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World Business Chicago enlarges board

Updated: December 1, 2012 4:39PM

World Business Chicago on Tuesday named 18 new members, bringing the total number of directors to 64.

The new members, who will help Mayor Rahm Emanuel recruit businesses to Chicago, include McDonald’s Corp. President and Chief Executive Officer Don Thompson, Tur Partners CEO Lori Healey, developer John Buck and Northwestern Memorial HealthCare President and CEO Dean Harrison.

Michael Sacks, vice chairman of the group whose 10-year plan is to boost the city’s economic progress, announced the new members to reporters at a news conference after World Business Chicago’s fall board meeting.

Though the quality of directors and their organizations “is fantastic,” Sacks said it’s understood that such a large number of directors will commit in a variety of ways.

“Some of them want to really spend a lot of time working on economic development issues on a pro bono basis and others tell us, ‘We’re there when you need us. Call us if you need us but we’ve got a day job and we’re running a big business,’” he said.

The group holds its board meetings in private and then issues press releases and holds media briefings afterward — a model Sacks said keeps confidential such sensitive information as potential business recruits negotiating moving to Chicago.

The group received $1 million this year from the city of Chicago, down from $1.4 million in 2011 and $2 million in past years. Sacks said World Business Chicago’s board added as one of its missions on Tuesday the goal of convincing taxpayers that they get a positive return on the WBC investment.

The World Business Chicago group said it had recorded 103 new business prospects this year and, of those, 33 will locate and expand in Chicago. The businesses will together create 13,563 jobs, both new and retained.

Other new board members include Jim Abrams, chief operating officer of Medline Industries Inc.; Tony Bouchard, executive vice president and central region executive for AECOM Technology Corp.; Patrick Canning, managing partner of the Chicago office of KPMG LLP; Mark Furlong, president and CEO of BMO Harris Bank; Matthew Gibson, managing director and co-head of investment banking-Midwest at Goldman Sachs Group, Inc.; Ilene Gordon, chairman, president and CEO of Ingredion Inc.; Patricia Hemingway Hall, president and CEO of Health Care Service Corp.; Aylwin Lewis, CEO of Potbelly Sandwich Works; John Pratt, managing director, investment banking, Bank of America Merrill Lynch; John Rau, president and CEO, Miami Corp.; Larry Richman, president and CEO, PrivateBancorp, Inc.; Rick Stephens, senior vice president of human resources and administration, Boeing Co.; Rich Sykes, Midwest office manager, McKinsey & Co., and Keith Williams, president of Underwriters Laboratories Inc.

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