CRAIN’S CHICAGO BUSINESS / Shia Kapos
Kristi Lafleur, outgoing executive director of the Illinois Tollway, has been named deputy treasurer and chief operating officer at the Chicago City Treasurer’s office, headed by Kurt Summers.
“I’ve known Kurt for a long time and have a great deal of respect for what he’s done in Cook County and now as treasurer,” Lafleur said, referring to Summers’ previous role as chief of staff to Cook County Board President Toni Preckwinkle.
Along with hiring Lafleur, Summers named Miriam Martinez chief investment officer. She most recently was chief investment officer at the New York State Insurance Fund.
Both women bring years of experience in management and “invaluable” expertise in operation and investments, Summers said in a release announcing their appointments.
Lafleur had been a finalist for the top job at the Central Florida Expressway Authority after she left the Illinois job that former Gov. Pat Quinn had appointed her to in 2010.
Given she was in line for a high-profile position in Florida, I asked her if a job with Chicago was a consolation prize.
“Not at all,” she said. “I’m a Midwesterner. I was honored to be in consideration for that (Florida job) but it’s fantastic to not have to move. My heart is in Chicago. I’m excited to do something meaningful here.”
Lafleur, 40, is a Nebraska native who graduated from DePaul University. She’s married and mom to a 2-year-old and has one more child on the way.
As deputy treasurer and chief operating officer, Lafleur will oversee day-to-day operations of the treasurer’s office and serve as Summers’ senior adviser on initiatives such as a neighborhood and infrastructure investment plan as well as a pension-fee savings project, according to the release.
She says the work dovetails with what she did at the tollway, where she managed agency operations and oversaw an estimated $1.17 billion annual budget.