Meet the Team

Region 1 Planning Council (RPC) employs subject matter experts to meet a wide variety of planning, research, economic, technical assistance, and fund development needs.

Our interdisciplinary approach provides a uniquely informed, efficient, and comprehensive approach to meeting client needs throughout Northern Illinois in both the private and public sector.


Michael Dunn, Jr

Executive Director

815-319-4180 office

Specialties: Intergovernmental Collaboration, Strategic Alignment, Commercial Real Estate and Development, Finance.

Education: Bachelor of Business Studies, Management; Loyola University Chicago; Bachelor of Business Studies, Finance; Loyola University Chicago

Recognition: Rockford Chamber of Commerce “40 Leaders Under 40”

Board Affiliations: Next Rockford; Winnebago County’s Freedom Field Renewable Energy Initiative; Rockford Area Economic Development Council’s Business Attraction Committee; Winnebago County’s Task Force on Intergovernmental Efficiency & Cooperation; Economic Development District of Northern Illinois; Rockford Chamber of Commerce’s Government Affairs Council


Julia Halsted

Deputy Director of Operations

FOIA Officer

779-707-0906 direct

Specialties: Operations, Administration, Organizational Development; Policy Governance, Public Information

Certificates: Lean Tools Implementation, University of Illinois Business Information Systems; Freedom of Information (FOIA) and Open Meetings Act, State of Illinois

Education: Bachelor of Science, Magna Cum Laude, Management, Rockford University

Recognition: Rockford Chamber of Commerce “40 Leaders Under 40”; Rockford East Citizenship Award

Board Affiliations: Rockford Chamber of Commerce Government Affairs Council, Member; Transform Illinois Policy Committee, Member; Transform Rockford Brand & Communications Team, Member


Jon Paul Diipla

Director of Regional Planning

815-319-4183 direct

Specialties: Metropolitan Planning Organization (MPO) Administration, Passenger Rail, Urban Policy and Intergovernmental Collaboration, Geographic Information Systems, Public Participation Planning, Surveys and Outreach, Public Transit & Workforce/Human Services Coordination Planning, Planning Education and Stakeholder Partnership Development

Certification: American Institute of Certified Planners (AICP)

Education: Master of Arts, Urban & Regional Planning; University of Illinois, 2007; Bachelor of Arts with Honors, Geography/Urban Planning; DePaul University, 2005

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Steve Gregg

Director of WinGIS

815-319-4455 direct

Specialties: Web Development and Design, Project Management

Education: Bachelor of Arts in History, Illinois State University


Dana Northcott

Deputy Director of Program & Fund Development

815-391-4866 direct

Specialties: Program Development, Grant Research, Writing, Technical Assistance, and Administration; Community and Public Health

Certification: GPCI Grant Professional Certification

Education: Master of Science, Public Health; University of Illinois at Chicago; Bachelor of Science with Honors Cum Laude, Community Health, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

Board Affiliations: Grant Professionals Certification Institute (GPCI) Board of Directors, Rock River Valley Food Pantry, Second Vice President; FBI Citizen’s Academy graduate; IGNITE and University of Illinois Alumni Association


Janna Bailey

Technical Writer

815-319-4186 direct

Specialties: Grant Writing, Museum Education, Architectural History, Historic Preservation, Heritage Interpretation

Education: Master of Science, Historic Preservation; Eastern Michigan University, Bachelor of Arts, Anthropology; Michigan State University

Affiliations: Association of Fundraising Professionals


Colin Belle

Transportation System Planner

815-319-4184 direct

Specialties: Land Use and Regional Growth, Housing Coordination and Planning, Environmental Planning, Performance Measures and Indicators, Hazard Mitigation and Disaster Planning, Transportation Systems Planning, Data Analysis, Congestion Management and Forecasting

Education: Master of Regional Planning with Honors, Concentration in Environmental and Land-Use Planning, University of Albany, New York, 2010; Bachelor of Arts, Environmental Science, with a Minor Concentration in Geographical Information Systems, Plattsburgh State University, New York, 2004


Margaret Campbell

Metropolitan Planner

815-319-4193 direct

Education: Master of Urban Planning, University of Kansas, 2018; Bachelor of Arts, Architectural Studies, University of Kansas, 2017

Specialties: Transportation Planning, Sustainable Land Use Planning, Public Participation


Marlana Dokken

Regional Grants Program Manager

815-319-4187 direct

Specialties: Criminal Justice Support Services, Project Management, Program Development and Implementation, Criminal Justice Grant Research, Writing, Assistance, and Administration, Enterprise Resource Planning Software Implementation

Education: Bachelor of Arts in Human Services, with Honors, Judson University

Affiliations: Bridges Out of Poverty Facilitator

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Jay Fieser

Community Development Planner

815-319-4192 direct

Specialties: Economic Development Planning, Workforce Development Planning, Housing Needs Assessment, Brownfields Redevelopment and Urban Infill, Spatial Analysis

Education: Master of Science in Urban and Regional Planning, University of Iowa, 2017; Bachelor of Arts in Political Science and Psychology, University of Iowa, 2014


Tretara Flowers


815-319-4180 office

Specialties: Community Resource Advocacy, Program Implementation

Education: Master of Business Administration, American Intercontinental University; Bachelor’s of Business Administration, concentration in Healthcare Management, American Intercontinental University

Affiliations: Achieving Success After Prison/Peril facilitator


Aaron Frey

GIS Technician

815-319-4458 direct

Specialties: External Data Requests, 9-1-1 NINJA safety data, County Web Map Applications

Education: Bachelor of Science in Geography, minor in General Business, University of Wisconsin-Whitewater


Brandon Geber

Metropolitan Transit Planner

815-319-4457 direct

Specialties: Project Management, Public Transportation Planning, Travel Demand Modeling, Geostatistical Analysis, Neighborhood Planning, Cartography

Education: Master of Community and Regional Planning with a GIS Certificate, Iowa State University, 2017; Bachelor of Science with Honors, Environmental Studies, Eureka College, 2013; Associate of Arts, Secondary Education, Illinois Central College, 2011


Ivy Hood

Government Affairs & Economics Specialist

815-319-4195 direct

Specialties: Written Reports and Summaries, Web-Based Research, Economic and Data Analysis, Visual Communication/Design

Certifications: IMFx Certificate in Macroeconomic Forecasting, 2017

Education: Bachelor of Science with Honors Summa Cum Laude in Economics and International Studies, Rockford University, 2016

Honors: Member, Sigma Beta Delta; Member, Phi Beta Kappa; Lincoln Laureate, Class of 2016

Chuck Klutho    Metropolitan Planner

Chuck Klutho

Metropolitan Planner

815-319-4188 direct

Education: Bachelor of Science, Cum Laude, Community & Regional Planning, minors in Sustainability and Sociology, Iowa State University, 2019

Specialties: Transportation Planning, Bike & Pedestrian Planning, Sustainable Development, Public Participation, Surveys and Outreach, Geographic Information Systems


Aaron Lewis

Project Management Assistant

815-319-4180 office

Specialties: Data Research and Analysis, Grant Research, Public Outreach and Engagement, and Ethnography

Education: Bachelor of Science with Lower Division Honors in Anthropology, Minor in Nonprofit and NGO Studies, Northern Illinois University, 2019


Allen Mills

Land Use Planner

815-319-4180 office

Specialties: Land Use, Environmental, Comprehensive Planning

Education: Bachelors of Science, with Honors, Urban and Regional Planning, Concentration in Housing and Community Development, East Carolina University, 2019. Minor concentration in Public Administration.


Eric Setter

Land Bank Coordinator

815-319-4459 direct

Specialties: Land Bank Operations, Neighborhood Development, Grant Writing and Administration

Professional Development: Economic Development Institute, Oklahoma University

Education: Bachelor of Science in Business Management & Administration, Bradley University, 2011

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Sarah Stromberg

Database Administrator

815-319-4454 direct

Certification: Geographic Information System Professional (GISP)

Education: Master of Business Administration, Rockford College; Bachelor of Science in Geography, University of Wisconsin Whitewater


Sydney Turner

Metro Program Manager

815-319-4185 direct

Specialties: Long Range Transportation Planning, Bicycle & Pedestrian Planning, Land Use, Sustainability & Smart Growth, Site Evaluation and Planning

Certificates: Paralegal Certificate, Duke University, 2014

Education: Bachelor of Arts in Political Science, Southern Illinois University Edwardsville, 2012

Board Affiliations: IGNITE Rockford, INVOLVE Co-Chair


Christina Washington

Records and Bookkeeping Specialist

815-319-4189 direct

Specialties: Board and Committee Support, Meeting Planning, Bookkeeping, Records Management

Professional services provided by:

Lauterbauch & Amen, LLP | Financial Audit

Reno & Zahm, LLP | General Counsel

Staff Management, Inc | Human Resources

Winnebago County DoIT | Information Technology

Wood CPA, Ltd | Accounting