2019: A year of 28 honors and big wins for MPC's team - Metropolitan Planning Council

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2019: A year of 28 honors and big wins for MPC's team

2019 was a notable year for staff acceptance into esteemed fellowships, programs and advisory bodies—a testament to the strengths and talents of our whole team! 

Image courtesy Gretchen Villaluna Baria

Our colleagues accomplished so much in 2019, and many are gearing up for exciting new opportunities in 2020. As we prepare for a new decade of making positive change, we're celebrating our team's many wins through the fellowships, awards and positions listed below. 

A special shout out to MPC team members not pictured who also go above and beyond everyday to build a better, bolder, more equitable region for everyone. We are grateful for you. 

Adam Slade, Associate

  • Acceptance into the 2019 Professional Certificate in Municipal Finance Program at the University of Chicago Harris School
  • Acceptance into his PhD in Public Administration Program at the University of Illinois at Chicago in 2019

Audrey Wennink, Director of Transportation

  • 2019 participant in TransitCenter National Transit Mentor Program
  • Selected participant in 2020 Civic Leadership Academy with the University of Chicago  

Chloe Gurin Sands, Manager of Health Equity and Planning

  • Co-Chair, Partnership for Healthy Chicago
  • City of Chicago Mayoral Transition Team Internal Policy Lead
  • Calumet Collaborative 2020 Board Member

Christina Harris, Director of Land Use and Planning

  • Chicago Urban League IMPACT program participant 2019

Dan Cooper, Director of Research 

  • Invited participant on State of Illinois working group to define eligible areas for Restore, Reinvest, and Renew (R3) funding under the Cannabis Regulation and Tax Act

Josh Ellis, Vice President

  • City of Chicago Mayoral Environmental Committee Transition Team member

Juan Sebastian Arias, Manager

  • Chair of City of Chicago Affordable Requirements Ordinance Task Force
  • Asked to serve on board of Chicago Community Land Trust in 2020
  • New Leaders Council 2020 Fellow

Justin Keller, Associate

  • Selected participant in American Council on Germany’s Sustainable Urban Development Study Tour
  • 2019-2020 Great Lakes Commission - Green Infrastructure Champions mentor

Kendra Freeman, Director of Community Development & Engagement

  • 2019 Chicago United for Equity Fellow
  • 2020 Truth, Racial Healing & Transformation Advisory Council
  • Co-Chair for Elevated Chicago Steering Committee

Liz Granger, Content Strategy Manager 

  • Selected participant in the 2019 People Powered Publishing Clinic Track

MarySue Barrett, President

  • City of Chicago Mayoral Transition Economic Development Committee Member
  • Gov. J.B. Pritzker Restoring Illinois Infrastructure Committee Member
  • Advisor to City of Chicago 2020 Poverty Summit
  • Advisor to 2019 Chicago Prize Contest

Matt Altstiel, Development Manager

  • 36 under 36 honoree by the Jewish United Fund (2018)

Shehara Waas, Research Manager

  • 2020 Chicago United for Equity Fellow

Skyler Larrimore, Director of Operations & Strategy

  • 2019 New Leaders Council Fellow
  • 2019-2020 New Leaders Council Executive Board Member 
  • Acceptance into the Executive Program in Social Impact Strategy program at the University of Pennsylvania for 2020

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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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