Gregory W. Baise is the president and CEO of the Illinois Manufacturers' Association (IMA), a statewide advocacy organization representing more than 4,000 member manufacturing companies and supportive industries. Baise assumed leadership on March 1, 1991 and is responsible for management of the Association including coordinating statewide lobbying activities as determined by the IMA Board of Directors.
Since 1991, Baise and the IMA have achieved numerous milestones designed to benefit the economic well-being of Illinois families, including:
• Repeal of the outdated Illinois Structural Work Act
• Major reforms of tort law and educational policies
• Becoming leaders in the renewed focus by the business community on education
• More business-friendly environmental legislation
• Institution of the Manufacturers’ Purchase Credit
• Passage of Work Comp and Unemployment Insurance reforms
• Passage of Landmark Hydraulic Fracturing legislation
In 2004, Baise established a for-profit subsidiary of the IMA, Xpress Professional Services (XPS). A political fulfillment firm which delivers direct mail, radio and television production and placement for candidates. XPS also developed a polling service, We Ask America, which has developed a national following for its innovation and accuracy.
Also in 2004, the IMA, as a result of its Board’s concern over the continued loss of manufacturing jobs in the state, became the lead co-founder of the Illinois Coalition for Jobs, Growth & Prosperity. The Jobs Coalition’s a C-4, goal is to educate Illinois taxpayers about the benefits of a pro-jobs, pro-employer statewide-economic agenda. Through numerous activities, it supports progressive initiatives aimed at making Illinois a destination economy for business and industry.
Late in 2008, Baise and former owner of Helene Curtis, Ronald Gidwitz, formed the Economic Freedom Alliance (EFA) – a 527 political organization designed to fight the passage of the so-called Employee Free Choice Act (better know as Card Check). Baise coordinated a grass-roots led public information campaign throughout the Midwest the included television and radio ads, billboards, web sites, social media and earned media in Illinois, Wisconsin, Minnesota, Missouri, Michigan, Indiana and Ohio. The EFA earned kudos from employers and pro-business organizations throughout the nation for its cutting-edge approach to modern political discourse as Card Check remains dormant in the halls of Congress. EFA remains active and watchful of initiatives that would harm job growth in this nation.
Prior to the IMA, Baise served in various capacities for Gov. Jim Thompson, including Secretary of the Illinois Department of Transportation. In addition, Baise has served in a number of high-level political campaign roles, including being the Illinois campaign manager for Presidents Reagan and Bush (41), and headed Thompson’s re-election effort in 1986. In 1990 he was the Republican candidate for Illinois State Treasurer.
Baise is a 1974 graduate of Illinois College and has served on the Board of the National Association of Manufacturers.