Board of Directors
ROW’s Board of Directors are medical, business and rowing professionals that have come together to make ROW possible through gifts of time, talent and resources.
Fran Tuite | fairpointe Capital | Board Chair
Fran began her rowing career at Purdue University in 1976 and has been rowing in Chicago since 1988. Fran has rowed for and been a part of the Cincinnati Rowing Club, Chicago River Rowing and Paddling, Lincoln Park Boat Club and is the founder of the Buchanan Rowing Club. An accomplished athlete, Fran has been the Head of the Charles Regatta (HOCR) Senior Women’s Doubles champion for 2010, 2011, and in 2012 set a course record on her way to receiving her third HOCR gold. She is a Master's Nationals Medalist many times over. Fran is a hedge fund manager at Fairpointe Capital, a member of the Steppenwolf Theatre Directors Circle, and a director of the Royal Treatment Vet Hospital. As someone who has seen friends and family suffer from the disease, Fran brings her love for rowing and passion to fight breast cancer to the organization as the current Board Chair and wants to see ROW® thrive as a resource for survivors.
Sheena Smith, Azul Partners | Secretary
Sheena was introduced to rowing as a walk-on freshman at the University of Washington in Seattle. Though elite collegiate rowing ultimately wasn’t a fit with her double major, she remained passionate about the sport and rowed at Green Lake Crew when she could. She was introduced to ROW in 2009 and has been coaching ever since, bringing her love of water, boats, communication, laughter, and type-A organization skills to help cultivate the incredible team ROW has grown into today. She also coaches indoor rowing at Bluprint Fitness.
Professionally, Sheena is immersed in the inner workings of the procurement and supply chain industry through product development and delivery and day-to-day site and client management as Vice President of Client Services at Azul Partners. She holds a BA in English Literature and Political Science from the University of Washington and an MA in English Literature from DePaul University. In her spare time, she stays sane by going to hot yoga classes, attempting to be a burgeoning foodie and wine lover, and working with her husband to fill their ever-expanding shelves with far too many books and vinyl records.
Margaret conway | program manager for convergence design lab at columbia college Chicago
Margaret has been rowing since 1997, in the earliest days of Ignatius Chicago Crew. She continues to row as a competitive sculler with Lincoln Park Boat Club and holds several Masters National titles. Margaret has a background in education, arts integration and learning design. She is the Program Manager for Convergence Design Lab at Columbia College Chicago, where she builds and manages learning, digital, and civic media projects across public, private and cultural sectors.
Rowing has been a pillar in Margaret's life and has provided her with powerful experiences of camaraderie, teamwork, fitness and focus. She is honored to be part of ROW and to share the benefits of this sport for healing and empowerment.
Byron Dyce II | Owner & Head Coach at Bluprint Fitness
Health, fitness, sport, and relationships fuel Byron’s passion for helping others. Byron’s love for sport started at an early age, being the son of an Olympic (Jamaican) runner. He spent his childhood, adolescence, and young adulthood competing in various sports – ultimately landing in the sport of weightlifting and Football (University of Florida). Byron’s exposure to a lifestyle of sport, health, and wellness, led him to the realization that he wanted to create and have a positive affect on everyone he encountered. Byron now owns and operates one of Chicago’s most influential gyms – Bluprint Fitness – where their team creates an atmosphere of positivity, innovation, and results.
ROW found Byron when he moved from Florida to Chicago in 2014 to launch Bluprint Fitness. Jenn (Co-Founder of ROW) and Byron connected immediately and found common ground on their love for helping others. ROW and Bluprint Fitness now team up to host 26.BLU (an annual erg marathon benefiting ROW) and allow access for ROW members to Bluprint facilities for indoor rowing classes. Byron officially joined the ROW Team in 2017 and is excited to collaborate and help ROW reach as many survivors as possible in a positive way.
Sue Ann Glaser | ROW Member & Co-Founder
Co-founder of Recovery on Water, Sue Ann has spent her 22 years in Evanston as a mom and community volunteer, active in local school classrooms and School Improvement Teams and on the boards of early childhood education, mental health, arts and civic organizations. Prior to moving to Evanston, Sue Ann was Chief Social Worker of Ob-Gyn and Outpatient Services at Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston where she specialized in all aspects of women’s, infants’ and couples’ health. She also maintained a small private psychotherapy practice.
Diagnosed in March 2007 with breast cancer, Sue Ann’s oncologist urged her to exercise as a way to mitigate side effects of chemotherapy and to reduce recurrence. When she read about a rowing team for breast cancer survivors, she felt this could be an antidote to chronically falling off the exercise wagon: a team, she thought, could provide motivation and support that she had trouble providing for herself. With no such team extant in Chicago, Sue Ann spoke with friends and acquaintance who had had breast cancer to poll their interest, and was in the process of trying to form a team when she crossed paths with Jenn, who as a crew coach at St. Ignatius, had the club’s support and equipment to use but no members. Recovery on Water was born 6 weeks later!
Georgianna Gleason | Episcopal Charities
As the former Executive Director of Episcopal Charities and Community Services, Georgianna brings more than 30 years experience in the not-for-profit sector, in both religious and secular organizations.
Georgianna provided direction for the Board of Trustees, who managed ECCS’ invested funds, and leadership for a network of 15 diverse social service agencies whose budgets total more than $35 million and whose services annually reach 60,000 individuals. Under Georgianna's leadership, ECCS expanded program offerings to include affordable home ownership and organizational capacity building. She also diversified fund development operations to include public funding and increased charitable giving.
She holds a Master of Divinity Degree from Union Theological Seminary in New York City and received her B.A. degrees at Stephens College in Columbia, MO. She also serves on the boards of the Industrial Areas Foundation, and Refugee One.
Jenn junk | Co-Founder & Executive Director
Jenn founded Recovery on Water with Sue Ann Glaser in 2008. As a board member, a coach and the Executive Director of ROW®, Jenn has led the organization since its infancy.
Jenn is passionate about exercise for survivors and believes in the tool that exercise and the sport of rowing can be for patients recovering from cancer and other types of trauma. She continues to lead ROW today and hopes to build the organization so that it is a resource for survivors for years to come.
Sandra Kirmeyer | ROW member
Sandra has rowed with our team since 2011, when she joined as a novice who had never rowed before or played any team sport. She immediately fell in love with rowing as a full-body exercise and our team of very special women. Diagnosed in 2005 with breast cancer and again in 2007, Sandra used exercise to manage the effects of radiation, hormone therapy, and multiple surgeries. She believes exercise enabled her to recover from a life-threatening infection that followed her last surgery.
After her first diagnosis, Sandra looked for ways to serve others and began volunteering with Y-Me of Illinois where she helped manage its donor database, plan annual fundraisers, and open a new office with support services in Springfield, IL. Sandra served as Board Chair of Y-Me of Illinois. On ROW’s Board, she has responsibility for outreach to Chicagoland breast cancer organizations. When she is not rowing, Sandra is a consultant with Partners In Loyalty Marketing where she specializes in consumer research and marketing program evaluation.
Don O'Meara | Pretzel & Stouffer
Don was born and raised in Illinois. He is a graduate of Loyola Academy (’84), Fairfield University (B.A. ’88) and The John Marshall Law School (J.D. ’91). He is a partner in the law firm of Pretzel & Stouffer, Chartered, which he joined in 1991. He is a member of the board of directors of the Illinois Association of Defense Trial Counsel, and former editor-in-chief of its flagship publication, the IDC Quarterly. Don is a sports enthusiast. He is a lifetime member of Friends of Fairfield Rugby, a 501(c)(3) organization which supports Fairfield’s undergraduate rugby club in Connecticut. He is a former member of the Lincoln Park Old Boys Rugby Football Club. He began rowing in 2014, and is now an avid rower. Don was introduced to ROW through his rowing colleagues Fran Tuite, Tom Opferman and Michele Willmott. Don is deeply interested in supporting ROW’s mission and vision.
Gary Markle | Accenture
Gary started rowing with a fledgling Crew at Virginia Tech in 1992 and rowed the in school’s first Men’s Varsity Eight. Gary continues to be an avid boater and an active member of the United States Coast Guard Auxiliary, where he serves as Chief of Prevention, leading the organization’s Recreational Boating Safety, Marine Safety, and Public Affairs programs for the four-state area surrounding Lake Michigan.
Gary leads complex, high-risk business and technology programs for Accenture’s Industrial and Transportation clients in the Midwest United States. He also architects solutions for the North American Transportation and Construction sectors; providing innovative and customized approaches for transit, engineering, construction, material supply, real estate, and service companies across Accenture's strategy, digital, consulting, technology, and operations offerings. Gary holds both a M.S. in Construction Engineering & Management and a B.S. in Civil Engineering from Virginia Tech and is a certified Project Management Professional (PMP) by the Project Management Institute
Kymberly Reynolds | investigator, city of Chicago | ROW member
Kymberly was diagnosed with Breast Cancer on July 25, 2012 and joined the ROW team in February 2013 as a novice rower who had never rowed before. Kymberly fell in love the sport, the women and coaches on the team. ROW quickly became her second family.
When she's not rowing, Kymberly works as an investigator with the City of Chicago, where she takes pride in the work she does.
Kymberly is also a certified Concept 2 indoor rowing instructor and coaches community indoor rowing classes at the Eleanor Boathouse.
Dr. Samman Shahpar
Dr. Samman (Sam) Shahpar is a physiatrist currently leading the Cancer Rehabilitation Program at the Shirley Ryan AbilityLab (formerly, the Rehabilitation Institute of Chicago). He initially starting his training on the east coast, completing undergraduate training at Rutgers University before moving on to UMDNJ-Robert Wood Johnson Medical School in New Brunswick, NJ. After spending his internship at Christiana Care Health System in Newark, Delaware, he moved to Chicago in 2009, completing his training in the field of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation (PM&R) and started to develop his expertise in Cancer Rehabilitation. Since then, he has become a member of the Robert H. Lurie Comprehensive Cancer Center of Northwestern University and gained extensive experience in assessing and treating of cancer survivors of all diagnoses. With his focus on striving to change the culture of cancer care to ensure survivors function and fitness is not an afterthought, he first met Jenn Junk in June 2014, when he saw how integral Jenn’s enthusiasm and the Recovery on Water organization could (and should) be for breast cancer survivors – despite having zero experience rowing himself. Over the next 4 years, he continued to support and advocate for ROW from outside of the organization, but now hopes to add to team from the inside.
As a PAC-10 All-Conference Rower, Silverskiff Medalist, Head of the Charles Medalist, Ironman competitor, Boston Marathon Qualifier, CRASH-B Qualifier, and a CrossFit Regional Games Qualifier -Nell knows first hand the value of fitness and sport. For over 5 years, Nell owned a boutique gym in Chicago, which focused on small group exercise classes. Nell's goal for this gym was to give athletes an opportunity to gain self-esteem and self-assurance through daily physical activity. Now Nell focuses on helping athletes feel better about themselves physically through her clothing line; FOMO Active Wear.
Touched by cancer within her family, Nell joined the ROW® board because she believes in what exercise can do to change lives. “Rowing helped me to understand who I was as a person. I felt strong, independent and incredible when I was rowing and when our team was together, supporting each other and encouraging each other to work hard, I felt unstoppable. Being part of that team made me confident, self-assured and determined, in sports and in life.”
David Skelding | spokes advisory
David has been involved in rowing since 2006, when his sons first participated in the junior rowing program of St. Ignatius Chicago Rowing, which he served as president from 2009 to 2012. David serves on the ROW board as an advocate of our programs and our work with survivors, and helps facilitate a mutually beneficial relationship between the two clubs, which have worked together closely since day one. Since early 2018, David has been principal of Spokes Advisory, which provides legal, compliance, governance and operations advice to business entities and not-for-profits. Prior to that David was Executive Vice President of Christian Brothers Investment Services, an institutional investment management firm which he joined in 1998, and an equity partner in the Chicago law firm of Lord Bissell & Brook, where he practiced securities and corporate law. David has served on several not-for-profit boards. For many years, he has witnessed first-hand the many positive fruits of the sport of rowing and, in particular, the great work that ROW® does with survivors.