Cook County Assessor and Executive Team

Fritz Kaegi

Prior to beginning his career in Cook County government, Fritz spent more than 20 years valuing assets as a mutual fund portfolio manager and analyst. He holds the Chartered Financial Analyst and Certified Illinois Assessment Officer designations. He is also a member of the IAAO. Fritz was born and raised in the Hyde Park neighborhood in Chicago and still maintains close ties to the community. He attended Hyde Park’s Kenwood Academy for high school, completed his undergraduate studies at Haverford College, and received his MBA from Stanford University.

Fritz Kaegi
Cook County Assessor
Scott Smith

Scott Smith is the Chief of Staff and formerly served as the Chief Communications Officer at the CCAO. Prior to this, he worked in digital strategy for media brands including Chicago magazine and Time Out Chicago. His background includes social media strategy at marketing agencies and a previous career in social work. In his spare time, he does volunteer work in his South Side neighborhood and hosts a storytelling series called The Frunchroom. Scott is a 2022 fellow of the Civic Leadership Academy.

Scott Smith
Chief of Staff
Tatia Gibbons

Ms. Gibbons oversees the legal department and ensures that the CCAO operates in accordance with state, federal, and local law. Previously, Tatia served as counsel to the Cook County Clerk and as an assistant state’s attorney. While in the Civil Bureau of State’s Attorney’s Office, Ms. Gibbons supervised a group responsible for defending officials in revenue, property, and local government matters. She serves as an adjunct professor at Loyola University School of Law. Tatia earned her degrees from the University of Illinois and the Ohio State University.

Tatia Gibbons
Chief Legal Officer
Wayne Williams

Wayne Williams
Chief Administrative Officer
Michael Piper

Michael Piper joined the Cook County Assessor’s Office in January of 2020 and is currently serving as the Chief Valuations Officer. Michael has over thirty years as an experienced real estate valuation/mass appraisal professional, including five years as the Chief Assessment Officer for the City of Philadelphia. An IAAO-designated Assessment Administration Specialist (A.A.S.) with expertise in ad valorem property assessment, local government administration, public policy, and policy analysis, Michael is an M.B.A. and a graduate of Temple University.

Michael Piper
Chief Valuations Officer
Jonneida Davis

Prior to beginning her career with the Assessor’s Office, Jonneida Davis worked as the Chief of Hiring Oversight for the City of Chicago Inspector General’s Office for nine years where she monitored city-wide compliance with the City’s Hiring Plans and was instrumental in assisting achieve substantial compliance with the Shakman Accord in 2014. Jonneida earned her J.D. from DePaul University College of Law and BA from Florida State University.

Jonneida Davis
Human Resources Officer
Nicole Jardine

Nicole specializes in public sector data strategy. She leads the development of dashboards, reports, and other data tools to improve the residential model and guide policymaking about property assessments and taxes. Before joining the CCAO she was a scientist. She managed research teams and projects through data collection, statistical modeling, conference presentations, and journal publications at UC Irvine, U. Iowa, Vanderbilt, and Northwestern. She is an IAAO member, and serves on its PTAPP Task Force.

Nicole Jardine, PhD
Chief Data Officer
Angelina Romero

Angelina specializes in digital communications and has led large-scale rebranding projects at the Assessor’s Office. She graduated from Cal State Los Angeles with a master’s degree in public administration and earned a digital marketing certificate from DePaul University. Prior to the Cook County Assessor’s Office, she worked for the Los Angeles County Assessor as a Communications-Special Assistant. She is a member of the IAAO, Women in Planning & Development, Campbell Community Garden, and is a Springboard to Success board member. 

Angelina Romero
Chief Communications Officer
David Morrison

David Morrison is the Chief Policy Officer with the CCAO. He manages the government relations unit, liaising with public officials and non-governmental organizations. Before he came to the CCAO he worked for the Office of Executive Inspector General for the Agencies of the Illinois Governor, and prior to that, he was a registered lobbyist and non-profit leader for over two decades.

David Morrison
Chief Policy Officer
Kelwin Harris

Kelwin is the Chief of Civic Engagement for the Cook County Assessor’s Office. He held multiple leadership roles in government and community development. Kelwin is a city planner and led engagement for Chicago’s regional plan. Kelwin holds a Bachelor’s in City & Regional Planning from Cornell University and a Master’s in Urban Planning from Harvard’s Graduate School of Design. He is a member of the American Planning Association and the Public Policy Committee of the Urban Land Institute Chicago.

Kelwin Harris
Chief of Civic Engagement
Nathan Bernacchi

Nathan Bernacchi
Chief Information Officer
Mirella Villafuerte

Mirella Villafuerte
Chief Management Officer
Daniel Snow

Dan is the Director of Data Science and is responsible for creating the CCAO's residential and condominium automated valuation models. He has a Master's in Public Policy from the University of Chicago Harris School of Public Policy, with a focus on quantitative data analysis and statistics. While in school, Dan was a research assistant at the Center for Spatial Data Science and taught programming at the Harris School. Before that, he worked in the nonprofit world as a data analyst and project manager.

Daniel Snow
Director of Data Science
Christina Lynch

Christina focuses on special properties, FOIA matters, and serves as Ethics Officer. Prior to joining the Assessor’s Office, she served as Ethics Manager and Staff Attorney to the Cook County Clerk. While there, she managed lobbyist registrations, and Electoral Board operations, presided as a Hearing Officer, and administered the Vote by Mail program. She received her B.A. in International Studies from Miami University in Oxford, OH, and her J.D. and Certificate in Criminal Law from the DePaul University College of Law in Chicago, IL.
 

Christina Lynch
Director of Legal & Ethics Officer
Nicole L. Chaney

Nicole has dedicated her career to labor, employment, and social justice advocacy throughout Chicagoland on behalf of organized labor, management, and academic interests. She strives toward a human-centric approach in her practice of law.  Nicole earned her juris doctor from UIC Law and her Bachelor of Arts from the University of Michigan where she focused on curriculum in American Culture and Gender, Race, and Ethnicity.  Even though Nicole now lives in Illinois with her partner and kids, she proudly hails from metro-Detroit and visits whenever possible.

Nicole L. Chaney
Director of Labor and Employment
Craig Dovel

Craig Dovel is a property tax administration professional who has thirty-nine years of experience managing the annual tax cycle in Illinois. Craig’s role with the Assessor’s Office focuses on ad hoc analysis of various property types and processes. Before serving in his current role, Craig held the office of Chief County Assessment Officer of DuPage County, Illinois.  He earned the Certified Illinois Assessing Officer designation in 1985, and the International Association of Assessing Officers awarded him the fourth Assessment Administration Specialist designation in 1997. 

Craig Dovel
Director of Special Projects-Valuations
Brian Sibila

Brian Sibila joined the Assessor’s office in late 2020. Prior to the CCAO, Brian spent nearly 20 years working as a commercial real estate professional and has experience in all areas of commercial real estate practice including brokerage, property management, financial analysis, and property valuations. Brian has significant experience working with distressed properties and has served as a court-appointed receiver in foreclosure cases. Brian is a graduate of the University of Michigan.

Brian Sibila
Director of Special Projects - Commercial Valuations
Amanda Edwards

Amanda Edwards specializes in the research for valuation assumptions and models as well as leading efforts to support values set by the Cook County Assessor’s office in appeals. A graduate of Bryn Mawr College in Pennsylvania, Amanda has 20 years of experience in commercial real estate valuation and finance, beginning at a mortgage brokerage to her most recent experience as an appraiser in Chicago. Amanda is a member of the Chicago Real Estate Council.

Amanda Edwards
Director of Valuations - Research
Emerlinda Opalski

Emily is a learning and development professional who is committed to life-long learning as well as to sharing knowledge for the growth and betterment of employees and organizations. Emily grew up in Humboldt Park and went to Roberto Clement High School. She earned an MA in communication from DePaul University, where she worked as Director of Compliance and Risk Management for many years, prior to joining the Assessor’s Office as the Director of Learning and Development in March 2022.

Emerlinda Opalski
Director of Learning & Development
Kreg Allison

Kreg Allison is a proven leader with impeccable integrity and a dedicated public servant with a deep understanding of government. Most recently, Kreg Allison served as the Director of Real Estate for the Illinois Department of Financial and Professional Regulation. In the private sector, Kreg Allison was Senior Counsel for Avison Young, a global commercial real estate services firm. Kreg Allison is licensed to practice law in IL and OH. He earned his BA from Vanderbilt University and his JD and MBA from the Ohio State University.
 

Kreg Allison
Director of Data Integrity
Jason Pyle

Jason Pyle has worked for the Cook County Assessor’s Office for more than 20 years. He has held various positions during that time, including Assistant Manager of Taxpayer Services, Manager of the Maywood Branch Office, and Manager of Exemption Processing. In his current role as Director of Investigations, Jason oversees the collection of wrongfully claimed property tax exemptions. The revenue collected by his department is distributed back to the local taxing bodies.

Jason Pyle
Director of Investigations
Elizabeth Oplawski

Elizabeth’s experience is focused on public service. She joined the Assessor’s Office as Director of Compliance after serving in that role for the Sheriff. Her civil litigation and in-house counsel experience for several Attorneys General is diverse. Elizabeth earned her J.D. from UIC Law and her B.A from Loyola University. She is a member of the Chicago Bar Association and the Judicial Evaluation Committee. Elizabeth enjoys the diverse food, cultural and natural opportunities of Chicagoland.

Elizabeth Oplawski
Director of Compliance
Raymond Gottner

Raymond Gottner
Director of Residential Valuations
Jennifer Sanchez

Jennifer is a bilingual communications professional. Driven by her experience as a lifelong Chicagoan and daughter of Mexican immigrants, she takes pride in providing accessible and high-quality information to residents of Cook County. As Director of Communications for the Cook County Assessor’s Office, Jennifer leads the Office's digital media presence and strategy. Jennifer received her bachelor's degree from DeVry University. In her spare time, Jennifer enjoys reading with a cup of cafecito and volunteering at Chicago Books to Women in Prison.

Jennifer Sanchez
Director of Communications
Director of Commercial Valuations

TJ Schemmel currently serves as the Director of Commercial Valuations for the Cook County Assessor.  In this role, he oversees the majority of the commercial real estate assessments in Cook County. His experience in the commercial real estate sector spans over a decade and over multiple facets and companies (commercial real estate brokerage with Avison Young, commercial real estate appraisal with CohnReznick, and commercial real estate assessment).  He graduated from the University of Cincinnati with a degree in Bachelor of Business Administration.

TJ Schemmel
Director of Commercial Valuations
Mildred Terzic

As a dynamic, results-oriented commercial real estate professional, Ms. Terzic has been involved in commercial real estate for over three decades on both a regional and national level. Ms. Terzic is the Director of Special Properties for the Cook County Assessor’s Office and is responsible for the assessment of complex income-producing properties from hotels to mixed-use developments. In addition, she is an adjunct instructor at DePaul University and Northwestern University. 

Mildred Terzic
Director of Special Properties - Valuations
Erik Harmon

Erik has vast experience in strategy, operations, and marketing across multiple industries. Erik held leadership roles in non-profits, for-profits, and government organizations. Additionally, he served on the board of directors for two Chicago non-profits. Erik earned an MBA from the Stanford University Graduate School of Business and a bachelor’s degree in business administration from Cal State Dominquez Hills. 

Erik Harmon
Director of Commercial Outreach
Maria Delgado

Maria Delgado is an adept professional with over 15+ years of experience advancing operation efficiency, team unification, and overall organizational success. Prior to CCAO, Maria began her career in the private sector. To date, Maria holds an extensive history involving executive-level finance, budgeting, and accounting relations within the private sector. In addition, Maria is passionate about leveraging this dynamicity to not just exceed operational and financial objectives but do so while propelling various community initiatives forward.

Maria Delgado
Director of Budget & Finance
Erik Wallenius

Erik brings to bear his experiences as an Eagle Scout, Army veteran, and proud South Sider to serve the residents of Cook County. His work in the Assessor’s Office is centered on community outreach, intergovernmental affairs, and property tax legislation. As Chief of Staff to two consecutive ward alders, Erik advised on strategic communications, public policy and legislation, housing, infrastructure, development, education, and environmental matters. 

Erik Wallenius
Director of Policy
Lupe Marin

Lupe Marin
Director of Outreach and Engagement
Tia Giacalone

Tia has worked in the Assessor’s office for more than thirty years. She has years of experience in Property Valuation/Mass Appraisal along with a wealth of knowledge of the entire assessment cycle.  Tia has held various managerial positions within the office.  As Chief of Staff of Valuations, Tia is responsible for coordinating the annual valuations department assessment cycle, facilitating the annual assessment calendar, and appeal deadlines, and overseeing valuations staff.

Tia Giacalone
Chief of Staff of Valuations
Andrea Griffin

Andrea is a human resource professional with over 20 years of experience. Prior to joining the Assessor’s Office, she managed the human resources and payroll divisions for an agency within the City of Chicago for seven years. She has an extensive career working in the public sector. Andrea holds a Master’s degree in organizational leadership and a Bachelor’s degree with a concentration in business management and psychology. Andrea enjoys water aerobics and yoga. 

Andrea Griffin
Director of Human Resources
Director of Multifamily Development

John manages the Assessor’s Affordable Housing initiatives and leads outreach with multifamily providers and developers. With nearly 20 years of service in the Office, John brings a breadth of public policy and assessment expertise. John is a graduate of DePaul University, serves on the Policy Committee for the Urban Land Institute, and is on the Leadership Board for the Preservation Compact. Although he is a lifelong resident of Chicago’s Northside, John’s baseball allegiances are skewed to the South Side, and he is a devout White Sox fan.

John McDonnell
Director of Multifamily Development