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Reilly honored with public service award

Jim Reilly, trustee of the Metropolitan Pier and Exposition Authority (MPEA), is the recipient of the prestigious Motorola Foundation Excellence in Public Service award. The award, given in conjunction with the Civic Federation and now in its 19th year, recognizes a non-elected government official who has had an extraordinary impact on the quality of state and local government services in Illinois.

“I’m honored to have been selected by the Civic Federation and the Motorola Foundation as the recipient of this award,” said Reilly. “This award belongs equally to the great teams that I have had the good fortune to work with at the various stages of my career. It has been a great honor to serve the people of Illinois.”

Reilly received the award at a breakfast on December 9, hosted by the Motorola Foundation and the Civic Federation.

Long-time colleague, and Director of the Illinois Department of Healthcare and Family Services, Julie Hamos, opened the program held at the Palmer House Hilton in Chicago.

“The Civic Federation is pleased to join with the Motorola Foundation to honor Jim Reilly’s life-long commitment to public service,” said Laurence Msall, president of the Civic Federation. “Jim is arguably one of the most effective government officials in Illinois. The results he has achieved for state and local governments, and for the greater Chicago’s convention and tourism industry, are truly monumental.”

“We are honored to recognize Jim Reilly as a leader in transportation, tourism, state government operations and commitment to public service,” said Matt Blakely, manager of the Motorola Foundation. “His more than thirty years of public service from state representative to chief of staff to two governors, revitalizing the MPEA and managing the Regional Transportation Authority during these very difficult economic times should serve as a role model for those in public service.”

Reilly currently serves as trustee of the MPEA, the agency that owns and operates McCormick Place, North America’s largest convention center, and Navy Pier, the Midwest’s top-visited tourist and leisure destination. He brings 27 years of experience in management and large real estate development to his current position.

During his career in public service, Reilly has served as CEO of the MPEA, and CEO of the Chicago Convention and Tourism Bureau, as well as COO of the State of Illinois under two governors.

During his previous tenure with the MPEA, Reilly successfully negotiated major labor reforms and was instrumental in the re-development of Navy Pier in 1995, the development of the McCormick Place south building, both on time and under budget in 1996, and the development of the Hyatt Regency McCormick Place in 1998.

Prior to his appointment as trustee, Reilly served as chairman of the Regional Transportation Authority since 2005, and was most recently president of the Reilly Consultant Group, which specialized in labor negotiations, the hospitality industry and project development.



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