Marisa joined MPC in 2011. She directs our housing and community development work, and manages technical assistance and support to communities facing development challenges related to housing, transportation, environment, and economic development. Her work directly assists communities to promote revitalization, housing in job-rich areas, sustainable development and conservation, and interjurisdictional and corridor planning.
Prior to MPC, Marisa spent a year in Milan, Italy, completing her master’s degree in urban planning with a focus on international community development. Her studies were informed by years of work on the ground in Chicago, most recently as the senior project manager for Lawndale Christian Development Corporation. There, she directed more than $30 million in affordable rental and for-sale housing development in the North Lawndale neighborhood. She also worked in community development at the Steans Family Foundation and Carole Robertson Center for Learning, where her efforts on a Welfare to Work initiative first sparked her passion for affordable housing as a justice issue.
A Michigan native, Marisa has a bachelor’s degree from the University of Michigan in sociology, master’s degree from the University of Chicago’s School of Social Service Administration, certificate in affordable housing finance, development and management from the University of Illinois at Chicago, and master’s in urban planning from the Istituto Politecnico di Milano, where her master’s thesis explored the role that an intermediary could play in advancing the community development field in northern Italy.
Marisa has served on boards with Neighborhood Housing Services and The Resurrection Project, and was a Big Sister for 10 years. She lives in North Lawndale with her husband and two sons.