6/30/2021

Joliet native Denise Winfrey poised to take national leadership role

JOLIET—During the summer annual meeting of the National Association of Counties (NACo), Will County Board member Denise Winfrey will assume the 1st Vice Presidency of that body meaning a bigger spotlight and greater influence for Illinois’ fourth largest county.

“There is no doubt that we in Will County stand to benefit in many ways from Denise Winfrey’s ascension among the Executive Board of this prestigious national organization,” said Mimi Cowan Speaker of the Will County Board. “Denise’s long-time experience on the Large Urban County Caucus as well as her new leadership role as 1st Vice President will give us a greater voice in Washington when it comes to securing federal funds.”

For her part, Winfrey says she hopes to cast Will County in a favorable light as a progressive, forward-thinking government that knows how to get its fair share of federal attention and federal dollars.

“I am honored to assume the spot as 1st Vice-President of NACo and I know full well that this job means greater visibility for Will County,” Winfrey said. “That visibility will bring greater focus in Washington to our infrastructure, public safety and public health needs which are only growing as we now exceed a population of 700,000. That population means that Will County is a major metro area in its own right.”

Winfrey called upon her fellow Will County Board members to take a more active role in NACo to ensure that federal governmental leaders hear their message and deliver their fair share of federal funds back to their communities. She said she would be able to appoint more Will County Board members to key committees that interact with Washington as they convey the many funding needs of the county.

Furthermore, Winfrey hopes that she will be able to bring the NACO Board and Large Urban County Caucus to Illinois in 2022 to help showcase Will County’s important role in commerce and industry as the largest inland port in North America.

“With Denise Winfrey moving into a higher leadership position among the NACo executive team Will County stands to benefit,” said Mike Fricilone, Minority Leader for the County Board.  “We all benefit from her seat at the table when major decisions are being made.”

Fricilone, who is also a Vice-Chair of the NACo Finance Committee, added “The County Board will be standing with Denise as we advance the County’s initiatives on the national stage.”

The annual NACo conference runs from July 8th to 12th and is in Prince George’s County, Maryland.  The conference brings county leaders from across the country together to share best practices and learn from each other.