Board of Directors
We are honored to have the support of four incredible individuals who have volunteered to be our advisors and leaders. Their support of our dreams, plans and realities is encouraging and inspiring. They may operate behind the scenes, but they an integral part of Team Spektral.
Natalie Bontumasi (Chair) has been involved in the arts for most of her life. Growing up in Chicago, as the daughter of a poet/English professor father and a photographer mother, she spent most of her time after school in ballet classes or at play rehearsals. She graduated from Northwestern University with a B.S. in Theater, concentrating on acting and costume design. After some time as a professional actress (and waitress!), Natalie went back to school, and earned a BFA in graphic design from University of Illinois at Chicago. Her company, Good Thomas Design, focuses especially on non-profit organizations and small businesses. Her work is included in the Chicago Design Archive. She has served on the Park Ridge Public Art Commission, and is an amateur cellist.
Diane Gerrish (Secretary) hails from the snowy lands of Minnesota, but has called Chicago home since 2006. She is a fundraising professional, longtime steward of nature, and patron of the arts. She is currently the Midwest Regional Director of Development for the National Parks Conservation Association, and previously worked for The Nature Conservancy and the Peggy Notebaert Nature Museum. Diane is a member of the Young Professionals Group for the Chicago Council on Global Affairs, and volunteers with the Young Non-Profit Professionals Network. She received her B.A. in journalism from the University of Wisconsin-Madison.
Albert J Kim is an attorney by training, but an artist at heart. When he is not sawing away on his violin, Albert practices securities law as Vice President and Associate General Counsel of the Chicago Stock Exchange. Prior to that, Albert was a Cook County Assistant State’s Attorney, during which time he prosecuted criminal offenses at the trial and appellate levels. Albert received his B.A. in History from the University of Illinois, Urbana- Champaign; J.D. from the Loyola University Chicago School of Law and is currently pursuing his M.B.A. at the University of Chicago Booth School of Business. As a former student of the violin, Albert has a profound love of music and is honored to be associated with Spektral Quartet.
James Ongena (Treasurer) is an accomplished lawyer and CPA. After growing up in Rockford, IL, he received his B.S. in Accounting and Finance from the University of Colorado Boulder before returning to the Chicago area to attend law school at Loyola University Chicago. He worked for five years at the accounting firm Arthur Andersen before moving on to the Chicago Stock Exchange, where he is now Executive Vice President and General Counsel.
James Donald Smith is an attorney by training, but first and foremost he is a “wannabe” musician. He took up the violin at an early age and later in life switched to the viola, with its range being more like the one he wishes he could have as a singer. James holds degrees in electrical engineering (University of Maryland) and law (Duke University). Through the years his professional pursuits have included clerking for a federal appellate court judge, working as a patent trial lawyer, managing an office of a Wall Street law firm, and serving as chief judge of the U.S. government’s administrative patent court. James now lives in Minnesota, where he is the chief intellectual property counsel for law and regulatory affairs at Ecolab.