* A Friday afternoon appointment…
Governor Bruce Rauner announced today he has selected Jim Schultz, 55, as Director of the Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity. Schultz’s experience in agribusiness and as a banking entrepreneur gives him the breadth of knowledge to develop and support businesses across the State of Illinois. He will bring 30 years of experience to the position.
Schultz is currently the chairman of Open Prairie Ventures, Inc., a company he founded in 1997. Open Prairie provides private equity services and manages more than $135 million in fund commitments.
Prior to founding Open Prairie Ventures, Schultz was the chairman and CEO of Telemind Capital Corporation. The company provides merger and acquisition guidance, and financial consulting services to businesses. Schultz assisted clients in a number of industries, including: software development, banking, manufacturing, retail, healthcare and entertainment.
Schultz earned his bachelor’s degree in business administration from Southern Methodist University in 1980. He holds a law degree from DePaul University and an MBA from Northwestern University.
● Open Prairie Management, LLC., Founder and Chariman of the Board (1997-Present)
● Telemind Capital Corporation, Chariman/CEO (1990-2000)
● Prime Banc Corporation
o Chairman of the Board (1993-2001)
o Board Member (1993-Present)
● Pinnacle Ford-Lincoln-Mercury, Inc., Chairman and Founding Partner (1992-1996)
● Physicians Clinical Laboratories, Ltd., Chairman and President (1990-1993)
● Agracel, Investment Banking Parneter, General Counsel, CFO (1987-1992)
● Effingham Hi-Tech Partners, Managing Partner (1987-1991)
● Mark Twain Banks, Assistant Vice President (1985-1987)
● Northwestern University, MBA (1985)
● DePaul University, J.D. (1984)
● Southern Methodist University, B.S. in Business Administration (1980)
● Age: 55
● Hometown: Effingham
* Meanwhile, from the Tribune…
The incoming director of the Department of Children and Family Services said Friday that he got one clear message during his single meeting with his new boss, Gov. Bruce Rauner:
“He knows that it’s a problem agency,” said George Sheldon. “He seemed concerned and he also expressed a commitment to do what was necessary to fix the system. He’s totally aware of the need for change.”
Sheldon, 67, who was credited with efforts to reform Florida’s often-criticized Department of Children and Families when he ran that agency from 2008 through 2011, will be taking over the agency shortly after the Tribune’s “Harsh Treatment” series revealed that juvenile wards have been assaulted, raped and lured into prostitution at taxpayer-funded residential treatment centers.
During a 45-minute telephone interview from Florida, Sheldon said he warned Rauner that troubling headlines won’t cease with his appointment.
…Adding… The governor also made some temporary appointments today. Click here for the list.