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Appointments aid Intersect Illinois’ effort to market state to business

New leadership at Intersect Illinois includes Dan Seals to market Illinois as a premier global business destination; joined by Robert Stephan to focus on downstate development and corporate relations

Intersect Illinois, a statewide economic development organization focused on bringing businesses to Illinois, today announced it has named Dan Seals as its new CEO. Seals will guide the organization in its mission to bring jobs and investment to Illinois by collaborating with the State of Illinois, industry, academic, civic, and government partners to enhance Illinois’ profile as a top destination for global business and to attract investment throughout the state.

Illinois Gov. JB Pritzker recommended Seals’ appointment, which will be voted on by Intersect Illinois’ board of directors at its Sept. 23 board meeting. He succeeds Alya Adamany Woods, who has led the organization as the acting CEO and COO since August of 2019 and is pursuing a new opportunity in the private sector.

As Seals focuses on the state’s diverse industries and communities as a whole, Intersect also announced the addition of Robert Stephan as the newly-created vice president of Downstate Relations, based in Alton.  Stephan, who is also a native Illinoisan, will draw on his business background and extensive network downstate to expand Intersect’s reach and enhance business attraction efforts throughout Southern Illinois.

“I’m pleased to welcome Dan Seals as the new CEO of Intersect Illinois, where I know he will make a lasting impact on our efforts to promote economic growth for communities across our state and to rebuild from the pandemic,” said Pritzker. “Dan brings a unique combination of public and private sector experience in marketing and economic development that will be invaluable as Intersect Illinois advances its mission of aligning our government and statewide partners in efforts to market our state before the world. I want to thank Alya Woods for her years of service to Intersect and wish her well in her move to the private sector.”

Seals, a native Illinoisan, comes to Intersect from his position as a director at the American Medical Association, where he led both domestic and international marketing for a large portfolio of business services. He has also led teams at GE Capital and T-Mobile and served as the Assistant Director of the Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity. Seals holds an MBA from the Booth School of Business at the University of Chicago and a MIPP in International Economics from the School of Advanced International Studies at the Johns Hopkins University.

“Dan’s passion for Illinois, his deep background in government and economic development, and his capabilities as a marketing executive make him a perfect fit to lead Intersect,” said Jim Reynolds, CEO of Loop Capital and Chairman of Intersect Illinois’ board of directors. “We look forward to welcoming Dan and give our sincerest thanks to Alya, who navigated the organization through the global pandemic, staying focused on job creation and building economic opportunities throughout the state, which became even more essential during the unprecedented times.”

“This is an exciting time for the State of Illinois and for Intersect Illinois, and I am honored to take on the role as we continue to pursue economic recovery and market the state as a premier choice for global investment,” said Seals. “The opportunities for growth and development across targeted key industries are tremendous, and with Governor Pritzker’s strategic focus on sectors such as agribusiness, energy, life sciences, manufacturing, technology and transportation & logistics–the possibilities to grow our Illinois economy are limitless.”

Stephan said he looks forward to his work of “bringing even more focus to the tremendous economic development opportunities that downstate Illinois offers. My roots in Southwestern Illinois give me a deep understanding of the business landscape and a wide range of partners that we will bring together to tell the story of why global and domestic businesses will benefit from locating in Illinois.”

Seals began his new position Sept. 9 and Stephan was to begin the following week.

Intersect Illinois helps companies and communities navigate the site selection process, providing data for informed location and expansion decisions and connections to a robust network of partners. In partnership with the Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity, Intersect Illinois generated nearly 60 business attraction and expansion projects in 2020. Overall, statewide business development efforts have helped usher in 331 company expansions and relocations throughout last year, generating over $4.2 billion in investment and more than 15,000 jobs for the state.

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