CHICAGO — The Chicago Infrastructure Trust has tapped Stephen S. Beitler, a founder and managing director at a Chicago area private equity investment and advisory company, to serve as its first executive director.

Beitler was among the founders more than a decade ago of Dunrath Capital which invests in companies primarily through its Dunrath Capital Infrastructure Surety Fund LP and provides strategic advisory services and proprietary research.

Beitler previously held executive positions at Sears, Roebuck and Co. and Helene Curtis Inc. which is now part of Unilever. The former Green Beret is also retired Army lieutenant colonel who during his military career served as chief of staff to the Undersecretary of Defense.

"Steve is a great choice to lead the Infrastructure Trust, and I look forward to seeing the work of the trust as it explores innovative opportunities to improve Chicago's infrastructure," Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel said. "I am focused on building a world-class infrastructure to support a world-leading economy in Chicago."

The trust chose Beitler after an executive search conducted by the firm Spencer Stuart on a pro-bono basis.

The trust recently launched a search for private market interest in providing up to $100 million of financing for energy efficient upgrades to city facilities and schools - its first project financing since its creation last year.

The trust, in conjunction with the city and the Chicago Public Schools, posted a request for qualifications seeking statements of interest and qualifications from potential investors by a March 6 deadline.

The RFQ is seeking responses from any parties, including investors, energy savings consultants, and retrofit contractors interested in providing financing for projects planned under Retrofit Chicago.

The city hopes to finance more than $200 million of projects in a series of transactions beginning this year with a tranche of up to $100 million and then on an as-needed basis. The goal is to achieve 20% in energy savings through reduced utility and maintenance costs.

If a financing comes to fruition as city officials hope, it would mark the first undertaking by the trust, created last year by the city to tap private investment in the funding of infrastructure development while preserving the city's stretched bonding capacity for traditional infrastructure.

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