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Economics Hidden

Section 1

Alumni Relations and Outreach

Econ 198 Class hears from alumni about career paths

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Adam Nielsen is the Director of National Legislation and Policy Development in the Governmental Affairs and Commodities Division of the Illinois Farm Bureau. Mr. Nielsen plans and executes the organization’s national legislative programs, acts as a liaison with the Congressional delegation, works closely with county Farm Bureaus by assisting them in development of their national legislative contact programs, and organizes the association’s fly-ins to Washington, D.C. Mr. Nielsen is also responsible for the implementation of IFB’s policy development program, coordination of the Illinois Agricultural Legislative Roundtable, and serves as assistant secretary of ACTIVATOR, IFB’s political involvement committee. As a former local elected official, Mr. Nielsen served 12 years on the Normal (IL) Town Council.

Prior to his time at the IFB, Mr. Nielsen spent 14 years in radio and TV news in Bloomington-Normal-Peoria. As a student, he was the News Director of WPGU FM in 1985-1986 and covered the Chicago Bears preparing for the 1986 Super Bowl.

 

Career highlights:

Director of National Legislation and Policy Development - Illinois Farm Bureau

Director of Issue Management and Multimedia - Illinois Farm Bureau

Council Member - Town of Normal, Illinois

 

Educational Path:

University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, BA, Economics




Jimmie Pinkstaff is an attorney and CPA who lives in Champaign-Urbana, but works remotely for the Chicago office of Sedgwick LLP, an international law firm headquartered in San Francisco. As part of that work, he focuses on Directors & Officers insurance risks for clients located in Bermuda or at Lloyd’s of London in England. Insurers issue Directors & Officers insurance to provide certain protections to companies in the event that the corporation’s executives are sued. When such lawsuits arise, Jimmie analyzes the nature of the lawsuit and determines whether his client (i.e. , the insurer or reinsurer) has an obligation to make payment pursuant to the terms and conditions of the insurance policy. This type of work has provided Jimmie with a unique view from the proverbial “10,000 feet” of the corporate scandals that have plagued the U.S. business environment since he graduated from law school in 2002.  

Prior to working at Sedgwick, Jimmie worked at Sidley Austin LLP which is also located in Chicago. In that capacity, he worked with clients including investment banks, hedge funds and insurers/reinsurers to create securities products from insurance risks which were then sold in the capital markets. Such products often related to natural catastrophe bonds, industry loss warrants for the aviation industry and the development of a secondary market for life insurance products.

During his junior year at the University of Illinois, Jimmie studied abroad in Brazil. He has returned many times and as a result now speaks fluent Portuguese. He enjoys surfing in Porto de Galinhas (outside of Recife, Brazil) and trained Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu under Carlson Gracie in Chicago. He also enjoys snowboarding in Lake Tahoe, California and investing.  

Career Highlights:

Attorney – Sedgwick, LLP

Attorney – Sidney Austin, LLP

 

Educational Path:

University of Illinois College of Law (also earning a CPA)

University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, BA, Economics & Finance