OUR PHILOSOPHY

PLACE Consulting helps make neighborhoods and cities better, and equips and supports chambers of commerce and economic development corporations to do their important work more powerfully and efficiently. 

We engage community stakeholders through processes that are transparent, credible and results-oriented. PLACE increases local capacity through the process, recognizing that all communities have assets that can be built upon to create improved community economics that benefit all.

PLACE Consulting is committed to fostering People, Livability, Accessibility, Community and Economic development.


Team

Our firm is unique in that many of the people associated with PLACE are or have been community development practitioners; we understand the work that economic development organizations and chambers of commerce do and the importance of honoring the input of local stakeholders while delivering practical and realistic plans and products. We are a small firm and therefore can be nimble and responsive to our clients’ needs.


KIMBERLY BARES,

PRESIDENT

Kimberly has more than 20 years’ experience leading nonprofit organizations and is the leading expert on BIDs (SSAs) in Chicago. She has served as Executive Director of four organizations in Chicago and Baltimore, working in diverse communities with varying constituencies. Her professional background has provided her with expertise in affordable housing development, community organizing, TIFs, BIDs, commercial district planning, strategic planning, Board development and fundraising. Kimberly has had direct involvement and accountability for the creation, management or administration of forty Special Service Areas and four Tax Increment Financing districts. She has extensive experience in community outreach, and enjoys looking for ways to make community participation fun and rewarding.  She is addicted to traveling, hot yoga, and karaoke. 


JEREMY BARNDT,

SENIOR ASSOCIATE

Jeremy uses a results-oriented approach to successfully lead economic development and business improvement district projects for public and nonprofit clients. His background with business improvement districts includes program management at Lakeview’s Special Service Area #8 in Chicago, as well as marketing and member management at Special Service Area #26. Additionally, he possesses hands-on small business development experience by leading technical assistance programming for the City of Austin’s Economic Development Department and business instruction at Austin Community College. He connects with diverse audiences and develops meaningful and measurable business programming. He obtained an MBA with a focus in entrepreneurship at Loyola University Chicago and mentors a collection of early stage entrepreneurs.


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GINA CARUSO,

VICE PRESIDENT OF SPECIAL PROJECTS

Gina brings a unique understanding of business districts with a proven track record of results from her background in economic development, urban planning, real estate, and small businesses.  She specializes in neighborhood economic development and leverages her referral network to support the success of her clients.  Clients benefit from Gina's understanding of their goals and finding strategic and creative solutions for them through sound data, listening, and insights' into clients' communities and organizations.

Career highlights include:

  • transforming the City of Chicago's Business Improvement District (BID) program, known as Special Service Areas (SSAs), from an underutilized tool to the nation's second largest BID portfolio
  • supporting the success of 70+ business organizations in over 60 Chicago neighborhoods as Assistant Commissioner with the City of Chicago
  • implementing innovative and sustainable programming as the Executive Director of the Lakeview East Chamber of Commerce/SSA #8
  • developing land use and master plans as a City Planner with The Lakota Group

In addition to services as Vice President of Special Projects at PLACE Consulting, Gina represents landlords and tenants as a Broker Associate with The Lord Companies LLC, a developer/broker firm specializing in urban infill and adaptive reuse projects in Chicago.  Gina is a published author and sought-after presenter at juried conferences and professional events.  She is an avid traveler, foodie, and runner.


Jill Siegel,

SENIOR ASSOCIATE

Jill uses her planning and design background to lead collaborative, interactive, and implementation-oriented downtown, neighborhood, and business district revitalization efforts. In her planning and community development experience, she has supported public and non-profit clients primarily in the areas of neighborhood revitalization, physical and community development, economic development, zoning revisions, development reviews, neighborhood planning, TIF assessments and strategic planning. Career highlights include leading planning, urban design, and economic development initiatives in diverse settings ranging from Gary, IN and Durham, NC to Wichita, KS and Rockville, MD. In addition, she was responsible for the creation of the Downtown Memphis (TN) Strategic Plan, the first of its kind in more than 2 decades, and the creation of the Andersonville neighborhood’s innovative business sustainability initiative, eco-Andersonville, while serving as the Managing Director of the Andersonville Development Corporation. Jill also has experience managing local and international planning projects at Solomon Cordwell Benz, shaping communities in Naperville, IL and Abu Dhabi, UAE. When not helping to keep the PLACE office chugging along, Jill likes to spend time on the tennis court, reminiscing about her glory days as a synchronized swimmer, finding a unique gem at a flea market, or watching most any type of movie on the big screen.


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Anthony Pelikan,

Associate

Tony uses his wide range of private and public-sector experience to deliver data-driven solutions. He develops new data visualization and delivery techniques to help clients more efficiently tackle the challenges they face.  As a GIS-expert, Tony has developed web-based mapping tools that enable Business Improvement Districts to more efficiently manage their programs and inventory and amplify their impact. He is always looking for new ways to use data, maps and analytics to learn more about the world around us and provide meaningful, measurable value for clients and stakeholders.  Tony is a self-professed urban planning and craft beer nerd.

 

Memberships

We are affiliated with the following organizations: