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K. John Egelhaaf, Executive Director


K. John EgelhaafJohn has been the Executive Director at the SWMPC since June 2003. He is a certified planner with the American Institute of Certified Planners (AICP). He is in his second decade in the profession.  During that time he has planned within a rich diversity of scale and subject matter. He holds a Master of Landscape Architecture from the University of Massachusetts and a Bachelor's degree in Political Science from Purdue University.


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Marcy Hamilton, Deputy Executive Director/Senior Planner


Marcy HamiltonMarcy is an experienced Senior Planner who has developed a track record of implementing successful projects for a variety of clients around the Southwest Michigan region. She has a wealth of experience writing master and recreation plans, facilitating planning processes, and developing grants and implementing projects in watershed planning, economic development, and recreation. In 2017 she was promoted to also serve as deputy executive director.


Marcy was the project director for the Dowagiac River Watershed Project with the Cass County Conservation District from 1999-2002.  She holds a Bachelor's degree in Biology and Environmental Studies from Ohio Northern University and a Master of Environmental Science Degree from Miami University, Ohio.

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Kimberly Gallagher, Senior Planner


Kim GallagherInsight, passion and experience make Kim Gallagher a dynamic leader and presenter.  Ms. Gallagher has the ability to bring together a diverse group of stakeholders to build understanding and consensus in complex subject areas.  She has significant experience in developing marketing materials, including brochures, website development and interpretive products. Read more


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Jill Plescher, Geographic Information System Specialist


Jill Plescher - 2011Jill joined the SWMPC staff in March of 2009.  She received a Bachelor of Science Degree in Natural Resources Management from Grand Valley State University in Allendale, Michigan with a focus in Geographic Information Systems (GIS) and water resources.  She went on to acquire a graduate degree at the University of Wisconsin-Madison in Environmental Monitoring, studying in the fields of remote sensing and GIS technologies.  Previously, Jill worked in Louisiana as a GIS Analyst for the Federal Government in the area of oil/gas leasing in the Gulf of Mexico.  She provides the commission with an extensive set of cartographic expertise and GIS skill set.


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Kristopher Martin, Associate Planner


Kris MartinKristopher joined the SWMPC staff in May 2011 as a Program Assistant and as of May 2014 is an Associate Planner. He works on environmental and transportation projects, along with watershed projects by providing outreach and education in southwest Michigan. He received his BA in Environmental Policy and Political Science from Michigan State University in 2011. Kristopher has previous work experience interning with the Michigan Department of Environmental Quality, as well as with the American Recreation Coalition in Washington D.C., Michigan Environmental Council and SWMPC.  Kristopher also completed an AmeriCorps position with the Department of Forestry and Wildlife in Hawaii, where he worked on environmental restoration and protection.


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 Jerrid Burdue, Senior Planner



Jerrid joined the SWMPC staff in May 2016 as an intern and as of July 2019 is an associate planner working on economics development, transportation, and community planning. He previously worked with the Michigan Department of Transportation as a survey and construction co-op on projects such as the M-139 (Main Street) bridge in Niles, Michigan, his hometown. Jerrid also completed a year of service as an AmeriCorps VISTA in South Carolina in 2019, where he focused on providing financial empowerment tools to the community. He earned his B.S. in Economics and a certificate in Geographic Information Systems (GIS) from Michigan Technological University.


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Brandon Kovnat, Associate Planner
Brandon Kovnat - 2016Brandon joined the SWMPC staff in May 2016, as an associate transportation planner.  He received his B.S. in biosystems engineering from Michigan State University and in 2009 and went on to earn a masters in urban planning from the University of Michigan. Brandon previously worked with MDOT in Asset Management.  He has also been an intern for the Michigan State Housing Development Authority working on community development grants and placemaking. In addition, Brandon attended a year of graduate school for planning at the University of Maryland where he also worked as an intern for the Montgomery County, MD Planning Department.


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Maria Vettraino, Office Manager

Maria joined the SWMPC staff in the fall of 2021. 


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This page last updated on 12/2/2022.
Southwest Michigan Planning Commission  
376 West Main Street  Suite 130  Benton Harbor, MI 49022-3651
Phone: 269.925.1137  Fax: 269.925.0288  

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Jill's Photo [Click here to view full size picture]
Jill's Photo
Brandon Kovnat - 2016 [Click here to view full size picture]
Brandon Kovnat - 2016
Ryan Fellows - 2016.12 [Click here to view full size picture]
Ryan Fellows - 2016.12
Kim Gallagher [Click here to view full size picture]
Kim Gallagher

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