Winnetka Youth Organization


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The Winnetka Youth Organization Board of Directors

John T. Thomas

Board Treasurer

Advisory Board


Stephanie Leese Emrich


Nancy Randall


Zane D. Smith


Scarlett Stoppa, MSW, LCSW


Michele Studl, Ph.D


Calvin John Tindall

Currently, the WYO Board includes ten members, but we are looking for additional dedicated parents and community leaders to join our Board of Directors.  The WYO Board plays an executive role overseeing strategic planning, financial matters, community relations, fundraising, and the professional staff of the WYO.


We are always looking for new board members!

If you support our mission and can commit 3 volunteer hours/month, please contact Molly Dolkart at for application details.


Board members should have a key interest in helping us fulfill fundraising needs and goals.

Get Involved & Make A Difference!


Requirements & Objectives


The primary requirement for board members of the WYO is a sensitivity and commitment toward the youth of New Trier Township. Faithful attendance at board meetings is a major part of this commitment. We meet every first Friday of the month (4:00pm-5:00pm) at the Winnetka Community House Conference Room (2nd Floor).


The business, property, and affairs of the WYO are managed and controlled by the Board of Directors with the most important tasks including:


1. Set policy and strategic direction for the WYO and make sure policies and directions are properly carried out.


2. Continually monitor both operations and finances of the WYO; prepare, agree to, and adhere to the annual budget.


3. Actively raise funds necessary for operation; including providing contacts to support our mission.


4. Assist in the recruitment of new and replacement members.


5. Board members oversee and support the professional staff and are fully aware of all activities and programs sponsored by the WYO.

Meet Our Board of Directors

John and his wife, Ellen, have lived in Winnetka for 38 years. Their two sons went to Winnetka grade schools and New Trier H.S. He attended The University of Michigan College of Engineering, and then their School of Business Administration, earning a BS and MBA.  He was on the Winnetka Youth Organization board in 1986-2002 serving as Chair from 1988-1996.  He rejoined the WYO Board in 2011 and currently chairs our Board. Thomas chaired the 1999 Caucus Parks Committee and then the 2000 Winnetka Caucus Council. He then served on the Zoning Board of Appeals and is now doing his third stint on the Winnetka Planning Commission.  He was a Winnetka Parks Commissioner in 2005-2009 and returned for a second term in 2011. John currently chairs their Parks and Beaches Committee and is their representative to the Winnetka Planning Commission and to the Winnetka Caucus.  Outside of civic affairs, he was on the Board and the Executive Committee of the Northern Illinois Girl Scouts. He was President of United Way -Winnetka/Northfield and board member of United Way-North Shore.

Sheila Dolkart


Susan Magill


John Hage


Molly Dolkart

Board President

Molly Dolkart grew up in Winnetka, attending Winnetka Public Schools and New Trier High School.  She has fond memories of attending classmates’ concerts at The WYO.  Part of her volunteer work as an undergraduate at the University of Illinois involved working with community members to book all-ages concerts and teach drum lessons to youngsters.  She feels that youth need to have an avenue of self-expression wherein they can become independent, while still having access to support from adults.  In this spirit, social service opportunities allow adolescents to draw upon their strengths and reflect them onto the community.  She believes that despite The WYO approaching fifty years of service to the Winnetka community, expressive and service opportunities provided by our organization remain essential and relevant.  As Board President of The WYO, she is following in the footsteps of her younger brother, Matthew.  In her first career as a photographer, she developed skills of creative thinking and multi-disciplinary teamwork.   Earning a MEd from DePaul University in 2011 highlighted her love of Progressive Education.  Eventually, this career change brought her home to Winnetka.  As an educator, she has takes special interest in sustainability, social service, and garden education.  

Mimi Landau, LCSW

Mimi Landau, LCSW, is a Licensed Clinical Social Worker.  Her Evanston psychotherapy practice serves a diverse clientele, with a special emphasis in treating adolescents and young adults.  Between finishing college and starting graduate school, she worked at the Warming House Youth Center in Wilmette.  It was there she experienced firsthand the importance that local youth centers can have in shaping the lives of young people, particularly those who may be at risk.  Mimi is a New Trier High School alumna. Upon moving to Winnetka in 2016 she was delighted to have the opportunity to join the Winnetka Youth Organization Board of Directors.