Monday, October 24, 2011

Gov Quinn Appoints Ann Schneider, Transportation Sec, John Holton, Dir of Aging

CHICAGO – October 24, 2011. Governor Pat Quinn today announced two top appointments to his executive cabinet. Today’s actions are the latest in a series of appointments Governor Quinn will make as he continues to fulfill his commitment to creating jobs, fostering economic development, and increasing efficiency and accountability in all areas of state government.

Effective immediately, Governor Quinn named Ann Schneider as secretary of the Illinois Department of Transportation (IDOT) and John Holton as director of the Illinois Department on Aging. The Governor also appointed two acting directors and one interim director: Jim Larkin as acting director of the Department of Agriculture, Andrew Stolfi as acting director of the Illinois Department of Insurance and John Kim as interim director of the Illinois Environmental Protection Agency.

“Effective government requires leadership by talented and motivated public servants, and I am pleased to announce these qualified individuals to lead critical state agencies,” Governor Quinn said. “These strong directors will serve the people of Illinois well with their skills and commitment to improving state programs and services.”


Ann L. Schneider has served as acting secretary of IDOT since July 2011. Prior to her appointment, Schneider served as IDOT’s chief of operations, responsible for managing and overseeing the department’s six offices and four divisions. Schneider also spent five years as director and chief financial officer for IDOT’s Office of Finance and Administration. Before joining IDOT, Schneider was the chief fiscal officer for the Illinois Department of Natural Resources and in the Governor’s Office of Management and Budget. Schneider has a bachelor’s degree from Augustana College and a master’s degree in public administration from Sangamon State University (now University of Illinois-Springfield).

John Holton will apply his expertise in community and human development to Illinois’ unprecedented increase in its older adult population. Holton served from 2007 through 2010 as associate director of the Division of Mental Health at the Illinois Department of Human Services. Previously, he served as site director for the Harvard University School of Public Health’s Project on Human Development in Chicago’s Neighborhoods, and is a member of the American Public Health Association. Holton’s experience addressing domestic violence and other issues impacting older adults and their families will strengthen the department's efforts to help older adults live with comfort and dignity. He holds a Ph.D. in human development from Pennsylvania State University, as well as a master’s in urban education from the University of Hartford and a B.A. from Howard University.

Acting Directors

Jim Larkin is a fourth-generation family farmer who lives on the farm where he was raised in the McLean County town of Towanda. He joined the Illinois Department of Agriculture in 2003, and has served as bureau chief of Agricultural Products Inspection since 2004. He manages a 680-acre grain farm, which includes 80 acres devoted to sustainable, organic production. A graduate of Illinois State University, Larkin founded Agri-Fire, a business that markets corn-burning heating appliances, prior to his state employment. He joined the Illinois Department of Agriculture in 2003. Mr. Larkin is married and has four adult children.

Andrew R. Stolfi has served as chief of staff and special counsel for policy and legislative affairs at the Illinois Department of Insurance (DOI) since 2009. He is part of the leadership team responsible for implementing national health insurance reform in Illinois, and is an active participant at the National Association of Insurance Commissioners, where he chairs the Corporate Governance Working Group. Prior to joining the department, Stolfi was an attorney and policy analyst in the Office of the Governor. He has also worked as a judicial law clerk to Appellate Justice Thomas E. Hoffman and as a special assistant corporation counsel for the City of Chicago Law Department. Stolfi holds a bachelor’s of science degree from the University of Vermont and a law degree with honors from the Chicago-Kent College of Law. He is married with two children.

Interim Director

John Kim has served as chief legal counsel and ethics officer at the Illinois Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) since 2009. Kim has worked to protect Illinois’ environment since 1988, previously serving as acting general counsel at the Illinois Department of Agriculture, managing attorney and staff attorney at the Illinois EPA, and assistant attorney general and special assistant attorney general for the Illinois Attorney General. His experience ranges from working with state and federal environmental statutes to providing guidance in pollution prevention principles to selected industries in China, to working with China EPA, USEPA, the World Bank and the United Nations’ Environment Program. Kim holds a bachelor’s of science degree in industrial engineering from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and a J.D. from Southern Illinois University at Carbondale.


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