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Brigid Gallagher is a Chicago-based photographer and writer. She holds a Master’s Degree in English from DePaul University and a Bachelor of Arts degree from Lake Forest College. Brigid is currently a contributing photographer to Do312 and BV Chicago and has worked as a house photographer for acclaimed Chicago music venues, Lincoln Hall and Schubas Tavern, since May 2012. The Ovarian Cancer Symptom Awareness Organization deemed her their Official Photographer in September 2011 and she does steady work with other organizations, music venues and varying clients throughout the Midwest. Brigid is also a freelance writer, with ongoing projects that range from writing textbooks and supplemental texts for the classroom to articles for newspapers and magazines to marketing materials and website/social media content for various businesses. She is thrilled and honored to be part of such an incredible organization as OCSA.
Abbey is the Director of Outreach at WorldChicago. She is responsible for marketing, social media membership, event planning, fundraising, and overseeing the internship program. She formerly was the personal assistant to Actress, Director, Playwright, and Philanthropist Regina Taylor. Prior to that she worked as as the Committees and Special Programs Coordinator at The Executives’ Club of Chicago. She served as an AmeriCorps volunteer as the Marketing, Parent and Outreach Coordinator at Passages Charter School, a division of Asian Human Services. She was also a LeaderCorps member with the AmeriCorps State Program at this time. One of her most inspiring experiences was teaching English as a second language in Shanghai, China. Abbey has volunteered for a variety of nonprofit organizations. She truly believes in the importance of the nonprofit sector, strengthening international relations and is passionate about fostering cultural, educational and professional exchange. She has a Master’s in Public Administration from Illinois Institute of Technology and a B.A. in Sociology and Anthropology with a minor in Political Science from Lake Forest College.
Yoko Noge is equal parts inventive band leader/singer/pianist, not to mention patient house mother to a group of unruly genius musicians. The success of Jazz Me Blues lies not only in the consistently high caliber of musicianship but in Yoko’s careful shepherding and giving of space to Jazz Me Blues’ constituent members.
Yoko is from Osaka which is known for theater, humor and for its close-knit arts community – all of which are well represented at any Jazz Me Blues show. A witty entertainer who can belt out a boogie, Yoko also explores the commonalities between African-rooted music and the music of Japan in traditional and original compositions. “The uniqueness of Yoko,” says Tatsu Aoki, “is that she came here to cultivate that part of the Japanese ‘new Japan’ and incorporate it into Chicago style music.”
At times, her smokey-timbered voice and breathy vamping emphasizes tone and rhythm while her hands keep the melody. And on the singing duets with John, her come-hither, yet in-control vocals are a perfect foil for John’s transparent bluster, naked begging and brilliantly pleading counter-vocals — humor that is a much neglected aspect fo blues and which welcomes the audience into the moment. “When you mix that with the very sad songs, that brings real life,” says Yoko in a voice as expressive as her music, “I like to reflect the realness of life in the music.”
Marissa Oberlander is a commercial real estate reporter with Bisnow and a contributing theater critic to the Chicago Reader. She received her Master’s in Journalism at the Medill School of Journalism at Northwestern University, spending three months in London producing interactive graphics for the Financial Times. She completed her undergraduate degree at Tufts University and is the former membership coordinator of The Executives’ Club of Chicago. Marissa is pleased to be a supporter of OCSA and is looking forward to contributing to its success!
Robin Weber owns and operates the Merle Norman Cosmetics in downtown Geneva, Illinois. Robin has 25 years of experience as an owner and cosmetologist. She has been married for 30 years to Dane Weber, a carpenter superintendent for Lamp Inc. located in Elgin, Illinois. Together they have a son, Anthony Weber, and daughter-in-law, Amanda. They have been blessed with four grandchildren: two grandsons, Alijah,6 and Avery, 4 and two granddaughters, Adalyn, 2 and Arbor who is only a month old.
Robin has been on the planning committee for OCSA from the beginning. She and her husband have participated in all of the Dog Walks. They are in charge of fine dining, grilling hot dogs and hamburgers and home grown zucchini.
Sandra “Sam” Wolf has held a Nail Technology Teachers License, a facet of Cosmetology, for 17 years. She has been in the business for 25 years. Sam currently works part time at the Merle Norman in Geneva, Illinois.
Sam is married to Alan Wolf who has worked for Benjamin Moore Company for more than 27 years. They have two children together, Emily who is 14 years old and Austin who is 12 years old. Sam is very involved with her children’s activities. She has been Emily’s Girl Scout Leader (Troop 4058) for 8 years and is also currently the Service Unit Treasurer for Girl Scouts of Northern Illinois for Geneva. School is no different; Sam has been an active participant in her children’s school PTO. Currently she is holding the position of Treasurer for the PTO 2014-2015 year at Geneva Middle School-South.
Sam and her family are very active in their church, St. Marks in Geneva. Sam is currently holding a Vestry board seat at St. Mark’s, starting her 2nd year of a 3 year term. Other duties she does are coordinates and over see’s Vacation Bible School for the summer and is one of the directors of the Church’s Christmas Pageant which has been a tradition for more than 75 years. She assists with the children’s ministry, along with other various projects. To make sure that St. Marks is kept safe, Sam and her husband Alan is also on the security team there.
Sam is an active member of Altrusa International, a club that focuses on Literacy. She has been a member since 2006 and is currently the President of Altrusa Foundation, Fox Valley.
In her spare time she enjoys game night with her family, scrap booking, reading and Barre classes to workout and keep fit.