MPC Strengthens Team with Addition of Nancy Firfer

by Chicago Agent

The Metropolitan Planning Council (MPC), a Chicago-based nonprofit dedicated to shaping a more sustainable and prosperous greater metropolitan region, is pleased to announce that Nancy Firfer, former senior advisor with Chicago Metropolis 2020, and former president of the Village of Glenview, has joined MPC’s staff as senior advisor.

At MPC, Firfer will continue her longtime partnership with MPC in supporting balanced housing in communities across the region.

“The Metropolitan Planning Council was founded back in 1934 by a group of committed citizens who wanted to improve housing conditions in Chicago. While our current mission is more expansive, housing remains a critical piece of our agenda,” says MPC President MarySue Barrett. “Our work on the ground with suburban policymakers will greatly benefit from Nancy Firfer’s expertise. And her years of experience as a municipal elected official have earned her the trust of elected officials across the region and state.”

Prior to joining MPC, Firfer was a senior advisor with Chicago Metropolis 2020 (CM 2020), a nonprofit organization created in 1999 by the Commercial Club of Chicago to advocate for better regional planning and smart investments to promote the region’s long-term health. With Metropolitan Mayors Caucus’ Beth Dever, Firfer and then-CM 2020 Senior Executive King Harris, chairman, Harris Holdings, Inc., led “Homes for a Changing Region.” In December 2010, Harris was elected chair of MPC’s Board of Governors.

In Phase One of Homes for a Changing Region, Metropolitan Mayors Caucus and CM 2020, working with development consultant Fregonese Associates, projected housing supply and demand in the six-county Chicago metropolitan region through the year 2030, and identified imbalances that would likely impact our regional economy. They also developed specific local, regional and state strategies to address the imbalances and create more options for homeowners. In Phase Two of the project, the Mayors Caucus and CM 2020 worked with nine local communities and their councils of government to put the recommendations and strategies of Phase One into practice.

In 2011, through her new role at MPC, Firfer will continue to support the evolution of Homes for a Changing Region in partnership with project leaders Metropolitan Mayors Caucus and Chicago Metropolitan Agency for Planning, northeastern Illinois’ regional planning agency. MPC’s commitment to encouraging neighboring communities to work together to develop interjurisdictional solutions to shared challenges, and transparent community engagement strategies will be integrated into the project’s next phase.

“I have long valued my partnership with the Metropolitan Planning Council’s Housing and Community Development team and our shared passion for helping communities create innovative and comprehensive housing action plans that meet the needs of their current and future residents,” said Firfer, “I’m delighted to become a part of MPC, supporting both its housing goals and its government relations strategies.”

Prior to joining Chicago Metropolis 2020, Firfer spent 24 years as an elected official. A longtime resident of the Village of Glenview, she served two terms as Glenview’s president. During her tenure, she oversaw the redevelopment of the Glenview Naval Air Station into a highly successful mixed-income community that includes a wide range of housing, open space and recreation, and commercial and retail development. She also served on the Northbrook/Glenview Elementary Board of Education and the Northbrook/Glenview High School Board of Education.

Firfer continues to serve her community as a trustee of the Kohl Children’s Museum Board, member of Lambda Alpha, and member of the Board of the Youth Services of Glenview/Northbrook. She also is a member of Urban Land Institute-Chicago.

Firfer has served numerous civic and educational institutions, including to the Illinois Workforce Housing Investment Board and Executive Committee of the Council of Mayors for the Chicago Area Transportation Study (the region’s Metropolitan Planning Organization). She has served as president of the Northwest Municipal Conference, a council of governments, and participated in the Metropolitan Mayors Caucus and several of its task forces.

For more information, contact Mandy Burrell Booth, MPC assistant communications director, at 312-863-6018 or mburrell@metroplanning.org.

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