Taft is pleased to announce that Kate Tragesser and Kostas A. Poulakidas have joined the firm’s Chicago office as partners in the Business & Finance group. The public law attorneys have deep experience in finance and government relations in both Illinois and in Indiana.
Tragesser concentrates her practice on government procurement, government relations, land use and tax increment financing. She handles all aspects of the MBE/WBE/DBE/VBE certification. Tragesser helps her clients assess certification eligibility and provides strategic advice regarding best corporate practices. She also works on behalf of developers and corporations on land use and zoning matters before the Chicago City Council, the Chicago Plan Commission and the Chicago Zoning Board of Appeals. Her work has involved a wide range of commercial and residential projects, including planned developments, variations, licensing matters and miscellaneous government regulatory issues. Prior to joining Taft, Tragesser was the executive partner of another Chicago firm, as well as a chair of that firm’s diversity committee. She also spent three years as a prosecutor for the city of Chicago.
Poulakidas provides economic development and public finance representation to government entities, real estate development firms, commercial banks, manufacturers and nonprofit organizations. He focuses on public/municipal finance, economic development incentives and strategies, tax increment financing (TIF), venture capital, EB5 financing, private-public partnerships (P3s) and project finance. Poulakidas has advised both Democratic and Republican elected officials, having served under four Indiana governors and three Indiana attorneys general, as Special Assistant to the Governor, Executive Director of the Indiana Utility Regulatory Commission, as a Deputy Attorney General and as Deputy Commissioner for the Indiana Department of Local Government Finance, where he oversaw Indiana’s statewide transition to a market-value-based property tax system, advised executive and legislative officials on legislation, developed the initiative for an integrated statewide property tax system and spoke on a range of property tax and economic development issues. Prior to joining Taft, Poulakidas was a member of his previous firm’s executive committee and chair of the firm’s Public Finance, Municipal and Economic Development practice group.