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Gov. Pritzker Announces Three Appointments to Boards and Commissions

Press Release - Friday, January 26, 2024

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

Employment Security Board of Review

Teresa Ramirez will serve as a Member of the Employment Security Board of Review.* Ramirez brings over 21 years of experience as an advocate for workers throughout Illinois. An Officer of Local 881 UFCW, she currently serves over 34,000 retail and grocery members as Recorder and as the Director of Organizing, bringing vital union protections to cannabis workers in the State. Ramirez joined the Union as a rank-and-file worker, and after her strong leadership skills were recognized, she was asked to join the staff. She has served in a variety of capacities, including administrative, membership services, Union Representative, and Assistant Field Director.

Illinois Health Benefits Exchange Advisory Committee

Wendy Epstein will serve as a Member of the Illinois Health Benefits Exchange Advisory Committee.* Epstein is Professor of Law, Associate Dean of Research and Faculty Professional Development, and Co-Faculty Director of the Jaharis Health Law Institute at the DePaul University College of Law. Her teaching and research focus on health care law and policy, with an emphasis on the financing and delivery of health care, the creative application of behavioral economic principles to entrenched problems, and matters of health equity. She has published over a dozen articles in prominent journals, and is a frequent contributor to media, blogs, and op-eds. Epstein has been a visiting professor at the University of Chicago Law School, University of Arizona James E. Rogers College of Law, and Loyola University Chicago School of Law, and has received multiple awards for her teaching and scholarship. She clerked for the Hon. Michael Daly Hawkins, U.S. Court of Appeals for the 9th Circuit, and was a partner in commercial litigation at Kirkland & Ellis LLP with a focus on health industry clients before becoming an academic. Epstein received her Bachelor of Arts from the University of Illinois, and her Juris Doctor from Harvard Law School.

Illinois Liquor Control Commission

Melody Spann Cooper will continue to serve as a Member of the Illinois Liquor Control Commission.* Spann Cooper is Chair and CEO of Midway Broadcasting Corporation, Chicago's only Black and female-owned broadcasting company. Its assets include the company's flagship station WVON; a Spanish language station, WRLL, and an OTT Digital Steaming Network, VONtv. Spann Cooper serves on numerous professional and civic boards including as Co-Chair of the diversity and Inclusion Council for the Obama Presidential Center. She also serves as a trustee at the Museum of Science & Industry and at her alma mater, Loyola University. Spann Cooper received her Bachelor of Science from Loyola University Chicago.

* Appointments pending confirmation by the Illinois Senate.

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