CHICAGO – February 18, 2009. On Wednesday Governor Pat Quinn named a dozen staff members to his Administration. They include:
Jack Lavin – Chief Operating Officer
Lavin will primarily focus on directing the Federal stimulus program for Illinois while assisting in the management of the Governor’s office. He has served as the Director of the Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity since 2003. Lavin has a Master’s degree in business with a specialization in finance as well as a Master’s degree in international relations from the University of Chicago.
Carolyn Brown Hodge – Deputy Chief of Staff
Hodge will assist the Chief of Staff in running the Office of the Governor in Springfield. She was previously the Director of Rural Affairs in the Office of the Lt. Governor. Hodge has been a leader on the Rural Health Task Force, the Rural Water Task Force and the Broadband Deployment Council.
Simone McNeil – Director of Operations
McNeil will oversee the day-to-day operations of the Governor’s Office, a position she also held for six years in the Office of the Lt. Governor. She brings a depth of management experience, including serving for four years as Human Resources Director in the Office of the State Treasurer. McNeil has a Bachelor’s degree from the University of Illinois.
Robert Reed – Director of Communications
Reed will manage media relations, a position he also held with the Office of the Lt. Governor. He has an extensive journalism background previously working for Business Week, Chicago magazine, Bloomberg Business News, WBBM-Newsradio 780 and as editor of Crain’s Chicago Business. Reed has a Bachelor of Science degree in journalism from Northern Illinois University.
Michelle Saddler – Director of Policy
Saddler will oversee a number of policy initiatives including economic development, health care, education, housing, fiscal policy and ethics. She brings strong financial management and public policy experience, serving as Director of Investments for four years in the Office of the State Treasurer and later managing one of the nation’s top performing investment pools for nearly 200 Illinois municipalities. She holds a bachelor’s degree from Princeton University’s Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs and a Master’s degree in Management from the Northwestern Kellogg School of Management.
LaDawn Burnett – Senior Policy Advisor
Burnett will work on a range of policy initiatives including economic development, health care, education and fiscal matters. Previously, Burnett was the Director of Policy and Issues for the Office of Lt. Governor. She has a Bachelor’s degree in English and Political Science from Valparaiso University.
Kate Tomford – Director of Sustainability
Tomford will manage and advocate for the implementation of the Governor’s green initiatives throughout the state. Well versed in environmental policy and sustainability initiatives, she was previously a Senior Policy Advisor in the Office of the Lt. Governor, tasked with overseeing the Green Governments Coordinating Council and other green projects. Tomford received a Bachelor’s degree from Harvard University and a Master’s in environmental science and policy from the University Of Chicago Harris School Of Public Policy.
Cory Foster – Director of Community Affairs
Foster will act as a liaison to diverse communities throughout Illinois, a position he also held for two years with the Office of the Lt. Governor. He has extensive background working with faith-based institutions and managing educational service programs, such as the Learn and Serve America Program with State Board of Education. Foster also has extensively worked on media and event coordination efforts. He has a Bachelor’s degree in criminal justice from Drury University.
Jennifer Hoelzle – Director of Scheduling & Advance
Hoelzle will manage the Governor’s schedule as well as coordinate travel and logistics. She was Director of Intergovernmental Affairs in the Office of the Lt. Governor. She holds a Master’s degree from Northwestern’s Medill School of Journalism.
Jay Stewart – Senior Counsel
Stewart will provide legal counsel to the Governor and assist the General Counsel in a number of capacities. He was previously the Executive Director of the Better Government Association. Stewart graduated from DePaul University College of Law.
Sean Vinck – Chief Legislative Counsel
Vinck will be the Governor’s primary representative in the Illinois General Assembly. He has worked with Illinois legislators over the past two years as Legislative Counsel to the Lt. Governor. Vinck received a Bachelor’s degree, Master’s degree and J.D. from the University of Notre Dame.
David Vaught – Senior Advisor to the Governor
Vaught will consult and advise the Governor on a range of policy matters, including fiscal and economic development issues. He previously served Governor Quinn as a key advisor in the Office of the State Treasurer. Vaught is a West Point graduate.