Intersect Illinois Appoints John Lyons and Zaldwaynaka (Z) Scott to Board of Directors

Lyons and Scott to represent DLA Piper and Chicago State University in organization’s effort to bring economic growth and jobs to Illinois

Intersect Illinois Appoints John Lyons and Zaldwaynaka (Z) Scott to Board of DirectorsCHICAGO, IL – Intersect Illinois today announced the appointment of John Lyons, partner at DLA Piper and Zaldwaynaka (Z) Scott, president of Chicago State University to its board of directors. These new appointees bring experience in public-private partnerships, global investment, higher education, workforce development, equity and more that will advance Intersect Illinois’ mission to attract investment and jobs to Illinois.

“Illinois’ position as a leading state for business expansion and relocation is continuing to soar, and I’m pleased to welcome these leaders to our board who are committed to bringing investment and jobs to the state,” said Intersect Illinois Chairman John Atkinson. “With the State’s increased focus on economic development, we’ve seen tremendous interest in our mission from public and private partners who want to join with us and contribute to Illinois’ continued economic growth.”

JOHN LYONS – Lyons is a partner at the global law firm DLA Piper, where he represents major corporations, committees, lenders, and boards of directors in complex business reorganizations, acquisitions, and divestitures in a variety of industries. Lyons served as global co-chair of the industrials sector at DLA Piper. He currently serves as chairman of the Board of Trustees of the State Universities Retirement System Board of Trustees (SURS), which provides retirement security to more than 250,000 members employed by Illinois public universities and colleges.

“I look forward to contributing to the board’s mission to recruit new businesses and investors to Illinois and to building on the positive momentum currently underway in this great State,” Lyons said.   

ZALDWAYNAKA (Z) SCOTT – Scott is president of Chicago State University, the only U.S. four-year Department of Education-designated Predominantly Black Institution in Illinois. Scott leads the institution’s mission of transformation for students’ lives through strong academic programs that place the university in the top 4% of all the nation’s college and universities for economic mobility. Prior to Chicago State, she was an equity partner in a national law firm and spent 16 years as a federal criminal prosecutor and senior leader in the Chicago-based US Attorney’s Office.

“I’m honored to join the Intersect Illinois board of directors,” said Scott. “Equity in education and increasing economic and social mobility are what guide Chicago State’s work, and those principles are also evident in the mission of Intersect Illinois. Together, we will continue to expand the economic opportunities available to the members of our communities throughout Illinois.” 

As the state’s business attraction organization, Intersect Illinois collaborates with partners in the public and private sectors to attract new jobs and investment throughout the state. The organization showcases the state’s advantages including its central location with access to the country and world, its unmatched infrastructure, and its robust workforce fueled by its dynamic higher education system.

Working with industry, academic, civic and government partners, Intersect Illinois makes it easier for companies to expand in Illinois and provides a range of services to help navigate the site selection process. Intersect Illinois’ board of directors helps the organization generate public good with private sector efficiency.

Lyons and Scott join board members from companies including Ameren Illinois, ADM, Busey Bank, Carle Health, Comcast, ComEd, Constellation, Clayco, 8 Hospitality Group, Illinois American Water, Illinois Manufacturers’ Association, Illinois Manufacturing Excellence Center, Illinois REALTORS, Loop Capital, Marsh Chicago, Nicor Gas, OSF Healthcare, Peoples Gas and North Shore Gas, Related Midwest, Skyway Concession Company, and the University of Illinois System.


INTERSECT ILLINOIS is the statewide economic development organization focused on bringing new jobs and investment to the state. Intersect Illinois collaborates with industry, academic and government partners throughout the state. To date, Intersect Illinois has helped bring over 16,900 jobs and $6.2 billion in investment to Illinois.