When examining his resume, one quickly realizes that there are very few elected officials in the state of Illinois with the professional and governmental experience of Treasurer Dan Rutherford, not to mention his love of life and eagerness to make a difference in the lives of others.
An executive with an International Company and an accomplished State Legislator, The Champaign News Gazette has said, “Dan Rutherford is right now what the Republican Party needs.”
Dan Rutherford is distinguished by a legislative career of accomplishment. He was first elected to the Illinois Senate in 2002. In 2009, he was appointed Assistant Republican Leader. His Senate career follows a 10-year term in the House of Representatives, where he served as the Assistant Republican leader. As a member of the Senate, he is the ranking Republican serving on the Financial Institutions Committee and also serves on the bi-partisan Joint Committee on Administrative Rules.
Senator Dan Rutherford has sponsored and shaped legislation intended to help some of Illinois’ most fragile citizens. He was a leading sponsor of important legislation which fundamentally changed the formula for reimbursing nursing homes. Now, reimbursement rates are based on the medical needs of the resident, instead of their geographic location in the state. Senator Rutherford is pleased to report that the new system has resulted in better health care and services for Illinois’ treasured elderly community.
Dan has also been a consistent champion of agricultural interests, promoting legislation to enhance the use of ethanol and soy products. An avid conservationist, he is helping preserve the environment by using recycling programs in his home and offices. To date, Dan has personally planted over 18,000 trees and shrubs on his own property to promote reforestation, in addition to utilizing stream bank stabilization practices.
Senator Rutherford’s legislative efforts have resulted in many accolades from both the public and private sector. He was particularly proud to have been named Legislator of the Year multiple times, in addition to being selected as an “outstanding legislator” by numerous economic, agricultural and conservation groups, to name a few.
The Aurora Beacon News noted that “while his voting record in Springfield draws high marks with conservative [groups], he also has a decided independent streak.”
Some of the recognition he has received:
Appointed Assistant Senate Republican Leader 2009
Hall of Fame Member, Illinois State University College of Business
Hall of Fame Member, Illinois State University College of Arts & Sciences
Friend of Agriculture, Illinois Farm Bureau
Legislator of the Year, Health Care Council of Illinois
Legislator of the Year, Illinois Bankers Association
Illinois Chamber of Commerce “Champion of Free Enterprise”
Legislator of the Year, Teamsters Joint Council 65
Legislator of the Year, Illinois Association of County Officials
Distinguished Service Award for Agriculture, Livingston County Corn Growers
Legislator of the Year, Illinois Bankers Association
Friend of Agriculture Award from the Illinois Farm Bureau
Inducted into Legislator Hall of Fame by Illinois Health Care Association
Legislator of the Year, Illinois Soil and Water Conservation
Voice of Employers Award, Management Association of Illinois
Legislator of the Year, Association of Community Mental Health Authorities of Illinois
Outstanding Legislator, Illinois Hospital and Health Systems Association
Recognition for outstanding service to Illinois veterans, Illinois Association of County Veterans Assistance Commission
Recognized by the Illinois Department of Corrections for support of Corrections and Correctional Officers
Selected on of the Chicago Tribune’s “People to Watch in 1986”
Outstanding Young Man in America Award
President of Student Body -- Illinois State University
Who's Who Among Students in Universities and Colleges
The Making of a Leader: A History of Involvement
Senator Rutherford began his career as a Legislative Assistant in Springfield following his graduation from Illinois State University, where he served his school, community and fellow students as Student Body President.
At the age of 24, Rutherford coordinated a Congressional District for Governor Ronald Reagan’s campaign. Today, Dan reminisces about driving to O’Hare airport to pick up Nancy Reagan, with one security guard from the California State Police, and driving her to events in Northern Illinois, before meeting Ronald Reagan and presenting him with briefing papers when candidate Reagan came to Illinois.
Putting together one of the best Congressional area organizations in the state, Dan caught the eye of the Reagan National Campaign and was tapped to be the state-wide Executive Director of Illinois for the General Election. Illinois was the bellwether state and where Illinois went, so would the Nation. Illinois delivered for the future President and Rutherford was affirmed a Republican Star on the rise.
Following the election Rutherford was offered a position on the Presidential Transition Team. However, within a day of the offer, he received a call from Governor Jim Thompson offering him a position on his staff in Illinois. Although it was a tough decision to make, Dan opted to stay in Illinois, later stating that he knew it was the right decision because it provided him with the opportunity to join the ServiceMaster Company and serve in the General Assembly.
The Business Executive
Dan Rutherford is a graduate of Illinois State University with a Bachelor's Degree in Business Administration.
While on a business trip to Japan, Dan became familiar with the ServiceMaster Company. A year later he joined the company.
Rutherford eventually became responsible for expansion of the company’s businesses internationally, licensing services in Chile, Brazil, Honduras, Japan, Hong Kong, Malaysia, Guam, Venezuela, South Africa, Spain, Czechoslovakia, Indonesia, Panama, Italy, Mexico and the Philippines. He is with the company yet today, serving as Director of Business Outreach.
On the Lighter Side
As a young person, Dan enjoyed camping, fishing and adventure. In high school he was a foreign exchange student to Barbados; after graduating from college he backpacked across Europe, and in his mid-twenties he took a few months to lead safaris in Kenya.
He learned to sail boats and crewed for numerous Chicago to Mackinaw Island races, competed in regattas off of Melbourne and cruised the southern coast of Australia.
Before his 30th birthday, Dan joined a small group of 12 adventurers and they took three months to cross Africa in their diesel Bedford truck- camping, bathing in creeks, cooking open fire meals, using sand mats to cross the Sahara, and making sure not to drink from wells that were poisoned because of the war with Libya. He began in Algeria and went south through Niger, Chad, Cameroon, Central Africa Republic, Zaire and Burundi.
Having been on all the continents of the world but one, Dan was determined to get to Antarctica before his 40th birthday. With a lot of luck and a few connections, he found himself in the Falkland Islands meeting a Russian icebreaker with a group of naturalists who were exploring the continent. The former commander of Operation Deep Freeze was a part of the group, along with a number of experienced scientists. Whales were a common sight, often accompanying the ship as it made its way through the icy waters. The breaker crushed the ice when needed. Dan has particularly fond memories of Christmas that year, which he spent floating on a tabular iceberg in the Antarctic Sound.
Always looking for excitement, Dan skydived in college and learned to fly at a relatively young age, before he decided to master scuba diving. He is an Advanced Certified Diver, logging a few hundred dives. He is showing photos of his trip to Curacao, and earlier to Saba Island. He has also taken diving trips to the Turks & Caicos, Bali, Mozambique, Cape Town and Apo Island in the Philippines.