Board of Directors

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Mark Atkins

Mark Atkins is a small business owner and native of Cottage Grove in Henry County, Tennessee, where he lives with Christie, his wife, and their five daughters.  In 2004, Mark founded the Cottage Grove School, a small K-12 classical school in Cottage Grove.  He also writes a column for three small Southern newspapers under the rubric Look Away.

Mark G. Brennan, Vice Chairman

Mark Brennan is a professor of business ethics at New York University.

Richard Culley, M.D.

Dr. Culley is a psychiatrist practicing in Chatham, New York.

Mary Kohler, Honorary

Mrs. Kohler has served in leadership roles at such notable conservation organizations as The Nature Conservancy, Museum of the Rockies, and the International Crane Foundation.  Together with her husband, Terry, in 2009 she received the 2009 Lindbergh Award for her lifelong dedication to environmental conservation.  She is vice president of Windway Foundation.

Dean Olson

Mr. Olson is CEO and chairman of Rockford Acromatic Products.

Tom Piatak

Mr. Piatak is an attorney in Cleveland, Ohio, and serves as a contributing editor to Chronicles.

Tony Svanascini

Mr. Svanascini is CEO of Chicago-based web design and Internet service company Americaneagle.com, with offices in Chicago, New York, Dallas, Los Angeles, Cleveland, and Washington, DC. Anthony became CEO in 1991, transforming the business into one of the nation's largest web-design firms, offering strategies for online marketing and outreach for companies and non-profits. Since 1995, the company has developed more than 3,000 Internet sites, Intranets, or online applications for virtually all types of businesses, including Fortune 500 companies, small-and medium-sized businesses, governments, and associations. Major clients include The White House, Chicago Bears, Philadelphia Eagles, Stuart Weitzman, Beretta, Ron Jon, Nascar and several non-profit associations. Anthony works with several charitable organizations, including Misericordia, Urban Prep Schools, and the Catholic Church. A Chicago native, Anthony graduated from DePaul University with a degree in Finance in 1994. He resides in Park Ridge, Illinois, with his wife and four sons.

Raymond J. Welder III, Chairman

Mr. Welder, a practicing geologist, is president of Welder Exploration and Production Inc., a privately held oil and gas company based in San Antonio, Texas, that operates chiefly in the Southern and Coastal Bend regions of Texas. Mr. Welder is a descendent of one of South Texas's oldest families, which helps to explain his passion for and in-depth knowledge of the history of the region. He remembers fondly his parents throwing him birthday parties at the Presidio in Goliad when he was a boy. He has been a Chronicles reader since his undergraduate days at Washington and Lee. "I was struck," he says," by Chronicles' strong writing and diligent reasoning. I have not missed an issue since." On joining the Institute Board, Welder declared, "I am honored to join in the efforts of The Rockford Institute. I have admired its work for many years, and consider it a great privilege to help in any way I can."

Faith Whittlesey

Ambassador Faith Whittlesey, two-term U.S. Ambassador to Switzerland for nearly five years (1981-83; 1985-88) and member of the Senior White House Staff (1983-85), currently serves as Chairman Emeritus of the American Swiss Foundation in New York, an organization for which she served as President and Chairman for nearly 20 years (1989-2008).  She is a former assistant U.S. Attorney and member of the Pennsylvania Legislature. She is a member of the Pennsylvania Bar. The recipient of many awards including four honorary doctorates, she is a long-time member of the Council of American Ambassadors and numerous other organizations, professional and private. In addition, she currently serves on the Board of Schindler Elevator Corporation in the U.S. A book about her career, Backwards in High Heels, by Prof. Thomas Carty of Springfield College (Massachusetts), was published in late 2012

Thomas Fleming, President

James E. Easton, Treasurer

Cindy J. Link, Assistant Treasurer