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Chicago zoning official to head development unit here

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Mark Muenzer, manager of Chicago’s Zoning Board of Appeals, has been appointed director of Community Development for Evanston, effective August 12.

The announcement was made Tuesday by City Manager Wally Bobkiewicz, who also appointed Johanna Nyden as Economic Development Division Manager. Nyden has been an Economic Development Coordinator with the city since 2010.

Muenzer has been Zoning Board of Appeals Manager in Chicago’s Department of Housing and Economic Development since 2011. Before coming to the city in 2006, he was director of Community Development in Countryside, Ill.

Nyden is a native Evanstonian who earned a bachelor of science degree in Anthropology from Loyola University and a Master of Urban Planning and Policy degree from the University of Illinois at Chicago.

The appointments come as part of a reorganization of the city staff that involves shifting the Economic Development Division to the City Manager’s Office, Bobkiewicz said.

“Mark Muenzer brings to the City of Evanston an excellent track record as a manager and planner,” Bobkiewicz said.

“His work in Chicago has brought him exceptional experience in dealing with all aspects and stake holders involved in the planning process.  This experience will serve Evanston well as the community considers new development projects and works to maintain high design and quality of life standards.” 

The city manager added that Muenzer, who holds a Master of Community Planning degree from the University of Cincinnati and Bachelor of Arts degree in Political Science from Gannon University in Pennsylvania, “will also be instrumental in our work with various important sustainable community initiatives.” 

Nyden, the new Economic Development Division manager, “has been the catalyst behind many of our key economic development projects over the past several years,” Bobkiewicz said.

“Her ability to put together deals is her hallmark.”

With Muenzer’s strengths in planning and zoning, Bobkiewicz added, “it is important to once again allow the Department of Community Development to focus on its core missions that include housing and building inspection and allow our strong economic development team to work as part of the City Manager’s Office.”

Charles Bartling

A resident of Evanston since 1975, Chuck Bartling holds a master’s degree in journalism from Northwestern University and has extensive experience as a reporter and editor for daily newspapers, radio stations and business-oriented magazines.

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