Gwen Henry appoints Committee on Finance and Investment New committee to assist treasurer invest taxpayers hard-earned money

For Immediate Release:

Wheaton, IL (10-04-06) - Gwen Henry, the next treasurer of DuPage County, today announced the formation of the first ever DuPage County Treasurer’s Advisory Committee on Finance and Investment. Forming this committee is the first step to fulfill Henry’s pledge to make the DuPage County Treasurer’s office more responsive to the taxpayers of DuPage County.

“The Advisory Committee on Finance and Investment, which is made up of volunteers, will work with my office to insure we are investing the taxpayers’ hard earned money, collecting revenues and paying the county’s bills in a responsible and efficient manner,” according to Henry. “We will also work together to increase the County’s return on investments, study other tax payment options and develop strategies and recommendations for advising county leaders interested in building financial reserves,” she added.

The Advisory Committee on Finance and Investment will serve under the chairmanship of Don Sveen, retired President & COO of Nuveen Investments. Nuveen Investments provides high-quality investment services designed to help secure the longterm goals of institutions and high-net-worth investors as well as the consultants and financial advisors who serve them.

“We are fortunate to have someone of Mr. Sveen’s stature and expertise to serve as chairman of this important committee. I am looking forward to working with Don to develop new and innovative ways of serving DuPage County taxpayers,” Henry said.

“The committee is a great group of banking, finance, business and community leaders,” Henry continued. Members of the DuPage County Treasurer’s Advisory Committee on Finance and Investment include: Steven H. Abbey, Senior Vice President and Group Sales Manager, Bank One.

Abbey’s group manages and solicits banking relationships with local governmental, healthcare and tax exempt organizations in Illinois and four other Midwestern states. Additionally, Abbey has authored several articles on tax-exempt financing.

Greg Bielawski, Senior Advisor-Range Rider, Illinois City/County Management Association. As the retired Village Manager of Carol Stream and the Assistant City Manager of Naperville, Bielawski possesses a keen understanding and valuable perspective on local government.

Brian Eisenmenger, President and CEO of Eisenmenger and Co., CPAs and Eisenmenger Financial Management Corp. The Eisenmenger companies deliver high quality, personalized tax and financial services to individuals and businesses.

Blanche Hill, President and CEO, Suburban Bank and Trust Company. In this role, Hill oversees the bank’s ten branches with assets in excess of $585 million. Prior to joining Suburban Bank and Trust Company, Hill founded and served as Chief Financial Officer of Superior Air Ground Ambulance Service.

Stacy Huels, President and CEO, Wheaton/Glen Ellyn Bank and Trust. Mr. Huels, a Glynn Ellen resident, is president of the Wheaton Bank and Trust Company and the Glynn Ellen Bank and Trust Company. As of November 1, 2006, he will also serve in the same capacity at Hinsbrook Bank and Trust of Glynn Ellen. The banks have combined assets in excess of $300 million.

Ken Hughes, Midwest Regional Sales Manager, Vormetric, Inc. Vormetric, Inc. provides security for consumer information. Their primary markets include financial institutions.

Darrell B. Jackson, President and CEO, Northern Trust, Illinois West Region. Jackson is responsible for six facilities. Additionally, he is responsible for all personal and private banking, investment management, fiduciary and commercial banking services in DuPage and Northwest Cook and Lake counties.

Tom Johnson, Attorney and Retired State Representative. Johnson brings a wealth of governmental experience serving in the Illinois legislature from 1993 to 2004. He also served as partner in the law firm of Johnson, Westra, Broecker, Whittaker & Newitt. He currently serves on the Illinois Prison Review Board.

Mike Kelnosky, Manager, Calamos Investments. Kelnosky’s career spans twelve years in the financial industry. He currently manages a staff of sixteen sales associates.

George Kouba, President of GKK Consulting Services, a firm that provides professional consulting services to government, healthcare, non-profit and for-profit businesses. Prior to that, Kouba was the chief financial officer for DuPage County overseeing a budget of $650 million.

Tony Lopez, President, Lopez Financial Consultants. Lopez Financial currently manages assets for individual investors and small companies. Lopez is also a regular commentator on domestic and international financial markets for both Univision and Telemundo.

Louis Marsico, Senior Vice President of Operations, Robert R. McCormick Tribune Foundation. Prior to his promotion, Marsico served as vice president of finance and administration for the foundation.

Karl Maurer, Financial Advisor, Merrill Lynch. Maurer assists individual investors, business owners and not-for profits develop long-term investment strategies including estate planning and insurance.

Jack Mensching, President, Itasca Bank and Trust. Mensching also serves as the chairman of the DuPage Community Foundation.

Mary Beth Moran, Partner, Kirby, Phelan and Associates. Moran specializes in retirement planning, tax planning and financial planning for her clients. She has extensive experience in the design and implementation of retirement planning and works closely with plan sponsors to assist them in maximizing the benefits of their plans.

Lisa Schmeh, President and CEO, Advantage Bank. Schmeh oversees two branch locations and is currently in the process of building a third. Her responsibilities include finance and audit, compliance and regulation, operation and technology and banking services for retail and commercial clientele.


Henry Will Use Treasurer’s Office As Bully Pulpit Will Advocate for Families, Seniors and Small Business

Wheaton, IL (12-19-05) - As is her tradition, Gwen Henry presented her nominating petitions for DuPage County Treasurer on the final day of filing at the DuPage County Board of Elections. More importantly, Henry took the opportunity to discuss her vision for the office of county treasurer, which includes being an advocate for the hard-working families, seniors and small business owners of DuPage County.

“As county treasurer, I will work with others in the financial and business community to provide advise and council to the DuPage County Board’s finance chairman and others with frontline responsibility to balance the county budget,” Henry said. “It is critical the county board’s finance chairman present a budget to the DuPage County Board that is fair and that does not place undue burden on those who can afford it least,” she stressed.

“I find it troubling that the DuPage County Board recently increased the county real estate taxes. With job growth being flat, I believe raising taxes was just bad policy and will have a negative impact on the families in DuPage,” Henry said. “I find it more disturbing that the county finance chairman now plans to present a budget that includes a countywide sales tax. This type of regressive tax has the greatest impact on seniors and others on fixed incomes that can afford it the least,” she continued.

Henry believes raising taxes should be the last resort, not the first, and she shares the belief of many that the budgetary process in DuPage County lacks advanced planning and transparency. “If necessary, I will use the office of Dupage County Treasurer as a bully pulpit and act as a watchdog by exposing those who would attempt to squander the taxpayers hard earned money,” she added.

Henry also added that DuPage County government is putting an undue burden on the small businesses with which it does business. “Most small businesses do not have the luxury of large cash reserves and work hard to ensure their employees and vendors are paid on time. The fact the county takes as long as 60 days to pay its invoices is irresponsible and puts an unnecessary strain on small businesses. If elected, I will advocate that the county pays its bills in a timely manner,” Henry concluded.

Henry is a certified public accountant and experienced governmental official that has the professional knowledge and skills necessary to serve as DuPage County Treasurer. She intends to build on the solid foundation laid by her predecessor, John Novak, to create a treasurer’s office that provides the highest quality services to the taxpayers of DuPage County.


Henry fulfilling early campaign promise

By Jessica Young, Staff writer. Published: 10/12/06

Making good on a campaign pledge to reassess how taxpayer money is handled, the uncontested Republican candidate for DuPage County treasurer announced Oct. 4 the formation of a finance and investment committee, whose members will serve essentially as fiscal consultants.

Gwen Henry said she made a pledge to increase the DuPage County treasurer's office's responsiveness to residents, so the appointment of an advisory and volunteer task force is her first step toward achieving more financial efficiency. The committee includes more than a dozen banking, finance, business and community leaders.

“These are objective people with no political ties,” Henry said. “I'm not someone who knows everything, so I welcome the opinion of experts.”

She said the departure of Treasurer John Novak after nearly 30 years provides a good opportunity for operational changes and updates in the office.

“He has done a wonderful job, but even Mr. Novak has said there are things we could be doing better,” Henry said. “So it's time to re-examine with the help of people who have a fresh perspective.”

The committee will meet at least three times and possibly tackle more work after dividing into subgroups before presenting Henry with a report listing recommendations. Areas of interest will include methods of collecting revenue, payment of county bills and the use of credit cards in monetary transactions. Henry expects the group to survey investment policies of other counties to find ways to increase DuPage's own rate of return and build financial reserves.

“We want everything to be as user-friendly as possible,” Henry said.

The county treasurer is responsible for the custody and distribution of county money and deals with close to $2 billion each year. The office also distributes real estate tax funds to more than 400 taxing bodies in the county.

Mark Demich, first vice chairman of the Democratic Party of DuPage County, said the creation of the committee is wise but criticizes mismanagement on the County Board that he said caused a significant budget deficit.

“I have quite a bit respect for Gwen Henry, and I think she's an individual who can reach across party lines and different factions, too,” he said. “Having said that, the fact that this group is needing to be proposed demonstrates that the current board hasn't done its job. Like their Washington brethren, there is no financial oversight, no attention to fiscal responsibility and much self-interest as opposed to a rigorous analysis of what can and can't be done with spending.”


Forrest Preserve Commissioner Gwen Henry Enters Race For DuPage Treasurer

November 10, 2005

Gwen Henry, a former Wheaton mayor who is now a DuPage Forest Preserve Commissioner, entered the race yesterday to succeed DuPage Treasurer John Novak who is retiring. Henry's entry was expected, and she will face off against DuPage County Board Member Robert “Bob” Heap in the GOP primary.

Henry enjoys substantial popularity and exposure county-wide, but is well behind in locking up endorsements. She has been endorsed by former Illinois Senate Majority Leader James “Pate” Philip and it looks like she may receive the endorsement of current DuPage Treasurer John Novak. Bob Heap, in contrast, was recently endorsed by Congresswoman Judy Biggert, and has locked up most of the county-level endorsements from the Forest Preserve Commission, the County Board, county officials and the GOP township party chairs. It remains to be seen how much the endorsements matter. However, Heap also leads substantially in fundraising, and that will likely be a major advantage unless Henry can raise more, or borrow more, than she has in the past.


Archive: The info below was gathered from Gwen Henry's previous races:

Gwen Henry

Political experience: City of Wheaton, mayor and city council member; DuPage County Board member, District 4; DuPage County Forest Preserve Commissioner, District 4; DuPage Mayors and Managers, director; DuPage County Regional Planning Commission; DuPage County Solid Waste Committee.

Issue 1: Experience and independence: As a certified public accountant and experienced government official, I have the professional knowledge and skills necessary to serve as DuPage County treasurer. My main priority for the office of DuPage County treasurer is ensuring that, as a government agency, we provide the highest quality service for the hard-working taxpayers, families, seniors and small-business owners of DuPage County. As an independent leader, I will serve the taxpayers from our community first and say no to those who try to influence me otherwise. I will not be a treasurer that simply signs the checks sent to the office by the County Board but will be a strong voice in shaping DuPage County's fiscal strategies. I will provide advice and counsel to the DuPage County Board's finance chairman and others with frontline responsibility to balance the county budget.

Issue 2: Taxpayers' advocate: If necessary, I will use the office of DuPage County treasurer as a bully pulpit and act as an independent watchdog to expose those who would attempt to waste the taxpayers' money. My opponent, as the leader of the finance committee, has failed in his responsibilities to the taxpayers by recommending and signing off on a countywide tax increase. With job growth in DuPage County flat, I believe raising taxes was just bad policy and will have a negative impact on the families in DuPage. I find it more disturbing that the county finance committee now plans to explore a plan that may include an increase in the countywide sales tax. This type of regressive tax has the greatest impact on seniors and others on fixed incomes who can afford it the least. I believe raising taxes should be the last resort, not the first. The county finance committee was aware and discussed as long as a year ago that there would be additional monies required or expenditures cut. Unfortunately, little if anything was done to address the pending crisis and few knew about the problem because the budgetary process in DuPage County lacks advance planning and transparency. When I am elected treasurer, these are the issues in which I will involve myself as a taxpayer advocate.

Issue 3: Serving the taxpayers: I have a vision for improving how the county collects taxes, invests funds and serves the community. It is my plan to establish the first ever DuPage County Treasurer's Advisory Committee on Finance and Investment, a volunteer committee designed to utilize the expertise of local leaders with a background in banking, finance, business and community leadership. This innovative panel will ensure that our tax dollars are properly safeguarded and handled with care.


From a flyer delivered to my house “Paid for by Citizens to Elect Gwen Henry”:

Dear Friend,

Throughout my career in public service, I have demanded we set our standards high and provide excellence in the delivery of services.

Here in DuPage county, we, the residents, the people who pay the bills, expect professional, experienced, independent leadership, and these are the qualities I will bring to the office of DuPage County Treasurer.

As a certified public accountant and experienced government official, I have the professional knowledge and skills necessary to serve as DuPage County Treasurer. As and idependent leader, I will serve the taxpayers from our community first and say no to those who try to influence me otherwise.

I ask for your support and look forward to the opportunity fo serving you.

Sincerely, Gwen

A record of results:

Professional, Experienced, Independant Leadership:

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