Managing Partner, The Horinko Group
Director, Water Resources Policy, Development & Sustainable Communities Group
Brendan P. McGinnis is Managing Partner of The Horinko Group. In January 2008, he founded the organization with former U.S. EPA Acting Administrator, Marianne L. Horinko and colleague, Justin Oberst. In 2009, he launched the firm’s Water Resources Policy, Development & Sustainable Communities Group, assembling a team of thought leaders to develop and advance actionable strategies for addressing domestic and international water quality-quantity and infrastructure issues. Since then, he has worked closely with leading practitioners to provide case development, management, and raise greater awareness for a number of resource leveraged efforts, including the Lower Passaic River Restoration Project, Fox River Cleanup Group, and Kalamazoo River Superfund Site. He continues to provide counsel and oversight for federal government outreach and brand awareness to advance public-private partnering and funding opportunities for the National Great Rivers Research and Education Center. He also oversees The Horinko Group’s business development line, creating overall content and design for its marketing and outreach efforts.
In 2010, Mr. McGinnis became a Founding Member of the Water Resources Action Project, Inc. (WRAP), a volunteer, non-profit organization that seeks to improve public health for underserved communities in the Middle East through greater water stewardship. WRAP sponsors, designs, and implements the installation of rainwater harvesting systems at schools throughout the region, complemented by a strong educational component. In May 2011, he traveled to Israel and Palestine to dedicate the organization’s pilot project at the Sur Baher Girls School in East Jerusalem, and finalize plans for the group’s second project, the Al-Afaq School for the Learning Disabled (completed February 2012). In September 2012, the Board of Directors unanimously appointed Mr. McGinnis as President of WRAP. In November 2012, he completed his second trip to the region, identifying the group’s third project, the Battir Girls High School, located near Bethlehem in the West Bank. He continues to devote his time and resources to the communities served by WRAP, while working closely with its grassroots partners, Friends of the Earth Middle East and Only Green Environmental Center.
Prior to forming The Horinko Group, Mr. McGinnis served as Project Manager at The Global Environment & Technology Foundation in Arlington, Virginia (2005-2007). In this capacity, he provided research, analysis, and project management support for a suite of domestic and international water, energy, and general sustainability projects including the Global Water Challenge, U.S. Agency for International Development’s Powering Health Guidebook; International Center for Environmental Finance, Green Highways Partnership, and on-site coordination of the Fourth Biennial International Waters Conference in Cape Town, South Africa.
Mr. McGinnis received his Bachelors of Art in Business Administration (2004) and Masters in Business Administration (2005) from Southern Illinois University.
Senior Advisor, Water Resources Development, Policy & Practice
Patrick S. McGinnis has served as a passionate advocate for practical and sustainable solutions to water resource management challenges over his thirty-five year career. Mr. McGinnis’ experience and interest centers on a broad range of economic opportunities for livable design for waterfront communities, strategic planning and facilitation, public/private sector interaction and consensus building. He currently serves The Horinko Group’s Midwest regional clients as the Water Resources Team Leader for the Great Lakes and Mississippi River Systems.
In a tenure marked by innovation and collaborative spirit, Mr. McGinnis worked as a field ecologist and public lands administrator with the U. S. Army Corps of Engineers. He has extensive experience in wetland regulatory delineations, natural resource management, environmental stewardship and recreational programming on public lands, and community relations. For twenty years, he led an effort to build a sustainable systems presence on an open space footprint of 110,000 acres of public lands and water critically situated at the confluence of the Upper Mississippi and Lower Illinois Rivers, upstream of St. Louis.
With his emphasis on visible, measurable results, he provided oversight for a broad range of programs earning solid grassroots support. Recognizing that collaboration and networked governance create a force for innovation and efficiency, he has successfully leveraged a wide variety of programs involving open space stewardship, environmental project case development, livable community strategies, community planning assistance, and nature-based tourism business sector incubation. He has worked with national, regional and community leaders to critically analyze and benefit from the natural capital of aquatic ecosystems.
Mr. McGinnis has received numerous awards and recognitions including:
- Recognition as architect of Riverlands 2000, a programmatic strategic plan that significantly advanced public stewardship of water resources and attainment of compatible water-based recreation along the Illinois and Mississippi Rivers upstream of St. Louis.
- Led the successful design of the restoration and management of a 3,700 acre floodplain prairie-marsh complex designated as the Riverlands Migratory Bird Sanctuary, and recognized by the Audubon Society as important mid-migrational staging area for waterbirds as well as a major destination for nature-based tourism.
- Led strategic effort to develop comprehensive operational master plan for large Federal footprint of public lands along Mississippi River, building stakeholder consensus around improved natural resource objectives and reconnecting riverfront gateway communities to the river to support tourism.
- Has worked extensively with riparian communities to identify and act on opportunities for public-public and private-private partnerships to bolster visitor services.
- Led effort to establish the National Great Rivers Museum, a regional visitor’s center on the Mississippi River, at Alton, Illinois, by working with community leaders, private donors, and elected officials in an open collaborative effort.
- Led effort to create of one of the U.S. Army Corps’ first non-profit, cooperating associations, The Meeting of the Rivers Foundation, and steered its subsequent support for environmental educational programming and development of placed-based learning on public lands.
- Educator of the Year Award for 2008 from the 100 Black Men organization for his commitment to education of underserved populations.
- Spirit of Tourism Award in 2007 awarded by the Alton Regional Convention and Visitors Bureau for support of the Meeting of the Great Rivers National Scenic Byway and building an interjurisdictional effort to realize the potential of riverside communities as leisure travel destinations.
- Awarded St. Louis Audubon Society’s Conservationist of the Year Award in 2009 for contributions toward conserving habitat and raising water resources awareness.
- Presented Department of the Army, Superior Civilian Service Award in 2009, by Brigadier General Michael J. Walsh, then Mississippi Division Commander, US Army Corps of Engineers for meritorious service and his personal dedication to water resources and leadership in forging important public partnerships.
- Continues to work effectively with waterside community leaders and local elected officials to shape opportunities and leverage resources toward water resource based brand development.
Seth Brown, P.E.
Principal and Founder, Storm and Stream Solutions, LLC
Senior Advisor, Stormwater/Green Infrastructure, Public-Private Partnerships, & Economics
Seth Brown is the Principal and Founder of Storm and Stream Solutions, LLC, a consulting firm providing a range of services from policy and infrastructure finance analysis in the stormwater sector to the development and delivery of technical and policy-related training focused on stormwater topics. Through his consulting group, Seth was a major contributor for the recently released EPA Region III document, Community Based Public-Private Partnerships (CBP3s) and Alternative Market-Based Tools for Integrated Green Stormwater Infrastructure.
He is a regular speaker at conferences and events related to stormwater-focused issues. In addition to his work in the private sector, Seth is the Senior Stormwater Advisor for the Water Environment Federation (WEF). Prior to this role, he was the WEF Stormwater Program and Policy Director, and in this capacity, Seth led WEF’s stormwater program by working with WEF members and others in the stormwater community to identify technical needs in the field and worked to develop programming and products to meet these needs. In this role, he also tracked Federal legislative and potential regulation changes relevant to the stormwater and wet weather community as well as provide general policy support on water sector issues.
Seth has a B.S. and an M.S. in civil engineering, is a licensed professional engineer in the state of Maryland. He has over 17 years of experience in the private consulting sector, and is currently a PhD candidate in the Department of Civil, Environmental and Infrastructure Engineering at George Mason University in Fairfax, Virginia. His research focuses on economic modeling of incentive-based investments of green stormwater infrastructure on private properties.
Dr. Shawn Dalton
Principal and Senior Consultant, Thrive Consulting
Senior Advisor, Social Ecology & Human Dimensions
Dr. Shawn Dalton is a social ecologist with over 20 years of experience working at the interfaces among landscapes, communities, and governance regimes. Dr. Dalton has organized, managed, and carried out projects in community-based natural resource management in inner city neighborhoods and rural communities; facilitated interjurisdictional watershed planning and management partnerships including federal, provincial, regional, and local government agencies, non-profit organizations, business and industry, and community members; designed and delivered a variety of training programs to federal and local resource managers; and designed and carried out applied research in watershed management, social network analysis, climate change mitigation, adaptation, and community vulnerability analyses, and warfare ecology. She also has experience in the development and delivery of outdoor experiential environmental education programs for both youth and adults.
Most recently, Dr. Dalton served as Science Officer for the Assembly of First Nations Chiefs in NB, for whom she conducted research in indigenous knowledge, aboriginal workforce development in the forestry sector, and the cascading effects of industrial development in First Nations communities. She also works with two community-based watershed associations to develop and implement climate change adaptation strategies, and to develop long-term strategies to maximize social and economic benefits and minimize social, economic, and environmental costs of large-scale industrial development in urban and rural New Brunswick, Canada.
Dr. Dalton is a graduate of Sarah Lawrence College (Biology, 1988), the Yale University School of Forestry and Environmental Studies (Masters of Environmental Studies, 1992), and The Johns Hopkins University (Doctorate, Dept. of Geography and Environmental Engineering, 2002). She is fluent in English, functional in French, speaks conversational Spanish, and has minimal Arabic.
Dr. Dalton has brought her education, experience and skills to bear on a variety of social ecological projects and programs in the past 20 years, several of which are highlighted here:
- Urban Resources Initiative, Baltimore MD (1992-1999). Dr. Dalton spent the better part of a decade working on community-based open space management projects in underserved neighborhoods in inner-city Baltimore. The use of ecological restoration as a means of community revitalization resulted in stronger social bonds, vacant lot reclamation, and the creation of urban vegetable gardens, tree nurseries and street tree plantings, memorial gardens, and improved ecological literacy among both youth and adults. She also designed and delivered a watershed-based natural resource training program for the field staff of the Bureau of Parks; and built capacity within the department for subsequent program delivery by training 4 department employees to deliver the training upon completion of her contract.
- National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s National Estuarine Research Reserve Network Social Assessment Training Program for Natural Resource Managers (2007). Dr. Dalton completed case studies of socioeconomic conditions adjacent to Research Reserves, and used these as training materials to deliver a workshop on the use of social sciences in reserve research and management. She has since worked on a number of projects with the Hudson River National Estuarine Research Reserve, including a visitor use survey of two recreational marshes, a series of interviews of professional planners and engineers regarding the incorporation of sea level rise and climate change projections in shoreline design and management, and most recently a survey of users’ perceptions of values of the Hudson River shoreline.
- Environment and Sustainable Development Research Centre (ESDRC), University of New Brunswick (2001-2010). As Director of ESDRC, Dr. Dalton conducted applied social ecological research in urban and rural watersheds in New Brunswick, conducted research on climate change adaptation and community vulnerability to climate change, and supervised or co-supervised numerous masters and doctoral research projects. In addition, she was responsible for raising 100% of the annual operating budget of the Centre, organizational development, strategic planning, and fiscal management. Her work on community-based natural resource management brought integrated social and biophysical sciences to bear on local decision-making, often employing GIS mapping tools to demonstrate the relationships between people and landscapes; and championing the use of FGDC-compliant data documentation, management, and dissemination protocols in all undertakings generating data.
- NATO Advanced Research Workshop on Warfare Ecology: Synthesis, Priorities, and Policy Implications for Peace and Security, Vieques, Puerto Rico (December, 2009). Dr. Dalton participated in this workshop, which yielded the world’s first textbook on the subject –Warfare Ecology: A New Synthesis for Peace and Security, in which her contribution is entitled, “Application of the Human Ecosystem Model in Warfare Ecology”. She has also worked on developing a coupled human-natural systems research agenda with this warfare ecology group, and is currently leading a proposal to hold a second workshop to advance the research agenda and the uptake of this important subdiscipline of ecology into the academe.
- Strategic Sciences Working Group, Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill, Gulf of Mexico (2010). Dr. Dalton was one of a small team of scientists selected by the Obama Administration to develop spill scenarios and predict cascading effects of different scenarios on the region’s marine, aquatic, terrestrial, and human ecosystems (2010). This work served as a pilot project, and has since led to the creation of a standing Strategic Sciences Group of the federal government in the United States.
- Nova Scotia Expert Review Panel on Hydraulic Fracturing, (2014). The Nova Scotia Department of Energy commissioned the Verschuren Centre for Sustainability in Energy and the Environment at Cape Breton University to conduct an independent review and public engagement process to explore the social, economic, environmental, and health implications of hydraulic fracturing practices and their associated wastewater streams. Dr. Dalton served as a member of this panel, producing a report entitled, “Socioeconomic and Social Ecological Impacts on Communities.”
Principal, JM Hill Consulting
Senior Advisor, Water Resources Planning & Development
James M. Hill offers a diverse portfolio of skills and accomplishments through his 32 plus years of Federal public service as a professional land and water resources planner, project manager, program manager and operations manager with the US Army Corps of Engineers. Since retiring from the Corps in 2013, he founded JM Hill Consulting to provide professional services such as strategic master planning, collaborative partnership formulation, and development and management of outdoor recreation, environmental stewardship, and natural and cultural interpretive/ education projects. He also serves as The Horinko Group’s Senior Advisor on Water Resources Planning and Development Projects.
Mr. Hill is recognized as a national expert on master planning within the Corps. From 2009-2013, he served on a select national team to improve master planning policies, processes, costs, schedules and products. This effort is improving the relevance and value of Master plans as the living strategic guide for the orderly and sustainable life cycle development of USACE water resource projects nationwide. He has a lifelong commitment to conservation of the nations lands and waters with a view to societies demands and uses of natural resources to find balance through innovation, and defining and/or redefining expectations leading to sustainable win/win solutions. His philosophy and practice of network governance through collaborative public-private partnerships (P3) is a primary focus in achieving successful results. A hallmark of his strategic design is a system approach that builds resilient natural qualities and human communities in large, diverse aquatic ecosystems.
Throughout his professional career, Mr. Hill has accomplished numerous initiatives for Federal public parks, fish and wildlife management areas, lakes, rivers and waterside communities. He helped develop opportunities for compatible and sustainable public uses, untapped economic growth, cultural and nature based tourism and outdoor recreation in harmony with river and reservoir dynamics, ecological integrity and overall rural and urban landscape health. All of his work required leading and working with Corps professional multi-disciplinary teams and partners outside of the Corps. He routinely worked master planning challenges across Corps districts and regions requiring complex inter-jurisdictional and interagency coordination and consensus for unique social and natural resource challenges.
For many years, Mr. Hill served as the Corps St. Louis District Operations Division Program Manager for all Master Plans, Operation Plans, shoreline management plans, trails, greenways, partnerships, watershed initiatives, Interpretive centers, exhibits, recreation facility developments, universal accessibility and out grant (leases etc.) development plans on Corps managed public lands and waters. In this role, he led, coordinated and provided technical expertise and quality assurance for all projects district wide. He also led and accomplished numerous interpretive services and educational outreach programs and projects throughout the Mid- Mississippi watershed.
Mr. Hill is a common sense practitioner who has successfully completed many projects “on the ground.” Some of his notable accomplishments and recognitions include:
- Operations Manager from 2009 – 2013 for the Corps multi-purpose Kaskaskia River Project in Southwestern Illinois. Responsible for accomplishing a historic workload of over $25 M in major repair, maintenance and improvement projects for navigation, environmental stewardship, Interpretive and recreation facilities and services. Mr. Hill also led the planning, partnerships and development of the new Kaskaskia and Mississippi Rivers Confluence Trail and Heritage Area during this period.
- Technical Expert on the USACE national master planning policy and process improvement team (2009-2013);
- Master Planner for the initiation and approval to develop a new Regional Corps Visitor Center at Table Rock Lake, Branson MO, and building/site concept design, storyline and exhibits development (2009-2012). Received Commanders Award from the Corps Little Rock District for exceptional technical support.
- Planning and design team for the Corps Regional National Great Rivers Museum, Alton IL – building, site, storyline and exhibits (Completed 2003).
- Master Planner for the Lake Shelbyville IL Regional Trail Plan(2002 – 2004).
- Project Manager for the Rend Lake IL TEA-21 cost shared bike-hike trail development (2003-2006).
- Project Manager for the development and approval of the first Rivers Project Master Plan (approved 2001) for 300 miles of the Mississippi River and key tributaries in IL and MO (1997 – 2001), and for the Lake Shelbyville IL Master Plan update (2002 – 2004).
- Project Manager for the planning/design, approval and funding for the Stump Lake Wildlife Management Area, Illinois River, Habitat Rehabilitation and Enhancement Project, authorized by the Upper Mississippi River System Environmental Management Program (1990-1993).
- Numerous collateral duty assignments for river flood emergency response as a sector engineer, area engineer or liaison including the record Mississippi River Floods of 1993, 1995, 2008, 2011 and 2013. He also served as the Corps Mississippi Valley Division Liaison to the State of Louisiana Emergency Management Office for immediate response efforts for 5 Hurricanes (2000 – 2005). This includes Hurricanes Katrina and Rita from Aug.26 to Oct 5 2005 supporting immediate response efforts. Received Commanders Award from the Corps New Orleans District for exceptional support during the immediate response to Katrina and Rita.
- Upon Retirement from the Corps in July 2013, Mr. Hill received the prestigious de Fleury Bronze Medal from USACE Chief of Engineers, LG Thomas P. Bostick and the Army Engineering Association in recognition of Mr. Hill’s many significant Federal public service accomplishments that benefit the nation.
Mr. Hill also volunteers to support sustainable tourism, conservation and quality of life initiatives where he lives in Randolph and Monroe County, IL. He serves on the Board of Directors for CLIFFTOP, a grassroots, all volunteer conservation NFP whose mission is to preserve, protect and sustain the Mississippi River bluff lands and Ozark habitat areas of Southwestern Illinois. He is also a Board of Directors member for the Illinois South Tourism Bureau representing Monroe County, IL, and the Monroe County IL Economic Development Council.
Mr. Hill received his Bachelor’s of Science in Forestry from Southern Illinois University-Carbondale in 1982.
Principal and Founder, Active Strategies
Senior Advisor, Active & Livable Communities
Greg Brumitt has extensive experience in both private and public sector markets, developing successful strategic initiatives and the brands and organizations that support them. Founder and owner of Active Strategies, Greg’s practice focuses on a wide range of quality of life endeavors, including community livability and resiliency, branding and image development, and active community and park design.
With more than 25 years experience in building active lifestyle cultures and organizations, Greg is making active lifestyle development a catalyst for community growth and quality of life improvements, providing private and public clients assistance with market analysis; branding; strategic and organizational planning; active lifestyle, outdoor recreation and education services development; and place activation. Greg serves as THG’s Senior Advisor for Active & Livable Communities.
Prior to forming Active Strategies, Greg worked with the Great Rivers Greenway (GRG) District in St. Louis, Missouri as its Director of Conservation and Community Service. Greg developed GRG’s public-facing operations that included Communications/Marketing, Greenway Operations, Conservation, Public Engagement and Special Events.
Greg also founded Dayton, Ohio’s outdoor recreation initiative working with Five Rivers MetroParks in 2005. The initiative sought to build a culture of outdoor lifestyle and transform Dayton’s rust-belt image through the development of an outdoor recreation culture and image. The effort was a major component of The Greater Downtown Dayton Plan, which is successfully revitalizing Downtown Dayton by adding exciting active lifestyle and arts and entertainment amenities, restaurants, craft beer, housing, and creative businesses.
After creating Dayton’s outdoor recreation initiative, Greg grew the program into Dayton’s livability initiative Outdoor Connections. The expanded initiative focused its efforts beyond outdoor recreation to advocate for and creating access to a more livable, resilient Dayton. Efforts included active community design, outdoor recreation, local food systems, conservation education and related small business incubation. Greg’s group was also responsible for operations of Dayton’s downtown riverfront park, RiverScape, as well as its year-round 2nd Street Public Market. Today, Dayton is a vibrant, resurgent community with a fresh image and direction. It is recognized as one of the Midwest’s most bike-friendly cities with a strong active culture.
Greg also formerly served as Director of Business Development at the Nantahala Outdoor Center, a world-renowned whitewater outfitter located in the mountains of Western North Carolina. In addition to his active lifestyle efforts, Greg spent over 20 years leading product management in several high technology companies, including Emerson Electric, Glenayre Technologies and Adaptive Broadband. Greg graduated Summa Cum Laude from the University of Cincinnati’s College of Design, Architecture, Planning and Art (DAAP) with a degree in Urban Planning.
Senior Advisor, Community Empowerment & Management
Frank Miles, M.P.A. has over 25 years of service in government administration, planning and economic and community development programing. He has served as a City Planning Director for two municipalities, City Manager/Administrator, County Planning and Development Manager, City and County Economic and Community Development Director, County Treasurer, College Administrator, Business Developer and as a Congressional Chief of Staff. He is a convener and facilitator assisting communities and their leaders to create an economic and community development vision.
As an Administrator of the Madison County, Illinois Community and Economic Development Department, Mr. Miles managed a multi-million dollar grant portfolio in state, federal and local programs. Madison County, is located in the Greater St. Louis Area metroplex and adjacent to the Mississippi River. His department directed and managed the County’s economic and community development programs, focusing on growing multiple economic clusters throughout the County; including transportation and logistics, food access and agricultural development, energy, trade and international development, tourism promotion and enhancement, broadband planning and development, health care, Micro-Loan and infrastructure loan programs, rail transportation site planning, rural economic development, recreation and park programs, managing development data and efforts at promoting jobs in the construction trades and coordinating aging in place programs.
Prior to this, Mr. Miles served as the Campus Executive Director of Southwestern Illinois College and as the Business and Economic Development Manager of America’s Central Port. In each of these positions, he led efforts of developing new initiatives to grow new business and economic development opportunities. As Southwestern Illinois College’s Granite City campus administrator, he served as the community point of contact providing a link between business and education and served as the College’ point person on sustainability measures.
As the Business and Economic Developer of America’s Central Port, Mr. Miles managed the Port’s tenant portfolio and was responsible for business attraction, focusing on logistics and transportation opportunities. Through his efforts, the Port received a Sister Port designation with Wuhan New Port in China and he assisted in the creation of a marketing agreement with the Port of New Orleans. He also assisted with the development of the Port’s new South Harbor and served as a liaison with the community and various state and federal agencies. He also organized specialized economic and community development forums and roundtables focusing on trade, manufacturing, agriculture and international development.
Mr. Miles also served as the Treasurer of Madison County, Illinois an office responsible for the collection and distribution of over 400 million dollars in property taxes. In this office, he established the County’s first “Citizen Help Desk” to aid citizens in understanding taxes. He also established the Madison County Business and Micro Loan Program and engaged City Councils, Mayors, Chambers and other organizations on the operations and management of his department.
Prior to his service as Treasurer, he was Director of Planning and Development for Madison County. This department, responsible for the county’s land development and management programs, includes such functions code enforcement, zoning, corridor planning, environmental management and inspection, municipal and educational sustainability and storm water management. Under his tenure, he was able to secure grant funds supporting the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Interior Flooding Control project and established the County’s Storm Water Commission and office. Post Katrina, he led the County’s response at addressing FEMA’s regional levee decertification issue, working with local officials, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and FEMA to develop a plan to address the problem.
Prior to his service with Madison County, he spent seven years as District Chief of Staff for U.S. Congressman Jerry F. Costello (12th Dist. – Illinois), where served as the point-of-contact for Congressman Costello on federal and state grant programs and served as the chief liaison with federal, state and local government representatives and agencies and district business leadership.
Mr. Miles has also served as City Administrator & Economic Development Coordinator for the City of O’Fallon, IL. As City Administrator, he established the City’s Planning and Development Department and was responsible for the City’s grant management program, in addition to managing all City departments. As O’Fallon’s Economic Development Coordinator, he coordinated the City’s incentive programs and managed special development districts and areas in the community.
He has also served as Comptroller and Deputy Circuit Clerk for the Madison County Circuit Clerk’s Office, and as the Director of Development and City Planner for the City of Edwardsville he was responsible for overall City planning and managed multiple TIF and Special Business Development districts.
He is a member of numerous associations and organizations, including the American Planning Association, the Urban Land Institute and the American Society of Public Administration. He was also appointed to serve on the Illinois Lt. Governor’s Illinois Military Base Supporting Economic Development Commission and has a US Secretary of Commerce appointment on the Missouri District Export Council. He also serves as an Associate Director on the Madison County Soil and Water District.
He is a 1983 graduate of Southern Illinois University Edwardsville (SIUE) with a Bachelor of Science degree in Government and Public Affairs. In 1988, he received a Masters of Public Administration degree from SIUE, where he also served as an Adjunct Professor in the SIUE Department of Public Administration and Policy Analysis.
Senior Advisor, Public-Private Partnerships & Stakeholder Engagement
Andrew Manar serves as Senior Advisor on Public-Private Partnerships & Stakeholder Engagement. As a former Midwest rural community mayor, County Board Chairman, and State Senate Chief of Staff, Mr. Manar brings a boots on the ground perspective on how to effectively engage local communities and state program managers and budget officers. Elected to the Illinois State Senate in 2012, his experience in state and local governance brings valuable insights into navigating fiscally challenged state budgetary processes and understanding resource constraints of local governments.
Mr. Manar’s extensive experience in state government includes four years as Director of Policy and Budget for the Illinois Senate Democratic Caucus where he became skilled in all aspects of the state’s finances. In late 2008, Illinois Senate President John Cullerton named Mr. Manar as his first Chief of Staff to oversee the complex operations and procedures of the State Senate. When nominating Mr. Manar as his Chief of Staff, Senate President Cullerton noted the respect Mr. Manar had earned amongst Democrats and Republicans in the Legislature, his patient demeanor, knowledge of the state budget, and a proven ability to work closely with members from rural and urban regions of Illinois.
Mr. Manar graduated from Southern Illinois University at Edwardsville with a degree in History and resides with his family in Bunker Hill, Illinois.