Who We Are
Richard H. Driehaus, a successful investment advisor, made his first public philanthropic gesture in 1983, when he established his eponymous foundation. For the next decade, the Foundation made grants totaling $6,000,000. In 1992 a family board was appointed, an executive director was hired, and giving became more formal and focused. Today the Foundation awards approximately $5,000,000 annually in grants, a portion of which is in partnership with the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation.
The Driehaus Foundation benefits individuals and communities by supporting the preservation
and enhancement of the built and natural environments through historic preservation in neighborhoods throughout Chicago,
encouragement of quality architectural and landscape design, and conservation of open space.
The Foundation also supports arts and culture, investigative reporting and
government accountability, and organizations that provide opportunities for working poor people.
Board of Directors
- Richard H. Driehaus, President
- Dorothy M. Mellin, Vice President
- Elizabeth A. Driehaus, Treasurer
- Christopher Mellin, Secretary
- Frank Garcia
- Marzena Mellin
A life-long resident of the Chicagoland area, Anne Lazar received her bachelor’s degree in Business Administration Marketing and a minor in Math and Computer Science from Loyola University of Chicago. Anne began her career with Burroughs Corporation as a sales representative in the education segment, selling to schools and universities. She then transitioned to Driehaus Securities Corporation where she worked from 1987 through 1992, managing operations and trading for their international equity portfolios.
A strong supporter of arts and culture, children’s health and social services, Anne has held officer positions and co-chaired their annual gala for the Women’s Board of Catholic Charities. As a member of the Women’s Board of the Joffrey Ballet for the past twelve years, she and her husband co-chaired the 2016 annual gala. In 2016, Anne co-chaired the annual See Chicago Dance gala that honored Richard H. Driehaus and his valuable contributions to the dance world in Chicago.
In addition to valuing her time spent as a member of and volunteering at The Richard H. Driehaus Museum, she served on the museum's 2018 10th Anniversary Gala Committee and currently serves as the Chair of the RHDM Development & Marketing Committee and as a member of the museum’s board of trustees. Anne has also served on various school-related boards, including committee leadership, fundraising and gala planning at Woodlands Academy of the Sacred Heart. Anne also enjoys her time each week assisting oncology patients and their families at Lurie Children’s Hospital.
Senior Program Officer
Suellen Burns has been a versatile professional in the arts, environmental, and urban planning fields for over 25 years. Most recently, she served as senior advisor – urban communities & partnerships for the Illinois Department of Natural Resources. There she contributed to program/project development, stakeholder engagement, partner relations, capacity-building, and targeted grantmaking for the agency’s work in the Chicago area and Lake Michigan coastal region.
Her previous work includes the roles of executive director for Arts Bridge (the nation’s first business incubator for the arts), development director for Friends of the Chicago River, and proposal reviewer for Gaylord and Dorothy Donnelley Foundation. Suellen’s other capacity-building clients and employers range from the Suzuki-Orff School for Young Musicians and Chicago Human Rhythm Project to Illinois Conservation Foundation and South Chicago Art Center, among others.
She holds a BFA from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago and MS in Leadership and Policy Studies from DePaul University and is an adjunct faculty member for DePaul University’s graduate School of Public Service.
Laura P. Trejo was born in Mexico and raised in California. Most recently Laura worked at the University of Chicago’s Office of Civic Engagement. In this role she developed STEM opportunities for high school students, supported civic leadership investment, and worked on fundraising efforts across the civic engagement portfolio.
Previously, she has worked at a range of organizations in the arts, education, and community health including Children’s Health Initiative of Orange County, the American Red Cross of Greater Chicago, and SkyART (formerly South Chicago Art Center).
Laura holds a BA in Art History and a BA in Studio Art from the University of California, Irvine. She also holds an MA in Arts Administration and Policy from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago. Laura currently serves as Vice Chair for the Auxiliary Board of the National Museum of Mexican Art and is a mentor coach for America Needs You – Illinois.
Grants Manager/Program Officer
Nicholas Burt previously served as Grants Administrator at the Lloyd A. Fry Foundation. He is a member of the Grants Managers Network (GMN) and past presenter at GMN conferences on the topics of electronic board books and foundation data tools. His interests within the field include practices to streamline the grantmaking process for grantees and applicants. His work experience includes positions at several nonprofits in the social services and the consulting firm of Grenzebach Glier and Associates. He also taught elementary-aged children with AmeriCorps VISTA on the Texas-Mexico border. Nicholas holds a BS in Journalism from Northwestern University and lives in Albany Park.
Project Administrator/Executive Assistant
Before joining the Foundation, Amy spent nine years at the Ralph Lauren Corporation, where, most recently, she was the Brand Presentation Manager of the Midwest region. She also served as the Executive Assistant to the President & COO of the Polo Retail Group in New York. Her background also includes an executive assistant position at MTV Networks.
Amy graduated from The Fashion Institute of Technology in New York, New York. She enjoys listening to rock steady music and spending time with her family. She lives in Wicker Park.