Meet the Board!
Jeff Julian, Co-Chair
Jeff Julian got involved with Girls Rock! Chicago when one of his old bands broke up and they decided to donate the left over band money to GR!C. Now Jeff is a proud member of the board and happy to spread the word about the great mission of GR!C whenever he can. When he’s not promoting GR!C, Jeff works as the director of the public awareness office at the American Library Association and plays guitar and sings in the band Vaudevileins.
Lauren Viera, Co-Chair
Lauren learned about the fledgling Girls Rock! Chicago a few months before its 2006 debut camp, and volunteered to be the organization’s first Volunteer Director, recruiting amazing women from all over the region to lend their talents. She has served on the board since its foundation, and continues to volunteer whenever possible. Beyond GR!C, Lauren plays bass and sings in the local band Coupleskate, teaches English at Columbia College, and is a contributing lifestyle journalist for several local and national publications. Her vice? Cocktails — studying their history, writing about them and, of course, drinking them.
Tamara Meyer, Treasurer
Tamara Meyer is Executive Vice President and General Counsel for Catalina Marketing in St. Petersburg, Florida. Prior to joining Catalina in 2015, Ms. Meyer was Divisional Sr. Vice President, Chief Litigation Counsel at Health Care Service Corporation (HCSC) in Chicago. She also served as Vice President of Global Public Affairs & Government relations and a member of the Legal Division at Kellogg’s in Battle Creek, Michigan. Ms. Meyer graduated from Northwestern University Law School, magna cum laude. She holds an MS in Taxation, with distinction, from DePaul University and a BSBA in Accounting, summa cum laude, from Loyola University. Ms. Meyer serves on other nonprofit boards in Chicago that also focus on empowerment, opportunities and education for girls, including the Girl Scouts of Greater Chicagoland & Northwest Indiana and HFS Chicago Scholars. Ms. Meyer joined the Girls Rock! board after seeing first-hand the positive impact of Girls Rock! Chicago’s camp on her daughter. Her interests include music of all types, opera, wine and hockey.
Sarah Frier is a Chicagoland native. She currently works as a Real Estate Broker at LivingRoom Realty were she enjoys helping people make their dreams of homeownership a reality. She holds a BFA from both The School of The Art Institute and Harrington College of Design. Sarah has also been a fixture at Reckless Records for well over a decade and regularly DJs at clubs all over town. Recently, she has been sneaking down to Austin,Texas for part of the winter…but as everyone knows, summer in Chicago is the coolest, and her two weeks a year with the DJ girls at camp is always one of the highlights!
Maricruz Ponce de Leon
Laura hails from lil’ Freeport, Illinois, where she picked up the work ethic and rebellious spirit that only a small-town upbringing can provide. She started playing piano at the age of 8 and began her training in classical harp two years later. More recently, she’s taken on the pedal steel guitar. Laura earned her Ph.D in School Psychology from Loyola University and her M.A. in Educational Leadership from Concordia. She is a Licensed Clinical Psychologist and works as a school district administer for academic and social-emotional prevention and intervention supports. Laura is an adjunct university instructor and teaches graduate courses ranging from evidence-based practices for children with special needs to applied research and statistics. Other interests include vintage clothes, playing guitar in the forest, backcountry camping, road trips, and the little things in life.
Melissa began playing music at age 8 with the clarinet, had brief run-ins with guitar and piano and eventually settled into drums. She became interested in DIY culture in her formative years and began publishing zines at the age of 14. When writing about independent music was no longer enough, in true DIY fashion, she started making her own, regardless of musical ability. When she’s not advocating for women and girls, she can often be found in the company of cats, bikes and baked goods.