Speakers Bureau

Ely Speakers Bureau

Ely Speakers Bureau LogoWelcome to the Lambda Alpha International Ely-Chicago Chapter Speakers Bureau. Our chapter members offer themselves as a resource for you across a wide variety of land economics industries. Members of LAI Ely-Chicago have a minimum of 10 years of professional experience in their land economics field. They have been selected by their peers as worthy of recognition for their commitment to excellence. Click on a category below to find your next speaker, panelist or moderator from our membership.

If you are an LAI Ely-Chicago Chapter Member, click here to apply for the Speakers Bureau.

Photo of Geoff Dickinson AICP Geoff Dickinson AICP Senior Vice President, SB Friedman Development Advisors

Geoff is a real estate and economic development advisor with expertise in public-private finance partnerships, special taxing district (TIF, business district/special service area) establishment, market and financial feasibility, development strategy, and project implementation advisory services. While at SB Friedman, Geoff has assisted Presence Health (now AMITA Health) in securing TIF and New Markets Tax Credit funding to help pay for the relocation of its affiliate, Resurrection University, from Oak Park to Chicago. He has also led numerous projects throughout the country, including a market analysis and development strategy related to the proposed US-19 Corridor roadway improvements in Pinellas County, Florida, redevelopment planning and the formation of public-private partnerships for the City of Joliet, Illinois, and a redevelopment plan and implementation strategy for the Playland Park site in Council Bluffs, Iowa.

Geoff is a Series-50 Qualified Municipal Advisor Representative. He holds a B.A. in History from Northwestern University, and a Master of Urban and Regional Planning degree from the University of Michigan. He is a member of the American Planning Association, and serves on the boards of the Illinois Tax Increment Association and Lambda Alpha International-Ely Chapter.

Photo of Collete Y English Dixon Collete Y English Dixon Executive Director, Marshall Bennett Institute of Real Estate

Collete English Dixon has more than 30 years in investment management with a focus on commercial real estate investing. Prior to her current role at Roosevelt University, she was Executive Director – Transactions for PGIM Real Estate (formerly known as PREI), a business unit of Prudential Financial, and co-leader of PREI’s national investment dispositions program. In that role, she oversaw the sale of more than 200 investment properties located throughout the US, with a total value of more than $8.7 Billion, on behalf of PREI’s investment funds. Prior to her role in dispositions, English Dixon was responsible for sourcing more than $2.75B of wholly-owned and joint venture real estate investment opportunities in the Midwestern markets covering all property types, including office, multi-family, hotel, industrial and retail properties. Collete’s experience also includes property development and asset management.

Photo of Michael Mallon Michael Mallon Senior Vice President, Draper and Kramer

Established Senior Executive in the Real Estate Industry with over 40 years of Retail Real Estate experience. Proven performer as a strategic leader in Site Analysis, Entitlement, Development, Leasing, Sales and Disposition.

Photo of Justin Pelej Justin Pelej Senior Vice President, Development, Focus

As Senior Vice President, Development
Justin assembled a truly diverse development team that executes a variety of complex real estate development matters including entitlements and public policy, detailed budgeting and proformas, architectural design coordination and construction oversight.

  • Lead all real estate development activities.
  • Identify development opportunities and lead initial development efforts.
  • Collaborate with finance groups to secure equity and loans for projects.
  • Communicate with all partners, investors and development service clients.
  • Oversee all operational properties and investments.
Photo of Ellen Shepard Ellen Shepard CEO, Community Allies

Ellen Shepard is CEO of Community Allies, a Chicago-based consultancy working across North America to build neighborhoods and cities where prosperity and opportunity are accessible for all. Ellen works as a strategic advisor to community leaders (including non-profit directors, government officials and staff, and funders), to support their efforts towards equitable economic development, vibrant neighborhood commercial districts, and deep community engagement.

Photo of Lynsey Sorrell Lynsey Sorrell Principal, Bureau Gemmell

Lynsey has a love of learning and listening. Spirited, informed debate is a source of inspiration. Hearing and engaging with different view points is where she sees growth and potential.

Photo of Jennifer M. Tammen Jennifer M. Tammen Senior Manager, EY

Jennifer Tammen is a senior manager in the Indirect Tax team with over twenty years of success in working with developers, property owners, municipalities and quasi-public agencies on all aspects of tax increment financing (TIF), zoning and entitlements, planning, deal structuring, redevelopment agreement negotiation, early-stage project management, and creative approaches to capital and public-private project evaluation and funding.

Photo of William Tippens William Tippens Vice President, Related Midwest

Will is Vice President at Related Midwest where he specializes in land use planning, economic incentives for historic structures and project management both on the market rate and affordable side. Will has a specific expertise in historic preservation and is responsible for managing and directing all efforts associated with achieving historic tax credits. He has played a major role in redevelopment of Lathrop Homes, the rehabilitation of a Chicago Housing Authority property along the Chicago River into a mixed-income community. He also managed the planning and design process for redevelopment of the National Landmark District of Fort Sheridan and the adaptive reuse of the National Landmark Cleveland Arcade. Previously, he worked for the City of Chicago’s Department of Planning and Development and the Chicago Park District. He is Trustee of the James Marston Fitch Charitable Foundation, on the Board of Directors of Landmarks Illinois, where he served as board chair from July of 2015 through June of 2017, and serves on the board of the Ely Chapter of Lambda Alpha International. Will holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Architecture from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and a Master of Science degree in Historic Preservation and Conservation from Columbia University.

Photo of Richard A. Wilson Richard A. Wilson City Design Director, Adrian Smith + Gordon Gill Architecture

Richard Wilson is an architect and city planner who leads the City Design Practice of Chicago’s Adrian Smith + Gordon Gill Architecture. Richard has 30 years of experience working with public and private sector clients to master plan, design, construct and operate large scale urban districts and neighborhood redevelopments in historic and emergent cities worldwide.

Richard is the 2020-2022 President of the Ely Chapter of Lambda Alpha International. He also serves on the Board of Directors of Friends of the Chicago River, the Regional Advisory Council of the National Parks Conservation Association, and the Regional and Urban Design Knowledge Community of AIA Chicago.

Photo of Ruth Ann Wuorenma JD Ruth Ann Wuorenma JD President and Founder, Neighborhood Capital Institute

Ruth Wuorenma is a land use and development expert who has focused her career on helping public, private, for-profit and nonprofit entities align goals and assets for mutual benefit and increased effectiveness. Her work as a land use lawyer and as a developer informs her research, her policy recommendations and her interest in advancing best development practices. Her path has spanned national and international commercial real estate, market-rate and affordable housing, and various civic roles. She has deep experience in land use and entitlements; in the creation of new real estate products and systems that are replicable and scalable; in site selection and development; and has a lifelong passion for community engagement that strengthens a shared sense of place.