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Advisory Board Member
Sirott is a well-known tv and radio personality that began his career in radio as a summer vacation fill-in disc jockey for WBBM-FM in 1971 before moving to WLS (AM) in 1973. He was a top disc jockey at WLS from 1973 until December 1979. Sirott shifted to television in 1980, taking a job at WBBM-TV. After five years at WBBM, Sirott took a job with the CBS newsmagazine West 57th, although the network allowed him to remain based in Chicago. Sirott also hosted shows on WMAQ-TV, WTTW, Fox, WFLD
Advisory Board Member
Mitch Michaels has a long record as a personality, innovator and communicator in the Chicago radio market with stops at such stations as WXRT, WDAI, WKQX, WLUP, WCKG and many others. He has been recognized by Billboard Magazine and the Chicago Air Awards for his creative on-air and production work. Mitch, a long time resident of Hinsdale, spends time in his garden hammock and is on the golf course whenever possible. When he’s not on the air, his love of good food and live music keep him busy. He has worked for many charities and causes over the years, is an avid Chicago sports fan and is a graduate of the Players Workshop of Second City. In 2017, Mitch wrote his memoir “Doing the Cruise” Memories from a Lifetime in Radio and Rock & Roll.
President / Founder
Ron Romero - The Board of Directors Chairman and creator of "Illinois Rock & Roll Museum on Route 66" museum and organization, is owner of Stage Right Productions since 2000. Stage Right Productions is a live event production company that provides sound and lighting for small concerts and corporate events. Ron is an entrepreneur and has and previously owned a computer technology company, an internet provider company, and a real estate investor. Ron sits on the Joliet Junior College Music Technology Board Committee as an advisor. He is a member of the Illinois Association of Museums and American Alliance of Museums and is still a performing musician.
Deborah (Debyjo)Ericksen is the Chairman of the Illinois Route 66 Red Carpet Corridor Festival, an annual event the first weekend in May along Route 66 between Joliet and Towanda IL. She also works with local, state, and international organizations to promote Route 66 tourism.
Deborah’s passion runs deep when it comes to Route 66 historic preservation as a means of economic development. The Illinois Rock & Roll Museum on Route 66 will prove to be a domestic and international attraction combined with other area attractions such as the Old Joliet Prison. With the magnitude of these attractions, she envisions her home town of Joliet as becoming the new Route 66 journey starting point.
Chris Friis is a graduate of Illinois State University and Lewis University with an MBA and CPA designation. He has been involved in the Chicagoland banking community for over 20 years and is currently the Chief Lending Officer at First Secure Bank and Trust in Palos Hills. He served on the Board of Directors of Habitat for Humanity in Kankakee for over 10 years, Board of Directors for the United Way of Skokie for several years and served as a board member of two schools in Northwest Indiana over the past 10 years. He has two children and has been married for over 23 years.
Patti Romero is the Business Manager for the Construction Safety Council in Hillside, Illinois The Council is a non-profit organization existing to deliver high quality safety training to the construction industry. Since 2013, Ms. Romero has worked closely with representatives from OSHA to submit grant applications, as well as manage the funds and quarterly reporting of the grants. When she's not in her role as Business Manager, she likes to go out and support local bands and musicians, work with her flowers and garden or read a good mystery novel.
David Whitemyer is a licensed architect with nearly 25 years of experience in museum planning, exhibition design, and project management. He is the Director of Business Development at Luci Creative, a Chicago-based exhibit design firm that serves museums and other cultural institutions. He is an established writer, with articles featured in Exhibition (National Association of Museum Exhibitors), Perspective (International Interior Design Association), American Alliance of Museums, Iowa Architect, and the Harvard Management Update. David teaches two graduate courses for the Museum Studies program at Johns Hopkins University: one on exhibition design and one on project management in museums. He has also taught in the architecture department at Wentworth Institute of Technology. David has spoken at industry conferences about “green” exhibitions, visitor accessibility, building information modeling (BIM) in exhibit design, and about the trend of “Instagrammable” experiences in museums.
Lance Tawzer received degree in Music Business from Elmhurst College and after a career in music that ended in the late 1990s, (Material Issue and The Lupins) he used his creative design capabilities to jump into the museum field.
Working at the legendary museum design firm, Design Craftsmen in Michigan, the first project he worked on was for the Field Museum in Chicago called Underground Adventure.
Lance has also served as curator of exhibits for 9 years at the Elmhurst History Museum where he transformed a small city museum into a regional draw for museum-goers with a series of pop-culture and introspective original exhibits.
These days Lance holds the role of Director of Exhibits at the Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library and Museum in Springfield, IL.
Lance Tawzer, formed The Lupins and recorded for RCA Records and wrote a song for the movie Dumb and Dumber.
He married Q101 (WKQX) DJ Samantha James and they have two children.
Scott R. McMaster currently serves as the Community Development Director for the City of Oswego and formerly Crest Hill.. In the past 4 years, Scott has helped bring many notable businesses to Crest Hill and works with several investors and developers to enhance the image of Crest Hill. His other duties include business retention, creating community events, and building relationships. He is a member of the International Economic Development Council and is a licensed Illinois Real Estate Broker.
Scott has a strong passion for music, especially blues and rock music. He believes his duty as a music lover is to educate and share his passion with others and to be able to pass the importance of music down through generations. Scott and his wife live with their two daughters in Shorewood.
Growing up, Jim Murphy never doubted he would work in radio someday. His career path found direction thanks to his high school’s low power FM radio station. Jim’s professional radio career included on-air positions at WCCQ-Joliet, WBYG-Kankakee, WBSW “The Bus”-Kankakee, WJOL/WLLI “96-7 I-ROCK” and WJTW-Joliet where he hosted the morning show and was the station’s Program Director. He hung up his headphones to lead the public relations and marketing efforts for Joliet’s Empress Casino. Upon exiting the casino, he and his wife Vicki – a long-time radio account executive – launched their successful advertising and PR agency now in its 26th year. Jim has been the master of ceremonies for many area events and has served on the boards of several local non-profit organizations. He and Vicki are 30+ year residents of Joliet who thoroughly enjoy spending time and money on their grandchildren.
Joe Farina studied at DePaul University and worked as a DJ on their radio station. That was his first taste of being on the air. Joe also co-hosted a show with the late CLTV and WGN news reporter Carlos Hernandez Gomez. As an actor, Joe starred in two award-winning films, Strapped and Debt of the Heart.
Joe is the director of Communications and Marketing of the Dick Biondi Film. His responsibilities include marketing, promoting, fundraising and sponsorship efforts for The Dick Biondi Film: The Voice That Rocked America! Joe is the co-creator and co-host of The Rock and Roll Show with Pam and Joe! Over the last year our guests have included the likes of Jim Peterik, Joe Mantegna, Tony Orlando, Bobby Rydell, Tommy James and so many more famous entertainers and musicians. All our interviews (and movie clips from the Dick Biondi Film) are on the Official Dick Biondi Film YouTube channel. We have promoted the film and its associated events on WGN radio, Windy City Live, social media, various Italian American publications and more.
Because the work he has done in the communications and marketing fields, he was awarded the 2020 Leonardo DaVinci Award from the Order Sons and Daughters of Italy Midwest
Lou Hinkhouse produced the "The Pulse" TV series, and continues to create new content online on our Vimeo channel. "The Pulse" was a 3-time ACE Award winning series focusing on Illinois music from 1987 - 1990. During that time, Lou captured the first video ever of the Smashing Pumpkins, as well as early footage of Material Issue, The Insiders, Shoes, and others, capturing a uniquely prolific period in Illinois music history. Lou has digitized dozens of episodes that can be utilized as an exhibit display at the museum. Another program that Lou co-produced was the WTTW special, "How Chicago Rocked The '60's" with Bob Sirott, as well as having co-produced, "Full Circle:The Smashing Pumpkins" special, both of which won Emmys.
Bob Fox is the owner of Omega Plumbing. Omega Plumbing has been steadily growing for over 15 years and Bob has been doing plumbing work in the Will County area for about 30 years. Bob and his wife Rachael have three children. Toby who is recently married, lives in New Jersey and his brother Kai who just started the second semester of his freshman year at Ferris State in Michigan. They also have a daughter, Daisy who loves music and is an aspiring drummer.
Bob's family has been in the Joliet area for over a century and it is exciting to see the revitalization of downtown Joliet after so many years of decline. They have been a part of several remodeling projects downtown Joliet including The Rialto, Unidos Marketing, and the Barber Building. We have also been involved with the preservation of the Old Joliet Prison.
Bob has served on the Old Joliet Prison Preservation Board and the committee for the Will County Children’s Advocacy’s Men Who Cook fundraiser for the last five years where Bob has also been a guest cook for six years
Tim Costa was born and raised in Joliet, Illinois. He is a graduate of Joliet East High School. He earned his associate of science degree in electronics engineering technology from Joliet Junior College, his bachelor of science degree in industrial engineering from Northern Illinois University, and his master of business administration, specializing in technology and operations management from Lewis University.
He began his career as the Quality Assurance Manager for Joliet Metallurgical Laboratories. Currently, he is the Director of Quality for Lovejoy Inc., manufacturer of mechanical power transmission components.
Rock and roll became a part of Tim’s life in 1978 when he bought his first guitar from his guitar teacher and local musician, Gus Gutierrez. In 1981, he took his passion for music and gathered his buddies and formed the band Portrait. Today, Tim continues to play classic rock as the lead guitarist with the Junkyard Dawgs and Still Kickin’ Band. He loves to entertain the crowd and his passion for music shines through.
He is a member of the International Alliance of Theatrical Stage Employees Local 124, specializing in audio engineering. His passion for music has turned into a second career. And it’s true, if you do something your passionate about, you’ll never work a day in your life.
Julia Alexander attended Joliet public schools and Joliet, Jr. College studying Early Childhood Education. In 2003 she received her (NAEYC) Accreditation certificate (National Association for the Education of Young Children) while working for the Diocese of Joliet.
She started singing at age three and later went on to sing around the Chicago/Joliet areas and write songs. She has performed for/with such artists as the late West Phillips, Ice Man Jerry Butler, The Dales, Willie Newsome, Ann Nesby, and songwriters David Range, Antwan White, Carrie Thompson and many others.
Julia started fundraising in 1980 and founded the organization TAJH Productions (Take Aim at Jesus on High) and Including You Inc. in 2017 and also hosts a “Be Informed with Julia Alexander” a Talk Show she founded on JCTV Ch. 6 in and has received proclamations from our State Senate and the City of Joliet’s Mayor for her work in the community. She now also serve as JCTV Ch. 6 treasurer.
Rafe Sampson is the president of Sampson Media Inc. He has degrees in Mass Communications and Marketing
Prior to founding Sampson Media in 2001, he was Creative Director and air personality at Super CFL. Following more than a decade of radio production and programming, he moved on to teach voice, programming and production at the Illinois Center for Broadcasting, where he was soon promoted to Director.
Since 2001, Sampson Media has been providing audio for clients on six continents.
In 2016 he was honored to be inaugural inductee into the Broadcast Hall of Fame at his alma mater, Illinois State University where he is recognized as the founder of the student radio station WZND.
Rafe and Board Member Lou Hinkhouse maintain the Illinois Rock & Roll Museum on Route 66’s Streaming radio station www.RoadtoRockRadio.net
Richard and his wife of 49 years are residents of Joliet and he is the owner of Fredrickson Media & Marketing and Family Heritage Productions. A Columbia College communications major, he has over 50 years in the broadcast, cable and video production business. Richard is the host for WJOL Business Report and a commercial writer. He also has appeared on “Friends Over 50” show on WJOL and as host of the JCTV channel 6 "Profiles" show. Richard is the past president of Joliet Exchange Club and past President of Plainfield Rotary Club. Currently Richard is a consultant to the Joliet City Center Partnership.
Andy Carey was born and raised in Joliet, IL, attended Plainfield HS, then graduated from Joliet Junior College. He and his lovely wife, Andrea, currently reside in Shorewood, IL. He is a project manager at a local minority owned engineering firm, which specializes in capital projects for industrial and power companies. Andy has collected vinyl records since the age of 12. His father, who is also a vinyl collector, would bring home boxes of records from local auctions, and Andy would get the leftovers (usually the rock n’ roll). After getting a drivers license and a part time job, he would comb thru used 45’s, LP’s and 78rpm records at the local flea markets and used record shops, searching for rare and out of print records. He enjoys listening to several different genres of music. As a teenager, he mixed sound for several local bands and still enjoys live music. He spends his free time researching the rich history of blues and rock music, and the influences of their musicians. He is always happy to sharing his musical knowledge with young people, or just about anyone who is willing to listen.
Lisa Marie Raucci
Lisa Marie Raucci is a Chicago-area attorney focusing on real estate and election law at the Law Office of Lisa Marie Raucci, located in Shorewood, Illinois. Born and raised in Wildwood, on the far northwest side of Chicago, Lisa has been a resident of Shorewood since 2000. Lisa is a graduate of St. Louise de Marillac High School in Northfield, Illinois and the University of Illinois at Urbana/Champaign with a B.S. in Psychology and a Juris Doctorate. After founding Strength Through Acquaintance Rape Education USA, Inc. (STARE USA), Lisa has spoken across the country on acquaintance rape and authored a book, "What You Don't Know...A Discussion of Acquaintance Rape". Lisa has also served as the Assistant Chief Deputy of the Chancery Division of the Cook County Circuit Court Clerk's Office, and as a Will County Assistant State's Attorney in various assignments, lastly as the Arson Prosecutor. Lisa married her college sweetheart, attorney George M. Ferreti, in 2001. They live in Shorewood with their two children and dogs. Lisa was thrilled with the invitation to be a part of the Museum, as she sees this organization as playing a key role in the revitalization of downtown Joliet, and feels the Museum's community outreach efforts in assisting underprivileged children explore music in ways that would otherwise be unattainable in their lives will enrich their childhoods and provide additional opportunities for them to achieve success. She looks forward to helping create an attraction celebrating the rich musical talent of our state.
Larry Williams is a life-long resident of the Joliet area and has owned and operated Williams Graphics/Larry Williams Design, a graphic design company, since 1985. Williams Graphics specializes in motorsports design. Larry also serves on the board for the Chicago World Of Wheels. Motorsports and music are his two major interests. He looks forward to using his design skills for the Illinois Rock & Roll Museum.
Candi Vicich Thuringer
Candi Vicich Thuringer has been an active member of the Events Committee and the Resource Development (Grants and Fundraising) Committee. Candis (Candi) Thuringer is a retired Telecommunicator with the Illinois State Police. During her 32-year career she dispatched calls to State Troopers and interacted with the general public providing crucial communication support. In 2006, Candi was awarded Telecommunicator of the Year recognizing her service and commitment to the ISP. Candi has been an active member of her community serving as Alderwoman of Crest Hill from 2013-2017 and served as a Lockport Township Trustee from 2005-2009. Ms. Thuringer has also held multiple volunteer positions including liaison for Crest Hill Community Television, Will County ETSB 9-1-1 board member, Vice-Chair Commissioner of the City of Crest Hill Plan Commission and Richland School District board member. Prior to her employment with the State Police, Candi was a student at Southern Illinois University in Carbondale, Illinois, where she majored in Radio and Television. Ms. Thuringer is a lifelong native of the Joliet area having attended Joliet Junior College and Joliet West High School. Candi is the proud mother of two adult daughters and resides in Crest Hill with her husband, Joel, a retired Crest Hill Police Officer, and their two dogs. Community Involvement:
Tully Garrett has been a Will County Illinois resident for the last 56 years. A self-employed entrepreneur with passion and drive. He grew up attending Catholic grade school and went on to the seminary in high school to become a Priest. During his high school and college years he played in a band professionally 4-5 nights a week. Besides being the drummer, he also booked the shows and always liked the business end of the music business. When his father passed away in 1984 he was pulled into the family run insurance agency that was established in 1962. Thirty five years later he went on to become the partner an owner of the establishment.
In the mid to late 90s Tully promoted did internal marketing for several National and International 80’s rock bands. It was there that many connections and friendships were made within the music industry that he still have today.
A sad life changing experience took place for me in 2015 - I lost my wife of 20 years and am raising my two young sons. Blessed that I found hope in a second chance at love and me and my partner Holly Barker purchased and saved The Iconic Gemini Giant and Launching Pad On Route 66 in Wilmington Illinois in 2017/2018.