Springfield resident Larry Luster II has teamed with former House deputy majority leader Art Turner II to form a new firm, GR Consulting.
A statement said it is one of Illinois’ few Black-owned and operated lobbying and public affairs groups in Illinois.
Turner, son of another former state representative turned lobbyist, also named Art Turner, resigned from the House July 3. He had been a deputy House majority leader and represented the 9th House District in Chicago since 2010. He now lives in Springfield.
Among clients of the new firm are the re-election campaign of U.S. Sen. Dick Durbin, D-Illinois, of Springfield; the Chicago-based American Business Immigration Coalition; and Chicago-based CKL Engineers.
G and R are initials of family members of Turner and Luster, according to Luster.
"We don’t want to limit ourselves to say we just work on Black issues, but I think it’s important to have a diverse set of voices on your team when you’re trying to get legislation passed or you want to make sure that everybody’s viewpoint is included," Luster said.
Luster’s family moved to Springfield from Cape Girardeau, Mo., during his first year of life. A three-sport athlete at Sacred Heart-Griffin High, he was part of a second-in-state, 13-1 football team there in 2003, and went to play for Harper College in Palatine the next year when it won the National Junior College Athletic Association title.
He continued to play football as Southern Illinois University – but also became president of Omega Psi Phi fraternity there.
"I was trying to improve our reputation on campus, so I started doing voter registration," he said.
"We ended up registering like 2,500 students to vote," he said of himself and his fraternity brothers.
Among his experience is 6½ years on the Senate Democratic staff, being executive director of the Illinois Legislative Black Caucus Foundation, political and field director of Attorney General Kwame Raoul’s campaign, and being a lobbyist with Roosevelt Group.
Luster said on Facebook he is "super excited" going into business with long-time friend Turner.
"We complement each other so well professionally and I look forward to us growing our legacy," he said.
Dennis Shackelford of Rochester was a successful businessman who became an elected official, and has left us at too young an age.
Shackelford, 61, died Tuesday at HSHS St. John’s Hospital. He was in an auto accident in November 2018, and, said his brother-in-law, Springfield Mayor Jim Langfelder, his health suffered since then.
Shackelford was married to the former Judy Langfelder for 36 years, and they have four children and three grandchildren.
He operated Hallmark stores – the Judy’s Hallmark name was well known in Springfield – for 30 years. He got out of the business, but there had been six stores – in Charleston and Taylorville as well as four locations in Springfield.
He got his interest in retail from his late father, George, who was manager of J.C. Penney in Springfield for decades, the mayor said. A street near the store is named Shackelford Drive for George Shackelford.
Shackelford’s interest in politics later in life led him to run for state representative in 2012. Mayor Langfelder is a Democrat and was city treasurer at the time, but said he believed in and campaigned for his Republican brother-in-law, a business owner he knew was a hard worker.
While Shackelford didn’t win that race, he did get elected the next year to the Lincoln Land Community College Board. He rose to chairman during his six-year term, but didn’t seek re-election after the accident, in which he broke both of his hands.
He remained a Rochester Township trustee and also was on the Williamsville Bank Board at the time of his death.
"He was just a pleasant individual to be around" who was "always looking at the brighter side of things," the mayor said. "He loved to be around people. Family was always important. Community was always important."
Condolences to the family.
Contact Bernard Schoenburg: Bernard.firstname.lastname@example.org, 788-1540, twitter.com/bschoenburg
via The State Journal-Register
July 24, 2020 at 07:36PM