Laurie R. Glenn
President & CEO, Thinkinc.
Founder & Director, ThinkArt Salon
Laurie R. Glenn is founder, president and CEO of Thinkinc., a Chicago-based international strategic public affairs and political consulting firm specializing in policy issues. With more than 40 years of political consulting and public affairs experience, Ms. Glenn serves as a high-level advisor, working with leaders within nonprofit organizations, coalitions, foundations, cultural, business, corporate and civic organizations, to address key policy issues impacting a range of communities from the local to global level. She advises clients on strategic planning, partnerships/alliances, coalition building, communications, leadership development and organizational change to enhance the both the power of individual leadership and institutions to make systemic change.
In her early career as a California-based political consultant, Ms. Glenn was one of the growing numbers of women in the United States to serve as a campaign strategist, planning and managing local and state-wide campaigns for public office. When she returned to her roots in Chicago, Ms. Glenn led and produced the most successful United Way campaign of any bank in the nation through her corporate affairs work with The First National Bank of Chicago.
Combining her political consulting and community affairs expertise, Ms. Glenn set her sights on public policy work opening The Glenn Group, which quickly became one of Chicago’s most highly regarded, full-service, boutique public affairs communications firms. Over the course of her career she developed specific expertise in not-for-profit organizations and education, focusing on strategic planning and positioning to transform and steer organizations on the path to realize their mission and vision.
Returning to her passion for entrepreneurship, Ms. Glenn founded Thinkinc. in 2002. Through public affairs, strategic planning, positioning, partnership coalition building, communications and coaching Thinkinc. works with organizations to develop and implement strategies integral to achieving their overall vision and mission. The firm’s client list has included: German Marshall Fund, WorldChicago, U.S. Embassy in Paris, French Consulate in Chicago, The Sorbonne, Full Circle Communities, Chalkbeat, University of Illinois at Chicago’s Great Cities Institute, Neighborhood Housing Services of Chicago, Alternative Schools Network, PASH, Alternative Transportation Network (formerly IGO Car Sharing), Action Now, The Chicago Reporter, CeaseFire Illinois/Cure Violence, Shambhala, The Chicago Reporter, Catalyst Chicago, Chase Bank, The Chicago Community Trust, The John D. & Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation, The Joyce Foundation, Chicago Housing Initiative, Community Renewal Society, Developing Justice Coalition, The Latino Policy Forum, Latinos United, The Latino Institute, Latinos United, Eleanor Foundation, Illinois Service Federal Savings and Loan Association, Chase Bank, Harris Bank, Citibank, Kenwood-Oakland Community Organization, IMAN (Inner-City Muslim Network), Instituto del Progreso Latino, Lawndale Christian Development Corporation, Metropolitan Tenants Organization, National Multiple Sclerosis Society: Greater Illinois Chapter, Strategic Learning Initiative, Target Area Development Corp., The Field Museum’s Center for Cultural Understanding and Change, United Congress, University of Chicago Hospitals, University of Chicago Hospitals, and VOYCE.
Throughout her career, Ms. Glenn maintained a philosophy that the forces of the news media can, and should be, demystified and made more accessible. Determined to bring this philosophy to a broader audience of public relations and communications practitioners, Ms. Glenn developed and taught the Professional Media Relations course for Chicago’s Community Media Workshop.
Through her art affiliations both in the United States and overseas, Ms. Glenn became passionate about reestablishing a forum for the exchange of art and ideas reminiscent of the Parisian salons. In 2003, she launched Th!nkArt, an international art and policy salon, featuring established and emerging artists from around the world. As Salon Director, Ms. Glenn envisioned a space that transcends the traditional art gallery experience, moving art from canvas to dialogue, creating a passionate forum to philosophize on issues and contemplate the fundamental role of art in the everyday life of humanity. Th!nkArt has been an established and recognized contributor to the art world, participating in local, national and international art shows and events. The art and policy salon enlists a variety of mediums including: photography, painting, sculptures, slates, works on paper, music, film, theatre, poetry and cultural programming, to evoke deeper contemplation of topics and issues. Currently, the salon is virtual. Her most recent exhibition The Chicago Angels Project can be seen at chicagoangelsproject.org.
An active community leader working for positive social change, Ms. Glenn’s service and involvement in Chicago, national and international organizations has included: Board of Trustee, Adler University; the Arts Committee of The Union League Club, where she is served as the chair of the Third Floor Gallery subcommittee; current Leadership Council member of the Public Narrative; current member of the Paris Sister Cities Committee; as well as a former member of the Personal PAC Board of Directors, the University of Illinois at Chicago Department of Gender and Women’s Studies Advisory Committee and served on DePaul University’s Islamic World Studies Program Board of Directors as well as its College of Communication Advisory Council. Ms. Glenn also served for six years as the chair of the Board of Directors for the Chicago International Movies and Music Festival (CIMMfest) where she worked alongside internationally recognized leaders in arts, film and music. She is currently a member of The Arts Club of Chicago, the Union League Club of Chicago and City Club of Chicago.
Ms. Glenn is a native of Chicago and while she resides in Chicago, she considers herself transcontinental, having spent much of her professional and personal time in Paris and other great cities of the world.