McKenna Promotes M. Paul Lippens to Vice President and Director of Kalamazoo Studio

June 29, 2020 |

Lippens’ Relocation, Plus Grand Rapids Office Move, Part of Community Planning Firm’s Amplified Presence in West Michigan

NORTHVILLE, MI (June 26, 2020) – McKenna – a community planning, design and building services firm, headquartered in Northville, Michigan, with offices in Detroit, Grand Rapids and Kalamazoo – recently announced the promotion of M. Paul Lippens to vice president and director of its Kalamazoo studio. The announcement was made by McKenna President, John Jackson.

Lippens joined McKenna in 2014, and was promoted from director of transportation and urban design. In his new leadership team role, Lippens is responsible for growing the Kalamazoo team and expanding the firm’s West Michigan project portfolio, as well as continuing to contribute his expertise as an urban design and mobility specialist.

Prior to McKenna, Lippens, an author and AICP- and NCI-certified, award-winning planner, served as director of planning for Active Transportation Alliance in Chicago. He earned a bachelor of arts degree from Hampshire College in Massachusetts and a master of urban planning from the University of Michigan. He is a board member of Transportation Riders United.

“Paul is a great planner and designer not only because he is good at his job, but more importantly he genuinely cares about the impact of his work,” said Jackson. “And his work always focuses, first and foremost, on strategies that reflect the values of people and their community.”

McKenna, which has worked in West Michigan communities for the entirety of the firm’s 42-year-history, has maintained an office in Kalamazoo where Lippens is stationed, since 1991. It is located at 151 S. Rose Street, Suite 900.

In addition to Lippens’ promotion and relocation, McKenna is supporting its expanding capacity in West Michigan with a new address for its Grand Rapids office, which was opened in 2018 as part of the firm’s 40th anniversary milestone. The new office is located at 124 E. Fulton Street, Suite 6B, just four blocks east from its original location in “The Factory” co-working space. McKenna’s Grand Rapids office is helmed by Chris Khorey, AICP, senior principal planner.

“As urban designers, we study and influence place and culture – from block, to neighborhood, to city and region – and McKenna has helped so many West Michigan communities over the last 42 years,” said Lippens. “Now is a great time to reinvigorate our practice in Kalamazoo and Grand Rapids. We want to be a part of creating beautiful, healthy, equitable and vibrant communities in West Michigan for the next 40+ years too.”

Together, the McKenna Grand Rapids and Kalamazoo offices, manage a client roster of more than 50 West Michigan communities, including the Master Plans for Walker, Three Rivers, Texas Township and Holland Township, as well as the Holland and St. Joseph Township Zoning Ordinances and the Kalamazoo Parks and Recreation Plan.

Continued Jackson, “We’ve been a bit under the radar, quietly helping to keep West Michigan communities rolling for nearly half a century. We have the people, the knowledge, the resources and the services to continue serving these communities for another four decades…and beyond.”

About McKenna

Founded in 1978, McKenna is a full-service community planning, design and building services firm. Headquartered in Northville, Mich. with offices and teams in Detroit, Grand Rapids and Kalamazoo, McKenna is in the business of making hometowns home. For more information, visit

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