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A CONVERSATION WITH OUR READERS

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We're fortunate to have the
services of our high-energy board

by Ed Wojcicki

This month's cover story and a recent news item cause me to reflect on the significant but quiet service provided by the Illinois Issues Board. (Their names are listed in the right-hand column of this page.)

The idea for our cover story James Krohe's assessment of Chicago's potential to become a global city originated with Doris Holleb during a discussion at a recent board meeting. At each biannual meeting, members discuss public policy issues and offer suggestions to our staff on topics the magazine could explore.

It is also significant that Krohe's article is our annual Mike Hudson Memorial Economics Essay. Hudson, who worked for Illinois Tool Works, was Illinois Issues' board chairman when he died suddenly in 1992. Other board members wanted to memorialize his service to the magazine; they raised money for this annual essay, which deals with an economic trend of importance to this state.

The news item I mentioned earlier occurred in January: Sally Jackson is leaving as president and CEO of the Illinois State Chamber of Commerce to run the Greater Columbus Chamber of Commerce in Ohio.

Jackson, who formerly worked in both the Thompson and Edgar administrations, served on our board with great enthusiasm and proved to be one of those people who always follows through. I will miss her presence in Illinois.

Two longtime board members who helped the magazine in numerous ways ended their terms last year: Bob Dixson and Bob Gannett. Dixson is with the Illinois Energy Association, and Gannett, a Chicago community organizer, is working on his Ph.D. in France. I want to thank them publicly for their personal support and guidance after I arrived here nearly five years ago.

It is also worth noting that Phil Rock has agreed to serve as the board's chairman for another year "one more year," he says. He has been an active chairman on our behalf since 1994, and has been more than generous in making himself available to me.

People sometimes ask me how people get tapped to serve on our board. The first thing I say is that we maintain, by choice, a diverse group of individuals from the worlds of business, education, labor and the nonprofit sector. The board's nominating committee makes recommendations to fill a limited number of vacancies every year, and members are appointed jointly by the chancellor of the University of Illinois at Springfield and the president of the University of Illinois.

All board members are busy people who serve without pay, and I am grateful to all of them.

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Illinois Issues February 1997 / 3


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