October 21, 2010: A Message from ICHV Board President, Patrick Thompson:

I would like to take a few moments to say “thank you” and to look forward as we continue to focus on the urgent need to prevent gun violence in Illinois.

First, ICHV would like to thank Thom Mannard for his work as executive director of the organization. After serving as ICHV’s executive director for ten years, Thom recently accepted a position as director of public policy and government relations of the American Cancer Society’s Illinois Division. We wish Thom well in his new position.

During his time at ICHV, Thom led the organization’s work to educate, raise public awareness and support the movement to prevent gun violence. Whether he was participating in a coalition, sharing information with the public or informing policymakers about the importance of a legislative measure, Thom provided a strong, thoughtful and consistent voice on this critical issue.

ICHV has commenced the search for an executive director, and we will certainly keep you informed as this process continues.

In the interim, Tom Vanden Berk has agreed to serve as the interim director of ICHV. Tom has been very familiar with this movement since 1992, when he lost his 15 year-old son to gun violence. He has worked closely with ICHV over the years. Tom also currently sits on the executive committee of the Brady Center to Prevention Gun Violence. In recent years, he played a leading role in the creation of the Brady PAC in Illinois.

The vision of the board of ICHV is to make sure that all interested parties striving to prevent gun violence work closely together. It is especially important that we work together to be in control of the agenda on this issue in Springfield and D.C.

We look forward to your support. It is our goal to become even stronger as we work to prevent gun violence in Illinois.

Patrick D. Thompson

Chairman, Board of Directors

Illinois Council Against Handgun Violence