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Gov. Pritzker announces 18 appointments to state authorities, commissions

All 18 appointments announced to be ‘building on strong team of diverse experts in their fields.’
(WIFR)
Published: Sep. 30, 2020 at 6:44 PM CDT
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ROCKFORD, Ill. (WIFR) - Gov. Pritzker announced 18 appointments in his administration on Wednesday.

Eduardo Tobon will serve on the Illinois Finance Authority. Tobon currently serves as a Consultant at Spencer Stuart where he assists C-level executives through executive recruiting and leadership advisory needs. Previously, he was the President of Diners Club International. He also worked at Sovereign Bank, now Santander Bank, in a variety of roles including Executive Vice President and CEO of Cards Division.

Tobon is involved in a variety of civic activities and has received various awards for his professional and volunteer work. In particular, he is a founder and board member of Angeles Investors, an economic empowerment organization finding, funding and growing the most promising Hispanic and Latinx ventures. Tobon earned a Bachelor of Engineering in Industrial Engineering from Universidad EAFIT in Medellin, Colombia and a Master of Business Administration from Carnegie Mellon University.

Jose Restituyo will serve on the Illinois Finance Authority. Restituyo works at AbbVie as the Associate Director of Global Sourcing and he has served in this capacity since 2015 and previously served as a Principal Chemist with the company from 2012-2014. Regarding his civic activities, he is the Chapter Secretary and Co-Director of the Sigma Beta Club, a mentoring program for young males providing them with life skills, academic assistance and leadership development. He earned a Bachelor of Science in Chemistry from the University of Puerto Rico and a Doctor of Philosophy from the University of Wisconsin.

Rita Ali will serve on the Illinois Housing Development Authority. For over fifteen years, she has served as the Vice President of Workforce and Diversity at Illinois Central College. Since May 2019, she has also held the office of At Large City Council Member for the City of Peoria. Ali is involved in a plethora of local civic activities as the President of the Martin Luther King Holiday Committee of Peoria, a Board Member of Central Illinois Friends, and countless other impressive roles.

In addition, she has compiled a long list of awards such as the Whitney M. Young Award from the Boy Scouts of America and the Women’s History Award from the National Association for Women. Ali earned a Bachelor of Arts in Human Services Management from University of Illinois – Springfield and a Master of Arts, Master of Business Administration, and Doctor of Philosophy from Bradley University, Walden University, and Capella University respectively.

Jobi Cates will serve on the Youth Budget Commission. Cates is currently the Executive Director and founder of Restore Justice, an advocacy organization reducing reliance on incarceration in Illinois by addressing the issues of youth serving life or de facto life sentences. She has also served as an independent consultant, the Senior Director of Development and Outreach at Human Rights Watch, the Vice President of Communications at the National Association of Charter School Authorizers, the Executive Director of Illinois Caucus for Adolescent Health, and the Director of the Office of Accountability Special Projects at Chicago Public Schools, among other roles. She earned a Bachelor of Science in Social Policy from Northwestern University with a certificate in Women’s Studies.

Sherrie Crabb will serve on the Youth Budget Commission. Since 2014, Crabb has served as the Chief Executive Officer/Executive Director of the Family Counseling Center, Inc. Previously, she served as the Behavioral Health Assistant Director and Child and Adolescent Program Coordinator at the same organization. She is involved in her community as she serves as a Board Chair for Illinois Partners for Human Service (IPHS), the Board Secretary at Saints Foundation at Shawnee Community College, and a Member of Healthy Southern 7 Region Coalition, among other leadership roles. She earned a Bachelor of Social Work, cum laude and a Master of Science, summa cum laude from Eastern Illinois University.

Melissa Flores will serve on the Youth Budget Commission. Flores serves as the Senior Director of Programs and Quality Assurance at the Erie Neighborhood House. Prior to her current role, she was the Dean of Adult Education, Teaching Faculty in the English Department and Manager of Adult Education at the City Colleges of Chicago. She is professionally affiliated with many civic and leadership organizations such as the Association of Mexican American Educators, the Harvard Club of Chicago, the Hispanic Association of Colleges and Universities Alumni Association, and Mujeres Activas en Letras y Cambio Social, among other roles. She earned a Bachelor of Arts from Mount Mary College, a Master of Education from Harvard University, and a Master of Arts and Doctor of Philosophy from the University of California, Santa Barbara with.

Representative La Shawn Ford will serve on the Youth Budget Commission. Representative Ford has represented the 8th District in the Illinois House of Representatives since 2007. He is the Chair of the Small Business Empowerment & Workforce Development and Restorative Justice Committees Prior to public service, Ford taught elementary school social studies and coached basketball at Chicago Public Schools for six years along with founding his own real estate business. He has received many awards such as the Archdiocese of Chicago “Christifideles” and “Augustus Tolton” awards, the Safer Foundation Carre Visionary Award, and the Small Business Advocate Award by the Small Business Advocacy CouncilHe also serves on a variety of boards including the Austin Chamber of Commerce, Peace Corner, Fathers Who Care, Loretto Hospital, etc. He earned a Bachelor of Arts in Elementary Education and a minor in Political Science from Loyola University Chicago.

Gary Huelsmann will serve on the Youth Budget Commission. Huelsmann has served as the Chief Executive Officer at Caritas Family Solutions since 2005. Previously, Huelsmann worked for Magellan Health Service for 17 years. He also serves on several boards and committees at the local, state and national level and is currently the chairperson for Illinois Collaboration on Youth. He earned his Bachelor’s Degree in Social Work from University of St. Thomas and his Master’s Degree in Social Work from St. Louis University. In addition, he recently earned a Certificate in Business Management for Non-Profit Leaders from Washington University.

Reyahd Kazmi will serve on the Youth Budget Commission. Kazmi is the Owner & President of Kazmi Advisors, LLC, a national consulting firm where he provides strategic advising, government strategy, relationship management, advocacy, and community engagement for clients in the private and public spheres. In addition, he is the Managing Director of IGNITE Cities, LLC, the Director of Government Strategies at the National Youth Advocate Program, Inc. and an Instructor at the University of Illinois at Chicago. Previously, he worked in a variety of capacities at the City of Chicago. Kazmi has earned a multitude of awards and accolades during his time in and out of school. He earned a Bachelor of Arts from Capital University with a double major in Economics and Political Science, a Master of Arts in Public Policy and Management and Juris Doctor from the Ohio State University.

Evan Krauss will serve on the Youth Budget Commission. Krauss is currently the Director of United Way of Greater St. Louis and has served in this capacity since July 2012. Previously, he worked at St. Louis Public Schools Foundation, the Office of License Collector, and the Diversity Awareness Partnership. As an active community member, Krauss has served in a variety of roles at the Urban League Young Professionals of Metropolitan St. Louis and has earned multiple awards for his work in this field. He earned a Bachelor of Science in Social Work, a Bachelor of Arts in Urban Affairs at Saint Louis University and a Master of Social Work from Washington University in St. Louis with an individualized concentration in youth-led community organizing and a specialization in management.

Senator Kimberly Lightford will serve on the Youth Budget Commission. Leader Lightford serves as an Illinois State Senator for the 4th district and as Senate Majority Leader. In this role, she advocates for quality education, healthcare and providing support to working families. She is the Chair of the Illinois Legislative Black Caucus. She is on the Board of Directors for multiple organizations including Proviso-Leyden Council for Community Action and the West Cook County Youth Club. Lightford has earned awards from a organizations including the University of Illinois Springfield Public Administration Distinguished Graduate Award, the Women Empowerment Change Maker from DePaul University, and Advocacy for Illinois Women Award from Illinois Democratic Women. She earned her undergraduate degree from Western Illinois University and Master of Public Administration from University of Illinois at Springfield.

Latonya Maley will serve on the Youth Budget Commission. Maley has served as the Director of the Broadway Youth Center at the Howard Brown Heath Center in Chicago since March 2016. Previously, she worked as a Manager Youth HIV/STI Prevention and a Research Assistant for the Lesbian Health Fund Self Help Study at the Center. Maley also worked at Bitch to Quit, Project Wisdom, Health Careers and Opportunities Program, the Childhood Asthma Initiative, among other organizations. She is involved in a variety of volunteer positions such as working as a Core Organizer at the Dyke March Chicago, a Volunteer Medic and Trainer at Ujima Medics, and a Volunteer Medic at Chicago Action Medical. She earned a Bachelor of Arts from Agnes Scott College and a Master of Public Health from the University of Illinois at Chicago.

Charles Montorio-Archer will serve on the Youth Budget Commission. Montorio-Archer serves as the President and CEO of One Hope United, a private human service organization helping children and families by providing early education, foster care, adoption, counseling, residential, and other support programs. Prior to this position, he co-founded the THRIVE Network in 1996, an organization that assists individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities in New York City. It has since merged with The New York Foundling. He has written three books, his most recent providing a management model for reaching strategic alignment and accelerating organizational change through respect, collaboration and leadership. He earned a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration from Lincoln University, Juris Doctor from Brooklyn Law School, Master of Public Administration from City University of New York-Baruch College, and a Doctor of Philosophy from Walden University.

Michael Shaver will serve on the Youth Budget Commission. Since 2019, Shaver has served as the President and Chief Executive Officer of the Children’s Home and Aid, a multi-service child and family organization serving over 40,000 families annually. From 2014 to 2019, he served as the President and Chief Executive Officer of the Children’s Home Society of Florida based in Orlando. Shaver serves in multiple leadership roles at the state and national level including as a Board Member and Public Policy Committee Chair at the Children’s Home Society of America and as a member of the National CEO Council at the Alliance for Strong Families and Communities. He earned a Bachelor of Arts in Political Science from Colorado College and Master of Arts in Public Policy from the University of Chicago, Harris School of Public Policy.

Lisa Thompson will serve on the Youth Budget Commission. Thompson currently serves as the Executive Director of Project Oz, an organization that partners with young people to promote safety, opportunities and well-being. She has been with the organization for over twenty years having previously served as Vice President, Program Manager of Service Programs, Supervisor of Transitional Living Program, among other roles. Thompson is very involved in her community and serves on a variety of associations and boards including the Illinois Collaboration on Youth Policy Advisory Board, the Illinois Association on Behavioral Health, the Youth Collaboratory, and the U.S. Attorney General Office’s Central Illinois Human Trafficking Task Force. She received a Bachelor of Science in Sociology and Master of Science in Sociology from Illinois State University.

Alicia Vega will serve on the Youth Budget Commission. Vega is currently the Executive Director of Changing Worlds, an organization that fosters inclusive communities through oral history, writing and arts programs. In addition, she serves as the President of Alicia T. Vega Consulting Inc. and as the Founder and Director of Ministry for QYES: Queer Youth Exploring Sexuality. She previously served as the Vice President of Youth Development at the Boys & Girls Club of Chicago and the Executive Director of Southwest Youth Collaborative. Vega is also a proud leader on the She100 Board and the Leadership Greater Chicago Fellows Program. In 2018 Vega was named as one of Chicago’s top Latina leaders in Philanthropy and Government by Make It Better and was a 2017 Chicago LGBT Hall of Fame Inductee. She graduated with a Bachelor of Science in Applied Psychology and a Master of Jurisprudence from Loyola University Chicago.

Representative Karina Villa will serve on the Youth Budget Commission, after having represented the 49th district in the Illinois House of Representatives since 2019. Throughout her tenure in the House, she has been a strong advocate for students and families. Prior to being elected, she served as the Vice President of the West Chicago District 33 Board of Education. She earned a Master of Social Work from Aurora University.

Laura Zumdahl will serve on the Youth Budget Commission. Since 2013, Zumdahl has served as the President and CEO of New Moms, a human service agency providing support to over 800 homeless and high-risk young moms and their children each year. She also works at Cause Strategy Partners as a Consultant. Zumdahl has received the 40 Under 40 Award from the Association Forum of Chicagoland and the Outstanding Alumni Research Award from her undergraduate alma mater. She earned a Bachelor of Arts in Sociology from Trinity Christian College, a Master of Arts in Social Work from the University of Chicago, and Doctor of Philosophy from Cardinal Stritch University.

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