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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. 



2023 Executive Committee (voting)

  • President - Nina Idemudia, AICP, City of Chicago

  • President Elect - Stephanie Brown, AICP, Chastain & Associates

  • Secretary - Gabrielle Mattingly, AICP, City of Naperville

  • Treasurer - Glen Cole, AICP, Village of Rolling Meadows

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

  • Diversity Equity & Inclusion Officer - Enrique Castillo, CMAP

  • Professional Development Officer - Andy Cross, AICP, The Lakota Group

  • Chicago Metro Section Director- Justin Keller, AICP, Elevate

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


2023 Committee Chairs and Representatives (non-voting)

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

  • Diversity, Equity, & Inclusion Committee Chair - Gabe Guevara, Tri County RPC

  • Legislative Committee Chair - Greg Jones, AICP, Ancel Glink and Ben LeRoy

  • Membership Committee Chair - Phillip Green, Village of Woodridge

  • Planning Officials Development Officer - Tom Farace, AICP, Village of Carol Stream

  • Pro Bono Program - Jaemi Jackson, AICP, CMAP

  • Professional Development Committee Chair - Colleen Malec, AICP, Village of Mundelein and Jessica Gal, City of Elmhurst

  • UIUC Student Representative - Kayla Baldwin

  • UIC Student Representative - Brian Larson

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

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


2023 Staff

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

  • Financial Administrator - Megan Duenser / Zee Pergrossi, 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

2023 Executive Committee

Section Director - Justin Keller, AICP, Elevate

Assistant Director - Valerie Berstene, AICP, MKSK

Secretary - James Harris, AICP, City of Chicago

Treasurer - Samantha Lenoch, Houseal Lavigne / Carol Brobeck, AICP, Teska Associates

Past Director - Brandon Nolin, AICP, Houseal Lavigne Associates

2023 News and Events


Illinois State Section

What is now become a tradition, the Illinois State Section continued to offer virtual and in-person professional education choices for members. The virtual Spring Conference included 9 sessions in a range of topics and attracted 85 attendees from across the state. The recordings are still available for purchase. In person mobile workshops were organized by Regional Coordinators in Peoria, Champaign and Mascoutah. In-person Regional Happy Hours were coordinated in Rockford, Peoria, Savoy, and Collinsville. Thank you to Conference Chairs, Mercy Davison, AICP and Tessa Ferraro!

2023 Section Officers

  • Section Director - Lacey Rains Lowe, City of Champaign

  • Assistant Director - Jeff Marino, AICP City of Champaign

  • Secretary - Jon Oliphant, AICP, City of Washington

  • Treasurer - Greg Crowe, AICP, MSA 

  • Training Coordinator - Cristen Hardin, PGAV

  • Past Officer - Ben LeRoy, City of Champaign

2023 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


2023 News and Events



APA-IL ended the 2023 fiscal year with a net Income of $69,778.28, down 15% from $82,079.66 in 2022. Income from membership dues and the state conference registration continue to be the main income source for the Chapter. A break-down of the ending amounts in the revenue & expense categories is available by clicking here for a 4th Quarter financial 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 2023 to 1,447 members as of September 1, 2023. Chapter-Only membership also decreased slightly to 45 members. About eighty percent of our membership lives within the Chicago Metro Section. Please click here for a .pdf of all 2023 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 2023.

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.

2023 Membership Committee

Chairperson - Phillip Green, AICP 

Emily Egan, AICP

Reema Abi-Akar

Rory Fancler, AICP

Jennifer Ganser, AICP

Jared Patton, 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. We are thrilled to honor the best plans and people for 2023.

Thank you to the Awards Program Chair, Sara Egan, AICP and thank you to the 2023 Awards Jury. It’s no small effort to read and review all the great project nominations we receive.

  • Lesley Roth, AICP (Co-Chair)

  • Ed Cage, AICP

  • Mercy Davison, AICP

  • Emily Hepworth, AICP

  • Carrie Houston, AICP

  • Jeff Marino, AICP

  • Stacey Meekins, AICP

  • Trisha Parks, AICP

  • Katie Simpson, AICP

  • Mark Rinnan, AICP


Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Committee

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

2023 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. In 2023, the Committee was rebooted and an extensive year-round program was formulated. Thank you to the Legislative Co-Chairs, Ben LeRoy and Greg Jones, AICP.

Legislative Committee Members

David S. Silverman, AICP, Chair

Alicia Hanlon

Greg W. Jones, AICP

Ben Leroy

Michael Penicnak

Bethany Salmon

2023 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.

2023 Pro Bono News & Events

A call for projects was issued in July 2023 after a long hiatus during the COVID-19 pandemic. The Peotone Bike Plan for the Village of Peotone, IL was selected. The project team consisted of:

  • Tim Gustafson, AICP, Senior Project Manager, HNTP (Project Manager)

  • Eric Van Buskurk, AICP, Associate Planner, City of Champaign

  • DJ Fiore, AICP, Assistant Vice President, Kane, McKenna and Associates, Inc.

  • Cassandra Rice, AICP, Perkins & Will



Professional Development

Professional Development Committee Members

Jessica Gal, AICP, Co-Chair

Colleen Malec, AICP, Co-Chair

Clara Gable, AICP

James Harris, AICP

Gabrielle Mattingly, AICP

Rachel Riemenschneider


2023 State Conference

The APA-IL headed back to school for the 2023 State Conference! Held at North Central College, it was a 3-day conference complete with outstanding sessions and mobile workshops September 11-13th. Conference Chair, Niki Nutter, AICP did an outstanding job at the helm - everything from an outstanding keynote to playing an important role during the planning themed Murder Mystery! Thank you to the 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! You can read a recap here.

2023 APA-IL Sponsors

Planning Officials
sponsors board image - cropped.webp

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 167 training sessions since the program started in 2011. Here are the communities we served in 2023:

  • Village of Forest Park

  • City of Elgin

  • Village of Lincolnwood

  • Village of Orland Park

  • City of Effingham

  • City of Batavia

  • Vilage of South Elgin

  • Village of Chicago Ridge

  • Village of Huntley

  • Village of Sugar Grove

  • Village of Savoy

  • Village of Palos Park

  • Village of Woodridge

  • City of Waukegan

  • Village of Beach Park

  • City of West Chicago

  • Village of Lynwood

  • Village of Alsip

  • Village of Maple Park

  • Village of Monee

The annual Plan Commissioner Training held during the annual State Conference was well attended and offered a new afternoon activity. Attendees were able to review development plans and then walk over to the existing development to discuss. Afterwards they participated in a mock hearing.

Thank you to the APA-IL's Planning Officials Development Officer, Tom Farace, AICP, faculty and our supporter, the Chaddick Institute at DePaul University.

2023 Training Faculty

Katie Ashbaugh, AICP

Valerie Berstene, AICP

Michael Blue, FAICP

Jason Berry, AICP

Chuck Bevelheimer, AICP

Dan Bolin

Stephanie Brown, AICP

Andy Cross, AICP

John Carlisle, AICP

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

Megan Mack

Jeff Marino, AICP

Mike Schwarz, AICP

David Silverman, AICP

2023 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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