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Photo of Sawyer, Ernest

Ernest Sawyer

President, Ernest R. Sawyer Enterprises Inc.



Ernest founded Ernest R. Sawyer  Enterprises, Inc. (ERS) in 1994. Since its inception, ERS has been focused on urban development, compliance and transit issues. Currently, the firm is the largest  African-American owned Urban Economic  Development and Consulting firm in the  Chicagoland area. Ernest Sawyer’s vision for creating the firm was drawn from his 30 plus years of urban planning experience with the City of Chicago and the Chicago  Transit Authority. Over the past 25 years, the firm has grown to advise and manage approximately $5.0 billion in projects. ERS  services include:

  • Diversity Compliance and Community  Outreach
  • Property Condition Assessments
  • Facilities Evaluation
  • Land Use Planning and Analysis
  • Program Management
  • Management Consultants
  • Transportation Planning, Development  Consultants, and  Construction Management

Prior to founding ERS, Mr. Sawyer was the Deputy Executive Director of Planning, Marketing and Development for the  Chicago Transit Authority. He supervised over 150 employees involved in all planning phases including facilities evaluation and property condition assessment. Mr. Sawyer was responsible for executive management of Strategic Planning to include the development of long-range strategic business plan for the CTA including performance monitoring, system planning evaluation, Section 15 data gathering and analysis. Additional responsibilities  included:

  • Capital Development to include planning and implementation of the  CTA’s grant-funded capital program.  Prepared, wrote, and monitored the annual and five-year capital grant program.
  • Marketing including responsibility for the strategic marketing plan of the CTA.  The department includes Community  Affairs, Advertising and Promotion,  Publications and Graphics.
  • Property Development including management of the CTA’s activities relating to joint development and value capture. Real Estate Property  Management, encompassing. The management of all of CTA Real Estate  Holdings including all leased properties.

Ernest R. Sawyer received his Bachelor of Science degree in Urban Policy and Planning from Northwestern University.