Board of Trustees
Founder & Chairman
Robert Edsel is recognized today as one of the world’s foremost advocates for art preservation. While living in Florence, he developed a great passion for art and architecture and became curious as to how so many of the monuments and great works of art survived the thefts and devastation of World War II. What began as a question evolved into an impassioned journey to unravel the secrets and heroics of the Monuments Men and Women, and share their remarkable stories with a global audience. In 2007, Mr. Edsel founded the Monuments Men Foundation for the Preservation of Art to honor the remarkable legacy of these men and women. Throughout the years, Robert found and interviewed 21 Monuments Men and Women. Only three of them are living today. He travels frequently as a speaker introducing the story of the Monuments Men and Women through multi-media presentations to audiences throughout the United States and Western Europe as well as to men and women in uniform. He has served on various not-for-profit boards, including The National WWII Museum and St. Mark’s School of Texas. Mr. Edsel regularly blogs on his website, www.robertedsel.com.
Born and raised in Florence, Italy, Ms. Bottinelli received her B.A. in History of Art graduating magna cum laude from John Cabot University in Rome. In 2011, she received her M.A. in Art History at The Courtauld Institute of Art in London. Following graduation, Ms. Bottinelli served as lead Italian Researcher to Mr. Edsel on his New York Times bestseller, “Saving Italy: The Race to Save a Nation’s Treasure from the Nazis.” During her tenure at the Foundation, Ms. Bottinelli has overseen numerous restitutions of cultural objects to individuals and museums in Europe. She has also served as a consultant for “Hunting Nazi Treasure,” an eight-part investigative documentary series produced by Saloon Media in 2017. The program continues to air on Discovery’s American Heroes Channel, History Channel-Canada, and Canale Focus in Italy, with additional future broadcasts planned internationally.
John Egeland served as a senior executive of a number of leading financial services companies and in the oil and gas industry. In his capacity as president or CFO of these public and private companies, he developed an expertise in acquisitions, use of leverage, market expansion and corporate dispositions through sales and public offerings. Mr. Egeland last served seven years as president of Advance America (NYSE: AEA), a leading financial service company operating in 37 states. Prior, he served as President of Gemini Exploration, EVP & Chief Investment Officer of NorthPark National Bank, CFO of Home Choice (NYSE: NASDAQ: HCHS), CFO of Centex (NYSE: CTX) and SVP Corporate Finance of Associates Corporation, the nations largest independent finance company (acquired by Citicorp). Mr. Egeland began his career as an Investment Officer at National City Bank and has series 7 and 24 securities licenses. Mr. Egeland received a BBA in Economics from Ohio University and an MBA from Case Western Reserve University. He has served as a board member of Associates National Bank, Associates Federal Savings and Loan, NorthPark Securities, Inc., Spartanburg Technical College and United Way of the Piedmont.
Rita ( Bargerhuff) Egeland
A marketing executive, Ms. Egeland’s professional focus has been on sustainable business growth through actionable customer insights. She has a track record of brand and revenue growth, most often through an enhanced customer experience. Ms. Egeland has served as CMO for several multi-billion-dollar organizations, including 7-Eleven. Her innovative marketing programs there included Simpsons' Movie promotion, Undercover Boss (featuring 7-Eleven CEO Joe DePinto), Celebrity Cup with a Cause and the first social media promotional tie-in, 7-Eleven & Zynga (Farmville). Ms. Egeland has been a featured speaker at industry conferences including the CMO Executive Summit and Forrester’s Marketing Forum. She was also recognized by the Wall St. Journal Best Ads of 2007 (#2) as well as Advertising Age Top 50 Marketers. Rita earned her B.A. in Psychology from LI University and MBA in Marketing and Finance from the University of Chicago. She currently serves as an Adjunct Marketing professor at the SMU Cox School of Business as well as University of Texas - Dallas. In 2016-17 Ms. Egeland was awarded the UTD Naveen Jindal School of Management, Outstanding Adjunct Professor of the Year.
A native of Lower Merion, Pennsylvania, Richard Lavner graduated magna cum laude from Drexel University where he received a B.S. in Business Administration. Prior to his 2012 graduation, Mr. Lavner served as President of the Drexel Finance Association and was a Member of the Dean’s Student Advisory Board. Following graduation and until 2020, Mr. Lavner worked as an Investment Analyst for Collwick Capital, a private investment firm in Charlotte, North Carolina. During his tenure at Collwick, he performed in a variety of roles, which included the administration of the firm’s $150+ million fund of hedge funds as well as serving as the primary analyst for the firm’s commercial real estate and private equity investments. Mr. Lavner has over a decade of combined investment and leadership experience.
Kristen Mapes, MA, MLIS
Kristen Mapes is the Assistant Director of Digital Humanities at Michigan State University. Her research investigates economies of book production through computational analysis of digitized medial manuscripts. With a background as a librarian and medieval studies scholar, Mapes also works with faculty, students, and community members to bring digital methods of inquiry and presentation into the study of the humanities. She teaches and develops curriculum at a range of course levels and creates educational experiences on projects for K-12 audiences.
Kevin McGlone is a Cannes Lions, Art Directors Club, One Show, D&AD, and CLIO award-winning creative director with over 16-year experience working on many of the largest brands in the world at legacy advertising agencies like Leo Burnett in Chicago.
As creative director at HoneyWired, Mr. McGlone has provided creative digital and experiential solutions for major brands and boutique projects in the arts and culture realm.
Mr. McGlone has worked with non-partisan political organizations like RepresentUs, the largest grassroots anti-corruption campaign, to launch Ugly Gerry, a font created by gerrymandered congressional districts. With youth advocacy groups, like The Allstate Foundation to create empty pedestals on the National Mall with aspirational achievements to inspire young people to become future leaders. And with anti-bullying initiatives, like a live-streaming assembly featuring nearly half a million students across the country with Zendaya and Google.
In the art world, Mr. McGlone launched events for David Bowie's personal archive "David Bowie Is" and the Vernissage opening of the International Exposition of Contemporary and Modern Art (EXPO Chicago) with The Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago. He crafted multiple creative events at private arts and media club, Soho House. And on the French Riviera, Mr. McGlone lent a hand to help produce and art direct the official opening and closing galas of the Cannes Lions International Festival of Creativity and the first-ever beach dedicated to diversity, equality and inclusion.
Susan Eisenhower serves as president of the Eisenhower Group, Inc., which provides strategic counsel on political and business projects. Eisenhower was a founding director and the first president of the Eisenhower Institute, where she became known for her work in the former Soviet Union and in the energy field. She is currently the Eisenhower Institute’s chairman of leadership and public policy programs. Eisenhower has authored three books, two of which, Breaking Free and Mrs. Ike, appeared on regional bestseller lists. She has also edited four collected volumes on regional security issues, most recently Partners in Space: U.S.-Russian Cooperation after the Cold War. She serves as a regular commentator on television and has provided analysis for CNN, MSNBC, Fox News, PBS, the BBC and all three network morning programs.
Dr. Seth Givens
Senior Military Consultant
Seth Givens earned a Ph.D. from Ohio University, where he studied military history. His areas of specialty are civil-military relations, alliance politics, and strategy and policy in World War II and the Cold War. He has studied civil-military relations at the end of wars, particularly the contact between troops and civilians and the ways in which militaries attempt to govern that interaction. This research led to Givens publishing on American soldiers looting and souvenir hunting in Germany during World War II, research for which he won several awards. He has received funding support from the U.S. Army, German Academic Exchange Service, Cantigny First Division Museum, and multiple presidential libraries.