CHICAGO (July 17, 2023)  Anne L. Kaplan, Joffrey Board Chair, and Greg Cameron, President and CEO of The Joffrey Ballet, are pleased to announce the appointment of Nichelle Hughley Mayberry and Sarah Wills to the Joffrey Board of Directors, effective immediately, for the 2022–2025 term; and the appointment of Maureen Dwyer Smith and Zachary D. Lazar Jr. as Joffrey Life Directors, effective immediately. 

"On behalf of the Joffrey Board of Directors, I am honored to welcome Nichelle and Sarah to the Board, and Zach and Maureen as Life Directors," said Kaplan. "Nichelle and Sarah hold exceptional expertise and a passion for the arts in Chicago and beyond. Their experience and unique perspectives will enrich our Board's collective knowledge and play instrumental roles in the Joffrey's future."

"The appointment to the Joffrey's Life Directors recognizes individuals with an outstanding commitment to the Joffrey, who have made significant contributions to The Joffrey Ballet throughout the years," added Cameron. "With Maureen as a founding member and architect of The Women's Board of the Joffrey, in addition to being a past Chairperson of the Board of Directors, and Zach as the immediate past Board Chairman, currently serving on our Audit & Risk, Finance, and Compensation Committees, they have both played integral roles into shaping the Joffrey into the exceptional institution it is today. As Life Directors, their perpetual involvement will guide the organization's legacy for generations.”

About The Joffrey Ballet’s New Board Directors


Nichelle Hughley Mayberry, serves as a Senior Vice President, Senior Relationship Strategist, with PNC Private Bank.  She leads a team of investment, banking, and trust & estate planning professionals in delivering investment and planning capabilities to highly successful families. Nichelle has the knowledge, experience, and desire to help bring about positive outcomes as a trusted advisor. Nichelle has nearly three decades of experience working in domestic and international locations and across private and public sectors with strengths in relationship building, cross-functional team engagement, solving complex problems, and delivering exceptional and meaningful results. She created value during her tenure at Goldman Sachs, Deloitte, Ernst & Young, Moody's Investors Service, the City of Detroit, and now PNC Private Bank.

Nichelle strongly believes in the notion of giving back. Within PNC, she mentors young professionals and serves as a thought leader for Black Leaders Forum and Women’s Business Development efforts. Externally, she is an active member of United Way Metro Chicago's Tocqueville Society and previously served on the Board of Directors for The Alliance Theatre in Atlanta, The Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh, and Iris House in NYC. Nichelle is a graduate of the Tepper Business School Executive Leadership Academy, 2019 and Leadership Detroit, 2017. The Michigan Chronicle recognized her as a 2016 Woman of Excellence honoree. Nichelle earned a Bachelor of Arts in English from the University of Michigan and a Masters in Healthcare Administration from the University of Washington. 

Sarah Wills recently served as the Executive Vice President, Chief Corporate Affairs Officer at Cardinal Health. Wills led all aspects of communications, enterprise marketing and brand, and government relations with a focus on building Cardinal Health’s reputation and brand externally and enhancing employee engagement globally. She is currently a member of the Board of Directors for the Foundation for Appalachian Ohio, which creates opportunities for Appalachian Ohio’s citizens and communities by inspiring and supporting philanthropy.

Prior to Cardinal Health, she was Senior Vice President of Corporate Affairs and Development at Tempus, where she oversaw government affairs and policy, strategic communications, and employee engagement. Before Tempus, Wills was with General Electric for ten years holding key global leadership roles, including GE Healthcare’s Chief Communications Officer, where she led external affairs and media relations, employee engagement, and executive communications at GE’s $19B healthcare franchise. While at GE, Wills was also Executive Director, Global Strategy, for GE Corporate, as well as Executive Counsel in the chairman’s office, serving as the operational leader for Jeff Immelt in his capacity as chairman of President Barack Obama’s Council for Jobs and Competitiveness. Before joining GE, Wills was Executive Director of a 501c(3) organization founded and led by then-senator Hillary Rodham Clinton. Wills began her career at David Axelrod and Associates in Chicago, and later served as a policy adviser on Capitol Hill. She is a graduate of Georgetown University Law Center and Illinois Wesleyan University.

About The Joffrey Ballet’s New Life Directors


Maureen Dwyer Smith, a community leader, arts scholar and editor and marketing consultant, has served on many of Chicago’s most important institutional boards and chaired myriad civic committees and events. Her service to our community includes tenures on the boards of the Field Museum of Natural History; the Chicago Public Library Foundation; After School Matters; Northwestern University Women’s Board, and the Art Institute of Chicago, where she has served on the Women’s Board, the Modern and Contemporary Art Committee, the Sustaining Fellows Program Committee, the Old Master’s Society and chaired the Antiquarian Society’s Opening of the Modern Wing. Other boards on which Ms. Smith has served include the Chicago Historical Society, the Alliance Française, the Museum of Contemporary Art and the Goodman Theater Women’s Board.

She has chaired events including the Jackie Kennedy opening at the Field Museum, the Art Institute’s Seurat Ball, the Polo Ball honoring Prince Charles, the first Alliance Française Gala and the Lincoln Park Zoo Ball. Ms. Smith was born in New York City and grew up in New Rochelle, New York. She attended the Ursuline School, Newton College of the Sacred Heart, and the New School for Social Research. She worked at American Heritage Publishing Company, The Art Institute of Chicago, and as a consultant with her own company— Maureen Dwyer Smith Consulting, whose largest client was Marshall Field & Company. At the Joffrey Ballet, Ms. Smith is a founding member and architect of The Women’s Board of The Joffrey Ballet, which was established in 2002, and is Chairman Emeritus. She was also Chairman of the Joffrey Board of Directors and currently serves on its Governance & Nominating Committee.

Zachary Lazar is the Midwest Regional Director of the Capital Group Private Client Services’ team of Private Wealth Advisors throughout the region. Prior to joining Capital Group in 2017, he was the Head of Market Development & Wealth Planning at William Blair & Company. He previously served as President of the Illinois and Florida regions for BMO Financial Group. Prior to that, he held several positions at Northern Trust, including President and CEO of Northern Trust, Missouri, and Managing Director and Regional Director of Sales and Marketing in Chicago. Lazar received his BBA from Loyola University Chicago.

Lazar is the immediate past Board Chairman of the Joffrey Ballet and serves on its Audit & Risk, and Finance Committees and is the chair of the Compensation Committee. He also sits on the Board of Directors of the Ann & Robert H. Lurie Children’s Hospital of Chicago Foundation and serves as Board Chairman of the Richard H. Driehaus Museum.

About The Joffrey Ballet

The Joffrey Ballet is one of the premier dance companies in the world today, with a reputation for boundary-breaking performances for more than 60 years. The Joffrey repertoire is an extensive collection of all-time classics, modern masterpieces, and original works. 

Founded in 1956 by pioneers Robert Joffrey and Gerald Arpino, the Joffrey remains dedicated to artistic expression, innovation, and first-rate education and engagement programming. The Joffrey Ballet continues to thrive under The Mary B. Galvin Artistic Director Ashley Wheater MBE and President and CEO Greg Cameron.

The Joffrey Ballet is grateful for the support of its 2023-2024 Season Sponsors: The Abbott Fund, Alphawood Foundation Chicago, Daniel and Pamella DeVos Foundation, The Florian Fund, Anne L. Kaplan, and Live Music Sponsors Sandy and Roger Deromedi, Sage Foundation, and The Marina and Arnold Tatar Fund for Live Music. The Joffrey also acknowledges Season Partners Chicago Athletic Clubs, and Athletico Physical Therapy, official provider of physical therapy for The Joffrey Ballet. 

For more information on The Joffrey Ballet and its programs, visit Connect with the Joffrey on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, YouTube, and LinkedIn.