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DRI Appoints Dean Martinez as CEO

  • Published June 17, 2020
DeanMartinezCHICAGO (June 16, 2020) — The Executive Committee of DRI – The Voice of the Defense Bar has unanimously appointed Dean Martinez as the organization’s new Chief Executive Officer. Martinez, who most recently served as General Counsel (GC) and Chief Operating Officer (COO) for APICS/ASCM, joined DRI on April 27. He succeeds the organization’s longtime executive director, John Kouris, who announced his retirement last year.

“We have been privileged for the past 22 years to have John leading us and are grateful for his talent and commitment,” said DRI President Phil Willman. “Looking forward, we are excited for what Dean brings to DRI, particularly his innovative vision. He is the ideal choice to lead our organization through this time of unprecedented change.”

Martinez is an attorney who has spent nearly two decades leading wide-ranging association activities and high-visibility government initiatives. He held a number of positions over 11 years with APICS/ASCM, the largest supply chain association in the world. As GC and COO, he managed a $20 million annual budget and provided comprehensive support for membership, education and certification.

“Dean is known for encouraging creative out-of-the-box thinking in everyone he works with,” said Willman. “He is entrepreneurial and understands the importance of DRI’s strategic alliances. We are confident Dean will inspire the entire organization to think more expansively about the role we play.”

Earlier in his career, Martinez held senior positions within the Illinois state government, including Deputy Governor and Secretary of the Illinois Department of Financial and Professional Regulation. Prior to that, he was a prosecutor in the Cook County State Attorney’s Office, where he had close negotiating relationships with defense counsel.

“I am grateful to DRI for this opportunity and excited to join an organization that has such a prominent and crucial role as an advocate for the defense bar and our legal system as a whole,” said Martinez. “There is such transformational energy here and a desire from everyone to grow and adapt so we can be a forward-looking place of support for our members and the broader profession.”

Martinez holds a J.D. from Loyola University Chicago School of Law and a B.A. from DePaul University.


About DRI – The Voice of the Defense Bar

For more than fifty-five years, DRI has been the voice of the defense bar, advocating for defense attorneys, commercial trial attorneys, and corporate counsel and defending the integrity of the civil judiciary. A thought leader, DRI provides world-class legal education, deep expertise for policy-makers, legal resources, and networking opportunities to facilitate career and law firm growth. For more information, log on to