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Apr. 26, 2021

Navy Pier Appoints New Members to Its Board and Associate Board

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Navy Pier, Chicago’s iconic lakefront destination and nonprofit cultural institution, announced today the appointment of 11 new members to its board of directors and associate board. The five appointees to the executive board include Ricardo Estrada, Scott Goodman, Adam Hoeflich, Connie Lindsey and Eric Smith. The six new associate board members include AJ Iriberri, Corinth Jackson, Destiny Ortega, Lauren Shanley, Emanuel A. Smith, Jr. and John Wober. The new additions round out the voluntary board and associate board of 34 members each. Navy Pier looks forward to the wealth of unique experience, expertise, energy and strategic approach the new members will bring to the organization as it prepares for its highly anticipated reopening later this spring.

“As an essential nonprofit cultural institution and key economic driver in Chicago, it is paramount for the Pier to have a diligent and insightful group of leaders and advisors to help navigate the challenges of the pandemic and reemerge as a stronger and revitalized organization,” said William J. Brodsky, Navy Pier Board Chairman. “We believe we have found that in our new board and associate board members, who will play a fundamental role in supporting our fundraising outreach at this critical time, while continuing to help advance the vital mission of the People’s Pier.”

Ricardo Estrada serves as CEO of Metropolitan Family Services, one of Illinois’ most respected human services agencies. He has previously served as First Deputy Commissioner of the City of Chicago’s Department of Family and Support Services (DFSS). Awards received include the City Club of Chicago John A. McDermott Award for Distinguished Social Leadership, the University of Illinois at Chicago City Partner Award, the University of Chicago’s Inaugural SSA Social Impact Alumni Award, the Roberto Clemente honoree by the Chicago Cubs and the NFL Hispanic Heritage Leadership Award from the Chicago Bears.

Scott Goodman serves as the founding principal of Farpoint Development and brings a lifetime of experience in real estate development, focusing on investor relations, procurement of financing and transaction structuring. Goodman has served as the former board chair of the PKD Foundation, and is currently a board member of the Heartland Alliance and member of the Chicago Economics Club.

Adam Hoeflich currently serves as Partner at Bartlit Beck LLP., strategically advising public and private companies and prominent individuals facing complex challenges within the litigation process. He is currently a Professor of Practice at Northwestern Pritzker School of Law and an elected member of the American Law Institute (ALI). Hoeflich also serves as Chair of the Civic Federation Board of Trustees, a Trustee of Northwestern University and a member of the Northwestern Memorial Hospital Quality Committee.

Connie Lindsey is the Executive Vice President and Head of Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) and Global Diversity, Equity and Inclusion at Northern Trust in Chicago, where she is responsible for the design and implementation of global corporate responsibility, diversity and community investments. Lindsey is a former National Board President of Girl Scouts of the USA and serves on several civic boards, including Leadership Greater Chicago (Board President, 2001 Fellow), McCormick Theological Seminary (Chair of the Board of Trustees), Obama Foundation Inclusion Council (Co-Chair), Chicago Urban League, Executives’ Club of Chicago and YMCA of Metropolitan Chicago.

Eric Smith is the Vice Chair of BMO Harris Bank and is responsible for working with the U.S. Commercial Banking team and across other business lines to develop the bank’s strategy and product capabilities, using skills he cultivated at his previous position as the Regional President of Fifth Third Bank. He currently serves as Chairman of the Board for the Chicago Urban League and the Ann & Robert H. Lurie Children’s Hospital Foundation, and is an active board member for the Chicago Public Education Fund, Economic Club of Chicago, Lyric Opera, Northwestern Memorial Hospital and Ravinia.

The Navy Pier Associate Board, which serves as an auxiliary board, is adding the following individuals to its existing group of impressive emerging local leaders:

AJ Iriberri, Senior Principal, Strategy and Operations at Slalom

Corinth Jackson, Asset Management and Accounting Analyst at CRG

Destiny Ortega, Associate Principal at Civic Consulting Alliance

Lauren Shanley, Chief of Staff and GTM Business Manager at Pegasystems Inc.

Emanuel A. Smith, Jr., Administrator and AP Biology Teacher at Rauner College Prep

John Wober, President at AirBrands

Navy Pier Board and Associate Board positions are entirely voluntary and do not receive compensation of any sort. Elected members generously extend their support in the form of time, talent and resources. Their most immediate priority in the coming months will be to help raise critical funds from philanthropic sources to ensure the Pier’s post-pandemic survival and long-term success as a nonprofit organization.

“As we approach our reopening, we will be leaning on the strategic counsel and guidance of our board and associate board members more than ever before,” said Marilynn Gardner, President and CEO of Navy Pier. “I am thrilled that we are able to welcome such a well-respected and highly sought-after group of Chicago leaders who are also eager to reopen and highlight Navy Pier as one of the city’s most iconic destinations for locals and visitors, alike.”

Navy Pier will begin its phased reopening on Friday, April 30, restoring public access to select outdoor spaces and attractions and cautiously resuming partial operations with public health and safety at the forefront.

About Navy Pier

Located on Lake Michigan, Navy Pier is the top nonprofit tourism destination in the Midwest, stretching more than six city blocks and typically welcoming nearly 9 million annual guests. Originally opened in 1916 as a shipping and recreation facility, this Chicago landmark showcases more than 50 acres of parks, restaurants, attractions, retail shops, sightseeing and dining cruise boats, exposition facilities and more.

The Pier celebrated its 100th anniversary in 2016 with the unveiling of the iconic Centennial Wheel, Polk Bros Park, Fifth Third Bank Family Pavilion and Peoples Energy Welcome Pavilion. In 2021, Navy Pier continued to usher in its second century with ongoing Pier-wide redevelopment efforts—including Sable, a 223-room Hilton hotel, new restaurants and partnerships, and thrilling additions to Pier Park. The Pier is also proud to continue providing free, year-round arts and cultural programming designed to inspire, educate and connect communities across the city and globe. Click here to donate to Navy Pier, a mission-driven 501(c)(3) organization, in support of the organization’s post-pandemic revival and free public programming. For more information, visit


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