THE MUSE TEAM:

Courtney Kashima, AICP

Courtney Kashima, AICP has been thinking about places and how to make them better since her high school days in Galesburg, Illinois. She has lived and worked in cities small and large and has been based out of Chicago since 2002. Courtney has been a practicing planner in the public, private, and not-for-profit sectors. She is the Immediate Past President of the Illinois Chapter of the American Planning Association and President of the Ely Chapter of Lambda Alpha International. Courtney was a co-chair for the 2013 National Planning Conference held in Chicago. She is a frequent speaker at conferences and her alma mater including as a Wetmore Visiting Practitioner in 2012. Courtney is a member of the American Institute of Certified Planners (AICP) and a certified charrette facilitator.

Katrina Balog

Katrina Balog is passionate about engaging and empowering communities to accomplish their goals. She brings to MUSE over 10 years of community and economic development experience and organizational management expertise. Previously, she was the executive director of the Edgewater Chamber of Commerce where she managed a Special Service Area, plus increased membership revenue, developed new programs, and worked to improve Edgewater’s overall small business climate. In 2008, she came to Chicago and has focused her efforts in community and economic development. Prior to her work in Chicago, she was working in Detroit as a Transportation Planner for the Southeast Michigan Council of Governments.  She received her Masters of Urban Planning from Wayne State in Detroit.

Romina Castillo

Romina Castillo has been working closely with Chicago communities in different capacities since obtaining her Master’s Degree from the University of Illinois at Chicago in 2014. Her focus on place-based, community-driven projects. Recent work has been to increase and improve open space, build community and school gardens, and advocating for equitable access to active transportation, healthy foods, and neighborhood revitalization. A Mexico City native, Romina has always been fascinated by urban communities and their relationship with the built environment. She volunteered for Slow Roll Chicago for three years and became its Interim Executive Director. Romina also engages and volunteers in her own community, including as a board member of the Friends of the Bloomingdale Trail.

Marissa Strassel

Marissa Strassel is a curious creative, problem solver, and energetic dot-connector. Working at the intersection of strategy, brand, and communications, Marissa works to define and create successful outcomes for non-profits, community organizations, and corporate clients in Chicago and across the globe.

Complimenting her strategy and branding expertise, Marissa is passionate about creating equitable, community-driven design solutions. She utilizes a human-centered, research-based, iterative approach to every problem ensuring long-term success for even the most complex challenges.

Marissa sits on the board of the Six Corners Association, a local economic development non-profit, mentors mid-level associates, and is an adjunct instructor in design at DePaul University.

Luke Hogan

Luke Hogan is web developer and product manager with experience working on a range of internet startups including over a dozen urban planning outreach websites. Luke holds a master’s degree in Urban Planning and Policy from University of Illinois at Chicago and a bachelor’s degree in creative writing from the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign.

Luke’s development work focuses on the Laravel PHP framework and WordPress. On the product management side, Luke specializes in taking early startup ideas and converting them into fully-formed concepts and buildable projects. When Luke isn’t building amazing products, he flies a jet for a major airline.

Vitaliy Vladimirov

Urban planner and artist, Vitaliy Vladimirov works to educate the public about how the built environment shapes our lives so as to make urban planning theory accessible and to empower people to envision communities that are healthy, vibrant, and just. Having worked at regional and block-level scales, his work focuses on how ethnic minorities cluster in the built environment. Strategies on preserving and growing commercial corridors packed with locally-owned small businesses are a key interest. His experience includes planning street festivals and farmers markets, as well as designing neighborhood branding and marketing.

MUSE is hiring an Associate to join our team. Click here to view the position description and application instructions. Applications are due Friday, September 11.
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