Our Staff

Annie Coakley

Annie Coakley

Executive Director


Annie Coakley previously worked for the City of Chicago's Department of Planning and Development for over 14 years, managing and coordinating a wide range of programs to attract, retain and support the growth of businesses throughout Chicago. Among the programs in which she played a significant role was: Small Business Improvement Fund (SBIF), which allocates TIF money for small businesses; Special Service Areas, which enable neighborhoods to obtain services to maintain, secure and beautify their neighborhoods; Made in Chicago, which showcases products manufactured in Chicago. She was also instrumental in attracting retail businesses, developers and brokers to the City by promoting Chicago's retail opportunities and incentives. Most recently, she began as the Executive Director of Downtown Evanston, the business non-profit that provides special services to downtown Evanston.


847-570-4724
Laura Brown

Laura Brown

Business Development & Marketing Manager
Laura Brown joined Downtown Evanston in July 2015, bringing over 10 years of experience in communications, marketing and community outreach. Previously, Laura was Program Manager at Bluestem Communications where she managed several community and stakeholder engagement projects, and was a publicist at an arts and culture public relations firm in New York. Laura studied Urban Planning and Policy at the University of Illinois at Chicago during which she interned with the City of Evanston's Economic Development Department. As an Evanston native, Laura is excited to be back in her hometown to work with and promote the downtown business district and entire Evanston community. 

847-866-6319