State of Illinois

03/29/2019 | Press release | Distributed by Public on 03/29/2019 15:20

Gov. Pritzker Announces Two Dozen Appointments to State Boards and Commissions

Building on a strong team of diverse experts in their fields, Governor JB Pritzker announced that his administration has nominated the following individuals to serve on a variety of state boards and commissions:


Carrie Zalewski will serve as Commissioner of the Illinois Commerce Commission.* Zalewski is an accomplished, well-respected attorney with extensive public service as a state regulator. She has served on the Illinois Pollution Control Board since 2009, where she helped decide complex environmental cases under the Illinois Environmental Protection Act, shaped critical rulemaking and worked to properly balance the interests of Illinois businesses and residents while protecting Illinois' land, air and water. Carrie was appointed under Democratic and Republican governors and earned the respect of her peers and stakeholders directly involved in Board decisions. Before serving on the Board, Carrie was assistant chief counsel for the Illinois Department of Transportation. She deftly handled various environmental issues regarding NPDES permits, leaking underground storage tanks and provided counsel in other air, land, water as well as in transportation safety issues. She has also worked in private practice. Carrie earned her Juris Doctor at the Chicago-Kent Law School and her Bachelor of Science in Engineering from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.


Nancy Zettler will serve as Judge on the Illinois Court of Claims.* Zettler has managed at her own law office since 1994. Prior, Zettler worked as an associate at Leonard M. Ring and Associates in Chicago. Throughout her legal career, she has specialized in drug product liability and medical malpractice cases, including Janus vs. McNeil the civil case resulting from the 1982 Tylenol murders and the Federal Multi District Prozac litigation involving cases from around the country. Zettler's community service includes working locally as a community organizer in Community Unit School District 300, the 6th largest school district in Illinois, in support of public education; and serving on several District 300 Board of Education and Foundation For Educational Excellence's committees including their Literacy Committee (as Chair) and Legislative Committees. The Algonquin resident earned her Juris Doctorate in 1990 at IIT Chicago-Kent College of Law.
Bob Sprague will serve as Judge on the Illinois Court of Claims.* Sprague previously served as the chief judge on the Court of Claims from 2003 to 2015. He has practiced law for over five decades. He began his career in 1968 at a private practice after being admitted to the Illinois State Bar. He worked there until 1975 when he became an associate circuit judge. In 1976, Sprague started his own law firm, Sprague & Urban, where he has served as partner ever since. The Belleville resident received his Juris Doctor and Bachelor of Science from the St. Louis University.


Jay Rowell will serve on the Illinois Employment Security Board of Review.* Rowell is the Executive Director of the Chicago Workforce HUB, a non-profit partnership of the United Way of Metro Chicago, the Chicago Federation of Labor, and large multi-sector employers to recruit, train, and place community residents in service, manufacturing, and construction industry positions. Prior to that, Rowell was the Deputy Treasurer for Illinois Treasurer Michael Frerichs, where he oversaw the state's $31 billion portfolio. In that role, he dramatically increased minority- and women-owned firms' participation in state investments and re-envisioned the Illinois 529 College Savings programs, earning Morningstar's highest ratings. Before joining the Treasurer's office, Rowell was the Director of the Illinois Department of Employment Security where he created a no-cost HR recruiting program and launched a new job board (like Rowell earned his law degree from Loyola University Chicago School of Law and a bachelor's in Public Communication at American University in Washington D.C.


Michael Goetz will continue to serve on the board of the Illinois Finance Authority.* Goetz served for 22 years as Executive Director of the Laborers' Home Development Corporation, a not-for-profit affordable housing development corporation that is part of the Midwest Region of the Laborers' International Union. For 16 of those years, he also served as Midwest Region Tri-Funds Coordinator and Executive Director of the Railroad Cooperation and Education Trust (RAILSET), a labor-management organization. Goetz formerly served as the Director of the Midwest Region Foundation for Fair Contracting and former Vice President of the Chicago Corporation. His state government experience spans several administrations and agencies and includes service as chairman of the Comptroller's Merit Commission, executive director of the Illinois Public Treasurer's Investment Pool, chairman of the Illinois State Board of Investments (ISBI), chief of the Illinois Attorney General's Franchise Division and on previous governor's boards and commissions staff. A resident of Springfield, Goetz serves on the Board of Directors of the Illinois Housing Council and as a member of the Governor's Task Force on Affordable Housing.
Terrence O'Brien will continue to serve on the board of the Illinois Finance Authority.* O'Brien has owned and operated his namesake real estate appraisal, brokerage and consulting services firm since 1973. His expertise includes appraisal of fee, leasehold and partial interest as well as equity investment analysis, feasibility, market and highest and best use studies. O'Brien previously served on the Board of Directors of the Illinois Development Finance Authority, the Board of Banks and Trust Companies for the State of Illinois and the Board of Directors of a Chicago bank. He received his Bachelor of Science in business administration from Marquette University.
Jeffrey Wright will serve on the board of the Illinois Finance Authority.* Wright is the Managing Partner of Gold Leaf Capital Partners, a leading financial services firm focused on providing access to capital and advisory services for business owners and commercial real estate investors. Wright has over 12 years of experience in financial services. Throughout his career, he has originated, underwritten, managed and closed over 200 debt transactions. Wright analyzed operational, financial and management risks associated with new and existing lending relationships as a commercial credit analyst early in his career. He has advised clients across diverse sectors including manufacturing, food services, business services, security management, environmental remediation, child care, health care, and commercial real estate development/investment. Passionate about civic engagement, Wright serves on the Board of Directors of Chicago Jesuit Academy and the Chairman's Advisory Council of Big Shoulders Fund. In 2014, Mr. Wright was appointed by Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel to the Chicago Community Land Trust. Wright is a member of the Chicago Club and the Economic Club of Chicago, in which he is vice chair of the finance membership committee. He received his Master of Business Administration in finance and entrepreneurship at Northwestern University's Kellogg School of Management and his Bachelor of Science in international business at Georgetown University.


Ruben Ramirez, Jr., will serve on the Illinois Gaming Board.* Ruben has a 28-year tenure with the Chicago Police Department, currently serving as a training group supervisor in the Bureau of Organized Crime. He started his police career in the 009th District as a patrol officer, eventually becoming a member of the district tactical team. He has since served on the Gang Investigations, Legal Affairs, Public Housing, Marine/Helicopter and Narcotics units. In 2001, Ruben was promoted to Sergeant. He holds a certification as a first responder medical from the Illinois Department of Public Health. A certified Illinois Law Enforcement Training and Standards Board (ILETSB) instructor, Ruben received his MS in Public Safety Administration and BS in Law Enforcement Management from Calumet College of St. Joseph.


John Cronin will serve on the Illinois Labor Relations Board.* Cronin most recently served as president of Trinity Roofing Services, a company he grew from a small business into a multi-million dollar company throughout his over 30 years at the helm. From 2015 to 2018, he served as secretary and on the board of directors at Cisco, the Construction Industry Service Corporation, which represents Chicagoland roofing contractors. The Mokena resident received his Bachelor of Arts from St. Norbert College.
Kendra Cunningham will serve on the Illinois Labor Relations Board.* Kendra Cunningham currently serves as the Business Manager and General Counsel of Laborers' International Union of North America, Local 2002, Illinois State Employees Association. She served as the Secretary-Treasurer prior to being elected Business Manager in 2017. In 2002, she began her career as a labor attorney where has advocated for workers to ensure that they are treated and compensated fairly. From 2002-2006, she spent much of her time traveling, serving as Staff Attorney for the Laborers' Midwest Region. During her 17-year career as a labor attorney, she has practiced before both the National Labor Relations Board and Illinois Labor Relations Board, negotiated collective bargaining agreements, arbitrated numerous cases and conducted Union Steward training for several local unions. Cunningham has also recently held a position as an Adjunct Professor of Business Law at MacMurray College. Cunningham received her Bachelor of Science in Law Enforcement and Justice Administration from Western Illinois University in 1999 followed by her Juris Doctorate from Southern Illinois University School of Law in May 2002.
Jose Gudino will serve on the Illinois Labor Relations Board.* Gudino has been involved in labor relations for more than 47 years with experience in areas including collective bargaining and effective negotiation, arbitration, grievance handling and employment law. He began his career in 1971 at International Paper Company in Northlake where he served as Steward and President of the Former United Paperworkers Union Local 6-121. He was appointed International Representative at the former Pace International Union in 2000. In 2005, Gudino was appointed Sub-1 Director for the United Steelworkers Union covering the Northern Illinois region. He also served as Vice President on the Illinois AFL-CIO Board from 2008 to 2018, representing the United Steel Workers.
William Lowry, Jr., will serve on the Illinois Labor Relations Board.* Lowry has been a pillar in Chicago business and philanthropy for five decades, with leadership roles at Inland Steel, the MacArthur Foundation and the Chicago Community Trust. He began his long and distinguished career in Chicago business, becoming a member of the training program at the Inland Steel Company. During his early years at Inland in the 1960s, Lowry and two other African American businessmen founded the Youth Motivation Program. Bringing men and women from various employment fields to talk to Chicago public school students about career opportunities, the program has addressed more than 1 million students. That work led him to be tapped to become the host of The Opportunity Line, a weekly employment program that first aired on Chicago television station WBBM in 1967. The name of the show was later changed to Objective: Jobs, and it aired for twenty-four years. Lowry Jr. rose up the ranks at Inland and became the company's director of personnel and recruitment before retiring in 1993. In 1994, he became the vice-president of human resources at the Chicago-based MacArthur Foundation, one of the largest foundations in the country. He is the recipient of an Emmy Award and a Peabody Award for his work on The Opportunity Line and has been featured in Who's Who-Black America and Industry.


Salvador Diaz will continue to serve on the Illinois Prisoner Review Board.* Diaz was first appointed in July 2005. He has a broad community-based background in working with youth, social work, law enforcement, and education. A retired Chicago Police Officer with assignments to the Youth Division, the Organized Crime Division, and the Office of Municipal Investigations, among others. Diaz also worked as a Juvenile Probation Officer, a Child Protective Services Social Worker for IDCFS, a full-time student counselor and instructor with the City Colleges of Chicago. His education experience extends to over twenty years of teaching Child Abuse Investigations, the Mental Heath component, and Tactical Communications to police recruits at the Cook County Sheriff's Police Training Academy. He holds a bachelor's degree in Sociology and a Master's Degree in Counseling Psychology.
Aurthur Mae Perkins will continue to serve on the Illinois Prisoner Review Board.* Perkins was first appointed to the PRB in March 2015. She retired from Peoria Public School District 150 after 30 years of service. Her roles included being a classroom teacher, the principal of Harrison Primary School, and the last 4 years as the family liaison at Trewyn K-8 School. She was an adjunct faculty member at Bradley University. She currently serves on the Peoria Housing Authority Board and the Peoria Citizen's Committee for Economic Opportunity (PCCEO) as a board member. The Peoria resident received her masters and bachelor's degrees in education from Bradley University.
Joseph Ruggiero will continue to serve on the Illinois Prisoner Review Board.* Ruggiero was first appointed to the PRB in September 2018. He spent 30 years of his career as a prosecutor for the DuPage County State's Attorney's Office. After serving five years as the Chief of the Criminal Bureau, Ruggiero became the First Assistant prior to accepting the position as a Board Member with the Prisoner Review Board. He has prosecuted and tried several murderers and other high-profile DuPage County cases. He is the former President of the Illinois Prosecutors Bar Association and member of several other distinguished Boards including the Board of Directors for the Illinois Prosecutors Bar Association, the Executive Boards of the DuPage Police Chiefs Executive Board, and Major Crimes Task Force. Ruggiero is the recipient of several law enforcement awards including the Prosecutorial Excellence Award from the Chicago Crime Commission. The Wheaton resident graduated from the University of Illinois in Champaign in 1984 and Illinois Institute of Technology, Chicago Kent College of Law in 1987.


Gisela Attlan will serve on the Illinois State Board of Investments.* Attlan is a real estate advisor who specializes in residential transactions. Before doing real estate, Attlan worked 14 years at Nuveen, a global asset management firm, where she was responsible for developing and managing the business in Latin America and the international client segment in the U.S. She previously worked in the areas of marketing and product strategy. Attlan started her career in 1994 in Buenos Aires, Argentina, doing international business for a large industrial group. She is a member in the Board at Erie Neighborhood House, the Hispanic Chamber of Commerce, and the French Chamber of Commerce where she is also a mentor in its Women 4 Women Group. Attlan earned her Master of Business Administration in finance from Sawyer School of Management and her bachelor's degree in marketing from Argentine Business University (U.A.D.E).
Ron Powell will serve on the Illinois State Board of Investments.* After five decades of his professional career in the American labor movement, Powell recently retired as the president of Local 881 United Food and Commercial Workers, a post he served for 36 years; vice president of the UFCW International Executive Board; and vice president of the Illinois AFL-CIO. Hired as a field representative by Local 881 (then known as United Retail Workers) in 1961, Powell became a field staff supervisor in 1968 and vice president and director of field operations in 1973. He later served as the union's secretary-treasurer. Powell has served on the Metropolitan Pier and Exposition Authority and the Illinois Workers' Compensation Medical Fee Advisory Board and is a former chairman of the Illinois State Board of Investments. He also a former board member of United Way of Illinois and Blue Cross Blue Shield of Illinois.
Michael Tarnoff will serve on the Illinois State Board of Investments.* Tarnoff retired in 2015 as the Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer of the Jewish Federation of Metropolitan Chicago, a position he held for 36 years. Under his leadership, he created and implemented a system that enabled the Federation to finance more than 20 buildings in excess of $200 million for its initiatives through tax-exempt bonds. He continues to serve as a consultant to the Federation and many other 501(c)(3) charitable organizations. Tarnoff has served on the boards of Michael Reese Health Trust, Howard Area Community Center, Ness Healthcare and First Nonprofit Insurance Companies. He is also founder and chairman of Make Every Vote Count, a national initiative concerned with the crisis in U.S. electoral politics. Tarnoff received his Master of Business Administration at Booth School at the University of Chicago.
Jaye Williams will serve on the Illinois State Board of Investments.* Williams is a seasoned financial executive and management consultant having spent more than 35 years in the public and private sectors managing and delivering large complex engagements and strategic initiatives. She has led the startup of several capital financing practices and provided structured financing for acquisitions, startups and business restructurings. She has also served as lead executive for strategic transformation initiatives for one of the largest financial institutions in the world. Today, Williams provides a broad range of consulting, client management and product development strategies as a Managing Principal for EKI Digital where she blends her business acumen and strategic management experience with leveraging technology innovation to drive dynamic digital strategies for her clients. During the Obama administration, Williams served as Assistant Commissioner and Chief Financial Officer for US Customs and Border Protection the largest operation in the US Department of Homeland Security. She received her Master of Business Administration from Northwestern University and a BS in Finance from the University of Illinois, Champaign-Urbana. She has also studied at Harvard University's John F. Kennedy School of Government where she completed the Executive Education Program for Senior Managers in Government.


Don Villar will serve on the board of directors of the Metropolitan Pier and Exposition Authority.* Don Villar is a labor activist, an Emmy award-winning former broadcast news journalist, civil rights attorney, and Asian American community leader. Villar is the current Secretary-Treasurer of the Chicago Federation of Labor¬ - the third largest central labor council in the country. Prior to being elected to the CFL in May 2018, Villar was the President of NABET-CWA Local 41, representing broadcast TV workers across Chicago. For nearly 25 years, Villar was a news writer/producer at WLS-TV/ABC7 covering stories that impacted the people of Chicago and across Illinois. While working full-time in television news and moving up the ranks of leadership at his Union, Villar also studied at Loyola University of Chicago Law School and became a licensed attorney. Villar is a former chapter president of the Asian American Journalists Association, which advocated for diversity in the newsrooms, and a former chapter president of the Organization of Chinese Americans, an Asian American Civil Rights advocacy group. Villar received his Bachelor of Liberal Arts & Sciences degree from the University of Illinois at Chicago and graduated from Quigley North Preparatory High School Seminary.
Sherman Wright will serve on the board of directors of the Metropolitan Pier and Exposition Authority.* Sherman Wright is the co-founder and managing partner of TEN35, a marketing agency specializing in transforming brands through culture. His work and thought leadership has created award-winning campaigns for global brands including The Coca-Cola Company, Nike, Disney, MillerCoors, Verizon, Nissan and NBC Universal. His accomplishments have been recognized by The New York Times, Inc., Advertising Age, Adweek, Black Enterprise, The Chicago Tribune and Crain's Chicago Business to name a few. Sherman is an inductee of the Chicago Area Entrepreneurship Hall of Fame, alumni of Crain's Chicago Business' 40 under 40 and has been recognized by Texas A&M's Aggie 100 for leading one of the fastest growing Aggie-owned businesses. He is active in his community and is a board member of OneGoal, Lurie Children's Hospital, Francis W. Parker School and Emerald South Economic Development Collaborative. He received his Bachelor of Science in journalism from Texas A&M University.


Richard Figueroa will serve on the State Universities Retirement System Board Of Trustees.* Figueroa has served as the chief investment officer of Barrett-Lo Visionary Development since July 2017. He previously served as the chief operating officer of Janko Group and was the director of capital markets for the Opus Group, where he was responsible for developing and leading a national capital markets capability that sources capital for current and future development/investment opportunities. For four years prior, he served as the director of acquisitions for Mansur & Company, where he was responsible for the implementation and operation of the commercial real estate investment platform. Previously he worked at Orix Real Estate Capital, Inc., Cohen Financial, Jones Lang LaSalle, Prudential Securities and William Blair & Company. Figueroa previously served on the SURS board from 2012 to 2016 and has served on the Hispanic Housing Development Corporation board of directors since 2003. Figueroa received his Master of Arts in public policy and Master of Business Administration from the University of Chicago and his bachelor's degree from Yale University.
Jamie-Clare Flaherty will serve on the State Universities Retirement System Board Of Trustees.* Flaherty currently serves as Director of Strategic Initiatives for The Obama Foundation. In that capacity, she assists with public engagement, workforce development, and inclusion efforts. Prior to joining the Foundation, she worked as Vice President and Chief of Staff at Ariel Investments. While at Ariel, she led special projects, supported firm oversight, and assisted with strategic planning. She also served as chief adviser on community engagement and diversity issues, helping manage the annual Black Corporate Directors Conference co-hosted by Ariel Investments and Russell Reynolds. Flaherty began her career as a litigator in New York and Massachusetts handling white collar and complex commercial disputes and has also served as a federal law clerk to Hon. Jeremy Fogel of the Northern District of California. This past year, Jamie-Clare was named a member of the 2018 Crain's Chicago Business '40 Under 40' class. She received both her Juris Doctor and Bachelor of Arts from the University of Michigan.
John Lyons will serve on the State Universities Retirement System Board Of Trustees.* Lyons is a partner at the law firm DLA Piper LLP (US) and has practiced law in Illinois for the past 30 years. He has concentrated his practice in restructuring and corporate governance and has represented companies and boards of directors facing a variety of challenges. As a restructuring lawyer, he has played a central role in several large reorganizations including American Airlines, Delphi Corporation, VeraSun Corporation, US Airways, Montgomery Ward, among others. He is also a member of the Board of Directors of the Illinois Holocaust Museum and Education Center and the Chicago District Golf Association. He holds a Juris Doctorate from Villanova University School of Law and received a Bachelor of Science in Foreign Service from the Edmund A. Walsh School of Foreign Service at Georgetown University.

* Appointments pending confirmation by the Illinois Senate.