Gorton Staff and Board


Amy Wagliardo,
Executive Director
amy (at) gortoncenter (dot) org
Amy came to Gorton in April of 2016. She has spent her career in arts and cultural programming, having previously worked with the Dallas Symphony Association, the Dallas Center for the Performing Arts Foundation (now the AT&T Performing Arts Center), Southern Methodist University and Midwest Young Artists. She holds an M.A. in Arts Management and an M.B.A. from SMU, as well as an undergraduate degree in music from the same. She has also completed the Kellogg Certificate in Nonprofit Management from Northwestern University. Having grown up in central Indiana, Amy lived in Texas for 22 years before moving to the North Shore with her family in 2014. Amy loves being back in the Midwest and feels very lucky to work at Gorton. She is the treasurer for the school PTSA. When she is not working, she spends quality time with her family going on all sorts of adventures near and far. She lives in Lake Bluff with her husband Sam and two sons.

Karen McCabe,
accountant (at) gortoncenter (dot) org

Karen, a Certified Public Accountant, spent her early career working in public accounting for large and small accounting firms, as well as financial accounting positions at Fortune 500 companies. After the birth of her daughters, she worked independently in accounting for several small businesses and nonprofits in the Lake Forest and Lake Bluff area. She obtained her BBA from St. Mary’s College, Notre Dame, IN. Karen and her husband Tom have two adult daughters and have lived in Lake Bluff since 1993. Having grown up in Lake Forest, Karen appreciates the Gorton Center and all it has done for our community over the years.

Leslie Lord,
Marketing Director
leslie (at) gortoncenter (dot) org
Leslie lives in Lake Bluff with her husband, two children and dog, Blaize. She received her BFA in Graphic Design from the Rochester Institute of Technology and has worked both full-time and freelance in marketing & graphic design for both large and small companies and non-profits. She feels very lucky to be able to work with the talented team at the organization that has brought so much enrichment and joy to her family and the Lake Forest/Lake Bluff Community. In addition to spending time with her family, Leslie loves to read, knit, walk with Blaize, travel & cook.

Rebecca Fons

Rebecca Fons,
Director of Film

rebecca (at) gortoncenter (dot) org
Rebecca Fons is the Programming Director at FilmScene, Iowa City’s premiere art house theater, and also serves as the Development and Programming Director for the Iowa Theater – a multi-disciplinary film and performance center in her hometown of Winterset, IA. Rebecca was the Education Director for The Chicago International Film Festival for nearly a decade and is a co-founder of Destroy Your Art, a yearly film and performance art event in Chicago. Rebecca received a Masters Degree in Arts Management from Columbia College Chicago and a BA in Cinema and Comparative Literature Studies from the University of Iowa. She is a member of the Gene Siskel Film Center’s Community Council, serves on the screening committees for the True/False Film Festival and SXSW, and as a juror at festivals around the country. Rebecca is based in Chicago. 

Krista Hanson,
Event Coordinator

krista (at) gortoncenter (dot) org
Krista has been an Event Coordinator at Gorton since 2011. She enjoys renting space at the center, managing the calendar and coordinating tenant leases with job-share partner Martha ReQua. Krista has a BS in Finance from University of Illinois. After 10 years in the corporate world, Krista quit and moved to Fort Sheridan in Highland Park with her husband to raise their two kids. Now she could not be happier working with the amazing team at the beautiful Gorton Community Center.

Libby Johnson,
Program Director

libby (at) gortoncenter (dot) org
Libby Johnson is a new transplant, moved to Lake Bluff in the spring of 2017, and joined the Gorton family shortly thereafter. A devoted Iowa Hawkeye, she lived downtown Chicago for 7 years, working for an experiential marketing agency. She brings to Gorton a passion for helping the community and an eagerness to provide new and exciting programs for all ages.

Martha ReQua,
Event Coordinator

martha (at) gortoncenter (dot) org
I live in Lake Bluff with my golden retriever, Rigby. I am the Mother of two adult daughters and have four grandchildren. I owned and operated the Frame Forum, Inc. in Lake Forest for 32 years before I sold it to retire. In 2005, I started working at Gorton 1 day a week as an administrator assistant. The job grew to 3 days after a year. I now work 4 days a week as one of the Events Coordinators, renting space for weddings, parties, meetings and any other events. I love my job and the great staff I work with at Gorton. You will find me in the office with Rigby greeting people when she is not asleep. When I am not at Gorton I enjoy taking a long walk with Rigby through town, playing tennis, gardening, volunteering or just being with my family and friends. I run the Market Square Car Show every July to raise money for melanoma and am an active member of As Good As Gold, a golden retriever rescue group, among other volunteering. I look forward to seeing you at Gorton.

Kristy Richardson,
DILC Director

dicdirector (at) gortoncenter (dot) org
Kristy is so happy to be part of the Gorton Drop In Learning Center staff. She left the corporate world in 2011 after the birth of her son to resume her career in Early Childhood Education. She holds a B.A. in English from Truman State University in Kirksville, MO and fulfilled her Illinois Type 04 early childhood teaching certificate credentials at North Park University in Chicago. She has experience teaching preschool, 1st and 2nd grade, kindergarten, toddlers and infants. She strives to create a fun, loving and nurturing environment for the children at Gorton Children’s Drop in Learning Center each day.

Tricia Sweet,
Facilities Director

tricia (at) gortoncenter (dot) org
Tricia received a B.A. from the College of the Holy Cross in psychology with a concentration in gerontology and a M.S. in Social Work from Columbia University. After working at the Rehab Institute in NYC as Director of Social Work, Tricia and her husband David relocated to Lake Forest 15 years ago. Tricia joined Gorton in 2011 first as a Marketing and Program Director, then Special Events Director and finally as Facilities Director. She couldn’t be happier working with such an amazing team at Gorton and watching Gorton grow! Tricia and David have 3 children. She loves tennis, squash, cooking, reading, and is a proud hockey mom.

Rich Torres,
Theater Manager

rich (at) gortoncenter (dot) org
Rich has always had an interest in audio and video production. It dates all the way back to eighth grade when he walked into the television studio at Gordon Tech High School. Seeing the lights and cameras lit a fire in him and he chose to pursue an A/V career. It has been a long and winding road for Rich. He studied at Indiana University and worked as a reporter for the Fine Arts/NPR radio station while also working as a videographer for the IU Sports Information Department. After college, Rich worked at the Chicago Board of Trade as a clerk, Poplar Creek Music Theatre as the House Manager and then worked as an on-air talent and producer at WCKG and WXCD radio stations in Chicago. Rich started work in the A/V department at the Sears Centre Arena in Hoffman Estates where he eventually headed the department before landing at the Gorton Community Center. Rich has a son in college and likes to spend his spare time playing golf or tennis and other sports or playing guitar and listening to music and attending concerts. An animal lover, Rich is on the lookout for another Basset Hound to own him.

Ann Wildman,
Director of Special Events

ann (at) gortoncenter (dot) org
Ann spent a majority of her early career in executive search working for Heidrick & Struggles, identifying and placing leadership talent at the top levels of Fortune 500 companies within the North American technology and consumer practices. Prior to her work at Heidrick, Ann was an Associate for A.T. Kearney in both the Chicago and Atlanta offices. After retiring from the corporate world, Ann became interested in non-profit work, specifically running events and chairing mission-based initiatives, which led to her interest in the Special Events role at Gorton. Enjoying her position immensely, Ann is excited about bringing everything from children’s theater to live music and entertainment to community gathering events to Gorton. She hopes to continue Gorton’s mission as “the gathering place to educate, entertain and inspire” as well as bringing a touch of the “city experience” right here in Lake Forest. Ann has a Bachelor of Arts from Marquette University. In her spare time, Ann enjoys cooking, reading, yoga, racquet sports and spending time with her husband, two children, and friends in the community.

Catherine Yehle,
Director of Development

catherine (at) gortoncenter (dot) org
Catherine received her BA from the University of Arizona and she and her family have lived in Lake Forest for 15 years. Before moving to Lake Forest, she and her husband Jeff lived in the city of Chicago, spent 5 years in Boston, MA before settling in Lake Forest. Catherine’s career included working at WNUA Radio and Frankel & Co in Chicago and coming in on the ground floor at Monster.com in Boston where she produced their first Super Bowl commercial: “what do you want to be when you grow up?…” Catherine and husband Jeff have 4 children, all of whom attended and currently attend – public school in Lake Forest. Catherine was the Director of Programming at Gorton Community Center from 2014-2017. She is now the Director of Development. Catherine has been involved in our community since moving to Lake Forest where she was a board member of Lake Forest Open Lands, Vice President of the Associate Board, and now on the Education Committee for Open Lands. Catherine sat on the Lake Forest Caucus for three years (2013-2016) where she was Ward Chair in 2015. Catherine also served on all APT for all schools.

Sue Johnson,

sue (at) gortoncenter (dot) org
Sue came to Gorton from Lake Forest College where she worked in development as the alumni database manager, focusing on leveraging technology to increase alumni and donor engagement. Sue began her career in science as a lab tech and biology teacher then transitioned to the corporate world of information technology. She enjoys working on the people side of technology and has managed numerous new computer systems projects and was the manager for systems training at a corporation. Since moving to Lake Forest 12 years ago, she has worked in the non-profit world. She was a volunteer educator at Open Lands, and the office/data manager at Mothers Trust Foundation where she got her feet wet in the world of development. She expanded her development skills at LF College and now brings her experience to Gorton as a Development Associate. Sue is thrilled to be working with people and technology doing non-profit work at Gorton that benefits all of the community.
Sue, her husband Greg and their two children, both recent college grads, live in west Lake Forest. In addition to seeing friends, movies at Gorton, and golf in the summer, Sue loves visiting the Open Lands and Lake Forest Beach all year round. Sue has a BS in Biology and Education from the University of Vermont.

Jesus Escobar,
Lead Porter

jesus (at) gortoncenter (dot) org

Jasmin Rodriguez,
Evening & Weekend Hospitality Coordinator
Jasmin has been working in TV, film, print and commercial since 2014. TV includes Chicago Fire Season 5 and 6 as a Stand-in/double. She has worked in several independent films such as Faithful Disappointments, Coffee House, The Eight Hour and the TV true crime series American Greed. Jasmin has also been busy as a commercial actor having appeared on camera in television commercials including regional spots for Honda of Kenosha, Blue Cross Blue Shield and recently completed a print job for US Cellular in Milwaukee Wisconsin. She completed her training at Second City and Vagabond. Jasmin is a dedicated actress and hard worker who is constantly looking to improve her talents. She enjoys nature, working out, travels to Germany, helping out her fellow actor friends and staying focused and positive to fulfill her dream of one day becoming a successful actor. 

Jose Alfaro, Porter

Juan Hernandez, Porter

Jorge Sanchez, Porter

Maro Tellez-Contreras, Porter


Kate Rother

Jack Westerman
Vice Chair

Tim Morris

Diana Moore

Nick Bothfeld
Finance Chair

Richard O. Wood
Officers at Large


Pim Alley

Elizabeth Brandel

Court Carruthers

Will Georgi

Stephen Goldman

Kate Hanson

Timothy Hender

Kirtland Hayes

Matt Nagel

Karen Rode

Thomas C. Sheffield III

Andrew Trees

Steve Valenti

Kristin Wildman