Faculty and Staff

Richard Glass Jr., Ed.D.

Chief Executive and Education Officer (CEEO)

Dr. Glass has 25 years of education experience and recently served as founder and chief learning officer of Boys Lab, an innovative laboratory classroom for young learners in grades 4 through 6. He started his career as a teacher in North Lawndale and Englewood, later serving as teaching assistant principal at Mays Academy, assistant principal of Urban Prep Academies, and principal of Gale Community Academy, Legacy Charter School, Thea Bowman Leadership Academy, and Urban Prep’s Bronzeville Campus.

Dr. Glass is a 1998 graduate of Chicago State University, has a Master of Arts in School Leadership from Concordia University, and a Master of Science in Nonprofit Management from the Spertus Institute. In 2016, he received a Master of Science in Education in Elementary Teaching from Northwestern University. In February 2017, he successfully defended for a Doctor of Education in Instructional Leadership from Argosy University, where his dissertation focused on “How Relationships and Relevance Influence the Scholastic Attitudes of Black Males.” Most recently, Dr. Glass earned a Master of Education in Special Education from the University of Illinois at Chicago in May 2019.


David Bencivenga, M.Ed.

Lead Science Instructor and Coordinator of Career and Technical Education

David Bencivenga is a passionate, social justice driven and equity-focused educator.  David comes to Ryan Banks Academy with over 12 years of experience in Chicago as a classroom teacher, diverse learners teacher, International Baccalaureate teacher, and mentor teacher. David has a passion for meeting the needs of the whole child and has extensive experience implementing socio-emotional learning and trauma informed education in high pressure, high needs and historically disenfranchised areas of Chicago. David is also a strong advocate for science education and has served as lead STEM Fair Coordinator for over 5 years.
David was a member of the esteemed MSI Ecosystem 2019/2020 Cohort, Golden Apple’s 2014 professional development and inquiry science institute class and currently in the second year of the University of Illinois – Champaign Urbana – Education, Policy, Organization and Leadership Master’s Program.

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Dominique Dyson, M.Ed.

Lead Humanities Teacher and Coordinator of Academic Programs

Ms. Dyson has most recently served as the middle school English Language Arts and African American Studies teacher at The Montessori School of Englewood. For the past seven years, she has taught in middle and high schools in both traditional and charter schools in Chicago. Ms. Dyson received both her Bachelor of Arts and Master of Education degrees from DePaul University. Outside of school, Dominique is a mom of two.  She currently lives in Rogers Park with her children and her mini urban jungle of plants.

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Karen Swaback, MBA

Director of Operations

Karen has 30 years of experience in operations, with experience in safety, quality, document control, and continuous improvement. Throughout her career, she has streamlined processes to eliminate non-value added steps and loves the challenge of trying to do more with less.  She graduated from the University of Illinois, Champaign-Urbana, with a BS in Engineering, and followed up with an MBA from University of Chicago in Economics and International Management.  As a former foster parent and homeless shelter volunteer, she believes in how small actions and constant support can add up over the years to a big impact for a person.  When not running, Karen enjoys spending time in Chicago, attending cultural, sporting, or musical events with her husband Ray.


Marisa Perino, MNA

Director of Development

Marisa Perino comes to RBA with a passion for education development and strong roots in the nonprofit sector.  She completed her Master’s in Nonprofit Administration and her Bachelor of Arts from the University of Notre Dame.  She has worked with national nonprofits such as Habitat for Humanity and Blessings in a Backpack.  She also has worked in international education, spending the past five years conducting research in Western Ugandan schools. Outside of work, she maintains her love for boxing, having trained competitively in college.


Board of Directors


Ann Zeiler

Board Chair

Senior Vice President of Global Fund Services, Northern Trust


David Anderson, JD, MA


Founder and CEO at Great Lakes Regional Center, LLC


Forrest Bailey, MBA


Former CEO and President of Draper and Kramer, Inc.


Ryan Lazarus


Co-Founder at Windo Global Partners, Co-Founder at Valqari


Anslem Gardner, MBA

Board Member

Vice President, Operations & Program Impact at Greater Southwest Development Corporation 


Anuradha Chandwani, MBA

Board Member

Product Management at Grainger


Gemara Williams

Board Member

Client Engagement Manager at RL Canning


Dr. Clarence Nixon

Board Member

Founder and CEO at Technology Laboratory and Professional Development Center (t.Lab) 


Virginia Devlin

Board Member

CEO at Current Global


Stephanie Donovan, JD

Board Member

General Counsel at American Board of Medical Specialties (ABMS)


Leon Mckenzie Jr., MBA

Board Member

Vice President, Institutional Trust and Investment Management Sales at Comerica Bank

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Megan Wessels

Board Member

Founder and CEO at Powerful Partners Inc.


Anthony R. McCree, CPA

Board Member

Managing Partner and CEO at GJC (George Johnson & Company)


Richie Marrero

Board Member

Expert, Employer Sponsored Healthcare Strategist at 360 Benefits LLC


Erik Anderson

Board Member

Founder and CEO of Premiere Digital Services


Tiffany Sanders Sostrin, JD

Board Member

Director of Legislative and Community Affairs at Chicago Park District


Associate Board


Drew Williamson

Associate Board President

Director at Publicis Groupe


Jack McNamara

Head of Strategy Committee

Manager, Strategy & Corporate Development at Adtalem Global Education


Aidan Veseling

Head of Fundraising Committee

Founder at HowzBout Inc.


Elizabeth Niersbach

Head of Outreach Committee

Strategy & Operations Consultant at Deloitte Consulting


Juyeon Ha

Associate Board Member

Sr. Financial/BI Analyst, Technology Finance at Northern Trust Corporation

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Erin Gordon

Associate Board Member

Senior Manager at Current Global


Miguel Aguilar

Associate Board Member

Associate at Kaltroco


Tayler Jennings

Associate Board Member

Recruiter at Morgan Stanley

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Sofia Sarmiento

Associate Board Member

Consultant at Boston Consulting Group (BCG)


Brad Wattleworth

Associate Board Member

Strategy Consultant at Deloitte Consulting



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Valerie Groth 

Founder, Executive Advisor

Head of Partnerships at Stella


Jeff Garlin

Executive Advisor



Zeb McLaurin

Executive Advisor

Chief Executive Officer at McLaurin Development Partners


Lynne Sorkin, AIA, LEED AP

Executive Advisor

Principal at FGM Architects


Tobi Goldfeder, LCSW

Clinical Advisor

Founder and Director of Good Moorow LLC


Jon Schickedanz

Technical Advisor

Principal and Executive Producer at The Alliance Labs


Tim McCormick, MBA, M.Div

Executive Advisor

Chief Executive Officer of SOS Children's Villages Illinois


Bryan Samuels, MPP

Executive Advisor

Executive Director of Chapin Hill