The founding members of the CBEF board are comprised of nationally renown authorities in the area of music education, blues history and culture, music museums, creative and performance arts, civic and cultural leaders.

Lyneir Richardson : Acting President & Board Member

Lyneir Richardson

Acting President & Board Member

CEO of Chicago TREND Corp., a MacArthur Foundation funded social enterprise that aims to catalyze retail development in underserved communities in Chicago and thereby accelerate urban neighborhood transformations. Lyneir graduated from Bradley University and the University of Chicago Law School.

Terry Stewart : Founding Board Member

Terry Stewart

Founding Board Member

Former President of Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum for over 14 years. Prior to the Rock Hall Terry was President and COO of Marvel Entertainment Group. Long active in civic and philanthropic endeavors, Terry is a Vice Chair of the board of the Rhythm & Blues Foundation in Philadelphia, board member of Austin City Limits and advisor for the Summer Concert Series in Central Park in New York.

Dr. Kwang-Wu Kim : Founding Board Member

Dr. Kwang-Wu Kim

Founding Board Member

President and CEO of Columbia College Chicago and distinguished music educator and performing artist.   Dr. Kim is known as an outspoken advocate for the arts and a proponent of the need to rethink the way that artists are educated. He was formerly the dean and director of the Herberger Institute for Design and the Arts and professor of music at Arizona State University.

Dr. Toni-Marie Montgomery : Founding Board Member

Dr. Toni-Marie Montgomery

Founding Board Member

Dr. Toni-Marie Montgomery - Dean of the Bienen School of Music, Northwestern University since 2003.­­­ Dr. Montgomery is a recipient of the Doctor of Musical Arts degree from the University of Michigan.

Montgomery was a founding member of the Black Music Repertory Ensemble of Columbia College of Chicago. This fifteen-member ensemble specialized in performing works by black composers and promoted appreciation for the black musical heritage. Montgomery continues to give recitals and has performed throughout the United States and in Austria, Brazil, Hawaii, Poland, Lithuania, and Latvia. Recent chamber music concerts include performances in Evanston, Ann Arbor and Los Angeles with cellist Anthony Elliott.

Toni-Marie Montgomery received the 2016 Golden Baton Award from Midwest Young Artists. The award honors individuals who have made significant contributions to classical music.

John Boncimino : Founding Board Member

John Boncimino

Founding Board Member

Co-founder of the Chicago Blues Experience and a nationally renown Blues producer and talent development manager for some of the most celebrated and legendary Blues artists for over 25 years. Recipient of the “Keeping The Blues Alive Award” from the Blues Foundation and WC Handy Awards. John is a proud graduate of Columbia College Chicago.

Lincoln Beauchamp, Jr. : Founding Board Member

Lincoln Beauchamp, Jr.

Founding Board Member

Co-founder of Chicago Blues Experience, Blues artist, educator, writer and publisher. In numerous Blues and Jazz recordings, Beau has collaborated with world class artists including Pinetop Perkins, Memphis Slim, SunnyLand Slim, Art Ensemble of Chicago, Billy Cobham and Archie Shepp. He is founding editor and publisher of Literati Chicago and the Original Chicago Blues Annual which was translated into three languages. Beau has taught a course he created titled, “Blues as Music, Literature and Lifestyle” at Harper College and previously at Columbia College.

Sona Wang : Founding Board Member

Sona Wang

Founding Board Member

Sona Wang - Co-founder Chicago Blues Experience and Managing Director of the Ceres Venture Fund. Sona is a 28 year venture capital veteran who is an active civic and cultural leader working to create positive social impact through music and performing arts. She previously served on the boards of the Chicago Children’s Choir and the Chicago Symphony Orchestra. She currently serves as a Trustee of Northwestern University and Columbia College Chicago.

William Selonick : Founding Board Member

William Selonick

Founding Board Member

Co-founder of the Chicago Blues Experience and Executive Managing Director, Newmark Knight Frank, a leading international commercial real estate firm. Bill is the executive producer of Chicago Plays the Stones, a recording project featuring three generations of Chicago blues artists and the Rolling Stones band members. Bill is a founding investor and board member of Big Blue Swim School, a rapidly growing chain of swim schools for children ages 6 mos to 12 years. He is a graduate of Oberlin College and Northwestern Kellogg Graduate School of Management.

Bob Santelli : Special Advisor

Bob Santelli

Special Advisor

Robert “Bob” Santelli served as Founding Executive Director of The GRAMMY Museum in Los Angeles. A noted Blues and rock historian, Santelli is also the author of more than a dozen books on American music, including The Big Book of Blues, The Best of the Blues, and Martin Scorsese Presents the Blues. In addition, two books written by Bob were listed on the New York Times Bestsellers List, Greetings from E Street (The Story of Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band) and The Bob Dylan Scrapbook. Bob has also contributed to Rolling Stone, Musician, Modern Drummer, Guitar Player, Downbeat, the New York Times, and New Jersey Monthly, among other periodicals.
In 1993, Bob was one of the original curators of the then nascent Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum, moving to Cleveland in 1995 to become the museum's first Director of Education and Vice President of Public Programs. In 2000, he became the CEO of Paul Allen's Experience Music Project in Seattle, the first ever interactive music museum. During Bob's tenure at EMP, he spearheaded over thirty exhibitions, including Bob Dylan's American Journey and The Blues, a project closely connected to Martin Scorsese’s PBS Blues series.

Bob also developed the UK's first pop music museum, the British Music Experience, which opened at London's O2 Center in 2009. Since opening The GRAMMY Museum, located in downtown Los Angeles, Bob has created "An Evening With…,” a series that features in-depth interviews with artists such as Dave Matthews, Brian Wilson, Annie Lennox, Smokey Robinson, Nas, Damian Marley, Harry Connick, Jr. and Clive Davis. Bob is also on the creative team for the annual GRAMMY® Awards Show and recently wrote and developed The Official Michael Jackson Exhibition, which opened in London in 2009, before moving to Tokyo and New York.

As founder and former president of the National Music Museum Alliance, he spearheaded the U.S. Congressional initiative to name 2003 "The Year of the Blues.” Throughout Barack Obama’s Presidency, he has coordinated music and music education programming at the White House.


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