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Board of Directors

Our Board of Directors is made up of recognized and respected leaders in the business and civic community. Their dedicated counsel provides guidance, insight, and accountability as we strive to assure the best for all babies’ development.

Chair

Shirley Welsh Ryan
Shirley Welsh Ryan’s work to advance the young brain’s innovative capacity to learn movement, sensory, and communication pathways through early pediatric intervention and inclusion has been recognized by two U.S. Presidents’ appointments to the National Council on Disability (the source of The Americans with Disabilities Act) and other civic appointments. Her work promotes fullest inclusion and accessibility for all persons. She co-founded Pathways.org in 1985, the organization has provided over 250,000 hours of neurological therapy, which teaches new physical, sensory, and communication abilities. Today 18,000 users daily use Pathways.org media of web, blog, YouTube videos, and Facebook, It is empowered by Pathways Medical Roundtable of leading physicians, nurse practitioners, therapists, who work closely with the American Academy of Pediatricians and other distinguished medical associations to advance journal knowledge. Pathways.org is globally unique in its mission. Her voice promotes best learning and inclusion as a trustee for The Lyric Opera of Chicago, The Art Institute of Chicago, The Chicago Council on Global Affairs, WTTW-PBS, and The Alain Locke Charter Academy. She has served on The Kennedy Center, as chair of The Chicago Community Trust, and founded The Women’s Board of Lincoln Park Zoo and the annual Northwestern University Learning for Life graduate-level course given by Northwestern University professors. A Northwestern University undergraduate, Shirley holds Honorary Doctorates from the University of Notre Dame, University of Illinois Chicago, The Catholic Theological Union, and is a recipient of the Cardinal’s Award. Shirley and her husband Pat celebrate their three sons Pat, Rob and Corbett, daughter-in-law Lydia, three grandchildren Isabelle, Kate and Jack, and extended families.

Board Members


William McKenna
serves as the Chairman of footprint Retail Services (which he recently reacquired), a 3PL management firm serving many of the largest retailers in the U.S. Prior to this, Bill was the President and Chief Executive Officer of Schwarz Supply Source, a leading provider of customized supply chain solutions to some of the world’s best known retailers. Bunzl plc, an international distribution and outsourcing group, acquired Schwarz in 2012. Bill led the sale effort on behalf of Schwarz. Before joining Schwarz, Bill was President, Chief Executive Officer and principal of footprint Retail Services, which he acquired from The Hub Group in 2006 and subsequently sold to a private equity firm. Prior to that, Bill founded Integrated Merchandising Systems, LLC. Bill started his career as a corporate transactions lawyer with Bell Boyd & Lloyd (now K & L Gates) in Chicago. He serves on the advisory board of Stanford University’s Freeman Spogli Institute for International Studies. He is also the founder and President of the Will Foundation, focused on funding research for certain metabolic disorders. He is a member of the boards of Children’s Memorial Medical Center and Children’s Memorial Foundation in Chicago, the Pathways Foundation and Achaean Financial Group. Bill has earned an MA from Stanford University in International Policy, both an MBA and JD from Northwestern University where he was a member of the Journal of Criminal Law and Criminology and a BBA from the University Of Notre Dame where he was a Notre Dame Scholar.

Rachel Davis Mercy
is the associate dean for research for the Moody College of Communication and Jesse H. Jones Centennial Professor at the School of Journalism and Media at the University of Texas Austin. Previously Rachel held a faculty appointment at Northwestern’s Medill School of Journalism, Media, and Integrated Marketing and Communications. As a fellow at the Northwestern Institute for Policy Research, Mersey successfully collaborated across disciplines including serving as a PI on an NSF-funded project, Systematic Content Analysis of Litigation EventS or SCALES, to leverage artificial intelligence to bring transparency to court records. She is the author of two books. Mobile Disruptions, with co-authors in the U.S. and the Middle East, examines the state of and opportunity for mobile media innovations in the Gulf states. Can Journalism Be Saved? Rediscovering America’s Appetite for News, which is at the foundation of work she still does today, stands as a formative argument recasting local news efforts as community-driven initiatives.

M. Jude Reyes
is Co-Chairman and one of the founders of Reyes Holdings, L.L.C., which is a privately held holding company for numerous businesses in beverage and food distribution. Reyes Holdings, L.L.C. is the largest beer distributor in North America. Reyes Holdings, L.L.C. owns and manages Martin-Brower Company, LLC the largest distributor of McDonalds’ products worldwide. Jude is Board Chairman of the Shirley Ryan AbilityLab and Board of Trustees for Northwestern University.

  Rob Ryan
is the Executive Chairman of Interactive Metronome and Co-Founder of BrainBeat. He has spent the past ten years on the executive team at Interactive Metronome leading its initiatives in selling to schools, the United States Navy and professional and college athletic teams. After college, Rob taught high school English at Providence-St. Mel, an internationally acclaimed school on Chicago's West Side and subsequently co-founded the Alain Locke Charter School while in graduate school. Rob is a Dartmouth graduate and holds a JD from the Northwestern University School of Law and a MBA from the Kellogg School of Management.

Honey Skinner
is a retired Partner from Sidley Austin LLP where she focused her practice in health law and the representation of hospitals and health care organizations. In 2016, she was a Harvard Advanced Leadership Fellow, where she focused her practice in health law and the representation of hospitals and health care organizations. She is a Director of the Ann & Robert H. Lurie Children’s Hospital of Chicago, where she serves as Vice Chair of the Public Policy Committee. Honey is actively involved in variety of civic endeavors, and has served as a Director of the Chicago Area Foundation for Legal Services, the Illinois Justice Foundation, the Illinois Mathematics and Science Academy and the Elizabeth Glaser Pediatric Aids Foundation. She also served as Parliamentarian for the Illinois House of Representatives and as Counsel to the Speaker. She has served as a Trustee of Radcliffe College and as President of the Radcliffe College Alumnae Association.

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