Open 9 am - 5 pm (Early Close)

New Leaders Join Shedd Aquarium Board of Trustees

March 24, 2023

Shedd's entrance with banners reading "All Are Welcome" in a variety of languages.

CHICAGO - Shedd Aquarium, a leader in animal care, conservation, education and research, celebrates the election of several new Board of Trustees members including: Robert Lyons of GATX; John Fumagalli of Northern Trust; Kenneth Kuhrt of Ariel Investments; Cara Pan of Bank of America and Charles Smith of CS Insurance Strategies Inc. and Method Health. The aquarium would also like to recognize a new Honorary Trustee – Rev. Dr. Michael C. R. Nabors.

“With the addition of these new civic, community and business leaders, Shedd Aquarium’s Board continues to grow in experience, ambition and esteem,” said David J. Koo, retired senior partner at RoundTable Healthcare Partners and Shedd Aquarium Board Chair. “We will rely on the strengths of these talented new Trustees as the aquarium embarks on its transformational strategic Centennial Commitment.”

  • Robert Lyons (elected May 2022) was elected President and CEO of GATX in April 2022. Lyons has worked for GATX for more than 25 years, having previously held several leadership positions including Executive Vice President and President of Rail North America as well as Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer.
  • John Fumagalli (elected March 2023) is the President of Wealth Management, Central Region at Northern Trust, where he has spent more than 34 years of his career. In his position, Fumagalli oversees investment management, banking and fiduciary business for the company’s Midwest audiences and also serves on Northern Trust’s Wealth Management Executive Committee.
  • Kenneth Kuhrt (elected March 2023) serves as Executive Vice President at Ariel Investments, where he began as a research analyst in 2004. Kuhrt is a co-portfolio manager for the organization’s small cap value and small cap value concentrated strategies as well as portfolio manager for Ariel Fund. Kuhrt has also been a longtime supporter and Advisory Board member for After School Matters.
  • Cara Pan (elected March 2023) is the SVP, Midwest Region Market Executive for Global Commercial Banking at Bank of America. She has more than 20 years of career experience at Bank of America – 10 years of which have been spent in executive leadership positions. Pan is a visible and vocal advocate for women, having co-founded and led her organization’s regional Women’s Leadership Council. She was also recognized in 2019 by Crain’s Chicago Business in their annual “Women of Influence” list.
  • Charles Smith (elected March 2023) is Founder and CEO of CS Insurance Strategies, a commercial insurance and risk management brokerage as well as Founder of Method Health. Smith founded CS Insurance Strategies, Inc. in 2009, and the company was recently acquired by Marsh and McLennan. Charles has over 25 years of insurance as well as health care experience and has excelled previously in various roles with other national insurance companies.

As the governing body for Shedd Aquarium, the Board of Trustees is made up of several voting members who voluntarily apply their experience and acumen to advancing Shedd’s strategic goals. Alongside these traditional members, the aquarium’s Board also includes several Honorary Trustees. These members serve as advisors to the organization, providing a special link to the community, government or a program, or in recognition of dedicated service to the Shedd Aquarium Society. Honorary Trustees, while not voting members of the Board, provide indispensable guidance to the organization. Shedd Aquarium is proud to add one more leader to its list of Honorary Trustees.

  • Rev. Dr. Michael C. R. Nabors (appointed May 2022) is the senior pastor Evanston’s historic Second Baptist Church – one of the oldest African American congregations on the North Shore. Alongside his role as a faith leader, Dr. Nabors has a long history of fighting systemic racism and advocating for social justice, including serving as president of various geographic branches of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) – most recently the Evanston-North Shore Branch.

“Each Trustee who joins our Board brings with them a unique and valuable life experience and perspective – and in turn, each leaves a unique fingerprint as they propel our institution forward,” said Bridget Coughlin, PhD, president and CEO of Shedd Aquarium. “The generosity and dedication of our Board is unmatched, and we are thrilled to recognize these new leaders who will help guide the aquarium during such a historic moment for Shedd and for our city.”

Shedd is governed by the Shedd Aquarium Society, composed of volunteer corporate, civic and community leaders that make up the Board of Trustees with the primary responsibility for governance oversight and fiduciary accountability, as outlined in the Society’s bylaws.  The board provides strategic direction for institutional priorities through work in both governance and programmatic committees. 

PHOTOS: Headshots of the new trustees can be viewed and downloaded here: