Joel Bookman from Bookman Associates consulting services

Joel Bookman is the President and CEO of Bookman Associates, Inc., providing consulting services in economic development, comprehensive community development, commercial corridor revitalization, and strategic planning.

Previously, he served as Managing Director of the Institute for Comprehensive Community Development, a venture of the Local Initiatives Support Corporation (LISC), and Director of Programs for LISC Chicago.  

The Institute was established in 2009 to advance the field of comprehensive community development and the positive impact it has in urban and rural communities across the country.

At LISC Chicago, Bookman guided the work of LISC staff in its New Communities Program, Elev8 Education Initiative, and its Centers for Working Families. The New Communities Program was a 10+-year program to support comprehensive community development in 20 Chicago neighborhoods. Elev8 Chicago was an educational initiative to transform achievement and life outcomes of middle grade students in five public schools in underserved areas of the city. The 12 Centers for Working Families supported by LISC Chicago were established to provide employment services, financial counseling, and income supports to increase financial stability of low-income residents in Chicago neighborhoods. 

Joel Bookman provides consulting in community development

Over the past 35 years, Joel Bookman served as the Executive Director of the North River Commission and the Lawrence Avenue Development Corporation (LADCOR), and the Chief Executive Officer of the Kimball Plaza Development Corporation (KPDC) and the Mayfair Commons Senior Living Center LLC, on Chicago’s northwest side. He has served as a consultant in strategic planning, economic and community development, and nonprofit management since 1981. Mr. Bookman is a Master of Urban Planning and Policy from the University of Illinois at Chicago.


Affiliations & Honors

Professional Affiliations

Business & Professional People for the Public Interest (BPI) Director, 2014 – present

Chicago Community Land Trust
Mayoral Appointee, 2012 – present

City Club of Chicago
Member, 2013 – present

City of Chicago Retail Advisory Committee
Co-chair, 2013

International Council of Shopping Centers
Member, 2006 – present

Lambda Alpha International Land Economics Honorary Society Member, 1989 – present

Metropolitan Planning Council
Member, 1998 - present

North River Commission
Member and Past President, 2001 – present

OpenLands Project
Member, 2008 - present

Partners for Sacred Places
Director, 2014 – present

Recognition and Honors

University of Illinois at Chicago Alumni Achievement Award
For contributions to the vitality of the Chicago metropolitan area in exemplary ways.

Korean American Community Services Outstanding Service Award
For exceptional service to the Korean-American community in Chicago and Illinois.

North River Commission Lifetime Achievement Award
For thirty years of service to the North River communities of Albany Park, North Park, and Irving Park in Chicago.

Chicago Association of Neighborhood Development Organizations (CANDO) President’s Award
For exemplary service as chairman of the board of CANDO  from 1995-1999. 

Lambda Alpha International Land Economics Honorary Society
Selection as a member of the Ely Chapter, Chicago, Illinois. 


In The Media

Craftsmen, backpacks, beer build hope in a needy Duluth neighborhood



Program focuses on revitalizing downtown storefronts

Emanuel names members of grocery task force





Building Participation and Relationships in a Complex Community

Perspectives on Activism and Civic Life, Field Museum Center for Understanding & Cultural Change, 2003

Linking Regional Economic Clusters with Targeted Urban Places

LISC Indianapolis, with Mass Economics, RW Ventures, Capraro Consulting, & JLL, 2014




A few current and past clients

  • City of Chicago Department of Planning & Development

  • Chicago Metro Housing Development Corporation

  • Chicago Public Schools Office of Specialized Services

  • City of Los Angeles Housing & Community Investment Department

  • Cuyahoga County, Ohio Economic Development Department

  • Enterprise Community Partners

  • Family Farmed

  • Industrial Council of Nearwest Chicago

  • John D. & Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation

  • Local Initiatives Support Corporation

    • National, Boston, Chicago, Duluth, Houston, Indianapolis, Jacksonville, Los Angeles, Milwaukee, Phoenix, Richmond, San Diego, & Twin Cities

  • LISC MetroEdge Corridors of Retail Excellence (CORE)

  • Neighborhood Economic Development Corporation (NEDCO), Mesa, Arizona

  • Rockford, Illinois Economic Development Council

  • Trellis (formerly NHS Phoenix)

  • Uptown United, Chicago

  • Vietnamese Association of Illinois