Board

Judie Bregman, MD
Judie is a pediatrician and the senior partner in Pediatric Associates of Barrington, in the Northwest suburbs, practicing since 1983.

She has lived in Northbrook for 27 years with her husband and two children. Originally from NY, Judie attended Northwestern University for college and medical school in New York. Judie has been an SGT Board member for 5 years and is the current chairperson for the Board.

Madeleine Fern
Mady (Madeleine) is a retired Speech/Language Pathologist and LD and ESL teacher and ESL Teacher.

She has worked for over 30 years with special needs students. She currently serves on the District 28 School Board where she has served as President for six of those years and is President of the Northern Suburban Special Education District (NSSED) Executive and Governing Board. Mady has also served on numerous other Boards as officers including the Winnetka Children’s Theater, Winnetka Community Theater, Winnetka Community House Board of Governors and on the Village Board of Winnetka. Currently she also is an officer and Founding member of the NSSED Foundation Board. Her major focus is serving the needs of the Special Needs population of all ages. Mady is widowed and a proud mother of two and grandmother of five.


Elizabeth Grace
Elizabeth Grace is Assistant Professor of Special Education and Disability and Equity in Education at National Louis University.

She teaches courses in math pedagogy, frameworks and perspectives, assessment, paradigms of knowledge, and the history of disability in education. She also acts as a consulting advocate in private practice, for families navigating through the special education system. Were it not for theatre, she would not be able to be doing any of this. She holds a BA in Philosophy with a minor in Theatre Arts from Portland State University. When she told her professors there that she dreamed of teaching, they recommended taking theatre classes, and theatre was so empowering and life-changing that she was able to continue on to graduate school at University of California, Santa Barbara for Masters degrees in Philosophy and Education and a PhD in Education with emphases in Special Education, Teaching and Learning and Research Methodology. Special Gifts Theatre brings kids the chance to be in theatre and have that magnificent experience from a very early age, which Elizabeth thinks is the best idea she ever heard of, and she is honored and delighted to be involved with such a great thing.

Buggie O’Grady
Buggie has been an active member of the Special Gifts Theatre Board of Directors for the past four years.

She currently serves as President of the District 29 PTO and is a newly elected Commissioner of the Northfield Park District. Buggie is a member of St. Philip the Apostle Parish and serves on their Catechetical Advisory Board.
Buggie holds a B.S. in Community Recreation from the University of Iowa. While in college, she worked for the Iowa City Department of Parks and Recreation as a Special Olympics coach and class instructor. Professionally, Buggie started her career as a Recreation Coordinator at Kemmerer Village, a residential facility for teens with behavior disorders. Following her time there, she worked for five years at the St. Louis Association for Retarded Citizens. Buggie was responsible for recreational programming, grant writing and developing community integration programs for people with disabilities. Upon relocating to Chicago in 1997, Buggie worked in development at Rush University Medical Center raising funds for the Rush College of Nursing.

Buggie and her husband, Sean, live in Northfield and spend the majority of their time keeping track of their four very active children, Mame, Danny, Betsy and Meg.

Jennifer Soderblom
Jennifer has worked the past 20 years as a stage manager for opera companies around the country.

Her latest and long living service was to the Skylight Opera Theatre in Milwaukee Wisconsin, a unique and beloved company producing both opera and musicals. In addition to stage management, Jennifer has worked with children and young adults as an internship coordinator, stage movement coach and swim instructor. Jennifer holds a Bachelor of Arts from Iowa State University and a Master of Fine Arts from the University of Missouri, Kansas City. Seven years ago Jennifer’s life was blessed by the arrival of her beautiful daughter who introduced Jennifer to the world of special needs. The combined journeys of her work in the theatre arts with her dedication to nurturing and enriching the lives of children with special needs has led her to Special Gifts Theatre. Jennifer is profoundly honored to join you in our service to the best gift of all: our children.


Randy Sylvan
Randy Sylvan is a principal with LarsonAllen specializing in auditing, tax and outsourcing.

He has over 30 years of experience in public accounting and 19 years as an engagement principal serving clients in several industries including manufacturing, distribution, hospitality, construction contractors, retail, nonprofits, governments and employee benefit plans. He has presented at various conferences speaking on topics such as fraud and internal control. He is the head of the nonprofit group in the Chicago office.

Randy earned his B.S. degree in accounting from the University of Illinois and is a Certified Public Accountant, holding an active license in Illinois. He is currently pursuing his masters in accounting at Roosevelt University.

Randy is a member of the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants, the Illinois CPA Society, the Association Forum of Chicago, Donor’s Forum of Chicago and the Surety Association of Illinois. He is also a member of the Ethics Committee for the Illinois CPA Society, a member of the Professional Practices Committee of the Association Forum of Chicago and is a Board member and Treasurer of Special Gifts Theatre.

Leonard Zaban

Leonard Zaban is Partner at Rock Capital Markets, LLC.