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All around us, every day, great communities are made in Illinois by our membership. In 2017, we prided ourselves with providing the knowledge, training, and networking to help our profession get the job done.




The APA-IL is the preeminent professional organization for urban planners in Illinois. Our 1,400 members help make great communities happen in Illinois!



The many important decisions we made reflect the way we keep our members at the center of everything we do.



We could not produce the programming or resources for Illinois planners without the support of our sponsors. We would like to extend our sincere gratitude and appreciation for their support. 





Ancel Glink
SB Friedman Development Advisors
Farr Associates
Houseal Lavigne Associates
Teska Associates


2017 Executive Committee (voting)


2017 Additional Committee Chairs and Representatives (non-voting)


2017 Staff

  • Executive Director - Dawn Peters, NIU Center for Governmental Studies

  • Communications Director - Paula Freeze, NIU Center for Governmental Studies

  • Chapter Finance/Billing - Nicolette Riscossa / Ian Livingston, NIU Center for Governmental Studies


Chicago Metro Section

The Chicago Metro Section had an amazing year. 2017 Programs were well attended and provided hours of training and education to professionals in the Chicago area. Thank you to all tireless volunteers that help make our programs great! Contact the Chicago Metro Section at

Executive Committee

Section Director - Todd Vanadilok, AICP, Teska Associates / Brandon Nolin, AICP, CMAP

Assistant Director - Brandon Nolin, AICP, Chicago Metropolitan Agency for Planning

Secretary - Sara Kopinski, AICP, Village of Naperville

Treasurer - Ryan Richter, AICP

Past Director - James Testin, AICP, SAFEbuilt

2017 News and Events


Illinois State Section

The Illinois State Section had an amazing year. The 2017 Spring Conference was outstanding. It was well attended and provided hours of training and education to Illinois' planning professionals. Thank you to all tireless volunteers that help make our programs great! Contact the Illinois State Section at

2017 Section Officers

2017 Regional Coordinators

2017 News and Events



The 2017 fiscal year showed improvements to our fiscal health. Thanks to 2017 State Conference sponsorship, that drastically exceeded our expectations, we came out ahead of budget expectations. The APA-IL Executive Committee remains committed to delivering value to our members through our focus on training and professional development opportunities. In 2017, we continued to deliver value to our members by providing $2,500 in training opportunities and students with $7,000. Our state sections, the Illinois State Section (ISS) and Chicago Metro Section (CMS), were able to support their own programs in 2017.  Please click here for a .pdf of our financials.



Our membership continues to remain stable at 1,415 members as of September 30, 2017. The majority of our membership lives within the Chicago Metro Section and are General Members of the American Planning Association. About 40% of our members are certified with the American Institute of Certified Planners. Please click here for a .pdf of 2017 membership statistics.




Awards Program

Each year, the Illinois Chapter recognizes the best in planning across Illinois with our annual awards program. These plans exemplify the tremendous planning efforts across the state of Illinois. 


In 2017 we presented 12 awards at the 2017 APA-IL State Conference in Naperville. We are thrilled to honor the best plans and people for 2017.

Thank you to the Awards Program Chair, Christina Bader, AICP.

Awards Program Audience, September 13, 2017 


Diversity Program

The Diversity Committee had an outstanding year in 2017. Their programs fostered diversity and inclusion through educational programs, networking and mentoring events, speaking engagements, and other initiatives. 

Thank you to the Diversity Chair, Marcella Bondie Keenan, AICP.

2017 Diversity Committee News & Events


Legislative Committee

The APA-IL Legislative Committee provides information on legislative matters in Springfield that concern planning officials and professionals and provide an effective voice to advocate on matters concerning planning practice and profession in Illinois. 2017 activities included the 3rd annual Planners Legislative Action Day in Springfield.

Thank you to the Legislative Chair, David Silverman, AICP.

2017 Legislative Committee News & Events



On Thursday, February 23rd, APA-CMS and the APA-IL Mentoring Program co-hosted their annual Mentoring Networking Event immediately following the APA-CMS Bar Exam at Jak’s Tap in Chicago.  About 30 attendees learned how to participate in APA-IL’s mentoring program – a one-year program that matches emerging planners or students with a seasoned APA-IL mentor. The program’s new Coffee with a Mentor track was also introduced.

Thank you to the Mentoring Chair, Christina Bader, AICP.

2017 Mentoring News & Events



This 2017 grant, sponsored by the American Planning Association through the Planners4Health initative, was received to help build local capacity for integrating planning and public health with the goal of creating stronger, healthier communities.  It will ensure planners and public health professionals have access to information and resources to help their communities more easily support and implement healthy living choices. 

Thank you to the grant manager, Courtney Kashima, AICP.

2017 Planners4Health News & Events



2017 State Conference

Our three-day 2017 State Conference was one for the record books! Please visit the conference website to view the program.

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Planning Officials

Planning Officials Development Committee

The Planning Officials Development Committee this year continued bringing its informative, useful, and interactive training to Planning and Zoning Commissioners (and members of other commissions) around the State.  At this point, we have conducted 78 training sessions in Illinois, mostly in the Chicago Metropolitan Area.

Thank you to Michael Blue, FAICP and Laurie Marston, FAICP and the Chaddick Institute at DePaul University.

2017 Plan Commissioner Training News


Student Organizations

SPO and UPPSA, APA-IL’s two student sections, held numerous programs for their students.

Urban Planning and Policy Student Association (UPPSA) at the University of Illinois at Chicago

UPPSA was very active, organizing their annual Urban Symposium, numerous Transit Oriented Dinner excursions, and assembling a submission to APA for 2018 Outstanding Planning Student Organization Award (spoiler alert – they won!).

Student Planning Organization (SPO) at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign (UIUC) 

UIUC’s SPO organized Park(ing) Day, Professional Development trips to St. Louis and Indianapolis, SPO Skills Share Workshops, City Café speakers, general meetings and social events.

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