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 Illinois State Treasurer Dan Rutherford, not to mention his love of life and eagerness to make a difference in the lives of others.
As a company executive and an accomplished State Legislator, Dan has positively changed the office of State Treasurer.
Dan has worked his entire life. He was eight years old when his mom and dad opened a pizza restaurant in the small central Illinois town of Pontiac. He worked there through grade and high school. He missed some football games on Friday nights because he, his sis and his parents all needed to work in the family business. In college, he worked at the pizza place on campus and during the summers he worked road construction.
Dan saved his money and paid his own way through college after his parents helped with the first semester. He graduated from college with no loans and no debt. His family is from modest means, but they did well because they worked hard. As a young man, Dan joined the ServiceMaster Company, based in the suburbs, and was responsible for international expansion. Dan learned from, and worked with, many people of different religions, skin colors, customs and cultures. That experience helped him be more tolerant and accepting of diversity.
As a legislator, Dan did not leave the private sector. He worked long hours and fulfilled his responsibilities in both.
When Dan decided to run for State Treasurer in 2010, every constitutional officer in Illinois was a Democrat from Chicago.
He wasn't supposed to win, but he did. He worked hard and spoke directly to what was important to the people of Illinois. That was the state's debt, the state's economy and, most important-jobs.
If one is not a Chicago Democrat, Illinois is a hard state to win, but as State Treasurer, Dan received 50% of the vote in a four person race and received 66,000 more votes as State Treasurer than Pat Quinn got winning the Governor's race.
In June 2013, Dan Rutherford announced his candidacy for the office of Illinois Governor. Dan is the only Republican in the race for Governor who has actually won a state-wide race.
Dan Rutherford is distinguished by a legislative career of accomplishment in both the House of Representatives and the Senate.
As a legislator, Dan Rutherford shaped legislation 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.
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. He has personally planted thousands of trees and shrubs to promote reforestation, in addition to utilizing stream bank stabilization practices.
Rutherford graduated from Illinois State University, where he served as Student Body President.
The Business Executive
While on a business trip, Dan became familiar with the ServiceMaster Company and later joined the company. Rutherford eventually became responsible for expansion of the company’s businesses internationally, licensing services in Latin America, Europe and Asia. Just before taking the oath of office as State Treasurer, Dan retired from ServiceMaster after 25 years.
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 spent three crossing 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 member of the group, in addition to many other 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 has been to Curacao, Saba Island, the Turks & Caicos, Saipan, Rota, Guam, Bali, Mozambique, Cape Town and Apo Island in the Philippines, to name a few.
Later in life, Dan returned to West Africa to take a canoe up the Niger River in Mali to Timbuktu, camping in the southern Sahara before traversing Burkina, Faso, Togo and Benin.