Volunteer Spotlight

Bob Gourley

Our Committee is lucky to have Bob Gourley who presents RBEM to clubs, #AtlasObscura, libraries, and other groups. It’s a valuable talent he’s honed as a college history professor and through his love of Bradbury’s works.

“I grew up reading Ray Bradbury. And while I was entertained, challenged and intrigued by his stories, it was his midwestern voice and vision which I connected with the most. Green Town could easily have doubled for my hometown, the Joliet of my childhood.”

Sue Kaiser

The RBEM Committee is very fortunate to have Sue Kaiser’s guidance and generosity at so many levels. A Waukegan native, she brings to our mission her love of her hometown and of Ray Bradbury, along with her expertise as an attorney and fundraising professional.

“I had the pleasure of meeting Ray Bradbury when he stopped in St. Louis on a book tour many years ago. He got a kick that I was from Waukegan. I’ll never forget it. He was one of Waukegan’s bright stars and we must keep it shining for future generations.”

Orty Ortwein

Meet our Ray Bradbury Comic Book authority! Orty represents RBEM at Comic Con International San Diego where his “Bradbury and Comics” panels draw hundreds. A writer and librarian, he’s often on the road to Waukegan to support our Bradbury events.

”Though Bradbury spent his career in L.A., he always thought of himself as a boy from Waukegan. Since he paid tribute to the Midwest I think it’s time we memorialized him.” We agree wholeheartedly, Orty!

Mike Stoltz

Mike helps RBEM in the areas of social media outreach, fundraising strategy and media relations. With an extensive background in non-profit development, he serves as a consultant for a number of clients and organizations in the U.S. and overseas and also volunteers as director of media relations for The Mars Society.

“I’m very happy to connect with RBEM and its team. I’ve always been a big fan of Ray Bradbury and his work, especially ‘The Martian Chronicles’, and look forward to helping out in any way I can to help make this project a success. It’s what Waukegan deserves.”

Vance D. Wyatt

Many thanks to RBEM Committee member Vance for his contributions. He has a wealth of tech and community experience from positions as Financial Analyst at CVS, Foss Park District Vice President/Treasurer, Past County Board Commissioner, North Chicago Library Board.

“One of my favorite quotes from Ray is ‘If you hide your ignorance, no one will hit you and you’ll never learn.’ This quote is more relevant in 2020 as we face the challenges of today.”

Leslie Sockness

Leslie energizes RBEM with her smile and enthusiasm. As VP of Sales for Chicago Exhibit Productions, Inc., she brings a wealth of new opportunities, coaching, and ideas. We also love her delicious appetizer trays!

“What an honor it has been to partner with the RBEM Committee right from the start,” Leslie says. “This is such an exciting project for CEP, for all Ray Bradbury Fans, and sci-fi enthusiasts. RBEM will be great for Waukegan residents, school field trips and more. 


Terry Fertig

Thanks to Terry for her many contributions to RBEM. With her background in educational publishing, she has a hand in all our publications. She’s a dedicated flute player and adventurous traveler, but when we need help with events, organizing, or communications, she’s there!

“I discovered Ray Bradbury later in my literary adventures. I thought science fiction was not for me. But I found his writing to be quite diverse and his way with language spectacular. His writing never ceases to amaze me. I am a fan forever!”

Drew Guifarro

Drew is contributing his marketing and website talents to RBEM. Experienced as Director of Marketing and E-Commerce at Family Piano on 118 S. Genesee Street in downtown Waukegan.

“Happy to be contributing to such a monumental project! The work that RBEM is doing today is going to result in such an inspiring heirloom for many generations of science-fiction lovers and Waukegan residents to come.” Thank you, Drew!

Christopher Foster

Thanks to Chris for contributing his brilliant graphic design talents to our project. He comes with a wealth of experience in graphic design, logo/branding design, illustration, presentations, print production and web design.

“Ray Bradbury’s endless joy, curiosity, adventure and love in his works reflect my childhood in Waukegan and serve as a constant source of inspiration in my life.”

Mikayla Theone Khramov

Applause to Mikayla for her many contributions to RBEM. She’s developing “Dear Ray Bradbury,” a documentary about the life and legacy of Ray Bradbury, and she’s filmed the “I Met Ray” videos.

“Four years ago, I began a journey to learn more about Ray Bradbury, an artist I have been passionate about my whole life. This journey brought me to Waukegan, IL, his hometown, where I connected with the people who would become the RBEM team. It’s been an honor to serve on this committee and help bring Bradbury’s many themes to LIFE .”

Ray Bradbury Experience Museum

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