John O. Norquist
Douglas Farr, AIA, LEED AP
10th District Cook County Commissioner
Bridget Gainer brings a unique perspective to civic and business life with a foot in both the public and private sectors. Bridget is the VP, Global Public Affairs for Aon and a Commissioner on the County Board, bringing over 20 years of experience in non-profit, government and corporate sectors. Bridget began her career as a community organizer in New York City; she continued that work in Chicago where she founded a community center at Senn High School. Bridget then went to work for the City of Chicago in a variety of roles focused on public private partnerships. In 2001, she began working at Aon, a global risk management firm, beginning in finance with a focus on mergers and acquisitions and treasury. She later transitioned to manage the firm’s strategic engagement with governments around the world.
Elected to the Cook County Board in 2010, Bridget called for the creation of a Pension Committee and was appointed its first Chairman. As Chair, Ms. Gainer brought transparency to the County’s Fund and launched an open-data pension website to facilitate a real conversation for fair and sustainable pension reform.
In 2013 Commissioner Gainer completed three years of organizing and outreach with the creation of the Cook County Land Bank, the region’s most comprehensive policy to reduce the amount and impact of vacant land and abandoned buildings throughout Cook County. The land bank is governed by a 15-member board, chaired by Commissioner Gainer.
Commissioner Gainer’s policy work has been written about in the Wall Street Journal, New York
Times, Crain’s and editorial boards across the region. In addition, she has been the recipient of awards from Action Now, Woodstock Institute, the AIDS Foundation of Chicago, the Urban Land Institute and Illinois Coalition for Immigrant and Refugee Rights.
A native of Chicago, Bridget lives on the North side with her husband and their three children and sits on the boards of the Big Shoulders Fund and the 100 Club of Chicago.
Chicago Community Loan Fund, Center for Workplace Democracy
Mark Fick is the Senior Loan / Program Officer with the Chicago Community Loan Fund where he is responsible for bringing financing to affordable housing, cooperatives and social enterprise development throughout the greater Chicagoland area. Previously Mark worked as the Associate Director of the Chicago Mutual Housing Network and as Training and Technical Assistance Coordinator with the Statewide Housing Action Coalition (now Housing Action Illinois). He is a graduate of the Urban Developers Program at the University of Illinois - Chicago.
Mark's work with grassroots community economic development began in Wisconsin while spending time with small business cooperatives, developing local currencies and learning the basics of community organizing. Mark also serves on the credit committee of the Northside Community Federal Credit Union and as board treasurer of NASCO Development Services, a consultancy for development of affordable, student housing cooperatives in the United States and Canada.
Executive Director, Neighborhood Housing Services
Ed Jacob assumed the top leadership position at NHS of Chicago in June 2010 after serving 10 years as CEO of the North Side Community Federal Union. He has more than 25 years of community development and lending experience. “It’s a great honor for me to join NHS,” said Jacob. “There is no better place to be if you want to preserve communities and make an impact in Chicago.” While at the North Side Community Federal Credit Union, Jacob developed nationally recognized alternatives to “Payday’ loans and other forms of predatory loans. Under his leadership, North Side CFCU doubled its assets, was recognized with the Vision Award from the Egan Campaign for Payday Loan Reform, and became the first financial institution in 10 years honored with the Chicago Neighborhood Development Award from LISC. Also during Jacob’s tenure, the North Side CFCU became a HUD-certified counseling agency.
Prior to his work at the credit union, Jacob was a Vice President in the Community Reinvestment Department for Bank One and its predecessor bank, First Chicago, with responsibility for Illinois programs. Jacob’s entire professional career has been in Chicago, including more than ten years working at various community development organizations on the city’s north side. Jacob currently serves as an Advisory Board Member of the Corporation for Supportive Housing Illinois and on the Board of Directors of the Chicago Community Loan Fund and the Chicago Community Land Trust.
In 2003, Mr. Jacob was honored by LaSalle National Bank with the Tom Gobby Community Leadership Award for his work in providing affordable credit to low ¬and moderate-income families. He received his Masters in Urban Planning from the University of Illinois at Chicago and is a Phi Beta Kappa graduate of Marquette University, with a BA in Political Science, Economics, and Urban Affairs.
Jeff Bone, AIA
Landon Bone Baker Architects
Jeff Bone was named Principal at Landon Bone Baker Architects in 1999. Jeff and the firm had learned early on that not all clients are the same; developers are well-versed in the design/build processes whereas non-profit community based-organizations are armed with a clear vision but do not always have an architecture vocabulary. Jeff has nurtured the firm’s “grassroots” approach to help nonprofit clients translate their vision. He and his associates regularly engage the community through charrettes, community art projects with archi-treasures, and stakeholder meetings and planning sessions.
Jeff has managed the design and construction of a wide variety of affordable multi-family developments, supportive and senior housing projects, homeless youth shelters, community centers, and non-profit agencies throughout Chicago area, including the recently completed Harvest Commons Apartments, an 89-unit development that employs green strategies for the historic preservation and adaptive reuse of a 1920s-era building and incorporates an urban farm and teaching kitchen for residents. Currently, Jeff is working on the Diplomat SRO, a 51-unit development providing residential and supportive services for people confronting homelessness, and La Casa Norte’s comprehensive community center with permanent housing in Humboldt Park.
Truck Farm Chicago
Entrepreneur Tim Magner is the founder of the Truck Farm Chicago, a farm-on-wheels project that delivered food related programming to more than 10,000 students over the last three years. Tim is also the author of children’s books that connect kids to nature. Over the last six years, Tim visited more than 200 schools as a teacher, but he’s learned more than he’s taught. He’s driven by curiosity born out of a desire to make sense of our chaotic world and to make an impact. Most recently, Tim embarked on a project to make the complex understandable. It’s titled: What the Hell’s Going On?
Find more at http://www.truckfarmchicago.org,
Metropolitan Planning Council
Yonah joined MPC as an associate in 2013 and became a project manager in 2014. He currently focuses on transit-oriented development and infrastructure investment, and works on goal-driven governance, employer-assisted housing and bus rapid transit.
Yonah is a native of North Carolina. He attended Yale University as an undergraduate and then received masters' degrees in city planning and transportation from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. He spent two years researching community engagement in Paris and authors the national blog The Transport Politic.
Yonah thoroughly enjoys Chicago's beautiful lakefront and its residents’ friendliness and intellectual curiosity. He is a resident of Hyde Park.
Northwestern Indiana Regional Planning Commission
Jack Eskin serves as a Regional Planner for the Northwestern Indiana Regional Planning Commission (NIRPC), where he focuses on a variety planning areas, including freight planning, land use planning, urban revitalization projects, and brownfield redevelopment. His work includes co-authoring the Northwest Indiana Regional At-Grade Crossing Study, the Creating Livable Communities Report, and the 2014 update of the Marquette Plan. Jack has also provided staff leadership for the Rail VISION Working Group, contributed project assistance to the Gary Northside Redevelopment Project, the Northwest Indiana Brownfield Revolving Loan Fund, the Illiana Corridor Study, and the Northwest Indiana Bikes on Trains Study. He earned his master's in urban planning and policy from the University of Illinois at Chicago in 2012, and holds a bachelor's in comparative literature from the University of Massachusetts.
Brendan Saunders grew up in Lake Villa, Illinois, and attended Wartburg College in Waverly, Iowa, to study Social Work. After graduating from Wartburg College, Brendan joined the Peace Corps, and served by teaching English in Morocco. On returning to the States, Brendan relocated to Boston where he spent four years working with the homeless, followed by relocation to Chicago to continue working with this population. While working with homeless adults, Brendan began to realize that people remain homeless for extended periods because of the lack of affordable housing. This realization prompted Brendan to study Urban Planning and Policy at the University of Illinois at Chicago (UIC). Presently, Brendan works at Open Communities as the Director of Advocacy and Organizing where he focuses on tenant organizing and affordable housing advocacy. In this position he has had the opportunity to form the Landlord Tenant Project, a gathering of landlords, tenants, and municipalities, to address issues in rental housing; he organized the residents of Sunset Village, a mobile home community in Glenview, Illinois; and he was able to organize advocates to pass Source of Income protection in Cook County, Illinois. Brendan sits on the Board of Directors of the Metropolitan Tenants Organization.
City of Gary
Steve Broadwell is presently working two positions in Gary, Indiana: as GIS / Land Bank Manager for the City of Gary’s Department of Redevelopment, and as GIS Technician for the Gary Sanitary District. Tasks at the Department of Redevelopment include maintenance, analysis, mapping of the City of Gary’s land bank; analysis and recording of the Gary Parcel Survey; and other using GIS to support other City-related initiatives. Tasks at the Gary Sanitary District include database management, data analysis and verification, and formatting and presentation of maps and data. Steve received his master’s degree in Urban Planning and Policy in 2013 from the University of Illinois at Chicago with a concentration in Spatial Planning, and is very excited and honored to be presenting at this year’s Pecha Kucha event.
Industrial Council of Nearwest Chicago
Ben Spies is Director of Economic Development for the Industrial Council of Nearwest Chicago (ICNC), a nonprofit organization serving the area known as the Kinzie Industrial Corridor. His work includes advising businesses on opportunities for expansion and workforce development, and advocating for industry on land use and other planning-related issues. Ben is a Public Allies Chicago alumnus and is currently pursuing a certificate in Geospatial Analysis and Visualization at the University of Illinois at Chicago.
Rachael Foster & Todd Palmer
National Public Housing Museum