La Porte Mayor Blair Milo formally announced ion Wednesday that Beth Shrader will be appointed as the incoming Director of Community Development and Planning, most commonly referred to as the City Planner, on October 14.
Previous City Planner Mary Jane Thomas retired at the end of August after 28 years of service. Shrader received her Bachelor’s Degree from the University of Notre Dame, graduating Magna Cum Laude in 2003, and her Master’s Degree in Landscape Architecture from Ball State University in 2011. Shrader’s background in regional planning, landscape architecture, and social services cover a vast array of experiences.
She will join the City following her employment as a landscape architect at SEH of Indiana where she was responsible for master planning, urban design, construction documentation, and GIS mapping.
Shrader has had extensive research and application experience in the areas of cultural landscaping, master plan design and regional food systems, specifically with her Master’s Thesis of “The South Shore Hub: A jump start for the Northwest Indiana local food system,” contributing to her receipt of the American Society of Landscape Architects (ASLA) Merit Award. Ms. Shrader has also worked for the Northwestern Indiana Regional Planning Commission (NIRPC), Indiana Dunes National Lakeshore, and the Switzerland County Historical Society.
Shrader’s passion for the Spanish language, cultural heritage, and community development was enhanced while studying and serving in Guatemala for a grassroots human rights organization advocating for Mayan women while promoting cultural, rights-oriented events.
She has since served as a bilingual paralegal for the AIDS Legal Council of Chicago, assisting HIV positive people resolve issues related to immigration, disability determination, estate planning, and insurance with a specialty in Hispanic outreach and advocacy.
“La Porte is recognized across the region as a growing community with exciting potential for innovation and citizen engagement. I’m excited to bring my skills in planning, urban design, and community outreach to help further the goals of economic, cultural, recreational, and overall community growth in this dynamic city. I am thrilled to work for the citizens of La Porte and have the opportunity to help enrich their lives,” Shrader said.