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By: Tom Ryder
Tom Ryder served as an Illinois State Representative for the 97th District for more than 18 years. He resigned in November 2001 to become Vice President for External Affairs of the Illinois Community College Board where he served until February 2004. He is now a lobbyist and public speaker.
Ryder served in House Republican Leadership for a decade, first as Conference Chair and then as Deputy Republican Leader. He served as the House Republican Budgeteer for many years and was the longest serving Co-Chair of the Joint Committee on Administrative Rules.
Ryder received many awards during his tenure including Legislator of the Year from both the Illinois Education Association and the State Superintendent of Education, Leader for Peace from the Illinois Violence Prevention Authority, and he is a member of the Illinois Health Care Association Legislative Hall of Fame.
Ryder is the only Illinois legislator to serve as the national Chairman of the Council of State Governments. Ryder chaired several national committees for CSG and was the first CSG Toll Fellow to serve as CSG Chair. Additionally, Ryder is the founding Co-Chair of the Bowhay Institute for Legislative Leadership Development for the Midwest Legislative Conference.
Ryder is an attorney who started his law practice in Jerseyville, Illinois. He received a B.A. with honors in Political Science form Northern Illinois University and a law degree from Washington and Lee University in Lexington, Virginia.
Ryder and his wife Peggy are the parents of Josh, a seminary student studying to be a youth minister, and Tim, a recent graduate in Public Relations from Drake University in Iowa.