Joffrey Ballet welcomes six new women’s board officers

Farissa Knox

Greg Cameron, President and CEO of The Joffrey Ballet, is pleased to announce the appointment of Sandi Hartstein as the new President of the Joffrey Women’s Board, along with four new Board Officers for the two-year term of 2020-2022: Jamie-Clare Flaherty, First Vice President; Farissa Knox, Second Vice President and Membership Co-Chair; Heather Martin, Me­­mber at Large; and Julianne Migely, Second Vice President and Membership Co-Chair. Joining them for a one-year term extension is Sue Oleari, Treasurer. Additional returning Officers include Jenelle Chalmers, Secretary and Melissa Trandel, Member at Large.

“The incredible skills and drive of these women are unmatched and we are confident they help elevate our newly launched Crisis Stabilization Fund to ensure the long-term health of the Joffrey,” said Cameron. “More than ever, it is essential that members of The Joffrey Ballet’s board leadership possess a strong passion for philanthropy and strategic planning. Sandi embodies those qualities, and she is already proving that nothing will slow her or the Women’s Board down, even in a climate as challenging as the one we face right now.”

Founded in 2002, the Joffrey Women’s Board advances the activities and prominence of The Joffrey Ballet as a leading cultural and educational institution. Members embrace the spirit of philanthropy and express their personal passion for the Joffrey through advocacy and support. The Women’s Board raises over $1 million annually in support of The Joffrey Ballet. Members have promoted special, mission-driven fundraising efforts such as The Nutcracker Costume Maintenance Initiative and the Joffrey’s Community Engagement programs.

Women’s Board Officers, as Approved at 2020 Annual Meeting

Sandi Hartstein, President

Sandi Hartstein joined the Joffrey Women’s Board in 2013 and most recently served a term as First Vice President. She was Co-Chair for En Pointe, an initiative for the Women‘s Board to fundraise a $50,000 Production Sponsorship. She also served as Chair for The Nutcracker Costume Maintenance Initiative, raising $300,000 to maintain the production’s costumes over the ten-year run of Christopher Wheeldon’s The Nutcracker. Hartstein has served as Member at Large for the Executive Committee, and in the past has been an active member of the Membership Committee, Community Engagement Committee, and the Volunteer Committee. She Co-Chaired The Nutcracker Family Event in 2015 and has been a committee member for the Women’s Board Luncheons dating back to 2016. She and her husband Barry Hartstein reside in Chicago.

Sandi Hartstein
Sandi Hartstein

Hartstein fell in love with dance at age three, started taking classes, and beginning at age 12, she began dancing professionally with the Chicago Ballet Company. At age 15, she left the company and performed in the choruses of many Broadway shows when they came to Chicago. She most recently performed as a supernumerary with The Joffrey Ballet in Romeo & Juliet in Chicago, New York, and Los Angeles. Before retiring, Hartstein worked in various roles, including being a paralegal in a large international law firm, working at Deloitte for ten years in the Executive Recruiting arena, and most recently serving as assistant to the President and head of Human Resources for a large technical insurance company.

Jamie-Clare Flaherty, First Vice President

Jamie-Clare Flaherty currently serves as Director of Strategic Initiatives for The Obama Foundation.  In that capacity, she helps lead public engagement, workforce development, and inclusion efforts – connecting diverse communities to opportunities with the Obama Presidential Center (OPC) and the Obama Foundation. She also serves as lead Foundation representative for the OPC regulatory process, working closely with community stakeholders to bring the Presidential Center to the South Side.

Prior to joining the Obama Foundation, Flaherty worked as Vice President and Chief of Staff to both the President and CEO at Ariel Investments. While at Ariel she led special projects, supported firm oversight, and assisted with strategic planning. She also served as chief adviser on community engagement and diversity initiatives, helping manage the annual Black Corporate Directors Conference co-hosted by Ariel Investments and Russell Reynolds.

Jamie-Clare Flaherty
Jamie-Clare Flaherty

Flaherty began her career as a litigator in New York and Massachusetts handling white collar and complex commercial disputes. She also served as a federal law clerk to Hon. Jeremy Fogel of the Northern District of California.

Last year, Flaherty was appointed by Gov. Pritzker to serve as a Trustee for the Illinois State Universities Retirement System (SURS). At SURS, Flaherty chairs the Diversity Committee.

In Chicago, she is actively involved with The Joffrey Ballet, serving on the Board of Directors since 2015.  She is also a trustee for High Jump, a two-year tuition-free academic enrichment program that seeks to build equitable learning opportunities for Chicago’s middle school students by preparing them for high school and college success.

In 2018, Flaherty was named a member of Crain’s Chicago Business “40 Under 40” and in 2019 she was listed as one of “Five to Follow” for Melinda Gates’ Evoke community.

Flaherty received both her Bachelor of Arts and Juris Doctor from The University of Michigan. She is a Chicago resident.

Farissa Knox, Second Vice President and Membership Co-Chair

Farissa Knox joined the Joffrey Women’s Board in spring 2019 and since then has been an active participant on the Women’s Board Membership

Committee. Knox has also served on the Joffrey Board of Directors Community Engagement Committee since 2018.

Farissa Knox
Farissa Knox

A native New Yorker, Knox relocated to Chicago in 2007 and founded RLM Media, a full-service advertising agency, in 2008. Knox has grown RLM Media to gross billings of over $20 million in 11 years by providing excellent customer service, complete solutions, and a team approach for her clients.

Additionally, Knox founded WhatRUWearing Productions in 2012. WRUW is a lifestyle production house behind the reality series PRGirl, now streaming on Amazon Prime Video in the US and UK, dedicated to the art of making television series and films for today’s modern woman who loves all things fashion, beauty and lifestyle. Knox and her family reside in Chicago.

Heather Martin, Member-at-Large

Heather Martin
Heather Martin

Heather Martin has been a member of the Joffrey Women’s Board since 2015.

Martin is a member of the Auxiliary Board of Rush Medical Center and has chaired their largest fundraiser, the Cook’s Tour. She is also on the leadership team of the National Charity League. In the past, Martin has served on the leadership boards of all of her three children’s schools.

Martin has served as the President of the Auxiliary Board of LA Children’s Hospital and the President of the American Cancer Society and has also been a member of the Shedd Aquarium Board and Northwestern Hospital boards in Chicago. As a retired lawyer, Martin also donates some time to pro-bono legal work. Martin and her family reside in Kenilworth.

Julianne Migely, Second Vice President and Membership Co-Chair

Since joining the Joffrey Women’s Board in 2016, Julianne Migely has been an active board member including most recently serving a term as Second Vice-President and Membership Co-Chair, participating on the Women’s Night at the Joffrey and Community Engagement committees, and successfully recruiting new members to the Women’s Board.

Julianne Migely
Julianne Migely

In addition to her volunteer work with the Joffrey, Migely is the Immediate Past Chair of Heartland Alliance Health’s Board of Directors and serves on Swedish Hospital’s Foundation Board and Alliance Francaise of Chicago Women’s Board.

Professionally, Migely has been in healthcare analytics and technology for over 20 years working with clients across the different healthcare verticals in senior business development and consulting roles. She serves as a Director, US Payer & Provider business unit at IQVIA, a Fortune 500 healthcare analytics and technology company. Migely and her family reside in Chicago.

Sue Oleari, Treasurer

Sue Oleari oversees the strategic development and delivery of BMO Private Bank’s personal wealth management platform to high net worth individuals, families and organizations, including closely-held and family-owned businesses, endowments and foundations throughout the nation. Oleari has been with BMO Harris Bank for over 25 years, and brings a wealth of knowledge and experience serving in a progression of leadership roles including Business Banking Commercial Sales Manager, Retail Market President, Premier Services Regional Manager, Private Bank Managing Director, and National Head of Sales for BMO Wealth Management.

Sue Oleari
Sue Oleari

Oleari was a 2016, 2017, 2018 and 2019 award recipient of the American Banker Most Powerful Women in Banking—Top Banking Team. Oleari is a member of the Board of Directors for BMO Harris Financial Advisors and BMO Investment Distributors, served on the Advisory Board for BMO Alliance for Women, and is the Co-Chair for the Professional Development Committee of the Wealth Management Diversity & Inclusion Council. Oleari was a six-year term Board Member, Finance Committee Member and Event Committee Member for the YWCA of Evanston/North Shore. She is a Board Member, Academy Committee Member, Treasurer and Board Member of the Women’s Board for The Joffrey Ballet in Chicago. Oleari and her family reside in Riverwoods.