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ede board of directors


Milner Seifert, President

Milner was choral director at Evanston Twp. H.S. for 34 years. In “retirement” he teaches church music and coordinates worship at Bexley Seabury Theological Seminary in Hyde Park. His first encounter with EDE was in 2009 when a friend invited his family to join her at a performance of Alice in Wonderland.

Melanie Wright, Vice-President

Melanie is passionate for education and the arts as well as coaching and career development. Professionally she has served in both admissions and career-coaching roles at Northwestern University’s Kellogg School of Management. She previously was instrumental in rolling out career development programming before taking on the role of Director for the MSMS program at Kellogg School of Management.  Melanie currently serves on the Board of Trustees for Chiaravalle Montessori School in Evanston.

Chris Wallace, Secretary


Patty Acha, Treasurer

Patty was an actor and then an arts attorney. She has a Theatre degree from Northwestern, and a JD from Columbia University.

Zephyr Balch

Zephyr is an EDE alum and is currently working at Skokie Hospital as an emergency room technician.


Lauren Biolsi
As a former EDE dancer, Lauren decided to pursue a different path during college at Butler University and majored in English. She now works at Clique Studios, a website design and development company based in Chicago. 

Larry Byrne

Larry is an alum dad. He is a partner at the law firm, Pedersen & Houpt.

Tomo Hilbo

Faye Jacobs

A former occupational therapist and fitness instructor, Faye is the proud parent of an EDE alum. She has served on the EDE Board for the past decade while balancing her passions for photography, community service, family, and all things dance…especially the Evanston Dance Ensemble!


Ariel Orlov

Ariel is an alum parent of an EDE dancer, who just graduated. She works as a university library director, and has served on the EDE board since 2019.

Béa Rashid

Béa is the Founder to the Evanston Dance Ensemble and Director of Dance Center Evanston. Along with her husband  Steve Rashid, she runs the Studio5 Performing Arts Venue presenting professional music, dance and spoken word events.


Christie Robinson

Proud parent of two EDE alumni dancers, Christie has become progressively more involved in EDE costuming since 2006, balanced with communications and programming work at Skokie Public Library.

Sharon Robinson

Dr. Sharon Robinson is a pediatrician as well as a Physician Director of Primary Care at NorthShore University HealthSystem. She lives in Evanston with her husband, Keith, and her daughters, Taryn and Kari.

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