Summer 2014 Forum Highlights

 July 10–14, 2014 


The Summer 2014 Senate Presidents’ Forum in Chicago was hosted by Illinois Senate President John C. Cullerton, who welcomed the Forum and introduced Illinois Governor Pat Quinn and Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel. They stressed the importance of bipartisan cooperation and partnership among the branches of government and between the cities and state legislators to find practical solutions to the challenges that the states face.

Juan Salgado, President and CEO of the Instituto del Progreso Latino in Chicago, described his program’s strategies to connect employers who need workers with workers who have the necessary skills to succeed. Using a referral process, the program provides needed training to workers and then funnels the applicants to the open jobs. John Colborn, Director of the Aspen Institute program, Skills for America’s Future, described its work with community colleges and employers to create partnerships that offer economic opportunity for job seekers and competitive advantage for employers. Eric Lugo, Vice President in Global Philanthropy, JP Morgan Chase, explained Chase’s philanthropic initiatives in support of the national agenda for workforce development and improved global competitiveness.


Keynote Speakers

John Colborn

John Colborn is Director of Skills for America’s Future (SAF), an employer-led initiative of the Aspen Institute’s Economic Opportunity Program. SAF works with leading national firms to identify and champion solutions that improve the competitiveness of the United States workforce and improve economic opportunity for America’s workers. SAF also works with community colleges and community college leaders to enhance the effectiveness of these colleges in meeting the workforce development needs of employers, communities, and workers.

Previously, Colborn served as Vice President, Operations, at the Ford Foundation. He originally joined the Foundation as a grantmaker in workforce development and remains active in several foundation-related groups, including The Foundation Center and the Center for Effective Philanthropy.

Colborn holds a Bachelor’s Degree from Oberlin College and a Master’s Degree in Business Administration from the Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania.

Eric B. Lugo

Eric B. Lugo, Vice President in Global Philanthropy, is currently responsible for the local implementation and communication of the global philanthropic strategy at JP Morgan Chase & Co. In this capacity, Eric oversees grant-making activities, along with coordinating efforts across various stakeholders, including internal senior business partners, nonprofit organizations, public-sector officials, and clients.

Prior to joining JP Morgan Chase, Eric held the position of Senior Development Officer at Instituto del Progreso Latino, a leading workforce development, education, and civic organization in Chicago, where he played a transformative role in the institution’s growth. From securing the seed dollars that led to the creation of a collaboration serving hundreds of Latina single mothers to spurring an endeavor that integrated career and financial coaching into the core of Instituto’s alternative high school model, Eric’s presence helped cement relationships with private philanthropic organizations. His leadership facilitated new opportunities that linked economic development and investment in human capital to the pursuit of social justice.

Eric is a member of the Nuestro Futuro: Latino Heritage Endowment Steering Committee at the Chicago Community Trust, a member of the Thrive Chicago Council on Opportunity Youth with the City of Chicago Office of the Mayor, and a member of the Chicago Council at the United Way of Metro Chicago. He is also a member of the Inaugural Class of the Edgar Fellowship at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign Institute for Government and Public Affairs. Eric received his Bachelor’s Degree in Anthropology and Latina/Latino Studies from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, and earned Master’s Degrees in Business Administration and in Integrated Marketing Communications from Loyola University Chicago, Quinlan School of Business. He currently resides in Stone Park, Illinois.

Brian Neale

Brian S. Neale serves as Health Care Policy Director for Governor Mike Pence, a position in which he is responsible for developing and overseeing the implementation of health care policy for the State of Indiana’s health-related agencies, including the Family and Social Services Administration, Indiana State Department of Health, and the Indiana Department of Insurance. In this role, Brian helped design the new Healthy Indiana Plan Medicaid expansion alternative that is capable of providing consumer-driven health care options to over 350,000 uninsured Hoosiers.

Before joining the Pence Administration, Neale served as Congressman Pence’s Legislative Director and Counsel in Washington, DC, where he held a policy portfolio consisting primarily of health care, financial services, and judiciary issues. Prior to joining the Pence office,  Brian served an appointment as Advisor to US Small Business Administrator Sandy Baruah. A native Hoosier, Brian holds degrees from Indiana University's Kelley School of Business and McKinney School of Law.

Juan Salgado

Juan Salgado has been the President and CEO of the Instituto del Progreso Latino since 2001. Over the last 13 years, Juan has led the Instituto through a period of national-award-winning recognition and historic organizational growth spurred by a focus on creating partnerships, enhancing core competencies, leading innovation, providing quality services, and participating in targeted advocacy. Under his direction, the Instituto has established national best-practice educational and workforce models and earned the 2009 National Council of La Raza Affiliate of the Year.

In 2011, the White House recognized Juan as one of 13 people nationally serving as Champions of Change for social innovation in their communities. Juan is a 2005 Leadership Greater Chicago Fellow, a 2007 Aspen Institute Ideas Festival Fellow, and a member of the Institute for Mexicans Abroad from 2006 to 2009.

Juan is also a civic and economic leader in Chicago. He was a member of Mayor Rahm Emanuel’s economic-development transition team and currently serves on the City-County Collaboration Committee, a group of 7 leaders tasked by Mayor Emanuel and Cook County President Toni Preckwinkle to provide a blueprint for unprecedented cooperation between the City and County. Recently, Juan was confirmed by the City Council of Chicago to serve as a Commissioner for the Chicago Park District. He also is on the boards of Advance Illinois, Leadership Greater Chicago, National Council of La Raza, and is a Trustee of the Adler School of Professional Psychology.

He has been an influential voice in local and national settings for his work on the educational, political, and economic advancement of the Latina/Latino community. Juan was Board President of the Illinois Coalition for Immigrant and Refugee Rights from 2002 through 2010. He appreciates the value of bridging the private and public sectors to promote upward mobility in the workforce and does so by partnering with the Metropolitan Chicago Healthcare Council, the city colleges of Chicago and the public schools to expand diversity and opportunity in the health care and manufacturing sectors.

Juan holds a Master’s Degree in Urban Planning from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign as well as a Bachelor’s Degree in Economics from Illinois Wesleyan University. He is also deeply grateful to his parents, Daniel A. Salgado and Maria del Carmen Maldonado. In May 2013, Juan received an Honorary Doctorate Degree in Humane Letters from Illinois Wesleyan University and is a recent graduate of the Harvard Business School Owner/President Management Program.

Juan and his wife, Leticia Almazan, are the proud parents of three children, Angel Tonatiuh, Yaretzi Amanda, and Alejandro Ollin.

Laura Tobler

Laura Tobler is a nationally recognized expert on state health care policy issues, serving as a Program Director for the Health Program at the National Conference of State Legislatures managing the work on policy issues related to Medicaid, the health care workforce, and primary care and rural health. She has authored many papers, articles, books, and issue briefs on a variety of health topics. Laura received her Bachelor’s Degree of Science from Pennsylvania State University and her Master’s Degree in Public Policy from Rutgers University.

Joseph Thompson, MD

Joseph W. Thompson, MD, MPH, is the Surgeon General for the State of Arkansas and Director of the Arkansas Center for Health Improvement. His work is centered at the intersection of clinical care, public health, and health policy. He is responsible for developing research activities with robust data collection, health policy, and collaborative programs that promote better health and health care in the Natural State. Dr. Thompson works closely with and often serves as a bridge between the Governor’s office, the Arkansas legislature, and public and private organizations across the state to develop relevant health policy initiatives.

Dr. Thompson has led vanguard efforts in planning and implementing health care financing reform in addition to tobacco- and obesity-related health promotion and disease prevention programs. He has worked with Governor Mike Beebe, Arkansas’ legislative leadership and the US Department of Health and Human Services to develop a creative alternative to Medicaid expansion under the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act. In addition, Dr. Thompson is guiding the state’s innovative initiatives to improve health system access, quality, and cost, including a systematic, multipayer overhaul of Arkansas’ health care payment system.

This physician’s previous accomplishments include serving as the lead architect of the Tobacco Settlement Act of 2000 and instituting the Arkansas Health Insurance Roundtable. Under his leadership, the Arkansas Center for Health Improvement helped pass the Clean Indoor Air Act of 2006, documented the state’s success in halting progression of the childhood obesity epidemic, and passed a tobacco excise-tax increase to provide funding for more than two-dozen health initiatives.

Dr. Thompson has been at the forefront of both Arkansas’ leading-edge efforts against childhood obesity and in national efforts to reverse childhood obesity as the former Director of the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation Center to Prevent Childhood Obesity.

He currently serves on the the state’s Board of Health and is a past President of the Arkansas Chapter of the American Academy of Pediatrics. Nationally, Dr. Thompson serves on the board of the Campaign to End Obesity and of AcademyHealth. He is the author of numerous articles and publications that reflect his research interests in the areas of health and health care.

Dr. Thompson earned his medical degree from the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences and a Master’s Degree in Public Health from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. He served as the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation Center Clinical Scholar at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill; the Luther Terry Fellow in Preventive Medicine, advising the US Assistant Secretary of Health in Washington, DC; and the Assistant Vice President and Director of Research at the National Committee for Quality Assurance, also in Washington, DC. In 1997, he served as the First Child and Adolescent Health Scholar of the US Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (then the US Agency for Health Care Policy and Research) before returning to Arkansas.

Bryan Wilson

Bryan Wilson is the State Policy Director at the National Skills Coalition (NSC), leading the NSC’s efforts to assist state-based coalitions and policymakers in the development of policy proposals. He also provides assistance with policy implementation and measuring the impact of policy changes.

Prior to joining the NSC, Bryan was the deputy director of Washington state’s Workforce Training and Education Coordinating Board, which oversees both the Evergreen State’s workforce development and career- and technical-education programs at the secondary and postsecondary levels.

He also held policy posts in the Washington state governor’s office and in the state House of Representatives. Bryan has a Doctoral Degree from Rutgers University.


John Colborn

Eric B. Lugo

Brian Neale

Juan Salgado

Laura Tobler

Joseph Thompson, MD

Bryan Wilson

Senate Presidents’ Forum

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