Jan. 16, 2024 - As the Village of Oak Park restructures and lifts up a new Development Services department, Village Manager Kevin J. Jackson has announced that two leadership positions within that unit have been filled. Emily Egan has been named the new Development Services Director and Brandon Crawford has been chosen as Deputy Director of Development Services. They will begin their roles on Monday, February 5.
Last year the Village Board approved changes to the Development Customer Services department, including a name change to the Development Services department. The changes, which are in line with industry standards, are intended to foster an enhanced focus on economic development and vitality within Oak Park’s municipal government.
The streamlined Development Services department will focus on four key areas: economic development and vitality, development and permits, planning and urban design, and parking and mobility services.
The reorganization also includes the creation of a standalone Neighborhood Services department to oversee and elevate code compliance, housing programs, grants management and a renewed focus on neighborhood and community engagement and civic education and participation.
“As we reorganize and look to build up this critical Development Services department within the Village of Oak Park, I am thrilled that we are doing so with such a strong foundation,” said Jackson. “Emily, our Director, and Brandon, our Deputy Director, each possess the knowledge and skillset to hit the ground running and move us forward in a positive way. I am eager to work closely with this team as we elevate our ongoing work in this important area.”
Egan, a member of the American Institute of Certified Planners, comes to Oak Park with extensive experience in municipal government. Since 2021 she has served as the Director of Community Development for the Village of Brookfield. In that role she has led Joint Review Board meetings for the community’s four Tax Incremental Financing (TIF) districts; directed the transition of Code Enforcement activities to focus on life safety and community service; implemented innovative policies to support the local business community and more. In her capacity with nearby Brookfield, she also served on the Executive Board for Visit Oak Park, the state-certified convention and visitors bureau for Western Cook County.
“It’s an honor to become a part of the dedicated and high-caliber team serving the Village of Oak Park,” said Egan. “I am excited about leading several critical and impactful projects and look forward to working closely with the community to achieve our shared goals.”
Prior to returning to Brookfield, where she also served as the Village Planner for three years beginning in 2015, Egan worked as the Assistant City Planner for the City of Elmhurst from 2018-21. She worked closely with both the City Council and Zoning and Planning Commission, while also leading the implementation of Elmhurst’s sustainability plan and the accompanying educational efforts.
Additionally, Egan has served as a trainer for plan commissions with DePaul University’s Chaddick Institute, American Planning Association Illinois (APA-IL) and Chicago Metropolitan Agency for Planning (CMAP), providing training on zoning, land use law, ethics and economic development.
Egan received a Bachelor of Arts in Liberal Studies from Grand Valley State University, where she was on the Dean’s List. Later, Egan attended University of Illinois Chicago. At UIC, Egan obtained a Master of Urban Planning and Policy degree with a concentration in economic development.
Crawford comes to Oak Park with a strong mix of experience in both private and public sectors. Most recently, Crawford worked as a Site Development Portfolio Manager for Meta Platforms (formerly Facebook, Inc.). In that role, he managed negotiations of development agreements and economic/tax incentive agreements with multiple state and local jurisdictions to secure developmental rights. He also managed architectural, engineering and general contracting contracts regularly exceeding $200 million.
“I am honored and grateful to receive the opportunity to become part of the community and serve as the Deputy Director of Development Services,” said Crawford. “Oak Park represents everything a community can be when our actions support our intent. I’d like to extend my gratitude to Village Manager Jackson, village staff and the community for their consideration throughout the search process. I look forward to collaborating with everyone as we continue to advance the village’s initiatives in planning, development, economic vitality, mobility and so much more.”
Before working for Meta Platforms, Crawford spent more than five years working for Lendlease, a global leader in urbanization, communities and infrastructure development, construction and management and more. As an Associate Development Manager, he managed the commercial vision, design, development and operations of several mixed-use developments in Chicago’s West Loop, Lakeshore East and South Loop submarkets.
Crawford’s professional career began as a Planner in the Village of Glenview. There he was tasked with managing development projects through various regulatory commissions, including the Board of Trustees. Crawford also updated the Village’s comprehensive and affordable housing plans during his tenure in Glenview. He also performed zoning analyses for industrial, commercial and residential properties and facilitated public meetings as part of Glenview’s community engagement process.
Crawford earned a Bachelor of Arts in Urban & Regional Planning from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. He went on to DePaul University, where he added a Master of Science in Real Estate Investment & Finance.
About Oak Park
The Village of Oak Park, located just nine miles west of downtown Chicago, offers a distinctive urban/suburban lifestyle in a thriving, multi-cultural community. Well-known for progressive values, tree-line streets and bustling business districts, Oak Park serves as an ideal place to live, work and play. As a longstanding community of choice, the Village benefits from convenient access to local and regional transit, high-quality public schools, and arts and cultural attractions, including Frank Lloyd Wright’s home and studio and his acclaimed United Temple, which was recently designated as a UNESCO World Heritage site.