The Chicago Central Area Committee (CCAC) is a diverse coalition of leading business, institutions, and nonprofit organizations who all share an interest in supporting strategic planning and development activities that strengthen our city’s competitive edge and enhance its urban quality of life. Since 1956, the CCAC has been an influential force in decisions that affect the future of Chicago. We have a nearly six-decade history of influencing strategic planning choices in Chicago and facilitating the discussion on challenging issues that affect the nation’s third-largest city. Since our founding in 1956, CCAC members have worked in partnership with the City of Chicago on every major comprehensive plan that has focused on the development of downtown Chicago, including most recently 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

Upcoming Programming

Monthly Meeting

Tuesday, February 13, 2018
12:00pm - 1:30pm

Rachel Bronson, PhD
President & CEO
Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists

Wrigley Building
410 N. Michigan Avenue
Suite 1600
Chicago, IL 60606

To participate and register,
RSVP to kobrien@ccac.org
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CCAC Initiatives

CCAC Sprint

CCAC sponsored a sprint to imagine the future of moving people from the central area to the Obama Presidential Center. Participants in the workshop focused on optimizing transit to unlock economic development opportunities that enrich the existing community.

CCAC Proposes Connector

The Connector proposal is an initiative by the CCAC. The project aims to increase connectivity within the Central Area

Learn more about other initiatives

The Chicago Central Area Committee has been an advocate of long-term strategic planning for more than 60 years

CCAC Executive Board

Gregory Hummel

Partner | Bryan Cave LLP

Greg Hummel is a senior partner at the national and international law firm Bryan Cave LLP. 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.


Bob Chodos

Vice Chairman | Newmark Grubb 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.


Tyler Meyr

Principal | Forum Studio

As an Associate Principal and award-winning urban designer with Forum Studio, 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 | Director of Urban Design and Planning at Skidmore, Owings & Merrill LLP.

Douglas Voigt is a Director with the Chicago office of Skidmore, Owings and Merrill. Together with Philip 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.

Young Leader Board

Malek AbdulSamad
Streeterville Properties
Andrew Broderick
Penelope P Campbell
Jenner & Block LLP
Marisa R. Doherty
The Habitat Company
Brandon G. Hummel
Riordan-McKee, LLC
(312)589-6032 | (312)805-5057
Katie Martin
Forum Studio
Tyler Meyr
Forum Studio
Andrew Moddrell
PORT Urbanism
Will Press
The John Buck Company
Aaron Spiering
LeeAnn Tomas-Foster

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.

Shalora D. Jasper

Director of Operations for Economic Development | CCAC

Shalora is the Director of Operations for Economic Development for the Chicago Central Area Committee (CCAC). Previously, Shalora worked for the Lakeshore Chamber of Commerce in Hammond, Indiana as the Administrative Coordinator. Shalora has a BA in Sociology with a minor in Organizational Leadership & Supervision (OLS) from Purdue University - West Lafayette, Indiana and a Masters in Business Administration from the Keller Graduate School of Management.

Kyler Queen

website editor | CCAC

CCAC Sponsors

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

Bryan Cave logo for eNews

Drinker Biddle

Forum Studio


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. Click to receive it via email