Congratulations to Nancy Firfer, MPC senior fellow, on a lifetime of making our region better - Metropolitan Planning Council

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Congratulations to Nancy Firfer, MPC senior fellow, on a lifetime of making our region better


MPC Senior Fellow Nancy Firfer speaks at an MPC Roundtable on our region's aging population in 2015.

Having worked with Nancy Firfer for almost 20 years, I’m thrilled to congratulate her on receiving the Harry Chaddick Distinguished Public Service Award, presented on behalf of Lambda Alpha International on Wednesday, June 15, 2016.

The award celebrates Nancy’s 24 years of elected life, eight of which she spent at the helm of the Village of Glenview, a northern suburb of Chicago. In addition, Nancy has devoted her life after government to helping communities understand their housing challenges now and in the future.

Under Nancy’s direction, Glenview saw the development of “The Glen,” a 1,000-acre-plus community developed on property acquired from the U.S. Navy. With its own Metra train station, a movie theater, shops and restaurants, The Glen offers residents the opportunity to shop, eat, work and play all without having to get in their cars.

Nancy has always been about helping people. Since her time as Mayor, Nancy has been actively engaged in serving the regional community as a whole. Her commitments to Chicago Metropolis 2020 and MPC over the past decade have continued to cement her legacy of service. At Metropolis 2020, Nancy advocated for better regional planning and smart investments to promote the region’s long-term health. In her time at MPC, Nancy has been instrumental to Homes for a Changing Region, a process that enables municipal leaders to chart demand and supply trends for housing in their communities.

At the Lambda Alpha awards, Nancy’s compatriots had glowing things to say. Joe Szabo, executive director of Chicago Metropolitan Agency for Planning and close colleague of both MPC and Nancy, presented the award.

“From the school board to the state workforce board, Nancy has engaged in the full breadth of social and economic policy-making that is fundamental to shaping our quality of life,” Szabo said. “Today, as a senior advisor at the Metropolitan Planning Council, she continues to offer her experience and enthusiasm, and we at CMAP are privileged to work with her,” he added.

Nancy, of course, turned the award right back around, with sincere appreciation for the opportunities she has had to serve communities.

“It is about making life better for all of those you serve,” she said. “I was fortunate enough to continue to do the work I love at Chicago Metropolis 2020 and now at the Metropolitan Planning Council, helping communities think about planning for the future needs of their communities based on the people that are there and those to come.”

While some people aspire to retirement, Nancy is energized by continuing to help communities reinvent themselves. She inspires us and accomplishes a lot with fellow MPC Senior Fellow King Harris, often with little fanfare.

MPC is thrilled with the recognition Nancy has received for her lifetime of hard work and her dedication to the Chicago metropolitan area. We’re fortunate to have her as part of our team.


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For more than 85 years, the Metropolitan Planning Council (MPC) has partnered with communities, businesses, and governments to unleash the greatness of the Chicago region. We believe that every neighborhood has promise, every community should be heard, and every person can thrive. To tackle the toughest urban planning and development challenges, we create collaborations that change perceptions, conversations—and the status quo. Read more about our work »

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