Local News

An Effingham businessman has been named by Governor Bruce Rauner as the new Director of the Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity.  55-year-old Jim Schultz is currently the chairman of Open Prairie Ventures, Inc., a company he founded in 1997. Open Prairie provides private equity services and manages more than $135 million in fund commitments.

Prior to founding Open Prairie Ventures, Schultz was the chairman and CEO of Telemind Capital Corporation. The company provides merger and acquisition guidance, and financial consulting services to businesses. Schultz assisted clients in a number of industries, including: software development, banking, manufacturing, retail, healthcare and entertainment.

Schultz earned his bachelor’s degree in business administration from Southern Methodist University in 1980. He holds a law degree from DePaul University and an MBA from Northwestern University.

Jim and his brother Jack, own Agri-cel Incorporated, which is a company that buys buildings in small communities to lease to businesses and industry. Agri-cel owns the former Sangamon Greeting Card building on Taylorville's south side, which was leased to G-S-I.

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