City Club of Chicago: A New Vision for Revitalizing Communities
February 16, 2017
A New Vision for Revitalizing Communities through Libraries, Housing, and Civic Architecture – Brian Bannon, Eugene Jones, Lynn Osmond, and David Reifman
Brian Bannon serves as Commissioner and CEO of Chicago Public Library. Appointed by Mayor Rahm Emanuel in 2012, Bannon is charged with oversight of the $130 million urban public library system that serves more than 10 million visitors annually through a network of 80 libraries. CPL is the largest and most-visited civic institution in Chicago and is among the largest urban public library systems in the world. Under his leadership, CPL has been recognized as a top US urban library and has won numerous awards and accolades, including the 2014 National Medal for Museum and Library Service. That year, a study from Heinrich Heine University Düsseldorf also named CPL the best urban public library in the United States and the third-best in the world.
Bannon is a recognized leader in the government and nonprofit sectors and is known for driving growth and impact within large complex organizations. Prior to joining CPL, Bannon held a variety of leadership positions within the San Francisco Public Library, Seattle Public Library, and the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation.
Bannon has received numerous accolades for his work. Most recently, Fast Company named Bannon to its “100 Most Creative People in Business for 2016” list. In 2015, he was named among Chicago’s top 100 innovators by Blue Sky Innovation, a publication of the Chicago Tribune. Also in 2015, Bannon was named among Chicago’s “Lit 50” by Newcity Lit, and in 2014 was named one of Crain’s Chicago Business “Tech 50”.
Bannon received a Bachelor of Arts degree in Psychology from Pacific Lutheran University and a Master of Library and Information Science degree from the University of Washington.
Eugene Jones, Jr. is the Chief Executive Officer of the Chicago Housing Authority. As CEO, he is directly responsible for implementing CHA’s extensive redevelopment program of public housing and continuing the agency’s mixed-income-focused strategic initiative to help build strong, vibrant communities throughout Chicago.
Jones has more than 35 years of service and experience in housing operations, resident services, accounting and finance, auditing, maintenance, new construction, capital construction, and Housing Choice Voucher programs. Before leading CHA, Jones held key roles at various housing authorities across the country and in Canada. He is credited for turning around numerous troubled housing authorities to either a standard or high performance.
Jones earned his bachelor’s degree from the University of Albuquerque and his MBA from New Mexico Highlands University.
Lynn Osmond assumed the position of President and CEO of the Chicago Architecture Foundation in 1996. As President and CEO, Osmond is responsible for overseeing CAF’s comprehensive program of architecture tours, exhibitions, public programs (including lectures and special events), and youth and adult education programs. With her strong leadership in organizational development, CAF has realized 300 percent organizational growth, has consistently ranked among the top 10 Chicago cultural institutions, and has grown its audience to more than half a million visitors. CAF’s docent program has also thrived during Osmond’s tenure, becoming internationally recognized as the leading program of its kind in the world. Osmond also spearheaded the launch of the Association of Architecture Organizations and the Architecture + Design Education Network, which now boasts more than 125 members.
In 2014, the American Architectural Foundation presented CAF with its Keystone Award, which honors an individual or organization from outside the field of architecture for exemplary leadership that has increased the value of architecture and design in our culture. In 2009, Osmond received the Chicago Woman Achievement Award from the Chicago Alliance for Women and in 2005 she was recognized as an Honorary Member of the American Institute of Architects. In 2002, she was awarded the Paul Berger Arts Entrepreneurship Award presented by Columbia College.
In addition to serving CAF as a docent, Osmond currently serves as Founding Chair of the Association of Architecture Organizations and is a Mayoral appointment as Chair of the Toronto Sister Cities. She serves on the boards of Choose Chicago, the Greater North Michigan Avenue Association, the Central Area Committee, the Chicago Loop Alliance, and the Richardson Architecture Center in Buffalo, New York.
David L. Reifman was appointed Commissioner of the Department of Planning and Development (DPD) in August 2015.
A native Chicagoan, Reifman is responsible for leading the department’s Housing, Economic Development, and Planning & Zoning bureaus while fostering community-improvement projects and initiatives throughout the city. As Commissioner of DPD, he serves on the Chicago Plan Commission, Community Development Commission, and Commission on Chicago Landmarks, among other public agencies. He is also Chairman of the Board of the Chicago Development Fund.
In his previous capacity as an attorney, Reifman specialized in a wide range of urban issues and public-private partnerships involving commercial, residential, and industrial development; land use planning; taxing districts; contract negotiations; and historic preservation.
Commissioner Reifman grew up in Rogers Park, attended Sullivan High School, and earned his bachelor’s and master’s degrees from the University of Illinois. He received his law degree from Northwestern University.