Meet The Staff
Founder & Executive Director
Ron Romero - The Board of Directors Chairman and Founder 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 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 remains still a performing musician.
Director of Operations and Tourism
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.
Director of Music Education
Mike Arturi, is a lifelong professional musician and music lover. Mike has played with nationally acclaimed artists including Chuck Berry, Bo Diddley, Dick Clark’s touring Rock and Roll Revival show, The Coasters, The Marvellets, Del Shannon, Freddie Cannon, The Drifters, Big Twist and The Mellow Fellows, The Boxtops, Head East, Gary Lewis and The Playboys and Badfinger. Currently, Mike is a long standing member of Rock and Roll Hall of Fame inductee band, The Lovin’ Spoonful since 1996.
Heather comes to us from a long background in museum & musical work! Performances included music theatre in the pit orchestra, marching band, pep band, symphonic band, jazz band, and Illinois Summer Youth Music (ISYM) programs. Heather’s love for music continued into Beloit College, where she graduated with a bachelor’s degree in Performance Music, Anthropology, and Museum Studies. Her senior exhibit was The Art of Music, featuring a section on Cheap Trick with Rick Nielsen!
With graduate courses in Anthropology from the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee and her master’s degree in Museum Studies from Oklahoma University, Heather spent four years as Curator for the South Dakota State Historical Society before moving back home and spending fourteen years at the Joliet Area Historical Museum. Heather is extremely excited to be joining the amazing staff at the IL Rock & Roll Museum and celebrating the states rich musical history!