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High Concept Labs Announces Four New Board Members


High Concept Laboratories NFP (HCL), a Chicago-based arts service organization, today announced the addition of four new members to its board of directors: Peter Taub, former director of performance programs at the Museum of Contemporary Art; Jim Foster, vice president of learning and development for HUB International; Jennifer Nieman, associate director of strategic new product planning for Astellas Pharma; and Benjamin van Loon, communications manager for World Business Chicago.

"There is no better way for us to kick off a new year than welcoming these members to the High Concept Labs board," said Paul Boulis, HCL Board Chair and former president of Blue Cross Blue Shield Illinois. "They each bring a diverse set of skills and insights to enhance our current board, but more importantly, they're passionate about our mission and truly committed to growing art in Chicago."

Peter Taub brings more than 30 years of arts leadership to his role as HCL's newest board member, including more than 20 years as the founding director of the performing arts program at the Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago (MCA). He also recently curated Elevate Chicago Dance, a performance festival, and served as the co-founder and current Chair of the Board of the Chicago Dancemakers Forum. In his final year at MCA, he was lead curator for Eighth Blackbird's cross-departmental residency and joined the organization's board of directors in January 2017. Taub holds a bachelor's degree from Princeton University and an MFA in visual arts from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago.

Jim Foster joined HCL in January 2018 and began his career as an infantry officer in the 82nd Airborne Division. He currently serves as vice president of learning and development for HUB International and brings more than two decades of experience in management, consulting and strategic planning. He has provided leadership training for several Fortune 500 companies, and has served as an instructor for programs and projects at Harvard Business School's Program for Leadership Development, as well as the Executive MBA program at the Kellogg School of Management. Foster holds a bachelor's degree from Syracuse University.

Jennifer Neiman joined HCL's board in November 2017, with nearly two decades of experience in marketing and communications for regional and national therapeutic and pharmaceutical brands. She currently serves as associate director, strategic new product planning for Astellas Pharma. Previously, she also provided leadership in investor relations and public affairs for other national and global organizations. Neiman holds a bachelor's degree from the University of Michigan, a master's degree in journalism from the Medill School of Journalism at Northwestern University and an MBA in marketing from Columbia University.

Benjamin van Loon also joined HCL's board in November 2017, bringing more than a decade of experience across public relations, marketing and arts entrepreneurship in Chicago. He currently serves as communications manager for World Business Chicago, a public-private partnership driving inclusive economic growth for Chicago. Before that, he was chief copywriter for Aileron Communications, a strategic communications firm. From 2011 to 2014, he served as co-founder and publisher of Anobium, an independent literary collective. He holds bachelor's degrees in English and philosophy from North Park University and a master's degree in communications, media and theater from Northeastern Illinois University.

Both Neiman and van Loon joined HCL through the On BOARD program of the Arts & Business Council of Chicago, which provides board training and matching for business leaders interested in supporting arts-related nonprofits.

"Our mission at High Concept Labs is to support artists and foster transformational experiences," said Steven Wang, executive director of HCL. "As our board continues to grow, I look forward to seeing the opportunities for artists evolve and expand, spurring engaging conversations and exploring new horizons."

In addition to their governing responsibilities, Taub, Foster, Neiman, and van Loon will work closely with HCL's executive director and board of directors to raise the impact and visibility of the organization as it expands its programming capabilities and fundraising opportunities in 2018.

About High Concept Laboratories NFP

High Concept Laboratories NFP supports artists and facilitates dialogue between artists, audiences, and staff members. This increases access and transparency to the artistic process and fosters transformational experiences in an environment of experimentation and discovery.

HCL is supported in part by the generosity of The National Endowment for the Arts, The Chicago Community Trust, The Joyce Foundation, The MacArthur Funds for Arts and Culture at The Richard H. Driehaus Foundation, The City of Chicago Department of Cultural Affairs & Special Events, Illinois Arts Council Agency, The Gaylord and Dorothy Donnelley Foundation, The Arts Work Fund for Organizational Development, The Illinois Humanities, Harris Theater for Music and Dance, Presidio Aircraft Leasing, The Martha Struthers Farley and Donald C. Farley, Jr. Family Foundation, N.A., The Norwottock Charitable Trust, The Samuel J. Baskin Charitable Trust, Mana Contemporary Chicago, and individual donors.

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