Building on a strong team of diverse experts in their fields, Governor JB Pritzker recently announced the following appointments in his administration:
Illinois State Toll Highway Authority
James Connolly will continue to serve as a Member of the Illinois State Toll Highway Authority.* Connolly has a long history working in organized labor. He currently serves as the Business Manager for the Chicago Laborers’ District Council, where he is responsible for the delegates of all local labor bodies the District Council is affiliated. He also has experience as the President of LiUNA Local 4 and has been a member of the board since 2019. Connolly received a Bachelor of Science from DePaul University.
Jacqueline Gomez will continue to serve as a Member of the Illinois State Toll Highway Authority.* Gomez currently serves as the Director of Supplier and Workforce Diversity at the Obama Foundation, where she is responsible for the implementation and management of the Foundation’s diversity and inclusion programming. Previously, Gomez worked as the Director of Contract Compliance for Cook County and the Vice President of Business Development and Marketing at Sumac, Inc. In 2018, Gomez received the Advocacy Award for business diversity and inclusion from the Hispanic American Construction Industry Association. She earned a Bachelor of Science from the University of Illinois at Chicago and a Master of Business Administration from National Louis University.
James Sweeney will continue to serve as a Member of the Illinois State Toll Highway Authority.* Sweeney has a long career in organized labor, currently serving as President and Business Manager of the International Union of Operating Engineers, Local 150 representing 23,000 workers in Illinois, Indiana, and Iowa. He holds several leadership positions including with the International Union of Operating Engineers and the Chicago Federation of Labor. Sweeney attended North Central College with a concentration in Business.
Western Illinois University Board of Trustees
Kisha Lang will continue to serve on the Western Illinois University Board of Trustees.* Since 2014, Lang has been the Principal of Bridgescape Learning Academy’s Humboldt Park campus, which has increased reading and math test scores, as well as attendance and graduation rates, under her leadership. She previously served as Assistant Principal at Proviso East High School from 2011 to 2014. Lang has also taught and served as Dean of Students, Director of Operations, and Turnaround Administrator at three Chicago Public Schools — Thurgood Marshall Middle School, Harper High School, and Orr Academy High School — for the prior 17 years. She completed a doctorate in educational leadership and management from Capella University, received a Master of Arts from Concordia University, and a Bachelor of Science from Western Illinois University. She is a Maywood resident.
State Board of Health
Abel Kho will serve as a Member of the State Board of Health.* Dr. Abel Kho is a tenured professor of Medicine and Preventive Medicine at Northwestern University, with a focus on research integrating diverse data within public health applications. Dr. Kho has been dedicated to improving the health of communities in Chicago as a co-founder and board member for the Medical Research Analytics and Informatics Alliance (MRAIA), which provides low-cost infrastructure and informatics to public health agencies and non-profits. He was recognized in 2020 by the American Medical Informatics Association with the Donald A.B. Lindbergh Award for Innovation in Informatics. Dr. Kho received a Bachelor of Science in Mechanical Engineering from University of Illinois, and a Medical Doctorate from the Medical College of Wisconsin.
Civil Service Commission
Teresa Smith will serve as Chair on the Civil Service Commission.* Smith currently works as Executive Director of Human Resources at the Southern Illinois University School of Medicine. Prior to that, she served as Deputy Director, Bureau of Personnel with the Department of Central Management Services with the State of Illinois. Smith is a member of the Society for Human Resources Management (SHRM), the FBI Citizens Academy Alumni Association, the Illinois Public Employer Labor Association, and lead member of the SIU COVID-19 response team. Smith earned a Bachelor of Science from Illinois College and a Master of Business Administration from the University of Illinois at Springfield.
Judy McAnarney will serve as a Member of the Civil Service Commission.* McAnarney has a 40-year career working in state government, human resources, and labor relations. She has served in the offices of the Governor, Secretary of State, Comptroller, and Illinois Attorney General. She recently retired from the Governor’s Office as Director of Executive Appointments and External Human Resources, where she oversaw the filing of exempt positions in state agencies, ensuring compliance with the Illinois Comprehensive Employment Plan. McAnarney received a Bachelor of Arts in Business and a Master of Art in Communication from the University of Illinois Springfield.
David Luechtefeld will continue to serve on the Civil Service Commission.* State Senator David Luechtefeld has been a member of this commission since 2017. Prior, he served in the Illinois General Assembly as the Republican Assistant Minority Leader. Senator Luechtefeld has been recognized for accomplishments by the Illinois Basketball and the Baseball Coaches Hall of Fame. He graduated with a bachelor’s degree from St. Louis University and received a master’s degree from Southern Illinois University, Edwardsville.
Prisoner Review Board
Darryldean Marie Goff will serve as a Member of the Prisoner Review Board.* Goff has over thirty years of experience in leadership and corporate training. She worked at Golden Rule Insurance, where she wrote product training guides and trained personnel. She recently retired from her role as Executive Director with Cra-Wa-La Volunteers in Probation, Inc, located in Lawrenceville, Illinois. In this role, she developed policies designed to maximize the organization’s funding goals, and oversaw several programs including the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA). Goff is a member of the American Parole & Probation Association, the Illinois Association of Juvenile Justice Councils, and the 2nd Circuit Juvenile Justice Council. She graduated from Pierce Community College, Eastern Illinois Community College, and received her Bachelor of Arts in Organization Management and Instructional Design from Ashford University.
Krystal Tison will serve as a Member of the Prisoner Review Board.* Tison’s career began over forty-five years ago as a Mental Health Sustaining Care Worker with the Egyptian Health Department. She worked with patients that were discharged from psychiatric hospitals and provided emergency crisis intervention. She then became a practicing attorney in Illinois, serving as a Juvenile Public Defender at the beginning of her law career. Her private practice has now been open for over thirty-five years, where her primary focus is real estate, guardianships, and adoptions. She has been a certified mediator for custody hearings and visitation matters since 2006. Tison received a Bachelor of Science in Education, a Masters of Science in Education, and a Juris Doctorate from Southern Illinois University.
* Appointments pending confirmation by the Illinois Senate.