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.

Meghan Woltman

Chairwoman of the Board
Meghan Woltman

Meghan Woltman is the vice president of government and community relations for Advocate Health Care, the largest provider of health services in Illinois. She leads Advocate's efforts in Springfield, IL and Washington, D.C. and works with hospital-based teams to build local partnerships with elected officials and community stakeholders and to communicate the policy priorities of the system. Meghan has been with Advocate since 2006, when she joined the system as director of government relations with a specific focus on state issues. Since that time, her responsibilities have expanded to include all levels of government as well as community health strategy. Meghan is the past Vice-Chairman of the Illinois Chamber of Commerce and has been a director on the board since 2011. She also sits on the Chicago Women in Government Relations board of directors as well. She earned her Bachelor’s degree from St. Louis University in communication and marketing and also completed her Master's degree at St. Louis University through a research fellowship focused on political rhetoric and journalism. Meghan and her husband live in River Forrest and have three children, the youngest being 10 months old.

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...
Whitney Barnes
Director of Communication and Advocacy

As the Director of Communication and Advocacy, Whitney Barnes helps advance the Chamber's initiatives and promote its members through media outreach and grassroots advocacy. 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. Prior to the Chamber, Barnes worked in strategic communications as a senior communications specialist in the Office of the Illinois Governor and as the public information officer for the Illinois Department of Insurance. She has promoted Illinois entrepreneurs as a freelance writer for local and trade publications and helped small businesses grow through multimedia consulting. She is passionate about the intersection of communications and public policy and has worked for the Illinois General Assembly and on state and federal political campaigns. Barnes earned her bachelor's degree in broadcast journalism from Columbia College Chicago.

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...
Darbi Durham
Receptionist and Business Services Assistant

Darbi is the Receptionist and Business Services Assistant here at the Illinois Chamber. Darbi came to the Chamber with a bachelor’s degree in Marketing and Communications from Illinois College in Jacksonville, IL. She has a background in retail, holding multiple managerial positions at Victoria’s Secret for five years. She worked at the Real Estate Groupe as the Pending Coordinator. She is the first face you meet at the Chamber and helps everyone get where they’re going. In addition to assisting the Business Services Division of the Chamber with webinars and seminars, she will be using her communications background on media work, specifically focusing on social media.

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...
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...
Laura Ortega
Executive Director, International Business Council

Laura is the Executive Director of the International Business Council in this role her objective is to increase global trading opportunities for Illinois and bringing needed Investments and jobs to our state. Laura works with the local, state and federal government as well as foreign agencies and representations advocating for proactive international trade and Immigration policies focusing on issues of competition, market access, export facilitation, FTAs and FDI. She also serves as a vital facilitator for business leads in the region helping member companies to access, develop and implement international growth strategies. Prior to the IBC Laura was with the Spanish Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Cooperation at the Legal Office for Consular Affairs in Madrid where she conducted legal matters relative to international judicial cooperation, treaty implementation, and the protection of Spanish citizens abroad. Laura has Bachelor's Degree in Law from the Universidad de Cordoba, Spain and a L.L.M from Universidad National de Educacion a Distancia (UNED), Madrid. She also holds a M.A. in Diplomacy & International Relations from the Diplomatic School of Spain with concentration on International Commerce.

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...
Aaron Winters
Executive Director, Healthcare Council

Aaron brings his experience as the Governor Rauner’s top policy aide and Capitol Hill contacts to the complex issue of healthcare, both in Springfield and Washington, DC. As the Healthcare Council executive director, he represents the diverse voices of the healthcare community and advocates for market-based solutions that expand access to high-quality healthcare options. Prior to joining the Illinois Chamber, Aaron served as Governor Bruce Rauner's deputy chief of staff for policy. In that role he acted as the Governor’s primary policy adviser and ran the administration’s legislative review process, making more than 400 bill action recommendations. Prior to serving in the administration, he was the deputy transition director for the Bruce Rauner Transition Committee and the policy director for Citizens for Rauner. Aaron also previously served as a senior adviser to U.S. Senator Mark Kirk in Washington, DC. He is a graduate of Northwestern University and lives in Chicago.