New Year. More Hires. Same Mission.
After the November elections, we saw the need to re-establish a center-right vision in Illinois. We knew this process needed to start now…there is no more time to waste. Illinois can’t afford to go down the same path, repeating the same mistakes over and over again.
Plain and simple, our passion is to fix Illinois. So we made the decision to invest in the state that we love. We started off the new year by hiring 7 new team members to prepare for the fight ahead, expanding our full-service political company to 16 team members. With this even larger team of talented people who share the same vision, values, and mission, we are even better positioned to provide the skills and leadership necessary to fix this state.
We know this isn’t something that will happen overnight. It will take a long-term approach to fix decades of bad decisions and failed leadership. But we’re stepping up to play our part in steering Illinois towards a better future.
Fixing Illinois starts now. Meet the newest members of the Cor team who are ready to help lead the charge.
Rich Carter – Government Affairs
Rich will lead Cor Strategies’ Grassroots Government Affairs efforts in Illinois. For more than 20 years, Rich has led media relations and outreach efforts for several high-profile statewide and federal officials, designing and successfully implementing positive messaging campaigns while strategically traversing the media minefield of the Washington, DC and Illinois press corps. He was most recently Deputy Chief of Staff/Communications for Illinois Lt. Governor Evelyn Sanguinetti and previously served as Spokesman for former Illinois Comptroller Leslie Munger and former U.S. Rep. Don Manzullo, who also chaired the U.S. House Committee on Small Business.
Derek Murphy – Politics
Derek will be joining Cor Strategies as Political Director for the Chicagoland area. Derek began his life in the political arena in 2012, while still in college at Benedictine University, volunteering for Judy Biggert for Congress. After getting his feet wet in politics, Derek decided to take the fight to his local campus community by starting the College Republicans and joining the Downers Township Republican Organization as a Precinct Committeeman. After graduating in 2014, Derek started working for Governor Bruce Rauner’s campaign. Following his victory in 2014, Derek continued working in politics including the Illinois Opportunity Project, Kasich for America, Citizens for Seth Lewis, Economic Freedom Alliance PAC and the Illinois Rebuild Project. In late 2017, Derek rejoined Governor Bruce Rauner’s re-election campaign as Suburban Director.
Jeff Wilhite – Politics
Jeff will be Cor Strategies’ lead Political Director for South Central Illinois. Jeff began his life in the political arena in 2012, while still in college at the University of Illinois-Springfield, volunteering for local Republican candidates and joining the College Republicans. Upon graduating from college in 2014, he started as an intern for the Rauner Campaign and was quickly promoted to run the field office in Springfield. After the 2014 election, he started working for the Illinois Republican Party and the House Republican Organization. He then spent 2016-2018 as the South Central Regional Director for the Illinois Rebuild Project. This took Jeff from Springfield, to Carthage and all the way to Fairfield. He worked with county chairmen and local elected officials across 37 counties over those two years.
Kris Adams – Field
Kris will be leading Cor Strategies’ coalition development efforts. Kris most recently served as the Field Director for Sheri Jesiel in Illinois’ 61st House District. His career has been built on forming long-term relationships with members of the community and business leaders. Prior to working with Sheri Jesiel, Kris was the Outreach Director for CityGOP. Through his experience in building relationships and developing outreach programs, he increased voter participation among millennials through a series of organized events.
Michael Butler – Marketing
Michael is joining Cor Strategies as a specialist in the marketing department. Michael has a wide swath of experience, having served as a Field Director for municipal campaigns, a business & community liaison for a non-profit, and Chairman for a state representative campaign. Most recently, Michael served as the Political Director for Congressman Mike Bost where he worked to ensure consistency of messaging across twelve counties.
Jim Talbot – Redshirt
Jim is joining Cor Strategies’ Redshirt program where he will assist the team in driving results. Jim’s journey in politics began in 2013 as the volunteer coordinator for the campaign of a local business owner who was running for Mayor of Crestwood. Jim’s experience on this campaign fueled his passion for politics. Most recently Jim was the Oak Lawn Field Office Manager for Governor Rauner’s re-election campaign. Furthermore, Jim is the President and Young Republican Chairman of Bremen Township Republican Organization.
Nick Heeren – Redshirt
Nick is joining Cor Strategies’ Redshirt program where he will assist the team in driving results. While pursuing his degree at Indiana University, he was able to get experience in politics by interning with the Illinois Republican Party, Congressman Bob Dold in his District Office, and Harbinger Outreach, who put on the 2016 RNC Convention in Cleveland. Nick most recently finished working on Bruce Rauner’s re-election campaign for Governor. Prior to working on the Rauner campaign, he worked with the Illinois Rebuild Project as a coordinator in the North Suburban Region.