Press Release
January 10, 2013

Mayor Emanuel, Chicago Infrastructure Trust Chairman James Bell Announce Appointment of Advisory Members

Proven Leaders in Labor, Business and Finance Will Bring Experience, Guidance to Infrastructure Trust Process
Mayor's Press Office    312.744.3334

Mayor Rahm Emanuel and Chicago Infrastructure Trust (CIT) Chairman James Bell today announced the appointment of the Advisory Members of the Chicago Infrastructure Trust Board of Directors. The six Advisory Members of the Board will assist the voting members of the Trust with the overall process including selection and oversight of projects.

“As the Infrastructure Trust embarks on the first of many projects to come, it will benefit greatly from the expertise and guidance the members of the Advisory Council have to offer,” said Mayor Emanuel. “The Infrastructure Trust is an example of innovative government that can help build the infrastructure Chicago needs to succeed in the 21st Century. We are lucky to have such an accomplished group of experts in the fields of business, finance, government and labor to assist in this critical endeavor.”

Pursuant to the Ordinance adopted by City Council in April 2012, three of the advisory members chosen by Mayor Emanuel are current leaders of the City and its sister agencies.  Those members serve in an ex officio capacity while retaining their City position.  Three other advisory members were selected by Chairman Bell and the voting members of the Trust Board. Each shall serve for a two year term.

The advisory members are:

  • MarySue Barrett, President, Metropolitan Planning Council
  • David A. Dohnalek, Vice President of Finance and Treasurer, Boeing
  • Stephanie D. Neely, Treasurer, City of Chicago
  • Damon Silvers, Director of Policy and Special Counsel for the AFL-CIO
  • Latasha Thomas, Alderman, 17th Ward
  • Tom Villanova, President, Chicago and Cook County Building and Construction Trades Council

"The experience and guidance of these individuals will be an asset as the Trust moves forward with its projects, including Retrofit Chicago,” said Chairman Bell. “I look forward to working together with the voting members of the trust board and our new advisory members as we pursue projects that will explore a new way for the way government to finance its infrastructure development and drive economic growth. We will rely on their guidance and feedback to help us navigate through process with integrity, innovation and intelligence.” 

The Advisory members were introduced and approved by board members at today’s Chicago Infrastructure Trust board meeting. Those who are interested in interacting with the Advisory members should email their request at www.chicagoinfrastructure.org/comments.  The complete bios for the Infrastructure Trust Advisory members are attached and below.

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MarySue Barrett, President, Metropolitan Planning Council
MarySue has been president of the Metropolitan Planning Council since 1996. During her tenure, MPC has strengthened its relationships with regional decision-makers, and is increasingly called upon to untangle local development and regional policy challenges. Prior to joining MPC, MarySue served in former Mayor Richard M. Daley's first administration, holding positions of increasing responsibility over seven years. 

She began her municipal government work in 1989, in the Mayor's Office of Intergovernmental Affairs, and was promoted in 1993 to chief of policy, coordinating initiatives on public safety, economic and community development, and lifelong education. In 1995, Mayor Daley recruited MarySue to serve as chief of staff to the Chicago School Reform Board of Trustees, a new management team charged with bringing revolutionary change to the Chicago Public Schools. MarySue counts Chicago's successful implementation of community policing and the city's successful bid to host the 1996 Democratic National Convention among her top accomplishments. MarySue has a bachelor's degree from Northwestern University.  She has been selected to participate in leadership exchanges sponsored by the International Women's Forum, American Council on Germany, Chicago Council on Foreign Relations, British American Project, Rockefeller Foundation, and Brookings Institution.

David A. Dohnalek, Vice President of Finance and Treasurer, The Boeing Company
Dave Dohnalek is vice president of Finance and Treasurer for The Boeing Company.  He leads the company’s activities in corporate finance and banking, pension and savings investments, global treasury operations, financial analysis, capital markets, and enterprise risk management and insurance.  He also serves as Chairman of the Employee Benefits Investment Committee, and is on the board of Boeing Capital Corporation, Boeing’s finance subsidiary. Prior to becoming Treasurer, Dave served as vice president of Financial Planning and Analysis.  In that role he was responsible for developing Boeing’s current year and long range business plans.  Dave also served as Boeing’s vice president of Investor Relations where he led the company’s outreach to the financial community, including institutional investors and securities analysts. Dave joined Boeing as Assistant Treasurer in March, 2002.  In that role he was responsible for leading corporate finance and capital markets activities, as well as managing relations with rating agencies, fixed income investors, and Boeing’s global banking group.

Before joining Boeing, Dave worked for Ameritech (now AT&T), where he served in progressively responsible leadership positions in Treasury, Finance, and Corporate Development.  Dave, a chartered financial analyst (CFA), received his Master of Business Administration from the University of Chicago and his Master of Science in Engineering from Northwestern University.  He also earned his undergraduate degree from Northwestern and completed the International Business Program at London Business School.

Stephanie D. Neely, Treasurer, City of Chicago
Stephanie Neely is a native Chicagoan with more than 20 years of financial services experience with leading investment banking institutions. Ms. Neely was appointed Treasurer in 2006, elected in 2007, and re-elected in 2011. As Treasurer, Ms. Neely is responsible for investing the City’s portfolio of approximately $7 billion while ensuring it is safe, liquid, and receives the best possible return for the citizens of Chicago. The City Treasurer’s Office is also responsible for developing and implementing programs that foster and promote the economic vitality of the City’s neighborhoods.

Treasurer Neely’s innovative programs include her: Small Business Development Loan program, which provides businesses access to affordable capital; various workshops and mentoring programs for small-businesses and entrepreneurs; an annual free Small Business Entrepreneur Expo that has over 3,000 participants; and financial literacy programs that are available to all Chicagoans and in particular, has reached over 240,000 students in Chicago Public Schools. Finally, Treasurer Neely serves as a trustee on the City’s five public pension boards. Treasurer Neely holds a Bachelor’s degree in Economics from Smith College and a Master’s of Business Administration in Finance from the University of Chicago, Graduate School of Business.

Damon A. Silvers, Director of Policy and Special Counsel, AFL-CIO
Damon A. Silvers is the Director of Policy and Special Counsel for the AFL-CIO.  He joined the AFL-CIO as Associate General Counsel in 1997.  Damon serves on a pro bono basis as a Special Assistant Attorney General for the state of New York. He is also a member of the Investor Advisory Committee of the Securities and Exchange Commission, the Treasury Department’s Financial Research Advisory Committee, the Public Company Accounting Oversight Board’s Standing Advisory Group and its Investor Advisory Group.

Damon served as the Deputy Chair of the Congressional Oversight Panel for TARP from 2008 to 2011.  Between 2006 and 2008, Mr. Silvers served as the Chair of the Competition Subcommittee of the United States Treasury Department Advisory Committee on the Auditing Profession and as a member of the United States Treasury Department Investor’s Practice Committee of the President’s Working Group on Financial Markets. 

Prior to working for the AFL-CIO, Mr. Silvers worked for the Harvard Union of Clerical and Technical Workers, the Amalgamated Clothing and Textile Workers, and as a law clerk at the Delaware Court of Chancery for Chancellor William T. Allen and Vice-Chancellor Bernard Balick. Mr. Silvers received his J.D. with honors from Harvard Law School.  He received his M.B.A. with high honors from Harvard Business School and is a Baker Scholar.  Mr. Silvers is a graduate of Harvard College, summa cum laude, and has studied history at Kings College, Cambridge University.

Latasha R. Thomas, Alderman, 17th Ward
After being appointed 17th Ward Alderman by former Mayor Richard M. Daley in July 2000, the residents of the 17th Ward overwhelmingly elected Thomas to the post in February 2001.  She was re-elected in February 2003, 2007 and April 2011. Alderman Thomas has resided in the 17th Ward for most of her life.  She served as a law clerk to Circuit Court Judge Odas Nicholson and in the City of Chicago’s Corporation Counsel; as a staff attorney with CARPLS (a legal aid and referral service organization) and began her own private practice in 1994.  She joined the Department of Human Services in 1997 as Associate Director of the Children Services Division, which would later become the Department of Children and Youth Services.  Thomas was responsible for restructuring the multi-million dollar division’s staffing and operations, before being elevated to the post of Director of Intergovernmental Relations in April 2000. While in this role, Alderman Thomas was responsible for overseeing department communication and collaboration with federal, state and local government agencies.

During her 11 years as Alderman, Alderman Thomas has worked to change the overall perception of the Englewood and Auburn Gresham communities among non-residents, along with the amount of investment and support coming from local residents and business owners in strengthening their ward’s neighborhoods.  She currently serves as Chairman of the City Council Education Committee, responsible for addressing those issues relative to educating residents of the city at every level. In addition to her year-round efforts and events aimed at improving the quality of life for residents, Thomas sponsors essay contests, serves on several educational committees and provides various incentives for both parents and children to aggressively pursue a love of learning and involvement in the educational process. After graduating from Kenwood High School she received her bachelor’s degree in Political Science from the University of Illinois and her law degree from DePaul University.

Tom Villanova, President, Chicago and Cook County Building and Construction Trades Council

Tom Villanova has served as President of the Chicago and Cook County Building and Construction Trades Council, which represents 24 trade unions, with 100,000 members, since March 2004. Tom is also the Secretary of the Board of Directors of the Chicago Southland Economic Development Board and Past Chairman of the Metro Southwest Alliance. Tom was appointed to serve on the Governor’s Commission on opportunity in State Public Construction and the Governor’s State Labor Advisory Board. Tom sits on the Amalgamated Bank of Chicago Labor Council as its past Chairman, which is an advisory body to the bank on financial matters important to the labor community and its membership. Mayor Richard Daley appointed Tom to the 21st Century Commission to study where the City should be in 20 years. 

Tom started his Local 134 IBEW electrical apprenticeship in November 1972.  He was chosen “Apprentice of the Year” in the third year of his apprenticeship.  After graduating from his apprenticeship, he worked at various levels as Steward, Foreman and General Foreman.  In August 1989, he was appointed full time instructor at Local 134 IBEW Apprentice School.  In July, 1994, he was asked by Business Manager, Mike Fitzgerald, to join the Local 134 staff as Business Representative.  He was responsible for a construction area and negotiating collective bargaining agreements in manufacturing, public sector and construction.  Tom graduated from Antioch University in 1998 with a Bachelor’s Degree in Labor Law Studies.