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Meet the Team

RPC employs subject matter experts in various disciplines to meet a wide variety of planning, research, economic and fund development needs.

 
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Michael Dunn, Jr

Executive Director

815.319.4180 office
mdunn@r1planning.org

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


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Julia Halsted

Deputy Director of Operations

779-707-0906 direct
jhalsted@r1planning.org

Specialties: Operations, Administration, Organizational Development; Policy Governance, Marketing and Communications

Certificates: Lean Tools Implementation, University of Illinois Business Information Systems; Freedom of Information 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

 
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Jon Paul Diipla

Deputy Director, Director of Planning

815-319-4183 direct
jpdiipla@r1planning.org

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

Deputy Director, Director of WinGIS/Web Developer

815-319-4455 direct
sgregg@wingis.org

Specialties: Web Development and Design, Project Management

Education: Bachelor of Arts in History, Illinois State University

 
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Dana Northcott

Deputy Director, Director of Fund Development & Programs

815-391-4866 direct
dnorthcott@r1planning.org

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

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: Rock River Valley Food Pantry, Second Vice President; FBI Citizen’s Academy graduate; IGNITE and University of Illinois Alumni Association

 

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Janna Bailey

Technical Writer

815-319-4186 direct
jbailey@r1planning.org

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

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Colin Belle

Transportation System Planner

815-319-4184 direct
cbelle@r1planning.org

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

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Marlana Dokken

Regional Grants Program Manager

815-319-4187 direct
mdokken@r1planning.org

Specialties: 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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Margaret Campbell

Metropolitan Planner

815-319-4193 direct
mcampbell@r1planning.org

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

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Brandon Geber

Metropolitan Transit Planner

815-319-4457 direct
bgeber@r1planning.org

Specialties: Traffic Monitoring and Analysis, Geostatistical Analysis, Neighborhood Planning, Travel Demand Modeling, Environmental Planning, Cartography

Education: Master of Community and Regional Planning, Concentration in Land Use and Transportation 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

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Ivy Hood

Research Associate

815-319-4195 direct
ihood@r1planning.org

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

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Jay Fieser

Economic Development Planner

815-319-4192 direct
jfieser@r1planning.org

Specialties: Community and Economic Development Finance, Housing Needs Assessment, Brownfields Redevelopment and Urban Infill, Spatial and Statistical Analysis

Education: Master of Science in Urban and Regional Planning, concentrations in Housing and Community Development, and Economic Development, University of Iowa, 2017; Bachelor of Arts in Political Science, and Psychology, minor in Sociology, University of Iowa, 2014

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Aaron Frey

GIS Technician

815-319-4192 direct
afrey@wingis.org

[Under Construction]

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Dhawal Kataria

Metropolitan Planner

815-319-4180 office
dkataria@r1planning.org

Specialties: Land Use Planning and Urban Design, Transportation Network Planning and Analysis, Tourism Planning and Land Suitability Analysis, Geographic Information System, Visualization in Planning, Communicative Planning

Education: Master of City and Regional Planning, with a GIS Certificate, University of Texas at Arlington, 2018; Bachelor of Planning, School of Planning and Architecture (Vijayawada, India), 2016

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Tretara Flowers

Navigator

815-319-4180 office
tflowers@r1planning.org

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

Specialties: Community Resource Advocacy, Program Implementation

Affiliations: Achieving Success After Prison/Peril facilitator

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Eric Setter

Research Assistant

815-319-4459 office
esetter@r1planning.org

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

GIS Database Administrator

815-319-4458 office
sstromberg@wingis.org

Certification: Geographic Information System Professional (GISP)

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

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Sydney Turner

Metro Program Manager

815-319-4185 direct
sturner@r1planning.org

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 Affliations: IGNITE Rockford, INVOLVE Co-Chair

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Christina Washington

Bookkeeper

815-319-4189 direct
cwashington@r1planning.org

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