Richard Mark is Chairman and President of Ameren Illinois, which has over $3.2 billion in annual revenue and delivers energy to 1.4 million electric and natural gas customers. Joining Ameren in 2002 as Vice President of Customer Service, he quickly rose to the position of Senior Vice President of Ameren Missouri Energy Delivery, becoming the first African American in that position. He was appointed President of Ameren Illinois in 2012. His prior experience includes six years as President and Chief Executive Officer and five years as Chief Operating Officer of St. Mary’s Hospital in East St. Louis. He also led the East St. Louis District 189 Financial Oversight Panel.
Richard has been instrumental in shaping regulatory policy that is transforming the energy sector in Illinois. He led a bold initiative that expanded access to energy efficiency programs and cost-saving tools for all customers, while paving the way for greater access to renewable energy. Under his direction, Ameren Illinois is modernizing the Illinois electric grid, installing smart technologies, improving reliability, and creating thousands of jobs in communities throughout central and southern Illinois.
Richard has received three honorary doctorate degrees for his civic and community work along with numerous awards and honors. In 2019 he was awarded the Senator Richard H. Newhouse award from the Illinois Legislative Black Caucus Foundation and the Leadership Award from the Midwest Energy Efficiency Alliance. In 2018 he received the Leadership Award from the Springfield NAACP, the Visionary Award from the Foundation Fighting Blindness, and was named one of the Most Powerful Executives in America by Black Enterprise Magazine. In 2017, Richard received the Heritage Award from the Illinois Legislative Sportsman Caucus. Other honors include Illinois Black Chamber of Commerce’s Outstanding Corporate Leadership Award (2015), African-American Career World magazine’s Top 10 national business leaders (2015), a Telly Award for Ameren’s Employee Communications video magazine (2015), and Who’s Who in Energy recognition by the St. Louis Business Journal (2015). He was named one of Savoy Magazine’s Top 100 Most Influential Blacks in Corporate America for 2016 and 2014.
Richard achieved fellowship status from the National Association of Corporate Directors (NACD) in 2017. He serves on a variety of boards and organizations including Tenet Healthcare, Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library Foundation Board, Madison Mutual Insurance Board, Leadership Council of Southwestern Illinois, Fontbonne University, and the St. Louis Regional Business Council.
Jim Wong is the founder, former CEO, and now active board member of Brilliant™, an award-winning search, staffing and management resources firm. Jim is a certified public accountant (inactive) and possesses more than 20 years of experience in the accounting and staffing industry and has been recognized as one of the most influential people in the industry. Prior to Brilliant, Jim co-founded and led Chicago’s largest, independently-owned finance and accounting staffing company, which was successfully sold to a NYSE staffing company. Jim graduated from Northern Illinois University (NIU) with a bachelor’s degree in accounting. He is an active member of the Illinois CPA Society, the NIU Department of Accountancy Board of Advisors, and a board member of the Northern Illinois Executive Club.
Melissa Y. Washington serves as Senior Vice President of Governmental and External Affairs. Washington leads legislative affairs, external affairs, large customer services and economic development for ComEd. She also oversees ComEd’s relationships with civic and charitable organizations.
Washington joined Exelon in 2003 and has held several roles of increasing responsibility for Exelon and ComEd throughout her tenure with the company. She most recently served as Vice President of Governmental and External Affairs.
Prior to that role, Washington served as Vice President of External Affairs and Large Customer Services where she built and sustained relationships with municipalities, communities and large customers.
From 2014-2016, she played a leading role in the successful merger between Exelon and Pepco Holdings while serving as the Vice President of Corporate Affairs in Washington, D.C. Washington also served as Vice President of Regulatory Policy and Strategy for ComEd, where she managed the company’s relationships with the Illinois Commerce Commission and its staff, as well as other regulatory bodies. Before joining ComEd’s regulatory team, she was the Director of Investor Relations for Exelon. In that role, she was responsible for communicating Exelon’s value proposition, financial results and performance drivers to the financial community.
Washington is a board member of the Metropolitan Planning Council, Illinois Manufacturing Association (IMA), the Chicago Children’s Advocacy Center and Intersect Illinois. She is also a board member and fellow of Leadership Greater Chicago. In addition, she serves as the executive sponsor of Developing Young Professionals Chicagoland, an Exelon employee resource group.
Washington earned her MBA from Keller Graduate School of Management and a Bachelor of Arts degree in finance from Lewis University.
As president of A. Lucas & Sons, Margaret Hanley is responsible for the day-to-day financial, management and personnel decisions within one of the oldest steel fabricators in the country, where she has been employed since 2004. For the past four years, Hanley successfully run and grown her family business, which is the oldest business in the city of Peoria, founded in 1857.
Earning three degrees from Bradley University, Hanley balances the responsibilities of running a multi-million-dollar company with her commitments to volunteerism and her family. A. Lucas & Sons is dedicated to giving back to the community and recently donated materials and labor to fabricate and replace the damaged gates at Springdale Cemetery. Hanley founded the West Peoria SHINE Foundation, an organization that assists elderly citizens in the neighborhood by visiting with them and running errands to make their lives more fulfilling. She has served as a teacher representative and volunteer for Junior Achievement of Central Illinois, and currently serves as president of the Peoria Warehouse District, working to revamp and revitalize the area.
Hanley is a graduate of the Peoria Area Chamber of Commerce Community Leadership School and serves on Bradley University’s Department of Civil Engineering and Construction Advisory Board. She was also the first woman elected to the board of the Central Fabricators Association.
Margaret Hanley is always striving to improve the quality of life in central Illinois.
Bob Sehring is the CEO OSF HealthCare, where he oversees all inpatient, outpatient, and ambulatory operations. Sehring joined OSF in 2002 as Vice President of Business Support Services at OSF HealthPlans, and since has held positions including CEO of HealthPlans, CEO of Ambulatory Services, Chief Ministry Services Officer, and Central Region CEO. Prior to OSF, Sehring held various executive positions with Aetna, New York Life, and Metropolitan Life Insurance. He earned a Bachelor of Business Administration degree in Public Accounting from Hofstra University, Uniondale, NY.
Scott Santi is the Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Illinois Tool Works Inc. Mr. Santi joined ITW in 1983 and has spent his entire career with the company. He was elected Executive Vice President in 2004 and named Vice Chairman in 2008. He became the Company’s Chief Executive Officer in November of 2012 and was elected Chairman of the Board of Directors in 2015. Mr. Santi graduated from the University of Illinois in 1983 with a B.S. degree in Accounting and received a Masters in Business Administration from the JL Kellogg School of Business at Northwestern University in 1992.
Carmen Rossi was born and raised in Frankfort, Illinois. Mr. Rossi received his B.S. and Master’s Degree from the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign. Mr. Rossi completed his academic career at Northern Illinois University, where he received his Juris Doctorate and currently practices commercial law, focusing on contracts and appellate court drafting. Mr. Rossi is also a restauranteur and entrepreneur. In 2015, Mr. Rossi proudly introduced 8 | A Hospitality Company, which manages twelve restaurants and employs over 400 individuals in the Chicagoland area.
James Reynolds, Jr. is founder, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Loop Capital. A 30-year veteran of the financial services industry, Mr. Reynolds established and led the Midwest Municipal Bond Sales Desk at PaineWebber in Chicago early in his career. In 1997, Mr. Reynolds collaborated with Albert R. Grace, Jr. to form Loop Capital, where he has led the firm to becoming the largest minority-owned financial services firm and one of the largest privately-held investment banks in the United States.
Douglas (Doug) Oberhelman was elected Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Caterpillar in 2010 and previously held the role of Vice President and Chief Financial Officer of Caterpillar from 1995 to 1998. Mr. Oberhelman has extensive philanthropic interests and has served as Vice President of Wetlands America Trust, Chairman of the Easter Seals Foundation of Central Illinois, Director of the Gilmore Foundation, a member of the Board of Directors of World Resources Institute and is a member of the Nature Conservancy’s Latin America Conservation Council.
Juan R. Luciano is Chairman of the Board of Directors, President and Chief Executive Officer of Archer Daniels Midland Company. Mr. Luciano joined ADM in 2011 as Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer. He was named President in February 2014, and in January 2015 became the ninth Chief Executive in ADM’s 112-year history. He became Chairman of the Board in January 2016. Before joining ADM, Luciano had a successful 25-year tenure at The Dow Chemical Company, where he last served as Executive Vice President and President of the Performance division.
James C. Leonard, MD, is president and CEO of The Carle Foundation, the non‐profit parent company of an integrated network of health care services based in Urbana, Ill. Prior to becoming CEO in 2000, Dr. Leonard served in various administrative leadership roles for the Foundation. He graduated from the University of Illinois College of Medicine in 1981. Dr. Leonard is one of the Becker’s Hospital Review 100 great leaders in healthcare for 2018. He is past chair of and current member of the Illinois Hospital Association Board and served on the American Hospital Association board of trustees.
Matt Gambs leads Wintrust Financial Corporation’s Community Impact team, and has 25 years of experience in financial services. Prior to Wintrust, Gambs served as the President and CEO of both Bloomingdale Bank and Trust and Diamond Bancorp. Gambs serves on boards including the Illinois Hispanic Chamber of Commerce, Turning Pointe Foundation and Regis University in Denver, Colorado. Gambs served in the Marine Corp Reserves, while earning a B.S. in Economics and a B.A. in Political Science from Regis University. He also earned a Master’s Degree from North Central College.
New leadership at Intersect Illinois includes Seals to market Illinois as a premier global business destination; joined by Robert Stephan to focus on downstate development and corporate relations Intersect Illinois, the statewide economic development organization focused on bringing businesses to Illinois, today announced it has named Dan Seals as its new CEO. Seals will guide […]
State tops the nation as most sustainable location for site selection Illinois tops the nation in Site Selection magazine’s annual ranking of the top locations for sustainable development, released today. The state moves up from the third spot in the 2021 report, which combines standard green metrics such as LEED-certified buildings, renewable energy use and […]
State and Local Economic Development Organizations Attract Global Investment to Illinois at SelectUSA Investment Summit The State of Illinois today announced that a delegation from the Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity, Intersect Illinois and 17 economic development partners will represent Illinois at the 2021 virtual SelectUSA Investment Summit hosted by the U.S. Department of […]
Intersect Illinois, the Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity (DCEO) and the IEDA shared best practices, lessons learned, and strategies for success around driving economic development in Illinois during Economic Development Week 2021. Economic development plays a vital role as we shift towards economic recovery. To showcase the work being done across the state, […]
$70 Million Investment Paves the Way for Largest All-Electric Commercial Vehicle Production Plant in the U.S.; Creating 745 Jobs in Illinois Governor JB Pritzker today joined elected officials and the Lion Electric Company — a Canadian based manufacturer of all-electric medium and heavy-duty urban vehicles — to announce a significant investment in Illinois, with plans […]