Mary Lou Wade is the matriarch of the Chicago Wade Family. She’s the eldest of seven, mother of five, and Nana to twelve grandchildren. Her education included Marywood School in Evanston and Wright Junior College in Chicago. She married Ed Coudal and they raised their family in Park Ridge. Upon returning to Chicago from Hawaii, she was hired at Columbia College where she taught Communications for twenty years. In her free time, she volunteered as a tour guide at the Cultural Center and the Glessner House. Her love of jazz and literature continues today.

Grace Coudal was born in Chicago in 1998 and is Mary Lou’s fourth-eldest grandchild. She is a graduate of the University of Michigan where she received her BFA in Art & Design and her minor in Sexuality & LGBTQ+ Studies. Working in various fields of visual art, Grace seeks to tell honest stories through analog and digital photography. Together, Grace and Mary Lou devised the idea of "Bench."

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