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Illinois Manufacturers’ Association Welcomes New Board Chair

December 11, 2023

Illinois Manufacturers’ Association Welcomes New Board Chair

Renee Togher is President of Azteca Foods, Inc. in Chicago

SPRINGFIELD – The Illinois Manufacturers’ Association (IMA) is proud to announce Renee Togher will serve as the new Chair of the IMA Board of Directors, where her years of experience will help to further strengthen the state’s dynamic manufacturing sector.

Togher is President of Azteca Foods, Inc. in Chicago, a family-owned business and leading manufacturer of tortilla products. She received her Bachelor of Science degree in Business Administration from the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign. Togher has been recognized by Today’s Chicago Woman magazine as one of “100 Women Making a Difference” and is an active volunteer in school, church and youth activities in her community.

Togher currently serves on the Advisory Board of First Women’s Bank and is a past Director of MB Financial, Inc. She has also served on boards for numerous non-profit organizations, including Access Living, the Greater Chicago Food Depository, the National Museum of Mexican Art and Mercy Hospital, and is also a former Trustee of DePaul University. Togher will serve a two-year term and is the first Hispanic to serve as IMA’s Board Chair. She replaces Greg Webb, Vice President, State Government Relations for Archer Daniels Midland Company, who was elected IMA Chair in 2021 and will continue to sit on the Board.

“I’m excited for this opportunity to advance the Illinois Manufacturers’ Association long record of achievements on behalf of the manufacturing industry, which has transformed lives and built communities throughout our state,” said Togher. “I look forward to continued collaboration with my colleagues from across the industry to grow jobs, opportunity and investment.”

Others earning officer roles for the IMA Board of Directors include Kara Demirjian Huss, Senior Vice President for TCCI Manufacturing LLC in Decatur who will hold the position of Vice Chair, and Tom Welge, President of Gilster-Mary Lee in Chester, who will serve as Treasurer.

Demirjian Huss earned her Bachelor of Science degree from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and serves in leadership roles for several community and civic organizations including the Decatur Parks Foundation, the Economic Development Corporation of Decatur and Macon County and the Illinois Workforce Innovation Board. T/CCI Manufacturing is a global compressor supplier serving the trucking, off highway, agriculture, construction, specialty vehicle and transport refrigeration markets.

Welge leads Gilster-Mary Lee Corporation, a leading private-label food manufacturer that produces food items for private-label brands, including virtually every major U.S. retail grocery chain and wholesaler. He has been with Gilster-Mary Lee since 1995 and was named President and CEO in 2020. He holds a bachelor’s degree in business administration from Illinois Wesleyan University, Bloomington and a law degree from Washington University in St. Louis. He works on behalf of numerous community organizations including the Illinois Agri-Food Alliance and Missouri’s National Veterans Memorial.

“We are thrilled to benefit from the knowledge of these visionary leaders who bring a wide range of expertise to support our important efforts of boldly moving makers forward,” said Mark Denzler, President & CEO of the Illinois Manufacturers’ Association. “As the state’s largest economic driver, manufacturers stand ready to help shape a brighter and more prosperous future.”

The IMA also welcomed Nate Baguio, Senior Vice President of Commercial Development at Joliet-based Lion Electric (NYSE: LEV) (TSX: LEV) (“Lion” or the “Company”) to the Board. Baguio has contributed to Lion Electric’s exponential growth and position as a leader in the electric vehicle industry. Since joining Lion in 2018, he has helped position the company as the leader in electric school bus deployments across North America. Baguio gained extensive experience in the student transportation industry working on the startup and deployment of school bus operations and various light rail and transit safety projects across the state of California. His mission is to help provide a healthy breathing environment for students, drivers, technicians and communities, and educate the industry on the favorable economics of operating zero emission, electric medium and heavy-duty vehicles.About the Illinois Manufacturers’ Association (IMA)

The Illinois Manufacturers’ Association is the only statewide association dedicated exclusively to advocating, promoting and strengthening the manufacturing sector in Illinois. The IMA is the oldest and largest state manufacturing trade association in the United States, representing nearly 4,000 companies and facilities. For more information, please visit