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Team

Sheryl Acar

Intern

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Sheryl Acar is a third-year student at Northwestern University, majoring in Economics and minoring in Business Institutions. She is interested in studying social and gender economics. Raised in Chicago, she is looking forward to researching and learning more about economic development in Illinois and is passionate about helping to increase jobs in the state.

Brent Case

Senior Vice President,
Business Development

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Brent has more than 15 years of economic development experience supporting business growth and expansions, assisting entrepreneurs, developing programs and infrastructure, and recruiting domestic and international private sector companies.  He has over a decade of operational and sales experience in manufacturing and global logistics.

Kaitlyn Ezeocha

Chief of Staff

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As Chief of Staff, Kaitlyn is responsible for managing operations for the organization and its team.  Her experience at the Department of Commerce brings institutional knowledge and critical organizational talent to Intersect Illinois.

Tony Kitchen

Business Development Manager

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Tony brings an extensive international background to Intersect Illinois. In his previous role, he worked for the Department for International Trade at the British Consulate in San Francisco. Over the past decade, his work experience includes stints in Hungary, Slovakia, and South Korea. He holds an MA in International Relations.

Conor McGowan

Graphic Designer

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Conor is a recent graduate of Columbia College with a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Graphic Design. He has also earned a certificate from Northwestern University in Web Development. As the leading “eye” of the organization he provides artistic direction & brand management for all things design including print materials, digital assets, and everything in between.

Paulina San Millan

Director of Research & Business Development

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Before joining Intersect Illinois, Ms. San Millan worked for Newmark Knight Frank as a Senior Consulting Analyst on their site selection team. Paulina moved recently from New Mexico where she worked in several positions related to economic development for the past 10 years.

Natalie Schilling

Intern

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Natalie Schilling is a rising senior at Duke University, majoring in Public Policy with a certificate in Markets and Management. She is interested in studying business development as well as corporate real estate in urban areas. Raised in the suburbs of Chicago, she is looking forward to researching economic opportunities in Illinois, as well as learning more about business development and expansion.

Karley Sweet

Communications Specialist

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Karley brings a wide range of experience to Intersect Illinois, after working in communications at World Business Chicago for nearly 13 years. Prior to WBC, Karley worked for the City of Chicago, spearheading communications and marketing around the city’s marquee events. She also has agency experience, having worked at Edelman on major consumer, healthcare and technology clients. Karley holds degrees in Journalism and Political Science from the University of Wisconsin-Madison.

Zandy Van Tholen

Executive Assistant

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Zandy has a Bachelor’s degree in Biology. Using her scientific mind to support our CEO in her hectic role as the leader of Intersect, she truly never has a dull moment.

Josh Weidenaar

Research Associate

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Josh Weidenaar is a recent graduate of Michigan State University, with a B.S. in Environmental Studies and Sustainability with a minor in economics. At Michigan State, he became interested in community and economic development and with EDA funding was able to research economic development tools for focused cluster development around particle accelerator technology transfer businesses.