CHICAGO – March 6, 2012. Governor Pat Quinn today continued his efforts to grow our economy by announcing four new appointments to the Illinois Medical District Commission (IMDC), which oversees the largest urban medical district in the country. Jennifer Woodard, James Clewlow, Meredith O’Connor and Blake Sercye will join the board that also includes two appointees designated by the mayor of Chicago and one designated by the president of the Cook County Board.
“Cutting-edge, health-related fields, such as biotechnology, are important economic engines in Illinois,” Governor Quinn said. “For Illinois and the city of Chicago to remain at the forefront of these fields, we need to have leaders who will spur job creation and economic development by providing the vision and oversight necessary to identifying opportunities and investments that will benefit everyone.”
The IMDC, formally established in 1941, develops and manages the 560-acre Illinois Medical District (IMD) in Chicago, which has 20,000 employees working in hospitals, health clinics, research labs and the University of Illinois-Chicago (UIC) - the nation’s largest medical school, and the state’s largest biotechnology complex. The IMD supports 50,000 direct and indirect jobs, while generating $3.3 billion in economic activity and more than $100 million in state and local taxes. The IMD is funded through property sales and lease proceeds and cannot levy taxes.
Jennifer Woodard is associate vice chancellor in the Office of External Affairs at UIC. During her 14 years at UIC, Woodard has lead numerous initiatives focused on bringing support to the academic, research and service missions of the campus. Prior to joining UIC, she practiced law, specializing in corporate and international corporate matters. She has served on several non-profit arts and service organization boards, including Chicago Opera Theater, El Valor and the Harris Theater for Music and Dance. She holds degrees in English literature and history from the University of North Dakota and a juris doctorate from the Northwestern University School of Law.
James Clewlow has served as chief investment officer for CenterPoint since January of 2005, after serving as senior vice president of investments. He joined CenterPoint in 1997 and oversees investment activity for the company. Mr. Clewlow has been involved in industrial real estate since graduating from the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign in 1985. He worked for CBRE as an industrial real estate broker for 11 years serving the Chicago area and joined CenterPoint in an acquisitions capacity. Mr. Clewlow received his master’s degree in business administration from Kellogg's Graduate School of Management at Northwestern University.
Meredith O’Connor is the managing director of Jones Lang LaSalle’s Midwest Region. Prior to joining Jones Lang LaSalle, O’Connor was the deputy director of business development at World Business Chicago (WBC), a public-private economic development corporation comprised of more than 20 top executives from many of Chicago’s leading companies. She spent more than 10 years as deputy commissioner with the city of Chicago where she founded a new unit in the Department of Planning and Development (DPD) to advocate for science and technology-based economic development. She also held several other city positions, including assistant to the mayor and was appointed as the youngest-ever assistant sergeant at arms for the Chicago City Council. Ms. O’Connor holds a master’s of business administration in finance from Loyola University’s Graduate School of Business.
Blake P. Sercye is an associate in the litigation department at Jenner & Block. Prior to joining the firm, Sercye handled family law, sealing and expungement matters as a PILI Fellow at the Chicago Legal Clinic in the city’s Austin neighborhood. He serves on the board of directors for the Umoja Student Development Corporation, a nonprofit organization that provides tutoring and college preparatory counseling for inner city high school students. He is also a member of Christ the King Jesuit College Preparatory School’s Young Leader’s Council, the Chicago Westside Branch of the NAACP and the Phi Beta Sigma Fraternity. Sercye earned his juris doctorate from the University of Chicago Law School, where he was a member of The University of Chicago Legal Forum and the Black Law Students Association. He received a bachelor’s degree in politics with honors from Princeton University.