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DRI Appoints Dean Martinez as CEO

  • by DRI
  • Apr 29, 2020, 08:26 AM

CHICAGO (April 24, 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, will join DRI effective April 27. He succeeds the organization’s longtime Executive Director John Kouris, who announced his retirement last year and will remain during the transition.

“We have been privileged for the past 22 years to have John leading us and are grateful for his talent and commitment,” said President Phil Willman. “Looking forward, we are excited for what Dean brings to DRI as we continue our growth as a modern organization making an impact on the legal profession.”

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.

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

“Dean is a visionary leader who encourages creative out-the-box thinking,” 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 bigger.”

Martinez said he is looking forward to his role with DRI and continuing its success.

“I am grateful to DRI for this opportunity and excited to join an organization that has such a prominent role as an advocate for the defense bar,” 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 and education 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 60 years, DRI has promoted the critical role of lawyers who represent businesses in the civil justice system, advocating on behalf of its 18,000 attorney and corporate counsel members. DRI provides the resources and connections to ensure members’ success by enhancing their skills, effectiveness and professionalism through world-class education, deep expertise for policymakers and strategic networking opportunities to promote career growth. For more information, please visit www.dri.org.




DRI is the leading organization of defense attorneys and in-house counsel. Membership in DRI provides access to resources and tools for attorneys who strive to provide high-quality, balanced and excellent service to their clients and corporations. DRI is host to 29 substantive committees whose focus is to develop ongoing and critical dialogue about areas of practice. DRI provides access to resources and tools to grow your practice – members can search a database of more than 65,000 experts, attend renowned CLE seminars, conferences and webcasts, network with 22,000+ like-minded defense practitioners and more.