Jayne Carr Thompson
Jayne Thompson is a noted public affairs specialist and
public relations practitioner, as well as a former trial and appellate
lawyer. She founded Jayne Thompson and Associates, Ltd., a strategic
communications consultancy, in March 2002.
As Managing Principal of the Chicago office of the Dilenschneider Group,
Inc., a New York-based corporate communications firm, Jayne Thompson
started and grew practice areas in litigation support and public affairs.
Retained by law firms, industrial corporations, financial institutions
and foundations, Mrs. Thompson worked extensively at the CEO / Director
level addressing issues of corporate governance, crisis management,
change-in-control, reputation management, regulatory and pubic affairs
issues and strategic business development.
Mrs. Thompson’s clients have included The Mills Corporation;
Mayer, Brown, Rowe and Maw; Winston & Strawn; Exelon Corporation
and ComEd; the Terra Foundation for American Art; Harris Bank; Heller
Financial Services; The Friends of the Farnsworth House; Illinois Institute
of Technology; Accor Services; N.A. and Altria Corporate Services, Inc.
Mrs. Thompson has served three Governors of Illinois on issues relating
to health and human service delivery systems and the status of women.
She chaired Illinois Governor George H. Ryan’s transition committee
on health and human services. She has co-authored reports which have
become the basis of public policy in Illinois.
As an appointee of the Mayor of the City of Chicago, with the concurrence
of the City Council, she chairs the Chicago Public Library Board of
Directors. As Library board president, she has overseen the largest
capital program in the history of the Chicago Public Library system
as well as marked increases in library utilization. She serves as a
member of the Chicago Public Library Foundation Board, the Illinois
Treasurer’s Advisory Board on Women’s Issues, the Women’s
Board of Northwestern University and the Chairman’s Advisory Council
of the Lincoln Park Zoo. Previously, she served as a member of the Board
of Trustees of National-Louis University.
Mrs. Thompson began her professional career as a trial attorney in
the Office of the Attorney General of the State of Illinois. There she
appeared on a wide range of matters in numerous state and federal trial
and appellate courts, including briefing and arguing several cases before
the Supreme Court of the United States. She also briefed and argued
numerous cases before the Supreme Court of Illinois.
She served as Chief of the Attorney General’s Prosecution Assistance
Bureau and as Acting Chief of the Criminal Division. Mrs. Thompson also
engaged in the private practice of law and served as House Counsel to
the National College of Education (now National-Louis University).
Mrs. Thompson has been extensively involved in Illinois and national
politics. She has mentored numerous women candidates and served as an
advisor and spokesperson for issues, campaigns and party organizations.
Mrs. Thompson is a member of the Economic Club of Chicago, the Executives
Club and the Chicago Committee of the Chicago Council on Foreign Relations.
Mrs. Thompson is a graduate of the University of Illinois and the Northwestern
University School of Law. She has received honorary degrees from Illinois
College, Lincoln College and St. Xavier University.
Christopher FitzHenry Robling
Chris Robling’s 25-year career includes experience
in media, government, agency public relations and politics. He joined
Jayne Thompson & Associates., Ltd. as its first Principal in April
Most recently, Mr. Robling helped execute an intense and successful
campaign against a $12 billion appeal bond in a consumer fraud class
action lawsuit for Altria Corporate Services, Inc. He has provided extensive advice
and support to The Mills Corporation in its role as master developer
of a vacant city block in the heart of downtown Chicago. He helped execute
the 2002 London-based announcement of Mayer Brown and Platt’s
merger with Rowe and Maw, the largest trans-Atlantic legal merger in
five years. He successfully assisted a Chicago-based, billion-dollar
investment fund when it nearly failed after its broker-dealer became
insolvent. He counseled a leading local bank regarding an acrimonious
legal dispute involving a longtime client. He handled all media relations
for the Terra Foundation for the Arts in its lengthy lawsuit against
several of its Directors.
Other clients of Mr. Robling’s include Exelon/ComEd, Prime Group
Realty Trust, Lowe’s, Rush–Presbyterian–St. Luke’s
Medical Center, Illinois Institute of Technology, Copley Memorial Hospital,
ITT, First Chicago Corporation and the International Council of Shopping
Centers. His campaign to introduce (then) Adolph Coors Company product
to Illinois earned a Denver PRSA Silver Anvil. He produced an Addy Award-winning
campaign as the executive director of the Cook County Republican Party
Mr. Robling has developed a particular depth of experience in transportation
and mass transit. Mr. Robling’s paper, “Growing Transit
Brand Strength in a Crowded Field,” has been accepted for presentation
by the Union Internationale des Transports Publics at its 2nd Global
Marketing Conference in Paris in November 2003, where he will be the
conference’s only U.S. presenter. As Director of Communications
for Chicago’s Regional Transportation Authority, Mr. Robling worked
on all strategic issues confronting the agency, a new technology joint
venture with Raytheon, press relations and business-to-business marketing.
In 1998, he addressed the Swedish Transportation Institute on urban
mobility issues. He received the American Public Transportation Association’s
grand and first prizes for communications achievement in 1996 and 1995,
respectively. Sales of the RTA Transit Check under Mr. Robling more
Mr. Robling received a Peter Lisagor Award from the Chicago Headline
Club as a news anchor at CBS-Infinity’s all-news WMAQ-AM (Chicago)
for his coverage of then-Illinois Gov. George H. Ryan’s 1999 trip
to Cuba, the first by a sitting U.S. Governor in 40 years. He anchored
the station’s coverage of the Columbine shootings. He also covered
business and politics.
Mr. Robling has appeared on all Chicago-area television stations as
either a news source, panelist or commentator. Mr. Robling was a longtime
program host at WBEZ-FM, Chicago’s NPR affiliate. The legendary
Chicago reporter Mike Royko granted Mr. Robling an exclusive broadcast
interview on the 30th anniversary of his column. The resulting two-hour
program, “A Conversation with Mike Royko,” is the most widely
cited such source in subsequent writing on Royko’s work and career.
Mr. Robling anchored public affairs coverage and an award-winning international
news program. He interviewed numerous authors and public figures, including
Henry Kissinger, Warren Buffet, Laurence Tribe, Leon Lederman, Tom Wicker
and Larry King. His written work has appeared in Institutional Investor,
The Chicago Tribune, The Chicago Sun-Times and numerous other publications.
As a member of the Chicago Board of Election Commissioners from 1991
to 1994, Mr. Robling sponsored the Board’s first independent management
audit, which resulted in the Board’s first use of imaging technology
as well as significantly reduced payroll and costs. He was one of few
Illinois Republicans to urge Illinois’ adoption of enabling legislation
for the National Voter Registration Act.
Mr. Robling was elected President of the association of U.S. House
Republican press secretaries during his service to a senior member of
the Appropriations Committee. He has also worked with the U. S. Navy,
Department of Commerce, Appalachian Regional Commission and Central
Mr. Robling is a governor of the City Club of Chicago, a director of
the Riverside Elementary Education Foundation and will become a director
of the Landmarks Preservation Council of Illinois in June 2003. He is
a frequent speaker on professional and public issues. Recently he addressed
“Strengthening Corporate Reputation through OFAC Compliance”
for the National Association of Independent Insurers. He has lectured
at the University of Chicago and at Northwestern, DePaul and Roosevelt
Universities. He has twice visited Russia under the auspices of the
U.S. Agency for International Development to conduct democracy training.
He is a graduate of Georgetown University and attended Northwestern
University School of Law.
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Susana E. Leyva
Susana Leyva is a media/public relations/public affairs professional with 16 years of diverse corporate experience. She has a track record for high-impact results in launching and strengthening brand loyalty for consumer products in local, national and international marketplaces.
At United Airlines (then the world's largest commercial airline), she had responsibility for the implementation of global, integrated consumer media campaigns to promote United as the airline of choice in major markets around the world (New York, London, Paris, Frankfurt, Milan, Boston, Miami, Argentina, Brazil, Uruguay, and United's hometown hub of Chicago). In this position, Ms. Leyva led cross-enterprise teams in the development of integrated promotional, marketing, media, internet strategies and brand loyalty campaigns specifically targeting business and leisure consumers in each business market. All campaigns were designed to achieve revenue goals in support of new-product launches and strengthen consumer awareness of United's service versus local-market competitors.
Before leaving United, Ms. Leyva designed a highly successful national, integrated public affairs and media relations campaign to support one of United's leading business objectives: the construction of new runways at key North American airports. In that campaign, Ms. Leyva positioned United's senior leadership and union leadership (ALPA and IAM) the Air Line Pilots Association and the International Association of Machinists with national business/aviation media, members of the U.S. Congress, state and local legislators, consumer groups and business forums to gain economic, political, legislative and consumer support. That campaign placed United in an industry-leading position and established a strong customer service commitment for the company with its 76 million customers. This campaign contributed toward City of Chicago plans for new runways at O'Hare International Airport.
Ms. Leyva also led all media outreach for the “Win Back Chicago” campaign to re-establish United's hub dominance at O'Hare International Airport, the airline's #1 hub serving 280,000 customers daily. That campaign featured the roll out of new routes, new business-class products, new print and broadcast advertising, and Web-based communications with United's premier business customer base.
Ms. Leyva also has served as the Chief Communications Officer for Metra, the nation's leading commuter rail transportation service with annual ridership of 90 million passengers. In that position, Ms. Leyva led a team of communications professionals and reported directly to the Chief Executive Officer and the Chairman of the Board of Directors with responsibility for strategic communications counseling and crisis-communications response. Ms. Leyva was charged with leading the development and implementation of media outreach programs to build customer loyalty in the brand, while integrating a corporate reputation management campaign focused on external local, state and federal funding sources. While at Metra, Ms. Leyva designed and led a media campaign to launch a major transportation initiative that positioned Illinois among the national leaders in transit networks.
Most recently, at Jayne Thompson & Associates, Ms. Leyva led a comprehensive year-long effort to launch Chicago's newest destination restaurant in the highly acclaimed Millennium Park . She positioned Park Grill by defining its brand for its unique mix of seasonal dining and entertainment in the nation's restaurant community and in the 21st Century's first “Cyber Age Park ”. Ms. Leyva rolled out a comprehensive promotional, media, travel and tourism, advertising, convention, concierge, and internet communications platform targeted at local, national and international consumers.
She initially faced strong challenges in raising the profile and awareness of Park Grill as a destination (the restaurant opened when Millennium Park was still a construction site) and creating foot traffic from the local, business, and leisure customers, who had no awareness of life east of Michigan Avenue. This year-long process continued to gain in momentum under her leadership, resulting in a media campaign that reached millions of broadcast viewers each month, continuous print coverage, and prestigious industry honors (an invitation to cook at the James Beard House in New York, selection as best new restaurant from Chicago magazine and Zagat's, and sustained coverage as the city's #1 Hot Spot from Chicago magazine).
Ms. Leyva also brings extensive crisis communications experience to her clients at Jayne Thompson & Associates. Ms. Leyva was one of a group of professionals directing United's crisis response following the September 11, 2001 unprecedented act of war on U.S. soil and the hijacking of four commercial aircraft, including United Flights 93 and 175. Ms. Leyva served as lead external communicator for United's senior Crisis Center team, implementing all global communications outreach. She also led media relations on Congressional relief for the industry and federal issues of industry insurability in the weeks following the attacks. Ms. Leyva worked side-by-side with the Wall Street Journal and USA Today on a series of award-winning 9/11 features, examining the events of that day and the airline's response.
Ms. Leyva holds a Bachelor of Arts degree from Loyola University . A native of Cuba, Ms. Leyva is now a proud Chicagoan.
Anthony P. Marusic
Tony Marusic’s media and public relations knowledge
is built on the extraordinary international experience of having worked
for five years in a former war zone.
Mr. Marusic was a communications consultant to the U.S. Department
of Defense in Sarajevo from August 1998 to June 2003. He worked in the
Stabilization Force (SFOR) command headquarters where he was communications
and media advisor to the SFOR commander, who was either a U.S. Lieutenant
General or General. In this capacity Mr. Marusic operated the only ongoing,
continuous U.S. press service in the Balkans. As such he and his office
assisted the U.S. Department of State and other agencies of the U.S.
Government, as well as non-government agencies, in Bosnia and neighboring
countries. He also supported peacekeeping operations in Bosnia directed
In July 1999, Mr. Marusic worked alongside the White House Communications
Office preparing for a Summit which was attended by President Clinton,
British Prime Minister Tony Blair and 44 other heads of government.
Mr. Marusic was responsible for negotiating disputes, devising strategies
and creating and implementing communications plans in the hostile region.
He brought former belligerents, who a few years earlier were at war
against one another, to the same table to discuss communications matters.
He also dealt with heads of government and state, including Presidents,
Prime Ministers and leading political and business figures from Bosnia,
Croatia, Serbia-Montenegro, Slovenia and Hungary. Mr. Marusic developed
communications and marketing plans with such international agencies
as the World Bank and International Monetary Fund, for which he directed
communications programs for economic donor conferences, at which more
than $2 billion were raised. Mr. Marusic aided projects of the International
Committee of the Red Cross, United Nations, World Food Organization
and the European Union.
Mr. Marusic also handled media relations for visits to the Balkans
of NATO Secretary-Generals Javier Solona and Lord George Robertson,
Secretaries of State Colin Powell and Madeline Albright, Secretary of
Defense William S. Cohen, numerous Congressional delegations and several
NATO commanders. Mr. Marusic supported the staffs of NATO Commanders
/ Supreme Allied Commanders Europe (SACEUR), General Wesley Clark, General
Joseph Ralston and General James L. Jones.
Prior to joining Jayne Thompson & Associates, Mr. Marusic also
consulted with the government of Croatia, as well as various Croatian
political parties. He assisted the government on several business projects
and counseled political candidates on media and public relations strategy
in the lead-up to the national elections. Mr. Marusic developed a number
of communications programs to help the Croatian government spur economic
growth and job creation in Croatia.
Prior to his work with the Department of Defense, Mr. Marusic was
an assistant news producer for WKYC-TV, Cleveland, on the highest rated
morning news program in the market. He is a graduate of The Ohio State
University in Columbus, Ohio with a Bachelor’s degree in Journalism