2018 State Transformer: Senator Melinda Bush

A lifelong resident of Lake County, Melinda Bush began her service in the Illinois Senate in January of 2013 as the Senator for the 31st Senate District which includes all or a portion of Zion, Round Lake, Round Lake Beach, Gages Lake, Winthrop Harbor, Old Mill Creek, Wadsworth, Lindenhurst, Antioch, Waukegan,
Gurnee, Beach Park, Grayslake, and Lake Villa. Prior to her service in the Senate, she was a member of the Lake County Board and a Trustee for the Village of

A main focus of her tenure has been to increase the transparency and accountability of government. She has championed a number of good government initiatives including legislation to prohibit dual office holders, limiting government employee severance packages, dissolving inefficient units of government, expanding ethics provisions for elected officials and government employees, and creating a Working Group on Local Government Consolidation.

As Chairman of the Senate Government Reform Committee, she has championed the cause of government consolidation, holding subject matter hearings on success stories and sponsoring legislation to provide local governments with the tools they need including SB 3 (Public Act 100-0107), that provides
for the consolidation of townships and extends the Local Government Reduction & Efficiency Act to all counties in the state. In addition, her leadership on government procurement reform and greater transparency of government operations has helped advance the mission of Transform Illinois.

As Chair of the Senate Task Force on Sexual Discrimination and Harassment Awareness and Prevention, Senator Bush sponsored legislation to reform the Legislative Ethics Commission and the Office of the Legislative Inspector General to create more transparency, independence, and accountability in the ethics
investigation process.

Senator Bush resides in Grayslake with her husband Andy, where she has been a resident since she was 8 years old. They have one adult son.

2018 Local Transformer: Winnebago County Chairman Frank Haney

Rockford native Frank Haney was sworn-in as Winnebago County Chairman on December 5, 2016 with one mission, to professionalize processes and policies, bringing transparency to Winnebago County and local government. Haney’s relentless pursuit of his ACT Initiative—to make Winnebago County the most accountable, collaborative and transparent unit of government in the State of Illinois, has fundamentally changed the equation for taxpayers in the Rockford

Chairman Haney’s ACT program that embraces consolidation, resource sharing, system alignment and evidence-based practices has already yielded significant results and taxpayer savings. He and his team have implemented a number of transparency initiatives, restructured departments, engaged in Lean process improvement, rebuilt their budget and purchasing processes, implemented nepotism policies, are finalizing the County’s strategic plan, and overhauled how the county allocates funds for development projects to ensure greater transparency and accountability. In March, Winnebago County voters approved the consolidation of the Recorder’s Office with the County Clerk’s Office and in November, voters will consider the consolidation of the Rockford Election Commission with the County. Long-term solutions for 911 and the County’s nursing home are also being evaluated.

2018 State Transformer: Representative David McSweeney

David McSweeney was born in Park Ridge, Illinois and attended Barrington High School (Lake County, Illinois). He earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in economics from Duke University in 1987 and a Master of Business Administration degree from the Fuqua School of Business in 1988. He currently works as an investment specialist. He was first elected to the Illinois House of Representatives to represent the 52nd House District in 2012.

As a legislator, David has advocated for property tax relief and voted more than 20 times in the last couple of years to lower property taxes. He opposed all tax increases and led the charge to defeat the progressive income tax in 2013. He also continues to fight hard for term limits and enhanced transparency of state government operations. An outspoken advocate of government reform measures to reduce the cost and size of government, he has sponsored legislation to make it easier for citizens to place dissolution questions directly on the ballot (Citizens Empowerment Act) and to consolidate township governments. He also serves as the Minority spokesperson of the House Government Consolidation & Modernization Committee.

David met his wife, Margaret, in New York City where they tutored at risk students in Harlem. They currently reside in Barrington Hills and are the proud parents of two daughters.

2018 Citizen Transformer: Kenley Wade

Kenley Wade was born and raised in Springfield. He has an MMP from the Kellogg School of Management at Northwestern University and is a retired state employee who now serves as president and senior consultant for Wade Management Consulting Services.

His professional experience includes working in management at Kroger; director of programs related to the War on Poverty in Decatur and Peoria; associate deputy director for Programs at the Department of Children and Family Services; and president of his consulting firm, where he runs technical assistance for a national grant program. Wade is involved or has been involved with numerous community service organizations and boards in the Springfield area, including: co-chairman of the Coalition to Promote Human Dignity and Diversity; board member and former president of the Boys & Girls Club of Central Illinois; helped establish Local First Springfield to encourage residents to shop local; board member and president of the Springfield Ball-Charter School Board; member of the Faith Coalition for the Common Good and Springfield Coalition on Dismantling Racism; and member of the Citizens’ Efficiency Commission for Sangamon County.

Wade has been a tireless citizen advocate for efficiency, accountability and transparency in government and public agencies. As a public member of the editorial board of the Springfield State Journal-Register, he represents the taxpayers’ and citizens as he supports efforts to make government work better for all

Images From The 2018 Transformer Awards Ceremony

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