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Gov. Pritzker Announces Eighteen Appointments to Boards and Commissions

Press Release - Friday, January 19, 2024

Building on a strong team of diverse experts in their fields, Governor JB Pritzker announced the following appointments in his administration

Amusement Ride and Attraction Safety Board

Jennifer Akhter will serve as a Member of the Amusement Ride and Attraction Safety Board.* Akhter has 20 years of insurance and consulting industry experience in both the carrier and brokerage sectors. Akhter serves as the Global Head of Strategic Initiatives for Aon and previously served as the Senior Vice President of Enterprise Solutions and Vice President of Enterprise Business Development. Akhter received a Bachelor of Arts in Finance and Political Science from the University of Illinois.

Concealed Carry Licensing Review Board

Joe Duffy will continue to serve as a Member of the Concealed Carry Licensing Review Board.* Duffy is an accomplished and resourceful trial lawyer who focuses his national practice on white collar criminal defense and complex business litigation. He handles all aspects of federal and state criminal prosecutions through the investigative, prosecutive and appellate stages. Prior to joining private practice, Duffy spent nearly a decade in the United States Attorney's Office for the Northern District of Illinois, including serving as first assistant to the U.S. Attorney. Duffy is also a CPA, and previously worked as an agent for the IRS. Duffy has experience as a fellow of American College of Trial Lawyers. Duffy received a Bachelor of Science from DePaul University and a Juris Doctor from John Marshall Law School.

Lionel Craft will continue to serve as a Member of the Concealed Carry Licensing Review Board.* Craft began his career as an Inheritance Tax Clerk for the Illinois Attorney General's Office. Craft then pursued a career in law enforcement, serving as a Correctional Officer for the Cook County Sheriff and then as a Special Agent for the Federal Bureau of Investigation where he investigated financial crimes and fraud against the government. After Craft retired from the FBI, he became an Investigator for the Cook County State's Attorney's Office. Craft was assigned to investigate financial crimes and assisted the Illinois State Police as part of the Public Integrity Task Force. Craft received a Bachelor of Arts degree from Roosevelt University.

Jon Johnson will continue to serve as a Member of the Concealed Carry Licensing Review Board.* Johnson began his career as a Special Agent with the U.S. Treasury Department and then served the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration. Throughout his career with the DEA he was recognized for his exceptional performance, outstanding contributions and special acts. Since retiring, Johnson has continued to be a part of the education of sworn officers. Johnson received his bachelor's degree from the University of Illinois.

Illinois Commerce Commission

Doug Scott will continue to serve as Member and Chair of the Illinois Commerce Commission.* Before being appointed to the Commission, Scott served as the Vice-President for Energy Systems at the Great Plains Institute (GPI). In this role, he addressed climate strategy and regulatory response as well as issues involving the changing utility business model. Before joining GPI, Scott served as Chairman of the Illinois Commerce Commission, and prior to that, as Director of the Illinois Environmental Protection Agency. Scott's public service also includes a term as Mayor of Rockford, Illinois; three terms as an Illinois State Representative; and ten years as an attorney for the City of Rockford. Scott earned a Bachelor of Arts with honors from the University of Tulsa and a Juris Doctor with honors from Marquette University.

Illinois Forensic Commission

Ponni Arunkumar will serve as a Member on the Illinois Forensic Science Commission.* Dr. Arunkumar has 20 years of forensic pathology experience, and she serves as the Chief Medical Examiner for Cook County. From 2012 to 2016, she served as the Deputy Chief Medical Examiner for Cook County. Dr. Arunkumar is a board certified anatomic and clinical pathologist with specialization in forensic pathology. She is on staff at RUSH University, University of Illinois at Chicago, and Northwestern University. In 2016 Dr. Arunkumar led the process for the Cook County Medical Examiner's Office to attain accreditation through National Association of Medical Examiners (NAME) and ensured that all policies and procedures required by NAME were implemented. In 2018, Dr. Arunkumar received an appointment to the Board of Directors of NAME and since 2023, she has served as a member of their Executive Committee. Dr. Ponni Arunkumar received her medical degree from Banglore Medical College in Banglore, India.

Jodi Hoos will serve as a Member of the Illinois Forensic Science Commission* In 2019 the Peoria County Board unanimously appointed Hoos as Peoria County State's Attorney. She is the first woman to ever hold this position. Prior to becoming State's Attorney, Hoos was a Peoria County Resident Circuit Judge for five years. During her time on the bench she handled a variety of civil cases ranging from personal injury to multimillion-dollar medical malpractice claims. Before her 2014 Supreme Court appointment to the bench, Hoos was an Assistant State's Attorney for nearly 15 years in the Peoria County State's Attorney's Office. Throughout her career with the Peoria County State's Attorney's Office, she worked in every criminal courtroom covering Traffic, Juvenile, Misdemeanor, Domestic Violence, and Felony cases. She graduated magna cum laude from the University of Nebraska Kearney with a bachelor's degree in political science. Hoos attended law school at the University of Nebraska Lincoln and received her Juris Doctor.

Illinois Health Benefits Exchange Advisory Committee

Ken Olson will serve as a Member of the Illinois Health Benefits Exchange Advisory Committee.* Olson has dedicated over 25 years of his professional career to helping people find affordable and quality health care financial protection programs, and he currently serves The Horton Group as Division President. A recognized leader, Olson has served on the Wellness Council of America, the National Association of Benefits and Insurance Professionals, the International Foundation of Employee Benefit Plans President's Council and has served on numerous advisory boards for Aetna, Blue Cross/Blue Shield of Illinois, Humana and Cigna.

Paula Campbell will serve as a Member of the Illinois Health Benefits Exchange Advisory Committee.* Campbell currently works for the Illinois Primary Health Care Association (IPHCA), the Primary Care Association (PCA) for Illinois that serves 53 Federally Qualified health Centers (FQHC) as the Director of Health Equity + Emergency Response. In this role, Campbell built a robust network with state leaders in Medicaid, Medicare, Marketplace, as well as the Illinois Department of Public Health. She has furthered national partnerships with HHS, CMS, HRSA, NACHC, Families USA, Young Invincibles, Community Catalyst and more. Campbell works directly with Illinois FQHC enrollment benefit staff to provide education, training, technical assistance, and troubleshooting services for complicated cases. She also oversees the PCA's National Peer Learning team that focuses on outreach, enrollment, and other enabling services. Additionally, she coordinates and hosts monthly calls for the Illinois Coalition for Health Access (ICHA), bringing those working with public benefits and health care together to learn best practices, discuss barriers, develop tools, and learn from each other. In fall of 2023 she was appointed to the two-year term on the CMS Advisory Panel on Outreach and Education. Prior to coming to IPHCA, Campbell worked for 16 years in a rural local health department as Public Health Prevention and Community Education Coordinator. Campbell received her bachelor's degree from Illinois State University.

Julie Sampson will serve as a Member of the Illinois Health Benefits Exchange Advisory Committee.* Sampson is the Co-Director of Citizen Action/Illinois, a statewide progressive policy coalition that has long been a key player in the fight for social and economic justice, affordable and quality health care, consumer protections, retirement security, fair taxes and more. Julie previously served as Citizen Action/IL's legislative director, policy director, and as regional field director for USAction, a national organization of 22 state affiliates. She began her career on the staff of U.S. Senator Paul Wellstone. Sampson holds an A.M. in Social Administration from the University of Chicago, a B.A. in International Studies from American University and served in the Peace Corps in Thailand.

Illinois Housing Development Authority

Sam Tornatore will continue to serve as a member of the Illinois Housing Development Authority.* Tornatore has served on the Authority since his initial appointment in 2013. He has been the owner of his own practice, Tornatore Law Office, for nearly fifty years. A devoted member of his community, Tornatore serves as a member of the DuPage County Board where he is Chair of the Development and Legislative Committees, and he is President of the DuPage County Health Department. Tornatore received his bachelor's degree from DePaul University and Juris Doctor from the John Marshall Law School.

Illinois Labor Relations Board

Fran Hurley will continue to serve as a Member of the Illinois Labor Relations Board.* Before her appointment to the Illinois Labor Relations Board, Hurley served as the State Representative of the 35th District. She was the Moderate Caucus Whip and a member of the Joint Committee of Labor, Public Utilities, and the Elementary/Secondary Education Committees. Preceding her time in the General Assembly, she was a Chicago Aldermanic aide. She also spent time in the Cook County Sheriff's Office as a Project Manager with an emphasis on officer wellness. Hurley is an active member of the Mt. Greenwood Civic Association and former Director of the Saint Christina Manna Program. She received her Bachelor of Arts degree from St. Xavier University.

Illinois Liquor Control Commission

Julieta LaMalfa will continue to serve as a Member of the Illinois Liquor Control Commission.* LaMalfa is a strategic CFO, SEC Qualified Financial Expert, Company Board Director, Audit Chair, and Credit Risk Committee Member. She provides companies and boards with strategic and financial governance while advising on scaling growth, international expansion, regulatory compliance, products, and risk mitigation. LaMalfa is on the Board of Directors of Wintrust Bank, N.A., where she provides strategic oversight to the largest of 15 charter banks of Wintrust Financial Corporation with $43B+ in assets. As Audit Chair and Credit Risk Committee member, she fulfills the charter including review of internal/external audit findings to ensure compliance with accounting, tax, statutory, regulatory, and local laws and policies. LaMalfa currently leads as the CFO of Canela Media, a leading digital media tech company offering on-demand Latino-focused movies, TV series, News, & Sports entertainment. She provides the strategic growth direction and fiscal governance, overseeing Finance, Accounting and HR. Previously, at a global investment bank and advisory firm, LaMalfa provided financial and litigation services to clients across industries in Fortune 500 corporations, business owners, boards, and government agencies. She advised clients with Forensic Accounting, Financial Modeling, Transaction & Valuation, Disputes, and Compliance & Fraud Investigation services. LaMalfa received Bachelor of Science in Finance, Accounting and Marketing from DePaul University.

Illinois State Medical Board

James Brooks will serve as a Member of the Illinois State Medical Board.* Dr. Brooks currently serves as CEO of the Lawndale Christian Health Center (LCHC). Prior to becoming CEO, Dr. Brooks was the Chief Ministry Officer, Vice President of Mission and Community Engagement and Interim Director of Human Resources. He is also the lead pastor of Harmony Community Church. Brooks received a Bachelor of Arts in Organizational Management from Concordia University and a Master and Doctor of Ministry in Community Development from Northern Theological Seminary. He has also received certifications from the University of Illinois, UCLA, Princeton Theological Seminary, and the University of Kansas.

Illinois State Museum Board

Beth Shadur will continue to serve as a Member of the Illinois State Museum Board.* Shadur has worked as an Artist in Education for the Illinois Arts Council Agency for over 15 years, completing residencies around the communities of Illinois. She has also worked as a freelance Mural Artist, creating murals for private homes, public buildings, and companies. Her works have been featured in publications including the Abbeville Press' Twentieth Century Watercolors. Shadur is the Gallery Director at the Christopher Art Gallery, where she curates, designs, and installs art exhibitions and composes gallery guides for each show. Before joining the Christopher Art Gallery, she instructed courses on watercolors, drawing and 2D design courses as a Visiting Professor. Shadur received a bachelor's degree in Art, Architectural History and Studio Art from Brown University, and a Master of Fine Arts in Studio Art from the University of Illinois at Chicago.

Chris Pappan will continue to serve as a Member of the Illinois State Museum Board.* Pappan is an enrolled member of the Kaw Nation and honors his Osage and Lakota heritage. His cited artistic influences are the Lowbrow art movement as well as Heavy Metal and Juxtapoz magazines, and he taps into the American cultural roots of 1970s underground comics, punk, and hot rod cultures. Pappan's work can be found in numerous museums such as the National Museum of the American Indian, in Washington D.C.; the Tia collection in Santa Fe, New Mexico and the Fred Jones Jr. Museum in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma among other important collections both nationally and internationally. He is represented by Blue Rain Gallery in Santa Fe NM. Pappan is a co-founder of the Center for Native Futures, a Native American gallery and studio space in Chicago's Loop. Pappan received his Associate of Fine Arts from the Institute of American Indian Arts.

Ashish Sharma will serve as a Member of the Illinois State Museum Board.* Dr. Sharma is the Climate and Urban Sustainability Lead at the Discovery Partners Institute of the University of Illinois System. He holds a joint appointment as a Climate Scientist at Argonne National Laboratory. He is the Director of the NSF-UKRI joint-funded Global Center on Clean Energy and Equitable Transportation Solutions (CLEETS), and he was recognized in Crain's Chicago Business' 40 Under 40 class of 2023. He conducts collaborative research spanning science, engineering, social sciences, and policy, focusing on climate science and environmental justice. Notably, Dr. Sharma has co-authored an assessment of climate change impacts on the Great Lakes region (2019), a special climate assessment for Illinois (2021), and the first climate action plan for the Chicago metro region (2021). He serves as a member of the US EPA Science Advisory Board for the EJ Screen review panel, has testified on urban heat island effects to the City of Chicago Committee on Environmental Protection and Energy (2021), and briefed the U.S. Senate Climate Taskforce, U.S. House of Representatives, and congressional staff on Capitol Hill about climate change impacts in the Great Lakes Region (2019). Dr. Sharma received a degree in Electronics and Communication Engineering from Jaypee University of Information Technology, and Master of Science and Doctor of Philosophy in Aerospace Engineering from Arizona State University.

Illinois Student Assistance Commission

Darryl Arrington will continue to serve as a Member of the Illinois Student Assistance Commission* Arrington is the Associate Vice President for Student Retention and Success at DePaul University. A recognized leader, he has also served as the Assistant Vice President for Student Affairs and for the Center for Access and Attainment and has served as the Director of Admissions Operations. Arrington has over 25 years of experience in higher education with student retention programs, project management, grant budget management and development internal and external strategic partnerships. Arrington received both his Bachelor of Arts and Master of Science from DePaul University.

* Appointments pending confirmation by the Illinois Senate.

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