Former Rep. Cheri Bustos to keynote INBA Spring Convention
Cheri Bustos, a former journalist who just concluded a 10-year stint in Congress, will be the keynote speaker for the Illinois News Broadcasters Association’s Spring Convention in Springfield.
Bustos, a Springfield native, will speak during the event’s Saturday evening dinner on April 29 at the Wyndham Springfield entre hotel. Convention registration information will be available soon.
Earlier this year, Bustos left the U.S. House after five terms representing the 17th District, which took in parts of northwestern, western and central Illinois, including the Quad Cities and portions of Rockford and Peoria.
She recently accepted a job with Mercury, a global, bipartisan public strategy firm. She will lead Mercury’s team in Illinois, co-chair the Washington, D.C., office and will divide her time among Chicago, Springfield and D.C.
Bustos has deep roots in Springfield. She graduated from Springfield High School in 1979 and attended Illinois College in Jacksonville before receiving a bachelor’s degree in government and politics from the University of Maryland. She returned to Springfield to complete the Public Affairs Reporting master’s degree program at Sangamon State University, the predecessor to the University of Illinois Springfield.
Her involvement in politics also runs in her family. Bustos’ late father, Gene Callahan, was well known as a reporter and political columnist for the former Illinois State Register, a political aide and chief of staff for U.S. Sen. Alan Dixon, and Major League Baseball’s first lobbyist. Bustos’ husband, Gerry, recently retired as the elected sheriff of Rock Island County.
After earning her master’s degree at Sangamon State, Bustos moved to the Quad Cities to take a job as a journalist for the Quad-City Times. She worked there for nearly 17 years before moving on to health care corporate communications roles for the next decade. She defeated incumbent Republican Rep. Bobby Schilling in 2012 to win her first term in Congress.