Thursday, October 13, 2011

Five join Illinois Issues sponsored Legislative Internship Hall of Fame

The Samuel K. Gove Illinois Legislative Internship Hall of Fame will honor five individuals who have served as legislative interns at the state Capitol. David Kennedy, Bruce Kinnett, Michael Maibach, Catherine Shannon and Frank Straus will be inducted during a ceremony at the Executive Mansion on Monday, November 7. Inductees are selected based on their contributions to Illinois and its citizens. The Hall of Fame is also recognition of the important role that public service internships play in developing public sector leadership.

Kennedy, 57, has served as executive director of the American Council of Engineering Companies of Illinois (ACEC-IL) for the past 25 years. He chairs the State House Committee and serves on the Executive Committee of the Transportation for Illinois Coalition that advocates at the state and national levels for more transportation funds. Kennedy is also active in his profession, association management. He has served as president, board member, member and chair of many committees for the Illinois Society of Association Executives. Following his graduation from Southern Illinois University Carbondale, Kennedy was a legislative intern from 1978-79 with the House Democratic staff where he remained until 1986 when he moved to ACEC-IL. Kennedy is a Springfield resident.

Kinnett, 56, is vice-president at Cook-Witter Inc., a Springfield lobbying firm. He joined the organization in 1988 with extensive experience in state and national governmental relations, particularly in the areas of health care, agriculture, conservation, natural resources and environmental concerns. While serving as a legislative intern from 1976-77 with the Senate Republican staff, he coordinated policy research and legislative analysis of many of those same issues. Prior to joining Cook-Witter Inc., Kinnett moved to Washington, D.C., and founded a private corporation to promote the development of aquaculture and then returned to Illinois in 1987 to assist with the family farming operation near Alexander. Kinnett is on the board of directors of two medical missions that provide health care to the needy in the Philippines and Southeast Asia. He is a graduate of Illinois College and resides in Springfield.

Maibach, 60, has been president and CEO of the European-American Business Council since 2003, an entity that has grown from 12 to 75 member companies with offices in Washington, D.C., and Brussels, Belgium. He is a member of the U.S. State Department’s Advisory Council on International Economics and has published more than 70 essays on American history and society, commercial policy and global competitiveness. Prior to his current position, Maibach worked for Intel Corporation, rising to vice president in 1996. He opened the Intel Government Affairs Offices in Washington, Brussels and Beijing, becoming a leading spokesman for America’s ICT industry on trade and technology policy. He also worked for Caterpillar Inc. in various positions then as government affairs manager in Illinois, California and Washington, D.C. Maibach served as a legislative intern with the Senate Republican staff in 1975-76, assigned to then-Minority Leader Bill Harris. He holds a number of degrees from various universities in the subject areas of history, political science and international business. A native of Peoria, he resides in Alexandria, Virginia.

Shannon, 47, is deputy director at the Illinois Historic Preservation Agency and assists in the management of 26 state historic sites and historical preservation programs. The agency has about 180 employees and an annual operating budget of approximately $24 million. From 2007 through April 2011, she served as director of the Illinois Department of Labor, the state agency responsible for the administration and enforcement of more than 20 labor and safety laws with 90 employees and an annual operating budget of $7.5 million. Shannon had worked as the agency’s legislative director since 2004 and as the labor policy adviser to the governor’s office from 2003 to 2004. She also worked previously as legislative director for both the Illinois Federation of Teachers and the Illinois AFL-CIO. Shannon was a legislative intern from 1987-88 and worked on the research/appropriations staff for the House Democrats. She is a graduate of Northern Illinois University and a resident of Springfield.

Straus, 52, is deputy director for Revenue and Public Safety for the House Republican staff and has served in that capacity since 2003. He also serves on the Budgets and Revenue Committee for the National Conference of State Legislators. A graduate of Harvard, Straus began working in state government in 1982 as a Secretary of State Fellow. He then followed that experience into the Legislative Intern program in 1983-84, serving with the House Republican staff. Straus has staffed a wide variety of committees, handling everything from criminal law to financial institutions, serving as a mentor for fellow analysts and providing support for members of the House Republican caucus. He has written a book about Mackinac Island, Mich., and writes a column on the island’s history for that area’s newspaper. Straus is a resident of Springfield.

Illinois Issues, sponsor of the Hall of Fame, is the state’s leading public policy magazine. It is published at the University of Illinois Springfield. The Hall of Fame is named for Samuel Gove, one of the magazine’s founders and a longtime director of the internship program. Gove died January 28, 2011. Besides commemorating Gove’s legacy, this year’s event marks the 50th anniversary of the Illinois Legislative Internship Program’s creation in 1961. Both the magazine and the Illinois Legislative Staff Internship Program are part of UIS’ Center for State Policy and Leadership. Established in 1990, the Hall of Fame, including this year’s inductees, now numbers 54 individuals, among them a former governor and several former and current state legislators. The names of the Hall’s members are inscribed on a plaque that hangs on the fourth floor of the Statehouse.

The event on November 7 will begin with a reception at 5:15 p.m. at the Executive Mansion at Fourth and Jackson Streets, followed by the induction ceremony at 6:30 p.m. Tickets are $65 per person. Reservations are required. For more information on attending, call 217-206-6084. Or, to purchase tickets online go to http:///, and look for Gove event registration in the right-hand margin of the Web page.

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