Celebrated for leading agency to largest sales and profit figures in Lottery history
Carolyn Adams, 44, Superintendent of the Illinois Lottery since May 2003, passed away Monday morning in Chicago following a private struggle with breast cancer.
As head of the Illinois Lottery, Adams played a key role in increasing the Lottery's contribution to education. During her tenure, Adams was instrumental in overhauling the Lottery's product portfolio, introducing new games and drawings, improving retailer communications, and updating technology and sales systems.
Adams also oversaw the successful launch of two specialty tickets called "Ticket For The Cure" and "Veteran's Cash." Proceeds from these two tickets go to benefit breast cancer research, education and programs; as well as services and support programs for Veterans in Illinois.
Adams is credited with achieving three consecutive years of record sales growth for the agency. During her tenure, sales increased $403 million and profits rose $130 million. Total Lottery sales reached $1.99 billion in 2006.
A native of the Roseland community on Chicago's South Side, Adams spent two years at Illinois State University in Bloomington before returning to Chicago to earn her Bachelor of Arts degree in communication at Columbia College. She enjoyed a successful sales and marketing career before joining state government.
Adams was among the top sales executives for Clear Channel Communications; prior to that she served similar roles for Chicago's WGN Radio 720 and WVON 1690 AM.
In addition to her Lottery duties, Adams was involved in a number of civic, business and educational groups. She was a member of the Chicago Urban League and the Rainbow Push Coalition, was active in Chicago's Principal for a Day program and served as a board member of the Open Book Federation.
Adams is survived by her 10 year-old son Tre; her mother, Harriett VanPelt; her brother, Darryl Lewis; and her sisters, April Lewis-Carter and Tanya Tomlin. Funeral services are pending and the family has established a memorial fund in Adam's son Tre's name and asks that, in lieu of flowers, those wishing to make a contribution should forward donations in the form of check or money order to:
Seaway National Bank
P.O. Box 19522
Chicago, IL 60619