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October 23, 1999

Ryan Begins Historic Humanitarian Mission To Cuba

HAVANA, Cuba - Governor George H. Ryan today became the first sitting U.S. governor to visit Cuba in more than 40 years, leading an historic humanitarian mission from Illinois that will exchange ideas, encourage goodwill and deliver donated food, medicine, clothing and school supplies to the people of the island.

Ryan, who is being accompanied on the mission by state Rep. Edgar Lopez, D-Chicago and an official delegation of more than 45 people, said the goal of the mission is one of goodwill.

"I consider it an honor to represent the citizens of Illinois on this historic trip. It is my hope that the work we do over the next 4 days will lead to a renewed sense of hope and opportunity for the Cuban people," Ryan said.

"Our goal is to build bridges that link people together through a common desire to improve the human condition. We intend to listen to the concerns of the Cuban people and hopefully help them improve their quality of life."

While in Cuba, Ryan will deliver nearly $2 million worth of donated humanitarian supplies. The official delegation consists of senior state officials and representatives from agriculture, education, cultural affairs and the medicine. They will meet with their counterparts in Cuba to discuss ways to improve conditions on the island nation.

Ryan, the official delegation, and approximately 40 members of the Illinois press corps left Chicago's O'Hare International Airport at approximately 10:00 a.m. via a special charter 737 donated by United Airlines specifically for this mission. The delegation will return to O'Hare on Oct. 27.

A list of official delegation members is attached.


Senior State Officials Governor George H. Ryan
First Lady Lura Lynn Ryan
Illinois House Speaker Michael J. Madigan
Illinois Senate Minority Leader Emil Jones, Jr.
Illinois House Minority Leader Lee A. Daniels
Illinois State Senator Todd Sieben, 37th Legislative District
Illinois State Representative Dan Rutherford, 87th Representative District
Illinois State Representative Edgar Lopez, 4th Representative District

State Officials
Robert H. Newtson. chief of staff, governor's office
Dave Urbanek, press secretary, governor's office
Pam McDonough, director, Department of Commerce and Community Affairs
Joe Hannon, managing director, DCCA International Business Division
Michael Rosenfeld, general counsel, DCCA
Margo Theodore, foreign affairs specialist, DCCA
Jose Munoz, Hispanic liaison, governor's office
Charles F. Frame, governor's office
Jose Marrero, governor's office
Matt Ferguson, governor's office
Delia Perez, governor's office

Agriculture Delegation
Joe Hampton, director, Department of Agriculture
Joseph Michael Green, regional manager, Caterpillar Americas Company
William Sand, representative, John Deere Foundation
Allen Andreas, CEO, Archer Daniels Midland Corporation
Richard P. Reising, vice president, Archer Daniels Midland Corporation
David Chicoine, dean, University of Illinois College of Agriculture
Dan Martin, director, Ecosystems, Conservation & Policy, MacArthur Foundation
Orion Samuelson, WGN-AM Radio

Educational and Cultural Delegation
Shirley Madigan, chairwoman, Illinois Arts Council
Bishop Joseph Perry, Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Chicago
Bob Collins, WGN-AM Radio
Christine Collins, WGN-AM Radio
Audrey Anne Clarke, WGN-AM Radio
Philip Reid, WGN-AM Radio
Charles Serrano, presdient, Legislative Strategies, Inc.
Zale Glauberman, representative, American Jewish Community
Lourdes Monteagudo, board member, Chicago Board of Education
Maritza Marrero, vice chancellor of Human Resources, City Colleges of Chicago
Ana Cecilia Valasco, Hispanic and Native American recruiter, Illinois State University
Anne D. Davis, president, Illinois Education Association

Medical Delegation
Dr. John Lumpkin, director, Department of Public Health
Jorge Guerra, vice-chairman, Baxter International Regional Business Practice Committee
Dr. Lisa Thornton, director of pediatrics, La Rabida Children's Hospital, Chicago
Dr. Carl Getto, dean, Southern Illinois University School of Medicine
Dr. Roberto Diaz, physician, Sacred Heart Hospital, Chicago
Pete Peters, specialist, long-term health care
John Glennon, president, Health Alliances
Arecelia Vila, vice president of public affairs, Schering-Plough


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