The Magnificent Mile Association is pleased to announce the appointment of Kimberly Bares as the new President and Chief Executive Officer.
Bres brings 25+ years of experience and a proven expertise in commercial district management, governance, strategic planning, and placemaking.
Bares founded PLACE Consulting, a planning consultancy, in 2007 and served as President of the firm for the past 12 years. She has advised associations, non-profits, developers, municipalities and elected officials on a wide range of issues facing their organizations, business districts and cities. She previously served as CEO of neighborhood organizations including the Wicker Park Bucktown Chamber, Old Town Merchants and Residents Organization, and Rogers Park Business Alliance (RPBA).
"We are fortunate to have Kimberly at the helm of our Association at this important time in our 106-year history." says Rich Gamble, Chairman of the Board of Directors for The Magnificent Mile Association and Senior Vice President - Operations at Chicago Zoological Society/Brookfield Zoo. "We are confident the Association will benefit greatly from her insights, business acumen and leadership as we continue to advance our mission".
The Magnificent Mile Association and its District has played a key role in the economic and civic success of the City of Chicago, Cook County, and the State of Illinois. The Association has helped guide development while ensuring Michigan Avenue's beauty and vibrant character as an architecturally significant and economically thriving business district. Member businessses contributed more than $1 billion in sales and property taxes in 2017 and employ thousands of residents from all 50 wards of the city.
"The Magnificent Mile Association helped to establish and continues to foster Chicago's reputation as a world-class destination for tourism and travel, and I am thrilled to serve as its next President and CEO," says Bares, " I look forward to working with our members, partners, and the City and State to ensure the district is successful, attractive, vibrant, and welcoming for all."
Bares' appointment is well-timed, with planning well underway for the 28th annual BMO Harris Bank Magnificent Mile Lights Festival on November 22 & 23 - one of the largest public events in Chicago.
Kimberly Bares has 25 years of experience in economic and community development. She has served as Executive Director of four organizations in Chicago, Berwyn and Baltimore, led nine organizations as Interim Executive Director, and has worked in diverse communities with varying constituencies. Her professional background has provided her with expertise in economic development, commercial district planning, strategic planning, organizational development, and fundraising. She founded PLACE Consulting, a planning consultancy, in 2007 and has been President of the firm for the past 12 years.
Through her career, she has had the honor of collaborating with community- and membership-based organizations, universities and municipalities on projects in nearly every neighborhood in the City of Chicago, including the Loop and Michigan Avenue, as well as the cities of Baltimore, Pittsburgh, Milwaukee, Evanston, Greensboro, NC, and Panajachel, Guatemala. She has focused on placemaking, engagement, and neighborhood vitality with a commitment to local capacity building.
She holds a Master’s degree in Urban Planning and Policy from the University of Illinois at Chicago and a Certificate in Nonprofit Management from Northwestern University’s Kellogg School of Management. She is an active member and frequent speaker with the International Downtown Association and National Main Street Association, has been inducted into the Chicago chapter of Lambda Alpha Land Economics Society, and is President of Amigos Mayan Families, an international NGO working in the Western Highlands of Guatemala.
Kimberly lives in Lincoln Square with her daughter, Zoe, and her girlfriend, Beth.