Gov. Pritzker Announces 23 Key Appointments
Building on a strong team of diverse experts in their fields, Governor JB Pritzker announced the following appointments in his administration:
WORKERS’ COMPENSATION COMMISSION
Deborah Baker will serve on the Workers’ Compensation Commission.* Baker was previously Assistant Deputy Chief Legal Counsel and Ethics Officer at the Illinois Department of Corrections. Prior, she was Litigation Counsel and Compliance Counsel at UpRight Lawand served as Assistant Attorney General at the Office of the Illinois Attorney General. Baker earned her bachelor’s from the University of New Mexico and Master of Arts and Juris Doctor from Loyola University Chicago.
Barbara Flores will continue to serve on the Workers’ Compensation Commission.* Flores was previously an Arbitrator at the Illinois Workers’ Compensation Commission. Prior, she was Corporate Counsel at Alden Management Services, Inc., and served as Final Agency Decision Writer at U.S. Postal Service, National Equal Employment Opportunity Investigative Services Office. She has extensive legal experience as Law Clerk and is actively involved in scholarship and professional organizations. Flores earned her Bachelor of Science from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and Juris Doctor from the Chicago-Kent College of Law.
Christopher Harris will serve on the Workers’ Compensation Commission.* Harris was previously an Arbitrator at the Illinois Workers’ Compensation Commission. Prior, he was Owner and Managing Attorney at Shield Law Firm LLC. Harris has additional legal experience as general counsel. Harris earned his Bachelor of Arts from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and Juris Doctor from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign College of Law.
Stephen Mathis will continue to serve on the Workers’ Compensation Commission.* Mathis was previously an Arbitrator at the Illinois Workers’ Compensation Commission. Prior, he served as Legal Counsel and Staff Analyst at the Illinois State Senate. Mathis earned a Bachelor of Arts from the University of South Florida and Juris Doctor from UIC John Marshall Law School.
Deborah Simpson will continue to serve on the Workers’ Compensation Commission.* Simpson was previously Assistant State’s Attorney at Office of the Kane County State’s Attorney. Prior she was First Assistant State’s Attorney at Office of the Vermillion County State’s Attorney. Simpson earned a Bachelor of Arts from DePaul University and Juris Doctor from John Marshall Law School.
Thomas Tyrrell will continue to serve on the Workers’ Compensation Commission.* Tyrrell was previously Trial Attorney at Thomas J. Tyrrell, LTD. Prior, Tyrrell was Partner and Attorney at Tyrrell & Boylan. Tyrell also served as Assistant Public Defender at Cook County Public Defender’s Office. Tyrrell earned an undergraduate degree from Lewis University and Juris Doctor from Chicago Kent College of Law.
EMPLOYMENT SECURITY BOARD OF REVIEW
Meredith Buckley will continue to serve on the Employment Security Board of Review.* Buckley currently serves as Associate at Malkinson & Halpern, P.C. Previously, she served as Staff Attorney at O’Connor Law Group, LLC. Buckley earned a Bachelor of Arts from McGill University and Juris Doctor from DePaul University College of Law.
Maria Perez will continue to serve on the Employment Security Board of Review.* Perez is a retired Chicago Police Officer. She worked in Districts 010, 011, 021, and 003 as a patrol officer, court sergeant, and mayor’s bodyguard detail.
PRISONER REVIEW BOARD
Max Cerda will serve on the Prisoner Review Board.* Max is a Case Manager at BUILD, Inc. Previously, Max served his community as a mentor with ASPIRA of Illinois and as a Violence Interrupter with Ceasefire. Max also served as the Co-Executive Director of the Latino Cultural Exchange Coalition. A person who was formerly-incarcerated and is now a dedicated community leader, Max has received local and international recognition for his service as a street and gang violence interventionist. Max has spoken at international forums on juvenile justice, anti-violence, and at-risk youth for the U.S. Department of State and the U.S. Embassy in Mexico.
Drella Savage will serve on the Prisoner Review Board.* Drella is the Clerk for the Village of Olympia Fields. Previously, Drella served as a Circuit Court Judge and an Administrative Hearing Officer/Law Judge of Expedited Child Support in Cook County. Drella has extensive civic and volunteer experience, including service with the Department of Justice’s Faith-Based Initiatives Commission, the Illinois Judicial Council Foundation, and the Illinois Council on Women and Girls. Drella has received several awards and honors for her leadership, humanitarian, and distinguished service. Drella earned a Bachelor of Arts from Northwestern University and a Juris Doctor from Howard University School of Law.
Jeffrey Mears will serve on the Prisoner Review Board.*Jeffrey currently works at Shawnee Correctional Center, a facility of the Illinois Department of Corrections. Previously, Jeffery was the General Foreman at Painters Local #32, President of the American Freedom Veterans Support Group, and a Commissioner on the Johnson County Board of Commissioners. Jeffrey has an extensive history volunteering with Shawnee Correctional Center where he currently serves as a De-Escalation Response Team Coordinator, Negotiations Management Team Member, Facility Crisis Team Member, and a Weapons-Free Task Force Member.
GUARDIANSHIP AND ADVOCACY COMMISSION
Sen. Julie Morrison will serve on the Guardianship and Advocacy Commission.* Sen. Morrison is currently an Illinois Senator for the 29th district. Previously, she served as Supervisor of West Deerfield Township and Campaign Field Director for Congressman John Porter. She earned a bachelor’s degree from Knox College.
ILLINOIS BOARD OF HIGHER EDUCATION
Kenneth Shaw will continue to serve on the Illinois Board of Higher Education.* Shaw has spent 28 years leading university systems including Southern Illinois University, the University of Wisconsin System and Syracuse University. Upon retirement from Syracuse University, he served as a Senior Consultant for the Association of Governing Boards of Universities and Colleges. Shaw has served in leadership positions on numerous educational and economic task forces and commissions as well as Boards of Trustees of both for-profit and not-for-profit businesses and organizations. He has received numerous national, statewide, and local honors including seven honorary degrees, the Silver Anniversary Award from the National Association of College Athletics (NCAA) and is a Laureate of the Lincoln Academy of Illinois. The Granite City resident received his Bachelor of Science from Illinois State University, master’s degree from the University of Illinois and Doctor of Philosophy from Purdue University.
Jennifer A. Delaney will continue to serve on the Illinois Board of Higher Education.* Delaney is an Associate Professor of Higher Education in the Department of Education Policy, Organization and Leadership at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, where she is also the Director of the Forum on the Future of Public Education. Dr. Delaney's research focuses on higher education policy, with an emphasis on finance. Previously, she worked for the Advisory Committee on Student Financial Assistance, the National Center for Public Policy and Higher Education, and served as a consultant for the Commission on the Future of Higher Education. She was also an assistant professor of higher education at the University of Wisconsin at Madison. She earned a Bachelor of Arts from the University of Michigan, Master of Education from Harvard University and Doctor of Philosophy in Higher Education Administration from Stanford University.
SOUTHERN ILLINOIS UNIVERSITY BOARD OF TRUSTEES
Tonya Genovese will serve on the Southern Illinois University Board of Trustees.* Genovese is currently an attorney at the Gori Law Firm. Previously, she was an attorney and compliance officer at Lewis & Clark Community College and an attorney at the Madison County State’s Attorney’s Office. She received her Bachelor of Science in Business Administration from Saint Louis University and Juris Doctor from Thomas Jefferson School of Law.
HOUSING DEVELOPMENT AUTHORITY
Thomas Morsch will continue to serve on the Illinois Housing Development Authority.* Morsch is the founder and President of Morsch Expeditions, LLC. Prior to forming his company, he was a partner and Managing Director of Public Financial Management, LLC, where he co-led the firm's public private partnership practice. Previously, he was the Midwest Real Estate Practice Leader for Marsh and McLennan Companies, a management consultant specializing in public-private work and was appointed by Governor James R. Thompson to serve as the Executive Director and CEO of the Illinois Tollway System for six years. Morsch serves as a board and advisory board member of the Metropolitan Planning Council and Community Partners for Affordable Housing, was elected for three terms to the City Council of the City of Lake Forest, and was appointed a member of the City of Lake Forest Planning Commission. He earned his Bachelor of Arts from Beloit College.
Luz Ramirez will continue to serve on the Illinois Housing Development Authority.* She is currently chief administrative officer at YWCA Northwestern Illinois. Previously, she served as Executive Director of LaVoz Latina, Inc. and in various administrative and leadership roles in Rockford Public School District #205. Ramirez received her Bachelor of Arts from Columbia College and Master of Arts Education from the University of Phoenix.
COURT OF CLAIMS
Sonia Antolec will serve on the Court of Claims.* Antolec is currently Director of Policy from the Mom Project. She was previously Director of Legal Hiring at the Cook County State’s Attorney’s Office and Deputy General Counsel at the Illinois Department of Healthcare and Family Services. She is also involved with a number of legal, professional and civic organizations. Antolec earned her Bachelor of Arts from DePaul University and Juris Doctor from Loyola University School of Law.
Marcellus Moore will serve on the Court of Claims.* Moore is currently Managing Attorney at the Alliance Law Group and the Child Advocate Law Group. Previously, Moore served as Vice President at Jones Lang LaSalle, Vice President at Grubb & Ellis, and as an Associate at Booz Allen & Hamilton. Moore earned a Bachelor of Arts from Morehouse College, Juris Doctor from Pritzker School of Law and Master of Business Administration from the Kellogg School of Management.
Mary Patricia Burns will continue to serve on the Court of Claims.* Burns is currently President and Shareholder at Burke Burns & Pinelli, LTD. Previously, she was Associate/Partner at Burke & Smith Chartered and served as Law Clerk for Judge James C. Murray. Patricia Burns earned a Bachelor of Arts from the University of Notre Dame and Juris Doctor from Loyola University School of Law.
HEALTH FACILITIES AND SERVICES REVIEW BOARD
Antoinette Hardy-Waller will serve on the Health Facilities and Services Review Board.* Hardy-Waller is President and CEO and The Leverage Network and CEO of Strategic Healthcare Transformations. She was previously Vice President of Strategic Partnerships at Health Dimensions Group. Hardy-Weller has extensive leadership experience across health care. She is a member of First Initiative Insurance Board of Directors and Common Spirit Health Board of Trustees. Hardy-Waller earned a Bachelor of Science from the University of Illinois at Chicago and Masters of Jurisprudence from Loyola University School of Law.
CAPITAL DEVELOPMENT BOARD
Pam McDonough will continue to serve on the Capital Development Board.* McDonough is President at McDonough Enterprises, LTD. She was previously President at DeAngelo McDonough Construction Management Company and served as President and CEO at North Business & Industrial Council/ Alliance for Industry & Manufacturing. McDonough earned an undergraduate degree from DePaul University and Master in Public Administration from the University of Illinois at Springfield.
DEPARTMENT OF HEALTHCARE AND FAMILY SERVICES
Brian Dunn will serve as Inspector General of the Illinois Department of Healthcare and Family Services.* Dunn previously served as First Deputy Inspector General and General Counsel at the City of Chicago's Office of Inspector General. Prior, he served as General Counsel to the Illinois Department of Human Services and General Counsel for the Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity. He began his career in public service as an Associate General Counsel in the Office of the Governor. Dunn earned a Bachelor of Arts from the University of Michigan and a Juris Doctor from Northwestern University Pritzker School of Law.
* Appointments pending confirmation by the Illinois Senate.