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Dean Martinez - Deputy Governor

Dean Martinez was recently appointed Deputy Governor for the state of Illinois. Mr. Martinez, the son of Cuban immigrants, is the first Latino Deputy Governor in Illinois history. Deputy Governor Martinez has distinguished himself as a true public servant and an accomplished leader. Throughout his career, Mr. Martinez has demonstrated creative leadership and a progressive vision.

Prior to being appointed Deputy Governor, Mr. Martinez served as Secretary of the Illinois Department of Financial and Professional Regulation, a consumer protection agency which resulted from the combining of four former agencies that regulated most of the professions in Illinois. Prior to being named Secretary, Martinez served as Chief of Legislative Affairs and Legal Counsel to the Department of Financial Institutions. While in that capacity, he was detailed to the Governor’s Office of Legislative Affairs, where he was responsible for financial and law enforcement related legislation. Martinez started his career as an Assistant State’s Attorney in the Appellate Division where he argued before the Illinois Appellate Court. He was promoted to the Felony Narcotics Division where he served the citizens of Illinois by prosecuting persons accused of narcotics violations.

Inspired by his family’s journey to America from Communist Cuba, Martinez was eager to pursue a dream of working in public service and started off on that path by obtaining a Bachelor’s Degree from DePaul University and a Juris Doctorate from Loyola University Chicago. Today, Martinez, his wife and daughters reside in the city of Chicago.

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Clayton K. Harris III, Deputy Chief of Staff for the Governor

Deputy Chief of Staff Harris received his Bachelors degree in Aerospace Technology from Middle Tennessee State University. He served three years in the Pentagon where he worked in the Ballistic Missile Defense Organization for the Department of Defense. Later, Mr. Harris enrolled in the Howard University School of Law and interned at the Federal Aviation Administration where he researched regulations governing commercial space transportation.

He received his Juris Doctorate Degree from Howard in 1999, and took internships as Assistant State’s Attorney, first in Prince George’s County (Md.) and then Cook County. Immediately prior to being appointed Deputy Chief of Staff, Mr. Harris was Chief of Staff of the Illinois Department of Transportation. Immediately prior to joining IDOT, Mr. Harris was general counsel for the Chicago Department of Transportation.

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J. Dennis Hastert - former United States Speaker of the House of Representatives

From the cornfields of Illinois, Congressman J. Dennis Hastert was honored by his colleagues when he was elected Speaker of the House of Representatives on January 6, 1999 – the third highest elected official in the U.S. government. Serving until January 3, 2007, Hastert became the longest-serving Republican Speaker in history, surpassing the record previously held by fellow Illinoisan, Joe Cannon.

On the day when he succeeded Newt Gringich as Speaker, Hastert broke with tradition by delivering his acceptance speech from the House floor and by allowing Minority Leader Dick Gephardt to briefly preside over the day's proceedings. These two actions served as fitting symbols for the content of the new Speaker's remarks, when he emphasized the need for both parties to come together in the House to get their work done:

Solutions to problems cannot be found in a pool of bitterness. They can be found in an environment in which we trust one another's word; where we generate heat and passion, but where we recognize that each member is equally important to our overall mission of improving the life of the American people.

During his tenure as Speaker, Hastert focused his efforts on lowering taxes, improving education, strengthening Social Security and Medicare, and fortifying our national defense. In response to the tragic attacks that occurred on September 11, 2001, he was instrumental in passing important anti-terrorism legislation and historic legislation to create a Department of Homeland Security—the most significant restructuring of the federal government in the last 50 years.

Prior to his resignation, Hastert served on the House Energy and Commerce Committee as the Ranking Member of the Subcommittee on Energy and Air Quality. He also served on the Telecommunications and the Internet, and Commerce, Trade and Consumer Protection Subcommittees. The Committee has jurisdiction over energy and healthcare policy, interstate and foreign commerce, and telecommunications policy.

Hastert has drawn from his experience as a former wrestling coach by emphasizing teambuilding and setting clear-cut, achievable goals. Prior to his role as Speaker, Hastert served as Chief Deputy Majority Whip in the 104th Congress and was responsible for advancing common sense legislation to the House floor by working with members to develop achievable policy strategies, lining up support and counting Republican and Democrat votes to ensure passage. His reputation is one characterized by reaching across the aisle to develop bipartisan legislation.

Prior to that, Hastert served as Chairman of the House Government Reform and Oversight Subcommittee on National Security, International Affairs and Criminal Justice. He was also the point person on health care reform, and chaired the Speaker's Steering Committee on Health and the Resource Group on Health. Additionally, he helped author the health care reform bill, which was signed into law by President Clinton in 1996 to expand coverage to the uninsured and chaired the House Working Group on Health Care Quality, which ultimately authored the Patient Protection Act. That legislation, which passed the House on July 24, 1998, expanded Americans' choices and access to affordable, high-quality health care.

He has championed legislation to balance the federal budget, cut taxes and government waste and clean up the environment. He also passed legislation to reduce government regulations in areas such as trucking and telecommunications in order to increase competition and consumer choice. In addition, Hastert has fought to preserve safe groundwater standards by successfully working for the removal and proper disposal of 21 million cubic feet of low-level thorium waste in West Chicago, Illinois, and by blocking a proposed garbage dump that would threaten the Fox Valley's groundwater supply.

Congressman Hastert has continued to build on his record of accomplishment for the 14th Congressional District. He successfully supported a full-funding grant agreement with the U.S. Department of Transportation to expand Metra train service in the 14th District. He has secured dozens of federal grants for district communities and organizations and has assisted with everything from bolstering police services to protecting district farmland. He fully supported the Ronald Reagan Boyhood Home in Dixon to be designated as a National Historic Site and to serve as a living legacy to our 40th President.

Before his time in Congress, Hastert served three terms in the Illinois General Assembly, where he spearheaded legislation on child abuse prevention, property tax reform, educational excellence and economic development. While there, he also led an effort that resulted in the adoption of a new public utilities act, reforming the law to benefit Illinoisans.

Hastert spent the first 16 years of his career teaching government, history and economics at Yorkville High School, and it also was there that he met his wife, Jean, a fellow teacher. In addition to teaching, he coached football and wrestling, eventually leading the Yorkville High School Foxes to victory at the 1976 Illinois State Wrestling Championship; later that year, he was named Illinois Coach of the Year. Hastert, a former high school and college wrestler himself, was inducted as an Outstanding American into the National Wrestling Hall of Fame in Stillwater, Oklahoma, in 2000. In 2001, the United States Olympic Committee named him Honorary Vice President of the American Olympic movement.

Hastert enjoys strong editorial support from the newspapers in his district and has received the “Outstanding Legislator” award by numerous groups. He is particularly proud to have been named repeatedly a Friend of Agriculture, Guardian of Senior Rights, and to have won in each of his years in Congress the Golden Bulldog Award for fighting against waste in government.

Born January 2, 1942 in Aurora, Illinois, he earned his bachelor’s degree in economics from Wheaton College in 1964 and his masters in philosophy of education from Northern Illinois University in 1967. Hastert lives in Plano, Illinois, with his wife Jean. They have two grown sons, Ethan and Joshua, and a grandson, Jack. Whenever he can find free time, Hastert enjoys attending wrestling meets, going fishing, restoring vintage automobiles, and carving and painting duck decoys.

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Anne M. Burke - Illinois Supreme Court Justice of the First District

Throughout her long career in public service as a children’s advocate and legal professional, Justice Anne M. Burke of the Illinois Supreme Court’s First District has endeavored to provide a voice to society’s most fragile citizens. She was appointed to the Supreme Court on July 6, 2006. Prior thereto, Justice Burke was appointed to the Appellate Court in 1995 and was elected the following year to the Appellate bench where she served until July 5, 2006. Her judicial career began earlier, in 1987, with an appointment to the Illinois Court of Claims by Governor Jim Thompson. As the first woman to serve in that court, she was later reappointed by Illinois Governor Jim Edgar.

Throughout her long career in public service as a children's advocate and legal professional, Justice Anne M. Burke of the Illinois Supreme Court's First District has endeavored to provide a voice to society's most fragile citizens. She was appointed to the Supreme Court on July 6, 2006. Prior thereto, Justice Burke was appointed to the Appellate Court in 1995 and was elected the following year to the Appellate bench where she served until July 5, 2006. Her judicial career began earlier, in 1987, with an appointment to the Illinois Court of Claims by Governor Jim Thompson. As the first woman to serve in that court, she was later reappointed by Illinois Governor Jim Edgar.

Before her appointment to the judiciary, Justice Burke was a leading advocate on behalf of Chicago's most vulnerable of young people. As a physical education teacher with the Chicago Park District, she worked with children with disabilities. Out of that experience, she went on to found the Chicago Special Olympics in 1968. She later served as a director of that organization as it grew to become the International Special Olympics represented in more than 160 countries.

Following graduation from law school, Anne Burke began a neighborhood law practice that included representing the interests of children and families involving issues of neglect, abuse, delinquency and parental custody. In addition, she developed a very diverse practice that included criminal trial work and defense advocacy.

Civic and Professional Involvement

Before serving on the Illinois Appellate Court, Justice Burke provided in depth leadership in reshaping and improving the Illinois juvenile justice system. Governor Jim Edgar appointed her Special Counsel for Child Welfare Services, as well as a member of his Legislative Committee on Juvenile Justice. As Special Counsel, Anne Burke brought about significant reforms in the Cook County juvenile justice system that resulted in the improvement of child protection services. This was brought about by establishing a more unified coordination and cooperation among the Illinois Department of Children and Family Services, city and county law enforcement agencies, as well as other governmental bodies charged with the protection of children.

The Illinois Supreme Court appointed Justice Burke to serve on the Illinois Courts Commission, the Special Commission on the Administration of Justice and the Board of Admissions to the Bar. She is also a frequent speaker and panelist before many local Bar Associations. For more than two years, serving as Interim Chair, she directed the efforts of the National Review Board of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops investigating the causes and effects of the clergy abuse scandal and helping to establish guidelines and policies for effectively responding to this issue. She currently serves on the Ruth Page Foundation. She is a Dame of the Sovereign Order of Malta and a Dame Commander of the Holy Sepulcher of Jerusalem.

Issues and causes impacting the civic, cultural and educational life of Chicago have been a priority for Justice Burke throughout her professional career. In the past, she has served as Interim Chair of the National Review Board of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, a Trustee on the Board of Rush Medical Center, as well as the Board of Managers of the Chicago Bar Association and Director of the Chicago Bar Association. She has served as president of Special Children's Charities and the Caritas Foundation, as well as many other boards and foundations including trustee of DePaul University, Loyola University, the Chicago Public Library Foundation, St. Xavier University, the Hundred Club of Cook County, the Persons with Disabilities Fund Board of Advisors, the Chicago Community Trust, River North Dance Company, the Lincoln Park Zoological Society, and the St. Rose School for the Mentally Disabled. Justice Burke has been honored with honorary degrees from the Catholic Theological Union, the College of the Holy Cross, DePaul University, St. Ambrose University, and Aurora University, Lewis University, and Loyola University Chicago School of Law.

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Rodger Heaton - United States Attorney for the Central District of Illinois

Rodger A. Heaton is the United States Attorney for the Central District of Illinois. In that position, he serves as the chief federal law enforcement officer for the 46 counties that comprise the Central District.

Within that district, Mr. Heaton’s office represents the United States in all of its civil and criminal litigation and participates in investigations of hundreds of federal crimes each year as well. For example, the office handles matters involving bribery, kickbacks, tax evasion, narcotics and weapons offenses, money laundering and various kinds of fraud. The office also handles litigation involving employment discrimination, enforcement of the Americans with Disabilities Act, environmental issues, bankruptcy, and collections.

Mr. Heaton began his career as a federal prosecutor in Indianapolis in 1989 before transferring to the U.S. Attorney’s office in the Central District of Illinois, where he served as an Assistant U.S. Attorney from July 1990 until December 2000. From January 2001 to April 2003, Mr. Heaton was a Litigation Partner at Kirkland & Ellis, Chicago. He returned to the U.S. Attorney’s Office in May 2003.

Mr. Heaton was also selected for assignment as an Associate Independent Counsel with the Office of Independent Counsel from September 1997 until July 1998 in Little Rock, Arkansas, and Washington, D.C. In that capacity, Mr. Heaton handled the tax evasion prosecution of former Governor Jim Guy Tucker and two business associates. He also supervised the preparation of briefs and oral argument on several complex constitutional, statutory, and common law issues in all levels of the federal court system including in the Supreme Court. In October 1998, Mr. Heaton received the Department of Justice’s Director’s Award in connection with a successful prosecution of several state employees and contractors in a public corruption scheme.

For several years, Mr. Heaton served as an adjunct professor at the University of Illinois College of Law where he taught courses in white collar crime. From 1995 to 1999, he served as a member of the school board in Rochester, Illinois.

Mr. Heaton, a native of central Illinois, received a B.S. degree from the University of Illinois-Urbana, Champaign in 1981, and a J.D., magna cum laude, from the Indiana University School of Law in 1985.

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James A. Wright - Executive Inspector General for the Agencies under Governor Rod Blagojevich

On July 1, 2005, Governor Rod Blagojevich appointed James A. Wright Executive Inspector General for the Agencies under the Governor. Mr. Wright’s credentials include 24 years of legal and professional experience in both public and private sectors. He has served as a Corporate Practices Attorney for the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency, a Trial Attorney for the U.S. Department of Justice, Tax Division, an Assistant U.S. Attorney in the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Northern District of Illinois, Manager of Commercial Litigation for the Law Department of the Chicago Board of Education, and Of Counsel in the Government Division of the Law Offices of Altheimer & Gray, practicing in the areas of municipal law, administrative law, government relations, contract drafting and negotiations, minority/women business enterprise certification, and commercial litigation . Mr. Wright possesses law licenses in Illinois, California, and Washington D.C., and is licensed to practice before the U.S. Supreme Court, 7th Circuit Court of Appeals, and the District Court of Illinois.

Mr. Wright has a Masters in Business Administration from Northwestern University’s Kellogg Graduate School of Management, completed the Executive Leadership Program at United Technologies Corporation, and served as Chief of Staff to the Chicago Board of Education. Wright is a Certified Public Accountant with significant auditing experience, and is a nationally certified Inspector General and member of the National and Illinois Chapters of the Association of Inspectors General. Prior to this appointment and since October 2003, Wright served as Inspector General for the Illinois Tollway pursuant to Governor Blagojevich’s reform agenda to restore and maintain the public’s trust in the administration and operation of the Illinois Tollway. As the Illinois Tollway’s Inspector General, Wright was charged with rooting out and fairly investigating all instances of waste, inefficiencies, fraud, corruption, and mismanagement in the Tollway’s day-to-day operations.

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Sydney Roberts - First Deputy Inspector General for the Office of Executive Inspector General for the Agencies of the Illinois Governor

As First Deputy Inspector General for the Office of Executive Inspector General for the Agencies of the Illinois Governor, Ms. Roberts works closely with the Executive Inspector General on policy, operations, and investigations. Prior to joining the OEIG, Ms. Roberts worked with the Illinois Department of Human Services Office of Inspector General, serving initially as the Deputy Inspector General until she was appointed the DHS' Inspector General in 2003. Ms. Roberts previously worked as a Lieutenant with the Essex County Prosecutor's Office in Newark, New Jersey, where she spent the majority of her tenure in internal affairs investigating police corruption, conducting background investigations, and administering polygraph examinations. Ms. Roberts is also a former Police Commander of the Maywood Police Department. Her credentials include: B.S. Degree in Criminal Justice University of Delaware; Juris Doctor Degree – Rutgers School of Law; Masters in Criminology and Criminal Justice - Oxford University, Oxford, England; and Graduate of the F.B.I. National Academy. Ms. Roberts is also certified as an Inspector General by the Association of Inspectors General.

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James M. Brennan - Illinois Ethics Commission Member and Director of Compliance for Reyes Holdings, L.L.C.

Jim Brennan is Director of Compliance at privately held Reyes Holdings, in Rosemont, one of the largest food and beer distributorships in the world. He is also a Commissioner, and is a former Chair, on the Illinois State Executive Ethics Commission. Brennan is a magna cum laude graduate of Marquette University Law School. For the last ten years he has been a practitioner of corporate ethics and compliance. Prior to that, he practiced commercial litigation law with Quarles & Brady and served as a clerk on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit.

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Michelle T. McVicker - Special Agent in Charge USDOT-OIG Chicago Office

Michelle T. McVicker graduated from Illinois State University, Normal, IL in May 1990, with a Bachelors of Science Degree in Criminal Justice. She began employment as a Special Agent with the U.S. Department of Transportation, Office of Inspector General, Investigations Division in July of 1990. She began her career in Golden, CO. She has worked in the Los Angeles, California and Chicago, Illinois Offices of DOT/OIG as a Special Agent working various safety and fraud related investigations. Presently, she is the Special Agent-in-Charge of the Chicago Regional Office of DOT/OIG which is comprised of 13 states. SAC McVicker has presented numerous Fraud Awareness and Hazmat Briefings to DOT modes of operation, along with Federal and State Law Enforcement agencies and industry officials. SAC McVicker lives in Inverness, IL with her husband and three children.

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Jack Tieder - Partner in Watt, Tieder, Hoffar & Fitzgerald, L.L.P.

John B. (Jack) Tieder, Jr. is a senior partner in Watt, Tieder, Hoffar & Fitzgerald, L.L.P., a 100+ person law firm devoted almost exclusively to the practice of Construction Law. The firm has offices in suburban Washington, D.C., San Francisco, and Irvine, California and Las Vegas, Nevada and is affiliated with Heiermann Franke Knipp, the leading German construction law firm, which has offices throughout Germany. He concentrates his practice in major construction matters with a particular emphasis on international projects. He is involved in advising clients on a broad range of issues related to the construction of major infrastructure and energy projects throughout the world. He represents foreign governments, utilities, oil companies and U.S. and international contractors. He advises clients in all phases of construction from advising on the most effective procurement process to coordinating financing with U.S. and European credit agencies, compliance with international and domestic anti-corruption conventions, standards and laws, to resolving complex disputes through negotiation, mediation, arbitration and litigation.

He graduated from Johns Hopkins University (A.B. 1968) and American University School of Law (J.D. 1971). He is recognized as one of the leading construction lawyers in the United States with such honors as Best Lawyers in America, Construction Law – 2005-2008, Chambers USA - list of Top Construction Lawyers in Virginia – 2004 – 2008, International Who's Who of Business Lawyers – 2006 – 2008, International Who's Who in Construction Law – 2005 – 2008, Legal 500 United States – 2007 – 2008, Virginia Super Lawyers, Construction Law – 2008, Washington D.C. Super Lawyers, Construction Law – 2007 – 2008. He is a Charter member of the American College of Construction Lawyers.

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James E. Wolfe - President and Chief Executive Officer of Knight Engineers & Architects

Mr. Wolfe is President and Chief Executive Officer of Knight E/A, Inc. and an attorney concentrating on transportation, regulated industries, real estate transactions, the Railway Labor Act and government relations. He has practiced before the Interstate (Surface Transportation Board) and Illinois Commerce Commissions, state and federal courts, Illinois Department of Transportation and Illinois Environmental Protection Agency. As a registered lobbyist, Mr. Wolfe has represented clients before the United States Congress and Illinois General Assembly. Mr. Wolfe oversees a staff of 90 professionals with projects in Illinois, Indiana, Minnesota, Puerto Rico and Wisconsin.

Prior to entering law school, Mr. Wolfe served for three years as a Trainmaster with the Union Pacific Railroad Company in their Utah, Nebraska and Idaho operations. Mr. Wolfe is also a certified locomotive engineer and represented the National Carriers Conference in mediation negotiations before Presidential Emergency Board No. 219, consulting on railroad operating practices.

Following graduation from DePaul University College of Law, Mr. Wolfe served as Assistant Chief Counsel and Special Assistant Attorney General for the Illinois Department of Transportation (IDOT) representing IDOT before the Interstate Commerce Commission and Illinois Commerce Commission. Mr. Wolfe served as counsel to the Bureau of Railroads advising on all railroad and mass transit issues including land acquisitions, grants and loans falling under the Local Rail Freight Assistance Program, rail passenger and freight operations, high speed rail, federal and state funding and litigation between state, municipalities and railroads. After one year, Mr. Wolfe was appointed Deputy Director Inter-Governmental Affairs, responsible for developing and implementing IDOT's federal legislative agenda, including legislation and budget, representing IDOT before the Illinois Congressional Delegation and coordinating contact between IDOT and other states and federal agencies.

Following his work with IDOT, Mr. Wolfe was named Director Government Affairs for Amtrak Intercity. In this capacity, Mr. Wolfe was responsible for establishing and maintaining relationships with state and local governments in over forty states. After two years, Mr. Wolfe was asked to take over Amtrak's Midwest operations as General Manager for the Midwest Corridor, responsible for all operations in Illinois, Michigan, Missouri and Wisconsin. Mr. Wolfe's responsibilities included negotiation of each of the states' operating agreements, resulting in $34 million in annual revenue to Amtrak.

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