Brian King, President
Brian King has worked in the field of government and not-for-profit project finance for more than 20 years. Brian worked for the City of Chicago as its Deputy Comptroller and Debt Manager during which time he structured and sold dozens of bond issues to finance city infrastructure or to provide funds for programs such as first-time homebuyer assistance. Brian currently works as a Managing Director in the Public Finance group of Mesirow Financial in Chicago, Illinois. Brian has been involved in school governance for eight years, having served on the Board of Directors of Near North Montessori in the role of Treasurer and as Chairman of their Finance Committee. Brian has a bachelor’s degree in Anthropology from Knox College and an MBA from J.L. Kellogg Graduate School of Management at Northwestern University. Brian has two children currently enrolled at Near North.
Patty Abrams, Vice President
Patty Abrams is the parent of two montessori-educated daughters. She has worked as corporate project manager for Solo Cup Company, and has served as a board member and officer at Corporate Imaging Concepts, a brand marketing company. She was on the board of directors for the Montessori School of Lake Forest before serving on the founding board of Beacon Academy. She has tutored both adults and at-risk youth in North Chicago. She has a BA in Humanities from John Carroll University and is currently in the MLS program at Lake Forest College. She and her husband Brian live with their children in Lake Bluff.
Roc Roney, Secretary
Roc is a parent and former board member at Near North Montessori School where he chaired the Facility Committee during a period of extensive facility upgrades and served on several committees during his tenure as trustee. Roc has a general contracting firm, Crescent Rock Builders, Inc. with years of experience design/building architectural homes and commercial and industrial sites with a concentration in the reuse and adaption of historic properties. Roc attended Albion College where he graduated in 1986 with an Economics degree and where he is currently involved with economic development activities in the community. Roc and his wife Debbie have been involved in national health organization advocacy and advancement. They have three teenage daughters and live in the Lakewood Balmoral Neighborhood of Chicago.
Jim Preschlack, Treasurer
Jim is a partner at Copia Capital, an energy related hedge fund based in Evanston. Jim is responsible for strategic planning, investor relations, and business development activities. Prior to his work in the alternative investment industry, Jim spent 20 years in management consulting, with major stints at Accenture and KPMG Consulting. Jim specialized in helping companies manage large-scale, strategic transformation programs across a variety of industries and business functions. He received an MBA from the University of Rochester’s Simon School of Business and a BA in Economics from Hamilton College. Jim lives in Lake Forest with his wife and two children. Jim’s son Stanley is a freshman at Beacon and having a blast. Jim serves as the Chairman of Lake Forest’s Historic Preservation Commission and is an active member of The Church of the Holy Spirit. Jim enjoys reading, golf, squash, crossfit, skiing, and being with his family and friends.
Danielle Loevy, Immediate Past President
Danielle’s career began as a lawyer in the area of employment discrimination and civil rights law, after which her focus shifted to the prevention of lawsuits and disputes through mediation, facilitation and training. She was elected President of the Association for Conflict Resolution in Chicago, and Vice President of the Mediation Council of Illinois. Danielle designed and led diversity workshops with Kaleidoscope Group, a nationally (and internationally) known diversity consulting firm based in Chicago, and worked with the Center for Conflict Resolution (CCR) in many different capacities. Having been involved in Beacon’s formation since 2011, Danielle is immediate board past president, and this year joins the rank as a proud parent of two incoming ninth grade Beacon students. She currently chairs the board at Rogers Park Montessori School, where her youngest son remains a student. In her free time, you can find Danielle playing tennis, riding her bike, reading, or looking for a place to go hiking with her husband, Jon.
Bob is a Vice President at Charles River Associates, an economics consultancy, where he provides valuations of intellectual property for companies and litigation attorneys. He is also an adjunct professor at Northwestern Law School where he teaches intellectual property valuation. Bob is a recovering engineer, having worked at a major automaker and as a founding team member of a start-up sensor company in his early career. He has an MBA in finance from Northwestern, and bachelor and master degrees in engineering from the University of Illinois. Bob has served on a variety of boards, including as Treasurer of a national professional society and cooperative apartment corporation. He lives with his wife, Anne Ryan, and daughter Annelise (a proud Beacon senior) in Evanston.
Jackie Kaplan-Perkins currently serves as the Midwest Director for Human Rights Watch. Prior to that Jackie had worked as a consultant to dozens of non-profit organizations in Chicago as well as senior staff at the Chicago Foundation for Women, the National Center on Poverty Law, AVODAH: The Jewish Service Corps and as the finance director for Jan Schakowsky’s successful bid for United States Congress. Jackie was a fellow in the Rockefeller Foundation’s Next Generation Leadership program, American Jewish World Service Global Justice fellowship and Leadership Greater Chicago. Jackie lives in Chicago with her wife Ann and son David, who is a student at Beacon Academy.
Lynn Lillard Jessen
Lynn co-founded Forest Bluff School and was its first teacher, leading the original primary class in 1982. Two years later, she established the Young Children’s Community for the youngest children, ages 18 months to 3 years. Lynn is co-author with Paula Polk Lillard of “Montessori From the Start,” a guide for helping the young child at home from birth on. Lynn is a graduate of Smith College and has AMI training at both the Assistants to Infancy and Primary levels. She is married to Ned Jessen and their three children are all graduates of Forest Bluff. Her youngest daughter is also a graduate of the Montessori High School in Cleveland, Ohio, the first Montessori boarding school at the high school level in the United States. Lynn and Ned both serve on its Board of Directors.
Jim Masterson started his professional career in the trading pits on the floor of the Chicago Board of Trade and currently owns two separate trading firms: M&N Trading and Port 22. Moreover, Jim is also the co-creator of a casual Mexican restaurant concept called Flaco’s Tacos which just recently opened up its 3rd location in Wrigleyville. Jim attended Indiana University and graduated in 1989 with a Finance degree with a concentration in Real Estate. He lives in Chicago with his wife, Beth, and their five Montessori-educated children.
Bradley Peacock is the President of Peacock Nine, a strategy consultancy focused on business transformation, innovation, and brand-building. Peacock Nine’s clients range from leading private equity firms, management consultancies and advertising agencies to members of the Fortune 500 and entrepreneurial elite. In addition, Bradley has helped many non-profits hone their strategic focus including; Georgetown University, Loyola Press, MetroSquash, Steppenwolf Theatre, and The Art Institute of Chicago. Bradley currently is an adjunct professor at Northwestern University teaching Marketing for Innovators. He is also a Trustee of The Pembroke College, Oxford Foundation of North America for which he serves as Secretary. Bradley holds a B.A. from Bates College and a M.A. from Oxford University. He and his wife Tracy live in Wilmette, IL with their sons George and Tasker—the latter of whom is a happy, engaged member of Beacon’s Class of 2020.
As the current Executive Director at Near North Montessori School and with over 24 years of experience in Montessori education, Audrey comes to the Board interested in assisting with the creation of Beacon. Audrey believes in a high school that prepares students for success in the 21st century and meets the needs of the adolescent students in accordance with the principles of Montessori’s third plane of development.
Susan Sattell is a communication and PR specialist, and is excited to help Beacon showcase its image as a leader in high school education. She has a Ph.D. in Communication/Rhetoric from Northwestern University, and teaches argumentation and rhetoric courses at Lake Forest College. Previously, Susan was in public relations, and was a senior vice president and group head at a global public relations firm. She managed worldwide accounts for the Mexican government and for US clients, and is bilingual English/Spanish. Susan also has a master’s degree in English Literature from UIC and a B.A. in Journalism from the University of Wisconsin-Madison. She lives in Chicago with her husband, Chip Hunter, and their children, Gray and Emily. Gray is a student at Beacon, and Emily is in Near North Montessori School’s junior high program.
Debbie has taught preschool through elementary in Montessori schools around the world and is currently the Head of School at Rogers Park Montessori School. Ms. Senoff-Langford holds a Bachelor’s degree in History from the University of Wisconsin, a Master’s degree in Early Childhood Special Education, completed the Ph.D. dissertation and received a certification in non-profit leadership from Kellogg School of Management and Type 75 certification from the State of Illinois. Ms. Senoff-Langford is currently the president of AIMS (Association of Illinois Montessori Schools), Executive Committee of LMAIS (Lake Michigan Association of Independent Schools), and Executive Committee of ICNS (Illinois Coalition of Non-Profit Schools).
David Snyder is Chief Operating Officer of of Chicago CRED (Creating Real Economic Destiny), a Chicago-focused anti-violence initiative. Prior to joining Chicago CRED in 2017, Snyder spent more than three decades in various roles—most recently as Publisher—at Crain’s Chicago Business. He was named Publisher in October 2010, having previously served as Associate Publisher and as General Manager/Interactive where he launched and then managed the paper’s daily online publishing operation. Earlier in his career he was an award-winning journalist for Crain’s, starting as a reporter and ultimately serving more than six years as Editor (1993-2000). Snyder is on the Board of Directors of the Harris Theater—where he serves as chairman of the Finance Committee and a member of the Executive Committee —and The Polk Bros. Foundation. He is also a member of the Commercial Club of Chicago, the Economic Club of Chicago, the City Club of Chicago and The Chicago Club. A native of Easton, Pa., Mr. Snyder is a graduate of American University in Washington, D.C., where he received his degree in business administration.
Bryn Wagner Hanson
Bryn is the proud parent of student Lily Hanson and likes to think that she’s responsible for a little of the intellect and entrepreneurial spirit which led her daughter to choose Beacon Academy. Prior to starting a family, Bryn graduated from Smith College with a degree in sociology and economics and from the Kellogg Graduate School with an MBA in marketing and non-profit management, and built a career in non-profit management and education. She has worked for the National Arts Journalism Program at Northwestern University, the Field Museum, founded and directed Project Millennium, and taught at the School of the Art Institute. In recent years Bryn has been fortunate to dedicate her free time to family, civic, and volunteer interests.