The Chamber Team

Our mission is to support the interests, success and prosperity of our members and the business community.

Todd Maisch

President and CEO
Todd Maisch

Since joining the Chamber in 1994, Todd Maisch has made engaging coalitions of employers the cornerstone of the Chamber’s reputation as the state’s leading business advocate. He puts in practice the Chamber’s vision that in helping build stronger businesses, we build a stronger Illinois. President and CEO of the Chamber since 2014, Maisch’s leadership of a team of policy experts, business advocates, and communicators impacts the legislative, regulatory and judicial branches of government. His influence has created a network of pro-business advocates both on a state and national level. Sound tax and fiscal policy, reducing the regulatory burden on employers, pro-active economic development, promoting innovation and greater investment in our critical infrastructure are all key priorities for Maisch and the Chamber. In addition, he has led the Chamber to become the voice of business at the ballot box, supporting pro-business candidates that share the same priorities. A native of Peoria, Maisch earned an MBA from Illinois State University and a Bachelor of Science degree from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. Maisch serves on the Steering Committee of the Illinois Business Immigration Coalition, and is a member of the U.S. Chamber Committee of 100. Maisch and his wife, Kim, have two children and reside in Springfield.

Brent Eichelberger

Chairman of the Board
Brent Eichelberger

Brent has over 30 years of banking experience in various leadership and banking roles. He received a BS in Business Administration from Friends University, Wichita, KS and an MBA from Bradley University, Peoria, IL. Brent is also a graduate of both the Peoria and Morton Leadership Schools. Brent has been active in several community organizations over the years, including leadership roles therein, and is currently a Board Member of the Illinois Chamber of Commerce and the Heart of Illinois United Way; Advisory Board Member of OSF Saint Francis Medical Center; and Member of the CEO Council and the Central Illinois Multiple Sclerosis Society. Brent and his wife Renee have four adult children (three married with two grandchildren), and reside in rural Tazewell County.

Chamber Staff

We are a team of dedicated individuals with the shared goal of creating a stronger business and stronger Illinois.

Staff bio coming soon...
Jeanette Anderson
Chicago Office Manager & Operations Assistant

Jeanette is currently the Chicago Office Manager and Operations Assistant. In her current role, she manages the Chicago Office and assist the Chief Operating Officer. She has been with the Illinois Chamber since November 1983. Jeanette is that friendly voice who has been answering the Chicago main phone line since she started. Throughout her years with the Chamber, she started as the receptionist and was later promoted to the Membership Department as a Secretary where she provided assistance to the Vice President and the membership staff. Jeanette was promoted in 1999 to the Finance Department as Supervisor of Financial Transactions. In 2001, Jeanette assumed the duties of Office Manager. In 2015, she was promoted to the assistant to the COO. She also assists the Council Directors and continues to assist the Membership Department and the Finance Department in its efforts.

Staff bio coming soon...
Jim Bajt
Director of Member Relations

Jim has served with the Illinois Chamber for over 24 years, currently doing member retention. He calls all members to ensure that they understand the Chambers’ involvement on legislative issues and the impact of these issues on the members’ business. He answers questions of the members regarding the benefits of Illinois Chamber membership and the critical issues that will affect their business and employees. Having a background in the machine tool and quality control background for over 10 years gave Jim the necessary background to talk with manufacturers, fabricators etc. about how statewide legislation affects their bottom line. Since coming to the association world in 1985 he has worked with the US Chamber of Commerce, Florida Chamber and Chicagoland Chamber. Jim received his degree in Music Education from SIU-C and holds a two-year degree in Automotive Technology as well.

Staff bio coming soon...
Lori Cowdrey Benso
Executive Director, Healthcare Council

Lori is an attorney with over 30 years of experience in law practice and health insurance. As the Executive Director of the Healthcare Council, she represents the diverse voices of the healthcare community and advocates for market-based solutions that expand access to high-quality healthcare options. Lori has served as both outside and in-house counsel, managed the State of Illinois health plans and represented multi-state health plans, start-ups, ACOs, health care non-profits and provider sponsored plans. She offers a wealth of experience and perspective with regard to government relations, regulatory compliance, lobbying, licensing and strategic planning. Lori is currently in private practice with McClain & Canoy. Prior to entering private practice, Lori served as Senior Vice President and General Counsel for an Illinois health plan for over 15 years. She was responsible for corporate legal matters; government programs; government relations, including coordinating legislative, lobbying and political activities and maintaining relationships with state and federal officials and employee benefits. Prior to her General Counsel experience, Lori spent 10 years working for the State of Illinois Department of Central Management Services where she oversaw 140 employees and a $2 billion-dollar budget. As Deputy Benefits Manager, she was responsible for four separate health plans offering life, health, dental and vision benefits covering 420,000 employees, retirees and dependents. Lori is a member of the Illinois State Bar Association and the American Health Lawyers Association. She is a member of the ISBA Employee Benefits Council and is a former Chair. She previously served on the Board of Directors of the Midwest Business Group on Health and the Illinois HMO Guaranty Association. She graduated with high honors from Eastern Illinois University and received a J.D. from Washington University School of Law. Lori lives in Champaign and is licensed to practice in Illinois.

Staff bio coming soon...
Callie Brenden
Executive Assistant

Callie is the Executive Assistant to President and CEO Todd Maisch. In this position, she is responsible for arranging travel and correspondence, scheduling meetings, and organizing a daily calendar for Mr. Maisch. Callie joined the Illinois Chamber of Commerce in 2016. Prior to her position at the Chamber she worked at Blue Cross and Blue Shield, where she assisted healthcare providers and members navigate Affordable Care Act policies. The native of Pleasant Plains is helping the team run smoothly.

Staff bio coming soon...
Lanae Clarke
Vice President Investor Relations

Lanae is the Illinois Chamber’s Vice President Investor Relations leading and supporting the membership development team. She will be cultivating and developing relationships up and down the state as well as across all levels of industries. Prior to the Chamber, Lanae served in various state and federal roles in government and corporate environments. She graduated from Washington State University with a Bachelor of Arts in English and Political Science. Additionally, she earned a Master of Arts degree in Government and Law from Johns Hopkins University.

Staff bio coming soon...
Kirsten Constant
Business Services Coordinator

Kirsten came to the Chamber with a background in Customer Service, Management and Marketing. Some of the locations she has worked include Family Video as a store manager, her family's restaurant where she served many roles including assisting with a new marketing plan for the business. Kirsten graduated from the University of Illinois Springfield in December 2014, with a Bachelor of Arts in Business and Marketing.

Staff bio coming soon...
Andrew Cunningham
Manager of Legislative Relations

As Manager of Legislative Relations, Andrew Cunningham compiles research and data relative to various policies and issues that may affect the Illinois Chamber’s members to help lobby lawmakers, government officials and other stakeholders. As part of the Government Affairs Team, he joins the Chamber with both governmental and nonprofit experience. Most recently, Andrew worked in the Communications department for the Senate Republican Caucus where he assisted with constituent and member relations. He has also held positions on multiple state and federal political campaigns. In addition, Andrew has worked for the Central Illinois Nonprofit Resource Center helping nonprofit organizations access funding and operational resources, as well worked in the local community as a licensed substitute teacher. Prior to his current role with the Chamber, Andrew had served as an Illinois Chamber Government Affairs Intern where he assisted with bill tracking, writing and research. Andrew received his bachelor’s degree in Political Science and Communication from the University of Illinois-Springfield.

Staff bio coming soon...
Darbi Durham
Director of Communication and Advocacy

As Illinois Chamber’s Director of Communication and Advocacy, Darbi Durham promotes Chamber members and its initiatives through the outreach of social media, particularly in video production and media releases. She works closely with the Chamber President and CEO, Chamber staff and partners to craft and distribute the Chamber's message of building stronger business and a stronger Illinois. She brings to this role her extensive experience in areas of various forms of communication, including video and social media platforms by providing an enthusiastic, forward thinking mindset. Darbi came to the Chamber in 2019 with a bachelor’s degree in Marketing and Communications from Illinois College in Jacksonville, IL. Prior to the Chamber, Darbi held multiple managerial positions at a retail corporation for five years and was the Pending Coordinator for a local real estate firm in Springfield, Illinois.

Staff bio coming soon...
Candace Gerritsen
Chief Operating Officer

Candace is Illinois Chamber’s Chief Operating Officer. She works with the President of the Illinois Chamber and Illinois Chamber Board of Directors. She is responsible for budgeting, financial management, human resources/personnel management, contractual agreements, legal services, and facilities management. Prior to her current position, Candace held various leadership and support roles, such as Vice President and Associate Vice President of Operations, since joining the Illinois Chamber in 2001 as Executive Assistant to the President. She has over 25 years of small business entrepreneurial experience combined within the private and public sectors in the food, computer and non-profit industries in operations, human resources, personnel and management. Gerritsen holds a 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.

Staff bio coming soon...
Peggy Hardy
Membership Accounts Manager

Peggy is the Membership Accounts Manager in this position, she 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. 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. 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. 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.

Staff bio coming soon...
Pam Holleman
HR Specialist/ Event and Publications Sales

Pam joined the Illinois Chamber of Commerce in 2011 as a Human Resources Specialist / Event and Publication Sales Representative. Pam handles publication sales and registrations for seminars, webinars, and conferences. She enjoys helping customers find the information and training needs that are best for their organization. Pam previously worked for the Illinois Chamber for 3 years as the Human Resources Information Manager. 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. 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.

Staff bio coming soon...
Clark Kaericher
Vice President of Government Affairs; Executive Director Technology and Infrastructure

Clark Kaericher serves as Vice President of Government Affairs; Executive Director Technology and Infrastructure. Clark comes to the Chamber from the Senate Republican staff where he worked as the Senate Floor Director and Legal Counsel, where he was responsible for analyzing and providing recommendations on thousands of pieces of legislation. Prior to the Senate, Clark served as the Chief Administrative Officer at the Illinois Department of Innovation and Technology (DoIt), where he led a newly unified enterprise of 1,500 employees spanning 50 agencies, boards, commissions, and other entities. He oversaw $1 billion in annual spending and a complete digital transformation of state government. Prior to DoIT, Clark served two years as the District 9 administrative services manager at the Illinois Department of Transportation where administered the procurement, management and maintenance of a $40 million budget for Divisions of Highways and Finance/Administration, oversaw hiring, and completed 90 percent of all road construction. He has managed multiple state senate campaigns and worked in significant roles on gubernatorial and congressional races. Clark earned his Juris Doctorate from Saint Louis University School of Law in 2010, and his Bachelor of Science from Indiana University, Kelley School of Business in 2007. He lives in Chatham with his wife, two daughters and their dog.

Staff bio coming soon...
Isabella Lytle
Office/Business Services Marketing Assistant

In her role as Office/Business Services Marketing Assistant, Isabella will be the person you encounter first when you visit the Springfield office and speak with on the phone. Additionally, she supports the office and staff on a daily basis. Isabella also closely works on events, webinars, seminars and publications. She enjoys interacting with the public and has a strong sense of customer service and work ethic. Balancing attending college to earn her degree in American History and working, she brings skills in customer service, office administration and support, and event planning. She has an interest in politics and government that began before her time with the Chamber as she was a page at the Capitol with Representative Tim Butler. Isabella is a lifelong Illinois resident and most of her family resides in Illinois as well. Her great-grandfather immigrated from Mexico and settled in Chicago in the 1920s. She has a passion for Illinois’ history and its people.

Staff bio coming soon...
Alec Messina
Executive Director, Energy Council

Alec is the Executive Director of the Energy Council. Alec engages local, state, and federal officials on key energy issues, advocating for smart energy policy that produces affordable, reliable energy in an environmentally sound manner. Further, Alec engages the legislature on other key business issues. Messina has 20 years of experience in environmental law, policy development and implementation, and legislative advocacy. He has worked closely with corporate senior executives, law firms, consultants, lobbyists, government affairs staff, and business development organizations to secure the necessary environmental permits and other authorizations for companies expanding in or relocating to Illinois. He also has vast experience testifying before the Illinois General Assembly on the impacts of environmental legislation and policy matters. Prior to joining HeplerBroom, Messina served as the Director of the Illinois EPA. He also served as Policy Adviser for Environment and Energy in the Office of the Governor, where he oversaw policy development and implementation for six state agencies, including the Environmental Protection Agency, Department of Agriculture, Department of Natural Resources, Illinois Commerce Commission, Illinois Pollution Control Board, and Illinois Power Agency. Before joining the Governor’s Office, Messina worked as Executive Director of the Illinois Environmental Regulatory Group, a company-based association with the primary mission of influencing the development of policy, regulatory, and legislative environmental matters in Illinois. In this role, he worked closely with plant managers, environmental professionals, and government affairs staff for company-members of the association, as well as companies affiliated with numerous business and trade groups. He has also served as Chief Legal Counsel for the Illinois EPA and the Office of the State Fire Marshal, and has held various other positions inside and outside of state government.

Staff bio coming soon...
Joan Olivier
Investment Development Director

Joan will be developing long term relationships for the Illinois Chamber with new members, partners and constituents alike. In her career, Joan worked with the Naperville Area Chamber of Commerce in various member and corporate relations, board development and marketing roles. She also has worked as an Associate Director with University of Chicago in career development and corporate relations. Joan is very familiar working with employers, highly technical personnel and working conferences, alumni events, etc. During her career, she has developed working relationships with C- level individuals in the business, educational and non- profit community in roles of business development and fundraising. Joan holds a Bachelor's Degree in Organizational/Corporate Communication from Northern Illinois University.

Staff bio coming soon...
Jay Shattuck
Executive Director, Employment Law Council

Jay has more than 30 years of lobbying experience in employment law issues, he is the leading authority at the Statehouse from issues ranging from workers’ compensation to employment discrimination and from unemployment insurance to workplace benefit mandates. He is one of the state’s most respected business lobbyist and association executive. Jay formed Shattuck & Associates Consulting, Inc. in 1997 and works for the Chamber as an outside consultant. His imprint can be found on a wide range of business statues and regulations considered by the General Assembly and Illinois state government for nearly forty years. Mr. Shattuck is a graduate of the University of Illinois with a Bachelor’s Degree in Political Science. He has been a Certified Association Executive (CAE) for 25 years actively involved in a number of professional and civic organizations, he is a past president of the Illinois Society of Association Executives (ISAE), and a past chairman of BIFEC.

Staff bio coming soon...
Laurie Silvey, IOM, CAE
Associate Vice President Business Services and President Center for Business Managment

Laurie is responsible for planning, budgeting, marketing and presentation of all seminars, conferences and webinars. She is also responsible for compliance publications and all non-dues revenue programs and is the editor/publisher of the Illinois Business Leader magazine, the Illinois Chamber's print publication Laurie was a previous business owner, publishing 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. 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. Laurie is a graduate of Eastern Illinois University and has received her Certified Association Executive (CAE) designation.

Staff bio coming soon...
Keith Staats
Executive Director, Tax Institute

Keith is an attorney who has been involved in state and local tax since 1990. Keith is the Executive Director of the Illinois Chamber of Commerce Tax Institute. He previously was a director in Grant Thornton's State and Local Tax (SALT) practice in Chicago, where he was involved in tax planning, consulting, and dispute resolution in all areas of state and local taxation. Prior to rejoining Grant Thornton in 2010, Keith was Counsel at McDermott Will & Emery in Chicago where he specialized in multistate tax planning, consulting and litigation. Keith served as general counsel of the Illinois Department of Revenue, and was on the legal staff of the Illinois Department of Revenue for over 10 years. Keith is a member of the Illinois State Bar Association, the Chicago Bar Association, and is a professional affiliate member of the Illinois CPA Society. He is a member of the Illinois State Bar Association State and Local Tax Section council. He is a member and past chairman of the Illinois CPA Society State and Local Tax Committee. He has a Bachelor of Arts degree from Milllikin University, and graduated with honors from the Illinois Institute of Technology Chicago-Kent College of Law.

Staff bio coming soon...
Lauryn Thornton
New Membership Manager

In Lauryn’s role of New Membership Manager, she interacts with enterprises revealing the power of the Illinois Chamber and what membership with the Chamber can mean for their business. Lauryn comes to the Chamber as a recent graduate from Illinois College – Jacksonville having majored in Finance & Economics and a minor in Mathematics. She has held various roles in social, education and business organizations building her customer service skills on various levels, mentor and leadership skills as a Resident Assistant, had cash management responsibilities, made business presentations and finance models as well as planned events.