As president and CEO of the Illinois Chamber of Commerce, Douglas L. Whitley leads the Chamber’s charge to aggressively promote the interests of Illinois business. With Whitley’s leadership, the Chamber has taken unprecedented actions on behalf of Illinois employers, strengthened its role in shaping state and federal legislation, and renewed its status as the unifying voice for business in Illinois.
Whitley has a long record of business leadership and expertise in taxation and regulation, which he has earned in a career spanning the public and private sectors. Before joining the Illinois Chamber, Whitley was President of Ameritech Illinois. Whitley served two years as Director of the Illinois Department of Revenue during the administration of Governor Jim Edgar. Prior to that, Whitley was president of the Taxpayers’ Federation of Illinois for 14 years. In earlier years, he was a legislative staff member in the Illinois House of Representatives.
Throughout his career, Whitley has held leadership positions with numerous business and civic organizations. He co-founded and co-chairs the Transportation for Illinois Coalition. Whitley’s other leadership positions have included the Illinois Business Roundtable, Chicagoland Chamber of Commerce, the Economic Club of Chicago and Chicago’s Work Force Development Board. Whitley has served on Governor Quinn’s Economic Recovery Commission and the Illinois Workforce Investment Board and the Employers’ Advisory Board to the Illinois Department of Employment Security. He is a member of the Economic Club of Chicago, the Executives’ Club, and the Illinois State Historical Society.
A lifelong Illinois resident, Whitley holds a bachelor’s degree in government and history from Southern Illinois University. He was granted an honorary doctorate degree from Western Illinois University. Whitley spent his youth in Atwood, a small, central Illinois farming community of 1,200, where he achieved the rank of Eagle Scout. Whitley and his wife Joanne live in Kane County; they have three children.
Candace Gerritsen serves as Chief Operating Officer for the Chamber. She is responsible for budgeting and financial management, human resources/personnel management, contractual agreements, legal services, and facilities management as well as interfacing with the Board of Directors. Most recently serving as Vice President of Operations, Gerritsen joined the Chamber staff as Executive Assistant to the President in November 2001 in which she worked closely with President and CEO Doug Whitley.
Gerritsen previously served with a computer consulting company as Office Manager for eight years where she facilitated day-to-day activities of the office, worked with the President and Regional Director, and was the Human Resources Coordinator.
Gerritsen earned her bachelor's degree in international studies with a minor in business administration from Millikin University and a certificate under the Society of Human Resource Management from DePaul University in Chicago.
As Executive Vice President, Todd Maisch oversees the Business Services Division, Government Affairs and the Membership and Marketing Department. Maisch is also responsible for the overall development and implementation of the Chamber’s government affairs program and serves as the Chamber’s primary contact for legislators, legislative staff members and the Executive Branch. Maisch also serves as Executive Director of the Illinois Chamber Political Action Committee where he is responsible for designing and implementing political and fund-raising strategies. He oversees development of policy positions and advocacy actions by the Chamber’s business issue councils.
Maisch holds a bachelor of science degree from the University of Illinois, Urbana, and an MBA from Illinois State University. Prior to joining the Chamber in 1994, Todd worked for the General Assembly as a research analyst for the House Republican staff. While working for the General Assembly, he staffed the House Revenue and State Government Committees. He also served as a policy analyst for the House Republican Campaign Committee where he managed political campaigns.
Gloria Guy, IOM, is the Vice President of the Business Services Division whose focus is non-dues revenue for the Illinois Chamber. Guy and her staff are responsible for the creation, marketing and management of Illinois Chamber events as well as the development and marketing of value-added and cost-reducing quality services such as compliance publications, webinars and seminars to be marketed to the Illinois business community.
Knowing that it is important for organizations to find fresh approaches to reach new audiences and users of their products and services, Guy developed a new Chamber program simply called the “Business Services Marketing Program.” The goal of this program is to work with businesses to help them design promotional materials to showcase their services and increase their exposure to a greater audience of potential customers statewide using the Illinois Chamber as their communication channel.
Guy has served as Executive Director of the Chamber’s Statewide Drug-Free Illinois Workplace Program (DFIWP) that was funded by the Illinois Department of Human Services. The Program was one of the most successful cutting-edge programs of its kind in the country, and as a result, the DFIWP and Guy have received national recognition and visibility in Washington, DC.
Guy has been a speaker at events nationally and throughout Illinois. She has served on the Community Anti-Drug Coalitions of America (CADCA) National Coalition Institute Workplace Program Committee based in Washington DC, and has served as an Outreach Consultant for the US Department of Health and Human Services, Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, Center for Substance Abuse Prevention, Washington, DC.
Gloria 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, and she is a member of the Illinois Medical Marijuana Task Force.
Guy is a key member of the senior management team of the Illinois Chamber. She has held various positions including Project Manager of Government Affairs, Director of Communications and Marketing, and Secretary/Treasurer of the Illinois Chamber Political Action Committee. Guy has served on the board of the Worksite Wellness Council of Illinois, the Chicagoland Chamber’s Drug-Free Workplace Committee, and the Illinois Department of Human Services Substance Abuse Prevention Advisory Council. Guy has received an award from the Illinois Prevention 2000 Council for her efforts in communicating and advancing the Council’s message statewide.
Guy completed the U.S. Chamber of Commerce’s distinguished Institute for Organization Management program, a four-year professional development. This coveted IOM recognition signifies completion of more than 90 hours of nonprofit study and dedication to the nonprofit profession.
Guy is a graduate of the University of Illinois at Springfield where she received her Bachelor’s Degree in Business Management. Prior to joining the Chamber, Guy was co-owner of Midwest Materials Management, Inc., a systems integration/management company. She has also worked for two of the top Fortune 500 companies, the Archer Daniels Midland Company and the A. E. Staley Company (Tate & Lyle, London) in Decatur, Illinois.
As Vice-President of Membership & Marketing at the Illinois Chamber, Alex Perry is in charge of the daily membership and marketing operations, serving over 2,500 members across Illinois and managing five staff members within this department. Perry works closely with the VP of Business Services and VP of Government Affairs to ensure our members have access to our advocacy programs/information, educational seminars and conferences and opportunities to connect with business and government leaders across the state.
Alex graduated Cum Laude from Northwestern Univeristy with a B.A. in Political Science.