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 Dailey joined the Illinois Chamber as Director of Sponsorship Marketing in February of 2011. Her responsibilities are the development, planning and organization of sponsorship efforts for the Chamber’s larger initiatives. Elizabeth has an extensive Sponsorship and Events background. Prior to joining the Chamber, Elizabeth was the Sponsorship Manager for a non profit in Detroit which produced the two largest civic events for the community. In this role, she demonstrated her initiative in bringing value to sponsors and detail to a high level of satisfaction and professionalism.
Elizabeth attended Central Michigan University, majoring in Commercial Recreation.
Stacey Duncan serves as Coordinator of Events and Professional Education Programs in our Business Services Division of the Illinois Chamber. She assists in producing webinars, seminars, and conferences, all of which help keep Illinois businesses in compliance by educating them about the many federal and state regulations and laws.
Stacey is a graduate of the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign with a Bachelor’s Degree in Education. Prior to joining the Chamber Staff, Stacey taught music for a variety of age levels in both the public and private school settings. She continues to be active in the Ball-Chatham School District as a piano accompanist for intermediate and middle school band and chorus students.
Megan comes to the Chamber with a background in the medical field in numerous office administrative capacities. She has also spent time in the magazine publications industry while with Time-Out Chicago. Megan has an educational background in Psychology and Art History from DePaul University and studied in Rome, Italy. Megan joined the Chamber in June 2010 as Operations Management Administrative Assistant. She works directly with the president and vice president of operations as well as on various projects within the Chamber.
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.
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.
In her Corporate Partnership role, Minty works with existing members to help connect them to the many meetings and events the Illinois Chamber offers. She also focuses on recruiting new members to the Chamber while advocating the interests of businesses throughout the state. Minty promotes prosperity and opportunity to the citizens of Illinois while establishing the Chamber as the unifying voice for business in Illinois and advancing the Chamber’s position as a reliable public policy advocate. She has a strong background in the hospitality and tourism industry in Chicago, as well as varied office experience.
Minty is a recent graduate of Boston University, with a Bachelors of Arts in History of Art and Architecture.
Melissa comes to us from Washington, DC with insightful career experience in both the private and public sectors – and, more specifically, within the public policy, politics, legal, finance, and business operations industries. She offers a strong background in business & political strategies execution, business development and relationship management.
Most recently, serving as a registered lobbyist for some of the largest players in the Internet and technology arenas, she assisted NetCoalition in the mission-critical defeat of the Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA) and PIPA (Preventing Real Online Threats to Economic Creativity and Theft of Intellectual Property Act, or PROTECT IP). Melissa provided public and private sector clients of Jochum Shore & Trossevin PC with political intelligence, strategic government relations advice and access to policymakers. Prior to joining the firm’s burgeoning tech practice, Melissa’s work focused on advancing progressive energy and environmental public policies – including a national “cap and trade” regulatory approach designed to provide financial incentives for private sector engagement in efforts to mitigate climate change – at Environmental Defense Fund and, subsequently, the Alliance to Save Energy. Prior to her tenure in Washington, DC, Melissa lived and worked in New York City, where she led law firm-wide client relationship management initiatives at Dewey & LeBoeuf, LLP.
Melissa attended the University of Colorado at Boulder and graduated with a Bachelor of Arts degree in both political science and environmental studies.
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 primary duties as Director of Advocacy include developing and implementing Chamber programs related to grassroots activism, candidate support, advocacy fundraising, assisting in direct lobbying activities and member outreach initiatives. He also serves as the liaison to caucus political committees and individual candidates for public office.
Andrew received a bachelor’s degree in Political Science from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign in 2004.
Laura Minzer currently serves as the Executive Director of the Illinois Chamber of Commerce’s Healthcare Council, one of six business issue councils that serves as the Chamber’s primary resource for responding to and influencing healthcare policy. In that role, she serves as the Chamber’s lead on health reform, interpreting and responding to state and federal legislation and regulatory issues regarding implementation of the Affordable Care Act and other issues that impact the health insurance market and the broader healthcare system in Illinois. She has also served as a member of the Illinois State Health Improvement Planning Team 2009-2010 and is currently a member of the Illinois Department of Public Health’s Leadership Team for their Community Transformation Grant/We Choose Health initiative that supports public health efforts to reduce chronic diseases, promote healthier lifestyles, reduce health disparities and help control healthcare spending.
In addition to her role as Executive Director, Laura also serves as the Associate Vice President of Government Affairs for the Chamber, assisting in the management and lobbying of state legislative issues of interest to the Illinois Chamber and its diverse membership, including issues related to healthcare, the budget, taxes, civil law, environment and energy, workforce development and employment law, infrastructure, and procurement.
Laura joined the Chamber in 2007 after spending seven years as a legislative analyst for the Illinois House Republican Caucus, handling policy and budget issues for health and human services and K-12 education.
Laura has a B.A. in political science and international relations from Boston University. She currently resides in Springfield, IL with her husband and two boys.
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 as the Director of Events and Social Media. 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, scheduling and conducting all seminars, conferences and webinars under the responsibility of the Business Services Division. She also assists in promotion and marketing of publications and events.
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.
Cathy Plouzek comes to the Illinois Chamber serving a new role as Integrated HR Solutions Advisor. Her responsibilities will include publication sales and registrations for seminars, webinars, and conferences. She brings her expertise in the areas of benefits administration, compensation, recruitment, workers compensation, employee relations and compliance to the position. Cathy has over 25 years experience in Human Resources and a solid foundation of service and support to companies in their efforts to implement and improve Human Resources processes.
In addition to her work with the Illinois Chamber, she is the Director for Illinois State Council Society for Human Resource Management. As the chief elected officer of the state council, she establishes policy, strategies and objectives consistent with those of SHRM. As Director, Cathy provides guidance to elected and volunteer members who are responsible for accomplishing state and SHRM objectives. Her position puts her in communication with thousands of Human Resource professionals, vendors, and business owners.
Cathy is a graduate from the University of Illinois Springfield with a degree in Business Management. She is a licensed Illinois health/life producer and holds a Professional in Human Resources (PHR) designation.
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 Director of Local Chamber Relations. In this role, she maintains the Illinois Association of Chamber of Commerce Executives (IACCE) membership and financial information as Office Manager. 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.
As the Manager of Corporate Communications for the Illinois Chamber, Lisa Weitzel additionally serves as President of the Illinois Association of Chamber of Commerce Executives. Also a small business owner, Lisa is the vice-president of the Ball-Chatham CUSD #5 Board of Education and a board member with Illinois Women in Leadership. She is a former director of both the Springfield Art Association and Westminster Presbyterian Cooperative Preschool.
Lisa honed her communications skills during her board experiences and as a freelance photographer in the Springfield area. She is active in the Illinois Association of School Boards and comes to the Chamber with excellent writing, editing, and design skills.
Lisa is a graduate of Northern Illinois University with her bachelor’s degree in Political Science, and interned with United States Senator Alan J. Dixon.