Skip to main content


Jobs, Education, and the Economy: The Elmhurst College Governmental Forum

On January 30, days after President Barack Obama begins his second term, four of the region’s foremost corporate leaders will discuss the economic landscape and how our workforce can succeed in it, during the Sixth Annual Elmhurst College Governmental Forum.

The topic of this year’s Forum is "Jobs, Education and the Economy." Moderating the event will be John Engler, a former three-term governor of Michigan and, as president of the Business Roundtable, leader of the foremost CEO association in the country. The key presenters at the Forum will be Caterpillar Inc. chairman and CEO Douglas R. Oberhelman, Johnson Publishing CEO Desiree Rogers; and TMX Group CEO Thomas A. Kloet, who also serves on the Elmhurst College Board of Trustees.

The Elmhurst College Governmental Forum brings together the region’s foremost governmental leaders, business experts, and policy analysts to examine Illinois’ most urgent issues. In previous years, the Forum has welcomed former Illinois Governor Jim Edgar and Speaker of the Illinois House of Representatives Michael J. Madigan, among many others.

The Elmhurst College Governmental Forum is an integral part of the College’s acclaimed cultural season of public lectures and fine-arts programming, which brings thousands of people to its campus each year.

More about the participants:

John Engler has been heavily engaged in education and workforce issues as head of the Business Roundtable, whose member companies generate $6 trillion in annual revenues and employ 13 million people. During Engler’s tenure as the governor of Michigan, from 1991 to 2003, he signed 32 tax cuts into law and helped create more than 800,000 new jobs. He has identified the pressing shortage of skilled employees as a growing threat to American competitiveness in the 21st Century’s high-tech global economy.

Douglas R. Oberhelman joined Caterpillar in 1975 and has held a variety of key positions there, including senior finance representative based in South America for Caterpillar Americas Co., and managing director and vice general manager for strategic planning at Caterpillar Japan Ltd., in Tokyo. He also is a director for the boards of Eli Lilly and Company, the National Association of Manufacturers and the Wetlands America Trust. He is active with The Nature Conservancy, serving on the Latin American Conservation Council and on the board of the Illinois Chapter.

In her first year as CEO at Johnson Publishing, Desiree Rogers recruited a new senior team, secured outside financing and relaunched Ebony magazine with its first cover-to-cover redesign. She also turned the Illinois Lottery into a stable, reliable and popular revenue-producer; and, as president of Peoples Energy’s two natural-gas utilities, facilitated the 150-year old company’s transition into a responsive, customer-centric organization. As the country’s first African American social secretary, Rogers’ office produced 350 events during her 14-month tenure and turned the Obama White House into a showcase for American art and culture.

Thomas A. Kloet has been CEO of TMX Group Inc. since July 2008. A public company listed on the Toronto Stock Exchange (TXK), TMX owns and operates the principle financial markets for Canada, including the TSX, Montreal Exchange and Natural Gas Exchange, and is the majority owner of the Boston Options Exchange. Kloet has served as a trustee of Elmhurst College since 2006. He also serves on the boards of the TMX Group and its subsidiaries; and is a trustee of Elmhurst Memorial Healthcare and a governor of Elmhurst Memorial Hospital.

Elmhurst College is a leading liberal arts whose mission is to prepare its students for meaningful and ethical work in a multicultural, global society. Approximately 3,400 students are enrolled in its 23 undergraduate academic departments and 10 graduate degree programs.

Get the WBEZ App

Download the best live and on-demand public radio experience. Find out more.