Board of Directors
Vickie Metnick-Block MA, MAS, has been a member of the ICODA Board of Directors since it was incorporated as a separate not-for-profit in 1997.
Most of her marketing career has been centered in Northbrook, although she serves clients worldwide. Vickie raised her three children in Northbrook, where they participated in many of the arts programs offered in the community.
Vickie’s educational training and early professional work focused on severely handicapped children and adults. When her nephew was diagnosed with profound deafness at the age of two, Vickie became very interested in what it would take to maximize his potential for learning, language and socialization.
The ICODA program encourages and develops self-esteem and confidence for all of their participants. Vickie’s love of music and theatre, coupled with her passion to bring out the best potential in every child, is realized with her involvement in ICODA.
Donald K. Bloom is President of Donald Bloom & Associates, Inc. a technology management consulting practice founded in 1982. Don received his B.S. in Computer Science from Purdue University and an MBA from the University of Chicago. Since starting his own consulting firm, Don has expanded his experience and knowledge in a broad range of management, technical and business functions. He has been heavily involved with consultations in strategic technology planning, operational productivity, business continuity, system development, security, and staffing & training. Don’s interests include the “future” even when not related to his business. He is a member of the World Future Society and has an active interest in classic and modern science fiction. He has been an ICODA board member since 2003.
Brent spent the first fifteen years of his professional life working in the banking industry. He worked in six different sectors of banking including audit, credit, and the last nine years as a commercial banker.
For the last eleven years, Brent has worked in over twenty different industries helping business owners do the things that their own skill sets or time constraints make difficult. Brent has sat at the desk of CEO, CFO, and head of sales during that time frame.
The diversity of Brent’s business background is best evidenced by the breadth of his engagements which in part have included:
- helping to start up and establish financing and trade credit for a company so unique that no sic code existed;
- opening a restaurant location for a Chicago based group and selling off two struggling locations;
- fully recapitalizing an IT company;
- selling major distribution agreements for a beverage company;
- averting bankruptcy for a food manufacturing company and creating a path for long-term financial success
- managed corporate attorneys in litigation matters as both Plaintiffs and Defendants with successful outcomes for both
While the term “generalist” is often used in business, it is not always an appropriate label. Brent is a generalist with a proven ability to fill numerous roles within a business and to solve the problems no one else can solve. ICODA is delighted to have Brent as one of our founding Board Members.
Leslie has over 25 years of experience in interior design in the commercial and residential field with a specialization in designing for individuals with special needs. Prior to graduating from the Harrington College of Interior Design, she received a Bachelor’s degree in Fine Arts from Drake University and a Master’s degree in Arts from Northwestern University specializing in the area of Education of the Hearing Impaired. Prior to practicing as an interior designer, she chaired the Art department for the hearing impaired at Whitney Young High School. While there she set up a city-wide art education program with the Art Institute of Chicago and the Chicago Board of Education. Leslie has also taught art to both disabled and able bodied infants through adults. She was an American Sign Language instructor at the Chicago City Colleges. She has also worked as an illustrator, ceramist and fine arts multi-media painter. Leslie’s works have been featured in House Beautiful, Developer Magazine, Chicago Home and Garden and many other publications.
Kirsten made her debut in ICODA’s very first production, as the scarecrow in The Wizard of Oz! Her stage work continued through college, where she earned her degree in dramatic arts at Eastern Michigan University. Since then, she has remained very active in theatre, with a myriad of productions with both community and professional organizations. Moving to Los Angeles, Kirsten shifted to teaching Performing Arts at a private school, where she also directed and counseled students. Kirsten has served on the boards of professional theatres, including the SCV Theatre Project and the Arts Alliance of Los Angeles, and has most recently been invited to join the board of the Kennedy Center of Performing Arts in Washington D.C.. She is currently writing an original one-woman show entitled “Firecracker,” as well as reinvigorating her career with new and exciting performance challenges. Anxious to rekindle her affectionate relationship with ICODA, Kirsten has just recently joined the Board.
Jean grew up, married and raised her family of four in Glencoe, Illinois. Jean received her B.A. degree from Wellesley College, Boston Massachusetts, with a major in Political Science. She is the parent of two deaf children, one of whom was a founding member of the CenterLight Theatre program. Jean and her husband were active parents in various deaf organizations over the past several years, and are founding parents of ICODA. Jean continues today with her devoted support of ICODA’s programs. In addition she served on the Alumnae Board of Wellesley College and was actively involved as President, Class Treasurer, Chicago Wellesley Club President and did admission interviews for several years. Currently she is active in a Discussion Group, Investment Group, and Naples Wellesley Club. Jean enjoys playing golf and tennis. She also loves to travel.
Patricia Scherer Ph.D.
Patricia Scherer is the founder and President of ICODA. She established the Center on Deafness, a Service and Arts organization in 1974, and directed early productions for the Children’s Theater. Dr. Scherer has a musical background from Northwestern’s School of Music, and therefore established musical theater as a new experience for deaf and hard of hearing children. She received her Bachelor’s degree in Deaf Education, her Master’s degree in Learning Disabilities and went on to receive her Ph.D. in the Psychology of Deafness all from Northwestern University. She Directed the Teacher training program in Deafness and the interdisciplinary Diagnostic Clinic at Northwestern for 12 years. Dr. Scherer has an extensive background in teaching and mental health. She has performed diagnostic evaluations on deaf and hard of hearing children throughout the state of Illinois and her contributions to the field of deafness have had a national impact. She has served on numerous committees and is a member of several Advisory Boards in the field of education and deafness. Her current duties are administration of programs, policy implementation and maintaining fiscal stability. She also serves as the President of Mental Health and Deafness Resources, ICODA’s sister organization.
Carey Siegel is a native of Chicago. He graduated from Highland Park High School, and went on to Arizona State University where he received his bachelors degree in Accounting. For over 15 years Carey worked in outside sales for the paint industry. He is currently pursuing his dreams of opening his own business. Carey has actively worked as a volunteer with the organization America Hearing Impaired Hockey Association (AHIHA),Keshet, Buddy Baseball, and the Judd Goldman Adaptive Sailing Program (JGASP). He enjoys sailing, biking, running and yoga, Carey has been a board member of ICODA for several years working with ICODA's fundraising events.
Honorary Board Members
Libby Matlin – Parent of Academy Award Winner Marlee Matlin
Bernard Bragg – Co-founder of The National Theater of the Deaf