Welcome to the Children’s Music Foundation, where we have assembled some of the most passionate people and best minds to support music education for our youngest students!
CMF Board of Directors
Richard Israel, Chief Operating Officer, Committee for Children
Chairman of the Board, Children’s Music Foundation
Richard Israel, CPA, has worked for Committee for Children since 2006. His duties currently include oversight of the financial, information technology, warehousing, facilities management, and human resources functions. As a key leader on the management team, he contributes to the strategic and day-to-day operations at the highest level. Over the past 30 years, Mr. Israel has worked as a financial management professional and consultant for several premier firms including BDO Seidman, Citibank, IBM, and Premera Blue Cross. Throughout his career he has focused on implementing and sustaining sound financial, operations, and management information systems and procedures in a variety of business environments.
Mr. Israel holds a master’s degree in Library and Information Science from the University of Michigan and an MBA from the University of Chicago. He holds a current Certified Public Accountant license from the State of Washington.
Rourke O’Brien, Founder/Executive Director, CMF
Rourke is the President and Founder of The Children’s Music Foundation (CMF). Prior to founding CMF in 2009, he spent 5 years as President of America’s Foundation for Chess. Rourke has spent much of his career in financial services beginning in 1978 with ten years in the securities industry as Vice President – Investments with both Smith Barney, Harris Upham & Co., and Dean Witter Reynolds, Inc. before opening his own securities brokerage operation in 1986. After joining Washington Mutual Savings Bank, he founded State Street Mortgage in 1993, which became Qpoint Home Mortgage Loans in 1994, where he held the position of Director, President and CEO through 1998. He has been a member of the Bellevue Breakfast Rotary Club since 1993, The National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC), the Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development (ASCD), the National Association of Music Merchants (NAMM), and the International Society for Music Education (ISME).
Rourke holds a B.A. in Finance from the University of Notre Dame.
Karen Weber, Early Childhood Education Specialist
Karen Weber is a specialist in Early Childhood Education. Her career at CRISTA Ministries, as founding Director of the Early Childhood Education program at King’s Schools, spanned two decades (1985-2004), including three years as K-3 Choral Music Teacher. She served as a field consultant for the High/Scope Educational Research Foundation from 1989-2009, and was the first to receive a double-endorsement in its associate program, Phyllis Weikart’s Education Through Movement: Building the Foundation. She has served in a consultant role for Microsoft, school districts, and legal proceedings. Karen has traveled nationally and internationally as a consultant and conference speaker and as a trainer for teachers and parents. She has completed extensive doctoral work in Early Childhood Education at Seattle Pacific University, with a focus on early literacy experience and skills. Karen has been married to Mark Weber since 1986. They are the parents of three terrific kids – Mackenzie (Chapman University – 2013, specialist in Social Media and Marketing), Allison (Chapman – 2015, employed with Goldman-Sachs NYC), and Jeffrey (King’s High School – 2019, singer, musical theatre performer). Karen’s hobbies include music, travel, scrap-booking, gardening, entertaining, and soccer-refereeing. Recent years have added “stage mom” to Karen’s busy docket, supporting Jeffrey’s leading roles at Seattle’s 5th Avenue Theatre. Music is a gift everyone can enjoy!
1982 B.A. Liberal Studies, University of the Pacific (Stockton, CA), 1983 M.Ed. Early Childhood/Special Education, Boston College (Chestnut Hill, MA)2006-2013 Doctoral program, Seattle Pacific University (ABD)
Erin Jones, Educator, Public Speaker
Erin Jones has been working in and around schools for the past 25 years. She has taught in a variety of environments, from predominantly African American to predominantly Caucasian to some of the most diverse communities in the nation. Erin received an award as the Most Innovative Foreign Language Teacher in 2007, while teaching French Immersion at Stewart Middle School in Tacoma, and was the Washington State Milken Educator of the Year in 2008, while teaching at Rogers High School in Spokane. She served under two state superintendents – half a year as a Director for Dr. Terry Bergeson and 3 years as Assistant Superintendent on the executive leadership team for Superintendent Randy Dorn.
She received recognition at the White House in March of 2013 as a “Champion of Change.” In 2015 Erin earned recognition as PTA Educator of the Year for her testimony in the McCleary case. Erin left her role as the Director of a large college-access program in Tacoma School District to pursue her campaign for Office of Superintendent of Public Instruction full-time.
Erin was the first African-American woman to run for executive office in the state of Washington and lost by a mere 1%. Erin has two children in college, one seeking to join the army, and a husband, James, who is a teacher in North Thurston School District.
2004 Concordia College Language Immersion Certificate (Morehead, MN), 2002 Pacific Lutheran University Teaching Certificate, (Tacoma, WA), 1993 Bryn Mawr College, BA in Comparative Literature, (Bryn Mawr, PA).
John Cherry, Board Chair, Silicon Mechanics
John Cherry relocated to Seattle from the U.K. in the late sixties to work for the Boeing Company. He then moved to Deloitte and Touche as a technology consultant where he spent the next 34 years, becoming a partner in 1974. He consulted to various industries and Government entities during his career including Aerospace, Healthcare and Utilities. He also served in several management roles including membership in the National operations committee for consulting, managing partner for the Northwest practice and Managing Partner for Asia Pacific, Australia and Africa. He served on the Global operations committee for technology consulting.
Since retiring from Deloitte he has held several business leadership positions including Board membership in Aubeta Networks in which he was a major investor. He currently is Chairman of the Board and majority shareholder of Silicon Mechanics.
John earned a B.Sc. degree from the University of London, is a CPA, and has been both a student and instructor at the University of Washington.
Vickie Reynolds, Investor, Philanthropist
Vickie Reynolds was hired to help develop a startup wholesale distribution company, and worked as the Dallas president 1987-2006. Included within those responsibilities was serving on the Dallas apartment association board of directors for 4 years, additionally serving as a delegate to the Texas apartment association and a delegate to the national apartment association. Vickie was additionally the recipient of a national apartment association award… an award bestowed on one individual per year for outstanding service. Vickie relocated from Dallas to Gig Harbor in 2008… and relocated to Bellevue in 2012….which is now home!! She is an avid work out enthusiast and attends Championships Center Church.
Vickie graduated from Kansas State University with a Bachelor of Science degree, Liberal Arts.
Angie Song, MD, FACS
Even though her last name suggests that she would have music in her background, she does not have any formal education in music. She appreciates music of all kinds and is especially passionate about early education with music.
Angie grew up in the Pacific Northwest after immigrating from South Korea at the age of 5. She lived in Germany as an elementary school student and fondly remembers her weekend travels with her family to various music festivals. She attended UC Irvine for college and earned her medical degree from George Washington University. She served in the US Army as a medical officer and was the President of the Hawaii Otolaryngology Society while stationed in Hawaii.
She has always loved teaching from tutoring in college to training young surgeons while in the Army. Serving in the Army and being married to a West Point graduate has led her family from Hawaii to Texas. While in Texas, she worked for the Central VA hospital and entered private practice. After relocating to the greater Seattle area in 2010, she joined Swedish medical group and is now in private practice.
Her two active sons keep her busy with year around sporting activities. She loves to engage in community events whether running in local running races, being involved in school functions or attending charity events. When not working, she enjoys running, skiing, reading and cooking.
Jennifer Staggs, Creative Marketing Professional
Jen is a native of the Seattle area having grown up in Bellevue, and schooled at WSU. But her 20 years of marketing and promotional experience have led her to live in San Francisco, New York City and Los Angeles for various professional opportunities. Her start in advertising was in San Francisco, working with several large accounts like Visa and Seagrams, which parlayed into the tech company City Search when the internet exploded. From there she was off to NYC to work with E&J Gallo as a liaison for their corporate company in California, putting together substantial programs; Tribeca Film Festival, James Beard Awards, hospitality lounges, etc. Next she took a position as Brand Director for American Express’ Departures Magazine planning programs and events in the US and abroad. She continued to consult after leaving NYC for LA and is currently working with several brands including American Express, Porsche, and several magazine publications for sponsorship and branding direction. Jen is currently building a local promotions company named Around Town, Inc.
Jen is a people person and networker and her passions include getting involved in programs that help people, places and things in need, and has experience with the non-profit sector, working with Share Our Strength, The Robin Hood Foundation, ASPCA and several local non-profits, planning and fundraising. Others interests include, the Arts, outdoor activities and travel, most recently visiting Spain, Croatia, Malta, Italy and London.
Warren Stickney, Founder, Owner, Stickney Research
As Founder and Principal of Stickney Research, Warren Stickney is passionate about serving people. Prior to founding Stickney Research in 1996, Warren headed the Estate Planning Division for six years at a Fortune 100 financial services company.
Continuing education is also a cornerstone of the Stickney Research practice. Warren believes in all staff, as well as the client, having a thorough understanding of concepts and solutions implemented.
From classes on the teachings of Socrates at the Aspen Institute to forums on current and pending tax laws, Warren spends over 60 days a year on continuing education to broaden his knowledge and offer clients a holistic approach to problem solving.
In addition to his quest for knowledge, he is also passionate about his charitable endeavors. An active philanthropist, Warren supports several charitable organizations in the Puget Sound area and the US.
Executive Producer, ROCKTHISPRODUCTION
Warren Stickney offers years of experience working with artists both locally, nationally and internationally known.
Warren inherited his love of music and desire to help artists from his mother, Betty, and was raised with this from the beginning. His start was with the band members from Buffalo Springfield, organizing a reunion event and coordinating finances from the event as well as merchandise sales.
He learned the hard way how to manage finances, book events and manage talent. From this experience and a desire to be in one place, he booked talent like Fleetwood Mac, The Eagles, Joe Cocker, Cheryl Crow and many others into his High Altitude Paradise Club in Aspen, Colorado and The Roma in Telluride, Colorado, and stepped in to save several major music events when the promoter failed as the artists were to appear on stage in a matter of hours.
The Eagles Hell Freezes over reunion developed from a benefit organized at the Aspen Club. His passion for music continues in Seattle, and today he combines his financial and contract background with his love of music and supporting musicians. Currently he is sponsoring a development fund for up and coming artists as well as supporting seasoned musicians whose talent is far from retired.
Caroline Quinn, Music Therapist and Piano Instructor
Born and raised in Canada, Caroline Quinn has fond memories of accompanying high school musical and choirs. After graduating with an Associate Diploma in Piano Performance from the Royal Conservatory of Canada (affiliated with the University and Toronto) and a Bachelor of Sacred Music from Tyndale University (Toronto), she also studied Music Therapy for two years at Capilano College in Vancouver, British Columbia. For several years she enjoyed two careers working at the Hugh Macmillan Medical Center in Toronto as an accredited Music Therapist and teaching private piano lessons. Being part of a medical team, doing assessments, setting goals and designing programs, a music therapist can be a key person in a rehabilitation program. Her work that focused on the benefits of music therapy working in the head injury program received professional and popular attention.
During her time in Oxford, England, she started a new career as the Head of Music and Expressive Arts in a state middle school for three years. In her final year in Oxford, she worked at the Dragon School, a preparatory boarding school for girls and boys, teaching piano and accompanying choirs. She was also the music director at St. Ebbe’s church in Oxford.
Life in Seattle has been full raising her two boys Daniel and David, and running her piano studio. Caroline is married Dr. Tom Quinn, a professor of Astronomy, at the University of Washington. They enjoy traveling, hiking, reading, walking their dog, and spending time with friends and family. Caroline has fun gardening, composing, arranging music, writing, and entertaining. She continues to be passionate about sharing the joy of music in every way possible. Music is a universal language and love is the key!
Andrea Madero, Program Manager, Google
Since arriving in Seattle, she worked as a volunteer for Microsoft’s Family Network, helping employee partners integrate into their new society by creating programs and organizing events. She later joined Google first as a contractor, and then as a full-time employee 4 years ago. Andrea is currently a Program Manager responsible for keeping Google Maps updated around World Events.
Andrea has two extremely active kids 2 & 4 years old, who keep her very busy every day. She is naturally passionate about music, given her cultural background. She loves dancing, working with her church and the Catholic Radio station.
Andrea is also passionate about health, nutrition, languages (speaking Spanish, German, French and English) and cultures, religion, and community work in general.
Andrea holds a degree in GIS Engineering from the Universidad Distrital Francisco José de Caldas
Haresh Sangani, Founder and CEO, Hitech Advisors
Haresh is the founder and CEO at Hitech Advisors. Hitech Advisors works with leading organizations such as Costco, Nintendo, Zillow, The Institute for Disease Modeling, and Stryve. Prior to Hitech, Haresh was the founding CEO at Faira, the fastest growing home listing platform in the history of the Seattle area. Earlier in his career, Haresh held leadership and engineering positions at Amazon, AT&T, Kronos, and a multitude of startups.
Haresh volunteers at Armman USA and at the Seattle chapter of the Society for Information Management where he’s a board member responsible for sponsorships. He lives with his family in the Seattle area and enjoys trails and ski-runs of the Cascade mountains and beyond.
Haresh is a University of Washington Husky four times over, with a BS in Physics, a BS in electrical engineering, an MS in electrical engineering, and an MS in computer science.
Sayoko Kuwahara, Principal, Insight Regulatory Consulting, LLC
Sayoko Kuwahara walked into a music store one day when she was 40 years old and walked out of it 30 minutes later holding a flute which she had never touched before in her life. That was the beginning of musical journey as an adult student. In subsequent years, she played at church, nursing homes, and Rotary functions. She understands the importance of music in one’s life and is passionate about bringing music into the lives of all children.
Sayoko served on the Eastside District Board of the YMCA of Seattle for 5 years when it focused its energy on fundraising for building of the brand new Coal Creek YMCA. She has also been an active member of the Bellevue Breakfast Rotary Club for 11 years and served as the club administrator for 6 years.
Sayoko was born and grew up in Osaka, Japan until she moved to Boston for a higher education at Boston University, from which she received a BA in psychology. Currently, she is a medical regulatory consultant helping manufacturers of medical devices with regulatory compliance, marketing approval, etc.