Obama names Cubs co-owner Laura Ricketts to Kennedy Center board

Tribune reporter

WASHINGTON — President Barack Obama announced today he plans to nominate Laura Ricketts, part owner of the Chicago Cubs, to the board of trustees of the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts.

Ricketts has been a key fundraiser for Obama and was a bundler during his 2012 re-election campaign.

The nomination comes as the center prepares for its annual honors gala Sunday, when five artists will be celebrated for contributions to American culture through the performing arts. The awards program will air on CBS on Dec. 29. (

Ricketts is chairman of the board of Chicago Cubs Charities and a member of the Democratic National Committee’s executive board.

She has an undergraduate degree from the University of Chicago and a law degree from the University of Michigan.

Board trustees also include Chicagoan Fred Eychaner, an Obama bundler and founder of the Newsweb Corp., and Winnetka’s Shirley Ryan, the wife of Patrick Ryan, the founder and retired executive chairman of Aon, according to a Kennedy Center spokesman.

First lady Michelle Obama and five former first ladies -- Laura Bush, Hillary Rodham Clinton, Barbara Bush, Nancy Reagan and Rosalynn Carter -- are the honorary chairs of the board.


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