Illinois State Museum System Board of Directors

The Illinois State Museum Board of Directors is a group of eleven dedicated Illinois citizens appointed by the Governor who volunteer to oversee museum policies, prescribe duties of the museum director, and advise the Department of Natural Resources with regard to Museum operations. The members are appointed for two-year terms based on their qualifications and interests related to the fields of museum activity.


Meeting Schedules, Agendas, and Minutes

Board Members

Dr. Lorin NevlingDr. Lorin Nevling, Chair, Monticello
Served since 2010

Dr. Lorin Nevling is retired as Chief Emeritus of the Illinois Natural History Survey. His museum experience is extensive—including curatorial and administrative responsibilities, for three of Harvard University’s botanical institutions; Director of The Field Museum; and interim directorships at the University of Illinois Arboretum and the Illinois State Water Survey. He served the museum field as a Trustee, Assessor, and Senior Accreditation Examiner for the American Alliance of Museums; a Field and Conservation Reviewer for the Institute of Museum and Library Services; and as a member of the Review Panel for the Illinois Public Museum Capital Grants Program from its inception. He has held several leadership positions in the Illinois Heritage Association and Piatt County Museum, and has served as president of the Association of Science Museum Directors, the Natural Science Collections Alliance, the Consortium of State Biological Surveys, and the American Society of Plant Taxonomists. He is an Honorary Member of the Midwest Museums Conference.
Dr. Brian AndersonDr. Brian Anderson, Secretary, Rochester
Served since 2016

Dr. Brian D. Anderson came to Illinois in 1985 to become the third Director of the Illinois Nature Preserves Commission (INPC). Under his 10-year leadership the INPC staff grew and protected over 100 new nature preserves. Dr. Anderson accepted the position of Conservation 2000 Coordinator with the Illinois Department of Natural Resources (IDNR) in 1995. He then helped establish the Ecosystem Partnership Program of Conservation 2000. Dr. Anderson eventually also served IDNR as Director of the Office of Scientific Research and Analysis, where he served as liaison between IDNR and the Illinois Scientific Surveys and State Museum, and as Director of the Office of Resource Conservation.
Dr. Anderson left Illinois state government, after nearly 20 years of service, to become Chair of the Department of Biological and Physical Sciences at Lincoln Land Community College (LLCC) in 2004. In 2006 he became the Assistant to the President for Planning and Institutional Improvement at LLCC. In May of 2008 he became the eighth Chief of the Illinois Natural History Survey (INHS), and immediately became immersed in transitioning the INHS from State of Illinois oversight into the University of Illinois at Urbana Champaign (UIUC). In October of 2014 he was appointed Interim Executive Director of the Prairie Research Institute, current home of the five Illinois Scientific Surveys within the University of Illinois. The new Executive Director of the Prairie Research Institute asked Dr. Anderson to serve as the Senior Deputy Executive Director in October of 2015 where he now coordinates science response and strategic initiatives.
Wayne RosenthalWayne Rosenthal, Morrisonville
Served since 2015

Mr. Wayne Rosenthal was appointed Director of the Illinois Department of Natural Resources by Illinois Governor Bruce Rauner in January 2015. Prior to his appointment, Mr. Rosenthal was a member of the Illinois House of Representatives since 2011. He also served in the Illinois Air National Guard for thirty years, retiring as a Brigadier General. During his time in the National Guard, he was responsible for a budget of $15 million and military assets worth $500 million. Mr. Rosenthal lives near Morrisonville, where he has farmed since 1990. He has been a trustee on the Lincoln Land Community College Board and a member of the Morrisonville Community Unit School District Board and the Macoupin County Soil and Water Conservation District Board.
Beth Shadur, Highland Park
Served since 2016

Ms. Beth Shadur is an artist who has exhibited widely in solo and group exhibitions in the United States and abroad, including at the Art Institute of Chicago; the Drawing Center in New York City; and the Hudson River Museum in Yonkers, NY. She has created over 150 large, public murals as public, private, and community art projects in both the United States and Great Britain. She is an Artist-in-Education for the Illinois Arts Council and has served as a visiting artist at many colleges and universities. Ms. Shadur has lectured widely on community arts in both the United States and abroad. She has curated numerous national exhibitions, including the ongoing ‘The Poetic Dialogue Project’, which has traveled throughout the United States. Shadur is a Thomas Watson Fellow from Brown University and has been awarded numerous national and international residencies, including at the Burren College of Art in Ireland through a Governor’s Award for International Arts Exchange from the Illinois Arts Council. Since 2012, Shadur has served as the Gallery Director at Prairie State College in Chicago Heights, Illinois.
Roger TaylorRoger Taylor, Galesburg
Served since 2016

Mr. Roger Taylor was raised on a farm near Ellisville, in Fulton County, 30 miles from the Illinois State Museum Dickson Mounds. He graduated from Cuba High School and Knox College. He served in the United States Navy for three and one-half years, including one year in-country in Vietnam. After the Navy, Mr. Taylor attended Northwestern University Law School and practiced law with the Chicago-based law firm Kirkland & Ellis LLP. He retired as a partner in 1999 and remains of counsel. In 2001, he became President of Knox College—retiring in 2011. He continues a pro bono law practice and teaches trial advocacy at Kirkland & Ellis. In addition to the Board of the Illinois State Museum, he serves on the boards of Illinois Humanities and the National Railroad Hall of Fame, and he also serves on the Council of the Wiley Lutheran Church. He has received honorary degrees from Carl Sandburg College, Dyersburg State Community College, and Knox College. Roger and his wife, Anne, whom he met his first day at Knox in 1959, live on the farm near Ellisville where he was raised and which the State has designated a Sesquicentennial Farm.
Leo WelchLeo Welch, Vice Chair, O'Fallon
Served since 2013

Mr. Leo Welch is a native of Mattoon, Illinois, where he attended and graduated from public schools. He holds a Bachelor’s and Master’s Degrees in biological sciences from Eastern Illinois University and an Education Specialist Degree from Southern Illinois University. He was appointed to a position in the biology department at Southwestern Illinois College in Belleville in 1970. He continues to teach part time at Southwestern and holds the title of Professor Emeritus.
He has held various leadership positions as President of the American Association of University Professors (Illinois Conference), President of the Illinois Community College Faculty Association, and President of the State University Annuitants Association. Mr. Welch has also served on advisory committees for the Illinois Board of Higher Education, Illinois Community College Board, State University Retirement System, University of California Berkeley Museum of Paleontology, Hofstra University Marine Laboratory in St. Ann’s Bay, Jamaica, and the Illinois Central Management Services for Health Insurance.
Mr. Welch is a member of the American Association for the Advancement of Science, American Institute for Biological Science, Illinois Academy of Science and the St. Louis Academy of Science. He was a co-founder of the Illinois Higher Education Legislative Coalition. He now resides in O’Fallon, Illinois, with his wife Kay.
Dr. George RabbDr. George Rabb, Brookfield
Served since 1996

Dr. George B. Rabb is President Emeritus of the Chicago Zoological Society and served as Brookfield Zoo’s director from 1976 until 2003. Dr. Rabb’s pioneering work led the Zoo towards its current position as a conservation center, a concept he has championed for zoos everywhere. Dr, Rabb received both masters and doctoral degrees from the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, and his bachelor’s degree from the College of Charleston, South Carolina. He joined Brookfield Zoo in 1956 as curator of research. Dr. Rabb created the zoo’s Education Department and was instrumental in the use of naturalistic exhibitry to provide visitors with environmental immersion experiences throughout the Zoo. Additionally, under Dr. Rabb’s direction, the Zoo pioneered a new approach to help children develop caring attitudes towards nature. Dr. Rabb has affiliations with conservation organizations worldwide and is a respected spokesman on wildlife conservation issues. Most notably, he is a past chairman of the Species Survival Commission of International Union for Conservation of Nature, and he founded the Declining Amphibian Population Task Force. He has been a member of the University of Chicago’s Committee on Evolutionary Biology, and is a research associate of The Field Museum. In 2008, Dr. Rabb was awarded a Lifetime Achievement Award from the National Council on Science, Policy, and the Environment.
Dr Rabb passed away on June 27, 2017 after a brief illness.  His service to the Illinois State Museum will be sorely missed.
Donna K. SackDonna K. Sack, Naperville
Served since 2016

Mrs. Donna K. Sack has nearly 30 years of historic site, museum, and museum association experience. She currently resides in Naperville and is Vice President of Community Engagement and Audience at Naper Settlement. Previously, she worked as Executive Director of the Association of Midwest Museums, serving museums in an eight state region. She was also Executive Director of the Illinois Association of Museums where she oversaw the transition from being a state-operated entity into a self-supporting nonprofit. From 1993 to 2011 she was the Director of Visitor Services at Naper Settlement. She is a graduate of the University of Connecticut.
David SokolDr. David M. Sokol, Oak Park
Served since 2012

Dr. David Sokol is Professor Emeritus of the Department of Art History at the University of Illinois at Chicago (UIC), where he taught courses in American art, museology, and a team-taught course on historic preservation since 1971. He holds an A.B. in sociology, an M.A. in art history, and a Ph.D. in American civilization. He chaired the UIC art history department for seventeen years and served as the Director of Graduate Studies. He has been a visiting professor at several colleges throughout the country. Dr. Sokol is a past president of the American Culture Association, and a former chairperson of the Professional Practices Committee of the College Art Association. He has been the series editor for Cambridge Monographs on American Artists and co-authored American Art. He has written monographs on Frank Lloyd Wright’s Unity Temple and on the German artist, Otto Neumann; two bibliographical volumes on American architecture and art; numerous exhibition catalogues; and many reviews in scholarly journals. He curated exhibitions on various American artists and served as the first curator of Terra Museum of American Art and interim director of both the Terra and Spertus museums. His public service includes elected trustee, library board member, and chair of the public Art Advisory Commission for the Village of Oak Park. He is currently serving on the Oak Park Historic Preservation Commission, having chaired it twice.
Rosemary WintersRosemary Winters, LaGrange
Served since 2009

Mrs. Rosemary Winters is currently President of R & R Properties and President and CEO of Environetics Inc.—both in Lockport. She received her Bachelor of Fine and Applied Arts degree from the University of Illinois, Urbana. She studied American Decorative Arts at the Winterthur Museum, Winterthur, Delaware; Colonial Williamsburg, Williamsburg, Virginia; and Historic Deerfield, Deerfield Massachusetts. Mrs. Winters also serves on the Board of Directors of the Lockport Area Development Commission, the Board of Main Street Lockport, Inc. , the Lewis University History Advisory Board, the Advisory Board of the Illinois State Museum Lockport Gallery, the Board of the Norton Building Concert Series, and the Board of the Chicago Suburban Antique Dealers Association. She worked in cooperation with the former Lockport Gallery director to produce the video “Picture This, Lockport In Ashes”.