Meet Joe Podlasek

Joseph Podlasek

  • CEO, Trickster Art Gallery, Schaumburg IL
  • Founding member and current VP of National Urban Indian Family Coalition
  • Member of the Chicago Cultural Alliance, current board member
  • Enrolled member of the Lac Courte Oreilles Ojibwe Tribe (LCO) and of Polish decent

Mr. Podlasek is a citizen of the LCO Ojibwe Tribe in Northern WI and is of Polish descent. He is the father of three great children who are also citizens of LCO, who in addition have Tribal affiliations with the Pit River and Wintun tribes of CA from their mother. Mr. Podlasek (Joe P), a fellow of the Leadership of Greater Chicago in 2004 and FBI Citizen leadership Academy 2010, moved in July 2013 full time to establish the Trickster Art Gallery, a not for profit organization.

After 14 years of leadership services to the Native and cultural communities in Chicago and at national levels, his focus is on creating awareness and cultural education through education programs in the, arts, veterans and fatherhood services. He brings his 25 plus years of experience in community/organizational development, organizing, and social justice issues to the Trickster Art Gallery in Schaumburg, IL. His past experience also includes 12 years on the State of Illinois Veterans Council, being a founding member and VP of the National Urban Indian Family Coalition, and 10 years of technology background in working with the Chicago History Museum and private technology firms as a technical system engineer.

Meet Our Board of Directors

Mark Cleveland

Mark Cleveland

  • Board President/Treasurer
  • Cherokee Decent

Mark Cleveland brings 30 years of business leadership experience to the mission of the gallery from his current role as a Senior Manager in a fortune 100 financial firm. He has been consistently involved in support work with-in the Native Community of Chicago as an former member of the Board of the American Indian Center and as a performer in many events and fundraisers over the past 20 years. Read More

As a graduate of Northwestern University, he was recently active as a member of NU’s Sand Creek taskforce which brought together University and Native American representatives at large to determine Northwestern’ s response to this historical event. Although not a registered tribal member, his family heritage includes Native American background, combined with immersion in Lakota traditions while a young man which have served to deepen his understanding and ability to contribute to important outcomes of the diverse Not for Profit organizations he serves.
Michael P

Michael Pamonicutt

  • SGT at Arms
  • Menominee

Michael is Head Veteran at Trickster Art Gallery Native Veteran Group of Illinois. He grew up on the Menominee Indian Reservation in Wisconsin. He joined the Marines in January 1970 and served until 1972. After he returned from the Marines he worked in the lumber mill on the reservation in Neopit. He later served in the Army, the National Guard. After he retired, he spends his time volunteering for Native Veterans of Illinois; the Veterans of Menominee Nation; singing on the Seven Springs Drum, as well as other area Drums; teaching how to wild rice; Eagle feather preparation; spending time with individual Veterans at the Lodge by the house.

Lisa Davis

  • Board Secretary
  • Nez Perce & Umatilla Tribe

Lisa Davis is a Nez Perce descendant of the great Chief Joseph and a registered tribal member of the Confederated Tribes of the Umatilla Indian Reservations. Growing up in the Northwest Suburbs of Chicago, Lisa looked forward to annual family trips to the Nez Perce reservation where she learned of the native ways. Her fondest memories of her summer visits include utilizing the sweat house and dancing the fancy dance in the regalia that her aunt made for her. Read More

Her family is very close and she cherishes all the beaded jewelry gifts from her aunts and cousins, many of whom still live on the reservation. Lisa enjoys adding to this jewelry collection and supporting native artists by purchasing earrings at the multiple powwows she attends throughout each year with her two daughters. The cradle board on display at the Trickster Art Gallery, on loan by the Davis Family, was handmade by a cousin and was used to rock both of Lisa’s daughters. Lisa is an Executive Assistant at Tyson Foods, Inc., a long-time partner of the Trickster Art Gallery, where she serves on the steering committee of the multicultural business resource group and practices her passion of meeting planning.
Bunky Echo-Hawk

Bunky Echo-Hawk

  • Trickster Board Member
  • Pawnee/Yakama Nations
  • Nike N7 designer, Special: “Live Art”

“It is my goal to truly exemplify the current state of Native America through art.” Bunky Echo-Hawk is a multi-talented artist whose work spans both media and lifestyle. A graduate of the Institute of American Indian Arts, he is a ?ne artist, graphic designer, photographer, writer and a non-pro?t professional. Bunky is a traditional singer and dancer of the Pawnee Nation and an enrolled member of the Yakama Nation.Read More

Throughout his career, he has merged traditional values with his lifestyle and art. He has exhibited in major exhibitions throughout the United States and internationally, including in NYC, Chicago, Denver, Santa Fe, and Frankfurt, Germany, to name a few. His poetry has been published in magazines and anthologies, and his plays have been performed and produced across the nation.
Bill Miller

Bill Miller

  • Board Member
  • Mohican

Bill is a three time Grammy Award Winner and a Native American singer/songwriter of Mohican heritage. He was born on the Stockbridge-Munseereservation, near Shawano in northern Wisconsin. Miller’s Mohican name is Fush-Ya Heay Aka (meaning “bird song”). He began playing guitar when he was 12 years old, and is an accomplished player of the Native American flute. Read More

In 1973, he moved to Milwaukee and won an art school scholarship; today he is an accomplished artist whose drawings and paintings have been widely praised. In 1984, he moved to Nashville. His biggest break came when popular musician Tori Amos, after listening to his Red Road CD on her tour bus, asked him to serve as the opening act on her Under the Pink tour.

Miller continuously gained fans with other artists from a broad musical spectrum. He went on to tour with diverse musicians such as Pearl Jam’s Eddie Vedder, The BoDeans, Richie Havens, and Arlo Guthrie and wrote songs with artists such as Nanci Griffith, Peter Rowan and Kim Carnes. In 2005, Miller’s instrumental Cedar Dream Songs won a Grammy Award for Best Native American Music Album.

Eve Muir-Wilson

  • Board Member
  • Educator, Maine South High School, Park Ridge, IL

Eve Muir-Wilson first became associated with the Trickster Art Gallery when she brought her freshmen reading classes to Trickster on a field trip to get background knowledge for the novel they were reading: Sherman Alexie’s The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian.  She developed a great interest in the American Indian culture because of her research with teaching the novel, so she decided to volunteer her summer time at the gallery.  She was very honored in August of 2014 when she was asked to join the Board of Directors, giving them an educator’s perspective.  She has been an educator for over 20 years, teaching reading for the past 17 years at Maine South High School.   Read More

In addition to teaching, she sponsors the WrestleTechs (high school wrestling scorekeepers) and is the Varsity badminton coach.  Eve is also an active supporter of Futures for Children– an organization whose mission is to help American Indian students who live on reservations graduate high school.  She involves her students and the children at her church with mentoring her 4 American Indian students who live on Navajo and Hopi reservations in Arizona.  For more information about Futures for Children, visit their website:
Jane Stevens

Jane Stevens

  • Board Member
  • Illinois State Museum Curator/Manager

Tracy Krakar

  • Board Member
  • Customer Supply Chain Specialist, Joliet, IL

Tracy Krakar has been involved with the Trickster Art Gallery and the Native Community for over eight years through PepsiCo’s Native American Employee resource group RISE.  She was extremely honored to be asked to join the Board of Directors.  She hopes her past experiences as an Administrative Assistant, RISE Co-Chair, and event planning will help to enhance Trickster Art Gallery’s mission. Read More

Graduating from DeVry University with her Bachelors in 2014, Tracy has started a new direction through PepsiCo’s Supply Chain organization.  She is an avid lover of art and dabbles in painting, lampworking, and metalsmithing.

Dawn O’Keefe Williams

  • Board Member
  • Shawnee and Cherokee

Growing up near the Northwest side of Chicago Dawn started working in bands as a teenager, performing and writing songs.  Throughout the years while raising a family, she continued to be involved in music both as a performer and serving on various boards as a fundraiser for Midwest Women in Music, and The Chicago Recording Academy’s Songwriter Committee. She also produced independently benefits for musicians and their families in need as well as benefits for other charities such as Family Shelter held at Buddy Guy’s Legends featuring notable blues recording artists. Today Dawn is known for her music as a Roots/Blues indie recording artist. Read More

Dawn also worked for AT&T for over 22 years where she later became a member of a Native American  employee resource group, Inter-Tribal Council of AT&T Employees (ICAE).  She was instrumental in fundraising and promoting for this group.   Due to this membership she then forged a relationship with Trickster Art Gallery and The American Indian Center in Chicago partnering with AT&T’s ICAE branch in many events.

Recognized with a Billboard Award for her songwriting, she now devotes her time focusing on this aspect of her life as she has retired from the day job. Dawn is a descendant of Chief Hokolesqua Opecham (Uncle Cornstalk) and is honored to serve on the Board for Trickster Art Gallery. Dawn has participated as one of the fundraisers for TAG and also as Stage Manager on the Committee for the 2nd and  3rd Annual National Gathering of American Indian Veterans. Dawn has donated one of her songs “Call From The Heart” to Trickster Art Gallery’s fundraising CD “Music Tribute To American Indian Veterans”