Business consultant Lou Sandoval has been named as the new CEO and president of the Illinois Chamber of Commerce.
The chamber’s board of directors announced Mr. Sandoval’s appointment in a news release Thursday, Nov. 9. In August, the chamber retained Koya Partners, an executive search firm, to lead the national search.
Mr. Sandoval replaces the late Todd Maisch, who led the state business advocacy group for nearly a decade. Mr. Maisch died May 31 at Barnes Jewish Hospital in St. Louis at age 57. He joined the chamber in 1994, serving as its top executive since 2014.
“We are thrilled to have Lou Sandoval as the next president and CEO of the Illinois Chamber,” Ann Deters, the board chair, said in the release. “His vision aligns perfectly with our mission and core values. His leadership, passion, and strategic approach will undoubtedly drive value for our members.”
As CEO, Mr. Sandoval will lead the chamber in representing the business community to champion policies supporting growth across Illinois’ dynamic and diverse economy, the chamber said.
Mr. Sandoval comes to the role after a successful career as a business owner and consultant across a variety of industries in Illinois. As president and managing partner of the Halo Advisory Group, he has advised both early-stage, growth companies and Fortune 500 clients on go-to-market strategies, scalability, change management, and mergers and acquisitions.
Previously, he held executive leadership roles for NAUTIC-ON, a Brunswick Corporation brand focused on providing technology and business solutions to the recreational boating industry. For nearly 20 years, Sandoval founded and led a marine dealership serving customers throughout the Western Great Lakes Region.
“I have dedicated my entire career to building resilient businesses and transforming complex ones to prepare them for future challenges,” Mr. Sandoval said in the chamber release. “I have also been a vocal advocate for issues that have hindered their growth and expansion.”
He added: “I feel honored to be able to apply these experiences as the next leader of the Illinois Chamber of Commerce, representing the voice of all businesses in Illinois, and paving the way for a new era of progress and innovation.”
Mr. Sandoval has driven top-line revenue growth and transformation initiatives for companies of all sizes. He brings a track record of scaling businesses up to $35 million and managing organizations of up to $500 million. He also led fundraising efforts including raising more than $80 million in venture capital and private equity. Mr. Sandoval serves as an Independent Board Director for Wintrust Bank N.A.
In addition, he serves on the Epic Academy Board of Trustees, the executive board of Pathway to Adventure Council, and the board of advisors for DePaul University and Kognitive Networks. Previously, he led the Chicago Yacht Club Board of Directors as its commodore.
He also was appointed by former Illinois Gov. Bruce Rauner to the Illinois River Coordinating Council and co-chaired the Latino Advisor Committee for U.S. Sen. Mark Kirk.
A graduate of DePaul University, Mr. Sandoval is an adjunct faculty member for Hispanic & Latino Executive Leadership in McKinsey & Company’s Connect Leaders Program. A proud Eagle Scout, he has received numerous honors and recognitions including the NESA-Outstanding Eagle Scout Award, Latino Leader Magazine’s MAESTRO Award, Negocios Now Magazine’s Who’s Who in Chicago Hispanic Business Power, Crain’s Notable GenX Leaders in Sports, Chicago United’s Business Leaders of Color Honoree, and the Whitney M. Young Jr. Service Award.