Metropolitan Planning Council announces new Board of Governors Chair and members - Metropolitan Planning Council

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Metropolitan Planning Council announces new Board of Governors Chair and members

With the addition of five new recruits, MPC's Board has expanded to 52 active members. 

CHICAGO, IL – Metropolitan Planning Council (MPC) has elected a new Board Chair and five new Board members.

MPC takes a creative approach to ensure economic and community development in the Chicago region is equitable, to preserve and protect our precious open spaces and natural resources, and to push for the infrastructure investments needed to keep residents on the go. The organization’s Board of Governors, which is comprised of senior business and civic leaders, is a vital part of moving this ambitious agenda forward.

At the end of 2018, Todd C. Brown concluded his two years of service as Board Chair. Ellen Carnahan, Principal at Machrie Enterprises LLC and former MPC Co-Vice Chair for Development, has been elected as Brown’s successor.

“We’re grateful for Todd’s leadership and responsiveness during what’s been a transformative time for MPC and the Chicago region,” says MarySue Barrett, President of MPC. “There’s no better person I can think of to continue to build upon this momentum than Ellen Carnahan.”

Carnahan is a highly successful investor with more than 20 years of venture capital and technology experience. She is an active member of Chicago's corporate and entrepreneurship community, and serves on the board of the Illinois Venture Capital Association. She has also served as board chair of the Chicago affiliate of Communities In Schools, a national nonprofit that connects students with social services and provides casework support within schools to prevent dropouts.

Carnahan will lend her expertise to advance the organization’s priorities over the next two years. In 2019, MPC priorities include inspiring and assisting the new state and city administrations; deepening community relations and engagement; securing sustainable state revenue for transportation; advancing solutions to address lead in water at the state, city and suburban levels; expanding local government technical assistance; piloting new innovations in stormwater infrastructure; and implementing racial equity frameworks and policy recommendations.

MPC is also excited to welcome the following five people to our Board of Governors for a 2019 to 2021 term:

Ramiro J. Atristaín-Carrión, Managing Director, Atristain Financial Advisors, LLC. 

Atristaín-Carrión is the Managing Director of Atristain Financial Advisors, LLC—a financial and business consulting firm. Previously, he served as vice president of BMO Harris Bank, which is part of BMO Financial Group (Bank of Montreal) and as senior vice president of Asset Management at Capri Capital, LLC. He is an adjunct professor at Brennan School of Business at Dominican University, a member of the Board of Directors of Stuart Investments, a co-founder and chair of the board of a surgical foundation, and chair of the Chicago Symphony Orchestra’s (CSO) Latino Alliance. Atristain will join MPC's Investment Committee.

Juan Carlos Linares, Executive Director, LUCHA. 

Linares is committed to building community and advancing housing as a human right. He is the Executive Director of LUCHA, a Chicago-based affordable housing development agency which also offers housing counseling, foreclosure prevention and legal assistance to over 8,000 clients annually throughout the Midwest. He currently serves as Chairman of the Illinois Advisory Committee to the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights, has a mayoral appointment to the Chicago Low-Income Housing Trust Fund Board, and serves on the Boards of Urban Theater Company and the Woodstock Institute. Linares also serves on Northeastern Illinois University’s EI Centro campus Advisory Council where he teaches Political Science, and is also on the Adjunct Faculty at The John Marshall Law School. Linares is an active partner with MPC on Elevated Chicago, dedicated to equitable development near transit.

David Mook, Chief Private Banking Officer, U.S. Bank. 

As Chief Private Banking Officer for U.S. Bank Wealth Management, Mook leads a team of banking professionals who provide credit products, credit underwriting and credit portfolio management services for clients of Ascent Private Capital Management and U.S. Bank Private Wealth Management. He brings to this role more than 30 years of experience, particularly in middle market commercial banking. Mook was previously with JPMorgan Chase, where he held a variety of management positions, including Regional Capital Advisory Practice Lead of Private Banking for the Midwest and West. Mook will assist MPC's advocay for statewide sustainable transportation revenues and reforms.

Robert Reiter, President, Chicago Federation of Labor. 

Reiter is the President of the Chicago Federation of Labor, the third largest central labor council of the national AFL-CIO. He previously served two terms as Secretary-Treasurer of the CFL from July 2010 to May 2018. He is a third-generation member of the International Union of Operating Engineers Local 150. Throughout his career, he has worked as a labor attorney, an organizer, a negotiator and a lobbyist. Reiter is the voice of every CFL-affiliated union on big picture issues. He is also lending his voice to issues related to international trade, meeting periodically with dignitaries from various European countries and experts from the agricultural, manufacturing and financial industries. Reiter is a valued advisor to MPC and its partners on legislative advocacy. 

Alana Ward Robinson, President & CEO, Robinson Group Consulting, Inc.

Alana is a creative business executive with more than 30 years of experience in driving increased value through technology leadership and innovation. She has led business process reengineering initiatives up to $100 million, served as CIO of companies with revenues up to $5 billion, and held seats on numerous civic and non-profit boards. Since 2004, she has applied that expertise as the founder and Managing Principal of Robinson Group Consulting, Inc. Her company delivers strategic global information technology consulting services with a specific focus on driving organizational change and providing objective leadership in the successful implementation of enterprise-wide projects. Robinson's track record will ensure that MPC remains on the technological cutting edge.

MPC also thanks former Board members who concluded their service in 2018: John S. Gates, Jr., Chairman & CEO, PortaeCo LLC (who continues as a MPC Executive Advisor); Lisa Snow, Managing Director, Disputes and Investigations, Duff & Phelps; and Monique Brinkman Hill (who continues as a member of MPC’s Regional Planning & Investments Committee).

For more information, contact Emily Blum, MPC Director of Marketing and Communications, at 312.863.6018 or


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