As Managing Editor of Chicagoland Citizens Central, Robert Munson combines skills developed from his three different careers.

As a marketing consultant, he has learned how to position CCC so it can serve those readers most concerned with resolving key regional issues. From his second career as a housing policy and personal finance writer, he will take the abstractions of regional planning and make them relevant to households and enterprises. And mostly retired from his final career of real estate development, he knows local planning.

While it seems his careers have prepared him to start this website, one thing is certain: he is having the time of his life. A more in-depth look at his experience follows.

Marketing. Three decades before the internet dominated direct marketing, Robert Munson started as a direct mail consultant serving a diverse range of clients from the private sector (high-tech companies and banks) to regional nonprofit organizations (museums, universities, public broadcasting) to national public interest groups (mostly environmental and consumer).

Publications. Evolving into a publications consultant, he worked for the World Bank to market their research on international economics (very dry stuff). Later he helped promote publications for Public Citizen (very motivational stuff); a group founded by Ralph Nader. From 1988 to 1992 while starting Americans For Economic Renewal, Robert Munson wrote a ranging 600 page manuscript that explored how the emerging “economic empowerment paradigm” worked for the middle class, a synthesis he calls Personal Enterprise.

Community Development. In 1989, he received a Masters in Association Management from the George Washington University and wrote his thesis on the S&L Crisis’ impact on Community Reinvestment. For the past 17 years, he has been involved in residential finance and development. At Rehab Chicagoland, he built the city’s largest rehab mortgage broker. He also wrote a manual used nationwide on how to originate two FHA rehab loans. At ground level, he still owns two apartment buildings on Chicago’s west and south sides.

Volunteer work. Robert was Vice President for Development on the Auxiliary Board of the Chicago Architecture Foundation. He served on the Founding Board of the Illinois chapter of The Congress for a New Urbanism. Starting in 2009, he has served on the Citizens Advisory Committee of the Chicago Metropolitan Agency for Planning.

img Seen here hamming it up, Robert Munson believes the Charter for The New Urbanism --written in 1994 – still provides helpful guidance in making regional planning relevant down to the level of the block. And with some interpretation, he takes that relevance down to the level of the household and enterprise.

For this century’s second decade, he is ambitious to start Chicagoland Citizens Central. He has time for this adventure; being at least semi-retired from real estate. On balance, he plays tennis 12 hours a week. He and his wife, Joan, plan to travel several weeks a year for the next few years with a focus on studying the transit and land use combinations of other metropolises. Fortunately, they have no children to put through college. ####


The Managing Editor wants to hear from you about improving CCC and
making Chicagoland more sustainable.
Please send him your comments, critiques and, even, poems.