Board of Directors

The Board of Directors is the governing body of Erasing the Distance. Board members meet regularly to discuss and vote on the affairs of the organization. 

Below are the members. Click on any individual name to learn more.

Kimberly J. Dean, Ph.D, MBA, President

Dr. Kimberly J. Dean is a licensed and ordained Minister/Elder from the South Side of Chicago. Her life’s mission is to travel to various countries spreading God’s love, evangelizing, teaching, and ministering the gospel. Dr. Dean has served faithfully in two mega churches that both hold over 20,000 members in each ministry, travels internationally to minister, and alongside her husband; birthed an HIV/AIDS Ministry to bring awareness, holistic healing, wellness and access to prayer and support for those infected and affected by the disease. From the HIV/AIDS ministry and serving in the church, Dr. Dean was able to come in contact with individuals that were affected by mental illness. Dr. Dean has a passion for healing and looks for opportunities to assist those in need of spiritual guidance and serve various ministries in Chicago when called upon for service. Dr. Dean is married to Minister William J. Dean and they have two children. She is a graduate of Tennessee State University with a BS in Health Care Administration & Planning with a certification from Meharry Medical College; an MBA in Health Services from Kellogg Graduate School of Management; and a PhD in Human Services from Capella University. Dr. Dean’s entire career has been in the Managed Care Industry focusing on Provider Network and Contracting. She is excited and blessed to have this opportunity to serve on the Erasing the Distance Board and bringing awareness to Mental Health!

Bruce Himelstein MD, MBA, FAAP, Vice President

Bruce is thrilled to join the ETD team! As a lifelong health care provider for children with life-threatening and life-ending conditions, and now as a physician executive in managed care for the Medicaid population, he is dedicated to integrating the physical, behavioral and spiritual issues facing patients and community members here in Illinois. He was privileged to see ETD for the first time at a corporate presentation for Aetna Better Health of Illinois, and was immediately drawn to the performance’s connections with everything meaningful to him in healthcare. Personally he is a singer, instrument builder and one-time stage performer (Tweedle Dee will never be the same) and comes from a very artistically inclined family. In his spare time he is the Senior Medical Director for Government Programs at Health Care Service Corporation, a five state Blue Cross Blue Shield company.

Terence O’Shaughnessy, MBA, Treasurer

Terence O’Shaughnessy was born and raised in the Chicago-land area. He attended and graduated from Loyola Academy, University of Notre Dame (with a B.A. in Architecture) and from Loyola University (with an M.B.A.). He has two children, Brighid (Founder and Artistic Director Emeritus of Erasing the Distance) and Devin who is Director of Programmes at Westminster Foundation for Democracy in London, England. In 1973, he became a member of the Chicago Board of Trade (now the CME Group) and was a commodities trader working for himself until his retirement. He was one of the co-founders of DeWindt Corporation, a construction management and general contractor. His other entrepreneurial efforts include the creation of Joss Development (real estate), Lowell Mining (limestone and sand quarry) and S & O Inc. (convenience store operator and franchiser). He has served on the boards of Lincoln Park Federal Savings and Loan, Ronald Knox Montessori, Regina Dominican H.S., & the I.A. O’Shaughnessy Foundation. He is truly blessed to have Brighid as his daughter and to have the opportunity to help and share in the important work that Erasing the Distance is doing in bringing awareness about mental illness to students and to the general public.

Evelyn Joy Coker, LCSW, Secretary

Evelyn Joy Coker is excited to be a member of the Erasing the Distance (ETD) family.  She has used music, dance, and drama as healthy forms of expression her entire life, which allowed her to quickly fall in love with ETD.  Evelyn was immediately drawn to the organization’s mission and believes ETD is the perfect blend of two of her passions-mental health advocacy and the arts.  Evelyn is a Licensed Clinical Social Worker and has extensive experience providing direct services and administering programs in mental health, juvenile justice, crisis intervention, substance abuse, and social services.  She is also an adjunct faculty member at Dominican University in the Graduate School of Social Work and at Northeastern Illinois University. Currently, Evelyn serves as the Clinical Director at I AM ABLE Center for Family Development, which is a trauma focused faith-based organization serving children and families located on the west side of Chicago. Evelyn is eager to use her wide range of clinical, project management, and organizational leadership skills to further the mission of Erasing the Distance.

Sara Sarkey, PhD, CNS
Sara Sarkey became involved with Erasing the Distance through her work as a Scientific Director for Neuroscience at Takeda Pharmaceuticals. She has always had a passion for better understanding of mental illness and for seeing the entire person and not just the labels we attach to people. She is thrilled to be part of Erasing the Distance and the amazing work they do to bring awareness and compassion to people’s stories and experiences with mental illness and stigma. After growing up south of Chicago in Northwest Indiana, Sara got her PhD in Neuroscience from Loyola University Chicago and now lives in the Northwest suburbs with her husband and 2 children. 
David Strauss, JD

David Strauss is thrilled to be involved with such a vital and innovative organization, dedicated to vividly changing the way society views those affected by issues of mental health. David was drawn to ETD based not only upon the criticality of its mission, but also on the strength of its leadership and artistic teams. ETD also resonates deeply with David. He is personally familiar with the impact of mental illness within families and is also a professional theater fan and latent thespian himself. David is Senior Vice President and General Counsel of Appriss, a company dedicated to using “Knowledge for Good.” Originally from Milwaukee and now a resident of the Chicago suburbs, David is the proud father of three beautiful girls. David has a B.A. from Duke University in Psychology and Political Science and a law degree from the University of Wisconsin.


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