SPRINGFIELD – Gov. Rod R. Blagojevich today appointed Col. Randal E. Thomas as Adjutant General and director of Military Affairs, and marketing veteran Carolyn Adams as the new superintendent of the Illinois Lottery.
Col. Thomas has over 25 years of military experience. He was commissioned as an Army officer at Ft. Benning, Georgia in 1967. He served for three years on active duty, including one year in Vietnam, and earned numerous decorations for his service, including the Purple Heart and the Bronze Star with Valor device.
Thomas returned to service in 1983 when he joined the Illinois National Guard. He commanded the C Company, 2-130 Infantry in Litchfield; was Battalion Commander of the 2nd Bn, 130th Infantry in Urbana; and has had three tours at the Regional Training Institute in Springfield. He is currently Commander of the 66th Infantry Brigade.
“Colonel Thomas has commanded military units at almost every level. I have confidence in his ability to lead and advise during this time when our military plays an increasingly important role in domestic security,” said Blagojevich.
In his new role as Adjutant General, Thomas will be the governor’s principal advisor on military matters. He will serve as the senior officer in the chain of command for both the Illinois Army and Air National Guard, and will be responsible for the daily operations of the Illinois National Guard and the civilian employees in the Department of Military Affairs.
Thomas, 56, was born in Glen Carbon, Illinois, and now lives in Gillespie. He holds a bachelor’s degree in English from Southern Illinois Universtiy, a master’s degree in education from SIU, and a master’s in strategic studies from the U.S. Army War College in Carlisle, Pennsylvania. He taught English at Hillsboro High School for seven years before becoming the school’s librarian in 1980.
Thomas will start as Adjutant General on June 9, and will be paid $98,200.
The Department of Lottery was recently folded into the Department of Revenue as part of Gov. Blagojevich’s effort to streamline state government. Carolyn Adams will lead the Lottery division, reporting to Brian Hamer, director of the Department of Revenue.
“Carolyn is in a great position to head the Illinois Lottery. Her solid background in marketing and incredible energy will be useful in promoting a program that provides a significant source of funding for education,” said Blagojevich.
Since its inception in 1974, the lottery has contributed more than $11 billion to public education in Illinois.
Adams, 41, is a senior account manager for Clear Channel Communications, the largest media-owned corporation in the country, where she has worked for eight years. Her clients have included a number of multi-million dollar corporations as well as state agencies, including the Illinois Lottery. She is in the top 5% of account managers nationwide for Clear Channel.
Before joining Clear Channel, Adams worked in the marketing departments for WGN and WVON, both Chicago radio stations.
Adams grew up on Chicago’s south side, where she still resides with her six-year old son Tre. She earned her bachelor’s degree in communications from Columbia College.
Adams will start her new position on July 1, and will be paid $105,366.
Neither position requires Senate confirmation.