My expertise in PR and marketing incubated inside the heated walls of giant PR agencies. I spent several years working for global PR firms, including a four-year term at Weber Shandwick. In 2004, my team brought home the coveted PRWeek Campaign of the Year Award for a publicity strategy for law firm client Foley & Lardner. Our campaign, tied to the Sarbanes-Oxley corporate governance legislation, featured two phases of research, embargoed findings, executive visibility and a massive media relations initiative that generated more than 200 media placements in three months, including coverage in The Wall Street Journal, USA Today, Financial Times and CNBC. The campaign won several other awards such as the Gold Sabre Award and the PRWeek Awards for Business-to-Business Campaign of the Year and Best Use of Research. Between agency and freelance, I’ve had the privilege to work with more than 200 companies and individuals — helping them grow and connect.

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During my agency tenure, I grew to supervise many national accounts for clients in the financial and professional services arena — primarily commercial real estate companies and law firms. The creative campaigns and phenomenal results my teams generated on behalf of our clients were well-recognized by our PR peers as we took home numerous awards, including the coveted PRWeek Award for Campaign of the Year.

In 2004, I moved from an office overlooking Michigan Avenue to an office overlooking the Fox River in Chicago’s western suburbs where I directed tourism and economic development-related marketing efforts for seven municipalities, including Illinois’ second largest city. Honing the skills I learned from the agency world, I conceptualized and executed several new strategies and tactics that eventually led to record-breaking results and awards. Most of our Illinois tourism marketing awards were won in head-to-head competition with much larger Chicago attractions like Navy Pier, Millennium Park and the Chicago museums of art, science, history, culture and industry.