Tinley Park, Illinois (1/17/23) — The South Suburban Land Bank & Development Authority (SSLBDA) is pleased to announce the designation of Joe van Dyk as its new Executive Director. As he takes over the helm, van Dyk brings with him an abundance of experience in urban planning, redevelopment, and public policy.

It all started with a phone call. van Dyk’s professional relationship with Bo Kemp, the CEO of the Southland Development Authority, dates back to their collaborative efforts in Gary, Indiana. Van Dyk was working in housing and homelessness policy in the Pacific Northwest when he received a phone call from Kemp with the exciting opportunity. This long-standing partnership is well suited for tackling the challenges and opportunities facing the South Suburbs of Illinois.

During his tenure in Gary, van Dyk served as the Executive Director of the Redevelopment Commission and also as Director of Planning and Zoning for the City of Gary.  Van Dyk managed economic development initiatives, such as the relocation of Alliance Steel to Gary from Bedford Park, Illinois and the $1B tax-increment finance deal to facilitate expansion of US Steel Corporation’s Gary Works. Van Dyk led the city’s blight elimination efforts, overseeing more than 500 demolition projects, and also piloted the creation of the City of Gary’s Comprehensive Plan.

Academically, van Dyk offers a robust foundation. He holds a Master’s in Urban Planning and Policy from the University of Illinois at Chicago and an undergraduate degree from Fordham University. His leadership in urban development and policy innovation shined brightly as an at-large board member of the Tacoma Community Redevelopment Authority and as the inaugural Chair of the Lake County (IN) Land Bank Authority.

Under van Dyk, the plans for the future of the SSLBDA are ambitious: ranging from improving economic development to addressing critical housing and homelessness challenges in the South Suburban area.

The Board of Directors, from Blue Island to University Park, proudly welcomes van Dyk to his new role. The SSLBDA looks forward to a promising collaboration that will bring about transformative change in the 29 communities it serves.

About South Suburban Land Bank & Development Authority

Founded in 2012 as the first land bank in Illinois, the SSLBDA represents 29 partner cities and villages across the Chicago Southland who work together to reclaim vacant and abandoned properties. Since its inception, the Land Bank has revitalized almost 200 distressed properties, transforming vacant buildings into active ones and returning them to the tax rolls.

About Southland Development Authority

The Southland Development Authority is a nonprofit business organization launched in 2019 by business, civic, and political leaders from around the Southland who recognize the potential of the region’s people, businesses, and real estate. Our mission is to bring the resources and capacity needed to achieve transformative, inclusive economic growth for the south suburbs with a focus on investments in the Southland’s communities, industry, housing, and workforce.

We work steadfastly to connect Southland business owners, investors, and individuals with key resources to operate and thrive in the region, from equipping mid-size and small businesses in our Business Growth services Program with customized advice and consulting services, to helping local residents access the tools needed to pursue their entrepreneurial dreams. With a deep institutional knowledge of the Southland’s people, markets, and history and our multifaceted, experienced team, the Southland Development Authority is a powerful partner for any individual, business, or investor.