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Rahm Picks Desiree for Inaugural Committee

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The Rahm Emanuel transition team Tuesday announced their hand-picked inauguration team.

Seven member individuals will help facilitate the festivities surround the May 16 swearing-in ceremonies for Mayor-elect Rahm Emanuel, Treasurer Stephanie Neely and City Clerk-elect Susana Mendoza.

The committee consists of community leaders and some major campaign donors, who will work with City Council members to prepare for the

At least one of the names is surprising. Desiree Rogers, the erstwhile White House Social Secretary who left President Barack Obama's staff after D.C. couple Tareq and Michaele Salahi crashed a state dinner at the White House.

The last time Emanuel and Rogers worked together, she was taking the blame for the mishap and quietly stepping aside from her post. Did Emanuel have a hand in her departure? If so, it would appear any bad blood is water under the bridge.

Below is a complete list of committee bios provided by the offices of the elected officials:

Desiree Rogers is the CEO of Johnson Publishing Company. In 2008, President Obama named Rogers the first African-American White House Social Secretary. Rogers was elected president of People Energy’s two natural gas utilities in 2004. Previously, Rogers led the Illinois State Lottery. Rogers has served on several corporate and non-for-profit boards, most recently serving on Equity Residential, a publically traded REIT, Blue Cross Blue Shield, and as Vice Chairman of the Lincoln Park Zoo and the Museum of Science and Industry. She holds an MBA from Harvard Business School and a BA from Wellesley College.
Melinda Kelly is Executive Director for Chatham Business Association (CBA) Small Business Development Inc. where she provides viable and effective for support small businesses to enhance the social, political, and economic growth within the Chatham community. Kelly had extensive experience combining business and social service. Additionally Kelly serves on various Small Business Advisory Committees and is credited with implementing the Chatham Lending Initiative, a Small Business Association certified loan program. Recently Kelly also facilitated the creation of the Chatham Cottage Grove Special Service Area (SSA). Prior to joining CBA, Melinda Kelly served as an Employment Specialist assisting Chicago Housing Authority residents and as the Compliance Director for mortgage brokers and loan originators.

Eric Lefkofsky is the co-founder of LightBank, a venture fund focused on helping disruptive technology businesses. Lefkofsky is also a founder and director of several firms, including InnerWorkings, Inc., Echo Global Logistics, Inc., MediaBank, LLC, and Groupon.com, Inc. Lefkofsky serves on the board of directors of Children's Memorial Hospital, the board of trustees of the Steppenwolf Theatre, the Art Institute of Chicago, and the Museum of Contemporary Art. Lefkofsky is the author of Accelerated Disruption and an adjunct professor at the University of Chicago Booth School of Business. He holds a bachelor's degree from the University of Michigan and a Juris Doctor degree from the University of Michigan Law School.

Antonio Gracias is the founder, Chief Executive Officer and Chairman of the Investment Committee at Valor. Prior to founding Valor in 2001, Gracias served as Founder and Managing Member of MG Capital, a private equity firm headquartered in Chicago. Gracias engages in community-spirited leadership as an Aspen Institute Henry Crown Fellow and was recognized for his service by the educational arts nonprofit Changing Worlds. Gracias is a member of the Commercial Club of Chicago, and serves on the boards of the Grand Victoria Foundation, the Illinois Institute of Technology, the Economic Club of Chicago, and the Board of Visitors at the University of Chicago Law School. He also serves as a Trustee of the Field Museum. Gracias holds a joint BS and MSFS from Georgetown University and a JD from the University of Chicago Law School.

David Herro is a Chief Investment Officer at Harris Associates, as well as a Portfolio Manager of the Oakmark International Fund, the Oakmark International Small Cap fund and Oakmark Global Select fund. Before joining Harris, Herro worked for The State of Wisconsin Investment Board and The Principal Financial Group of Des Moines, Iowa. Herro earned his MA in Economics from the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee and a BS in Business/Economics from the University of Wisconsin-Platteville.

John T. Coli is President of Teamsters Joint Council 25. Coli, who has been a member of the Teamsters since 1971, also serves as Secretary-Treasurer of Local 727 and as a Central Region Vice President for the International Brotherhood of Teamsters.  Prior to his tenure with the Teamsters, Coli served as a prosecutor and administrative law judge for the Illinois Secretary of State. Coli is currently a Trustee for the Local 727 Health and Welfare Fund, Pension Fund, Parking Industry Labor Management Committee, and Legal and Educational Assistance Fund, and serves on the Executive Board of the Chicago Federation of Labor. Coli also has government experience at both the local and national levels, having been appointed to President Barack Obama's Immigration Roundtable, Gov. Pat Quinn's Economic Recovery Commission and Cook County Board President Toni Preckwinkle's Transition Team. Coli earned his BA from San Francisco State University and his JD from John Marshall Law School in Chicago.

Tim Mullen was the director of the Lincoln Park Zoo from 1999 to 2005. Mullen, a private investor, currently serves on the Board of Trustees at the Francis W. Parker School. Mullen has also served as a director and investor of Thinkorswim Inc. of Chicago and was Chief Executive Officer and Chairman of the Board of First Options of Chicago, Inc.

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