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Organization also announces board restructuring to further advance mission to bring economic growth and jobs to Illinois

CHICAGO, IL – Intersect Illinois today announced three appointments to its distinguished board of directors: Michael Sacks, CEO and Chairman of GCM Grosvenor, Smita Shah, President and CEO of SPAAN Tech, Inc., and Kevin Warren, President & CEO of the Chicago Bears. As deeply engaged, passionate business and civic leaders, Sacks, Shah, and Warren will help advance Intersect Illinois’ mission to attract new jobs and investment to Illinois.

In recent months Intersect Illinois has added nearly a dozen new members to the board, and is implementing a CEO-centered board restructuring that also includes expanding member engagement and networking opportunities and the creation of new board committees.

“In recent years, Illinois has built up tremendous momentum as a great place to do business, which is validated by its ranking as #2 in the nation for corporate expansions and relocation for the second year in a row,” said Intersect Illinois chairman John Atkinson. “Key to building upon that momentum is enlisting our best and brightest business and civic leaders to help us lead this work, and adding Michael Sacks, Smita Shah and Kevin Warren to our board will provide invaluable leverage as we compete to bring new business and jobs to Illinois.”

MICHAEL SACKS – Sacks is Chairman and CEO of GCM Grosvenor, a $79 billion asset management firm headquartered in Chicago. Under Sacks’ leadership, Grosvenor grew to one of the largest and most diversified independent alternative asset management firms in the world. Sacks is engaged in the state’s philanthropic and civic communities focused on driving educational equity in public schools, economic opportunity, and connecting arts and culture to communities; he has been a Trustee of the Obama Foundation since its inception.

“Public-private partnerships such as Intersect Illinois play a vital role in advancing economic opportunity that impacts the entire state,” said Sacks. “As a member of the Intersect Illinois board, I look forward to helping showcase our state and driving economic growth and jobs for Illinoisans.”

SMITA SHAH – Shah is an engineer, entrepreneur and civic leader serving as President and CEO of Chicago-based SPAAN Tech, Inc, a multi-disciplinary firm with expertise in public and private infrastructure projects including transportation, aviation, and facilities. Deeply committed to her community, she serves on numerous corporate, nonprofit and civic boards and organizations, including President Biden’s Advisory Commission on Asian Americans, Native Hawaiians, and Pacific Islanders.

“As the infrastructure and transportation hub of the Midwest, Illinois presents countless opportunities for companies to expand or grow their business,” said Shah. “I’m honored to join Intersect Illinois’ board of directors during a time when the momentum and excitement around our state is building every day, and look forward to engaging business leaders across the country on why there’s no better place to do business than Illinois.”

KEVIN WARREN – Warren is the President & CEO of the Chicago Bears, where he oversees the club’s football and business operations. A veteran executive of 22 years in the NFL, Warren joined the Bears after spending nearly four years as Commissioner of the Big Ten Conference, where he guided the conference to an expansion to 16 schools and negotiated a media rights deal that brings in $1 billion annually. Warren also founded the Big Ten Equality Coalition, a nonpartisan group representing all member institutions committed to combat racism, and developed a mental health and wellness cabinet.

“I am honored to accept Intersect Illinois’ invitation to join the board of directors and to share all of the positive attributes about what makes the state of Illinois such a great place to conduct business,” said Warren. “Intersect Illinois is very effective and responsible for bringing innovative businesses to the state of Illinois. I am focused and eager to provide tangible value to the work that will be done now and in the future to continue the growth and vibrancy of the great state of Illinois.”

Intersect Illinois’ board of directors is a non-partisan group of private-sector and civic leaders dedicated to bringing economic growth and jobs to Illinois. The board advises Intersect Illinois on ways to make the state even more attractive for business attraction. Leaders are recommended for the board to represent a diversity of regions, industries and backgrounds. All members must be approved by a board vote.

As Intersect Illinois continues to grow, it is shifting its board of directors to all CEO-level participants. Current board members at other levels will shift to the newly created Executive Advisory Council. This new structure will bring additional appointments, that will accompany recent appointees including Wanxiang America Corporation CEO Pin Ni, Chicagoland Chamber of Commerce CEO Jack Lavin, P33 CEO Brad Henderson, DLA Piper Partner John Lyons, Chicago State University President Z Scott, Clayco Chicagoland Chief Growth Officer Michael Fassnacht, Skyway Concessions Company CEO Kristi Lafleur, and Illinois Manufacturers’ Association President & CEO Mark Denzler.

The new structure will also include committees that allow for more board member engagement. An executive committee will include seven board members that vote on matters on behalf of the board. Executive committee members will be recommended by the Chairman and approved by the board. The board will also include an Executive Advisory Council, marketing & communications, audit, site readiness and board development committees.

As the state’s business attraction organization, Intersect Illinois collaborates with partners in the public and private sectors to attract new jobs and investment throughout the state. The organization showcases the state’s advantages including its central location with access to the country and world, its unmatched infrastructure, and its robust workforce fueled by its dynamic higher education system.

Working with industry, academic, civic, and government partners, Intersect Illinois makes it easier for companies to expand in Illinois and provides a range of services to help navigate the site selection process. Intersect Illinois’ board of directors helps the organization generate public good with private sector efficiency.

Sacks, Shah and Warren join board members from companies including Ameren Illinois, ADM, Busey Bank, Carle Health, Chicago State University, Chicagoland Chamber of Commerce, Comcast, ComEd, Constellation, Clayco, DLA Piper, 8 Hospitality Group, Illinois American Water, Illinois Manufacturers’ Association, Illinois Manufacturing Excellence Center, Illinois REALTORS, Loop Capital, Marsh Chicago, Nicor Gas, OSF Healthcare, P33, Peoples Gas and North Shore Gas, Related Midwest, Skyway Concession Company, the University of Illinois System, and Wanxiang America Corporation.