Werries to Washington, Hedges to Wilmette
Since Gov. James R. Thompson announced in July that he would not seek reelection in 1990, there has been a growing exodus of public officials from his administration. Late September saw two more executive agency directors announce their resignations.
Department of Agriculture director Larry Werries resigned October 1 to accept a federal post with the Bush administration. He is the new director of intergovernmental affairs for the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) in Washington, D.C. Werries had headed up the state's agriculture department since March 1981 when he replaced John R. Block who resigned to become USDA secretary under former President Ronald Reagan.
A strong proponent of marketing Illinois' agricultural bounty, Werries supported the introduction of "new-to-market" promotions in supermarkets and the Illinois Food Expo, a showcase of products produced, processed or packaged in the state. He also played a key role in developing the States-Province Agricultural Accord between the U.S. and Canada.
Werries too was a vocal advocate for soil conservation. He initiated a plan to bring soil erosion losses to a tolerable level by the year 2000 and successfully lobbied for Build Illinois funding for permanent conservation structures on individual farms and as part of watershed projects.
Also leaving state government will be Jay Hedges, director of the Department of Commerce and Community Affairs. Hedges, who has headed the agency since 1986, will join The Alter Group, a corporate real estate service organization headquartered in Wilmette. His resignation will be effective November 15. Hedges spent eight years in municipal management before joining the Thompson administration in 1984 as an assistant to the governor.
Acting directors named
Gov. Thompson moved quickly in late September to fill two cabinet vacancies on an interim basis. Both appointments were effective October 1. Permanent directors will be named later.
Named acting director of the Department of Agriculture was Jacksonville resident J. Michael Baise. Assistant director since October 1988, Baise has been with the department since 1983. He served as assistant to the director from 1983-86 and as superintendent of the marketing division from 1986-88. He will receive an annual salary of $65,835. Baise's cousin, Gregory, is secretary of transportation.
The new acting director of the Department
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of Professional Regulation is Robert C, Thompson (no relation to the governor). He replaced Steve Selcke who joined the governor's office as director of legislative affairs on October 1. Thompson has been with the department since February 1988, first as chief fiscal officer and then as deputy director. Prior to that he was a member of Gov. Thompson's staff, serving as chief fiscal officer from 1983-87 and as director of operations from 1987-88. Thompson's annual salary is $61,500.
Block to head Chicago School Finance Authority
Philip D. Block III of Chicago is the new director and chairman of the Chicago School Finance Authority. The vice president of Capitol Guardian Trust Company of Chicago was jointly appointed by Gov. James R. Thompson and Chicago Mayor Richard M. Daley in September. The appointment was effective immediately and expires January 31, 1992.
Also appointed to the authority was David B. Heller of Chicago, who is currently the president of Advisory Research Incorporated. Reappointed was Chicagoan Joyce E. Moran, an attorney with Sears Roebuck and Company. Both will serve until January 31, 1991.
The finance authority was created by the state legislature to address the financial problems of the city's public schools and has final approval over the school system's budget. Effective May 1, 1989, the authority was given the added responsibility of reviewing and approving the Chicago school reform plan. It has five members jointly appointed by the governor and the mayor of Chicago. Members serve three-year terms and receive expenses only.
Gross new executive director of gov's science advisory committee
Geologist David Gross is the new executive director of the Governor's Science Advisory Committee (GSAC). He will take a leave of absence from his post as head of the Illinois State Geological Survey's environmental studies and assessment section to accept the one-year appointment. For the last six months, Gross has been special assistant to Nobel Prize winner Leon Lederman, former director of Fermi National Laboratory and the state's first science and technology adviser.
GSAC was created earlier this year as part of Gov. Thompson's initiative to increase the state's science research and development efforts. The 43-member committee advises the governor on state policies that affect science and technology, productivity and competitiveness. It also works to improve the mathematics and science literacy of Illinois' elementary and secondary students.
Boards and commissions
The following appointments were made by Gov. Thompson at the end of August and were effective immediately. Unless otherwise indicated, the appointments require Senate confirmation and pay expenses only.
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Rock appoints Thompson appropriations director
Senate President Phil Rock (D-8, Oak Park) named Marcia Thompson majority appropriations staff director in August. Thompson has worked for the Senate Democrats for 10 years. From 1980-86 she served as an appropriations committee staff member. She served the education committee from 1987-88. Thompson, who will be paid $46,000 annually, replaced Garrett Deakin who is now a lobbyist for Southern Illinois University.
The Illinois Supreme Court recently announced the following appointments and resignation:
13th Judicial Circuit
14th Judicial Circuit
Seven appointed to State Teacher Certification Board
The State Board of Education filled seven vacancies on its State Teacher Certification Board during its August meeting. New members include John Quincy Adams, an assistant professor at Western Illinois University-Macomb; Thomas Arnieri, an elementary teacher in Chicago School District 299; Pamela Cook, a high school teacher in Edwardsville School District 7; Gary Grzanich, regional superintendent for Fulton County; Thomas Gunning, principal of North Middle School in Alton School District 11; Donald Reyes, a professor at Northern Illinois University-DeKalb; and Mae Smith, an elementary teacher in Aurora West School District 129.
Prospective members of the certification board must be nominated by petition of 250 persons holding valid teacher certificates or by petition of a professional teachers' organization.
IMSA adds research scientist to staff
As a means to further encourage apprentice investigation among its students, the Illinois Mathematics and Science Academy's board appointed a full-time staff research scientist in August. Ronald Pine, a former biology instructor at the academy, is responsible for encouraging original research, assisting students in posing scientific problems and working with the faculty to develop a research and laboratory focus to the curriculum. He will also be available upon request to assist students in other Illinois schools with their scientific research projects. Pine, who will continue to conduct his own research on the classification and geographic distribution of mammals, is excited about the challenge of his new position: "The concept of a research scientist at the high school level is extremely unusual. The possibilities are exciting and endless."
State chamber elects officers
The Illinois State Chamber of Commerce (ISCC) met September 14 and elected new officers. Jay R. Vonachen, president of Vonachen Industrial Supplies Inc. of Peoria, was reelected to his second term as chairman of the board.
Six vice chairmen, representing different sections of the state, were also chosen. Re-elected
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were Jay Fernandes, vice president of operations at Rockford's Sundstrand Corporation, and Deane R. Stewart, president of Russell Stewart Oil Company in Urbana. Newly elected vice chairmen included Wallace J. Buya, vice president/corporate secretary of Aon Corporation in Chicago; Howard C. Humprey, chairman/president/chief executive officer of The Franklin Life Insurance Company of Springfield; Frank B. Moore, vice president for government affairs for Waste Management Inc. of Oak Brook; and George C. Nebel, president of Roadmaster Corporation in Olney.
Reelected treasurer was John H. Beirise, senior vice president of Continental Bank in Chicago. All officers will serve one-year terms.
New ISCC board members elected include Davis G. Anderson, president of Chicago Extruded Metals Company in Cicero; George W. Beck, president of Beck Bus Transportation Corp. in Mount Vernon; James D. Bergstrom, president/chief executive officer of Ragnar Benson lnc. in Park Ridge; William J. Bowe, vice president/general counsel/secretary of Encyclopedia Britannica Inc. of Chicago; C.A. Cataldo, president/chief executive officer of The Management Group Inc. of Chicago; Richard E. Farrell, president of First Federal Savings Bank in Ottawa; James G. Hascall, president of Olin Corporation's Brass Group in East Alton; David O. Nellemann, a consulting partner with Arthur Andersen & Co. in Chicago; Robert D. Schmidt, vice president of finance and administration for the Chas. Levy Company in Chicago; William M. Shay, vice president/chief financial officer of CILCORP Inc. in Peoria; Robert H. Speetzen, president of G.E. Railcar Services Company of Chicago; Richard S. Vanderwoude, vice president of Central Telephone Company of Illinois in Des Plaines; Thomas S. Walther, president of Herr's lnc. in Danville; and Walter L. White, senior vice president of the Kemper Group in Long Grove. Bowe and Speetzen are filling un-expired terms. Directors serve two-year terms.
IlCC's Barrett gets federal post
Andrew C. Barrett, a member of the Illinois Commerce Commission (IlCC) since May 1980, was confirmed by the U.S. Senate on August 4 for a post on the Federal Communications Commission (FCC). He was nominated for the one-year term by President George Bush in June.
An active member of the National Association of Regulatory Utility Commissioners (NARUC), Barrett currently serves on its communications committee. He is also NARUC's representative on the FCC's Federal-State Joint Conference on open network architecture. He also recently completed a term as president of the Mid-America Regulatory Commissioners Conference.
Barrett's departure technically left the IlCC with three vacancies. The terms of commission chairman Peg Bushnell and commissioner Susan Stone expired early this year; Gov. Thompson did not reappoint them in mid-October (see "Names" next month for new commissioners).
Holder new SIMA president
Pinckneyville Mayor Joe Holder is the 1989-90 president of the Southern Illinois Mayors Association (SIMA). He served as SIMA vice president in 1988-89 and was secretary-treasurer the preceding year. Holder, who has been mayor of Pinckneyville since 1985, is SIMA's 15th president.
One of Holder's priorities during his tenure is to fight a proposed plan to link interstates 55 and 57 in southern Illinois. Such a move would reroute traffic through Cape Girardeau, Mo., bypassing a number of Illinois communities. "Southern Illinois needs a better roadway system through it, not around it," Holder told association members.
Stanfield new deputy director at Fermilab
Batavia's Fermi National Laboratory (Fermilab) has a new deputy director. Ken Stanfield of Downers Grove was appointed by Fermilab's director John Peoples with the concurrence of the U.S. Department of Energy which funds the research facility and the Universities Research Association board which operates it. Stanfield has been with Fermilab since 1977 and has served in various capacities. He had headed the research division since 1984.
Sweet elected president of regional tax association
Roger D. Sweet, director of the state Department of Revenue since February 1987, was elected president of the Midwestern States Association of Tax Administrators in August. The Springfield native served as the group's vice president last year. Earlier this year Sweet was appointed to the state income and business taxation committee of the National Tax Association-Tax Institute of America. He is also a member of the board and of the external affairs committee of the Federation of Tax Administrators.
Federal Reserve Bank announces Chicago promotions
The Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago announced several promotions in late August. Former research officer Herbert L. Baer Jr.
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is the bank's new assistant vice president and senior economist in its economic research department. Besides directing research projects, he will assist in developing bank policies relating to financial system risk. Baer joined the bank in 1981 as a research economist.
The new assistant vice president in the support services department is Sheryn E. Borman. A personnel officer since 1987, she will continue to direct such activities as planning and automation, training, benefits and medical services. In addition Borman will now be responsible for compensation matters. She has been with the bank since 1982.
Also in the bank's support services department, Kristi L. Zimmerman is the new administrative officer. Manager of purchasing services since 1987, Zimmerman is now responsible for contract administration, travel, graphic design and employee activities. She joined the bank in 1984.
IHC awards to Colter and Illinois State Museum
The Illinois Humanities Council (IHC), the state affiliate of the National Endowment for the Humanities, bestowed two of its most prestigious awards during its annual dinner on October 20.
Receiving the IHC's Public Humanities Award for 1989 was Cyrus Colter of Chicago. A man of many hats lawyer, educator, writer, public servant and civic and cultural leader Colter is currently an emeritus professor at Northwestern University in Evanston. After four years of military service during World War II, Colter practiced law until 1950 when he was appointed to the Illinois Commerce Commission by then-Gov. Adlai E. Stevenson II. He remained a commissioner for 24 years, serving under three Democratic and three Republican governors. In 1973 he joined the faculty at Northwestern, where he served as chairman of the Department of African-American Studies and as an English professor. In 1975 he was awarded the Chester D. Tripp Professorship in the Humanities. While in his mid-50s, Colter turned to fiction writing as a hobby. Since then he has published a number of short fiction collections and several novels that explore the isolation and emptiness of the lower middle class black.
The IHC's Towner Award for creative programming went to the Illinois State Museum for its "Harvesting the River" exhibit. The award was accepted by museum board chairman Michael J. Schneiderman. The exhibit's 1,500-square-foot gallery is located on board the Belle Reynolds, a refurbished 1950s-era towboat. The gallery's displays afford visitors a glimpse at life and work along the Illinois River, once the United States' leading inland fishery. The exhibit, which was launched August 27 in Peoria, will stop at 18 ports of call during its 640-mile tour. (See Illinois Issues, August-September 1989, p. 63 for more complete details and itinerary.) Craig Colten is the exhibit's staff director.
Mental health association hands out Gold Bell Awards
The Mental Health Association in Illinois (MHAI), an affiliate of the National Mental Health Association, held its Gold Bell Gala in September. The annual event helps the association raise funds to support its community-based programs around the state.
The event also affords MHAI an opportunity to recognize those individuals who have helped combat stigma and increase public awareness of mental health issues. This year's Gold Bell Awards were bestowed on Jerome Blakemore, a mental health advocate from Aurora; Erica Goode of Washington, D.C., a correspondent for U.S. News and World Report; Michael D. Klemens of Springfield, statehouse bureau chief for Illinois Issues; Rockford Register Star reporters Joe Lamb and Alice Maddox; and Carol Mueller of Wilmette's Pioneer Press.
Founded by Jane Addams in 1909, MHAI is the state's oldest advocate for mental health. The organization performs regular site visitations to state-operated mental health facilities and nursing homes, provides an extensive program in mental health education in the schools and offers a statewide network of information and referral services.
Saving suggestions net cash for state employees
Are you a state employee with a money-saving idea? If so, perhaps you should contact the State Employees Suggestion Award Board. Besides saving Illinois taxpayer dollars, it could mean a little extra cash in your pocket.
Five individuals recently received cash awards for their saving suggestions:
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The State Employee Suggestion Award program has been in operation since 1986. Awards totaling $18,290 have gone to 62 state employees. Their suggestions have saved state taxpayers an estimated $1.4 million.
Evanston High School receives grant from Japanese
Evanston High School's 1989-90 budget got a welcome shot in the arm right before the fall term started, and it wasn't from the General Assembly's recent tax increase. In fact, the windfall didn't originate in Illinois at all.
Mitsui & Co., a Japanese import/export trading firm with offices across the U.S., awarded the school a $70,000 grant in August. It is the largest one-year gift ever given by a Japanese corporation to a pre-collegiate institution in the U.S.
According to district Supt. Robert Goldman, the money will allow the school to help send teachers and students to Japan to study various aspects of that country's society, from business to government to theater. The school already has a number of teachers who are interested in Japanese culture, Goldman added, and it has a global studies curriculum that will be enhanced by the opportunity for teachers and students to visit the country.
The grant was made in the name of Masashi Sugimoto who for three years had been the senior vice president and general manager of Mitsui's Chicago office. Sugimoto has returned to Japan.
Garrett and Wilson win Ingersoll Prizes
Novelist George Garrett and educator Edward O. Wilson are the recipients of the 1989 Ingersoll Prizes. Both will be honored at a formal dinner November 2 at Chicago's Drake Hotel.
Garrett will receive the T.S. Eliot Award for Creative Writing. The Florida native has published more than 25 major works of fiction and poetry during his career, including Death of the Fox (1971), The Succession (1983), An Evening Performance (1985) and Poison Pen (1986). Currently the Hoyns Professor of Creative Writing at the University of Virginia, Garrett's soon-to-be-released mystery, Entered from the Sun, involves the death of Elizabethan playwright Christopher Marlowe.
Wilson is the recipient of the Richard M. Weaver Award for Scholarly Letters. Originally from Alabama, Wilson is known as the "father of sociobiology," the discipline that links biological principles with social behavior in men and animals. He is the author of Sociobiology: The New Synthesis (1975), which won him the National Medal of Science, and the Pulitzer Prize-winning Human Nature (1978). Wilson is currently Frank B. Baird Jr. Professor of Science and curator of entomology at Harvard University.
The Ingersoll Foundation is the philanthropic division of Rockford's Ingersoll Milling Machine Company. The prizes, which acknowledge authors whose works affirm the moral principles of Western civilization, are administered by the Rockford Institute, a nonprofit research center. Each prize carries a $20,000 cash award.
Historic hotels to be promoted
The National Trust for Historic Preservation announced the creation of a new program to recognize and promote those hotels that have preserved their historic architecture and ambience. Chicago's Omni Ambassador East is one of the 32 prestigious hotels selected as charter members of "Historic Hotels of America."
Program goals are to encourage the rehabilitation of historic hotels nationwide and to maintain the economic viability of these old facilities. To become a member, hotels must be at least 50 years old and be listed in (or eligible for) the National Register of Historic Places or be recognized by a local or state government as having historic significance.
The National Trust is the only private organization chartered by Congress to encourage public participation in the preservation of the nation's historical and cultural sites, buildings and objects.
Borchers dead at 83
Illinois politician and historian A. Webber Borchers, 83, died September 9 in his Decatur home. He had been suffering from ill health for several months and had recently been confined to his home due to a broken hip.
Borchers, a Republican, served in the Illinois House from 1969-75 and 1979-81. He lost reelection bids in 1980 and 1982. During his legislative career, Borchers authored the implied consent law and was co-author of the mass assembly law which was created to control rock festivals and other large assemblies. He was a member of the Macon County Board from 1947-58.
A graduate of the University of Illinois, Borchers was the school's second Chief Illini-wek (1929-30) and the first to wear the authentic Indian costume and war bonnet. Also while at UI, he is credited with forming the Young Republicans Club.
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