Board of Directors
Standing left to right: Jian Sun; Dr. Matt Gibson. Seated left to right: Christine Harris; Gail Waring; Angela Rhee; Laurie Basile
LAURIE BASILE began playing the viola in junior high with group classes through the Milwaukee Public Schools. Her participation ended when she graduated and had to turn in her rental instrument. Knowing how much she loved playing, her husband surprised her with viola for her 24th birthday, and she happily returned to music participation. Over the years, she has played with the University of illinois Student-Community Orchestra, the University of Nebraska-Omaha Community Orchestra, and the Intergeneration Orchestra of Omaha.
Upon retirement from the Nebraska Department of Education’s Office of Early Childhood in 2012, Laurie and her husband returned home to the Milwaukee area. She has been a member of WIO since the fall 2016.
In addition to playing viola, Laurie enjoys traveling, reading, walking, conducting genealogical research, learning Italian, baking, and doing machine embroidery.
Chairman of the Board
DR. MATT GIBSON is an educational and community leader. He served as superintendent of the School District of Elmbrook for 17 years, elevating student achievement while successfully guiding three successful building referendums.
In “retirement”, Dr. Gibson serves as principal of Wisconsin International Academy (WIA). He also consults for executives and organizations and serves on a variety on non-profit boards.
Dr. Gibson earned a Ph.D. in Educational Administration from UW-Madison. He has always loved music. It is interesting that his first professional job was as a music educator.
WIO is thrilled that Dr. Gibson will be an advocate for our powerful mission.
CHRISTINE HARRIS has been working with creative enterprises and community development for over 30 years. After two decades in executive arts leadership, in 2010 Christine co-founded the National Creative Economy Coalition following the design and execution of the nation’s first review of defining the creative economy. In 2011 Christine formed her own consulting company focusing on helping build more creative communities.
Christine has worked on creative sector development with the Greater Des Moines region; City of Hillsboro, OR; City of Austin, TX; Arts United/the City of Fort Wayne, IN; City of Lawrence, KS; City of Marquette, MI; Arts Alliance Illinois; ArtServe Michigan; Americans for the Arts; National Endowment for the Arts; National Creativity Network; Arts Wisconsin; and many others. She also presents on creative sector development around the country. Prior to her consulting work, Christine was CEO of Creative Alliance Milwaukee, United Performing Arts Fund, Milwaukee Ballet, and was Director of Audience Development for the Milwaukee Symphony Orchestra. In addition, she sat on many arts organization boards.
Christine is considered a key national figure in this work, with her significant background in cultural administration leadership, cultural economy research and field leadership. Christine has been a consulted advisor and presenter for both the Americans for the Arts and the National Endowment for the Arts and currently serves on the National Creative Economy Advisory Committee for Americans for the Arts.
Member at Large
ANGELA RHEE brings unique experiences and perspectives to the Board of Directors. Mrs. Rhee was born in Korea, grew up in Brazil, and moved to the United States while in high school. Her childhood home was filled with music; Mrs. Rhee’s mother was an opera singer and Angela studied classical piano. Angela is a graduate of the Parsons School of Design and worked as a fashion designer in New York City. Mrs. Rhee has supported her two talented children, Tabby and Julian, in all of their musical pursuits, navigating the complex world of elite teachers, festivals and competitions. While overseeing their exceptional education, she has insisted that Tabby and Julian share their love of music with others. Tabby and Julian inspire and motivate WIO members whenever they are able to visit. Mrs. Rhee is a passionate advocate for WIO’s mission to create community through the power and beauty of music.
JIAN SUN is the founder of Wisconsin International Academy (WIA) and Greater Chicago International Academy (GCIA), a Total-Care Program for international students enrolled at high schools in the United States. By partnering with private high schools, WIA/GCIA provides opportunities for students to improve their English skills and to learn about American culture through both classroom learning and interactive extra-curricular activities. In addition, the Total-Care Program provides students with room and board, transportation, tutoring, and other needs for their daily lives.
Mr. Sun has loved music since his childhood. He is very excited to be part of this unique opportunity – a new orchestral program that seeks to bring the generations together! After living in Wisconsin for over 20 years, Jian feels it is time to give back to the community where he has gained so much. Serving on the board as well as playing an active role in administration for this program provides Jian with a great opportunity to serve the community.
Mr. Sun came to the state of Wisconsin in 1992. Jian earned both MBA and Master of Science degrees from Marquette University. Mr. Sun received a Bachelor of Science from Beijing University.
VIce Chair of the Board
GAIL WARING a California native, grew up playing violin in her formative years. After receiving her B.S. and M.S degrees in Biology from San Francisco State University, she earned her PH.D in Molecular Biology at the University of Oregon. Following three years of postdoctoral study at Indiana University, Gail accepted a faculty position in the Biology Department at Marquette University. After 37 years of teaching and research, she retired in Dec 2014 as Professor Emerita of Biology. In retirement Gail has maintained her ties with Marquette, currently serving as Executive Director of the Marquette University Retiree Association. After sporadic violin playing during her working years, she was thrilled to join the inaugural Wisconsin Intergenerational Orchestra in spring of 2016. Making new friends of all ages as well as rehearsing and performing with such talented colleagues, has been a truly transformational experience. By joining the WIO Board, Gail hopes to serve an organization and community that has brought much joy into her life.