The Chamber Team

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

Ann Deters

Chairperson of the Board
Ann Deters

Ann Deters has served as Board Chair, Committee Chair, Board Member, and/or CEO over the past 35 years. She has a breadth of experience in the healthcare, technology, and financial services industries, including a proven track record for leading businesses through strategic partnering, re-engineering, succession planning/implementation and process improvement. She combines her strong financial skills, technology expertise, business operations and entrepreneurial acumen, with her quest to achieve high growth and profitability. As a fifth-generation entrepreneur, Ann has started three highly successful companies in the healthcare sector, with the flagship entity being Vantage Technology, a medical service company she founded in 1990.

Currently, Ann serves on the boards of ABARTA Coca Cola Bottling, Bemis Manufacturing (global plastic products), Vantage Technology (healthcare) and Illinois Chamber of Commerce. She has served on family-owned businesses & privately held businesses, including Midland States Bancorp, which is now a publicly held company (MSBI). Ann received her MBA from Northwestern’s Kellogg School of Business and BS in Accounting from Southern Methodist University. She and her husband, Dennis, have five children and three grandchildren.

Lori Poppe Hiltabrand

Chief Operating Officer and General Counsel
Lori Poppe Hiltabrand

Lori Poppe Hiltabrand serves as Chief Operating Officer and General Counsel for the Chamber. Lori comes from 25 years in private practice litigating insurance defense, employment law, casualty and workers compensation matters.  She began her career with Heyl, Royster in Springfield.  She opened a Springfield office for Chicago-based Hennessy & Roach. For the past 18 years, Lori has been with Koepke & Hiltabrand, PC. In addition to her duties as COO for the Chamber, Lori will use her litigation background to develop Legal Reform division within the Chamber.  This will allow the Chamber to focus on bills supported by the Illinois Trial Lawyers Association that are negative to businesses in Illinois and to seek to advocate changes to positively impact Illinois businesses.

Lori has a Bachelor’s of Arts degree from Illinois Wesleyan University and graduated with honors from Southern Illinois University School of Law.  Lori lives in rural Pleasant Plains with her husband, daughter and son.

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
Administration and Membership Manager

Jeanette is currently the Administration and Membership Manager. 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. In 2023 she was promoted to her current position. Jeanette will continue to assist Council Directors 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...
Danielle Blake
Vice President of Member Services

Danielle Blake serves as the Vice President of Member Services and is responsible for leading the Springfield and Chicago membership divisions. She works on overall membership growth, specifically with recruiting new members and supporting existing Chamber Members. She has over 8 years of Chamber of Commerce experience, previously working at the Naperville Area Chamber of Commerce as their Business Development Manager and the Joliet Region Chamber of Commerce & Industry as their Account Executive. She has helped over 1,000 businesses invest in and join their local Chamber of Commerce yielding over half a million in Membership dues. Before working at a Chamber of Commerce, Danielle worked in Career Services in higher education for over 10 years as a Director of Career Services, Associate Director of Career Services, and Employment & Internship Coordinator. She holds a Master's in Education with a focus in College Student Personnel from Illinois State University and a Bachelor of Arts in Media Arts from the University of St. Francis with a focus in Graphic Design.

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...
Andrew Cunningham
Executive Director, Infrastructure Council and Director of Legislative Relations

As Executive Director of the Infrastructure Council, Andrew Cunningham heads the subgroup of the Chamber that focuses on increasing infrastructure investments in a strategic and thoughtful way to boost the overall business climate in Illinois. Most recently, Andrew served as the Chamber’s Manager of Legislative Relations where he wrote to members, tracked legislation, and compiled research relative to various policies and issues to help lobby lawmakers, government officials, and other stakeholders. Andrew continues many of these duties in his additional role as Director of Legislative Relations. Previously, 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 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, and has worked in the local community as a licensed substitute teacher. At one time, He served as the Illinois Chamber Government Affairs Intern. 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...
Aaron Harris
Executive Director, Employment Law Council

Aaron leverages his background and connections in Illinois state government to help clients further their business objectives. Before joining Michael Best Strategies, he held influential positions in Illinois’ Office of the Governor, Department of Juvenile Justice, and State Police. Most recently, Aaron served as the Interim Legislative Director in the Office of Governor JB Pritzker where he managed the Governor’s Office of Legislative Affairs staff and statewide legislative liaison workforce. In this role, he advised the Governor on proposed bills, regulatory and administrative procedure, and legislative strategy. Aaron assisted with the successful enactment of the Governor’s landmark legislative agenda by securing support from members of the Illinois General Assembly. Prior to assuming this role, Aaron served as the First Assistant Deputy Chief of Staff for Legislative Affairs where he oversaw 16 state agencies legislative priorities, including energy, environment, infrastructure, public safety, and elections. Earlier in his career, Aaron was Chief of Intergovernmental Relations for the Illinois Department of Juvenile Justice’s Office of Governmental Relations. In that role he drafted, passed, and implemented criminal justice reform and other legislation to advance the department’s legislative agenda, while securing a $120 million annual budget appropriation.

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
Senior Vice President of Government Affairs Executive Director Technology and Healthcare

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...
Kiarra Mallow
Business Services Assistant

Kiarra is the Illinois Chamber’s Business Services Assistant. Her primary duties are related to management, general business operations, and customer service. Kiarra works throughout the Chamber and helps assist with event preparation for the Business Services Division. She came to the Chamber from Pro Com Services where she was their Client Services Representative for the past six years. There she handled new membership accounts and collected all outgoing and incoming correspondence from debtors, clients and attorneys. Kiarra comes to the Chamber with an expertise in data entry, processes, and personalized customer service. She also helps assist the Communications and Government Affairs departments.

Staff bio coming soon...
Kirsten McDevitt
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...
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...
Laurie Silvey, IOM, CAE
Vice President Business Services, 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
Interim President and CEO and 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.