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Sharyl Holtzman

Event Coordinator

A native Chicagoan, Sharyl Holtzman is an events and communications professional with 25 years of experience in nonprofit, entertainment, the arts and higher education. Sharyl’s first production was at age 8, a carnival fundraiser for a critically ill schoolmate and by age 10 she was keeping a daily journal and writing stories.

Sharyl was an arts and entertainment freelance writer for the Chicago Tribune and other publications when the onset of the AIDS epidemic got her attention. Feeling compelled to do something, she started volunteering and from there her career in nonprofit was born. On the ground floor of the AIDS service community, Sharyl worked in development and community engagement for Chicago House and Open Hand Chicago (Meals on Wheels), where she established and produced signature annual fundraisers like the long-running Absolut Croquet tournament, developed communications for board, volunteers and donor outreach.

Sharyl followed her passion for music and helping others at Rock For Kids, the in-house charity at JAM Productions, the largest music promoter in the midwest. Initially an annual fundraiser, Sharyl transformed the effort into an annual six figure foundation, producing the annual Rock ‘N Roll Charity auction, featuring items from the biggest names in music. The Chicago music industry embraced RFK, supporting the gift giving programs for homeless kids ages 5-18 and abused women with their children. Sharyl continued her music philanthropy developing the nationally acclaimed Waltz concert series, benefiting homeless and at-risk youth, featuring a multi-genre panorama of artists including Mavis Staples, David Amram, Wilco, Ronnie Spector, Steve Earle, Sir Mack Rice and more. Sharyl was the go-to for call-to-action concerts and events, and specialized efforts, like homegrown bass manufacturer Lakland Bass, who celebrated a 10 year anniversary and later absorbed their manufacturing in house. Sharyl’s promotional campaigns garnered national and international print as well as coverage by PBS.

Relocating to Los Angeles in 2005, Sharyl combined her love for entertainment and nonprofit, working at Paramount Pictures in marketing and sales for global television distribution and in music production. She worked closely with Government and Community Affairs and served as a project leader for VIACOM’s philanthropic entity, Viacommunity. She continued to balance her devotion to nonprofit and working with youth, developing signature galas and development strategy for Beyond Baroque, which included actor Viggo Mortenson as an awardee, and the launch of the Amanda Gorman Scholarship Award; the historic Battleship USS Iowa and groundbreaking ocean research hub AltaSea. Sharyl next directed her focus to higher education, reuniting her desire to provide opportunity and an equitable future for youth, working in student affairs, community engagement and cultural institutions.

Sharyl has a soft spot for efforts for under/uninsured musicians and creatives. She is an advocate for the creative arta, volunteers regularly for homeless efforts, LBGTQ rights, dog rescue and is the communications chair at her temple.