An knowledgeable on the complicated matter of public finance, Yvette Shields spent 26 years as a reporter for the Chicago bureau of the Bond Purchaser, a commerce publication that covers the municipal bond business.
“She cared about her beat as a result of she knew that it mattered, not simply to the general public finance business however to the general public at massive,” mentioned Fitch Scores group credit score officer Drew Ward, a former Bond Purchaser colleague. “The sustainability of public funds and governments’ entry to capital can play a giant function in deciding simply how a lot governments can spend on the companies that actually matter to folks. If you wish to speak coverage, speak cash.”
Shields, 57, died of sepsis on July 19 at Group First Medical Middle in Portage Park after struggling a minimize, mentioned her daughter, Nora. Shields had been a resident of the Northwest Facet Dunning neighborhood.
On Sept. 13, she shall be posthumously inducted into the Bond Purchaser’s Corridor of Fame of municipal finance at a dinner on the Palmer Home in Chicago.
Born in Chicago, Shields grew up within the northwest suburbs and graduated from the now-shuttered Forest View Excessive Faculty in Arlington Heights. She acquired a bachelor’s diploma in journalism from Columbia Faculty Chicago.
Shields labored as a reporter for the now-defunct Metropolis Information Bureau from 1988 till 1993 and was a contract reporter for the Tribune for a number of years, overlaying Naperville and several other south and southwest suburbs.
In 1997, Shields joined the Bond Purchaser’s Chicago workplace as a reporter. She coated the Midwest’s municipal bond business, following the budgets of cities, counties, states and different governments and monitoring modifications in debt rankings for these governments.
“Getting the within scoop is not any small feat while you cowl a conservative, risk-averse business the place reputations are intently guarded, however you don’t get to the reality with out displaying the messy methods choices are made and attending to know the personalities who make them,” Ward mentioned. “Yvette acquired us, her readers, entry as a result of she constructed up relationships over a long time, knew her stuff nicely sufficient to be trusted and labored the telephones so damned exhausting.”
Former Tribune reporter Mary Wisniewski labored with Shields at Metropolis Information Bureau after which on the Bond Purchaser.
“Yvette was good at calling out what was incorrect with municipal finance offers and what was proper about them, however she was by no means smug,” Wisniewski mentioned. “She all the time assumed that she may study extra about issues, and she or he was all the time asking questions and all the time questioning herself.”
Bond Purchaser Editor-in-Chief Mike Scarchilli mentioned in an announcement that Shields “was beneficiant along with her data, sharing it with native reporters not versed in municipal finance, to assist them higher inform their very own readers.”
“Whether or not she was explaining one thing to a cub reporter, or interviewing a public official or business supply on the report, or simply chatting on background searching for her subsequent story, Yvette had this ease of dialog the place she may get even essentially the most guarded individual to settle right into a extra candid dialogue,” Scarchilli mentioned.
In an announcement, Chicago Mayor Brandon Johnson famous that Shields “had a protracted and noteworthy profession bringing truthful and accountable reporting to our metropolis’s monetary neighborhood,” whereas former Mayor Lori Lightfoot mentioned in an announcement that Shields “was a subject knowledgeable who took a considerate, dedicated strategy to her reporting.”
Shields was an enormous fan of the “Star Wars” and “Dr. Who” media franchises. She liked binge-watching TV exhibits along with her household and going to the cinema.
“We’d go see nearly each film that got here out in theaters that appeared midway respectable,” her daughter mentioned. “It was one thing she used to do along with her father. It was their little bonding exercise.”
Now 27, Nora Shields got here out as transgender three years in the past. She mentioned her mom was “improbable about it, actually.”
“She was superb and supportive,” Shields mentioned. “So a lot of my pals have non-supportive mother and father, and my mom actually allayed each concern and anxiousness.”
Shields is also survived by a son, Wesley Alwin; a brother, Richard; her mom, Inez Keller; and an in depth good friend, Scott Alwin.
A celebration of life is ready for midday to 4 p.m. on Saturday, Sept. 9 on the Irish American Heritage Middle, 4626 N. Knox Ave., Chicago.
Goldsborough is a contract reporter.
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