Chicago Central Area Committee

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The Chicago Central Area Committee (CCAC), formed in 1956 by corporate leaders and developers, has a long history of influencing strategic planning choices in Chicago. Members share an interest in supporting activities that strengthen the City’s competitive edge and enhances its urban quality of life. Since its founding, CCAC members have worked in partnership with the City of Chicago on major plans that focus on the development of the downtown area including Chicago 21. CCAC remains committed to being at the forefront of creating the City’s identity, shaping the vision of a global destination and helping to set the right priorities to attract broad based investment.

Our members have worked in partnership with the City of Chicago on plans focusing on the development of downtown Chicago, including the 2009 Central Area Action Plan. Since 2013, in an effort to supplement the City of Chicago’s planning capacity, we have been engaged in an ongoing series of major initiatives based upon the chapter-by-chapter recommendations of the Central Area Action Plan aimed at identifying projects of merit and developing consensus to move them forward, including:
  • The Illinois Medical District Planning Charrette (November 2013): CCAC members held a planning charrette focusing on the Illinois Medical District (IMD) on Chicago’s Near West Side that resulted in recommendations for improvements to the IMD that were subsequently adopted by the Illinois Medical District Commission. Learn more
  • The Gary/Chicago International Airport Charrette (June 2014): In response to a special invitation from Gary, Indiana, Mayor Karen Freeman-Wilson, leaders organized by CCAC and the Alliance for Regional Development participated in a special planning charrette focusing on the Gary/Chicago International Airport and undeveloped land in the surrounding area. Learn more
  • The Central Area Transportation Workshop (July 2014): Our invitation-only Central Area Transportation Workshop was a phenomenal success. Bringing together major transportation agencies, citywide nonprofits, and key developers to discuss ways to improve access to downtown, the workshop led to the launch of a major stakeholder steering committee to examine the potential for a Central Area Connector transit system to link together Navy Pier, the West Loop, and Museum Campus. Learn more
  • The Cook County Hospital Building Charrette (October 2014): CCAC members were also invited to participate in the Cook County Hospital Building Charrette. We more than adequately responded to Cook County Board President Toni Preckwinkle’s request for ideas to re-develop the old Cook County Hospital building and adjacent land in the Illinois Medical District with a submission uniquely both infused with blue-sky ambitions and informed by the realities of the marketplace. Learn more
As we continue to broaden our membership base, we recognize that the business, institutions, and organizations that call Chicago home are always changing. Diversity is our strength, and today--as in 1956--we are committed to supporting strategic and wise planning decisions that improve the Central Area for the benefit of all Chicagoans.

Personal Info

  •   +1 (312) 602-5148
  •   161 North Clark Street, Suite 4300, Chicago, Illinois



30 minute webinars will allow members and guests to hear from leaders and ask pre-submitted questions

Clarence Hulse

Executive Director,
Economic Development Corporation
Michigan City
BR&E during the COVID19 Pandemic
August, 13th 1:30pm CST
Register Here

Webinar Recordings

View Here

Karin Norington-Reaves

Chief Executive Officer,
Chicago Cook Workforce Partnership
(The Partnership)
Sept. 17th, 1:30 CST
More Details Coming Soon
Click Here to view recordings of previous webinars.


Photo Gallery

February 2020

Click Here to view previous luncheons photos


Gregory Hummel

Partner | Bryan Cave Leighton Paisner

Greg Hummel is a senior partner at the national and international law firm Bryan Cave Leighton Paisner. He is based in Chicago where he leads the firm’s public private partnership practice. His work involves real estate development and finance, as well as, public and project finance.

Gina Berndt

Managing Director | Perkins+Will

Gina Berndt serves as the Global Interior Design Discipline Leader driving vision and strategy in order to develop the strength and breadth of our Interior Design practice. For more than 30 years, Gina has led teams to deliver design solutions that delight clients, meet their functional parameters and exceed their expectations.

Christine Carlyle

Principal and Director of Planning at Solomon Cordwell Buenz

Christine Carlyle, Principal and Director of Planning, founded and directs the SCB’s planning studio and urban design practice. With over 30 years of city planning, urban design, and architectural design, in both the public and private sectors, her work demonstrates an integration of innovative design, cultural responsibility, and sustainability with the successful management and execution of complex projects.

Bob Chodos

Vice Chairman | Newmark Knight Frank

With a career spanning over 30 years and 13 million square feet in completed assignments valued at more than $7 billion, Bob Chodos is one of the premier tenant representation specialists in the Chicago area and nationally.

Stephen Galler

Executive Vice President and General Counsel | The Habitat Company

As Senior Vice President and General Counsel for The Habitat Company, Stephen Galler oversees all legal matters, including all acquisitions, dispositions, financing, leasing and development for our real estate concerns.

Dr. Suzet McKinney

CEO/Executive Director

Earning a reputation as an experienced, knowledgeable public health official, Dr. Suzet M. McKinney currently serves as CEO/Executive Director of the Illinois Medical District, a 24/7/365 environment that includes 560 acres of medical research facilities, labs, a biotech business incubator, universities, raw land development areas and more than 40 healthcare related facilities, one of the largest urban medical districts in the United States.

Tyler Meyr

Managing Director | Lamar Johnson Collaborative

As Managing Director and award-winning designer with Lamar Johnson Collaborative, Tyler Meyr is a leading conceptual thinker with a strong national and international portfolio of projects including built work in Los Angeles, London, Antwerp, St. Louis, and Istanbul.

Donald Resnick

Partner | Jenner & Block

Donald I. Resnick focuses his practice in commercial real estate on a national and local basis. Clients seek his counsel on all types of real estate transactions, financing, leasing, development and construction and corporate real estate needs.He also has significant experience in real estate-related loan and equity restructuring and workouts.

Douglas Voigt

Partner | Skidmore, Owings & Merrill LLP.

Douglas Voigt is a Partner with the Chicago office of Skidmore, Owings and Merrill. Together with Phillip Enquist, he leads the urban design and planning practice within the global design firm. Over the last couple of years, SOM has been scripting a vision for the Great Lakes and St. Lawrence River Region that advocates new bi-national thinking and a comprehensive strategy for the future of the region.

Burnham Council Leadership Board



Andrew Broderick

Urban Design | Perkins&Will

Vice President Internal Affairs

Jane Wilberding

Transportation Planning | Sam Schwartz Consulting

Vice President Programming

Peter Ousley

Business Development Director | d'Escoto Inc.

Vice President External Affairs

Malek Abdulsamad

Commercial Real Estate | Compass Commercial

Vice President Membership

Matt Cermak

Commercial Real Estate & Professional Services | Chicago Title Insurance Company

CCAC Staff

Kelly O’Brien

Executive Director | CCAC

Kelly O’Brien is the Executive Director of the Chicago Central Area Committee. Her career spans both the public and private sectors and she has distinguished herself as a creative and strategic thinker. As Executive Director of CCAC, Kelly manages a brain trust of Chicago leaders interested in planning and development by applying best practices to enhance the public good.


Click the logos below to visit the websites of our current member organizations.

Lend Lease


SOM logo

The Habitat Company




Chicago Association of Realtors

Chicago Association of Realtors
































CCAC eNews is the electronic newsletter of the Chicago Central Area Committee.
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