Liz Gorman named as new Illinois Tollway director

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Liz Gorman named as new Illinois Tollway director

Former Cook County Commissioner Elizabeth “Liz” Doody Gorman was appointed by Governor Bruce Rauner Thursday (Feb. 22, 2018) as the new executive director of the Illinois State Toll Highway Authority (ISTHA), replacing Greg Bedalov who Rauner appointed in 2015.

Bedalov will move to the Illinois Sports Facility Authority which oversees the construction of stadiums for professional sports teams.

Gorman established herself as a leading champion defending the rights of taxpayers and blocking oppressive taxation in Cook County. She served on the board representing the 17th District from 2002 until 2015 when she retired and was succeeded by Sean Morrison.

Elizabeth “Liz” Doody Gorman named Executive Director of the Illinois Tollway Feb. 22, 2018.

The Tollway’s board of directors has eleven members. The Governor of Illinois and the head of the Illinois Department of Transportation (IDOT) serve as ex officio members of the Tollway Board. The remaining 9 members are named by the governor.

The Authority has the power to collect and raise tolls, and is responsible for the maintenance and construction of tollway roads and related signage (including electronic message boards, used for driving time notices, Amber Alerts and other notifications). The Tollway also supervises and manages the seven Illinois Tollway oases.

As of 2017, ISTHA maintains and operates 292 miles (470 km) of tollways in 12 counties in northern Illinois, comprising five routes: Jane Addams Memorial Tollway (I-39/I-90/US 51);  Veterans Memorial Tollway (I-355); Ronald Reagan Memorial Tollway/Chicago–Kansas City Expressway (I-88/IL 56/IL 110); Tri-State Tollway (I-80/I-94/I-294); and, Elgin-O’Hare Tollway (IL 390).

“On behalf of the Tollway Board of Directors, we are pleased to welcome Liz Gorman to the Illinois Tollway as Executive Director,” said Bob Schillerstrom, who was appointed Tollway Chairman by Rauner in 2015.

“As a business and community leader, Liz Gorman provides an intimate understanding of the power of collaboration, technology and innovation. We have confidence that Liz’s leadership will be an asset to the Tollway and its customers and her vast experiences will help to improve our transportation network for the region and the communities we serve.”

An Orland Park resident, Gorman thanked Schillerstrom for the board’s confidence in her record and public service over the years.

“I look forward to working closely with the Illinois Tollway team to maintain the agency’s status as a national leader in transportation,” said Gorman.

“We have a robust capital program that will not only increase the vitality of the region’s transportation network, but will also drive economic growth and job creation while ensuring an inclusive and diverse workforce.”

As Executive Director, Gorman will oversee 12 departments managing the agency’s day- to-day operations and overseeing its $1.43 billion annual budget. The ISTHA employs nearly 1,600 people in providing a safe, effective and efficient toll highway system in Illinois.

In her role as executive director of the Tollway, Gorman will use her experience working with diverse stakeholder groups to build bipartisan consensus and advocate for legislative initiatives to streamline processes and drive efficiencies on Tollway projects, including state legislation that would enable design-build project delivery.

Most recently, Gorman served as the director of state and local government at PricewaterhouseCoopers where she provided valuable strategic planning and consultation to government and private industry.

Her public serve encompasses more than 13 years as a Cook County Commissioner. Through her leadership on efforts to streamline Cook County government and advocacy for issues creating better economic opportunities for her constituents, Gorman earned the reputation as a problem solver who can bring diverse groups together to build consensus. Gorman’s public service also includes leading and serving on numerous Cook County committees including transportation, environmental, finance, IT, rules, audit, recreation, roads and bridges, health and hospitals, labor along with several other committees. She also oversaw the county’s $4 billion budget and a $200 million Forest Preserve District budget.

During her time on the Cook County Board, Gorman opposed the “Hotel Occupancy Tax” and the “Food and Beverage Tax” in 2003, the 150% cigarette tax increase in 2004 and the additional 100% increase in 2006. She opposed the “Food and Beverage Tax” and the “Hotel Occupancy Tax” again in 2007, and she opposed the “Sanctuary County” resolution for illegal immigrants in 2007 and sponsored a repeal of the ordinance later that year and most recently she voted against Board President Todd Stroger’s 2008 budget and opposed the increase in the Cook County sales tax.

On December 1, 2009 Commissioner Gorman successfully led the effort to roll back Cook County’s sales tax increase and override County Board President Todd Stroger’s veto, cutting the county sales tax from 1.75% to 1.25%

Morrison has continued Gorman’s fight for taxpayer rights and led the repeal of the one cent per ounce sales tax imposed by Cook County Board President Toni Preckwinkle last Fall.

The tollway system opened in 1958 in the Chicago area, and has subsequently expanded to include the eastern and central sections of Interstate 88 (I-88) extending into the northwestern part of the state. Beginning in 2005, the system was reconstructed to include more lanes and open tolling. Open tolling uses I-Pass transponders to collect revenue as vehicles pass antennas at toll plazas or designated entrance or exit ramps. As of 2016, ISTHA maintains and operates 292 miles (470 km) of tollways in 12 counties in Northern Illinois.

The Illinois Tollway is dedicated to providing and promoting a safe and efficient system of highways while ensuring the highest possible level of service to our customers. Whether it’s I-PASS, the Move Illinois Program, open road tolling or keeping you safe with our H.E.L.P. trucks, we are committed to delivering great benefits and services to customers.

The Illinois Tollway is a revenue bond-financed administrative agency of the State of Illinois. Operations are funded by toll and concession revenues. The Illinois Tollway is a user-fee system that receives no state or federal funds for maintenance and operations.

As a former member of the Northeastern Illinois Planning Commission (NIPC), which later merged to become Chicago Metropolitan Agency for Planning (CMAP), Gorman worked with transportation Illinois Tollway Executive Director agencies to develop and shape a comprehensive land-use plans designed to benefit communities throughout the region.

Gorman earned her MBA from the University of Notre Dame and an undergraduate degree in marketing from St. Mary’s University of Minnesota.

Ray Hanania

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