When Ann Gillespie’s family and friends told her she should open a bakery, she always assumed they were saying that so she would keep making them her famous butterhorn cookies. These cookies have been a hit in Ann’s family for at least two generations, dating back to her great aunt who passed the recipe down to Ann. But because the cookies were so popular, Ann thought she would enter the Chicago Tribune’s annual holiday cookie contest in 2016.
When the email confirming that Ann had been named a finalist in the contest was lost in her junk mail, it wasn’t until she was visiting her sister in North Carolina that she discovered she was supposed to be at the Chicago Tribune’s office at eight o’clock the next morning with two dozen cookies.. She quickly changed her flight, got home at midnight and stayed up baking until after three o’clock in the morning. Ultimately, her late night baking session proved successful, as Ann was named the winner of the contest.
Having recently retired earlier that year, Ann started to seriously consider opening a bakery after her success in the Tribune’s cookie contest. So, she started looking at locations for her bakeries and had blueprints drawn. But later that year, Ann’s priorities changed and she realized that she had the opportunity to help people in a way that went beyond her family’s famous butterhorn cookies. With the political climate following Donald Trump’s election, she decided that the effort and money necessary to open the bakery would be better served by launching a campaign to run for state senate.
From her experiences working with diverse teams and fixing broken processes during her career in the healthcare sector, Ann will bring her unique perspective to the Illinois Senate by working collaboratively to fix the mess in Springfield and make government work for working families. The bakery would have to wait… but for good reason.