President Zahorik welcomes new Leadership Circle members
by Dan Kovats, Executive Director
As IDCCA President Kristina Zahorik has traversed the state, strategizing with county chairs and boosting the association’s presence in every region of Illinois, she’s been attracting new members to our Leadership Circle. The Leadership Circle is a growing advisory board of progressive leaders charged with helping the IDCCA grow opportunities to recruit, train and engage Democrats all over Illinois.
Chris has been a practicing lawyer since 1994 specializing in protecting the rights of injured workers and injury victims. A passionate advocate for the rights of the injured, Chris has tried over 40 jury cases, arbitrated over 600 workers’ compensation claims and settled over 4000 claims, including numerous personal injury cases.
Chris is a lifelong Illinois resident graduating from Knox College and Southern Illinois University School of Law, and is admitted to practice in State and Federal Court. He served in the Illinois Army National Guard from 1990-1998 as an enlisted infantryman.
He also supports numerous charitable organizations in the Greater Peoria area and is committed to serving the Central Illinois community. Employees at the Law of Chris Doscotch are encouraged to give back to the community and are rewarded for volunteerism by receiving comp time for hours donated to any of the worthy charitable organizations in our area.
Monica Gordon, Executive Director of the Illinois Legislative Black Caucus
Monica is the Executive Director of the Illinois Legislative Black Caucus Foundation where she is responsible for overall operations of the foundation. Her previous experience in medical sales allows her to be comfortable with budgets while penetrating a territory with concise messaging. As the Interim Executive Director of the Illinois Legislative Black Caucus Foundation, Monica has raised over $300,000 in less than a year within her appointment. She is a long-term relationship builder who practices collaboration and team building.
Monica is a compassionate advocate for human service programs that assist others during times of hardship. She is certified in emotional intelligence assessment and loves connecting with people. Due to her community service involvement in the south suburbs, Monica has had the opportunity to meet many of its amazing residents.
Previously, Monica Gordon was a state lobbyist with Pugh & Associates. She received her B.A. from Northern Illinois University as well as a M.A. form Governors State University. Prior to advocating in Springfield for various clients such as PhRMA and the IL Trial Lawyers Association, she worked in pharmaceutical/medical sales for 11 years. During her career in medical sales, she won several sales awards with Johnson and Johnson and Mead Johnson and was promoted to a management role. Monica has always been dedicated to community service, extending her expertise to various non-profits and causes such as Girls 4 Science, Plan 4 Success, South Suburban PADS, the west side NAACP branch and the Flossmoor Cares MLK Project. She is also politically involved, serving on various committees for state legislators as well as local political campaigns. Monica was recently invited to join the Illinois Democratic County Chairs’ Association’s Leadership Circle. Furthermore, she is fiercely committed to the education and empowerment of young girls and women. Monica resides in Flossmoor and can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Hon. Michael Cabonargi, Cook County Board of Review Commissioner
Commissioner Cabonargi was sworn-in on February 10, 2011 as the Commissioner of the Second District on the Cook County Board of Review by Chief Justice Timothy Evans.
Prior to his swearing-in on February 10, 2011, Commissioner Cabonargi served as a senior attorney and prosecutor in the Chicago Regional Office of the United States Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) from 2005 to 2011. Commissioner Cabonargi investigated and litigated cases involving insider trading, offering fraud, pay-to-play, and pyramid/Ponzi schemes. In 2008, Commissioner Cabonargi received the SEC Director’s Award for Excellence for combating financial fraud targeting seniors and in 2007 he received the Chairman’s Award for bringing the largest private offering fraud case filed by the Commission in the amount of $2.8 billion.
Prior to joining the SEC, Commissioner Cabonargi was an attorney with Bell, Boyd and Lloyd, LLC from 2004 to 2005 and with Gardner Carton and Douglas LLP from 2002 to 2004, with a concentration in complex commercial and regulatory litigation. Among other matters, Commissioner Cabonargi represented the City of Chicago in the federal and state litigation arising out of the closing of Meigs Field.
From 2000 to 2002, Commissioner Cabonargi served as law clerk to United States District Court Judge William J. Hibbler in Chicago. During his clerkship, he initiated and helped to establish the court’s first help desk for pro se (self-represented) litigants, for which he received the Award for Excellence in Public Interest Service from the Federal Bar Association and the U.S. District Court in 2005.
Commissioner Cabonargi served as an aide to United States Senator Richard J. Durbin in 1997 and served as an aide to United States Senator Paul Simon from 1993 to 1997.
Commissioner Cabonargi received his J.D. in 2000 from the University of Illinois College of Law in Champaign and a B.A. in Political Science and a B.A. in Foreign Affairs from Miami University in 1993.
Commissioner Cabonargi also serves as the State Central Committeeman for the 9th Congressional District to the Democratic Party of Illinois.
Commissioner Cabonargi lives with his wife Erin Lavin Cabonargi, and their sons William and Jack in Chicago’s Logan Square community. Commissioner Cabonargi’s previous community service includes serving as a member of the Local School Council for Brentano Elementary School in Chicago from 2006 to 2008 and as a member of the 35th Ward’s Zoning Advisory Committee from 2007 to 2009. He also served on the Illinois Comptroller’s Ethics Commission from 2003 to 2005.
The Cook County Board of Review, formerly the Board of Appeals, consists of three members elected from individual districts. The Board is a quasi-judicial body that is charged with fairly and impartially reviewing the assessments of all property to the extent authorized by the Property Tax Code, correcting all assessments which should be corrected. It is empowered to raise, lower, and or direct the Cook County Assessor to change, correct, alter, or modify assessments as justice may require, and to do all acts necessary within the authority provided by the Code to procure a full, fair and a full, fair and impartial assessment of all property. The Second District includes Chicago’s downtown, north, northwest and southwest communities.