University of Illinois Extension

Aimee Ingalls
Extension Educator, Community and Economic Development
Livingston/McLean/Woodford Unit
1412 S Locust
Pontiac, IL 61764
Phone: 309-663-8306
FAX: 815-842-6547

Aimee Ingalls holds an undergraduate degree in Social Science and a Masters Degree in Public Administration both from Governors State University.

She comes to you from Will County, Illinois, where she started as the Research Manager for the Will County Center for Economic Development. She coordinated a quality of life benchmarking study.  As Economic Development Manager, Aimee was responsible for attracting, retaining and expanding commercial and industrial business as well as identifying issues and acting as a catalyst to address those issues.

Aimee became the Village Administrator for a booming community in Will County, Illinois. This experience allowed her the hands on knowledge of municipal operations which has a profound effect on community and economic development. Her municipal focus was on revenue administration, human resources, labor relations, contract management and economic development.  As a Community & Economic Development Educator, Aimee works with you to improve the quality of life in communities through research based programming in community & organizational leadership development, participatory community planning and community economic development. 


Program Offerings

Community Leadership Development

Communities face a host of issues that demand leadership in the midst of increasing complexity. Community organizations and political subdivisions such as cities, school districts, library boards, and counties struggle to find qualified residents to serve as council, board and commission members, and it is critical that leaders understand external forces that affect the community. These include the devolution of authority for action and service delivery to the community; the double bind created by trying to maintain quality and services with fewer resources; expectations for sharing power and responsibility; interdependence, diversity, collaboration, and communication; and displacement of the developmental paradigm with the globalization paradigm. Research indicates that building leadership capacity among community leaders and elected officials is critical to community viability and sustainability.

Statewide program examples:

Local Government Education (including Certified County Officials)

Leadership Education (including leadership academies and Illinois Leadership Conference)

Participatory Community Planning

Communities need assistance to identify strategies to address the rapidly changing social and economic landscape. Participatory planning empowers community members to take charge of their futures by analyzing and addressing quality of life and infrastructure issues. Research indicates that these community planning efforts are better when all sectors of the community are included and decision making is inclusive and broad-based.

Statewide program examples:

Community Matters (design studios)

Why Broadband? (eTeams)

Organizational Development

The quality of information available to community decision makers and public and private non-profit organizations has a significant effect on the vitality of communities. Increasing the capacity of local decision-makers through Extension programming will enhance community vitality and improve the quality of life in rural and urban areas. Addressing issues that are critical to organizational development occurs through various Extension programs, including facilitation, skills training, managing projects, and understanding data.

Statewide program example:

e Learning Modules

Community Economic Development

Illinois communities are struggling to create a competitive advantage in a rapidly changing global economy. They must identify and implement new strategies to assure continued survival and prominence in the U.S. economy. These strategies must be consistent with their vision for their future. Support for existing businesses, including agriculture, is important in linking community initiatives to economic development. Building a cadre of local officials who understand their role in economic development has also been emphasized as part of our programming.

Statewide program examples:

Data for Decision Makers (including Community Indicators)

Creating Entrepreneurial Communities

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