Board of Directors

Cat Tager, President

Cat Tager joined the CircEsteem Board of Directors in 2012. She is an arts administrator, musician and educator with hands-on experience in program development, management training and marketing strategy. Most recently she was the Marketing Director for the Old Town School of Folk Music where she oversaw the School’s rebranding in 2011 and focused the School’s marketing efforts for the expansion of its Lincoln Square campus in 2012.  Cat is also an accomplished musician and teaches guitar at the Old Town School.

Lisa Silverman, Vice President

Lisa is a Managing Director at Kroll Associates, a corporate investigative firm. She has extensive experience working with a diverse client constituency to develop effective solutions for a wide range of issues.  She has worked in for-profit and non-profit environments and has extensive experience working with and volunteering for organizations that support youth and youth advocacy.  Lisa also serves on the Board of Directors of the Illinois Caucus for Adolescent Health.  One of Lisa’s children has participated in CircEsteem’s programs since 2009 and is currently requesting silks and a trapeze be installed in her room.

Meredith George, Secretary

Meredith joined CircEsteem’s board of directors in 2007. She has been an attorney since 1982. Meredith currently works as an educator in CircEsteem’s HomeWork CircusWork program. In addition, she volunteers on and off boards for various organizations in the Chicago area. She has three children, one of whom has been in CircEsteem since 2001.

Liz Kloster, Treasurer

Liz Kloster  joined the board in January of 2013. She is a CPA and manager at Crowe Horwath, a Chicago public accounting firm that specializes in not-for-profit accounting. She is a resident and member of the Uptown community and a mother of an aspiring circus performer.

Karen Carney

Karen Carney is currently Senior Curriculum Specialist in Science at American Institutes for Research. She has taught science content, educational design, and cognitive science at grade levels ranging from first grade to graduate school, and in settings that vary from outdoor camps to graduate seminars. Prior to AIR, she was Associate Vice President of visitor experience and learning at the Adler Planetarium, where she oversaw education exhibits and educational research and evaluation. In 1992, Ms. Carney received her bachelor degree in geology from Oberlin College, in Oberlin Ohio. She has done graduate work and research in the Learning Sciences at Northwestern University, where she has also been an adjunct faculty member. She is the author of articles, book chapters and conference presentations on learning in computational and real world educational environments, both within schools and in informal learning settings.

Viviane Clement

In 2002, a year after Viviane Clement’s arrival to the United State from Egypt she joined CircEsteem. In the seven years she spent with CircEsteem she was a student, a teacher, a performer, Summer Camp Director, and now board member. CircEsteem has played an important role in shaping her to be the person she is today, and continues to do so by supporting her goals for the future. Viviane is a Posse Foundation Scholarship recipient and recent graduate from Carleton College where she majored in Sociology. 

Craig Jeffrey

Craig D. Jeffrey joined CircEsteem’s board of directors in 2011.  He is a partner at Bryan Cave, LLP where his practice focuses on commercial real estate and finance. In addition to his role at CircEsteem, Craig also serves as a board member of Chicago Youth Centers and Quad Communities Development Corporation.  Craig has focused on youth services and education related boards since he joined the St. Louis Charter School Board back in 2001.

Ken Krantz

Ken is a Certified Financial Planner (CFP) and has worked with Ameriprise Financial for the past nine years working with individuals from various backgrounds to achieve their financial goals. Prior, he worked as an arts administrator for eleven years with various symphony orchestras across the country, including Executive Director Positions with the Civic Orchestra of Chicago (the training arm of the Chicago Symphony) and the Evansville Philharmonic Orchestra. He enjoys attending the theater and symphony and plays tennis is his spare time.

Merili Seale

Merili joined CircEsteem’s Board of Directors in 2012. She is an associate at BryanCave LLP. Her practice focuses on intellectual property litigation and counseling, as well as commercial litigation matters in both federal and state courts.

Sam Seiden, MD

Sam joined the board of CircEsteem in 2013. He is a pediatric anesthesiologist at the Ann and Robert H Lurie Children’s Hospital of Chicago and an assistant professor of anesthesiology at Northwestern University. In 2002 Sam saw his first CircEsteem performance when he came to watch his summer camper, Mason George perform.  Ever since then he has been an admirer and supporter of CircEsteem’s mission to bring children of diverse backgrounds together and build self esteem through learning circus arts.  Sam particularly enjoys seeing the confidence the kids get from accomplishing something, and also the proud acceptance they demonstrate with a smile when they tried their hardest, but an act doesn’t work just perfectly.

Sally Sharp

Sally works as Head of Student Life at Sacred Heart Schools in Chicago and has over twenty-five years of experience working as an educational administrator developing programs and overseeing support services for children and young adults. For the past five years she has worked with CircEsteem to offer an afterschool circus class at Sacred Heart and regularly calls on CircEsteem to assist with other fun activities at school.

Tim Sheehan

Tim Sheehan is a fourth grade teacher at the Latin School of Chicago and raves that “circus is in his genes.” He started at Latin 19 years ago assisting his uncle, founder of the Windy City Circus, with an after school circus class. After enjoying nine years as the After School Resources Director at Latin, and during that time watching CircEsteem in action firsthand eachFriday afternoon, Tim cannot say enough about the creativity, inspiration, and empowerment CircEsteem brings to children (and adults) of all ages.  He is thrilled, happy, and honored to work with such an amazing organization and can’t wait to have his wife and four-year twins participate in programs as well!