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We Are


Lucie Valisova Hake 

Founder and Futurist of ILA

Founder of LH Imports & Exports

Meet The ILA Team

Lucie Valisova Hake was born in the Czech Republic. She left her homeland after finishing school in Marianke Lazne where she studied Hotel Management and Hospitality for five years. She relocated to Chicago, Illinois in 2003 where she continued her education.
Since her childhood, Lucie always had a big vision and plan to connect world with innovative ideas and products. By introducing more innovative products to the USA market, Lucie is impacting thousands of adults.

Her successful story of helping thousands of people continued and in 2013 Lucie was inspired to start ILA (International Little Artists Foundation). ILA is now in 26 countries and has impacted over 5000 children and their caregivers. Her vision is to be in every country on the planet. She believes that connecting the “Unheard Children” in the world will help in overcoming our biases and assist in creating a world where today’s children will be able to work together.

Larry Hake

Co-founder of ILA

Partner in Culture by Choice

As a founding partner Larry plays an important role in directing the growth engine of the organization. Through Larry’s 40+ years’ experience in both large corporate settings, together with his entrepreneurial ventures, he has developed the ability to identify what is needed, determine appropriate strategies and a course of action, and then execute with effectiveness and efficiency.

Larry is the past President and CEO of Purchasing Solutions in Oak Brook, Illinois, served as the Regional Vice President in three divisions for Aramark Corporation, Vice President of Business Development for Allied Waste, owner of Stafford’s Restaurant in Pleasanton, CA and other small businesses. In addition, Larry is a certified instructor for numerous sales, sales management and negotiation programs.

Anne Lebak

ILA Workshop Director

Anne is a native to Wisconsin and has always included art in her life. She graduated from the University of Minnesota with a B.S. in Design Communication. After graduation she worked for AmeriCorps*VISTA where she connected volunteers with elementary students who needed a boast with reading in Madison, Wisconsin.

Anne then moved to Chicago, where she worked at Ronald McDonald House coordinating over two hundred volunteers while developing their children’s art program. While living in Richmond, Virginia, Anne continued working at Ronald McDonald House as well as in the art studio at The Children’s Museum of Richmond. Anne moved home, and was introduced to International Little Artists (ILA) in 2014. ILA speaks to her whole heart since it combines her passions of art, encouraging children, and global perspectives. Anne knows that the work she puts into ILA is making a difference in the world her children are growing up in.

Jay Newman PhD

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Jay has a passion for assessing talent and using the knowledge gained through that assessment for building highly productive teams. Through his years as a coach, teacher, and school administrator, Jay proved his extraordinary ability to get teams to work together like a well-oiled machine. His basketball coaching years, although short, exemplify his ability to get the most out of a team. His record of 107 wins and 7 losses sets a standard equaled by only a few high school coaches. He applied these same skills as a Superintendent and High School Principal. In every situation, otherwise disconnected groups of people came together to achieve things other schools only dreamed of doing.

Since his retirement from education in 2006, Jay has truly hit his stride with Culture by Choice™. As a talent assessor and team builder, Jay has worked with individuals, new employees, and leadership teams in businesses both large and small. Those businesses have demonstrated consistent and sustainable growth utilizing the knowledge and coaching they have received. In addition to this assessment and coaching work, Jay serves on numerous Boards and Committees locally and statewide and is the Founder of FAFSOM (Family and Friends Supporting our Military). Jay is also an accomplished speaker and is sought after to provide Key Note addresses for a variety of industries.

Cheryl Lohner 

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Cheryl is committed to helping businesses understand the value and impact of a talent-focused organization. Cheryl has had a passion for helping people identify and develop their own unique potential throughout her 35+ years as a small business owner and through her work for professional service businesses, educational and governmental institutions.

Since joining Culture by Choice™in 2009, Cheryl has helped us develop the technology necessary to provide us the ability to work with clients from all over the world. In addition, Cheryl works with our clients to strategically analyze and develop the potential in their people, providing the ability to make better decisions, optimize performance and position their organizations for sustained growth. Cheryl brings her multifaceted skill-set,together with her passion for empowering entrepreneurs and helping them build thriving cultures to Culture by Choice™. Cheryl was the 2009 recipient of Salute to Women in Business and has served on numerous Boards and Committees both locally and statewide and is a certified Action Plan Marketing Coach through programs developed by Robert Middleton.



Kari joined Culture by Choice™ in 2012 and brought with her a wide spectrum of skills including: project management, administrative support, marketing, GSA project and bid management, together with social media marketing and promotion.Kari is a graduate of Central Michigan University, holding a Bachelor’s of Science In Business Administration, Marketing and Sports Studies. In addition to being a busy mother of three, Kari is currently serving as the Secretary for Family and Friends Supporting Our Military, is a member of the Sturgis Area Social Media Club and a Board Member-Treasurer for Hansel and Gretel Preschool.

Kirsten believes that art is a very important outlet in life, especially for children. She has a Bachelors of Fine Arts from the University of Wisconsin Stevens Point and has spent time abroad working in the arts. For the last several years she has been teaching art classes for local children, volunteering, and pursuing her own artistic ambitions.



Youth ambassador of ILA

Founder of Li'ianela's Creations & Innovations


Youth ambassador of ILA 

Co-founder of Giving Books around the world

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