Our mission is to support the interests, success and prosperity of our members and the business community.
Since joining the Chamber in 1994, Todd Maisch has made engaging coalitions of employers the cornerstone of the Chamber’s reputation as the state’s leading business advocate. He puts in practice the Chamber’s vision that in helping build stronger businesses, we build a stronger Illinois. President and CEO of the Chamber since 2014, Maisch’s leadership of a team of policy experts, business advocates, and communicators impacts the legislative, regulatory and judicial branches of government. His influence has created a network of pro-business advocates both on a state and national level. Sound tax and fiscal policy, reducing the regulatory burden on employers, pro-active economic development, promoting innovation and greater investment in our critical infrastructure are all key priorities for Maisch and the Chamber. In addition, he has led the Chamber to become the voice of business at the ballot box, supporting pro-business candidates that share the same priorities. A native of Peoria, Maisch earned an MBA from Illinois State University and a Bachelor of Science degree from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. Maisch serves as co-chair of the Transportation for Illinois Coalition, serves on the Steering Committee of the Illinois Business Immigration Coalition, and is a member of the U.S. Chamber Committee of 100. Maisch and his wife, Kim, have two children and reside in Springfield.
Meghan Woltman is the vice president of government and community relations for Advocate Health Care, the largest provider of health services in Illinois. She leads Advocate's efforts in Springfield, IL and Washington, D.C. and works with hospital-based teams to build local partnerships with elected officials and community stakeholders and to communicate the policy priorities of the system. Meghan has been with Advocate since 2006, when she joined the system as director of government relations with a specific focus on state issues. Since that time, her responsibilities have expanded to include all levels of government as well as community health strategy. Meghan is the past Vice-Chairman of the Illinois Chamber of Commerce and has been a director on the board since 2011. She also sits on the Chicago Women in Government Relations board of directors as well. She earned her Bachelor’s degree from St. Louis University in communication and marketing and also completed her Master's degree at St. Louis University through a research fellowship focused on political rhetoric and journalism. Meghan and her husband live in River Forrest and have three children, the youngest being 10 months old.
Candace Gerritsen serves as Chief Operating Officer for the Chamber. She is responsible for budgeting and financial management, human resources/personnel management, contractual agreements, legal services, and facilities management as well as interfacing with the Board of Directors. Most recently serving as Vice President of Operations, Gerritsen joined the Chamber staff as Executive Assistant to the President in November 2001 in which she worked closely with President and CEO Doug Whitley.
Gerritsen previously served with a computer consulting company as Office Manager for eight years where she facilitated day-to-day activities of the office, worked with the President and Regional Director, and was the Human Resources Coordinator.
Gerritsen earned her bachelor's degree in international studies with a minor in business administration from Millikin University and a certificate under the Society of Human Resource Management from DePaul University in Chicago.
We are a team of dedicated individuals with the shared goal of creating a stronger business and stronger Illinois.
Jeanette is currently the Chicago Office Manager and Operations Assistant. In her current role, she manages the Chicago Office and assist the Chief Operating Officer. She has been with the Illinois Chamber since November 1983. Jeanette is that friendly voice who has been answering the Chicago main phone line since she started. Throughout her years with the Chamber, she started as the receptionist and was later promoted to the Membership Department as a Secretary where she provided assistance to the Vice President and the membership staff. Jeanette was promoted in 1999 to the Finance Department as Supervisor of Financial Transactions. In 2001, Jeanette assumed the duties of Office Manager. In 2015, she was promoted to the assistant to the COO. She also assists the Council Directors and continues to assist the Membership Department and the Finance Department in its efforts.
Jim has served with the Illinois Chamber for over 24 years, currently doing member retention. He calls all members to ensure that they understand the Chambers’ involvement on legislative issues and the impact of these issues on the members’ business. He answers questions of the members regarding the benefits of Illinois Chamber membership and the critical issues that will affect their business and employees. Having a background in the machine tool and quality control background for over 10 years gave Jim the necessary background to talk with manufacturers, fabricators etc. about how statewide legislation affects their bottom line. Since coming to the association world in 1985 he has worked with the US Chamber of Commerce, Florida Chamber and Chicagoland Chamber. Jim received his degree in Music Education from SIU-C and holds a two-year degree in Automotive Technology as well.
As the Director of Communication and Advocacy, Whitney Barnes helps advance the Chamber's initiatives and promote its members through media outreach and grassroots advocacy. She works closely with the Chamber President and CEO, Chamber staff and partners to craft and distribute the Chamber's message of building stronger business and a stronger Illinois. Prior to the Chamber, Barnes worked in strategic communications as a senior communications specialist in the Office of the Illinois Governor and as the public information officer for the Illinois Department of Insurance. She has promoted Illinois entrepreneurs as a freelance writer for local and trade publications and helped small businesses grow through multimedia consulting. She is passionate about the intersection of communications and public policy and has worked for the Illinois General Assembly and on state and federal political campaigns. Barnes earned her bachelor's degree in broadcast journalism from Columbia College Chicago.
Callie is the Executive Assistant to President and CEO Todd Maisch. In this position, she is responsible for arranging travel and correspondence, scheduling meetings, and organizing a daily calendar for Mr. Maisch. Callie joined the Illinois Chamber of Commerce in 2016. Prior to her position at the Chamber she worked at Blue Cross and Blue Shield, where she assisted healthcare providers and members navigate Affordable Care Act policies. The native of Pleasant Plains is helping the team run smoothly.
Kirsten came to the Chamber with a background in Customer Service, Management and Marketing. Some of the locations she has worked include Family Video as a store manager, her family's restaurant where she served many roles including assisting with a new marketing plan for the business. Kirsten graduated from the University of Illinois Springfield in December 2014, with a Bachelor of Arts in Business and Marketing.
Tyler tracks and engages on a broad swath of legislation of importance to Chamber members, including emerging technology issues. He works closely with the Chamber President and CEO and the various executive directors of Chamber's policy councils to help ensure the competitiveness of Chamber members at the Illinois capitol. In addition, he is the editor of the Chamber’s weekly Government Affairs Report. Tyler comes to the Illinois Chamber of Commerce from the Senate Republican staff where he was a legislative analyst. Tyler graduated cum laude at Southern Illinois University with a Bachelor of Arts degree in political science.
Candace is Illinois Chamber’s Chief Operating Officer. She works with the President of the Illinois Chamber and Illinois Chamber Board of Directors. She is responsible for budgeting, financial management, human resources/personnel management, contractual agreements, legal services, and facilities management. Prior to her current position, Candace held various leadership and support roles, such as Vice President and Associate Vice President of Operations, since joining the Illinois Chamber in 2001 as Executive Assistant to the President. She has over 25 years of small business entrepreneurial experience combined within the private and public sectors in the food, computer and non-profit industries in operations, human resources, personnel and management. Gerritsen holds a bachelor's degree in international studies with a minor in business administration from Millikin University and a certificate under the Society of Human Resource Management from DePaul University in Chicago.
Peggy is the Membership Accounts Manager in this position, she works closely with the Executive Staff, Vice President of Membership and Marketing and with the Directors of Corporate Partnerships. She is responsible for the Chamber members annual billing and other member related invoicing along with maintaining the Chambers’ membership database. Peggy joined the Illinois Chamber staff in February of 1983. During her tenure she was the Administrative Assistant to the Vice President of Membership Sales and Services. Peggy was promoted to Membership Retention Executive in June of 1996. As membership executive she was responsible for $2.5 million in renewal revenues. Her duties included contacting member companies for membership renewal and obtaining feed-back from members on issues that impact their operations in Illinois. Other responsibilities include: assisting members with export documentation information on Certificates of Origin, Affidavits, Chamber of Commerce Declarations and supplying general information to members and non-members.
Pam joined the Illinois Chamber of Commerce in 2011 as a Human Resources Specialist / Event and Publication Sales Representative. Pam handles publication sales and registrations for seminars, webinars, and conferences. She enjoys helping customers find the information and training needs that are best for their organization. Pam previously worked for the Illinois Chamber for 3 years as the Human Resources Information Manager. Before working for the Illinois Chamber, Pam had a strong background in Human Resources including 10 years working as a Human Resources Manager for various manufacturing companies. With this background in Human Resources, Pam understands the products and events of the Illinois Chamber and can better assist members and clients to make informed decisions about what they need to run their business successfully. Pam holds a Bachelor’s degree in business with a concentration in Human Resources from Trinity Christian College, in Palos Heights, IL.
Rachael came to the Illinois Chamber of Commerce with a background in customer service, sales, and marketing from past retail positions. Some of the locations she worked at were Enterprise Rent-a-car as a manager trainee, and JCPenney as a supervisor. In both positions, she gained a sense of urgency in productivity and helped other employees reach sales and customer service goals. She started at the Chamber as the receptionist and marketing assistant, working hand in hand with all the chamber staff and business services department. Rachael soon got promoted to the Business Services Coordinator, a position which she currently holds. As the Business Service Coordinator she sets up and holds events, manages social media for the business services department, and much more. She is an eager employee with an optimistic attitude. She is always willing to take on more for growth and opportunity. Rachael Krekel graduated from Southern Illinois University at Carbondale with a Bachelor of Science degree in Marketing.
Rebecca Mason serves as the Executive Director of the Illinois Chamber’s Infrastructure Council, which focuses on transportation systems and public works that are essential to sustaining the Illinois economy: roads, bridges, freight and passenger rail service, waterway shipping, airports, as well as access to water and sanitary sewage treatment. She also serves as the Chamber’s Vice President of Policy. Prior to joining the Chamber, Rebecca spent six years handling public and legislative communications, research, and government affairs for the Transportation for Illinois Coalition, a coalition of business, industry, local Chambers of Commerce, organized labor, and local government interests advocating for Illinois’ transportation infrastructure system. Rebecca is a summa cum laude graduate of Bradley University with a degree in History.
Joan will be developing long term relationships for the Illinois Chamber with new members, partners and constituents alike. In her career, Joan worked with the Naperville Area Chamber of Commerce in various member and corporate relations, board development and marketing roles. She also has worked as an Associate Director with University of Chicago in career development and corporate relations. Joan is very familiar working with employers, highly technical personnel and working conferences, alumni events, etc. During her career, she has developed working relationships with C- level individuals in the business, educational and non- profit community in roles of business development and fundraising. Joan holds a Bachelor's Degree in Organizational/Corporate Communication from Northern Illinois University.
Laura is the Executive Director of the International Business Council in this role her objective is to increase global trading opportunities for Illinois and bringing needed Investments and jobs to our state. Laura works with the local, state and federal government as well as foreign agencies and representations advocating for proactive international trade and Immigration policies focusing on issues of competition, market access, export facilitation, FTAs and FDI. She also serves as a vital facilitator for business leads in the region helping member companies to access, develop and implement international growth strategies. Prior to the IBC Laura was with the Spanish Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Cooperation at the Legal Office for Consular Affairs in Madrid where she conducted legal matters relative to international judicial cooperation, treaty implementation, and the protection of Spanish citizens abroad. Laura has Bachelor's Degree in Law from the Universidad de Cordoba, Spain and a L.L.M from Universidad National de Educacion a Distancia (UNED), Madrid. She also holds a M.A. in Diplomacy & International Relations from the Diplomatic School of Spain with concentration on International Commerce.
Jay has more than 30 years of lobbying experience in employment law issues, he is the leading authority at the Statehouse from issues ranging from workers’ compensation to employment discrimination and from unemployment insurance to workplace benefit mandates. He is one of the state’s most respected business lobbyist and association executive. Jay formed Shattuck & Associates Consulting, Inc. in 1997 and works for the Chamber as an outside consultant. His imprint can be found on a wide range of business statues and regulations considered by the General Assembly and Illinois state government for nearly forty years. Mr. Shattuck is a graduate of the University of Illinois with a Bachelor’s Degree in Political Science. He has been a Certified Association Executive (CAE) for 25 years actively involved in a number of professional and civic organizations, he is a past president of the Illinois Society of Association Executives (ISAE), and a past chairman of BIFEC.
Laurie is responsible for planning, budgeting, marketing and presentation of all seminars, conferences and webinars. She is also responsible for compliance publications and all non-dues revenue programs and is the editor/publisher of the Illinois Business Leader magazine, the Illinois Chamber's print publication Laurie was a previous business owner, publishing a motorsports magazine for 20 years, with experience in publishing and page layout, extensive event planning, promotions and marketing of an annual consumer trade show and several annual motorsports events. She most recently served as Executive Director of Menard County Tourism Council, where she designed and maintained their website, planned monthly and annual meetings, promotions and marketing of county tourism fundraisers. She was also Regional Administrative Coordinator of the Great Lakes Region of Horace Mann Insurance Corporation, planning numerous conferences, rallies, and district meetings. Laurie is a graduate of Eastern Illinois University and has received her Certified Association Executive (CAE) designation.
Keith is an attorney who has been involved in state and local tax since 1990. Keith is the Executive Director of the Illinois Chamber of Commerce Tax Institute. He previously was a director in Grant Thornton's State and Local Tax (SALT) practice in Chicago, where he was involved in tax planning, consulting, and dispute resolution in all areas of state and local taxation. Prior to rejoining Grant Thornton in 2010, Keith was Counsel at McDermott Will & Emery in Chicago where he specialized in multistate tax planning, consulting and litigation. Keith served as general counsel of the Illinois Department of Revenue, and was on the legal staff of the Illinois Department of Revenue for over 10 years. Keith is a member of the Illinois State Bar Association, the Chicago Bar Association, and is a professional affiliate member of the Illinois CPA Society. He is a member of the Illinois State Bar Association State and Local Tax Section council. He is a member and past chairman of the Illinois CPA Society State and Local Tax Committee. He has a Bachelor of Arts degree from Milllikin University, and graduated with honors from the Illinois Institute of Technology Chicago-Kent College of Law.
Katie is the Executive Director of the Energy Council. Katie engages local, state, and federal officials on key energy issues, advocating for smart energy policy that produces affordable, reliable energy in an environmentally sound manner. Further, Katie engages the legislature on other key business issues. Katie started with the Chamber in 2015. Her experience includes over ten years of government work, beginning with Lt. Gov. Pat Quinn as a policy fellow focused on energy issues. She then worked for Congressman Jerry Costello in Washington D.C. Katie worked on key energy policy, helping to move forward key initiatives such as ensuring regulatory fairness in the energy economy and expanding access to renewable energy resources. She also staffed the Congressman on the House Science and Technology Committee’s Energy Subcommittee. Katie is a graduate of the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. She spent a semester in Belgium and a year teaching English in Prague, Czech Republic.
Aaron brings his experience as the Governor Rauner’s top policy aide and Capitol Hill contacts to the complex issue of healthcare, both in Springfield and Washington, DC. As the Healthcare Council executive director, he represents the diverse voices of the healthcare community and advocates for market-based solutions that expand access to high-quality healthcare options. Prior to joining the Illinois Chamber, Aaron served as Governor Bruce Rauner's deputy chief of staff for policy. In that role he acted as the Governor’s primary policy adviser and ran the administration’s legislative review process, making more than 400 bill action recommendations. Prior to serving in the administration, he was the deputy transition director for the Bruce Rauner Transition Committee and the policy director for Citizens for Rauner. Aaron also previously served as a senior adviser to U.S. Senator Mark Kirk in Washington, DC. He is a graduate of Northwestern University and lives in Chicago.