Highland News Leader

HIASAA Hall of Fame nominee: Julie Curry, Career Public Service

Julie Curry graduated from Highland High School in 1980. She received a bachelor’s of arts degree, majoring in political science and public administration, from Eastern Illinois University in 1984. She completed her master’s of art degree at EIU in 1985.

Curry began her storied career in government and public service in 1985-1986, serving as a local government liaison in the Illinois Comptroller’s Office. Next, then Congressman Richard Durbin asked her to serve as his district office manager in Decatur. She accepted and served Congressman Durbin from 1986-1990.

Curry then set he sights on elected office, running for and winning the office of treasurer and tax collector for Macon County. She served four years, 1990-1994. Curry served very well and caught the attention of local and regional Democratic leaders.

She received the Democratic nomination for Illinois state representative for the 101st District in 1994 and then went on to win the general election in November of that year. She assumed her office as state legislator in January 1995. She was re-elected to this same office and served through January 2003.

Next, Curry served two years (1993,1994) as deputy chief of state for economy and labor to the governor of Illinois. She was responsible for management and oversight of 16 state agencies with budgets that collectively totaled nearly $6 billion. She also was involved in numerous contract and labor negotiations.

Beginning in January 2005, Curry assumed the position of vice president with Illinois Strategies LLC, a consulting and lobbying firm in Springfield and Chicago.

Since 2008, Curry has served as president of her own consulting and lobbying firm, Curry & Associates LLC in Mount Zion, Ill.

Curry has received numerous awards during her public service career. Some of them are as follows: 1994 Outstanding Freshman Legislator; 1996, 1998, 2000 Illinois Farm Bureau Friend of Agriculture Award; 1998 Illinois Education Association Friend of Education Award, 1999 AT&T/Tech Education Leadership Award; 1999 Community College Trustees Association Outstanding Legislator Award; 2000 Large Unit School District Legislative Award; 2000 Illinois Regional Superintendents Association Friend of Education Award; 2000 Illinois Leadership Council for Agricultural Education Legislative Award of Excellence; 2000 and 2002 Baby Talk Friend of Family Award; 2001 Illinois Corn Growers World of Corn Award; 2003 Voices for Illinois Children Award; 2004 Partners in Education Award; 2004 Doctor of Humane Letter, Millikin University in Decatur; and the 2005 Eastern Illinois University Outstanding Graduate Alumnus Award.

It is obvious from this long list of awards that Curry has positively touched the lives of many in Illinois with her compassionate leadership.