Operations and Instructor Team

Paul Morgan

Executive Director


Joe Waropay

Education Manager

As Education Manager for ICG, Joe designs and implements all of ICG’s youth glass art programs. Joe strives to introduce a fresh approach to the traditional craft of glass making while sharing his passion for glassblowing with the youth of Chicago. Joe received his art degree from Illinois State University where he studied under renowned glass blower John Miller.

Sam Akainyah

Coldworking Studio Manager/Instructor

Sam is a key member of the Ignition instruction team facilitating youth learning in the areas of cold working and fused glass.  Sam currently leads Ignite Glass Studios Cold Working Studio. In the Cold Shop, Sam shines with ICG’s youth where his natural ability to polish, shape and perfect a glass art comes to life and ICG youth learn not only about this critical glass skill but also about patience.

Josh Laabs


Josh received his Bachelor’s of Fine Art’s in 3D Design from University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point, where he studied under glass artist Jon Chapman. Josh started his glass career as an intern at Ignite Glass Studio during his senior year in college and quickly moved to a full-time position where he currently serves as a key driver of – and instructor for- the Ignition team. Josh works hand in hand with members of ICG and Ignite Glass Studio to provide Chicago teens a safe space for creative exploration.

Connor O’Brien



Alan Robles


Alan is a product of one of Ignition’s youth programs where he learned to work with glass in multiple different ways. He was introduced to ICG via the After School Matters program in his sophomore year of high school. After graduation he returned to ICG as an intern with the ASM program and was later hired as an intern with Ignite Glass Studios.  His growth continued from there as he moved up to an instructor assistant, and finally now an instructor with both ICG and Ignite. He occasionally works in the hot shop blowing glass, but has geared his expertise towards flameworking and focuses on teaching students to make beads and pendents on a torch.

Kat Skinner


Kat graduated from University of Wisconsin- Stevens Point with a BFA with an emphasis in Three-Dimensional Art and a Art History Minor. Originally she attended UWSP for Interior Architecture but she didn’t find this to be the right fit. She was introduced to glass and metal working which initiated her switch to a more hands-on degree. Kat graduated in the spring of 2016 with a Bachelor of Fine Art with a Three-Dimensional Emphasis and an Art History Minor.Kat crafted her technique throughout college while attending week-long residencies led by master glass artists such as David Salvadore, Nancy Callan, Kathy Gray and many others. As an ICG instructor, Kat teaches the art of fused glass and glass blowing and supports the Ignition team in flame working.

Sarah Beth Tanner


Sarah Beth recently joined the ICG team as a fused glass instructor and places a key role in leading educational demo’s for ICG youth. Sarah Beth received her Bachelor of Arts degree in Musical Theater from Birmingham-Southern College, while also studying Studio Art (printmaking, design) with a focus on Art Glass. Her theater background encourages her instructor role while engaging ICG’s young artists and allowing them to think creatively when designing their art pieces.