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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
January 21, 1999

RYAN NAMES WOOD, GOLD TO HEAD WOMEN'S COMMISSION

CHICAGO -- In the first executive order of his administration, Governor George Ryan today reinstated the Governor's Commission on the Status of Women in Illinois and appointed his lieutenant governor and a woman Chicago lawyer to chair it.

Ryan said Executive Order No. 1 makes good on his pledge to continue the work of the Commission, which expired Dec. 31, 1998. The order also expands the group's membership from 20 to 25 and requires it to produce an annual report each December.

"I want this Commission that I'm creating today to take an active hand in destroying any barriers to equality that exist in Illinois," Ryan said. "I will look to this group to be my partner in solving the problems and putting its recommendations into action by working with the General Assembly, government agencies, the business community and other organizations."

Ryan also named a new leadership team for the Commission. Lt. Gov. Corinne Wood will serve as honorary chair, while Judy Gold, a partner in Chicago law firm Altheimer & Gray, will be chair.

A total of 24 members were named to the group, including 11 who served on the original Commission created last year by Gov. Jim Edgar. The Commission also will have five ex-officio members, including Hazel Loucks, deputy governor for education; Kathy Selcke, deputy governor for programs and policy; Bridget Lamont, policy director; staff coordinator Ellen Solomon; and a member of the Conference of Women Legislators, to be named at a later date.

Ryan said he expects the group to focus on improving economic opportunity for women, the key need identified in the report submitted last December by the original Commission.

Ryan and Wood have pledged to pursue several initiatives to promote equity for women, including:

* Increasing funding for education and job training programs to help women move successfully into well-paid fields that are now dominated by men.

* Improving the business climate for women-owned businesses, especially by expanding the number of government contracts awarded to women-owned firms and by improving access to credit.

* Expanding a tax credit for businesses that offer child care programs, increasing state funding for after-school care programs and supporting child care services for the poor.

* Creating an "Illinois Workforce Advantage" -- programs and initiatives that will give Illinois a competitive edge by addressing the needs of working families through "family-friendly" policies, such as "flex-time," expanded work-at-home opportunities and family leave.

###


THE GOVERNOR'S COMMISSION ON THE STATUS OF WOMEN IN ILLINOIS

Honorary Chair
The Honorable Corinne G. Wood
Lieutenant Governor of Illinois

Chair
Ms. Judy Gold
Partner, Altheimer & Gray
Chicago


Reverend Willie Barrows
Operation PUSH
Chicago

Norman Bobins
President & CEO
LaSalle National Bank
Chicago

John Bryan
Chairman & CEO
Sara Lee Corporation

Marylou Crane*
Executive Director
Lincoln Excellence in Public Schools Series
Winfield

Mary Cameron Frey*
Columnist
Chicago Sun-Times
Chicago

Cary Sue Groth*
Director, Intercollegiate Athletics
Northern Illinois University
DeKalb

Christine Helen Grumm*
Executive Director
Chicago Foundation for Women
Chicago

Kaethe Hoffer
Attorney
Legal Assistance Foundation of Chicago
Chicago

Anne Ladky*
Executive Director
Women Employed
Chicago

Judy McCaskey*
Elementary School Teacher
C.C.S.D. #15
Palatine

Molly Norwood
Board Member
IL Community College Board
Carbondale

Margarita Perez
President
Fortaleza Asset Management
Chicago

Miriam "Mim" Pride*
President
Blackburn College
Carlinville

Hedy Ratner*
Co-Director
Women's Business Development Center
Chicago

Audrey Rone-Peeples*
CEO
YMCA of Metropolitan Chicago
Chicago

Kathleen Rothschild
Public Affairs Consultant
Glenview

Barbara Shaw
Director
Illinois Violence Prevention Authority
Chicago

Lauren Sugerman*
Executive Director
Chicago Women in Trades
Chicago

Jayne Carr Thompson*
Executive Vice President
DHR International
Chicago

Christina Pederson Tinning
Single Mother
Hoffman Estates

Joyce Watson
President
IL Agriculture Leadership Foundation
Macomb

Cynthia Williams
Executive Director
Austin People's Action Center
Chicago

Julia Zhu
Director of Chinese Banking
Citibank, F.S.B.

(Ex Officio)

Ellen Solomon, Staff Coordinator
Deputy Gov. Dr. Hazel Loucks
Deputy Gov. Katherine Selcke
Policy Director Bridget Lamont
Member of the Conference of Women Legislators

* Member of original Commission


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