Loyola University Chicago

University Newsroom

Press Release - June 14, 2023

Primary Contact:
Matthew McDermott 

Loyola University Chicago Welcomes New Members to Board of Trustees

John Schreiber to serve as Chair, Rev. Tim Kesicki, S.J. as Vice Chair

CHICAGO – June 14, 2023

At its annual meeting, the Board of Trustees of Loyola University Chicago elected new leadership and members. Beginning a two-year term, John G. Schreiber (BBA ’68) will serve as chair and Reverend Timothy P. Kesicki, S.J. (MA ’88) will serve another term as vice chair.

President Mark C. Reed, EdD, extended his thanks to outgoing chair Susan S. Sher (JD ’74). “Loyola has benefitted in many ways from Susan’s service on the Board of Trustees and from her leadership as board chair. We are grateful to her and to John Schreiber for taking on a role that is critical to our continued mission vitality. I am thankful to the Trustees completing their terms and look forward to working with our newest board members.”

In addition to Sher, Barry C. McCabe, Cynthia Hank Stark (P ’13), Melanie C. Dreher, Sharon O’Keefe (MSN '76), and Kim D. Blickenstaff (BA ’74, MBA ’76) are finishing their current tenure as Trustees. Loyola’s Board of Trustees also elected Omar Brown (MBA ’07), Jennifer Carolan (BA ’97), Brian “Fitz” Fitzpatrick (BA ’92), Alicia Gonzalez, Antonio Ortiz (MBA ’05), and Melody Spann Cooper (BA ’87) to initial three-year terms.

Board Chair John Schreiber, who has been a Trustee since 2014, congratulated the new members. “We are excited to welcome these talented and dynamic individuals to our Board,” Schreiber said. “The broad depth and breadth of their personal and professional experiences will be a valuable resource to their fellow Trustees as we strive to support and sustain Loyola's Jesuit, Catholic mission and commitments to academic excellence, faith, social justice, and sustainability.”

Reflecting on her time as chair and the role of the Board of Trustees, Sher said, “Loyola’s Board comprises several generations of civic, business, and educational leaders who bring diverse perspectives and expertise to strengthen and deepen our mission on our campuses and in the world. As a longtime member of this University community, I look forward to continuing to follow their work and all the exciting things to come.”

Loyola’s New Trustees:

Omar Brown (MBA ’07) is senior vice president, people and culture officer for Big Ten Conference. He joined the conference in 2020 in a newly created role in which he drives diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) initiatives throughout the conference. Among those initiatives are the Big Ten Equality Coalition–which engages, empowers, and educates student-athletes, administrators, partners, and alumni–and landmark events such as the historic Big Life Series trip to Selma and Montgomery, Alabama, in July 2022. Prior to joining the Big Ten, Brown was an organizational transformation leader in Deloitte’s Human Capital Consulting practice, and before that served on the leadership team at the Chicago Transit Authority. He holds a master’s degree in public policy from Northwestern University, a master’s degree in business administration from Loyola University Chicago, and a bachelor’s degree in political science from Northeastern Illinois.

Jennifer Carolan (BA ’97) is co-founder and general partner at Reach Capital, a venture capital fund founded in 2015 that supports entrepreneurs bringing leading-edge technology to education. She started her career as a classroom teacher in Chicago, where she taught for seven years in traditional district schools. She moved to Silicon Valley in 2000 to attend Stanford University and used her teaching experience to support edtech founders at the NewSchools Venture Fund. She co-created and taught the popular course Innovations In Teaching at Stanford and co-founded her first fund NewSchools Seed Fund in 2011. Reach Capital is currently investing Reach 4—a $215 million fund focused on education technologies designed to improve access to opportunity.

Brian “Fitz” Fitzpatrick (BA '92) is founder and chief technology officer of Tock, a next generation hospitality booking system. Fitzpatrick started Google's Chicago engineering office in 2005 where he founded and led several of Google's global engineering policy efforts, including Google’s Data Liberation Front and Google's Transparency Engineering team, which uses data to protect free expression and free speech on the internet. Fitzpatrick has been an open source software contributor for over 25 years and was a lead engineer at Apple, Inc. as well as vice president of public relations of the Apache Software Foundation. Fitzpatrick is also a prolific public speaker and author of multiple books, most recently "Debugging Teams: Better Productivity Through Collaboration" and "Team Geek: A Software Developer's Guide to Working Well with Others."

Alicia Gonzalez is executive director of Cubs Charities, where she oversees philanthropic and programmatic investments that serve more than 19,000 children and youth across Chicago. Gonzalez previously served as founding executive director of Chicago Run, which provides fitness programs that serve 15,000 students in Chicago Public Schools. Prior to Chicago Run, she served as the head of Hispanic Business Development for First American Bank. She is a member of the Economic Club of Chicago and serves on the board of directors for the YMCA Metro Chicago and Heartland Alliance. Gonzalez is a German Marshall Memorial Fellow and was a Fellow in the 2011 Leadership Greater Chicago Class. Gonzalez graduated with honors from Brown University.

Antonio Ortiz (MBA ‘05) is the first lay President of Cristo Rey Jesuit High School.  He joined Cristo Rey in 2000, first as the director of corporate and foundation relations and then as associate principal, before becoming president in June 2012. From 2010 to 2012, Antonio worked as a director at the Big Shoulders Fund. Ortiz earned a bachelor’s degree in business administration and a master’s degree in education through the Alliance for Catholic Education (ACE) program, both from the University of Notre Dame. He also earned a master’s degree in business administration from Loyola University Chicago. He is a graduate of Leadership Greater Chicago and, serves on the membership committee of the Economic Club of Chicago, and sits on several boards including the Archdiocese of Chicago School Board, the Alliance for Catholic Education, and Loyola Medicine.

Melody Spann Cooper (BS ‘88) is the second-generation owner of Midway Broadcasting Corporation, an African-American and female-owned media company. The company provides culturally-relevant content to Chicago’s thriving Black and Latino populations.  Midway broadcasting assets include WVON 1690AM, the oldest Black-oriented radio station in Chicago; WRLL 1450AM, Chicago’s Home for Hispanic Independent Broadcasters; and its digital streaming platform, VONtv. Spann Cooper serves on numerous professional and civic boards including as co-chair of the Illinois Broadcasters Association; as executive committee member of the National Association of Black Owned Broadcasters; as co-chair of the Diversity and Inclusion Council for the Obama Presidential Center, and as commissioner of the Illinois Liquor Control Commission. She was educated in Chicago Catholic institutions from elementary school through Loyola University of Chicago, where she earned a bachelor’s degree in criminal justice.


About Loyola University Chicago 
Founded in 1870, Loyola University Chicago is one of the nation’s largest Jesuit, Catholic universities, with nearly 17,500 students. The University has four campuses: three in the greater Chicago area and one in Rome, Italy, as well as course locations in Vernon Hills, Illinois (Cuneo Mansion and Gardens), and a Retreat and Ecology Campus in Woodstock, Illinois. The University features 15 schools, colleges, and institutes. Ranked a top national university by U.S. News & World Report, Loyola is also among a select group of universities recognized for community service and engagement by prestigious national organizations including AmeriCorps and the Carnegie Foundation. To learn more about Loyola, visitLUC.edu or follow us on Twitter via@LoyolaChicago.