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Gov. Pritzker Announces Thirteen Appointments to Illinois Boards and Commissions

Building on a strong team of diverse experts in their fields, Governor JB Pritzker announced the following appointments in his administration:


Peter Buckley will serve on the Concealed Carry Licensing Review Board.* Buckley currently works as a Private Investigator contracted by the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI). He previously served as Chief Deputy with the Douglas County Sheriff’s Office, FBI Special Investigator, Deputy Sheriff with the McLean County Sheriff’s Office and Counselor at RUCE Community High School in Reddick. Buckley is a member of the Tuscola Kiwanis Club and the St. Patrick Church Knights of Columbus. He’s a member of the Society of Former Special Agents of the FBI and the Illinois Sheriff’s Association. Buckley served in the United States Army from 1977 until 1979 before being honorably discharged. He earned his Bachelor of Science from Western Illinois University in Law Enforcement Administration and Master of Arts in Human Developmental Counseling from the University of Illinois-Springfield.

Lionel Craft will  serve on the Concealed Carry Licensing Review Board.* Craft is a former Investigator for the Cook County State’s Attorneys Office, Special Agent for the Federal Bureau of Investigation, Corrections Officer at the Cook County Department of Corrections and Inheritance Tax Clerk in the Illinois Attorney General’s Office. He earned his Bachelor of Arts in Political Science from Roosevelt University.


Larry Peterson will serve on the Illinois Community College Board.* Peterson previously served as President of Shawnee Community College until 2012. He additionally worked as Vice President, Director for Human Resources, and Director of Financial Aid, Academic Advisor and Tutor at John A. Logan College. Peterson is a former member of the Illinois Board of Higher Educations’ “Diversifying Faculty in Illinois” initiative. He earned his Bachelor of Arts in English and Economics, Master of Science in Curriculum and Instruction, and Doctorate in in Higher Education from Southern Illinois University in Carbondale.

Lynette Stokes will serve on the Illinois Community College Board.* Stokes currently serves as President of South Suburban College. She previously served as Vice President of Academic Service for the South Suburban College, and Dean of Instruction and Dean of Adult Education at Malcom X College. Stokes is a member of Junior Achievement of Chicago and the South Cook County Mosquito Abatement District. She was awarded the Trailblazer Award in 2018 by the Illinois Committee on Black Concerns in Higher Education. Stokes earned her undergraduate degree from Columbia College Chicago in Communications and graduate degree from Roosevelt University in Public Administration.


Roger Poole will continue to serve on the Illinois Finance Authority.* Poole was appointed to the Finance Authority in 2009. Poole, who retired after 30 years of service, was the Directing Business Representative for Machinists District No. 9. He has received the Labor Man of the Year Award from the Southwestern Illinois Central Labor Council, the Community Services Labor Man of the Year Award from the St. Louis Labor Council, and the Labor Man of the Year Award from the St. Louis Port Council. Poole serves on the Authority’s Audit Plus and Direct/Alternative Committees.

J. Randal Wexler will continue to serve on the Illinois Finance Authority.* Wexler was appointed to the Finance Authority in 2019. He is the Vice President, General Counsel and Corporate Secretary for Van Drunen Farms and FutureCeuticals (collectively “VDF”). VDF has its roots and heart in commercial-scale farming, manufactures and sells frozen and dried fruit, vegetable and herb ingredients to the food industry and invents, develops and sells functional supplement and food ingredients to the dietary supplement industry. Prior to joining VDF, he practiced law with Sidley Austin LLP for over 15 years, where he was a partner for more than 7 years. Wexler was trained as a litigator and trial lawyer. His relevant expertise included managing complex financial litigation, counseling public company boards concerning financial accounting noncompliance and counseling food, supplement and drug companies concerning FDA/regulatory compliance. He also serves as a member of the Board of the Chicago Council of Lawyers. Wexler earned his Juris Doctor, cum laude, from the University of Michigan Law School and his Bachelor of Arts in Economics from Yale University.


Anthony Garcia will continue to serve on the Illinois Gaming Board.* Garcia was appointed to the Illinois Gaming Board in 2019. Since August 2013, he has served as senior counsel for litigation and investigations at The Boeing Company where he manages litigation as well as supervises and conducts internal investigations implicating violations of the False Claims Act, Foreign Corrupt Practices Act, Anti-Kickback Statute and other statutes. Garcia previously served as an Assistant U.S. Attorney in the Northern District of Illinois where he investigated and prosecuted violations of narcotics and weapons statutes, murder for hire, and fraud and export control statutes. Previously, Garcia spent seven years at the U.S. Department of Justice, five years as a trial attorney for the Office of International Affairs and Counterespionage Section and two years as an attaché in Mexico City, working closely with senior U.S. and Mexican officials to combat transnational crime. He also served as an Assistant State’s Attorney in the Cook County State’s Attorney’s Office and as an Intelligence Analyst at the U.S. Central Intelligence Agency. Garcia received his Juris Doctor and Bachelor of Arts in international studies from the University of Wyoming.


Diana Leza Sheehan will continue to serve on the Lottery Control Board.*  Sheehan was appointed to the Lottery Control Board in February of 2020. She is a market research, sales and business strategy executive with over 18 years of corporate, consulting and management experience. Sheehan currently serves as a Group Vice President of Client Services & Insights at InContext Solutions. Sheehan previously spent four years at Kantar Group, serving as the Vice President of Client Leadership, Vice President of Retail & Shopper Insights, Director of Retail Insights and Vice President of Client Development. Prior, she worked in a variety of roles across the private sector, including time at ConAgra Foods, Ipsos Marketing, Mintel International, Nielsen, Willard Bishop Consulting and General Mills. Sheehan also sits on the board of directors of Instituto Del Progresso Latino and serves at its secretary. She earned her Bachelor of Business Administration from the University of Notre Dame and Master of Business Administration from the University of Chicago.


Don Villar will continue to serve on the Metropolitan Pier and Exposition Authority.* Villar was appointed to the  Metropolitan Pier and Exposition Authority in 2019. He currently serves as Secretary Treasurer for the Chicago Federation of Labor. Villar is the former President of NABET-CWA Local 41, Counsel at Shaw Legal Services, and news writer and producer for WLS-TV. He is a current board member of ARISE Chicago, the Metropolitan Planning Council’s Resource Board, Jobs With Justice Chicago, the Illinois Justice Project and United Way of Metropolitan Chicago. He is additionally a member of the Asian American Bar Association, the Catholic Lawyers Guild, and is the former President of the Asian American Journalists Association and the Organization of Chinese Americans, Chicago Chapter. Villar earned his Bachelor of Arts in Mass Communication and History from the University of Illinois at Chicago and Juris Doctorate from Loyola University of Chicago Law School.


Leslie Breuer will serve on the Racing Board.* Breuer owns and operates his namesake company, LH Breuer and Associates, providing nutritional consulting services to horse breeding farms. He served as Associate Professor at Texas A&M University conducting research on animal nutrition. Breuer additionally worked at Ralston Purina Company as a Horse Nutritionist and Director of the Horse Business Group. He was awarded the Distinguished Service Award by the Equine Science Society and served in the United States Army Security Agency starting in 1955 until 1958 when he was honorably discharged as First Sergeant. Breuer earned his Bachelor and Masters of Science in Agriculture from the University of Missouri, and his Doctorate in Animal Nutrition from Cornell University.


Joseph O’Connor will serve on the State Board of Health.* O’Connor previously served as Senior Public Service Administrator at the Illinois Department of Public Health. He additionally served as Associate and Registered Sanitarian, and Environmental Health Branch Coordinator at the Will County Health Department, Environmental Health Division. O’Connor is an active volunteer with the Northern Illinois and Cathedral of St. Raymond’s Food Pantries. He earned his Bachelor of Arts in Biology from Lewis University and Master of Arts in Health Services Administration from the University of St. Francis.


David Miller will continue to serve on the Board of Trustees of the Teachers’ Retirement System.* Miller was appointed to the Board of Trustees in 2019. Miller has worked in his dental practice, Dr. David E. Miller & Associates, PC, since 1995 and has worked as a dentist at Miles Square Dental Clinic since 2018. From 2014-2017, he was the Director of Government Relations with Tenet Healthcare where he served as a liaison between local, state and federal governments, forming bipartisan relationships to advance health care. Before joining Tenet, he was the Chief of the Division of Oral Health with the Illinois Department of Public Health from 2011 to 2014. For a decade prior, Miller served the 29th district in the Illinois House of Representatives, where he was recognized for his work in a range of areas from the Legislative Rule Making Committee to higher education accessibility. Miller received his Doctor of Dental Surgery from the University of Illinois College of Dentistry and his Bachelor of Science in Biomedical from Boston University.


Linda Cantrell will continue to serve on the Workers’ Compensation Commission.* Cantrell was appointed to the Worker’s Compensation Commission in 2019. Prior to her appointment, she worked as an attorney for Winters, Brewster, Crosby and Schaffer for 19 years. From 1994-1999, Cantrell worked as a legal secretary at Mertz Law Firm. She is a current member of the Missouri Bar Association, Vice President of the Williamson County Bar Association, Illinois Bar Foundation, Illinois Trial Lawyers Association and the Association of Trial Lawyers of America. Cantrell earned her Bachelor of Science from St. Louis University and Juris Doctor from the Southern Illinois School of Law.

* Appointments pending confirmation by the Illinois Senate.

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