Larry Bennett is pleased to assume the Executive Director’s position at North Branch Works following a long career teaching courses on urban politics and public policy at DePaul University. Prior to his becoming Executive Director, Larry served on NBW’s Board of Directors for more than 20 years. As an academic, Larry’s research has focused on urban redevelopment and its neighborhood impacts. He has researched neighborhood activism in several Chicago neighborhoods, the early phases of the Chicago Housing Authority’s Plan for Transformation, and Chicago’s unsuccessful bid to host the 2016 Olympics. Larry’s 1997 book, Neighborhood Politics: Chicago and Sheffield, examined urban development efforts and the community response in Chicago’s Uptown neighborhood and Sheffield, England’s Sharrow neighborhood. His 2010 book, The Third City: Chicago and American Urbanism, earned the Illinois State Historical Society’s Certificate of Excellence. Larry earned his master’s and Ph.D. degrees in Urban Planning at Rutgers University.
Krista lends her considerable community planning and development expertise to the North Branch Works. She worked as a consulting urban planner for over ten years, with projects all over the country, before entering the non-profit world. At North Branch Works, she oversees much of the business outreach; interacts with other organizations, public and elected officials to promote business growth and retention; and provides management and support of our local economic development efforts. Krista received her BA from Aquinas College in Grand Rapids, MI and a Masters of Community Planning from the University of Cincinnati, OH. She is excited about the opportunity to work on implementing economic development plans and watching as these projects transform lives and the community.
Froi provides assistance to the Executive Director in the financial management of the organization. In addition, he serves as our computer network administrator and tech support specialist. Previously, he held accounting positions with other non-profits and in the health care industry. He received his Associate Degree in Accounting from Daley College in May 2011.
Misty joined North Branch Works as a computer skills trainee in January 2011. Upon successful completion of four Microsoft Office certification classes, she was hired on under a transitional jobs program to assist the Director of SARFS, which later developed into a permanent full time position. She has proved a vital part of the Workforce Development side of NBW. She currently works on Small Accessible Repairs for Seniors Program (SARFS) and the Business Affairs and Consumer Protection Program (BACP). Some of Misty’s administration responsibilities include marketing, intake, assessment and site visits to enroll seniors into the SARFS Program. She also plays a supportive role in field coordination, payroll and the vouchering processes of the program. Misty is an alumni of the LEEDers for Training group.
Lauren started as Business Outreach Coordinator with North Branch Works in September 2016. As part of our LIRI (Local Industrial Retention Initiative) contract with the city’s Department of Planning & Development, Lauren reaches out to area companies about city resources, incentives, and opportunities. She works with the economic development unit to organize on-going community meetings, workshops, and events. She also composes the weekly e-news letter (The NB_Connector) and reaches out to NBW members. Lauren is originally from Buffalo, NY and moved to Chicago after graduating SUNY Geneseo in May 2015 with a degree in Mathematics and Business Administration. Lauren has held two internships with urban and economic development in NY and looks forward to learning more about Chicago!
Casey has joined North Branch Works this summer (May-August 2017) as a graduate student intern who will be working with the LIRI program and in local business outreach and communication. She received her BA in Environmental Studies from Northeastern Illinois University where she focused on sustainable development and environmental policy. Currently she is in the Master of Urban Planning and Policy program at the University of Illinois Chicago and looks forward to hands-on experience in community planning.