The leadership team at Annette Urso Rickel Foundation is committed to bringing a fresh influx of resources for creative projects. We come from a broad range of backgrounds and have a diversity of expertise and experience spanning science and technology, medicine, public policy, education, communications, the performing and visual arts, law, and business. Our leaders are guided by the desire to create a more vibrant future with STEAM initiatives in the classroom and in programs across Florida, that align with our foundation’s mission.


Photo of Jay Rickel-Finnegan

Jay Rickel-Finnegan


John “Jay” Rickel-Finnegan is the son of the Founder Annette Urso Rickel. He has been a member of the Board of Directors from the inception of the Foundation in 1999. He is honored to take on the new role of President and will continue to follow in his mother’s footsteps by focusing on the evolution of STEAM programs and education. 

Mylinh Chau


Mylinh Chau is a multidisciplinary artist and educator with over a decade of experience in STEAM programming around the nation. She joins The Annette Urso Rickel Foundation as Secretary of the board with an extensive background in grant-writing and research.

Tyler Crawford


Tyler Crawford is a financial auditor and compliance administrator as well as a published author and STEAM advocate. A former theater major, pre-med student, and finally Harriet L. Wilkes Honors College graduate, he has a work experience as varied as his educational history.

About the Founder

Dr. Annette Urso Rickel (1941-2021) was a psychotherapist and faculty-member of Cornell Medical College. She served as Education Programs Officer for the Rockefeller Brothers Fund. There she was responsible for the Fund’s Fellowship Program for Students of Color as well as grantmaking for other educational priorities. Before assuming this position, she was a Clinical Professor of Psychiatry at Georgetown University.

Throughout her career, she worked with children and families, and directed research on early interventions. Her work was funded by the National Institutes of Health as well as the MacArthur and Kellogg foundations. In 1992, she was awarded a Senior Congressional Fellowship and served as a member of the public policy staff of U.S. Senator Donald W. Riegle, Jr. At the same time, she was appointed to President Clinton’s Task Force for National Health Care Reform.

Prior to her experience in Washington D.C., Dr. Rickel was a professor in Michigan, and the director of two long-term projects involving the Detroit public school system—one focusing on interventions with young children and the other on teenage parenting. She held visiting professor appointments at Princeton University and Columbia University, and was Board Member of the Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center, the National Symphony Orchestra in Washington, D.C., Reading is Fundamental, the Children’s Center and the Women’s Forum. She published eight books and numerous articles in scientific journals.