John Blick, Director of Business Services
John served as the Executive Director of the Old Town Merchants and Residents Association for five years and comes highly recommended from former board members, local aldermen, and partners in the community. While there, he re-established important relationships with local businesses, grew membership tremendously, oversaw the establishment of the Old Town Special Service Area, ran many neighborhood events, and directed a major rebranding and advertising campaign. Most recently, John was a consultant for PLACE Consulting. He is also very active in Chicago theatre. Email John.
Jennifer Bullman, Office Manager
Jennifer is the organization’s part-time office manager. She served as the administrative assistant at Renew Chicago prior to her role at Uptown United. Previously, she was the program manager for the Midwest market of Jumpstart for Young Children and was a certified child life specialist at Advocate Lutheran General Children’s Hospital in the pediatric emergency department and ICU. As a resident of the 46th ward, she enjoys spending time with her husband and young children at Montrose Beach and neighborhood playgrounds, as well as sewing and reading. Email Jennifer.
Greg Carroll, Director of Partnerships and Events
Greg Carroll joins Uptown United after serving as Interim Executive Director for the Uptown Chamber of Commerce since August 2015, where he established strong relationships with Uptown’s business community, non-profit organizations and community groups. For over 15 years, Greg has worked alongside both nonprofit and corporate partners to build relationships and grow events. Most notably, he has worked at AmeriCorps, City Year, and the Carole Robertson Center for Learning. For eight years, Greg held the position of Community Relations Manager at CME Group.
Greg received his first introduction to the Uptown neighborhood in 1993 through volunteering at local Uptown non-profits: Christopher House, Sarah’s Circle, and Inspiration Café. The experience he gained volunteering in Uptown laid the foundation for his continued career and desire to pursue a path of community service and enriching the lives of others. From 2012 – 2014, Greg broadened his experiences by living and teaching English in South Korea. He brings a breadth of experience in relationship building and event management to the new role of Director of Partnerships and Events.
Greg is a resident of the 46th ward and is excited to be a part of the progress being made in the Uptown community. Email Greg.
Hac Tran, Communications Manager
Hac Tran is an urban planner, community development professional, and cultural producer born in Chicago. His experiences range from youth development with Americorps Jumpstart and capacity building in Vietnam with Save the Children and Global Village Foundation, to human services with various community-based organizations in Uptown and food & cultural focused event planning throughout Chicago. Hac holds a BA in Political Science from DePaul University and a Masters in Urban Planning and Policy (MUPP) from the University of Illinois at Chicago. Email Hac.
Kylie Ruscheinski, Director of the Uptown Business Center
Kylie joins Uptown United after serving as Chief of Staff in the 46th Ward Aldermanic Office. As Chief of Staff, Kylie helped residents and businesses navigate the City of Chicago’s permitting and licensing requirements, oversaw the ward’s zoning & development process, managed local infrastructure spending through the Menu Funds program, and problem-solved for a wide range of constituents. She brings her experience with city processes and partnership-building and her existing relationships with city departments, local chambers, and community partners as Director of the Uptown Business Center (UBC). Kylie works in partnership with the Department of Business Affairs and Consumer Protection to assist small businesses and entrepreneurs with licensing, permitting, and additional specialized business services. She holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in Political Science from the University of Notre Dame. Born and raised on the north side of Chicago, Kylie is excited to serve the entire north side of the city through the UBC (in a service area within the North-South boundaries of Lincoln Park to Rogers Park and East-West boundaries of DuSable Lake Shore Drive to the Chicago River). Email Kylie.
Justin Weidl, Director of Neighborhood Services
With over 20 years of landscape architecture and urban planning experience in the Chicago area, as well as other cities throughout the Midwest, Justin brings critical thought and design leadership to Uptown United. Before joining Uptown United, he worked at the Lakota Group in Chicago as a Senior Associate providing services in planning, urban design, landscape architecture, and community engagement. During his five years at Lakota, he managed a diverse range of projects, including regional land use plans, downtown vision plans, mixed-use developments, transit-oriented developments, streetscape designs, and signage and branding systems. Justin holds a Bachelor of Science degree in landscape architecture and a Master of Science degree of city and regional planning, both from The Ohio State University. Justin and his wife have been involved in organizing neighborhood enhancement efforts such as the Sunnyside Mall Committee. Email Justin.
Sarah Wilson, Executive Director
Sarah Wilson joins Uptown with over eight years of economic development experience. Sarah has six years of experience as a consultant with Goodman Williams Group providing market analysis and development strategies to a variety of private and public sector clients. She also served for two years in the public sector as a Coordinator of Economic Development in the City of Chicago’s Department of Planning and Development (DPD). In this role, she managed a portfolio of negotiated sales of City-owned property for commercial, mixed-use and institutional uses across the city as well as evaluating and analyzing development proposals seeking potential funding, including tax increment financing and property tax incentives.
Sarah spent several years living abroad, returning to Chicago in 2019 with a broadened perspective on planning and development. She holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in Political Science from Youngstown State University and a Master of Community Planning degree from the University of Cincinnati. She lives in the 48th Ward with her family and is excited to help the businesses she calls neighbors during the LBMM project. Email Sarah.