Operations and Instructor Team

Trish Tullman

Executive Director

Trish is ICG’s Founding Executive Director and oversees all program operations.  She works closely with ICG Board members, staff, community partners and youth participants to strengthen and expand ICG’s mission At the core of ICG’s programming is glass safety protocol, STEM skill development, hand-skill development, and social-emotional learning; Trish collaborates with ICG’s instructors to design program curricula around these four areas to ensure youth are receiving the most impact during their time in the studio.

Sarah Beth Tanner

Director, Education & Capacity Building/Artist/Instructor

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.

Kathryn Nelson

Development Manager

Kathryn joined the Ignition Community Glass team in January 2017 as Development Manager. With a Bachelor of Arts in Psychology from DePaul University and more than nine years working in the nonprofit management field, she brings both passion and fundraising expertise to help expand ICG’s reach in the community.

Joe Waropay

Education Coordinator, Lead After-School-Matters (ASM) Instructor

As Education Coordinator and Lead Youth Instructor 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.

Josh Laabs

Youth Instructor

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.

Izach Hyde


Izach blew glass as a hobby for two years before chasing his dream to become a glass blower and began studying at Penland School of Crafts in North Carolina. In between classes at Penland, Izach completed a 6-month internship at Ignite, as well as a 3-month internship at Teign Valley Glass in England. Izach joined the Ignite team as an instructor and production artist for the studio in 2013. As an artist with ICG, Izach works closely with youth in the hot shop, providing instruction on glass blowing, fostering an open, interactive dialogue with the students during the glass blowing process.

Connor O’Brien


Connor O’Brien is a Chicago-based artist, recently completing his final year at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago. He first discovered glass at the age of 14 in high school, and by the end of his high school career, he fell in love with the material and the art he can create with it. Since then, he has been studying glassblowing and has also been a teaching assistant at Ox-Bow School of Art in Michigan. Connor has been a part of the Ignition team since its founding and has proven to be an invaluable member of the team.

Charlie Matz


Charlie graduated with a BA in Photojournalism from Columbia College Chicago, where he discovered glass art his sophomore year with a specific interest and focus on flame working. He works closely with ICG youth at the flame table, teaching students the intricacies of shaping beads, marbles and small sculptures around stainless steel rods.

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.

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. 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.

Amari Williams

Summer 2017 Intern

Alan Robles

Full-time Intern