A Heartfelt Farewell to Our Board Members

Board members with Executive Director Gabrielle Lyon at our 2022 retreat in Springfield

2022 Board Retreat small group

By Illinois Humanities

Read Time 2 minutes
October 24, 2023

This month, Illinois Humanities bid farewell to several long-time board members. With immense gratitude, we’d like to take a moment to reflect on their invaluable contributions to our organization. Board Chair Susan Eleuterio, Jennifer Wirtz, John S. Bracken, and Verett A. Mims have been a driving force behind our mission to promote and celebrate the humanities, and today, we express our deepest thanks for their dedication, wisdom, and unwavering support. 

Departing Board Chair Susan Eleuterio helped lead the board during the height of the COVID-19 pandemic as we delivered the largest tranche of funding in our history, while continuing to offer our core programming. A long-time member of our grants committee, Susan is unwavering in her commitment to supporting Illinois’ vibrant cultural ecosystem. 

Jennifer Wirtz chaired our fundraising committee and co-chaired numerous Public Humanities awards as a tireless advocate for Illinois Humanities. Jennifer’s spirit of philanthropy has been instrumental in advancing our mission and helped bring our awards event back to an in-person celebration this year after three years of virtual events. 

John S. Bracken has helped Illinois Humanities navigate myriad changes over his nine-year tenure from new leadership to a new website and our first strategic plan in over a decade. John has been instrumental in supporting our human resources capacity and ensuring that Illinois Humanities remains a great place to work. Recently, John has lent his talents as a panel moderator for Illinois Humanities’ report release breakfast “History is Happening: The State of Humanities Organizations in Illinois During COVID-19.”

Verett A. Mims has lent her financial expertise and business acumen to Illinois Humanities throughout her tenure. Her ongoing support has helped us reach new financial goals and set the stage for ongoing success. 

The impact of these remarkable individuals on Illinois Humanities has been profound. Their leadership, insights, and unwavering commitment have guided us through challenges and propelled us to new heights. While we are sad to see them go, we know that their influence will continue to shape the future of our organization and the communities we serve.

Illinois Humanities is powered by a dedicated team of Board and staff members whose care and commitment have helped to increase our impact across the state. See a complete list of our team, including The Board.