WCLA NEWS & UPDATES
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  • 11/01/2021 12:58 PM | Judy Pfeiffer (Administrator)

    As a result of our very successful annual school supply drive, over 260 backpacks full of supplies were delivered to Bernard J. Ward Elementary in Bolingbrook. We were able to attend and assist with the distribution of these backpacks at the school. Along with the student body, Principal Kathleen Nigro and Assistant Principal Patti Chow wish to thank all of our members for their generous donations. Pictured: WCLA YLS Chair Benjamin Breslau, WCLA member Jacob Schneider, Principal Kathleen Nigro, Assistant Principal Patti Chow, 4th Grade teacher Mrs. Tiemann, and her students.


  • 10/01/2021 11:32 AM | Judy Pfeiffer (Administrator)

    Former Commissioner Barbara Flores will be sworn in as an associate judge to the Circuit Court of Cook County on Monday, October 4, 2021 at 11:00 am.  This link can be used to watch the ceremony: https://www.youtube.com/user/CookCntyCourt  

    The WCLA congratulates Judge Flores on her appointment to the bench.

    We thank her for her service to the Commission, and for her support of the WCLA.


  • 06/28/2021 7:07 PM | Judy Pfeiffer (Administrator)

    Building on a strong team of diverse experts in their fields, Governor JB Pritzker announced the following appointments in his administration:  

    PUBLIC GUARDIANS AND PUBLIC ADMINISTRATORS 

    Sharon Rudy will serve as Public Administrator and Public Guardian of Jo Daviess, Ogle, and Stephenson Counties.* Rudy has been practicing law through her private practice, Attorney Sharon R. Rudy P.C., since 1988. She represents Adult Protective Services provider agencies and victims of abuse. She is involved with the Illinois Guardianship Association where she served as President from 2003-2004, 2011-2012, and 2018-2021. Rudy received a Bachelor of Arts from Carleton College and Juris Doctor from Loyola University School of Law.  

    Scott Schultz will serve as Public Administrator and Public Guardian of Jersey County.* Schultz serves as the Chief Public Defender for Jersey County. He previously practiced law at Scott W. Schultz, Attorney at Law and Wiseman Law Firm where he focused on litigation cases as well as family, injury, and criminal cases. Schultz received a Bachelor of Science in Agriculture from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and Juris Doctor from the University of Tulsa College of Law.  

    STATEWIDE UNIVERSITIES RETIREMENT SYSTEM 

    Richard Figueroa will continue to serve on the State Universities Retirement System Board of Trustees.* Figueroa currently serves as the Principal and Co-Founder of Lux Net Lease, a commercial real estate investment firm. Prior to his current role, he served as the Chief Investment Officer of Barrett-Lo Visionary Development and Chief Operating Officer of Janko Group. Prior, he was the Director of Capital Markets for the Opus Group where he was responsible for developing and leading a national capital markets capability that sources capital for current and future development/investment opportunities. For four years prior, he served as the Director of Acquisitions for Mansur & Company, where he was responsible for the implementation and operation of the commercial real estate investment platform. Figueroa earned a Bachelor’s degree from Yale University, Master of Arts in public policy and Master of Business Administration from the University of Chicago. 

    Scott Hendrie will continue to serve on the State Universities Retirement System Board of Trustees.* Hendrie is the Vice President of Finance & Treasury at the Carle Foundation, serving on both their Retirement Plan and Health and Welfare Committees. Hendrie is a member of the Carle Illinois College of Medicine Joint Liaison Committee and a Board Observer for Ascension Ventures IV, L.P. Prior to his tenure at Carle Health, he worked for First Busey Corporation, a financial holding company, for 15 years. Hendrie received his Bachelor of Arts from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign in Finance and Economics. Additionally, he earned his Chartered Financial Analyst charter in 1999. 

    WILL COUNTY METROPOLITAN EXPOSITION AND AUDITORIUM AUTHORITY 

    William Kent will serve on the Metropolitan Exposition and Auditorium Authority.* Kent serves as the President and Owner of three fire and flood restoration franchises: SERVPRO of Joliet, Lockport, Lemont, Homer Glen and Aurora.  He grew the business from his garage with one service truck and two employees to three separate franchises that operate out of a 20,000 square foot facility with over 20 service trucks and 31 employees. Prior to running his own business, Kent served as the Program Manager of Tellabs Inc. Kent is a graduate of Bolingbrook High School.  

    WORKERS’ COMPENSATION COMMISSION  

    Roma Parikh Dalal will serve as an Arbitrator on the Workers’ Compensation Commission.* Dalal has most recently served as a Partner at Wiedner & McAuliffe, LTD where she has provided professional legal assistance, advice and counsel on workers’ compensation related matters. Before being named Partner she served Wiedner & McAuliffe as an Associate Attorney for nearly ten years. She received her Bachelor of Arts from the University of Michigan and Juris Doctor from DePaul University College of Law.  

    Antara Nath Rivera will serve as an Arbitrator on the Workers’ Compensation Commission.* Rivera currently serves as the Chief of General Prosecutions of the Enforcement Unit at the Illinois Department of Financial and Professional Regulation where she oversees licensures cases for a wide variety of professions. Previously she served as an Administrative Law Judge for the Arizona Office of Administrative Hearings in which she presided over cases ranging from licensure for the Arizona medical board to Social Security and Medicaid benefits. Rivera has also served in the Maricopa County Attorney’s Office as the Deputy County Attorney in the Special Victims Division, an Investigator for the Workers’ Compensation Fraud Unit for the Illinois Department of Insurance, and as an Assistant State’s Attorney for the Criminal Prosecutions Bureau of the Cook County State’s Attorney’s Office. She received her Bachelor of Arts from the University of Illinois and Juris Doctor from Western Michigan University Thomas M. Cooley Law School.  

    Ana Vazquez will serve as an Arbitrator on the Workers’ Compensation Commission.* Vazquez currently serves as the Assistant Attorney General in the Government Representation Division of the Workers’ Compensation Bureau within the Illinois Attorney General’s Office where she has represented the state and its people in workers’ compensation related litigation. Prior to her work for the state she served as Attorney for the Law Offices of Lawrence Wolf Levin where she also served as Law Clerk and Legal Assistant. She received her Bachelor of Arts from the University of Illinois at Chicago and her Juris Doctor from Chicago-Kent College of Law.  

    * Appointments pending confirmation by the Illinois Senate. 


  • 03/26/2021 3:24 PM | Judy Pfeiffer (Administrator)

    Thank you for your valuable input and cooperation during the first two releases of CompFile, the IWCC’s new electronic filing and case management system. Now that most of you have experience with filing settlement contracts in an electronic format, we hope you are enjoying the ease and speed that come with digital filing through CompFile.

    The third release of CompFile brings a long-awaited goal of the IWCC to fruition: completely paperless filing and case management processes for workers’ compensation cases! Applications, motions, decisions, and reviews will be handled electronically through CompFile starting on April 21, 2021.

    As always, we want to be sure you have everything you need to be successful during the transition to complete electronic filing.  To prepare for CompFile’s third release, please visit the CompFile Implementation webpage, www.iwcc.il.gov/compfile, where you can access instructional materials including videos, training resources, and a schedule for upcoming Demo and Q&A Webinar Sessions.

    Also, we are especially pleased to announce that the CompFile Team will provide a special Demo and Q&A Session at a WCLA Brown Bag Lunch CLE Event on April 7.

    Please take a little time to familiarize yourself with the instructional materials before attending a Q&A Session to best take advantage of the webinar.

    We hope that you and your loved ones are safe and healthy, and we are happy that we can offer a system that allows for efficiency and convenience in a time when face-to-face contact is unavoidably restricted. The expediency and practicality of electronic filing through CompFile is here, and not a moment too soon!

    For questions or other assistance, please do not hesitate to contact the CompFile Team at wcc.compfile@illinois.gov.

    Sincerely,

    The CompFile Team
    Illinois Workers’ Compensation Commission


  • 03/22/2021 7:19 AM | Judy Pfeiffer (Administrator)

    Gov. Pritzker Announces 23 Key Appointments

    Building on a strong team of diverse experts in their fields, Governor JB Pritzker announced the following appointments in his administration:

    WORKERS’ COMPENSATION COMMISSION

    Deborah Baker will serve on the Workers’ Compensation Commission.* Baker was previously Assistant Deputy Chief Legal Counsel and Ethics Officer at the Illinois Department of Corrections. Prior, she was Litigation Counsel and Compliance Counsel at UpRight Lawand served as Assistant Attorney General at the Office of the Illinois Attorney General. Baker earned her bachelor’s from the University of New Mexico and Master of Arts and Juris Doctor from Loyola University Chicago.

    Barbara Flores will continue to serve on the Workers’ Compensation Commission.* Flores was previously an Arbitrator at the Illinois Workers’ Compensation Commission. Prior, she was Corporate Counsel at Alden Management Services, Inc., and served as Final Agency Decision Writer at U.S. Postal Service, National Equal Employment Opportunity Investigative Services Office. She has extensive legal experience as Law Clerk and is actively involved in scholarship and professional organizations. Flores earned her Bachelor of Science from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and Juris Doctor from the Chicago-Kent College of Law.

    Christopher Harris will serve on the Workers’ Compensation Commission.* Harris was previously an Arbitrator at the Illinois Workers’ Compensation Commission. Prior, he was Owner and Managing Attorney at Shield Law Firm LLC. Harris has additional legal experience as general counsel. Harris earned his Bachelor of Arts from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and Juris Doctor from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign College of Law.

    Stephen Mathis will continue to serve on the Workers’ Compensation Commission.* Mathis was previously an Arbitrator at the Illinois Workers’ Compensation Commission. Prior, he served as Legal Counsel and Staff Analyst at the Illinois State Senate. Mathis earned a Bachelor of Arts from the University of South Florida and Juris Doctor from UIC John Marshall Law School.

    Deborah Simpson will continue to serve on the Workers’ Compensation Commission.* Simpson was previously Assistant State’s Attorney at Office of the Kane County State’s Attorney. Prior she was First Assistant State’s Attorney at Office of the Vermillion County State’s Attorney. Simpson earned a Bachelor of Arts from DePaul University and Juris Doctor from John Marshall Law School.

     

    Thomas Tyrrell will continue to serve on the Workers’ Compensation Commission.* Tyrrell was previously Trial Attorney at Thomas J. Tyrrell, LTD. Prior, Tyrrell was Partner and Attorney at Tyrrell & Boylan. Tyrell also served as Assistant Public Defender at Cook County Public Defender’s Office. Tyrrell earned an undergraduate degree from Lewis University and Juris Doctor from Chicago Kent College of Law.

    EMPLOYMENT SECURITY BOARD OF REVIEW

    Meredith Buckley will continue to serve on the Employment Security Board of Review.* Buckley currently serves as Associate at Malkinson & Halpern, P.C.  Previously, she served as Staff Attorney at O’Connor Law Group, LLC. Buckley earned a Bachelor of Arts from McGill University and Juris Doctor from DePaul University College of Law.

    Maria Perez will continue to serve on the Employment Security Board of Review.* Perez is a retired Chicago Police Officer. She worked in Districts 010, 011, 021, and 003 as a patrol officer, court sergeant, and mayor’s bodyguard detail.

    PRISONER REVIEW BOARD

    Max Cerda will serve on the Prisoner Review Board.* Max is a Case Manager at BUILD, Inc. Previously, Max served his community as a mentor with ASPIRA of Illinois and as a Violence Interrupter with Ceasefire. Max also served as the Co-Executive Director of the Latino Cultural Exchange Coalition. A person who was formerly-incarcerated and is now a dedicated community leader, Max has received local and international recognition for his service as a street and gang violence interventionist. Max has spoken at international forums on juvenile justice, anti-violence, and at-risk youth for the U.S. Department of State and the U.S. Embassy in Mexico.

    Drella Savage will serve on the Prisoner Review Board.* Drella is the Clerk for the Village of Olympia Fields. Previously, Drella served as a Circuit Court Judge and an Administrative Hearing Officer/Law Judge of Expedited Child Support in Cook County. Drella has extensive civic and volunteer experience, including service with the Department of Justice’s Faith-Based Initiatives Commission, the Illinois Judicial Council Foundation, and the Illinois Council on Women and Girls. Drella has received several awards and honors for her leadership, humanitarian, and distinguished service. Drella earned a Bachelor of Arts from Northwestern University and a Juris Doctor from Howard University School of Law.

    Jeffrey Mears will serve on the Prisoner Review Board.*Jeffrey currently works at Shawnee Correctional Center, a facility of the Illinois Department of Corrections. Previously, Jeffery was the General Foreman at Painters Local #32, President of the American Freedom Veterans Support Group, and a Commissioner on the Johnson County Board of Commissioners. Jeffrey has an extensive history volunteering with Shawnee Correctional Center where he currently serves as a De-Escalation Response Team Coordinator, Negotiations Management Team Member, Facility Crisis Team Member, and a Weapons-Free Task Force Member.

    GUARDIANSHIP AND ADVOCACY COMMISSION

    Sen. Julie Morrison will serve on the Guardianship and Advocacy Commission.* Sen. Morrison is currently an Illinois Senator for the 29th district. Previously, she served as Supervisor of West Deerfield Township and Campaign Field Director for Congressman John Porter. She earned a bachelor’s degree from Knox College.

    ILLINOIS BOARD OF HIGHER EDUCATION

    Kenneth Shaw will continue to serve on the Illinois Board of Higher Education.* Shaw has spent 28 years leading university systems including Southern Illinois University, the University of Wisconsin System and Syracuse University. Upon retirement from Syracuse University, he served as a Senior Consultant for the Association of Governing Boards of Universities and Colleges. Shaw has served in leadership positions on numerous educational and economic task forces and commissions as well as Boards of Trustees of both for-profit and not-for-profit businesses and organizations. He has received numerous national, statewide, and local honors including seven honorary degrees, the Silver Anniversary Award from the National Association of College Athletics (NCAA) and is a Laureate of the Lincoln Academy of Illinois. The Granite City resident received his Bachelor of Science from Illinois State University, master’s degree from the University of Illinois and Doctor of Philosophy from Purdue University.

    Jennifer A. Delaney will continue to serve on the Illinois Board of Higher Education.* Delaney is an Associate Professor of Higher Education in the Department of Education Policy, Organization and Leadership at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, where she is also the Director of the Forum on the Future of Public Education. Dr. Delaney's research focuses on higher education policy, with an emphasis on finance. Previously, she worked for the Advisory Committee on Student Financial Assistance, the National Center for Public Policy and Higher Education, and served as a consultant for the Commission on the Future of Higher Education. She was also an assistant professor of higher education at the University of Wisconsin at Madison. She earned a Bachelor of Arts from the University of Michigan, Master of Education from Harvard University and Doctor of Philosophy in Higher Education Administration from Stanford University.

    SOUTHERN ILLINOIS UNIVERSITY BOARD OF TRUSTEES

    Tonya Genovese will serve on the Southern Illinois University Board of Trustees.* Genovese is currently an attorney at the Gori Law Firm. Previously, she was an attorney and compliance officer at Lewis & Clark Community College and an attorney at the Madison County State’s Attorney’s Office. She received her Bachelor of Science in Business Administration from Saint Louis University and Juris Doctor from Thomas Jefferson School of Law.

    HOUSING DEVELOPMENT AUTHORITY

    Thomas Morsch will continue to serve on the Illinois Housing Development Authority.*  Morsch is the founder and President of Morsch Expeditions, LLC.  Prior to forming his company, he was a partner and Managing Director of Public Financial Management, LLC, where he co-led the firm's public private partnership practice.  Previously, he was the Midwest Real Estate Practice Leader for Marsh and McLennan Companies, a management consultant specializing in public-private work and was appointed by Governor James R. Thompson to serve as the Executive Director and CEO of the Illinois Tollway System for six years.  Morsch serves as a board and advisory board member of the Metropolitan Planning Council and Community Partners for Affordable Housing, was elected for three terms to the City Council of the City of Lake Forest, and was appointed a member of the City of Lake Forest Planning Commission. He earned his Bachelor of Arts from Beloit College. 

    Luz Ramirez will continue to serve on the Illinois Housing Development Authority.* She is currently chief administrative officer at YWCA Northwestern Illinois. Previously, she served as Executive Director of LaVoz Latina, Inc. and in various administrative and leadership roles in Rockford Public School District #205. Ramirez received her Bachelor of Arts from Columbia College and Master of Arts Education from the University of Phoenix.

    COURT OF CLAIMS

    Sonia Antolec will serve on the Court of Claims.* Antolec is currently Director of Policy from the Mom Project. She was previously Director of Legal Hiring at the Cook County State’s Attorney’s Office and Deputy General Counsel at the Illinois Department of Healthcare and Family Services. She is also involved with a number of legal, professional and civic organizations. Antolec earned her Bachelor of Arts from DePaul University and Juris Doctor from Loyola University School of Law.

    Marcellus Moore will serve on the Court of Claims.* Moore is currently Managing Attorney at the Alliance Law Group and the Child Advocate Law Group. Previously, Moore served as Vice President at Jones Lang LaSalle, Vice President at Grubb & Ellis, and as an Associate at Booz Allen & Hamilton. Moore earned a Bachelor of Arts from Morehouse College, Juris Doctor from Pritzker School of Law and Master of Business Administration from the Kellogg School of Management.

    Mary Patricia Burns will continue to serve on the Court of Claims.* Burns is currently President and Shareholder at Burke Burns & Pinelli, LTD. Previously, she was Associate/Partner at Burke & Smith Chartered and served as Law Clerk for Judge James C. Murray. Patricia Burns earned a Bachelor of Arts from the University of Notre Dame and Juris Doctor from Loyola University School of Law.

    HEALTH FACILITIES AND SERVICES REVIEW BOARD

    Antoinette Hardy-Waller will serve on the Health Facilities and Services Review Board.* Hardy-Waller is President and CEO and The Leverage Network and CEO of Strategic Healthcare Transformations. She was previously Vice President of Strategic Partnerships at Health Dimensions Group. Hardy-Weller has extensive leadership experience across health care. She is a member of First Initiative Insurance Board of Directors and Common Spirit Health Board of Trustees. Hardy-Waller earned a Bachelor of Science from the University of Illinois at Chicago and Masters of Jurisprudence from Loyola University School of Law.

    CAPITAL DEVELOPMENT BOARD

    Pam McDonough will continue to serve on the Capital Development Board.* McDonough is President at McDonough Enterprises, LTD. She was previously President at DeAngelo McDonough Construction Management Company and served as President and CEO at North Business & Industrial Council/ Alliance for Industry & Manufacturing. McDonough earned an undergraduate degree from DePaul University and Master in Public Administration from the University of Illinois at Springfield.

    DEPARTMENT OF HEALTHCARE AND FAMILY SERVICES

    Brian Dunn will serve as Inspector General of the Illinois Department of Healthcare and Family Services.* Dunn previously served as First Deputy Inspector General and General Counsel at the City of Chicago's Office of Inspector General. Prior, he served as General Counsel to the Illinois Department of Human Services and General Counsel for the Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity. He began his career in public service as an Associate General Counsel in the Office of the Governor. Dunn earned a Bachelor of Arts from the University of Michigan and a Juris Doctor from Northwestern University Pritzker School of Law.

    * Appointments pending confirmation by the Illinois Senate.


  • 01/29/2021 7:26 AM | Judy Pfeiffer (Administrator)

    Passing of Robert E. Schell

    ​Robert E. (Bob) Schell passed away on Monday, January 25, 2021. In his own way, he was an institution at the then Industrial Commission and later Illinois Workers' Compensation Commission.

    He was known to most attorneys that practiced at the Commission for 30 years. Bob was a non-attorney representative of the then Martin Boyer Company. He appeared at the Commission every day and was charged with the task of resolving claims with both attorneys and pro se litigants.  

    Bob was a graduate of DePaul University, in Chicago. He attended on a basketball scholarship and played under Hall of Fame Coach Ray Mayer. He was a member of the US Army Reserves and was great sports enthusiast, with an encyclopedic knowledge of all sports.

    Bob will be greatly missed by his family and friends. Donations in his name may be made to the DePaul University Scholarship Fund, 1 E. Jackson, Chicago, IL  60604, Phone: 312-362-8666, Email: giving@depaul.edu.

    Link to donate online: DePaul University - Make a Donation


  • 12/01/2020 1:58 PM | Judy Pfeiffer (Administrator)
    1. Arbitrator Amarilio will cover the docket assigned to Arbitrator McLaughlin for the month of December only.
    2. Arbitrator Seal will cover the docket assigned to Arbitrator Erbacci for the month of December only.
    3. Arbitrator Cellini will cover the TBA docket previously assigned to Arbitrator Robert Harris for the month of December only.
    4. The times for the Status Calls on Tuesday, December 1st are as follows: Mt. Vernon (9:00), Rock Island (11:00), New Lenox (1:00) and Elgin/Wheaton II (3:00).
    5. The times for the Status Calls on Wednesday, December 2nd are as follows: Quincy (9:00) and Woodstock (11:00).
    6. The times for the Status Calls on Monday, December 7th are as follows: Herrin (9:00) and Peoria (11:00).
    7. The times for the Status Calls on Monday, December 14th are as follows: Collinsville (9:00), Urbana (11:00), and Kankakee (1:00).
    8. The times for the Status Calls on Wednesday, December 16th are as follows: Bloomington (9:00) and Wheaton (11:00).


  • 12/01/2020 9:00 AM | Judy Pfeiffer (Administrator)

    Governor Pritzker has announced these two Arbitrator appointments:

    ARBITRATOR FOR THE WORKERS’ COMPENSATION COMMISSION

    Rachael Sinnen will serve as an Arbitrator for the Workers’ Compensation Commission.* Currently, she is the Associate Attorney at Elfenbaum, Evers & Zielinska, P.C. where she represents the majority of the firm’s Spanish-speaking clients in their workers’ compensation claims. Previously, she worked at a variety of law firms as an Associate Attorney and Law Clerk, in addition to serving as an Adjunct Professor at her law school alma mater. In addition, Sinnen is the Vice Chairwoman of the Young Lawyers’ Section of the Workers’ Compensation Lawyers Association. She received her Bachelor of Business Administration in Finance, her Bachelor of Arts in Spanish and her Master of Business Administration in Finance from Loyola University Chicago. She went on to earn her Juris Doctor from Chicago Kent College of Law.
     
    Raychel Wesley will serve as an Arbitrator for the Workers’ Compensation Commission.* She serves as the Domestic Violence Staff Attorney at Prairie State Legal Services where she covers issues such as orders of protection and civil no-contact. Previously, she was an attorney at a variety of law firms in Illinois. Wesley is a founding member of the Black Bar Association of Will County and is active in giving back to her community. She received her Bachelor of Science in Business Education from DePaul University, her Juris Doctor from DePaul University College of Law, and a certification in Paralegal Studies from Roosevelt University.  


  • 11/24/2020 3:00 PM | Judy Pfeiffer (Administrator)

    Please see the update issued by the Commission below:

    Update on Emergency Procedures.

    Please be advised that the November 16, 2020 Notice of Special Process Procedures for In-Person 19(B) Hearings and Pro Se Settlement Contracts are hereby extended through December 31, 2020. Please refer to the November 16, 2020 posted links for the procedures.

    Additionally, the November 13, 2020 Notice regarding In-Person Hearings Suspension is hereby extended until December 31, 2020. Please refer to the November 13, 2020 posting for details of the procedures.


  • 11/23/2020 12:30 PM | Judy Pfeiffer (Administrator)

    Please note the following, published by the ISBA today:

    Illinois Supreme Court amends Rule 23 to allow citation of unpublished appellate court rulings
    Chief Justice Anne M. Burke and the Illinois Supreme Court announced the amendment of Rule 23, which will allow litigants to cite unpublished opinions from the Illinois Appellate Courts for persuasive purposes.

    Amended Rule 23 is effective Jan. 1, 2021.
    The Bar News


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Michelle Lafayette Vice President
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