New Sensation with Michael Rizzitiello, Beaverton Economic Development Coordinator

Posted on May 7, 2013

Since ELGL is not a big fan of icebreakers and since we would rather not know what animal you want to be, this blog feature will serve as a means of introducing new members. While you won’t learn about their favorite animal, you will learn about their ideal Sunday morning, which dead people would they FaceTime with, and which song best describes their life.

Vital Stats

Name: Michael Rizzitiello

Organization: City of Beaverton

Position: Economic Development Coordinator

Undergraduate: University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

Graduate: University of Illinois at Chicago

Stay Connected: EmailLinkedIn, and Twitter

Background Check on Mike


I have a vast amount of experience in the urban planning, economic development, city management, architecture, and geography fields. I have taken classes in land use law, land use planning, economic development, sustainable development, transportation planning, anatomy of buildings, CAD, spatial analysis, architectural graphics, political theory, real estate development, and urban geography. I have had a variety of professional experience drafting construction plans in AutoCAD, creating municipal and statewide G.I.S databases, and authoring corridor plans.

I have a multitude of professional goals I want to attain. My ultimate goal is to become a city manager for a medium-sized municipality. In order to gain experience toward my ultimate goal I want to attain employment in the Advance Planning and Economic Development fields as I feel things learned from these experiences would make me a more effective city manager. I also want to pursue some professional designations such as the AICP, LEED Green Associate, CeCD, and GISP.

Specialties: Transportation Planner, Land Use Planner, Geographic Information System Analyst, Historical Preservation Planner, Urban Geographer, Engineering Technician, Computer Aided Drafter, and Economic Development Planner, Assistant City Manager, City Manager.

Q &A with Mike

Tell us about three projects that you are working on.

City of Beaverton Brownfields Data chartI am working on several projects. One of the most interesting is the Downtown Beaverton Wayfinding Project. This project will bring wayfinding infrastructure to the Downtown Beaverton core. For the first phase I developed a Downtown Beaverton map of all sustainable, art, historic, and destination business assets. We just issued a RFP to develop a Wayfinding Systems Plan and I am trying to pursue several grants for implementation.

I also have been assisting with our brownfields program and enterprise zone expansion. Very interesting work.

Your work/school mentors:

One of my mentors is my supervisor at the City of Beaverton, Alma Flores. She has taught me a lot about economic development.

Another major mentor is Bud Fleming. He was one of my former supervisors at South Suburban Mayors and Managers Association back in Illinois. He taught me a lot about engineering, transportation planning, and how to navigate the tough political environment of Cook County, Illinois.

Professor Rebecca Hendrick is another mentor. She taught Public Budgeting and Government Accounting at the University of Illinois at Chicago. She continues to support and encourage me as I move through my career.

A final mentor is Brad Osterbur. He was one of my supervisors back when I was an Engineering Intern at the City of Urbana, Illinois and he taught me a lot about surveying techniques and sanitary/storm sewers.

Describe the inside of your car.

I need to clean my car out again.

Most recent concert you attended:

I saw the Smashing Pumpkins back in October at All State Arena in Chicago. It was a great show.


If you could only visit five websites for the next year, which ones would you choose?

Red Eye Chicago
The Atlantic Cities

(Complete the sentence) Before I die I want to…travel across Europe and Asia

Proudest career/school accomplishment:  

Successfully developing the South Suburban Atlas GIS Consortium. I built from the ground up a GIS Consortium which provided web mapping services to over twenty municipalities representing a population of over 200,000. The consortium continues to grow in members. Governor Pat Quinn of Illinois appointed me to the Geographic Information Council for my work. 

 What song best describes your life?

“We’re in this together now” by Nine Inch Nails


Best tip for improving a resume.

Keep it simple and definitely have a friend proofread it for errors.

Suggest two or three topics for the ELGL annual conference.

Performance Based Budgeting
Stormwater Utilities

If you could FaceTime or Skype with three people either dead or alive, who would they be?

Charlie LeDuff
Richard M. Daley
Trent Reznor

Favorite thing to do on a Sunday morning:

Walk or bicycle around Beaverton. Head to Biscuits for breakfast.

(Complete the sentence) Government is…..needed for a healthy community.

(Complete the sentence) ELGL is …..a great network

What question(s) should I have asked you?

Where did you work before your current position at the City of Beaverton?

I moved to Beaverton, Oregon from the Chicago, Illinois area about five months ago. Below are some of my previous employers.

What are your career goals?

I eventually want to either become a City Manager, Public Works Director, or Community Development Director. I always want to work at a local government.


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