business districts, inc.  |  Qualifications


BDI Directors:

  Terrence M. Jenkins
Managing Director
Ph. 847-902-8152  | 


For 12 years, Mr. Jenkins served as Executive Director of Evmark, the downtown management organization for the City of Evanston. Working in concert with the public/private corporation board of directors, Mr. Jenkins was fully responsible for the creation of annual goals and objectives. He was accountable to the volunteer board for the achievement of programming to attain those objectives.

Under Mr. Jenkins’ direction, Evmark completed the development and implementation of a comprehensive physical plan for the forty-block area of downtown Evanston. This innovative plan was developed by a unique partnership of four local, prominent urban planning and design firms; Evmark board of directors, City of Evanston staff and elected officials, retailers, landowners, representatives of the arts, and the general public. Through Mr. Jenkins’ efforts, Evmark became a model for achieving results through an efficient part-time management process in concert with an equally efficient use of professional subcontractors to achieve complete program objectives. Prior to his association with Evmark, Terry Jenkins was Senior Vice President of Washington National Insurance Company. He held marketing and administrative responsibilities for multiple lines of business that encompassed $41 million in budgets, $80 million in premium income and a staff of six hundred.

In addition to operating responsibilities, Mr. Jenkins was responsible for external relations with the community, including downtown Evanston and other business districts. While with Washington National, Mr. Jenkins served as the President of the Evanston Chamber of Commerce. Mr. Jenkins' responsibilities with Evmark, Washington National and the Chamber of Commerce have provided him with a unique balance of experience. He has been involved in public/private downtown management, a corporate view of investment in the future of business districts, and line experience with the Chamber of Commerce in articulating its role in business district management and development.

Having served on various committees and boards during the past twenty years, Mr. Jenkins has developed a strong understanding of the role of volunteer and not-for-profit efforts within a community. Mr. Jenkins served as Chairman of the United Way, was President of Evanston's Comprehensive Drug Treatment Program, and has served as President of the Evanston School District 65 Project Earn and Learn. Mr. Jenkins was a member of the Evanston Committee on the Homeless. Mr. Jenkins was also a faculty member of Leadership Evanston.

Utilizing this experience, Mr. Jenkins founded Business Districts, Inc. in 1992 and a sampling of the varied services provided to a very diverse group of communities is listed below.


Mr. Jenkins is a graduate of Northern Illinois University (1969). He has received a Fellowship in the Life Office Management Association. Mr. Jenkins is also a Chartered Life Underwriter and is a graduate of the Life Office Management Association Executive School.

Selected Experience

Corridor Development Action Plans
Roosevelt Road, Broadview, IL; Madison Street, Forest Park, IL; Front Street, Mokena, IL; South Gateway, South Bend, IN; Western Avenue, South Bend, IN; Lincoln Way, South Bend, IN; Portage Avenue, South Bend, IN; The Calumet Expressway Corridor, The Harlem Avenue Corridor, The Route 30 Corridor, The Metra Electric Corridor; Roosevelt Road, Berkeley, IL; The Calumet River Corridor; Sauganash Neighborhood, Chicago, IL.


Aurora, IL; Burlington, IA; Muscatine, IA; Quincy, IL; Rockford, IL; Lake Forest, IL; Lake Bluff, IL; South Bend, IN; Winnetka, IL; Blue Island, IL; Grayslake, IL; Elkhorn, WI; Park Ridge, IL; Homewood, IL; Evanston, IL; Highland Park, IL; Itasca, IL; Woodstock, IL; Zion, IL; Hazel Crest, IL; Mequon, WI; Plymouth, IN; Champaign, IL; Thornton, IL; Kenosha, WI; Midlothian, IL; East Dundee, IL; Steger, IL; Western Springs, IL; Canton, IL; Macomb, IL; Richton Park, IL; Sugar Grove, IL.

Supportive Services
Roosevelt Road, Broadview, IL; Front Street, Mokena, IL; Downtown South Bend, South Bend, IN; Quincy, IL; Champaign, IL; Itasca, IL; Grayslake, IL; Elkhorn, WI; Park Ridge, IL; Homewood, IL; Evanston, IL; Zion, IL; Hazel Crest, IL; Plymouth, IN; Thornton, IL; over fifty communities under the South Suburban Mayors and Managers Association.

Special Studies and Projects
The Cook County Assessor’s Tax Reactivation Project; St. Charles, IL; Maywood, IL; Champaign, IL; Bloomingdale, IL; Lakewood, IL; Sugar Grove, IL; Fort Harrison, IN; Tinley Park, IL; Carpentersville, IL; Detroit, MI; Columbia, SC.

  Bridget Lane
Ph. 847 971-8635  | 


Bridget Lane specializes in commercial revitalization strategy, fiscal impact analysis, market analysis, and retail business development. Her ten years of experience as a retailing executive, seven years as a professor at Chicago’s DePaul University and three years managing Downtown Evanston serve as a practical foundation for her market research and business development consultations.

Recent clients included communities as diverse as Lake Forest, Illinois; Mountain Brook, Alabama; and Plymouth, Indiana. Bridget also has led retail business recruitment efforts and workshops in business development for community development leaders. At the request of Plainfield, Illinois, she analyzed the impact of a proposed 250 unit residential development. She developed store audits for a major upscale man’s clothier, created a retail store concept for a successful wholesaler, and developed the marketing strategy for a newly created tax-exempt foundation. Bridget conducts the basic research and analysis necessary to create business development and marketing strategies, moderates focus groups, and develops consumer surveys.

Residential development impacts, industrial recruitment, neighborhood retail business development and mixed-use project enhancement have all been subjects of Bridget's research and consulting work. She created university courses covering retail management, advertising, introductory marketing and personal selling.

Bridget began her retailing career at Jb Robinson Jewelers, where she had line responsibility for sales and profits in the company's largest region. She also sat on the executive committee charged with policy development during the company's rapid expansion. She developed sales, expense and profit budgets. New store location, display and start-up were under her supervision. She implemented employee hiring and development programs.
Earlier in her career, Bridget served as a public and legislative relations coordinator for the Illinois Department of Conservation. She was also a preservation planner at the National Trust for Historic Preservation in the United States.


Bridget Lane has served on various committees and boards during the past 15 years, including a term on her community’s Economic Development Corporation and a position as Trustee of the District 64 Elementary Learning Foundation.


Before obtaining a Master's Degree in Business Administration from the Harvard Business School, Bridget graduated from the University of Illinois with a degree in Urban Planning.

Selected Experience

Downtown and Corridor Business Development Action Plans
Downtown Plano, IL; Downtown Yorkville, IL; Sugar Grove, IL; Addison, IL; Chicago Avenue, Oak Park, IL; Marengo, IL; Downtown Romeoville, Romeoville, IL; Downtown Mequon/Thiensville, Mequon, WI; Downtown Matteson, Matteson, IL; Downtown Plainfield, Plainfield, IN; Calumet Corridor, Harlem Avenue Corridor, and Lincoln Avenue Corridor, Route 30 Corridor, Metra Electric Corridor, South Suburban Mayors and Managers Association; Downtown Zion, IL; Massachusetts Avenue, Indianapolis, IN; Route 30, North Aurora, IL; East Dundee, IL; Frankfort, IL; Downtown Burlington, Burlington, IA; Madison Street, Forest Park, IL; Roosevelt Road, Broadview, IL; Downtown Quincy, Quincy, IL; Downtown Rockford, Rockford, IL; Downtown Roselle, Roselle, IL; Front Street, Mokena, IL; Downtown Lake Forest, Lake Forest, IL; South Gateway, South Bend, IN; Downtown Lake Bluff, Lake Bluff, IL; Downtown South Bend, South Bend, IN; Lincoln Way West, South Bend, IN; Western Avenue, South Bend, IN; Downtown Winnetka, Winnetka, IL; Portage Avenue, South Bend, IN; Downtown Grayslake, Grayslake, IL; Downtown Elkhorn, Elkhorn, WI., Oakland Street, Shorewood, WI.

Store Development
Naper Settlement, Naperville, IL; I Dream in Color, Hyde Park, Chicago, IL; New Balance Shoes, Highland Park, IL; Bountiful Board, Lincoln Park, Chicago, IL; Aubrey’s of Barrington, Barrington, IL; Franklin Products, Chicago, IL; Bigsby & Kruthers, Chicago, IL.

Retailer Development Workshops
  Making an Old Store Look Good; 50 Ideas to Jump-Start Your Holiday Sales; Get More Bang for Your Advertising Buck; Power-up Your Staff to Sell More; Low Cost Loss Prevention; You Can Control Your Inventory; 50 Tips that Build Store Profits.

Libertyville, IL; Blue Island, IL; Nappanee, IN; Evanston, IL; Glen Ellyn, IL; Homewood, IL; Highland Park, IL; Park Ridge, IL; Hyde Park, Chicago, IL; Woodstock, IL.

Community Surveys
Kenilworth, IL; Rockford, IL; Broadview, IL; Clarendon Hills, IL; Park Ridge, IL; Olympia Fields, IL; Hampshire, IL; Plainfield, IL, LaGrange Park, IL; Lake Forest, IL; Andersonville Neighborhood, Chicago, IL

College Level Courses Developed
Introduction to Marketing
Personal Selling
Retail Management
Advertising Campaigns

  Diane Williams
Ph. 708-702-9325  | 


Diane Williams joined Business Districts, Inc. in 2003 with a unique combination of public and private sector experiences and skills. Diane’s careers in both sectors encompasses three decades of experience in understanding markets and their relationship to strategy development, and within the last decade, their significance to commercial district revitalization and preservation economics.

During Diane’s first five years with Business Districts, Inc., she also served as the Executive Director of Evmark, the downtown marketing and management organization in Evanston, Illinois. Previously, Diane served as the Assistant State Coordinator for Illinois’ statewide Main Street program. While with Illinois Main Street, Diane provided technical and consultative services on commercial district economic issues to Illinois’ nearly 60 local Main Street programs. Diane’s work with these local organizations encompassed downtown strategy development, market data assessments, market opportunity assessments, financial incentive development, local program evaluation and historic preservation issues.

Prior to pursuing graduate studies in historic preservation, Diane Williams was a Vice President at Citibank in Chicago. She has twenty-one years of banking experience, including thirteen as a commercial banker to the small business market. During her banking career, Diane had varied opportunities, including managing a start-up small business banking unit, selling banking services to small business owners, developing new market strategies, directing new product introductions and conducting training for new bankers.

Diane has presented at local, state, and national Main Street meetings on successful financial incentive programs and market analysis tools and strategies.


Diane has a Bachelor’s degree from Rosary College, now Dominican University, in River Forest, Illinois and a Master’s degree in Historic Preservation from The School of the Art Institute of Chicago. She has completed undergraduate business courses at Northwestern University and M. B. A. coursework at DePaul University. Diane is also a graduate of the National Main Street Center’s Certification Institute in commercial district revitalization.

Selected Experience

Downtown Action Plans and Downtown Project Specific Work
Evanston, IL; South Bend, IN; Plymouth, IN: Clare, MI; Royal Oak, MI; Matteson, IL; Thornton, IL; Libertyville, IL; Madison, WI; Plano, IL; Plainfield, IL; Elmhurst, IL; South Suburban Mayors and Managers Association; Long Grove, IL; Itasca, IL; Crete, IL; Naperville, IL, Oak Park, IL; Itasca, IL; Cook County, IL; Clare, MI; Stevens Point, WI; Crystal Lake, IL; Ishpeming, MI, Sugar Grove, IL, Rockton, IL: DeKalb, IL; Syracuse, NY; Sherman, NY; Bath, NY; Andersonville Chicago, IL; Shorewood, WI; Grayslake, IL; Hammond, IN; Westfield, IN; Montgomery, IL; Bensenville, IL; Angola, IN; Lockport, IL.