Jeanette has been with the Illinois Chamber since November, 1983. She began her career with the Illinois Chamber as receptionist. In this role she became known to members throughout the state as that friendly voice who answered phones in the Chicago headquarters. She later worked in Membership Marketing as the Secretary and provided assistance to the Vice President and the membership sales staff. In 1999, Jeanette was promoted to the Finance Department serving as Supervisor of Financial Transactions. In 2001, Jeanette assumed the duties of Office Manager, and continues to assist the Finance Department and the Membership Department in its efforts.
Jim Bajt has served with the Illinois Chamber for over 11 years as a Member Services Manager with the responsibility for membership growth and retention. Jim works with the entire membership to educate them on current legislative initiatives that impact their businesses. He has also worked in the same capacity with the U.S. Chamber of Commerce for 4 years and he held similar positions with the Florida State Chamber of Commerce and the Chicagoland Chamber for two years with each organization.
Elizabeth works with the Center of Business Services to create and solicit sponsorship and marketing opportunities with Illinois Chamber Events. She understands the importance of new exposure and maintaining relationships in the ever changing business economy.
Elizabeth is a graduate of Central Michigan University, with a bachelor in Applied Arts.
Jack most recently spent 4 years with the Naperville Chamber of Commerce developing membership relationships with in the surrounding area. He has been in the business development arena the majority of his business career.
As director of communications for the Illinois Chamber, Melissa will be working outwardly educating and informing the employers and citizens of Illinois the good, tough work the Chamber does each and every day on their behalf. Melissa will be teaming up with Chamber staff to grow the Illinois Chamber brand – in print, graphics, social media and media outlets, working closely with Illinois Chamber President and CEO Todd Maisch.
She comes to the Illinois Chamber with a diverse communications background. Melissa’s most recent experience was with the Illinois State Treasurer’s Office as press secretary/public information officer, where she led a team that earned a national Clarion award for marketing and advertising. Prior to that, she was statehouse bureau chief with the Illinois Radio Network, anchor/reporter with various media outlets such as WICS-TV Channel 20/WICD-TV Channel 15; WMAY/WNNS/WQLZ- Springfield, and WLBK/WDEK – DeKalb. Melissa also served in the Illinois Department of Central Management Services, as well as an adjunct professor at the University of Illinois at Springfield.
Melissa has earned numerous media awards, is vice president of programs of the Association of Women in Communications-Springfield and served as the Illinois News Broadcasters Association as president and vice-president. Melissa received her master's degree in Public Affairs Reporting from the University of Illinois at Springfield, her bachelor' degree in Radio-Television from Southern Illinois University at Carbondale and her associate's degree from Illinois Valley Community College in Oglesby.
Peggy joined the Illinois Chamber staff in February of 1983. During her tenure she was the Administrative Assistant to the Vice President of Membership Sales and Services, assisting with the day-to-day operations of the department along with working with the Executive Staff and Board of Directors. Peggy was promoted to Membership Retention Executive in June of 1996. As membership executive she was responsible for $2.5 million in renewal revenues. Her duties included contacting member companies for membership renewal and obtaining feed-back from members on issues that impact their operations in Illinois.
Peggy is now Membership Accounts Manager. In this position, Peggy works closely with the Executive Staff, Vice President of Membership and Marketing and with the Directors of Corporate Partnerships. She is responsible for the Chamber members annual billing and other member related invoicing along with maintaining the Chambers’ membership database.
Other responsibilities include: assisting members with export documentation information on Certificates of Origin, Affidavits, Chamber of Commerce Declarations and supplying general information to members and non-members.
Charlie’s energetic and expressive personality works to engage the Business Community and learn their story. He is interested in “what big issue keeps you up at night?” Charlie wants to help with a solution by forming a partnership for the now and into the future.
Born, raised and educated in Chicago, Charlie has been employed throughout Chicago, Evanston, Highland Park and Oak Park. He has an extensive business development background in sales and promotion in the broadcasting industry; he has taught at local and national trade schools; as well as served as a healthcare financial services professional. He has intimate knowledge of small business, having worked with a self-guided Chicago sightseeing-tour company creating tours and working with local neighborhoods, local chambers, local associations in order to develop a great way to showcase their areas and bring revenue to local businesses’ front doors.
Charlie graduated from Columbia College and several vocational schools. He is proud to hold an Honoree High School Diploma from the University of Chicago Labs School. Together, he and his wife are avid theater and movie goers. Along with his two children, he loves to entertain with family and friends.
Pam Holleman joined the Illinois Chamber of Commerce as a Human Resources Specialist and Publication Sales Representative. Pam handles publication sales and registrations for seminars, webinars, and conferences. Pam previously worked for the Illinois Chamber for 3 years as the Human Resources Information Manager. In this role she ran the HR Helpline, edited the HR blog and contributed to the HR Exec.
Before working for the Illinois Chamber, Pam had a strong background in Human Resources including 10 years working as a Human Resources Manager for various manufacturing companies. Her experience includes handling a whole host of H/R issues including: interviewing, hiring, disciplinary action, benefits administration, unemployment insurance, workers’ compensation, safety, and discrimination claims. She has also done some consulting work on employment law issues. With this background in Human Resources, Pam understands the products and events of the Illinois Chamber and can better assist members and clients to make informed decisions about what they need to run their business successfully.
Pam holds a Bachelor’s degree in business with a concentration in Human Resources from Trinity Christian College, in Palos Heights, IL.
Kelli Jessup joined the Illinois Chamber staff in June of 2014. Kelli works directly with the director of business services to coordinate and produce webinars, seminars, conferences, and publications, all of which help keep Illinois businesses in compliance by educating them about the many federal and state regulations and laws.
Kelli is a graduate of University of Illinois at Springfield with a bachelor’s degree in Communications with an emphasis on interpersonal communication and public relations.
Denise joined the Illinois Chamber as the Operations Assistant. She brings more than 20 years of office support experience serves as liaison to Executive Management and the Illinois Chamber’s Board of Directors, assisting with day-to-day operations, organizing and coordinating external relations efforts; oversee special projects, and act as point of contact for internal and external constituencies on matters pertaining to the Office of the President/CEO and COO.
Prior to joining the Illinois Chamber, Denise served as Executive Administrative Assistant to a Chief Financial Officer at a privately held global transportation company, as well as other organizations and industries, in areas such as multi-modal transit; planned residential and urban development; marketing and advertising; non-profit and underground and submarines power transmission cables and systems for construction and infrastructure applications.
Denise enjoys international travel and interior decorating.
Jennifer Popa is a Communication Designer who graduated from Harrington College of Design with a specialization in corporate branding. Prior to joining the Illinois Chamber she worked with a variety of businesses to develop their brand image and worked on projects ranging from mobile application design to product packaging design.
Andrew joined the Illinois Chamber as director of advocacy in April 11, 2011, coming from the Champaign County Chamber of Commerce where he served two years as public policy manager. Prior to that, he worked as a legislative research analyst for the House Republican staff from 2004 to 2008, Illinois field director for the Rudy Giuliani presidential campaign, Ohio regional director for the McCain-Palin presidential campaign in 2008, and East Central Illinois regional director on the Mark Kirk for Senate campaign in 2010.
Andrew’s duties as director of advocacy for governmental affairs include developing and implementing Chamber programs related to grassroots activism, candidate support, advocacy fundraising, assisting in direct lobbying activities and member outreach initiatives. As executive director of the political action committee, Andrew will serve as the liaison to caucus political committees and individual candidates for public office, raise money for the Chamber's political program, hold fundraisers on behalf of legislative members, and engage in legislative initiatives for campaign finance reform.
Andrew received a bachelor’s degree in political science from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign in 2004.
Cate joins the Illinois Chamber as a Director of Corporate Partnerships working to create a broader member base and increasing the level of involvement of the business community.
As a business owner and successful Managing Broker in Chicago’s dynamic residential real estate market for ten years, Cate understands fluctuations in markets and managing the bottom line.
And she’s no stranger to manufacturing environs either. Cate has effectively contributed to company growth as a Sales and Marketing Manager with 10 years of experience in a variety of manufacturing businesses. Interestingly, Cate carries a working knowledge of plastic injection molding, epoxy & urethane coatings, vinyl wall protection, manufacturing of capital equipment, wire-processing machinery, and of course, building construction.
This broad scope and comprehensive understanding of business functionality coupled with expertise in the service, manufacturing and distribution industries, gives Cate first-hand knowledge of what today’s businesses are facing in their quest to remain competitive in their evolving marketplaces.
Laurie Silvey joined the Chamber in 2010. She has a background as co-owner of a motorsports magazine for 20 years, with experience in publishing and page layout, extensive event planning, promotions and marketing of an annual consumer trade show and several annual motorsports events. Current responsibilities include planning, budgeting, marketing and presentation of all seminars, conferences and webinars under the responsibility of the Business Services Division. She is also responsible for promotion and marketing of publications and events.
Laurie currently serves as Awards Director on the Executive Board of the Illinois Committee for Employer Support of the Guard and Reserve (ESGR) funded by the U.S. Department of Defense, Washington D.C.
She most recently served as Executive Director of Menard County Tourism Council, where she designed and maintained their website, planned monthly and annual meetings, promotions and marketing of county tourism fundraisers. She was also Regional Administrative Coordinator of the Great Lakes Region of Horace Mann Insurance Corporation, planning numerous conferences, rallies, and district meetings.
Mary came to the Chamber with 28 years experience working in administrative capacities with a Fortune 500 manufacturing company. She joined the Chamber in December 2002 as Receptionist at the Springfield headquarters. Her current duties include a variety of administrative assignments including working with the Business Services Division and Government Affairs Division. Mary also assists in the day-to-day operational functions of all aspects of the Springfield Office as well as assisting with the preparation of materials for regular meetings of the Chamber’s Board and Executive Committee.