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Conference Chair Andy Cross, AICP welcomes everyone to the conference_




The APA-IL is the preeminent professional organization for urban planners in Illinois. Our 1,500 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. 



2022 Executive Committee (voting)

  • President - Nina Idemudia, AICP, City of Chicago

  • Past President - Jake Seid, AICP, CMAP

  • Secretary - Emily Egan, AICP, Village of Brookfield

  • Treasurer - Christina Bader, AICP, CTA

  • At Large Officer - Katanya Raby, Far South Community Development Corporation

  • Diversity Equity & Inclusion Officer - Kalindi Parikh, Current

  • Professional Development Officer - Stephanie Brown, AICP, Chastain & Associates

  • Chicago Metro Section Director- Brandon Nolin, AICP, Houseal Lavigne Associates

  • Illinois State Section Director - Lacey Rains Lowe, City of Champaign


2022 Committee Chairs and Representatives (non-voting)

  • Awards Committee Chair - Sara Egan, AICP, Design Workshop

  • Diversity, Equity, & Inclusion Committee Chair - Amanda Madrigal, CTA / Gabe Guevara, Tri County RPC

  • Legislative Committee Chair - David Silverman, AICP, Ancel Glink

  • Membership Committee Chair - Phillip Green, Village of Woodridge

  • Planning Officials Development Officer - Michael Blue, FAICP, Teska Associates

  • Pro Bono Program - Jaemi Jackson, AICP, CMAP

  • Professional Development Committee Chair - Gabby Mattingly, AICP, City of Naperville

  • UIUC Student Representative - Roya Nassirpour

  • UIC Student Representative - Henry Siegel / Brian Larson

  • UIUC Faculty Representative - Dustin Allred, AICP, Ph.D.

  • UIC Faculty Representative - April Jackson, Ph.D.


2022 Staff

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

  • Financial Administrator - Grace Piotrowski / Megan Duenser, NIU Center for Governmental Studies


Chicago Metro Section

Thank you to all volunteers that help make Chicago Metro Section programs great! Contact the Chicago Metro Section at

2022 Executive Committee

Section Director - Brandon Nolin, AICP, Houseal Lavigne Associates

Assistant Director - Kimberly Morris, City of Chicago

Secretary - Valerie Berstene, AICP, Village of Orland Park

Treasurer - Justin Keller, AICP, Metropolitan Planning Council

2022 News and Events


Illinois State Section

Taking the lead from a successfully 2021, the Illinois State Section continued to offer virtual and in-person professional education choices for members. The virtual Spring Conference included 7 sessions in a range of topics and attracted 77 attendees from across the state. In person mobile workshops were organized by Regional Coordinators in Peoria, Rockford, Champaign and Alton. Thank you to Conference Chair, Cristen Hardin!

2022 Section Officers

  • Section Director - Lacey Rains Lowe, City of Champaign

  • Assistant Director - Jeff Mariano, City of Champaign

  • Secretary - Jess Weitzel, LISC

  • Treasurer - Jon Oliphant, AICP, City of Washington

  • Training Coordinator - Greg Crowe, AICP, City of Decatur

  • Past Officer - Ben LeRoy, City of Champaign

2022 Regional Coordinators

  • Region 1 Coordinator - Ashley Sarver, AICP, Gary W. Anderson Architect
  • Region 2 Coordinator - Reema Abi-Akar, Tri-County Regional Plan Commission
  • Region 3 Coordinator - Marcus Ricci, AICP, City of Urbana & Katherine Trotter, City of Urbana
  • Region 4 Coordinator - Chuck Bevelheimer, AICP, City of Quincy
  • Region 5 Coordinator - Scott Hanson, Crawford, Murphy & Tilly
  • Region 6 Coordinator - vacant


2022 News and Events



APA-IL ended the 2022 fiscal year in great shape. After budgeting a loss of $(21,840), the chapter had net income of $82,079. The discrepancy between budgeted versus actual income is mostly attributable higher income from job postings and conference registration and sponsorship, as well as conservative expense allocation. A break-down of the ending amounts in the revenue & expense categories is available by clicking here for a .pdf report.



If you are a member of the American Planning Association (APA), and live or work in the state of Illinois, you’re automatically a member of the Illinois Chapter. Our membership slightly decreased in 2022 to 1,466 members as of September 30, 2022. Chapter-Only membership also decreased slightly to 56 members. Eighty percent of our membership lives within the Chicago Metro Section. Please click here for a .pdf of all 2022 membership statistics.

AICP certification remained steady with about 40% of our members certified with the American Institute of Certified Planners. Please click here to examine our AICP certification statistics for 2022.

Membership Committee

The Membership Committee completed a membership survey in the spring of 2022. The Committee looks forward to using this data to set a baseline and comparison for 2023. Chapter-only membership continued to be strong this year thanks to the Committee's dedication in maintaining a connection with existing members and encouraging renewals. The Membership Committee handed out newly designed "talk planning to me" stickers to encourage conversations between attendees at the 2022 State Conference.

2022 Membership Committee

Chairperson - Phillip Green, AICP 

Emily Egan, AICP

Reema Abi-Akar

Rory Fancler, AICP

Jennifer Ganser, AICP




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. 

The APA-IL presented 8 project awards and 3 service awards. There were a total of 22 submissions. We are thrilled to honor the best plans and people for 2022.

Thank you to the Awards Program Chair, Sara Egan, AICP and thank you to the 2022 Awards Jury. It’s no small effort to read and review all the great project nominations we receive.

  • Lesley Roth, AICP, Ratio (Co-Chair)

  • Mercy Davison, AICP, Town of Normal

  • Christina Harris

  • Jeff Marino, AICP, City of Champaign

  • Stacey Meekins, AICP, Sam Schwartz

  • Mark Rinnan, AICP, Jacobs

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Daniel Burnham Award for a Comprehensive Plan

West Chicago Forward/Adelante


Submitted by MUSE Community + Design


This plan clearly demonstrates that planning can go beyond land use and address social and economic capital. The intentional and radically inclusive process for the West Chicago Forward/Adelante Comprehensive Plan (WCFA) drew on the City’s assets to present a unified vision for all West Chicagoans.

Click here to view the plan!


Strategic Plan Award

Climate Action Plan for the Chicago Region


Submitted by the Metropolitan Mayors Caucus

Action to mitigate the root causes of climate must be taken at a scale and speed that can only be accomplished through regional and international collaboration. The Climate Action Plan's multi-agency approach to the process illustrates how planners can partner with science-based knowledge to create a plan for resiliency. The process, metrics and outcomes can serve as a model for communities. 

Click here to view the plan!


Strategic Plan Award

Alton Great Streets

Submitted by Design Workshop

The Alton Great Streets Plan creates a complete roadway framework using Great Streets© as a way to rebuild and better serve the community. The plan's scope extends well beyond the focus corridor to connect districts, the downtown to the riverfront, and support community development in the neighborhoods around the corridor. 

Click here to view the plan!

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Best Practice Award

1212 Larkin


Submitted by the City of Elgin

The 1212 Larkin redevelopment is an exemplary model of providing affordable housing and preserving historic buildings, grounded in extensive public participation. The effort required innovative planning, design and outreach to create a historically sensitive redevelopment. The transferability of the site planning approach for other suburban communities is what makes this a model for implementing increased density and providing affordable and supportive housing.

Click here to view the project website!

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Advancing Diversity and Social Change Award

Hedge POP! Park


Submitted by the City of Champaign


The Hedge POP! Park showcases the City of Champaign's ability to build support for a project through community engagement within a historically underrepresented neighborhood and under an extremely constrained timeframe and budget. The community engagement in the Garden Hills neighborhood went beyond typical meetings to deeply engage third-party entities that could provide programming and capacity building to meet the needs of the neighborhood youth.

Click here to read more!

Healthy and Active Community Award

Illinois Veterans’ Home Quincy Campus Master Plan


Submitted by HOK

While the Campus Master Plan needed to respond to the tragedy surrounding an outbreak of Legionnaires' disease in 2015, the plan provides dignified, holistic, and long-lasting solutions for the unique needs of the veteran population. The resulting campus demonstrates a commitment to mental health, wellness, and connection. The plan's progressive approach to adaptive reuse, integration with the broader community, and approach to phasing and implementation with existing residents in mind is noteworthy.

Click here to view the plan!

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Historic Exploration Award

Uncover Antioch

Submitted by: All Together

How do you take history and turn it into an adventure? This month-long scavenger hunt through out the Village of Antioch featured the incredible stories of local people and places. The educational approach is transferable to any community and is a creative way to educate the community and while creating pride and potential preservation impacts.

Click here to view the scavenger hunt!

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Student Project Award

35th Street Reimagined: Codesigning Neighborhood Improvements with McKinley Park Neighbors

Project Completed By: Aakash Basantani, Alexandra Pollock, Alicia Ruiz, Alyson Dressman, Atefa Ghaznawi, Bridget Barnes, Chuck Klutho, David Schottky, Katanya Raby, Prayag Bagde, Rajani Chowdary, Rananjai Singh, Yi Zhou

Programs: Masters of City Design and Master of Urban Planning and Policy at the University of Illinois at Chicago (UIC)

A month-long research, community engagement, and planning/ design process laid out the initial steps to a longer neighborhood improvement process which will be spearheaded by the McKinley Park Development Council (MPDC). Community input was masterfully translated into implementable and innovative design ideas.

Click here to view the plan!

2022 Service Award Winners

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Emerging Planner Award

Jasmine Gunn

Jasmine Gunn is a city planner/designer with the City of Chicago Department of Planning and Development (DPD). She has been with the department for only a few years but has already accomplished so much for the City and the people of the City of Chicago.

Jasmine focuses on the far south side of Chicago and is the lead DPD planner for the CTA Red Line Extension Transit Supportive Development Plan, Chicago State University campus planning, and various affordable housing projects. Jasmine is also the supervisor and mentor for urban design interns at DPD. Even though Jasmine has so much on her plate, she is an absolute delight to work with, brings positive energy, a great sense of humor and innovative ideas to work every day. Jasmine is, and will continue to be, a fantastic planner and designer that will bring positive change to the City of Chicago.

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Planning Advocate Award

Shermann 'Dilla' Thomas

Sherman “Dilla” Thomas is a local historian who is using his platform to bring  awareness to Chicago’s rich history. The lessons he provides through his TikTok videos help to dispel common negative perceptions about communities on Chicago’s South and West sides while simultaneously uplifting the rich cultural heritage of those communities.

In addition to TikTok, Dilla also runs a company called Chicago Mahogany Tours which offers tours of otherwise overlooked communities like North Lawndale, Bronzeville, Pullman, Roseland, and Bridgeport. The tours Chicago Mahogany Tours operates are meant to highlight Chicago’s people, architecture, and impact on the world while helping to foster a sense of pride in community.

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Distinguished Service Award

Paula Freeze

APA-IL is incredibly fortunate to have found an Executive Director who is first and foremost a planner that is passionate about all of the amazing things that planners do across the great state of Illinois. She has the determination to make sure that APA-IL is on the cutting edge of providing thought-provoking, inclusive, and fun events for APA-IL members. 


During her tenure with APA-IL, she has become the go-to resource for planners in Illinois, responding to questions from members, volunteers, and consultants, on issues large and small. Paula has her eye on the future of the organization, asking what our members want, what our members need, and how APA-IL can better serve them in the future. Paula's unparalleled experience and perspective provides an essential through line from where we've been, to where we are, and to where we are going. Thankfully, she's not done yet. Paula continues to demonstrate distinguished service to the Chapter as her skills and abilities continue to evolve with the needs of the Chapter.


Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Committee

The Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Committee welcomed a new Committee Chair in 2022, Gabriel Guevara. 


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. 

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

Legislative Committee Members

David S. Silverman, AICP, Chair

Alicia Hanlon

Greg W. Jones, AICP

Ben Leroy

Michael Penicnak

Bethany Salmon

2022 Legislative Committee News & Events

Pro Bono

Pro Bono Program

The mission of the APA-IL Pro-Bono Planning Service Program is to provide urban planning services on a pro bono basis by APA-IL members, to assist municipalities, nonprofits, and community organizations in the initiation, organizing, and fine tuning of early stage planning projects. Through the APA Illinois Pro Bono Service Program, organizations walk away with an action plan and a clear understanding of the goals and vision for their city / community / neighborhood. 

Thank you to the Pro Bono Chair, Jaemi Jackson, AICP.

2022 Pro Bono News & Events

The Pro Bono Committee had a quiet year in 2022 as they regrouped and planned for 2023.



Professional Development

From FAICP induction to exciting webinars, professional development was robust in 2022!

Professional Development Committee Members

Gabrielle Mattingly, AICP, Chair

Jessica Gal

James Harris, AICP

Colleen Malec, AICP

Gabriel Guevara


2022 State Conference

The APA-IL's 2022 State Conference was back to a typical 3 day conference complete with outstanding sessions and mobile workshops September 28-30th at the Old Post Office in Chicago. Conference Chair, Andy Cross, AICP did an outstanding job at the helm - everything from an outstanding keynote to choosing wisely snacks at Costco (we see you Cracker Jack fans). Thank you to the 509 planners and allied professionals that attended the conference. Another big thank you to our sponsors and volunteers - we couldn't put on our conference without your support! 

2022 APA-IL Sponsors

Planning Officials

Planning Officials Development Committee

The Planning Officials Development Committee continued to provide informative, useful, and interactive training to Planning and Zoning Commissioners (and members of other commissions) across the State. As of December 31st, we have conducted 146 training sessions. Here are the communities we served in 2022:

  • Village of Hanover Park

  • Village of Round Lake Beach

  • Village of Tinley Park

  • Village of Itasca

  • Village of LaGrange Park

  • Village of Winfield

  • City of Rochelle

  • Village of Peotone

  • Cities of East Peoria & Washington

  • Village of Frankfort

  • Champaign County RPC

  • Village of Channahon

  • Village of Bartlett

  • Blackhawk Hills Regional Council

  • Village of Maywood

  • Village of Lombard

The annual Plan Commissioner Training typically held during the annual State Conference pivoted to an all virtual evening, welcoming commissioners and other officials throughout Illinois. Attendance beat expectations at 147 attendees and evaluations were off the charts. The APA-IL hopes to bring this back to you again soon.

Thank you to the APA-ILs Planning Officials Development Officer, Michael Blue, FAICP, Trainers and our supporter, the Chaddick Institute at DePaul University.

2022 Training Faculty

Katie Ashbaugh, AICP

Michael Blue, FAICP

Chuck Bevelheimer, AICP

Dan Bolin

Stephanie Brown, AICP

Andy Cross, AICP

Carrie Davis, AICP CUD

Mercy Davison, AICP

Phil Dick, AICP

Emily Egan, AICP

Tom Farace, AICP

Emily Fultz, AICP

Jennifer Ganser, AICP

Phillip Green, AICP

Scott Hanson, AICP

Greg Jones, AICP

Bruce Knight, FAICP

Ben LeRoy

Lacey Rains Lowe

Jeff Marino, AICP

Mike Schwarz, AICP

Marty Scott, AICP

David Silverman, AICP

Cindy Winland, FAICP

2022 Plan Commissioner Training News


Student Organizations

Illinois has two Planning Accreditation Board (PAB) certified schools and each of these schools have student organizations that APA-IL supports:

College of Urban Planning and Public Affairs, Department of Urban Planning and Policy, at the University of Illinois at Chicago

Department of Urban and Regional Planning at the University of Illinois at Urbana -Champaign

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