Board of Directors & Staff Come In!

Brian Failing

Board Chair
Brian is the executive director at Aurora Regional Fire Museum.

Cort Carlson

Vice Chair
Cort is the executive director of Aurora Area Convention and Visitors Bureau.

Travis Andry


Raquel Rodriguez

Governance Chair

Kristine Walker

Kristine works at Presidio in Naperville.

Gina Salamone

Streetscape Chair
Gina is a lawyer for Huck Bouma. Gina is a director at the firm and concentrates her practice on elder law, estate planning and special needs planning

Jason Sunderland

Events Chair
Jason is a broker for Keller Williams Realty.

Kelsey Cozens

BAR Chair
Kelsey Cozens is the Executive Director of APS Training Academy. She holds a B.A. in Cross-Cultural Communication from the University of Gloucestershire, United Kingdom and graduated with First Class Honours. She also holds a TQUK Level 5 Certificate in Teaching English as a Foreign Language, the top of her class. Kelsey aspires to empower youth and the immigrant/refugee community to succeed in the STEAM fields so they can help build up Aurora to become the first Smart City in the nation.

Nestor "Gio" Rodriguez

Marketing Chair
Gio owns Premil, an urban apparel store in downtown Aurora.

Mike Mancuso

Board Member

Yvonne Toney-Thompson

Board Member
Yvonne is the owner of The Cotton Seed Creative Exchange, 8 N. Broadway in downtown Aurora. She was elected to the board in 2020.

Penelope Torres

Board Member
Penelope is a downtown resident and serves as director of operations for Aurora Pride. She is dedicated to helping Aurora become a more equitable and inclusive city.

Bernie Laskowski

Board Member

Kim Woodin

Board Member
Kim owns Aurora Fastprint located at 54 E. Galena Blvd. in downtown Aurora. She took over the family business from her late father, Tom, who served as a former president of Aurora Downtown.

Elle Withall

Mayor Appointed Director

Eric Battaglia

Standing Director

Kim Caponi

Standing Director
Kim is the Director of Presidential Communications and Operations at Waubonsee Community College.

Trevor Dick

Mayor Appointed Director

Bart Grometer

Board Member
Bart is divisional manager at Mentor Worldwide, and he serves on the board of The Neighbor Project.

Abby Schuler

Mayor Appointed Director

Jesus Sanchez

Board Member
Jesus is the owner of La Quinta de los Reyes, a Mexican restaurant in downtown Aurora.

Jessica Linder Gallo

Standing Director
Jessica is the Executive Director of Aurora Regional Chamber of Commerce.

Marissa Amoni

Marissa Amoni is the manager of Aurora Downtown. She oversees downtown marketing, more than 30 year-round events, streetscape, and business relations, and she works closely with community partners. Marissa explored careers in marketing, teaching, and newspaper reporting before creating Downtown Auroran Magazine, an arts and culture magazine that she published for eight years. From 2010, she spearheaded community events including Alley Art Festival, Wednesdays at the Plaza, Movies at a Museum, Aurora Kite Festival, First Fridays, Food Truck Festival, and others. She is a founding member of Boss Babes, a local networking group. In 2012, she was featured in "Legendary Locals of Aurora" by Jo Fredell Higgins. Raised in Aurora, Illinois, Marissa lives in the Aurora University neighborhood with her family.