As MPC co-Vice President and beloved longtime employee Marisa Novara takes over as the City of Chicago’s Department of Housing Commissioner, we reflect warmly on her time with us—and toast the road ahead
When Marisa Novara joined MPC’s staff, Barack Obama was just starting his second year in office. Since then, Marisa left her stamp on MPC in countless ways. From The Cost of Segregation study to the many grateful colleagues she’s coached through their careers, Marisa made meaningful, lasting impacts.
In commemoration of Marisa's time at MPC, we collected a series of photographs and words celebrating our dear colleague:
On Thursday, June 13, MPC hosted a farewell toast to commemorate Marisa’s time at MPC and to celebrate her new role as Mayor Lightfoot’s Commissioner for the Department of Housing. Nearly 100 friends, family members, and co-workers joined for laughs, tears, and well-wishes. A few close colleagues gave congratulatory speeches to highlight Marisa’s career and to look forward to her big role ahead.
- “Marisa has crossed geographies, she’s crossed political parties, she’s crossed perspectives in ways that many of us only wish that we could.” —Amy Khare, Research Director, National Initiative on Mixed-Income Communities
- “We’ve got the right person to talk about equity, inclusion, and diversity in our city.” —Richard Townsell, Lawndale Christian Development Organization
- “We now have somebody working in Mayor Lightfoot’s office that has the values, the tenacity, and the know-how to make things happen that are completely consistent with what MPC is all about.” —Todd Brown, Immediate Past Chair of MPC's Board of Governors
- “Marisa takes time to coach, takes time to help people figure out their special gifts and how to unleash them, she takes time to show appreciation. She has a sixth sense of what people need to hear.” —MarySue Barrett, President of Metropolitan Planning Council
Thank you, Marisa, for your commitment to making Chicagoland a better place for all. We'll miss you, and... at your request... when our celebrating is done, we'll be sure to hold you accountable, honest, and in touch with the issues. The slideshow below captures images from the toast and from Marisa’s time with MPC.