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5/7/2020 APA-IL "Pathways to Planning" Career Webinar

Updated: Jan 22, 2021

In the current climate of a global pandemic, career anxiety is running high for current students, potential students, those in transition, and those with job uncertainty. The APA-IL Membership Committee has put together a panel of urban planners and HR professionals to discuss information and opportunities to those seeking a career in planning.

We will explore and showcase the diverse nature of planning jobs and the jobs that planners hold, share the importance of planning by exploring the wide variety of sectors and skills necessary, and provide webinar participants with advice and reassurance.


  • DATE: May 7, 2020

  • TIME: 2:00 - 3:00 PM



  • John Carlisle, AICP, Senior Planner, Village of Park Ridge

  • Tim Gustafson, AICP, Senior Planner, Epstein

  • Nina Idemudia, AICP, Director of Planning, MUSE Community + Design

  • Katanya Raby, Policy Advisor, City of Chicago, Office of the Mayor

The APA-IL is excited to have special guest Mike Earl, GovHR USA, joining us for this webinar to offer professional insight and overview of resources available from GovHR USA to help recent graduates and job seekers.


  • Phillip Green, Village of Woodridge



John Carlisle, AICP, Senior Planner, Village of Park Ridge

John has been with Park Ridge since February 2018. Before that, he was on the Local Technical Assistance team at the Chicago Metropolitan Agency for Planning (CMAP), serving as project manager for multiple plans in communities across northeastern Illinois. He has also worked for the Village of Glen Ellyn and consulted for community development financial institutions (CDFIs).

Planning is John's second field, as he began his career in Arizona as a middle-school English teacher, then segued to being an editor for a trade publisher that produced magazines, websites, and trade shows for various niche industries. For example, one industry he covered is a land use that everyone loves: self-storage.

John has a Master of Urban Planning and Policy from the University of Illinois at Chicago and a Bachelor of Arts in English from Capital University in Columbus, Ohio.


Tim Gustafson, AICP, Senior Planner, Epstein

With more than 14 years of experience in the transportation industry, Tim Gustafson, AICP, works to improve the link between land use and transportation through planning and design projects at the municipal, county, statewide, and regional levels. His body of work includes parking and traffic studies, corridor plans and design guidelines, ADA transition plans, bicycle and pedestrian master plans, and phase I and II engineering projects.

At Epstein, Tim serves as a planner and project manager, working to advance his main interest of active transportation – improving mobility for people walking, bicycling, and using transit. As part of his focus in active transportation, he develops and delivers training courses in the planning and design of walking and bicycling facilities.

Tim is a certified trainer with the National Association of City Transportation Officials (NACTO) and has assisted in the development of research publications for the Michigan Department of Transportation (MDOT) and the National Cooperative Highway Research Program (NCHRP). He possesses degrees in urban planning and transportation from the University of Illinois at Chicago and Ball State University.


Nina Idemudia, AICP, Director of Planning, MUSE Community + Design

As a native Detroiter, Nina Idemudia, AICP, understands firsthand how the built environment shapes the lives of society’s most vulnerable populations. This fuels her passion for empowering citizens to be change agents through the planning process.

Prior to moving to Chicago in early 2019 for a position with the City of Chicago's Department of Planning and Development, Nina worked as a Planner for the City of Los Angeles where she worked on Current Planning, Long-Range Planning, and Performance Management.  She specializes in equitable community development, inclusive outreach strategies, and organizational innovation. Nina currently works as the Director of Planning for MUSE Community + Design and she also serves as the Diversity, Equity, & Inclusion Officer of the APA-IL.

Nina is a graduate of the University of Michigan and the University of Southern California. She has two awards from the American Planning Association, is a Vanguard Fellow, and a New Leaders Council Fellow. She was also honored with a SHEro Award by Los Angeles Councilmember Curren D. Price, Jr. for her community leadership.


Katanya Raby, Policy Advisor, City of Chicago, Office of the Mayor

Katanya Raby, is an urban planner, artist, and activist. Katanya was recently inducted into Chicago United for Equity's (CUE) 2020 Fellowship where she focuses on equitable affordable housing in Chicago. She is co-founder of the Al Raby Foundation, an organization created to preserve and share the legacy of her grandfather and civil rights leader, Al Raby. She is co-founder and former president of Society of Black Urban Planners at UIC, serves as co-chair of the Diversity Committee for the American Planning Association Illinois Chapter, and serves on the board for the non-profit Public Narrative. She is an alum of AmeriCorps VISTA and City Year.

Katanya is committed to planning for equity, providing service to underserved communities, and encouraging youth to consider their roles in the future of their own communities. Katanya is a proud graduate of Chicago Public Schools, holds a Bachelor's degree in Sociology and a Master's in Urban Planning and Policy from the University of Illinois-Chicago. She currently serves as a policy advisor to the Lightfoot Administration, City of Chicago.


Special Guest: Mike Earl, GovHR USA

Michael J. Earl is a Senior Vice President responsible for GovTemps USA, a division of GovHR USA, focusing on temporary staffing for local governments nationwide. Mike has over 31 years of local government management experience working in five suburban communities in the Chicago metropolitan area. He spent most of his career with the Village of Wilmette and also worked in the City of Des Plaines and most recently as the Director of Community Services for the Village of Lake Zurich where he was responsible for the operations of Public Works and Building, Zoning and Planning. Mike has served in a number of leadership positions with various intergovernmental agencies and special purpose entities including the Northeastern Illinois Public Safety Training Academy (NIPSTA), Municipal Insurance Cooperative Agency (MICA), Intergovernmental Personnel Benefit Cooperative (IPBC), Illinois Association of the Metropolitan Managers, and the Illinois Association of Municipal Management Assistants (IAMMA). Mike holds a Bachelor’s Degree and Master’s Degree in Public Administration both received from Northern Illinois University. He has attended leadership training at the Menninger Leadership Center and is a Senior Certified Professional through the Society of Human Resource Management (SHRM-SCP). He has also been trained as a mediator through the Center for Conflict Resolution in Chicago.



Phillip Green, Planner, Village of Woodridge

Born, raised, and educated in the Liverpool region of England, Phil’s first career was as a Sociology and Politics teacher in one of the most economically deprived areas of the UK. These experiences shaped his passion for planning as a means to educate and empower people to bring positive change to their communities.

Phil earned both a Bachelors in Sociology and a Masters of Civic Design from the University of Liverpool. During his Masters, his Key Project (similar to the Capstone) involved working closely with stakeholders including the European Union and U.S. State Department to provide insight into the likely socioeconomic impacts of “Brexit” in the Liverpool City Region.

Phil moved to the United States in the January of 2018, and after a year of working in retail, began working as a Planner at the Village of Woodridge in 2019. At the Village of Woodridge, he has a broad scope of duties, from day-to-day plan review, to large-scale community engagement activities including the Village’s first Restaurant Week, and outreach efforts around the 2020 U.S. Census. Phil is also a member of the APA-IL Membership Committee.


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