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City adds economic development staff

In response to requests from aldermen, Evanston is expanding its economic development staff.

The city has hired Johanna Nyden, who’s served for nearly three years as a member of the Plan Commission, as an economic development planner.

Nyden, who has a master’s degree in urban planning from the University of Illinois at Chicago, has eight years of experience in the field, most recently with the economic development consulting firm, S. B. Friedman & Company where she worked on development of retail and residential market studies, review of proposed developments and the designation of tax increment financing (TIF) districts in Chicago and its suburbs.

And Annette Logan, the city’s zoning assistant for the past two years, has been promoted to economic development planner.

Logan has ten years of experience in residential and commercial real estate sales and served as a board member of the Evanston Community Development Corporation. She holds a bachelor’s degree in communications from Columbia College and, before she returned to her home town, she spent a decade working as a manager in the film industry in Los Angeles.

Both women grew up in Evanston and currently live in the city.

Community and Economic Development Director Lehman Walker is still seeking an assistant director to lead the new economic development unit in the department.

The city’s long-time economic development planner, Morris Robinson, retired last month.

Aldermen have said they see expanding the city’s economic development efforts as a key to dealing with the downturn in the economy and insuring the city’s long-term economic growth.

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