Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity

Director

$1 billion and provided leadership to more than 430 personnel. Reorganized the Agency to take a regional-based strategy that linked economic and workforce development while holding companies accountable for the promises of jobs and investment.

Major Operations Management Accomplishments:

  • Led the transformation of the Agency by retooling the organization structure, streamlining the service delivery process and rebuilding its information technology systems, including a comprehensive on-line grants system.
  • Cut the Agency’s budget by 31% and personnel by 13% from FY03 to FY07.
  • Oversaw all state-based job training programs, trained more than 375,000 workers, created Disabilityworks to help people with disabilities find jobs or create new businesses, which won the U.S. Department of Labor’s New Freedom Award, and developed demand-based job training programs for areas with critical skill shortages.

Major Policy and Legislative Accomplishments:

  • Worked to secure passage of the Corporate Accountability Act, so that business investment deals are transparent and companies are held accountable for the jobs and investment that they promise.
  • Developed and implemented the most comprehensive economic development strategy in the state’s history by creating plans for each region of the state and by creating an energy independence strategy for Illinois.
  • Worked to pass an Illinois Film Tax Credit, which led to record levels of film production in 2007 of more than $155 million from $25 million in 2003, eventually rising to over $300 million per year.

 Major Economic Development Accomplishments:

  • Negotiated more than 525 business incentive deals spurring more than $10 billion of private investment in Illinois, bringing multiple Fortune 500 headquarters to the State, and creating and retaining more than 86,000 new jobs. This led Illinois to be ranked the number two state nationally by Site Selection Magazine.
  • Opened 19 Entrepreneurship Centers across the state, invested in several early stage venture capital funds, and created InnovateNow! to develop public/private partnerships in Illinois and help small businesses grow.
  • Led DCEO’s Tourism Office to record levels of economic impact to over $30 billion, a 30% increase since 2001.
  • Oversaw the development of a new tourism branding effort that achieved higher consumer brand ID in a shorter timeframe than any previous effort and was recognized as the best overall state marketing campaign by the National Council of State Tourism Directors in 2008.
  • Secured the BIO 2006 International Convention for Chicago and helped lead the most successful convention in BIO’s history leading to its return to Chicago in 2010.
  • Led DCEO’s Office of International Trade and Investment including nine international trade offices.