Board of Directors

Deborah Gershbein

Having lived in Streeterville for almost 30 years, Deborah joined the SOAR Board of Directors in 2014, and she is now serving her fourth term as President. She joined the organization because she truly believes in SOAR’s mission to preserve, promote and enhance the quality of life and community in Streeterville.  She is inspired by the many changes she has seen in the neighborhood over the years and has made it her goal to build and celebrate community. She enjoys all that Streeterville has to offer- the lakefront, the river, the skyline, the parks and meeting the people that call Streeterville home.

Brian Butler
Vice President

As an Illinois native, Brian Butler has called Chicago home since 2006 and became a Streeterville resident in 2013. Since 2016, Brian has been on the Board of Directors. Since childhood, he has been inspired and amazed by Chicago’s architecture. He believes that Streeterville’s economic and social diversity is a strength that allows Streeterville to remain the world-class neighborhood that it is. When he isn’t volunteering with SOAR, you can find him walking his dog around the neighborhood or singing in a neighborhood choir.

Clare Hennessy

Looking to join an organization that would allow her to contribute in more ways than just writing a check, Clare joined SOAR in 2014 in hopes of using her marketing skills to advance the organization. Joining the board in 2015, Clare stays involved with SOAR because getting to know the members makes Streeterville feel like a small neighborhood rather than the bustling area it is. She is inspired by the impact SOAR can have on the neighborhood, and when she isn’t volunteering with SOAR, Clare spends time with her family and friends, travels, and always has a project or two to keep her busy.

Howard W. Melton

Howard joined SOAR in 2000 and has served on the board since 2006. He enjoys the convenience and excitement of living in the City of Chicago and stays involved with SOAR due to his belief in the importance of neighborhood involvement. He is inspired by the opportunity to improve Streeterville and the city at large. When he isn’t volunteering with SOAR, Howard is a practicing attorney, is involved in civic affairs, and is the author of several books.

Judy Aiello-Fantus
Farmers Market co-chair, Land Use & Development co-chair

For over 15 years, Judy  has been a member of SOAR. In 2015, she joined the Board of Directors. Judy joined SOAR looking for an opportunity to get involved and give back to the community. She has a desire to help build a strong neighborhood as well as a sense of community within Streeterville. Nature, especially Lake Michigan, art, music, and politics all inspire Judy. In her free time, she enjoys swimming, reading, and exploring the city.

Derek Brewer
Safety & Security Task Force Chair

Newly-elected SOAR Board Member Derek Brewer and his wife, Teresa, moved to Streeterville from Milwaukee, where he was an administrator in the Milwaukee Public Schools and an educational consultant for 35 years. Derek is a native Chicagoan from the Southside who chose to return to his hometown for retirement. A member of the SOAR Safety and Security Task Force, he chose to live in Streeterville “because it represents the best of Chicago, the diversity of people, activities and ideas.” Derek said of SOAR, “The term ‘Active’ says this is a group of people who are strategically and effectively working to improve the neighborhood and city. A membership in SOAR is an excellent way to stay informed about relevant neighborhood issues.” Derek, a self-described “amateur diplomat/peacemaker and ‘drum major for peace’,” studies current events and challenges and strategizes solutions.

Joel Brosk
Governance/Legal Committee Vice chair

Joel has been in SOAR for the past 13 years and joined our Board of Directors in 2017. He joined because he saw the positive impact our organization had on the neighborhood day in and day out. He is committed to living in the City of Chicago and knows that Streeterville provides the best quality of life to its residents. He is inspired by the opportunity to influence someone’s life in a positive way. When he isn’t volunteering with SOAR, Joel enjoys biking, winter sports, traveling, and trying new foods.

Denise Delves
Board Member

Denise Delves has lived in South Streeterville for four years. A registered nurse with a certification in Nurse-Midwifery from the American College of Nurse-Midwives, she is a graduate of Wright Graduate University and holds B.S.N. and M.S. degrees in nursing from the University of Illinois in Chicago, as well as an Ed.D. degree from Fielding Graduate University in Santa Barbara. Denise currently is Assistant Professor in nursing programs at Resurrection University. Her volunteer work includes positions in Rape Victim Advocates and at the Cook County Jail.

Christine Foh
Environmental Issues Task Force Co-Chair

Christine has been a member of SOAR since 2004, and since then has had various roles in the organization. She rejoined the Board of Directors in October 2018. She joined because of the role SOAR plays in protecting and serving the neighborhood. She loves living in Streeterville and stays involved with SOAR because she likes having a voice in her community and believes SOAR has a strong leadership role here. Christine is inspired by the thought that she can make a difference in the community and other people’s lives by volunteering. When she isn’t volunteering with SOAR, Christine is an avid bridge player, volunteers for Holy Name Cathedral, and enjoys reading and golf.

Robert Johnson
Safety & Security Task Force chair

After seeing SOAR’s flower garden at Lake Shore Park, Bob decided to see what our organization was all about. He became a member in 2015 and joined the Board of Directors in 2016. He enjoys living in an exciting neighborhood with such active community support. Bob is inspired by his ability to use his previous safety experience to help keep Streeterville a safe, thriving community. In his free time, Bob continues to give back by supporting Chicago’s 5-11 Club.

Bob Levin
Finance Committee Member

After enjoying his work on the Streeterville Neighborhood Plan, Bob Levin became a SOAR member in 2012 and joined the board in 2013. SOAR is a place where he can lend his expertise, and he is inspired when he can use his creativity within our organization. He’s stays involved with SOAR as he knows Streeterville will continue to grow and evolve. When he isn’t giving back with SOAR, Bob serves the community through other organizations and enjoys playing tennis.

Linda Marshall
Environmental Issues Task Force Co-chair
Membership Co-chair

After living in Ohio and Key West, Linda and her husband decided to move to Chicago. They had previously visited and liked the vibrant area.  Linda became aware of SOAR after seeing the sign on the Lake Shore Park fence. She joined SOAR looking to get involved and support Streeterville as well as to meet neighbors. Linda is inspired by people who care and give back just because they want to help. Her passions include butterfly gardening and orchids, as well as reading and learning more about Chicago.

Kristine Schanbacher
Membership Co-chair

Kristine has been a SOAR member since 2018. She is the co-chair of the Membership Task Force and is also a member of the Land Use + Development and Safety + Security Task Forces. Kristine joined SOAR to become more involved in Streeterville and supports SOAR’s mission to continue to improve our neighborhood. She is inspired by people who persevere through difficult circumstances and who push themselves to continue to improve. When she is not working (or involved with SOAR) she enjoys baking, spending time with friends and family and…..brushing up on her cheerleading and gymnastic skills!

Gail Spreen
Land Use & Development Task Force co-chair

Gail joined the organization and Board of Directors in 2002 and since then has contributed to significant city planning efforts. From improving the plans for some projects to actually stopping other developments from being built, Gail enjoys being a part of SOAR due to our power to make a true difference in the community. She’s worked in Streeterville real estate for the past 21 years and works to keep the history of the area alive – from Cap Streeter to the present. In her free time, Gail enjoys boating, working on historical projects, and spending time with friends and family.

Steven Wine
Board Member

Steven joined the board in May of 2019. After retiring from his career in financial planning and financial service, he decided to devote his time to several not-for-profits that he feels passionate about in order to add value to the objective of the organization. He is passionate about parks and has served as a member of the PAC for Oz Park in Lincoln Park and is currently on SOAR’s Parks Task Force.

Pam Woodward
Membership co-chair
Nominating Committee Chair

Pam joined the board in May of 2019 and has been a SOAR member for six years. Seeking a sense of community in the neighborhood, she actively volunteers with local groups. Pam retired from Morgan Stanley after 25 years as a financial advisor and branch manager.  Prior to those years, she taught in higher education. Pam’s hobbies include international travel, studying the Italian language, and taking advantage of the many cultural opportunities in the city.

Board Member Emeritus

Mary Baim

Jim Houston

Irene Newman

Edward Pearl