Meet the Board of Directors

Amare Williamson, Visual Arts ’23. Temperature. 2021, Painting.

Board Leadership

Headshot of Mirja Spooner Haffner

Mirja Spooner Haffner is an active civic leader and the Director of Development at Brushwood Center at Ryerson Woods. Prior to joining Brushwood Center, Mirja spent her career working in the arts in New York City and was the Director of Development at the Neue Galerie New York. Additionally, she worked in development at the Art Institute of Chicago raising capital funds for the Modern Wing. In addition to her role as Board Chair of the ChiArts Foundation, Mirja is a member of the Founder’s Board at the Ann & Robert H. Lurie Children’s Hospital of Chicago. Mirja holds a Bachelor of Arts in American Studies from Barnard College/Columbia University. Mirja loves all things related to the arts, exploring and traveling, and supporting mental health and wellness.

Headshot of Gary Metzner

Gary Metzner has been with Sotheby’s since 1997, and currently leads as Senior Vice President – Head of Office. He is a specialist in paintings, prints and sculptures from Old Masters to Contemporary. As an Auctioneer, he has conducted hundreds of charity auctions throughout the Midwest including Cows on Parade and the Banner auctions for the City of Chicago.

Prior to Sotheby’s, he was Director of Fine Art for Leslie Hindman Auctioneers beginning in 1993. Prior to that, he was Director of Hokin Kaufman Gallery in Chicago.

Mr. Metzner can be seen on Chubb’s Antique Roadshow on PBS, has appeared on the Home and Garden Television network’s programmes At the Auction and The Appraisal Fair, and participates in heirloom discovery days across the country.

Mr. Metzner is a graduate of Indiana University and earned a graduate degree in Art History from the University of Chicago. He is a recipient of the Plummer Scholarship in Fine Art and also sits on the board of the AIDS Foundation of Chicago.

Headshot of Erin Clifford

Erin Clifford J.D., M.A., is a Corporate Wellness Consultant, and a Partner and Director of Marketing and Business Development at Clifford Law Offices. Erin Clifford grew up in the Northwest suburbs of Chicago and attended Northwestern University as an undergraduate, where she majored in Secondary Education with a concentration in English. After graduating, Erin taught high school English in the Chicago Public Schools for five years. Thereafter, she matriculated to DePaul College of Law, earning her Juris Doctorate. Erin then clerked for five years at the Illinois Appellate Court, First District for the Honorable Justice Terrence J. Lavin and then for a period as legal counsel at the Cook County Treasurer’s Office.

In addition to her development work at Clifford Law Offices and legal background, Erin is a Corporate Wellness Consultant and National Certified Counselor. She works with professionals to help them create and maintain healthy lifestyles. She has a master’s degree in mental health counseling from Northwestern University. As an authority figure in the wellness industry, Erin gives speaking engagements in all areas of wellness – from nutrition, to exercise, to healthy lifestyle management. Her expertise in wellness has earned her media attention from publications such as Shape Magazine, US News and World Report, Prevention Magazine, and more.

Erin is an advocate of giving back and helping the Chicago community. She serves as a board member on the Friends of Prentice Board, an organization committed to superior healthcare spanning the full spectrum of a woman’s life. She also serves as a board member for WTTW and WFMT Board of Trustees, and she’s on American Bar Association’s Mental Health & Wellness Task Force.

Headshot of Christina Huizar

Bio coming soon.

Board Directors

Duffie A. Adelson*
Civic Leader

Steven Collens


Elissa Hamid Efroymson

Vice Chair, Efroymson Family Fund

Arnett Faulkner

President & CEO, AHF Body Chemistry

Peter Fidler*
Co-Founder & Partner, RF Investment Partners, LLC

Ronald B. Grais
Counsel, Raines Feldman LLP

Sandra Guthman

Chair Emerita, Polk Bros. Foundation

John Hart

Co-Founder & Chairman Emeritus, Hart Davis Hart Wine Company

Tom Hurvis

Co-Founder & Chairman, Old World Industries

Chardai Johnson

Commercial Banking Director & Team Lead, BMO Harris Bank

Pamela Johnson
National Executive Director, National Hypertension Control Initiative, American Heart Association

Avril Klaff
Civic Leader

Marshall Lindsey

Vice President, Sovereign Infrastructure Group (SIG)

Samera Ludwig

Partner, Kilpatrick Townsend & Stockton LLP

David Mabie

Partner, Chicago Capital

Michael McIntosh
Partner/Principal, Transformation, PwC

Sylvia Neil

Lecturer in Law, University of Chicago Law School

Jonathan Plotkin

Co-Founder, The Drawing Board LLC

Amisha Rigia

Civic Leader & Previous Senior Director of Global Enablement, Salesforce

Lisa Simmons^
Civic Leader & ChiArts Alumni Parent

John Yonover
President & COO, Indiana Sugars

*Ex-Officio Directors
^ChiArts Alum Parent

David Mabie with Sandy and Jack Guthman

Our family of supporters

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