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Gov. Pritzker Announces Nine Appointments to Boards and Commissions

Press Release - Monday, January 08, 2024

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

Firearm Owner's Identification Card Review Board

Dion Redfield will continue to serve as a Member of the Firearm Owner's Identification Card Review Board.* Redfield brings over 30 years of experience as a Chicago Police Detective. Since retiring as a Detective, she now works with the Chicago Police Department as a Law Enforcement Investigative Analyst. Redfield has strong roots in her community as a member of the Imani Pearls Community Development Foundation, Cook County Regional Inter-Agency Fatality Review Team, Jesse Owens Park Advisory Council, and Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority Incorporated. Dion Redfield received her Bachelor of Arts degree from the University of Illinois at Chicago in Communication Design and received her Master of Public Administration from the Illinois Institute of Technology.
Illinois Health Benefits Exchange Advisory Committee

Lance Kovacs will serve as a Member of the Illinois Health Benefits Exchange Advisory Committee.* Kovacs serves as the Illinois Health and Hospital Association's lead on key regulatory issues impacting hospitals. He covers a wide array of policy issues including Certificate of Need, the Hospital Licensing Act, Perinatal and Maternal Levels of Care, supplier diversity, and health care professional licensure. He also serves as the hospital community's lead responding to public option proposals. Kovacs has been at IHA for 7 years and has over 15 years of experience in regulatory and government relations roles for organizations such as the Illinois State Medical Society and the American Society of Plastic Surgeons. In addition, Kovacs has served in leadership roles within the Illinois Department on Aging, overseeing a variety of key projects ranging from implementing a new statewide phone system for the Senior HelpLine to the transition of the Senior Health Insurance Program from the Department of Insurance. He was also privileged to serve as a James H. Dunn, Jr. Fellow in the Governor's Springfield Legislative Office. Lance Kovacs received a Bachelors degree from University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.

Laura Minzer will serve as a Member of the Illinois Health Benefits Exchange Advisory Committee.* Minzer currently serves as the President of the Illinois Life and Health Insurance Council, a state trade association that advocates for a healthy and competitive insurance market in Illinois. Minzer has over 20 years of experience working in and around Illinois state government with expertise on public and private health care policy and insurance regulation. She came to the Council in February 2019 from Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Illinois where she served as the Executive Director of Health Policy. She previously served as Director of State Government Affairs for Cigna managing legislative and regulatory issues of interest in Illinois and 8 other midwestern states. Prior to her experience in the private sector, Minzer was the Associate Vice President of Government Affairs and the Executive Director of the Healthcare Council for the Illinois Chamber of Commerce, serving as the Chamber's lead on health policy and reform, which included interpreting and responding to state and federal legislation and regulatory issues regarding implementation of the Affordable Care Act. She got her start as a legislative analyst for the IL House Republican Research Staff, handling health and human service-related policy and budget issues, including Medicaid. Minzer received her Associate of Arts and Science from Cottey College and her Bachelor of Arts from Boston University.

Patrick Besler will serve as a Member of the Illinois Health Benefits Exchange Advisory Committee.* Besler leads state government relations for Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Illinois. He is responsible for developing advocacy plans and health care communications for commercial and Medicaid lines of business, as well as legislation affecting employers and businesses. Besler is passionate about public policy that promotes accessible, affordable, equitable, quality health care, and the company's advocacy on behalf of BCBSIL members. He has more than 10 years of experience managing regional, state, and local government efforts. In his previous role, he served as deputy director of research and appropriations for the office of House Minority Leader Jim Durkin. He also serves as a director on the board of Ronald McDonald House Charities of Central Illinois, where he supports programs that directly improve the health and well-being of children. He's an active board member for the Illinois Insurance Association where he reviews and identifies regulatory and legislative trends affecting the insurance industry. Patrick Besler received a Bachelor of Arts in Political Science from the University of Illinois and a Master of Business Administration from the University Illinois Springfield.

Illinois Liquor Control Commission

Steven Powell will continue to serve as a Member of the Illinois Liquor Control Commission.* Powell was elected to serve as the President of Local 881 of the United Food and Commercial Workers International Union in 2019. In addition, he serves as Vice President on the UFCW International Executive Board. Powell began his career in the labor movement in 1985 as a union representative for Local 881. Powell was asked to serve the UFCW International Union in Washington, DC as the Director of Political and Legislative Affairs. He returned to Local 881 in 1995 to serve as the Executive Vice President until he was elected Secretary-Treasurer in 1999. Powell was also assigned to be a special assistant to the President of the UFCW International to coordinate activities for the 2008 and 2012 presidential elections. In addition to his duties with the local and international union, Powell also serves as a Trustee for the UFCW Midwest Health Benefits Fund, Chairman of the Indiana-Calumet Region Health and Welfare Fund, and Trustee for the UFCW Local 655 Health and Welfare Fund. Moreover, he was appointed to the Illinois State Board of Investments from 2012-2017 and served as an elected Trustee for the Village of Mundelein from 1997 to 2001. Steven Powell received a Bachelor of Arts in Political Science and Business from Lake Forest College.

Brian Sullivan will continue to serve as a Member of the Illinois Liquor Control Commission.* Sullivan is the President and CEO of the Sullivan Wholesale Drug Company, which he has owned and operated for over 30 years. He has also served as the President of FastFlo Inc., and operated additional companies, including Sullivan Drugs of Hillsboro and Sullivan Drugs of Litchfield. Sullivan is the former Mayor of the City of Hillsboro and has experience serving on the Liquor Commission of Hillsboro. During his tenure, he wrote and passed several ordinances relating to craft beer manufacturing and sales as well as micro distillery manufacture and sales in Hillsboro. Sullivan received a Bachelor of Science in Pharmacy from the St. Louis College of Pharmacy.

Public Administrator and Public Guardian

Michelle Coady-Carter will serve as the Public Administrator and Public Guardian for Sangamon County.* Coady-Carter has operated her law practice since 2014 where she specializes in estate planning, guardianship, adoption, juvenile and family law. She also serves as a court-appointed mediator and guardian ad litem and as the Public Administrator and Public Guardian for Calhoun, Menard and Christian County. An active member of her community, Coady-Carter celebrates her love for art by volunteering to paint murals throughout her community. She obtained her undergraduate degree from Southern Illinois University Edwardsville, her Juris Doctor from the University of Missouri School of Law and her Mediation Certification from the College of DuPage.

Andrew Weatherford will serve as the Public Administrator and Public Guardian for Moultrie County.* Weatherford is Owner, Partner and Attorney at Johnson, Chiligiris & Weatherford. Previously, Weatherford was an Assistant State's Attorney for Macon County. He currently serves as the Public Administrator and Public Guardian for De Witt and Macon County. Weatherford earned a Bachelor of Arts from Millikin University, a Master of Arts in Political Science from Eastern Illinois University and Juris Doctor from Indiana University School of Law.

Illinois State Museum Board

Jonah Rice will serve as a Member of the Illinois State Museum Board.* Rice has been a career educator and speaker for 35 years. He has taught courses in communication studies for decades, including film studies and rhetorical analysis. The latter half of his career has been serving as the president of Southeastern Illinois College, leading it to multiple national Aspen nominations for excellence. He has served as the Chair of the Illinois Council of Community College Presidents and as a Member on the Illinois Board of Higher Education Strategic Planning Committee. He won the Illinois Community College Trustees Association's coveted Advocacy Award in 2019. Aside from leading a successful community college in Illinois, Rice has also taught for a variety of universities and has served as a peer reviewer for the Higher Learning Commission in Chicago, Illinois. Rice has published in regional and national publications as well as pursued his interests in consulting and the arts in his later years. He serves on the Ella Elizabeth Hise Regional Art Museum as well as the Southeastern Illinois College Foundation Board. Jonah Rice received an Associate of Arts degree from Southeastern Illinois College, Bachelor of Science from Bradley University, Masters of Arts from Central Michigan University, and a Doctor of Philosophy from Regent University.

* Appointments pending confirmation by the Illinois Senate.

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