Chicago Sinfonietta: New Board Members

Chicago Sinfonietta is pleased to announce the addition of Regynald Washington (CEO, Hojeij Branded Foods), Jacqui Robertson (Global Head of Talent, Diversity, and Inclusion, William Blair), and Craig Milkint (VP, Wealth Management Advisor, Fifth Third Bank) to their growing board as they continue their 30th anniversary season, bringing the total current board size to 27 members. Recognized by Crain’s Chicago Business as having the most diverse non-profit board in the city of Chicago, the Sinfonietta continues to add influential leaders to their board of directors in support of their mission to model and promote diversity, inclusion, and both racial and cultural equity in the arts.

Maurice Smith, who is Chicago Sinfonietta’s Board Chair, as well as President of Blue Cross Blue Shield of Illinois says: “Businesses know that diversity, inclusion, and equity in management and the work force is key to becoming a high-performance organization. This is also true in the nonprofit sector. As Chair of Chicago Sinfonietta’s board, I’m delighted to welcome these three accomplished executives to our team. Their networks will help grow our organization, their support will help sustain us, and their thought leadership will help ensure that the Sinfonietta remains a leader and innovative force in our field.

A diverse board and staff also helps ensure diversity is seen on stage. This season, the organization boasts great strides in gender equity through their guest artists and programming with a season that features more than 43% works composed by women (nationally, works composed by women account for only about 1.3% of orchestral programs.) These efforts are anchored by an initiative called Project W: Commissions by Women Composers featuring works by Clarice Assad, Reena Esmail, Jennifer Higdon, and Jessie Montgomery commissioned and premiered by the orchestra this season.

Additionally, the organization celebrates the 10th anniversary of its Project Inclusion program in 2018. This program that has served 56 diverse musicians and conductors over the course of the last decade, more than 35% of the total fellows served by all similar programs across the country since 1970 when the first fellowship program was launched. To date, 90% of the programs conducting fellows have been awarded podium placements and 16 of the musicians in the program have gone on to careers in orchestras.

Chicago Sinfonietta continues its 30th anniversary season on November 4th in Naperville at Wentz Hall at North Central College and November 6th in Chicago at Symphony Center with Regresar/Revisit: A Día de los Muertos Celebration.

Craig Milkint is Vice President and Wealth Management Advisor with Fifth Third Private Bank. For over 30 years, Craig has been in a various business development and client services roles across commercial real estate, state and local tax, non-profit advancement and financial services segments. Craig has long been associated with fundraising and leadership in the arts, education and empowerment in Chicago. He is a longtime member of the Lyric Opera Guild Board of Directors and the National Advisory Council of the School of Music at the University of Illinois. Craig holds both a Bachelors of Arts and Masters of Urban Planning from the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign, concentrating in historic preservation and economic development.

Jacqui Robertson is the Global Head of Talent, Diversity, and Inclusion at William Blair. A dynamic and results driven leader, brings over 25 years of experience, primarily in financial services, in directing innovative, strategic business solutions. Prior to joining William Blair in 2016, she worked with multiple organizations, including ING, Aetna Financial Services, Cigna and Grainger. Robertson serves as a CDO Board Member with i4CP and also holds board member positions with Chicago Executive’s Club Diversity Leadership Council. Robertson received her B.A. in behavioral sciences from the University of Chicago in 1984.

Jacqui says “Music – across all genres — is a powerful connector. It sustains us. It’s a soulful life force that touches each of us in a meaningful way. Throughout my life, music always brought my family together and now, my traditional definition of family has now grown to include Sinfonietta, which brings people together from all backgrounds. I defy you to walk away unmoved; untouched; unchanged!

Regynald G. Washington is a former elected officer and Board member of the National Restaurant Association and served as chairman of the board for the administrative term of 2003-2004. Regynald is currently Chief Executive Officer of Hojeij Branded Foods. HBF is an Atlanta based restaurant company operating 73 restaurants in 13 of the top 20 airports in the United States. Regynald was Vice President of Food and Beverage for Walt Disney Parks and Resorts globally with food and beverage responsibilities for Walt Disney World Resort, Disneyland Resort, Disney Cruise Line, Disneyland Paris Resort, Disneyland Hong Kong Resort and Disneyland Tokyo Resort.