More About Joe McElroy


  • Master of Arts in Social Sciences, University of Chicago, 1999 with an emphasis on news media, public policy, and urban sociology.
  • Master of Urban Planning, Michigan State University, 1986.
  • Bachelor of Science in English, Illinois State University, 1976.

Based on work history, it’s not surprising that Mr. McElroy heads his own PR firm.   While in graduate school at Michigan State, the City of East Lansing Planning Department hired him to assist in several projects including the redevelopment of the downtown area and editing of a new comprehensive plan. Previously he was editor of a weekly newspaper that earned numerous statewide editorial awards.

Back in Illinois, Mr. McElroy rose through the ranks of Aurora’s Division of City Planning to become the Deputy Director.  While in that position, he gained invaluable experience about the finer points of land development.

Returning to his passion for writing and editing, Mr. McElroy joined suburban marketing communications firms where he spearheaded strategies for commercial and residential real estate developers – a field in which he was already adept.

With a strong background in urban planning, a network of municipal contacts, and public relations experience, the path was paved for a marketing communications firm serving municipalities and real estate companies, in addition to businesses and organizations. McElroy Associates has also provided professional services for political candidates, landscape architects, historic preservation projects, NGOs, focus groups, an event planning firm, Geneva Bride and an energy company.

Community and civic service activities include:

  • Naperville City Councilman, elected in April, 2011.
  • City of Naperville Plan Commission, 2003 to 2009. Elected vice chair in 2005.
  • Metropolitan Planning Council Transportation Committee, 2003-06.
  • University of Chicago Placement Services, evaluator for Metcalf Fellows Program, 2004 to present.
  • Board of Directors, Naperville Development Partnership, 1995 to 2004.
  • Rotary Club of Naperville, assistant newsletter editor, 2001-06.
  • Executive Board, Illinois Chapter, American Planning Association, 1994-2003.
  • Instructor, Aurora University. Taught Fundamentals of News Reporting, 1987-89.
  • Volunteer, Recording for the Blind, 2004 to 2009.
  • Juror, Crosstown Mock Trial III, sponsored by Naperville School District 203 and Hinshaw & Culbertson LLP, 2007.

Recent publications include:

  • “Green is the New Granite,” an article on eco-friendly master planned communities, published in Planning by the American Planning Association, September 2007.
  • Co-author of “Retail One-Two-Three,” published by the Metropolitan Planning Councils and International Council of Shopping Centers, 2007.
  • “Chicago Adopts Regional Planning Board,” in Planning, January 2006.
  • “Times of Change and Challenge: Metro Southwest Chicago in the New Century,” a research report commissioned by St. Xavier University, June 2002.
  • “Running the Show,” in Planning magazine, January 2002.
  • “Policy-making From the Inside: Urban Innovation in Metro Chicago,” published for the 59th Annual Meeting of the Midwest Political Science Association, April 19, 2001.
  • “When You Can’t Go By the Book: Coping With Unconventional Site Plans,” in Planning, November 1995.
  • Contributor to “Chicago Politics: Rules of the Game From Daley to Washington To Daley II,” by Professors Terry Nichols Clark and William Grimshaw. Presented at the Social Science History Association annual meeting, Chicago, November 1995.
  • “How City Planners Can Write More Clearly,” American Planning Association, 1988.
  • Co-author of “The Historic Structures of Stolp Island,” published by the City of Aurora Preservation Commission, 1986, reprinted 1993.

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