Mayor Irvin Selected for Prestigious Leadership Program

Aurora Mayor Richard C. Irvin was one of 40 leaders from across Illinois to be inducted into the seventh class of the prestigious Edgar Fellows Program hosted by former Illinois Governor Jim Edgar and the University of Illinois Institute of Government and Public Affairs.

Irvin was chosen from a field of 168 nominees for this intensive five-day, bi-partisan, executive leadership training program held on the campus of the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. The group of Fellows included elected officials from all levels of government, leaders of non-profit organizations and individuals who are making their mark in the business world.

The Edgar Fellows Program’s mission is to develop leadership and governing capacity in Illinois by emphasizing the need to forthrightly address major policy issues without permitting partisan, ethnic and regional rivalries to overshadow statesmanship.

“I am honored to have participated in what I consider some of the most thought-provoking and eye-opening conversations I’ve ever experienced during my years of service,” said Mayor Irvin. “We focused on pertinent issues while forming new alliances and collaborations. While the program was beneficial to me personally, it also provided the opportunity to make connections for the betterment of Aurora as well.”

The program offered a platform for the Fellows to engage with policy experts, experienced practitioners and each other in discussions of issues such as economic development, health care, education and intergovernmental cooperation.

The line-up of speakers included former Chief of Staff for President Obama Bill Daley, former U.S Department of Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood, Cook County Board President Toni Preckwinkle, executive director of the Latino Policy Forum Sylvia Puente, president and CEO of State Farm Michael Tipsord, Illinois Attorney General Lisa Madigan and many other elected officials, business executives and civic leaders.

“The Edgar Fellows Program brings together people from all over Illinois, people with different backgrounds, different politics, and different heritage. But what we have learned over the years is that these people learn they have more in common than they have differences,” said Edgar, who launched the program in 2012. “This is what the program is all about, finding common ground and respect for each other so that, as they advance in their leadership careers, they can help shape a better Illinois.”

Irvin was one of only two Illinois mayors selected for this year’s class of Fellows.

He and Rockford Mayor Thomas McNamara were joined by: Alma Anaya, Cook County Commissioner-Elect, 7th District; Kristopher Anderson, state and local government consultant and former manager, U. S. government relations, McDonald’s Corporation; State Senator Omar Aquino ; Amy Barry, director of communications and public affairs, Illinois Senate Republican staff; State Senator Jennifer Bertino-Tarrant ; Nathaniel Brown, academic co-director, Study of the U. S. Institute for Student Leaders; Helena Buckner, commissioner, Macon County Board; Nicole Budzinski, senior advisor, JB for Governor Campaign; Beniamino Capellupo, executive director, SEIU Illinois State Council; Jeffrey DeHaan, senior wealth advisor and chief compliance officer, Clearwater Capital Partners, LLC; Courtney Eccles, director of Secure Choice Program for Illinois State Treasurer’s Office; Charles Feinen, counsel, State Farm Mutual Automobile Insurance Company; and

State Representative La Shawn Ford; State Senator Dale Fowler; Magdalena Fudalewicz, manager, Chicago Latino Caucus Foundation and chief of staff for Alderman Gilbert Villegas; Emily Gibellina, director of government relations, University of Illinois Hospital and Health Sciences System; State Representative LaToya Greenwood; State Representative Mike Halpin; Frank Haney, chairman, Winnebago County Board; State Representative Sonya Harper; Sarah Hartwick, executive director, ED-RED; Ra Joy, recent candidate for lieutenant governor with Chris Kennedy and former executive director of CHANGE Illinois; Staci Mayall, treasurer of Fulton County; Steven McClure, Republican nominee for state senator in 50th District and former assistant state’s attorney of Sangamon County; Aaron Ortiz, Democratic nominee for state representative in 1st District; Mark Pietrowski, Jr., chairman, DeKalb County Board; and

Delia Ramirez, Democratic nominee for state representative in 4th District; Prashanthi Rao Raman, director of global policy, Lyft, Inc.; Chasse Rehwinkel, chief economist, Illinois State Comptroller’s office; Bria Scudder, senior government and community liaison, office of Illinois Attorney General, and program director for ColorComm, LLC – Chicago Chapter; Catie Sheehan, vice chairman, Sangamon County Board; Mariyana Spyropoulos, president, Metropolitan Water Reclamation District; Brad Stotler, district director for U. S. Congressman Darin LaHood; Curtis Tarver II, Democratic candidate for state representative in 25th District; Jennifer Walling, executive director, Illinois Environmental Council; Brandon Zanotti, state’s attorney of Williamson County; Sarah Zehr, assistant vice president for academic affairs, University of Illinois; Michael Ziri, director of public policy, Equality Illinois.

Mayors Irvin and McNamara have already made plans to co-host a special session for mayors of large cities at the upcoming Illinois Municipal League Conference this month.

Comments are closed.