The Executive Committee of the Board of Directors of the Chicagoland Chamber of Commerce announced today the appointment of Jack Lavin as the Chamber’s new President and CEO. Lavin becomes just the sixth leader in the organization’s 113-year history.

Lavin will be introduced at the Chamber’s 26th Annual Daniel H. Burnham Award Dinner on Wednesday honoring Ilene S. Gordon, Chairman, President & CEO of Ingredion.

Lavin brings more than 30 years of financial and management experience to the Chamber, including extensive experience in both the public and private sectors. He served as Director of the Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity, the State’s economic and workforce development agency. While at DCEO, Lavin worked closely with the Chamber to incubate the Chicagoland Entrepreneurial Center, an early stage venture capital fund called I2A, which led to the founding of 1871 and established the award-winning DisabilityWorks program. Within DCEO, he revamped and rebranded the organization to incorporate technology and
entrepreneurship into the overall mission.

He also served as Chief of Staff for Illinois Governor Pat Quinn and Chief Operating Officer of the State of Illinois. Prior to that, he served in financial leadership positions for Abbott Laboratories and a private restaurant company.

“Jack’s unique combination of experience in the private and public sector, past work with the Chamber and comprehensive understanding of the intersection of business and government make him the perfect choice to lead the Chamber,” said Stephen Ferrara, Chairman of the Board for the Chamber. “Throughout his career, he has proven to be a strategic and creative leader who brings innovative ideas and renewed value to the organizations he leads.”

Lavin was the unanimous choice of a Search Committee comprised of members of the Chamber’s Executive Committee of the Board of Directors. The Committee conducted a national search in partnership with Koya Leadership Partners, an executive search firm that specializes in placing CEOs and senior leaders in mission-driven roles. Jack begins his tenure at the Chamber commencing December 1.

“I am excited for the opportunity to lead this historic organization,” said Lavin. “Throughout my career, I have focused on economic and business development in order to improve the quality of life for people in Chicago and Illinois. I look forward to working with the dedicated and talented team at the Chamber to build on its long list of accomplishments and continue to create a more attractive business climate that makes Chicagoland a great place to live and work.”

In addition to his professional experience, Lavin is active in many charities, community and civic organizations. He currently serves on boards for the Chicago Children’s Theatre, the University YMCA, and the Chicago Leadership Alliance. He is a strong advocate for people with disabilities. He led a Task Force for Mayor Daley on Special Education in the Chicago Public Schools and serves on the advisory board of the Adult Down Syndrome Center.

Lavin holds an MBA from the University of Chicago Booth School of Business, a master’s degree in International Relations from the University of Chicago, and a bachelor’s degree in Finance from the University of Illinois. Lavin lives in Chicago with his wife and three children.

Read the full Media Release here.

Contact: David Schwartz