Interlochen’s Board of Trustees welcomes new members, leaders

  • The chairs of Interlochen's Board of Trustees, from left: Kurtis T. Wilder, first vice chair and chair-elect; Glynn Williams, chair; Sarah Harding, second vice chair.

  • Interlochen's new trustees, from left: Valerie Dillon, Becky Vitas Schamis, and Charles "Chuck" Tyler.

Three new members have been elected to join Interlochen’s Board of Trustees: Valerie Dillon, founder and president of Dillon Galleries, Inc; Becky Vitas Schamis (IAC 84-87), community activist and leader; and Charles “Chuck” Tyler, managing member of AZCAT Associates, LLC. During the July meeting, the board of trustees also elected Glynn Williams to his fourth and final term as board chair. Kurtis T. Wilder and Sarah Harding were re-elected as vice chairs, with Wilder confirmed as first vice chair and chair-elect. As chair-elect, a position recently incorporated under the board’s updated bylaws, Wilder is expected to succeed Williams as chair of the board in July 2021.

“I am honored to be selected as the chair-elect of Interlochen’s Board of Trustees,” Wilder said. “For the past several years, Glynn has led us admirably, and I am humbled to follow in his capable footsteps. I’m also pleased that the new bylaw allows me the time to prepare for the momentous task ahead of me.”

“This is an unparalleled group of individuals, all of whom are fully committed to the mission and vision of Interlochen,” Williams said. “It is a privilege to lead and serve alongside them as we chart the course of this important institution. While the past few months have been challenging, the passion of my peers and the strength of our new members give me great hope for the future of Interlochen.”

“This is an exceptionally strong class of trustees, and I’m excited to see how their unique perspectives will guide Interlochen as we prepare for our second century,” said Interlochen President Trey Devey. “I’m grateful to Sarah Harding and our Nominating and Governance Committee for curating such an excellent pipeline of prospective trustees.”

“Diversity is of critical importance to all aspects of the Interlochen community, including the board of trustees,” said Nominating and Governance Chair Sarah Harding. “With the election of Becky Vitas Schamis, we add a much-needed Latina voice to our board. The committee and I will continue our efforts to identify potential trustees who are not only extremely qualified, but representative of the students and alumni of Interlochen and our commitment to ‘world friendship’ through the arts.”

As these new trustees begin their tenure, one departs. Andrew “Andy” Cordonnier retired in July after nine years on Interlochen’s Board. Cordonnier has been presented with emeritus trustee status in recognition of his dedicated service.

Full biographies for the newly elected trustees can be found in the accordion sections below.

Valerie Dillon

Valerie Dillon, founder and president of Dillon Gallery, came to the United States in 1983 from Zimbabwe to study piano performance at the American University. After graduation in 1987, Dillon began working for Eduard Nakhamkin Gallery in Beverly Hills as an art consultant dealing in non-conformist Soviet and Russian art. Between 1989 and 1994, Dillon worked for Bowles Sorokko Gallery in Beverly Hills and San Francisco before relocating to New York City to establish and operate a third gallery for Bowles Sorokko primarily dealing in 20th century master prints. In 1994, she founded Dillon Gallery in Soho, New York City with the purpose of identifying, representing, and building careers for young emerging talent.

Dillon became the foremost dealer outside of Japan specializing in contemporary Nihonga painting and introduced many Japanese masters to Western audiences. Her knowledge and relationships in this area continue. After owning and operating a gallery in Oyster Bay, New York while her two children were in early childhood, she relocated to a 5,000-square-foot converted 19th century warehouse in Chelsea. It was there she began shifting her focus from primarily visual artists to multimedia disciplines not usually associated with a traditional art gallery. In 2006, the gallery presented “Painted Music,” a series combining technology with painting and music.

Dillon’s early interest in the performing arts continued with many parallel presentations of art, music, and interactive exhibitions. She has committed to sponsoring and championing collaborative performance pieces and interactive exhibitions dealing with the intersection of the visual and performing arts. Dillon Gallery is a pioneer in the art of scent, with its groundbreaking solo exhibitions by Christophe Laudamiel dedicated exclusively to scent. The gallery hosted the Chelsea Music Festival for several years, as well as numerous solo and chamber music performances from 1994 until the gallery closed to the public. The gallery has operated as a virtual space since 2015. Dillon partners with Diana Lee as Dillon+ Lee.

Dillon was a founding board member of National Sawdust in New York City and continues to serve as a board member for the Lewis Prize for Music. Dillon was also instrumental in organizing Interlochen Arts Academy’s recent tour to Miami, Florida to present the original interdisciplinary performance “ONE” at the New World Center. She has played a pivotal role in providing opportunities for Miami Music Project students to attend Interlochen Arts Camp and Interlochen Arts Academy.

She is currently working as an executive producer for “The Head & the Load,” a multi-genre/multi-disciplinary master work created by the artist William Kentridge.

Becky Vitas Schamis

Becky Vitas Schamis is a community activist with a passion for the arts, education, and volunteerism. A musical theatre student and a cappella singer in her youth, Schamis attended Interlochen Arts Camp (84-87), where she had the privilege of studying under the beloved Dude Stephenson. A devoted Broadway fan and life-long supporter of the arts, she is an active volunteer for Interlochen Center for the Arts as a member of the Annual Fund Committee. She is especially proud to be a parent to a fourth-year returning camper studying dance.

In her second term as Chair of the Yale School of Management (SOM) Alumni Fund, Schamis works with SOM staff to engage class agents and sustain the momentum of record-breaking giving. In 2018, Schamis received the Yale Chairman’s Award for exceptional leadership, initiative, innovation, and dedication. She also serves on the Yale SOM Advisory Board.

Schamis held many leadership positions throughout her community, including on The Community Synagogue Board of Trustees and within the Port Washington School District. In addition, as an alumna and parent of a Choate Rosemary Hall student, Schamis serves as a non-board member of the Board of Trustees Development Committee, as well as on the Choate Parent Action Committee.

Schamis is the Vice President of Marketing and Communications of The Ed. Foundation, a non-profit organization that supports educational initiatives and awards grants to several public schools on Long Island. She is also a consultant with The Acceleration Project, a non-profit dedicated to providing strategic and tactical advice to small businesses, mostly minority and women-owned.

After earning a B.A. from Vanderbilt University with a double major in Economics and English, Schamis worked at Penguin Random House before receiving her M.B.A. from the Yale School of Management in 2000. Schamis spent a summer working with Ina Garten at The Barefoot Contessa, her specialty food store in East Hampton, and then returned to the corporate world at American Express, where she held several positions within its Strategic Alliances Group before entering the non-profit sector.

Schamis’s volunteer leadership and social investments center on community arts, education, and civic awareness, and have included the Landmark on Main Street Jeanne Rimsky Theater, New York City Ballet, Vail Veterans Program, and Autism Speaks, among other charitable and educational organizations.

Among her many interests, Schamis enjoys spending time outdoors hiking and skiing, baking, and exploring her Spanish heritage through language and cultural studies. She and her husband, David, live on Long Island with their three children.

Charles "Chuck" Tyler

Charles “Chuck” Tyler is managing member for a family office in Greenwich, Connecticut. The family office is composed of AZCAT Associates, LLC; AZCAT Investments, LLC; and AZCAT Foundation. Through the three entities, Tyler oversees the family’s day-to-day operations, charitable efforts, and an investment portfolio of fixed income, real estate, and other asset classes.

Prior to leading the AZCAT offices, Chuck worked in finance, operations, and trading for Dun & Bradstreet; AIG Trading Group, Inc.; AMBAC Financial Services, LP; and Gen Re Financial Products, Inc. He graduated with honors from the University of Arizona with a B.A. in both Economics and Political Science.

Chuck has been active with many education-based non-profits, most recently as trustee for the Greenwich Family YMCA and the Greenwich Country Day School (GCDS). As a Trustee for GCDS, he served in multiple roles over ten years including Annual Fund Chair, Development Committee Chair, Capital Campaign Chair, and President of the Board.

Chuck and his wife Kerry have three boys, CJ, Connor, and Cameron, and two golden doodles. Cameron, their youngest son, has a boundless passion for voice and acting. This led him to Interlochen Arts Camp, where Cameron enthusiastically participated in the musical theatre program for two years, connecting with countless developing artists from across the country. The family enjoys golf, hikes with the dogs, and attending artistic performances and sporting events of just about any kind.

Glynn Williams

Glynn Williams joined the Interlochen Board in 2012 and was elected as chair in 2017. He has served on all of the Board’s committees and task forces. In 2016, Williams became chair of the Create Amazing Campaign Cabinet. A Canadian citizen, Williams is the first non-American chair of Interlochen’s Board of Trustees.

He is the President and CEO of Williams & Moore Capital Corporation and various affiliated operating entities. He earned his BASc in Engineering Science, MASc in Mechanical Engineering and MBA from the University of Toronto. Williams is a recipient of U of T’s Arbor Award and was inducted into the “Hall of Distinction” of the Faculty of Applied Science & Engineering in 2008. He is a CFA (Chartered Financial Analyst), PEng (Professional Engineer) and licensed pilot. Williams’ professional career spans contributions in technology, finance, venture capital, aerospace, consumer packaged goods, tourism, and economic development. In addition to his work with Interlochen, Glynn is also an active contributor to several youth and educational charities, as well as industry and public sector boards.

Glynn's and his wife Charlene's daughter Kendra attended Interlochen Arts Camp in 2009 as a repertory theatre student. Kendra went on to graduate from the University of Michigan in Theatre and has performed in the Interlochens Shakespeare Festival.

Glynn has a passion for the arts. Some of his most memorable moments during his high school years were playing sax or clarinet in jazz, rock, and concert bands, musical theatre pits, local symphonies, and a naval reserve band. Williams continues to play in the same blues/rock band that in 2020 celebrates its 46th year.

He enjoys the creative process. Glynn sees how the interdisciplinary nature of the arts and new art forms continue to evolve, and the rising importance of the arts to many areas of human endeavor, including engineering and science. Interlochen plays a valued role in nurturing creative, talented and passionate citizen artists who are well-equipped to build rewarding careers and to tackle the challenges that lie ahead.

Kurtis T. Wilder

Kurtis T. Wilder is Of Counsel to Butzel Long and practices in Butzel Long’s Detroit Office. He originally joined Butzel in 1989 as a litigation attorney, and left in 1992 to begin a nearly 27 year career as a judge, culminating with his service as the 112th Justice to serve on the Michigan Supreme Court. Justice Wilder concentrates his practice in litigation, appeals, and mediation, arbitration and facilitation.

Wilder was appointed by Governor John Engler as judge of the Washtenaw County Circuit Court in March, 1992. In December, 1998 Governor Engler elevated Wilder to the Michigan Court of Appeals where he served four terms from 1998-2017. In May 2017, Governor Rick Snyder appointed Wilder to the Michigan Supreme Court, where he served until Jan. 1, 2019.

Wilder has two children, Alycia and Klif. Alycia attended Camp from 2002-­2004 and entered the Academy in 2004, from which she graduated in 2006. Wilder’s admiration and interest in the success of Interlochen grew as a result of watching Alycia develop into an excellent musician and a mature, young adult. Klif, who studied double bass with Interlochen double bass instructor Derek Weller, is an auto mechanic with an Ann Arbor auto dealership. Wilder enjoys orchestral as well as small jazz ensemble and classical chamber ensemble performances. Frank Sinatra and Billie Holiday rank as among his favorite solo performers, and Detroit Symphony Orchestra, Kansas, Chicago, and Earth, Wind and Fire are among the groups he appreciates. In addition to his service on Interlochen’s Board of Trustees, Wilder also serves on the boards of the Michigan Chamber of Commerce, Alumni Association of the University of Michigan, Detroit Symphony Orchestra, The Children’s Foundation, and Detroit Regional Dollars for Scholars. “The arts inspire, teach discipline, creativity, teamwork and pursuit of individual excellence. Through the arts, we learn another way to appreciate the spiritual and begin to recognize our common bond with all of humanity. Every student should have the opportunity to experience the lifetime enrichment that results from receiving a quality arts education.”

Sarah Harding

Sarah Harding is a tenured member of the faculty at IIT Chicago-Kent College of Law. She is a widely recognized teacher and scholar with a focus on the law of cultural heritage, art, and antiquities. She was Associate Dean for Faculty Development from 2008-2014 and has overseen many school-wide projects, including strategic planning, accreditation and curricular reform. Professor Harding has degrees from McGill University, Dalhousie University, Oxford University (Rhodes Scholar), and Yale Law School.

She has been very active in various community arts and education organizations. Most recently she was on the founding board for Beacon Academy, an innovative Montessori based high school that opened in 2014, and she is currently president of the board of the Haymarket Opera Company in Chicago.

All three of her children attended the Interlochen Arts Camp in the music, theatre and creative writing programs, and one of her sons attended Interlochen Arts Academy as a theatre major. She believes firmly in the power of an arts education to introduce children to new ways of thinking and to bring passion and empathy into their lives.

When she is not traveling to visit her kids and watch their performances, she spends a lot of time running, cycling and swimming.