Former Emanuel chief of staff Mintle resigns as Chicago Chamber CEO

SUN-TIMES MEDIA WIRE - For only the sixth time in its 112-year history, the Chicagoland Chamber of Commerce will be looking for a new leader after president/CEO Theresa E. Mintle resigned this week.

Mintle, former chief of staff to Mayor Rahm Emanuel, wrote to the Executive Committee that after nearly four years at the helm, she “felt she accomplished her major goals and wanted to leave the chamber to fresh leadership in a position of strength,” a statement from the chamber said.

She said she was leaving to “pursue new opportunities and challenges.”

Mintle joined the organization in 2013 as the fifth president in its history. She helped usher in several successful new programs, including Small Business Chicago, Middle Market Chicago, and Emerging Leaders Chicago, and secured grants to make them work.

Among her other accomplishments, according to the chamber, were: fostering international connections, becoming a “go-to voice on statewide and local business advocacy issues, achieving fundraising milestones, and expanding the organization’s digital media reach.

At a meeting Thursday with Stephen Ferrara, chairman of the chamber’s Board of Directors, Mintel said she was “proud to have worked with such a terrific team committed to creating meaningful connections for members that allow them to advance their business goals and grow their operations,” the statement said.

Michael Reever, chamber vice president of government relations, will oversee operations until a new president is named.

Reever, a former sergeant in the U.S. Army Reserve, also has a political background, serving as assistant legal counsel for Senate President John Cullerton, and chief of staff for state Rep. Ann Williams.

Prior to joining the chamber, Mintle spent 27 years working at the national, state and local levels of government. That included a stint as chief of staff for Mayor Rahm Emanuel (May 2011-March 2013), and chief of staff for the CTA Board (August 2007-May 2011).

She has also served as vice-chairman of FARM Illinois, and vice-chairman of the Association of Chamber of Commerce Executives; a director of Choose Chicago and the World Business Chicago Steering Committee; and a member of the President’s Circle of the Chicago Council on Global Affairs, The Economic Club of Chicago and The Chicago Network.

She has a bachelor’s degree in political science and government from the University of Illinois, and a master’s in public administration, public policy, economics and economic development from the University of Wisconsin-Madison.

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