrolled at Catherine Cook School. Since joining Catherine Cook, Marta has been involved in various school activities, including being an active member of the Diversity Committee, co-chairing the Live Auction for the 2014 Annual Gala, and serving as a member and co-chair of Catherine Cook’s Annual Giving Cabinet.
Tom Doar III retired in July 2016 after working for over 40 years in independent schools. Tom's last position was at North Shore Country Day School, were he served as Head of School from 2000-2016. Prior to that, Tom held various other positions at North Shore, including Head of Lower School (JK-5), Director of Admissions (JK-12), Director of Development, math teacher, and coach. In addition to his 27 years of service at North Shore, Tom served as the Head of the Lower School (PK-8) at Rye Country Day in Rye, NY, from 1989 -1996 and as a teacher and coach at St. Paul Academy in St. Paul, MN, from 1973-1980.
Tom has a B.E.S. (Bachelor of Elective Studies) from the University of Minnesota, an M.A. in Elementary Administration from the University of St. Thomas, and an Ed.M. from Teachers' College at Columbia University.Tom and his wife, Sheila, have three children and five grandchildren. All three of Tom's children are independent school graduates and have experience teaching. Tom's oldest son, Tom, spent two years at Teach for America in Newark, NJ. Charlie is currently an English teacher, College Counselor, and coach at Belmont Hill School in Boston, and his daughter, Mullery, is currently the Associate Director of Admission, a teacher, and coach at North Shore Country Day School.
Tom Fuller is a Partner at Fuller & Thaler Asset Management, a boutique money management firm based in the San Francisco Bay Area. Tom is responsible for client service and new business development and has been with the firm since 2005. Prior to joining F&T, he was Director of Research at Undiscovered Managers, a mutual-fund company that served financial advisors. He also previously worked as a reporter for the Seattle Times. Tom received an MBA from the University of Chicago and a BA from the University of Washington, where he met his wife, Julie, a past President of the Catherine Cook Parent Association. Tom and Julie live on the Northside and have two children - a son who graduated from Catherine Cook and a daughter currently attending.
As President of Managed Services, Jordan has global responsibility for C.H. Robinson’s logistics management and technology services. After joining C.H. Robinson through an acquisition, Jordan led a team that collaborated with some of the world’s most forward thinking shippers to pioneer C.H. Robinson’s technology and services division digitally connecting shippers to their carriers and supply chain trading partners. Under Jordan’s leadership, this division has grown into a global business managing $3.6B in freight accross 170 different countries. Jordan is a proud alumnus of Indiana University, and has worked at C.H. Robinson for 20+ years. Jordan lives in Buck town with his Wife Stacia and their three children. Two of their children currently attend Catherine Cook and one is a proud graduate.
Roger Liew is the CTO of ShopRunner, a membership program providing millions of members with free 2-day shipping from America’s top retailers.
Previously, Roger spent 15 years in the travel industry. He served as Chief Technology Officer and Senior Vice President of Orbitz from 2010 until its acquisition by Expedia in 2015. As Orbitz CTO, he led global engineering and customer service. He rejoined Orbitz in 2009 as Group Manager of the Intelligent Marketplace, establishing the machine learning and big data teams. From 2004 – 2008, Roger was a cofounder and CTO of G2 SwitchWorks, a venture-funded travel technology company, that provided the first alternative distribution network for airline tickets.
Roger was the first software developer of Orbitz and co-led the development team to 90 software engineers from 2000 to 2004. His early career experience ranged from developing software for cell phones at Motorola to leading the development of the first web presences for Cars.com and Victoria’s Secret while at web consulting company, Neoglyphics.
Roger serves as an advisor to kCura, MediaMath and Journera. He is a founding member of the Illinois Tech Computer Science Advisory Committee since 2010, a mentor at Impact Engine, and is a Trustee of the Catherine Cook School.
Roger studied Mathematics and Computer Science at the University of Chicago. He lives with his wife, Suzie, and two children in Chicago.
Wayne Norman is a finance executive with Mars, Incorporated, a $30B+ market leader in the confections, petcare and food industries. After joining Mars in 2008 via their acquisition of the Wm Wrigley Jr. Company, Wayne successfully lead the financial integration of the two businesses. After the integration Wayne served as the Corporate Controller for the Wrigley segment, accountable to the Mars Audit Committee, Berkshire Hathaway and the public debtholders. Prior to his roles at Wrigley and Mars, Wayne was the Corporate Controller for Aon Capital Corporation and served in the audit and assurance practice at Deloitte & Touche LLC. Throughout his career, Wayne has driven value through operational excellence and digitization, due diligence reviews and integration of acquisitions totaling over $20B and partnering with operational leadership to craft strategic business plans. Wayne has also led due diligence and compliance activities associated with over $5B of public debt financings, and over $1B in public asset securitizations. He has been a champion to drive strong ethics, governance and controls programs – enhancing corporate reputation and enabling growth.
Wayne is a CPA and earned his MBA from the Kellogg Graduate School of Management at Northwestern University, with concentrations in Strategy, Finance and Technology. He is an alumnus of Illinois State University, having graduated with a Bachelor of Science degree in Accounting.
Wayne and his wife, Shelley, live in the Bucktown neighborhood of Chicago with their three daughters. Wayne is a marathoner, a huge music fan, enjoys traveling and his newest past-time playing shuffleboard. Wayne’s volunteer work includes support to Old Saint Patrick’s Church in Chicago, several committees at the Catherine Cook School where his children have attended, and as a coach for girls’ fast-pitch softball at Hamlin Park.
Bhavan Suri, partner, co-group head–technology, media, and communications sector, joined William Blair & Company in 2007 and specializes in the IT services and enterprise software industries. Previously, he worked in venture capital and early-stage-technology commercialization. Before joining the financial services industry, he co-founded and managed a Boston-based enterprise software company. Before that, Mr. Suri was a director at AnswerThink, an IT services firm that specialized in systems integration and enterprise software implementation. Mr. Suri won an award in the Financial Times/StarMine “World’s Top Analysts” listing as the No. 1 stock-picker in IT services in 2010. He received a B.Sc. in physics from Brown University and an MBA from the Kellogg School of Management at Northwestern University.