The SelectChicago® Steering Committee is made up of leaders and consultants from the Greater Chicago Area. Our members work together to develop the best long-term outcomes for the foreign investors and the local communities.

Committee Member Biography
Village of Arlington Heights
Michael Mertes

Business Development Coordinator

Arlington Heights Illinois logo
Michael Mertes started with the Village of Arlington Heights in 2013 and is a current member of the International Council of Shopping Centers. Michael has helped develop incentive programs for attracting and growing commercial and industrial development. He has also helped encourage and assist in the development of quality healthcare, entertainment, and mixed-use projects in Arlington Heights.

Prior to this current position, he was the Economic Development Coordinator for the City of St. Charles, IL for five years. Michael has a Master’s Degree in Public Administration from the University of Illinois at Chicago, and a Bachelor’s from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign in Political Science.
Elk Grove Village
Josh Grodzin
Director of Business Development & Marketing

Elk Grove Village Illinois logo
Since 2010, Josh has been the Director of Business Development and Marketing for Elk Grove Village. He is the first point of contact for businesses expanding in or relocating to Elk Grove Village. Prior to his current role, he held positions at City of Highland Park and DuPage County. Josh is the go-to man for the annual Manufacturing and Technology Expo. He is also the talent behind Elk Grove’s monthly podcast, Strictly Business.
Josh has a Master of Arts in Urban Planning and Policy from the University of Illinois at Chicago. He earned a Bachelor’s in Political Science from DePaul University. He holds a Certified Economic Developer from International Economic Development Council
City of Elmhurst, IL
Erin Jason
City of Elmhurst

City of Elmhurst Illinois logo
Erin recently celebrated 20-years with Elmhurst where she serves as the Business Development Coordinator. Erin moved into her current role in 2016 and has assisted in over $400 million in development projects since taking on a role in economic development.

A proud member of the first female class at Fenwick HS, Erin has a degree in Organizational Leadership from Elmhurst College, Certificate in Economic Development from the University of Oklahoma EDI, and is currently pursuing her MPA at Mizzou.
Village of Lake Zurich
Roy Witherow

Assistant Village Manager

Village of Lake Zurich Illinois logo
Roy Witherow is responsible for a wide range of duties within the Village of Lake Zurich. In his role, he identifies sites for economic development and builds relationships with the investors, developers, and commercial tenants to occupy the space. The other side of his role is to provide the leadership and to manage the Village staff.
Roy has a Master of Public Administration in Urban Management & Development from Northern Illinois University. His undergrad is in Political Science and Public Administration from the same university. He is a Credentialed Manager through the International City/County Management Association.
Nortillo and Associates, Inc.
Teresa A. Nortillo

Analyst and Economic Developer

Teresa is an expert in corporate site selection, demographic and market analysis, labor analysis, incentive negotiations, and economic development practices. She is recognized for her clear explanations of complex tax credits, incentives, and related real estate issues. Her career also includes work as an economist with the US House of Representatives and the US Senate where she analyzed federal tax and budget legislation and co-authored the 1991 Luxury Tax Impact Study which focused on job loss and retention.

In 2018, she founded Nortillo Consulting specializing in labor and workforce analysis, business attraction and retention strategies. Teresa became a Certified Economic Developer in 2002. She has a Master of Public Administration and a Bachelor of Political Science, Economics, both from Central Michigan University.
Village of Skokie
Leslie Murphy

Economic Development Specialist

Village of Skokie Illinois logo
Leslie Murphy is the Economic Development Specialist for the Village of Skokie and is responsible for the implementation of Village’s TIF Districts and other federal, state and county incentive programs. She serves as staff liaison to the Skokie Economic Development Commission and the Illinois Science + Technology Park. Prior to her current role, Leslie was a public finance consultant for 2 years.
Leslie holds a B.A. degree in government from Saint Mary’s College, Notre Dame, Indiana, and a Master of Public Administration from the University of Illinois at Chicago. She is a lifetime member of Pi Alpha Alpha, a public administration honorary society and was recently inducted into Lambda Alpha International, an honorary society for the advancement of land economics.
Will Cook Enterprise Zone
Sandra Zoellner

Assistant Director of Economic
Development and Planning
Village of Park Forest

Will Cook Enterprise Zone
Capable and conscientious, Sandra is a proven and effective economic development professional, utilizing a wide variety of resources, trade tools, and collaborative processes to help meet her community’s constantly-evolving quality of life objectives. The Keystone Property Tax Incentive legislation recently enacted by the State of Illinois is a direct result of her persistent efforts to make Chicago’s south suburbs more desirable for industrial development. In FY2017/2018, the Will Cook I-57 Enterprise Zone reports $373M in direct investment, 2,514 new FTE and 198 FTE retained.

She had 5 years of experience as the  Economic Development Director for Russell County, Kansas prior to her current position. Sandra has a Masters in Public Administration from Wichita State University.

Our Steering Committee manages Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) process. Click here to learn how the FDI deal flow works.