Staff & Board

The Mitchell Museum’s mission is supported through a small, active board and staff that works to share the diverse histories, cultures, and contributions of Native communities from the Chicagoland area and beyond.

Mitchell Museum of the American Indian Board of Directors


  • April Chancellor, President, Potawatomi
  • Susan Kelsey, Vice President
  • Andrew Johnson, Treasurer, Cherokee 
  • Carol LaMar, Secretary, Seminole/Cherokee
  • Jan Berkson, Life Director

Board Members

  • Tom Berreth, Gwich’in, Athabaskan
  • Melvin Masquat, Navajo, Winnebago, Kickapoo
  • Joyce Niederman
  • Stephanie Perdew, Cherokee Nation
  • Susan Salisbury
  • George Stevenson, Cherokee Nation
  • Kenneth Traisman

Mitchell Museum of the American Indian Staff

Kim Vigue

Executive Director


Kim brings over 20 years of experience working on behalf of many leading tribal organizations, federal agencies, nonprofit organizations, and private sector entities to develop and deliver culturally relevant initiatives and programming designed to improve the well-being of Native children, families, and communities. Kim is also the founder of Wolf River Consulting Group and previously served as the Communications Director at the U.S. Department of the Interior’s Bureau of Indian Education. Kim is an enrolled member of the Oneida Nation and a descendant of the Menominee Tribe of Wisconsin. She joined the Mitchell Museum in October 2021.

Josee Starr

Director of Operations


Josee is an enrolled member of the Mandan, Hidatsa, and Arikara Nation (Three Affiliated Tribes) of North Dakota and also represents the Omaha Nation of Nebraska and Wiikwemkoong First Nation from Ontario, Canada. She grew up in the greater Chicago American Indian Community, learning her culture and traditional values. She has worked as an independent artist, and her background is in Cultural Education. She has been with the Mitchell Museum of the American Indian since December 2019.

Joseph Gackstetter

Development and Collections Manager


Born in Rockford, IL, Joseph went on to earn his Bachelor’s Degree in Anthropology and History at Southern Illinois University and a Master’s Degree in Museum and Artifact Studies at Durham University in the UK. As a student, he did an extensive study on wood carvings from the Northwest Coast with the help and consultation of Coast Salish master carver, Felix Solomon. Joseph also participated in archaeological research in Southern Illinois around Cahokia. He joined the Mitchell Museum in the summer of 2018.

Rachel Niemann



Rachel is a local, growing up and currently residing in Evanston, IL.  She joined the museum in 2015, after visiting the museum with her daughter.  Rachel enjoys the educational aspect of the museum.  Her favorite exhibit is: Stunning Stories in Native American Jewelry.

Michael Lowry Lamble

Visitor Services Specialist


Michael was born and raised in Chicago, IL.  He has earned a BA in History from Northwestern University, an MA in History from Loyola University Chicago, and an MA in Museology from the University of Washington.  Michael’s previous work has been in living history interpretation and educational program development, and he is excited to help the public explore the Indigenous cultures of North America at the Mitchell Museum!  Michael started working at the Mitchell Museum in June of 2022.