CHICAGO - Governor Pat Quinn today made a number of key appointments to the state’s boards and commissions. In addition to three university boards, the governor filled positions on the Illinois Commerce Commission, the Illinois Housing Development Authority, the Health Information Exchange Authority and the Torture Inquiry and Relief Commission, and several other boards and commissions. Today’s announcement continues his commitment to making Illinois government more accountable, transparent and effective.
“I’m pleased to announce the appointment of talented, qualified individuals to these important state boards and commissions,” Governor Quinn said. “Their fresh perspectives, energy and commitment to public service will help move Illinois forward.”
As a result of Governor Quinn’s unprecedented efforts to make the executive appointment process more accessible and transparent, citizens who are interested in serving on boards and commissions can now apply online.
The governor’s appointments are as follows:
Blind Services Planning Council:
Alyson Slaughter, of Alton, is an attorney and is president of the Illinois Association of Blind Students. She holds a bachelor’s degree in Mass Communications and Sociology from St. Mary’s College and a JD with a certificate in Health Law Studies from the St. Louis University School of Law.
Board of Credit Union Advisors:
Keith Burton, of Granite City, is executive vice president of GCS Credit Union, where he has worked since 1986. He holds a bachelor’s degree in Business Administration from Southern Illinois University-Edwardsville.
Carnival-Amusement Safety Board:
William Sparks (reappointed), of New Douglas, is a former assistant bureau chief for the Illinois State Police, where he worked for more than 30 years. He is a veteran of the U.S. Army and the Illinois National Guard and is a certified amusement ride safety inspector and a former owner of his own amusement company. He was first appointed in 2011.
East St. Louis Financial Advisory Authority:
Clarence Ellis Sr. (reappointed), of East St. Louis, has served on the authority since 2010 and is a longtime community leader with experience as education instructor and administrator and non-profit director. Ellis is also the former chairman of the East St. Louis Planning Commission and is a veteran of the United States Marine Corps.
Governor’s State University:
Bruce Friefeld (reappointed) is the Chief of Staff for the Will County Board and has served as a Governor’s State trustee since 1996. Friefeld earned a JD from the DePaul University College of Law and is a longtime public servant and a veteran of the United States Naval Reserves.
Anibal Taboas, of Woodridge, is the president and CEO of Aspira Inc., a not-for-profit organization supporting the education of underserved populations in Chicago. Taboas earned master’s degrees in Mechanical/Nuclear Engineering from Northwestern University and in Physics from Indiana State University.
Lorraine Tyson, of Chicago, is a partner at the Pugh, Jones & Johnson law firm, where she specializes in public finance and tax law. Tyson earned a bachelor’s degree from Northwestern University and a JD from the University Of Illinois College Of Law.
Illinois Commerce Commission:
Sherina Maye is an associate in the Chicago office of Locke Lord LLP where she has focused on consumer finance litigation. She earned her undergraduate degree from Spelman College in Atlanta and graduated from Howard University School of Law in Washington, D.C. Sherina is a mentor at the Young Women’s Leadership Charter School, member of the National Executive Board of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc., a Founding Board Member of the Great Lakes Academy Charter School, and serves as an Associate Board Member for the Chicago Committee for Minorities in Large Law Firms. Maye’s strong background in business and consumer finance litigation will be invaluable to the ICC as it continues to serve as a watchdog for Illinois consumers.
Illinois Finance Authority:
Roger Poole (reappointed) of Smithton, worked as a business representative for the Machinists District #9 for 30 years before retiring in 2009. He also works on economic development and job creation strategy as a member of the Southwestern Illinois Development Authority, where he has served since 2008. He and his wife Rosalie have two sons and two grandchildren.
Illinois Health Information Exchange Authority:
Bechara Choucair (reappointed) has served as Commissioner of the Chicago Department of Public Health. Under his leadership the department unveiled the first citywide comprehensive health agenda, “Healthy Chicago.” Dr. Choucair received his MD from American University of Beirut-Lebanon.
Robert Wellman (reappointed) has been affiliated with the Carle Foundation for nearly 30 years and currently works for the Carle Foundation Hospital, a teaching hospital for the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign College of Medicine. Dr. Wellman received his MD from the University of Michigan.
Mark Neaman (reappointed) is the president and CEO of NorthShore University Health System, a $1.6 billion integrated health system, which includes four hospitals, a 650-physician multispecialty group practice, and a Research Institute. Northshore is also an academic affiliate of The University of Chicago Pritzker School of Medicine, where Mr. Neaman holds a faculty appointment of BioMedicine Fellow. Neaman received his undergraduate and master’s degrees in Business/Healthcare Administration from Ohio State University.
Illinois Housing Development Authority:
Cristina Castro, of Elgin, is a member of the Kane County Board, where she serves on the Executive, Finance and Budget and Human Services committees. She earned an MBA from Northern Illinois University and is currently employed as a Marketing and Public Relations Specialist at Elgin Community College.
Salvatore (Sam) Tornatore, of Roselle, is a graduate of the John Marshall Law School and DePaul University in Chicago. He is a principal in the Tornatore Law Office located in Bloomingdale and Roselle. He has served on the DuPage County Board, the Roselle Village Board, the Roselle Zoning Board of Appeals and he is currently serving as a Bloomingdale Township Trustee.
Maternal and Child Health Advisory Board:
Elizabeth SA Patton-Whiteside (reappointed), of East St. Louis, has been a registered nurse in Illinois and Missouri for more than 35 years and currently works for the East St. Louis Department of Public Health. She has served on numerous state and local boards.
Public Guardian, Adams County:
Chris Scholz, of Quincy, is an attorney and partner at Scholz, Loos, Palmer, Siebers and Duesterhaus law firm in Quincy. He is a former Illinois Assistant Attorney General and Assistant State’s Attorney for Adams County. Since 1993, he has served as assistant or chief corporation counsel for the city of Quincy. He is an active member of the community, holding a variety of positions including past president of the Adams County Bar Association. He holds a bachelor’s degree from Western Illinois University and a JD from Mercer University.
Public Guardian, Brown County:
Janet Miley, of Mount Sterling, has managed operations at Brown County High School for 20 years. She and her husband formerly owned and operated their own memorial business. She holds a business degree from Gem City College in Quincy.
Public Guardian, Jackson County:
Shannon Rieckenberg, of Ava, is an attorney at Arbeiter Law Offices specializing in family law and estate planning. She previously completed externships in the Office of the William County State’s Attorney and with the First Judicial Circuit Court of Illinois. She earned a bachelor’s degree and a JD from Southern Illinois University-Carbondale.
Southern Illinois University Board of Trustees:
Sandra Cook, of Collinsville, is a retired Master Sergeant who served the United States Marine Corps from 1979 until 2001. Following her military career, she earned her undergraduate degree and JD from SIU-Carbondale. She is a senior associate at the Belleville office of Brown & James Law Firm, and the proud mother of two U.S. Army combat veterans.
Dr. Melvin Terrell, of Chicago, served from 1988-2008 as vice president for Student Affairs and professor of Counselor Education at Northeastern Illinois University, where he founded the minority mentorship program, which was designed to improve the persistence and academic goals of Hispanic and African American students. Dr. Terrell is past president of the National Association of Student Affairs Professionals (NASAP) and served as editor of the NASAP Journal for eleven years. He earned his PhD in Higher Education and Black Studies from Southern Illinois University in 1978.
Lee Milner, of Springfield, is the manager of Public Affairs for the Mississippi Valley Regional Blood Center. He is a U.S. Army veteran and served at the Illinois State Board of Education for nearly 25 years, where he spent time as manager of the Communications division and as a member of the executive cabinet for the State Superintendent of Education. Lee earned his bachelor’s degree from SIU-Carbondale and his master’s in Public Administration from what is now the University of Illinois Springfield. He is currently on the Board for the Lincoln Land Community College Foundation and serves as president of the FBI Springfield Citizens Academy Alumni Association. Milner's father, four siblings and his two children also attended SIUC.
Southwestern Illinois Development Authority:
Gregory Kuehnel, of Bethalto, is a manufacturing representative for AC Systems and spent 20 years at Amoco Oil, where he rose to senior contract coordinator. He is a former director of facilities for the East Alton Elementary School District and is a veteran of the United States Navy.
Torture Inquiry and Relief Commission:
Craig Futterman, of Chicago, is a law professor at the University of Chicago Law School and was formerly the director of Public Interest Programs at Stanford Law School, where he also earned his JD. He is a former Cook County Public Defender and federal civil rights litigator. He founded the Civil Rights and Police Accountability Project at the University of Chicago’s Mandel Legal Aid Clinic.
Neil Toppel (reappointed) of Chicago, is a former public defender and received his JD from IIT Chicago-Kent College of Law.
Leonard Cavise (reappointed) is a professor at DePaul University College of Law and alumnus of Georgetown Law.
Tri-City Regional Port District
Andy Economy (reappointed), of Madison, is the Venice Township Supervisor and has served on the Tri-City Regional Port District since 2005. He also owns his own auto body repair and towing business.
Western Illinois University Board of Trustees:
Yvonne Savala, of Moline, is currently the operations director at the Midwest Intellectual Property Management Institute. She received a bachelor’s degree in Business Management and Technology from St. Ambrose University and an MPA with an Executive Development emphasis from Drake University.
Roger Clawson, of Moline, is a past president of the Western Illinois Alumni Association and earned his bachelor’s degree in Business and Finance from WIU-Macomb in 1977. He was a member of a task force to create the Moline WIU campus and currently works as a State Farm Insurance Agent. He is active in the community, where he has served as president of the Moline Park Board and as director of the Moline Little League.
Carolyn Ehlert Fuller (reappointed) of Milan, has served on the WIU board since 1998, where she has been president twice. She recently retired from Deere & Company as director of Public Affairs & Program Support, Public Affairs Worldwide. Having worked at Deere & Company since 1979, she also served as manager of Illinois Government Affairs and manager of Public Policy Planning. She received her MBA from St. Ambrose University and her bachelor’s from Marycrest College.
Of Illinois’ more than 320 boards and commissions, 23 are compensated: six of which are full-time, paid positions while the remaining 14 are part-time or per diem. The remaining more than 290 boards are unpaid, volunteer boards. Board salaries are set by Illinois statute. Governor Quinn is conducting a top-to-bottom review of Illinois’ boards and commissions to seek out ways to increase efficiency while protecting essential boards in place that are needed.
For more information on all of the state’s boards and commissions, or to apply to serve on a board, please visit Appointments.Illinois.gov.