MPC hires first new development director in 24 years - Metropolitan Planning Council

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MPC hires first new development director in 24 years

Kirsten Powers succeeds Ann Armstrong, who steps down after serving the Council since 1982.

After serving 24 years as development director of the nonprofit Metropolitan Planning Council (MPC), Ann H. Armstrong has retired, leaving a stellar record that includes helping grow the Council’s budget by nearly 1,200 percent between 1982 and 2006, and shepherding its successful Bold Plans, Bright Future campaign for an endowment and special program initiatives. The Council is pleased to announce that Kirsten L. Powers has stepped into the role and will continue to build MPC’s capacity to help guide regional growth and development in greater metropolitan Chicago.

Powers’ enthusiasm for MPC’s initiatives – such as expanding housing and transportation options, reforming Illinois’ school funding and property tax systems, revitalizing disinvested areas, and managing local and statewide water resources – makes her an excellent match for the role, according to MarySue Barrett, MPC president.

“Kirsten Powers’ strong public policy background, her genuine interest in regional policy debates, and deep development background make her well prepared to take over as MPC development director,” said Barrett. ”Though we will greatly miss Ann Armstrong, we’re fortunate to have found in Kirsten the same blend of knowledge and passion that served Ann and MPC so well all of these years.”

Powers, a resident of Elmhurst, Ill., will build on the success of MPC’s recently concluded, two-year Bold Plans, Bright Future campaign that raised $14.4 million for operations, endowment and special program initiatives. The campaign expanded MPC’s coffers and its circle of donors, positioning the Council well for future growth. To ensure the Council’s initiatives continue to meet regional demand, Powers will draw on her past experience as development director of Elmhurst College, Openlands, and Chicago Association of Neighborhood Development Organizations (CANDO); and on her educational background at the University of Chicago Irving B. Harris Graduate School of Public Policy.

“I’ve always admired the Metropolitan Planning Council’s work, and it’s exciting to join the organization at such a pivotal point in its history and that of our growing region,” said Powers. “Ensuring we have adequate funding to support our mission will allow the Council to continue taking on the most relevant matters of the day as the region continues to expand.”

Indeed, having the courage, expertise and resources to take on the right issues at the right time has been a hallmark of MPC’s, according to Armstrong, a resident of Oak Park, Ill., who in more than two decades of service helped the organization grow its annual budget from $ 297,193 in 1982 to $3,531,807 in 2006. This success, she said, can be directly related to the quality and relevance of MPC’s work.

“A good product, one that you truly believe in, is easy to sell,” Armstrong said. “I’ve been fortunate to dedicate a major portion of my career to the Metropolitan Planning Council, and I look forward to watching Kirsten Powers and the Council continue to shape the greater Chicago metropolitan region as it has since its foundation in 1934.”

Barrett added that Armstrong’s warm personality, vast fundraising experience, and profound understanding of the Council’s position as a leading advocate for the region will be greatly missed.

In addition, MPC is pleased to announce the promotion of two staff members:

Joanna Trotter, a resident of Chicago, has been promoted from housing associate to manager of MPC’s Community Building Initiative. Along with the housing technical assistance that she has been providing to communities, in her new role, she will coordinate, assess, and manage the budget and staff for the Council’s various technical assistance efforts helping local communities address difficult development challenges.

Also, Rob McCloskey, a resident of Chicago, has been promoted from manager of operations to vice president of finance and administration.

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For more than 80 years, the Metropolitan Planning Council (MPC) has made the Chicago region a better place to live and work by partnering with businesses, communities and governments to address the area's toughest planning and development challenges. MPC works to solve today's urgent problems while consistently thinking ahead to prepare the region for the needs of tomorrow. Read more about our work »

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