Skip to Main Content

Breadcrumb

Commissioners (BFR) 

CommissionersTitleEmployer
Chairman Senator Dan KotowskiState SenatorIL General Assembly
Lieutenant Governor Sheila SimonLieutenant GovernorLieutenant Governor
Sen Heather SteansState SenatorIL General Assembly
Sen Pam AlthoffState SenatorIL General Assembly
Rep Will DavisState RepresentativeIL General Assembly
Rep Kent GaffneyState RepresentativeIL General Assembly
Rep David HarrisState RepresentativeIL General Assembly
John BoumanPresidentSargent Shriver National Center on Poverty Law
Carole BrownManaging DirectorBarclays Capital
Larry JosephDirectorFiscal Policy Center, Voices for Illinois Children
John KamisOf CounselCarpenter Lipps & Leland
Jim LewisSenior Program OfficerChicago Community Trust
Lyle LoganVice PresidentNorthern Trust Bank
Roger MyersonGlen A. Lloyd Professor of EconomicsUniversity of Chicago
Maria de Jesus PradoPresidentPrado & Renteria
Alex RorkeDirector of Public FinanceHilliard Lyons
Jose SanchezCEO and PresidentNorwegian American Hospital
Jason SaulCEOMission Measurement
Steve SchnorfBudget Consultant 
Kevin SemlowDirector of Legislative AffairsIllinois Farm Bureau
Donna Sims WilsonExecutive Vice PresidentCastleoak Securities
Cristal ThomasDeputy Governor 
    

Senator Dan Kotowski

Senator Dan Kotowski

Dan Kotowski has dedicated his entire adult life to public service. He sees serving in the Illinois Senate as an opportunity to improve public safety, enhance government accountability, and better the lives of the people of the 33rd District and the state of Illinois. Kotowski is now in his second term in the Senate.

Senator Kotowski brought his passion for helping people with him when he took the oath of office in 2007. He has championed the causes of many of Illinois’ most vulnerable communities. Since he was elected, Kotowski has worked hard to usher in a new era of reform and accountability in our government. He has also successfully passed legislation to protect children from online predators, to require insurance providers to cover women at risk for breast cancer, and to reduce the number of weapons in the hands of people who present a danger to society. He continues to work for Illinois veterans, ensuring that these heroes have access to treatment for post-traumatic stress disorder and providing incentives encouraging employers to hire them.

In addition to his efforts to help those who are in need and to increase the safety of Illinois families, Senator Kotowski has worked tirelessly to improve the quality of Illinois government. He successfully passed legislation to protect taxpayers through the transparent online posting of government contracts. He also has sponsored landmark legislation to create new penalties for officials convicted of public corruption and to reform General Assembly members’ pensions. Knowing the difficult burden property tax places on residents of the 33rd District, Kotowski has also backed a number of property tax relief and tax reform measures. He will continue to do all he can to improve the quality of life of his constituents and all citizens of Illinois.

A lifelong resident of Illinois, Senator Kotowski was born and raised in Chicago. He graduated from the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign with a degree in English and Communications, and he obtained his Master’s Degree from DePaul University in Chicago. He currently lives in Park Ridge with his wife Anne and their sons Nate and Cooper.

Kotowski spent his time after college working with non-profit organizations. He served as Vice President of the Uhlich Children’s Advantage Network (UCAN), which helps more than 5,000 children and their families recover from neglect, abuse, and trauma. He also held the position of Executive Director of the Illinois Council against Handgun Violence (ICHV)—an organization dedicated to improving the safety of Illinois families. In both roles, Kotowski worked with individuals, business leaders, and legislators to try to foster a safer, more positive environment for citizens of the state.


Lieutenant Governor Sheila Simon

Lieutenant Governor Sheila Simon

Lieutenant Governor Sheila Simon offers a lifetime and legacy of public service. She is a lawyer, teacher and working mother. Her record includes four years as a Jackson County prosecutor fighting crime, a decade as a Southern Illinois University law professor teaching young legal minds and participation in the Illinois Reform Commission, which aimed to restore ethics and trust in government. As Lieutenant Governor, Simon is the second highest executive officer in Illinois, and her mission is to make government more accountable, accessible and transparent for the taxpayers of Illinois.

She acts as the Governor’s point person on education reform and is leading efforts to increase college completion, inspire ethical government, protect our military bases from closure, improve services in rural areas and keep our waterways clean and safe. In her first year in office, Simon is touring each of the state's 48 community colleges to highlight to the role they play in increasing the state's college completion rate. Simon wants 60 percent of working-age adults to hold meaningful college degrees or certificates by 2025, up from about 40 percent today.


Senator Heather Steans

Senator Heather Steans

Heather Steans brings outstanding experience to her position as the 7th District State Senator.

Heather started her first term on February 11, 2008. She graduated from Princeton with a B.A. in Urban Studies and received her M.A. in public policy from Harvard’s John F. Kennedy School of Government.

An advocate for good public policy, Heather’s professional career has focused on government finance, economic development and education reform efforts. She has:

  • Managed the budgets of state agencies in Illinois and Wisconsin where she improved customer service and reduced costs.
  • Developed the Chicago Public Schools’ multi-year strategic plan that produced education reforms.
  • Directed urban economic development initiatives for the Civic Committee.
  • Successfully launched programs to increase housing and asset development and promote job growth in Chicago.

She currently serves in the Illinois Senate as Chairperson of Appropriations I, and Vice Chairperson for the Environment Committee. She also serves on the Human Services and Public Health committees. Steans is active in developing equal protection and access to benefits for all as seen in her commitment to Medicaid reform, funding human services, leading the charge on nursing home reforms, and passing civil union legislation with the goal of full marriage equality.

Heather Steans and her husband, Leo Smith are raising their three children in the Edgewater neighborhood of Chicago.


Senator Pamela J. Althoff

Senator Pamela J. Althoff

Senator Pamela J. Althoff was appointed to the Illinois State Senate in March of 2003 and elected to a four-year term in November of 2004. She has championed legislation to increase open space, expand the agricultural industry and promote improved statewide economic growth. She is a proponent of improving the business/job climate of Illinois, obtaining equitable education funding reform, tax reforms and senior health issues.

Althoff is the Republican spokesperson for the Licensed Activities and Appropriations II Committees, and serves on the Higher Education, Labor, Appropriations I and Local Government Committees. She is also chair of the Local Government Caucus, co-chair of the Environmental Caucus, and serves on the Education Caucus, the Economic Development Committee of the Midwestern Legislative Conference of the Council of State Governments, the Violent Crime Advisory Committee, and the Executive Committee for the National Conference of State Legislators.

Althoff served as a board member and general campaign chair for United Way (2006-7) and remains active as a board member. The senator is also active with the McHenry County College Foundation Board, McHenry County College Friends of the Foundation, McHenry Area Chamber of Commerce, Pioneer Center and PALS.

Prior to joining the State Senate, Althoff served as Mayor for the City of McHenry as well as a Special Education teacher. She holds a Bachelors Degree in Education from Illinois State University and a Masters Degree in Education from Northeastern Illinois University. Althoff now resides in McHenry.


Representative William “Will” Davis

Representative William “Will” Davis

Since taking office in 2003, State Representative William “Will” Davis has been dedicated to serving the needs of 30th District residents. His top legislative priorities include education funding, increased health care availability and economic development.

As a leader for education reform, Davis knows that Illinois children are being shortchanged on a quality schools and homeowners are being overwhelmed by an unfair property tax burden. Illinois has the most inequitable education funding system in the country, which is why Davis is continuing his fight for fundamental structural changes that will eliminate gross funding disparities among Illinois school districts and provide substantial property tax relief to Southland homeowners and businesses. Davis believes that geography should not determine the quality of education a student receives and that al Illinois students are entitled to first-rate classroom opportunities.

In 2005, Rep. Davis helped make Illinois the first state in the nation to guarantee access to quality and affordable health care for all children, regardless of income. He is working continuously to improve health care and has supported legislation to address prevention, diagnosis and treatment of cardiovascular disease, prostate cancer, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, high blood pressure, diabetes, and cervical and breast cancer. Davis believes that access to health care is a right and that no American should be without insurance coverage.

Davis is focused on spurring economic development and revitalization in the South Suburbs. As an advocate for small businesses, he understands that they are the backbone of our community and provide the services, products and employment that sustain our economy. To help stimulate the Illinois economy, Davis worked to increase the state loan amounts available to small businesses owned by minorities, women and people with disabilities from $50,000 to $100,000. He also helped captured millions in funding for the Highway Improvement Program to repair deteriorating roads and bridges. He backs the passage of new state capital spending plan to rebuild crumbling public infrastructure and is a longtime supporter of the Abraham Lincoln National Airport at Peotone.

In the 96th General Assembly, Davis serves as Chair of the Health and Healthcare Disparities Committee and Vice Chair of the Elementary and Secondary Education Appropriations and Tollway Oversight committees. He also serves on the Higher Education Appropriations, International Trade and Commerce, Labor, and Railroad Safety committees.

The Illinois Association of Code Enforcement, Illinois Primary Healthcare Association, and the Illinois Association of Park Districts have all recognized Davis with “Legislator of the Year” awards.

Will Davis was born on July 2, 1968 in Harvey, Illinois. Davis holds a Master of Public Administration Degree from Governors State University. He earned a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Political Science from Southern Illinois University in Carbondale in 1989. He is a member of Kappa Alpha Psi Fraternity, Incorporated. He is a founding member of the Better Funding for Better Schools Coalition. Davis also serves on the Foundation Board of South Suburban College.

Prior to his legislative service, Davis served as an Admissions Counselor at Southern Illinois University-Carbondale from 1990 to 1996. From 1997 to 2003, he was the Deputy District Administrator for Congressman Jesse L. Jackson, Jr. Davis is a dedicated member of New Mount Olive Baptist Church in Harvey.


Representative Kent Gaffney

Representative Kent Gaffney

Kent has been married to his wife, Elizabeth, for 13 years. They reside in Lake Barrington and are proud parents of 2 boys. A Purdue graduate with a degree in Political Science, Kent continued his studies as a graduate student at the University of Illinois.

Kent began his career in public service in 1988 working summers with the Illinois Senate. Upon college graduation, Kent worked in the private sector and came back to public service in 1997 by taking a position on the House Republican Staff. Through years of hard work and dedicated service, he became Director of Appropriation for the House Republican Caucus in 2001.

As Director of Appropriations, Kent was the “go-to” person for all issues regarding Illinois appropriations. As a leadership staff member, Kent aided in developing policy positions for the House Republican Caucus, and spent over a decade negotiating the State's budget with three governors and with leaders from the other legislative caucuses.

As State Representative, Kent plans on bringing his expertise of the Illinois General Assembly and the State budget with him. After working for years serving the State of Illinois, Kent is eager to be giving back to his community and the people of the 52nd District.


Representative David Harris

Representative David Harris

Rep. David Harris was raised in the district in Mount Prospect, and he and Michelle, his wife of 30 years, have lived in Arlington Heights their entire marriage, and they have raised two sons here. He and his two sons are graduates of St. Viator High School. His older son is a graduate of the U.S. Military Academy at West Point, NY, and is currently a Captain in the US Army. His younger son attends Northwestern University and is a Division 1 athlete on the school’s soccer team.

Harris is a recognized leader in the area, having previously served in the House of Representatives in the late 1980s and early 1990s. He left public service to take the position as the Senior Vice President of the Illinois Hospital Association, which is the trade association representing nearly 200 hospitals in Illinois.

Throughout his career, Harris proudly continued his military service as a member of the National Guard. And he returned to public service in 1999 to become The Adjutant General (Commanding General) of the Illinois National Guard. As the officer in charge of all military and civilian operations of the Illinois National Guard, both Army and Air, Harris oversaw 13,500 men and women in uniform and 500 civilian personnel. He had the responsibility to ensure that the units of the National Guard were properly trained, equipped and ready to perform their state and federal missions. He led the Illinois National Guard through the difficult period after 9/11 and mobilized numerous Army and Air units for Operations Iraqi Freedom and Enduring Freedom.

In 2003 Harris retired from military service after 33 years with the rank of Major General.

Shortly after that he accepted a position with the US Department of State as the Deputy Director and Chief of Staff of the Iraq Reconstruction Management Office (IRMO). IRMO was the State Department organization responsible for the oversight of $18.4 billion appropriated by Congress for the reconstruction of Iraq. Harris spent 14 months in Iraq during the height of the insurrection there.

When he returned from Iraq, General Harris became the Military Analyst for WGN-TV in Chicago. He would regularly appear on the WGN Morning News program, as well as other network time slots, to provide insight and analysis on news items related to military matters. He served in this capacity until February of this year when he became the Republican candidate for State Representative.

Major General Harris is a graduate of Georgetown University in Washington, D.C., where he earned a Bachelor of Arts Degree. His professional military education includes the U.S. Army’s Command and General Staff College in residence, Military Police Officer courses, and training and leadership seminars at the U.S. Army War College at Carlisle Barracks, PA.

Entering military service in 1970, General Harris served in uniform for 33 years. He earned his commission through Officer Candidate School, U.S. Army Infantry School, Fort Benning, GA, and he was inducted into the Infantry OCS Hall of Fame in May 2002.

General Harris’ civic affiliations include service as a Member of the Governing Council of Advocate Lutheran General Hospital. He is also a Life Member of the Association of the U.S. Army, a Life Member of both the National Guard Association of the U.S. and the National Guard Association of Illinois, and a Life Member of the Military Officers Association of America.


John Bouman

John Bouman

President. Sargent Shriver National Center on Poverty Law. John Bouman, president and advocacy director of the Shriver Center, is widely recognized as one of the most effective and thoughtful public-benefit advocates in the country. He was a leader in the design and implementation of positive aspects of Illinois' new welfare law in 1997, and he spearheaded the statewide efforts in Illinois to create both the FamilyCare program, which provides health care insurance for up to up to 400,000 working poor parents of minor children, and All Kids, the first state plan to extend health coverage to every child. He has consulted and co-counseled with advocates in many states; helped draft numerous pieces of legislation; given hundreds of presentations; published extensively; and served as counsel in numerous federal and state cases, including Memisovski v. Maram, which established substantial reforms in children's health care in Illinois.

He currently is working on state-based implementation of federal health care reform, serves on the steering committee of the National Transitional Jobs Network, and leads the Responsible Budget Coalition in Illinois, an effort bringing together more than 200 diverse organizations to advocate for state revenue and budget reform in Illinois. Before joining the Shriver Center in 1996, he worked for two decades at the Legal Assistance Foundation of Chicago, where he supervised public benefits advocacy. Among his honors, he has received the Kutak-Dodds Prize from the National Legal Aid and Defender Association, John Minor Wisdom Public Service and Professionalism Award from the American Bar Association's Litigation Section, Child Health Advocate Award from the American Academy of Pediatrics, and Excellence in Pro Bono and Public Interest Service Award from the United States District Court and Federal Bar Association.

A 1975 graduate of Valparaiso University School of Law, John serves on the boards of the Chicago Transit Authority, the Donors' Forum of Chicago, and the Center for Law and Social Policy (Washington DC).


Carole Brown

Carole Brown

Carole L. Brown recently joined Barclays Capital as a Managing Director, heading the firm’s Midwest municipal practice. She serves as the Senior Investment Banker for local municipal clients including the City of Chicago, the States of Illinois, Michigan and Indiana, the Chicago Park District and the Chicago Board of Education. Brown also maintains primary responsibility for the firm’s client relationships in several major national markets. Prior to joining Barclays, Brown was employed with Siebert Brandford Shank & Co., LLC and Mesirow Financial. She joined Mesirow after a 10-year career as Managing Director at Lehman Brothers.

For six and half years, Brown served as Chairman of the Chicago Transit Authority Board, a position Brown held through September 2009. As CTA Chair, Brown oversaw policy for the nation’s second largest transportation agency. She was a member of the Transition Team for Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel and is currently serving as Chairman of his TIF Reform Panel.

Brown is a native of Baltimore and a graduate of Harvard College. She came to Chicago in 1986 to attend Northwestern University’s Kellogg Graduate School of Management, where she received her Masters in Management in 1989.

Brown has been a member of the Women’s Leadership Forum of the Democratic National Committee and currently serves on several boards, including Steppenwolf Theatre Company, Rush University Medical Center, Metropolitan Planning Council, Illinois Council Against Handgun Violence, Chicago High School for the Arts, The Auto Club Group and Auto Club Insurance Association. Brown also is a member of The Economic Club of Chicago, The Executives’ Club of Chicago, The Metropolitan Club, and The National Association of Securities Professionals (NASP), and serves on the President’s Board for Uhlich Children's Advantage Network. Brown is a 2002 Fellow of Leadership Greater Chicago and was named that organization’s 2007 Distinguished Fellow.

Brown is the recipient of many professional awards and recognitions, and has been profiled by many publications. In 2003, she was named one of Crain’s Chicago Business’s 40 under 40 and was also named one of the 25 Women to Watch by that publication in 2007. In 2005, Brown was named a Business Leader of Color by Chicago United and also one of the Top 50 Under 50 by Black MBA Magazine. In 2007, Brown was selected by Working Mother to receive the Legacy Award at its Chicago Multicultural Women's Town Hall.


Larry Joseph

Larry Joseph

Larry Joseph sees his work at Voices for Illinois Children as trying to solve a puzzle: what data need to be shared, in what manner, and with what audience to result in positive policy changes for children. As director of Voices' Budget & Tax Policy Initiative, Mr. Joseph oversees research and analysis on state fiscal policies and their impact on the lives of children and their families. Prior to joining Voices in 2007, he was senior research associate at the Chapin Hall Center for Children at the University of Chicago, where he did policy analysis on Medicaid, welfare reform and fiscal federalism. He previously served as associate director of the University's Center for Urban Research and Policy Studies in the School of Social Service Administration (1987 to 1996) and in the Irving B. Harris Graduate School of Public Policy (1996 to 2003). For 10 years, Mr. Joseph collaborated with Voices in organizing the highly regarded Illinois Welfare Policy Symposium, which examines policies and programs affecting low-income families and advances strategies for reducing poverty and expanding economic opportunity. Mr. Joseph earned his doctorate in political science from the University of Wisconsin – Madison. He also has a master's degree in public policy studies from the University of Chicago and a bachelor's degree from Brandeis University. He and his wife, attorney Lauren Newman, have a teenage daughter, Carol.


John Kamis

John Kamis

John S. Kamis recently started a position with the firm of Carpenter Lipps & Leland. He previously served as a Senior Advisor to Illinois Governor Pat Quinn, focusing on economic development, legislative affairs, and budget management. In that role, Mr. Kamis led several administration initiatives, including the Governor’s Economic Recovery Commission and the strategic planning group working to implement “Budgeting for Results”, the Governor’s budget and performance management reform plan.

Mr. Kamis also managed and coordinated the legislative agendas of the Administration’s economic development agencies, including the Department of Transportation, the Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity, the Illinois Finance Authority, the Illinois Housing Authority, the Illinois Toll Highway Authority, and the Capital Development Board. Notably, he represented the Governor’s Office in negotiations that led to the development of a public-private partnership framework, as well as legislation that established the Technology Development Account II as part of the State Treasurer’s investment portfolio. He also led the successful effort to create an Angel Tax Credit designed to incent investment in high-growth Illinois businesses.

Before joining the Quinn Administration, Mr. Kamis was the Campaign Manager of Governor Quinn’s Democratic primary campaign in 2010. Mr. Kamis also served in the Daley Administration as an Assistant to the Mayor in the Mayor’s Office of Intergovernmental Affairs at the City of Chicago. Previously, he worked as a Senior Account Executive at Resolute Consulting and as Deputy Finance Director at the Competence Group. He also has managed, staffed, and advised numerous political campaigns, including various roles in the Gore 2000 campaign.

Kamis received his B.A. from Bradley University and his J.D. from the University of Illinois College of Law. He serves Big Brothers/ Big Sisters of Chicago as a Big Brother and a member of their Leadership Board. He also is a member of Associates Board of Rush University Hospital. Additionally, Mr. Kamis is a participant in the Clinton Global Initiative America project, President Clinton’s economic recovery and job growth effort, as a member of the Start Ups and High Growth Businesses Working Group.


James H. Lewis, Ph.D.

James H. Lewis, Ph.D.

Senior Program Officer, Basic Human Needs. Chicago Community Trust

As Senior Program Officer at the Trust, Dr. Lewis oversees grant-making in human services, focusing on service delivery, policy and organizational development. He also works in the fields of community development and evaluation. Prior to joining the Trust, Lewis was Director of the Institute for Metropolitan Affairs at Roosevelt University and taught urban affairs and research methods. At Roosevelt, Lewis conducted or directed more than 30 evaluation and policy research studies on government, demography and urban affairs.

Before joining Roosevelt, Lewis was Vice President for Research and Planning at the Chicago Urban League for 9 years. There he specialized in education finance, legislative redistricting, civil rights and urban economic development. Dr. Lewis has written numerous articles, book chapters and commissioned research and evaluation reports. He provided expert testimony in the City of Chicago ward remap litigation of the 1990s, was a member of the Simon-Stratton Illinois commission on campaign finance reform, is former co-chair of the Consortium on Chicago School Research at the University of Chicago, and was a co-principal investigator of the official evaluation of welfare reform in Illinois. Dr. Lewis holds his Ph.D. from Northwestern University where he was a Hearst Fellow in American History.


Lyle Logan

Lyle Logan

Lyle Logan is the managing director of Global Financial Institutions Group.

For four years prior to joining Global Financial in 2009, Logan worked as the managing director of Institutional Sales and Client Servicing for Northern Trust Global Investments (NGTI), the asset management arm of Northern Trust Corporation. As managing director, Logan oversaw the growth and development of the NGTI's Institutional Sales and Client Servicing business unit.

In 2000, Logan joined Northern Trust as the senior vice president of Personal Financial Services for the Midwest. As part of the management team, he oversaw the business unit’s growth strategies and focused on the development and marketing of Northern Trust’s array of services to current and prospective clients. Logan was closely involved in a wide-range of marketing and product development activities and oversaw the marketing area of the personal financial services business unit. After Northern Trust, Logan served as the personal financial services senior vice president and head of Chicago Private Banking.

Logan spent 19 years at Continental Bank, which eventually became Bank of America, in Chicago, where he held several leadership positions as a senior vice president in the private bank and domestic portfolio management group.

With a Bachelor of Arts degree in accounting and economics from Florida A&M University, Logan went on to earn an M.B.A. degree in finance from the University of Chicago. In addition to serving as a member of the Board of Directors at NPR, Logan's community involvement activities include serving on the boards of Children’s Memorial Hospital, The Spencer Foundation, The Field Foundation and DeVry, Inc.


Roger Myerson

Roger Myerson

Roger Myerson is the Glen A. Lloyd Distinguished Service Professor of Economics at the University of Chicago. Professor Myerson has made seminal contributions to the fields of economics and political science. In game theory, he introduced refinements of Nash's equilibrium concept, and he developed techniques to characterize the effects of communication when individuals have different information. His analysis of incentive constraints in economic communication introduced some of the fundamental ideas in mechanism design theory, including the revelation principle and the revenue-equivalence theorem in auctions and bargaining. Professor Myerson has also applied game-theoretic tools to political science, analyzing how political incentives can be affected by different electoral systems and constitutional structures.

Myerson is the author of Game Theory: Analysis of Conflict (1991) and Probability Models for Economic Decisions (2005). He also has published numerous articles in Econometrica, the Journal of Economic Theory, Games and Decisions, and the International Journal of Game Theory, for which he served as an editorial board member for 10 years. Professor Myerson has a PhD from Harvard University and taught for 25 years in the Kellogg School of Management at Northwestern University before coming to the University of Chicago in 2001. He is a member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences and of the National Academy of Sciences. In 2007, he was awarded the 2007 Nobel Memorial Prize in Economic Sciences in recognition of his contributions to mechanism design theory.


Maria de J. Prado, CPA

Maria de J. Prado, CPA

Partner, Co-founder & President of Prado and Renteria. Ms. Prado offers clients more than 20 years of audit and accounting experience with specialized expertise within our practice areas. With extensive knowledge of financial reporting requirements and effective internal control structures, she brings on-hands experience providing our practice area clients with consulting services that improve financial accountability processes.

Ms. Prado is a certified public accountant licensed to practice in the state of Illinois and obtained her bachelor of science degree in accounting from the University of Illinois at Chicago. She is a member of the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants and the Illinois CPA Society. As partner and co-founder, Ms. Prado is responsible for establishing relationships and provides highly-specialized subject expertise.





Alex Rorke

Alex Rorke

Alexander Rorke is the Senior Vice President; Director, Public Finance of Hilliard Lyons. A veteran of the public finance industry, Rorke has developed senior-level relationships with governmental, corporate and public pension fund decision makers throughout the Midwest.

In his most recent capacity, Rorke served as Managing Director and Head of Public Finance at Loop Capital Markets. Previously, he was Managing Director at UBS (formerly PaineWebber) for fifteen years, where he built the firm’s Midwest Public Finance Investment Banking Group into the top-ranked group in the region.

His earlier experience included posts at Merrill Lynch, Salomon Brothers and Dean Witter. Rorke has a track record of successfully acquiring and leading large, complex infrastructure financings. Landmark financings included senior managing the offering that took the Chicago Skyway out of default and serving as joint book-running manager for the $10 billion Illinois Pension Bonds.

Rorke’s civic involvement is extensive and includes co-chairing the Illinois Governor’s Commission on Economic Recovery and membership on Illinois’ Budgeting for Results Commission. He has served as a trustee of Northwestern University, and of the Chicago Symphony Orchestra. He helped found and co-chairs the Chicago Summer Business Institute which has provided meaningful summer jobs to achieving inner-city youth for over 20 years.

Rorke holds an MBA from Columbia University and another master’s degree and an undergraduate degree from Northwestern University. Hilliard Lyons is a member of the New York Stock Exchange, the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA)and the Securities Investors Protection Corp. (SIPC).


Jose Sanchez

Jose Sanchez

José R. Sánchez, as President and Chief Executive Officer of Norwegian American Hospital, is Chicago’s only Latino hospital CEO. Sánchez has a 30-plus year career as a health care executive and possesses a wealth of knowledge of the health care industry.

As President and CEO of Norwegian American, Sánchez is dedicated to enhancing the quality of services provided to more than 112,000 patients annually. Among his first priorities was to lead the management executive team to critically assess and refine the quality of all systems, structures and services that are currently in place. Sánchez is committed to pursuing collaborative and innovative solutions to combat the health care challenges of the communities the hospital serves: Humboldt Park, West Town, Wicker Park, Logan Square and Austin.

Before joining Norwegian American Hospital, Sánchez was the Senior Vice President of the Generations +/Northern Manhattan Health Network, one of the largest health care networks in the New York City Health and Hospitals Corporation. During his tenure, he oversaw three acute care hospitals of which two were level one trauma centers, and 34 community-based health centers in East Harlem, Central Harlem and the South Bronx in New York City.

Sánchez is the architect of the Urban Health Conference, an annual national forum in existence since 2001 that brings together more than 300 health care providers to focus on the disparities in health care for minority populations and strategies to eliminate them. He serves as Chairman of the East Harlem Business Capital Corporation Board of Directors, which provides microlending and business development services for community businesses. In addition, he is a member of the Board of Boricua College in New York. The college was designed to serve the educational needs of Puerto Ricans and other Hispanics. In October 2009, Sánchez was named among the “Most Influential Latinos” in the United States by Hispanic Business Magazine, a New York Times Co. syndicated publication.

Sánchez has been a licensed social worker since 1979. He holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in Psychology from the City College of New York and a Master of Social Work from Adelphi University. In 2002, he was conferred an honorary doctorate degree from the New York College of Podiatric Medicine. This honor recognized his measurable accomplishments and steadfast commitment to improving the health status of the poorest and most disadvantaged populations in New York City.


Jason Saul

Jason Saul

Jason Saul is one of the nation's leading experts on measuring social impact. As the co-founder and CEO of Mission Measurement, Jason helps corporations, nonprofits and public sector clients create value through social change.

Jason has advised some of the world's largest corporations, government agencies and nonprofits, including: Walmart, Starbucks, McDonald's, Kraft, Levi Straus & Co., Easter Seals, American Red Cross, the Smithsonian and the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID). Prior to founding Mission Measurement, Jason practiced as a public finance attorney at Mayer Brown LLP in Chicago.

Jason serves on the faculty of the Kellogg School of Management at Northwestern University, where he teaches corporate social responsibility and nonprofit management. He also serves on the CMO Council's Academic Liaison Committee.

Jason is the founder of the Center for What Works, a national nonprofit focused on benchmarking and performance measurement. He is the author of numerous books and articles on social strategy and measurement, including: Benchmarking for Nonprofits: How to Manage, Measure and Improve Performance (Fieldstone Press 2006); Social Innovation, Inc.: Five Strategies to Drive Business Value through Social Change (Jossey-Bass, October 2010); and The End of Fundraising: How to Raise More by Selling Your Impact (Jossey-Bass, February 2011).

Jason was awarded the Harry S. Truman Scholarship for leadership and public service and was selected as a Leadership Greater Chicago fellow. In 2008, Jason was recognized as one of Crain's Chicago Business “40 under 40” business leaders, and in 2010, he was named by BusinessWeek as one of the Nation's 25 Most Promising Social Entrepreneurs.

Jason holds a J.D. from the University of Virginia School of Law, an M.P.P. from the John F. Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University, and a B.A. in Government and French Literature from Cornell University.


Steve Schnorf

Steve Schnorf

Mr. Schnorf is a State Budget and Procurement Consultant to Morrill & Associates. In his distinguished governmental career, he has held the positions of:

  • Director, Illinois Bureau of the Budget (1997-2002);
  • Director of Policy for Governor Jim Edgar (1994-1997);
  • Director, Illinois Department of Central Management Services (1991-1994, 2002);
  • Director of Drivers Services, Office of the Secretary of State (1983-1990); and
  • Administrator of the Senior Citizens Division, Office of the Secretary of State (1981-1983).

Mr. Schnorf serves on the Illinois Liquor Control Commission. In his various capacities in Illinois state government, Schnorf played lead negotiating roles on many key legislative initiatives, including: Illinois welfare reform (1995); Chicago school reform (1996); reorganization of the Department of Human Services (1997); Illinois FIRST (1999); and Soldiers Field renovations (2001).

He participated in all meetings of the Governor and four legislative leaders for five years, affording him broad exposure to the interactions between the executive and legislative branches. Schnorf’s governmental experience includes:

  • contract negotiations with the state’s largest employee union;
  • developing five state budgets, each totaling approximately $50 billion;
  • supervising all state bond sales for five years (consisting of some 40–50 sales totaling more than $10 billion); and
  • serving as the Governor’s key liaison, on a variety of issues, with business and labor interest groups, as well as political leaders.

He also chaired the Procurement Policy Board of Illinois (1997-2002); chaired the Illinois Debt Collection Board (1991-1994, 2002); and served as a member of the State Employee Retirement Systems Board of Trustees (1997-2002).Prior to beginning his state governmental career, Schnorf served people with disabilities on behalf of several not-for-profit organizations and associations (1969-1981) and taught History and Social Studies at Robinson High School (1966-1969).

Schnorf received his Bachelors and Masters degrees in Education from Eastern Illinois University. Schnorf resides in Springfield, Illinois.


Kevin Semlow

Kevin Semlow

Kevin Semlow is the director of state legislation in the Illinois Farm Bureau Governmental Affairs and Commodities Division. He joined the division in June 1996.

Semlow works in planning, implementing and evaluating the state legislative program, state finance issues and state and local political campaigns. He serves as a legislative liaison with the General Assembly, State Executive Branch officials, state agencies, their respective staffs and provide assistance to county Farm Bureaus on matters pertaining to state legislative programs.

Semlow is a 1987 graduate of Illinois State University with a bachelor of science degree in Political Science. Prior to joining the Illinois Farm Bureau, he served as a legislative associate with the Illinois Municipal League. He was also served as a research/appropriations analyst for the Illinois House of Representatives.

Semlow, his wife Sherry, four daughters and three sons reside in Normal, Illinois.


Donna Sims Wilson

Donna Sims Wilson

Donna Sims Wilson is Executive Vice President of CastleOak Securities, L.P., a leading New York-based boutique investment bank. She is responsible for helping to drive revenue growth and for overseeing new business generation across the firm's various business lines. Mrs. Wilson joins CastleOak Securities with over 25 years of experience in equity sales, corporate finance and mortgage finance.

Prior to joining CastleOak Securities, Mrs. Wilson was Presi¬dent of M. R. Beal & Company, where she was responsible for the firm’s revenue growth with corporations, public pension plans and institutional asset management firms and was the primary interface with federal government departments and agencies, collaborating on mortgage-related legislation and the country’s economic stimulus strategy. She first joined the firm in 1991 as Executive Vice President and Head of Equity Sales and Trading. As Senior Vice President and Director of the Federal Finance Group, she was responsible for the securitization of single family, multi-family and commercial mortgage loans for the Resolution Trust Corporation and other federal agencies. Prior to rejoining M.R. Beal in 2005, Mrs. Wilson was a founder and Managing Director of Loop Capital Markets where she managed Equity Sales. She also served as a Vice President at Bear Stearns where she sold mortgage backed securities to banks and savings and loans. Mrs. Wilson began her career at Lehman Brothers Kuhn Loeb in Corporate Finance.

Mrs. Wilson serves as Chair of the Legislative Committee of the National Association of Securities Professionals, Vice Chairman of the Kohl Children’s Museum of Greater Chicago and as a member of the Board Trustees of the John G. Shedd Aquarium. She is a member of The Economic Club of Chicago and The Executives’ Club of Chicago. She is a former Board Member of the Bond Market Association currently known as the Securities Industry Financial Management Association (SIFMA) and a former Member of Fannie Mae’s National Advisory Council. Mrs. Wilson has also served as Chairman of the Sub-Saharan Africa Advisory Board of the Export Import Bank of the United States.

Since 1990, Mrs. Wilson has been actively engaged in financial services and insurance on the continent of Africa. She completed a leveraged buyout of the former Senegalese operations of AIG Life Insurance Company. Renamed, ILICO/SAGEF Group, she serves on the Board of Directors, which is comprised of the largest life insurance company and leading real estate development company in Senegal. She has served as an advisor on debt capital markets development to the government of Ghana, has advised President Abdoulaye Wade of Senegal on issues related to financing NEPAD (the New Economic Partnership for African Development) and has structured trade finance transactions in Nigeria.

Mrs. Wilson received her Bachelor of Arts Degree in Political Science from Yale University in 1983.


Cristal Thomas

Cristal Thomas

Cristal Thomas, MPP was appointed Deputy Governor by Illinois Governor Pat Quinn in February 2011. In this capacity, Ms. Thomas is responsible for overseeing development and implementation of the Governor’s public policy agenda.

Before joining the Quinn Administration, Ms. Thomas served as Regional Director for the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Region V. HHS is the federal government’s lead agency for protecting the health of all Americans and providing essential human services. The Department has over 300 programs covering a wide spectrum of activities including public health, health care, financing, family support, social services, emergency preparedness and food and drug safety.

Prior to her appointment to the HHS Regional Director’s Office, Ms. Thomas was Executive Director of the Ohio Executive Medicaid Management Administration (EMMA), where she provided strategic direction, policy coordination and guided business process improvement projects across six state agencies responsible for service delivery in health care, aging, public health, mental health and developmental disability systems. She also served the Strickland Administration as Ohio Medicaid Director, responsible for administering the Medicaid and State Children’s Health Insurance Programs in Ohio, as well as implementing many of the Governor's health care initiatives.

Ms. Thomas was Assistant Director of the Illinois Department of Healthcare and Family Services (HFS), the state agency responsible for the Illinois Medicaid and child support enforcement programs. She began her career as a policy and regulatory analyst in the White House Office of Management and Budget, where she focused on federal health care policy. Ms. Thomas is a graduate of Ohio State University in Columbus, Ohio, and received a Masters Degree in Public Policy from the University of Chicago.