Rich Jernstedt, 2019 Legacy Honoree

Rich Jernstedt is pictured standing outside on a sunny, Chicago day.

Rich Jernstedt’s background includes military public affairs, corporate and marketing communications for a large corporation, and public relations agencies. He founded his consulting firm in 2012. He has a select portfolio of clients and also is a senior counselor with Prosper Group, a team of former agency CEOs who consult with independent agencies on a variety of performance drivers.

He is known for developing and leading successful integrated-communications programs across a variety of disciplines and geographies for a variety of corporations and non-profit organizations. Rich’s professional focus is reputation management and marketing communications. He has extensive experience in strategic planning, media relations, crisis management, internal communications, thought leadership and executive communications.

Agency roles over the years include a four-year consulting assignment with Porter Novelli and he was CMO during part of his seven years at FleishmanHillard. For more than 25 years at Golin, he helped build the one-office firm into one of the largest in the world.  He was CEO for 12 years, and then became chairman.

Prior to his agency experience, Rich was part of the marketing and communications department of a global packaging company. He spent three years as a public affairs officer for the U.S. Navy onboard aircraft carriers with deployments to Southeast Asian and also the Mediterranean.

In addition to serving on Silver Anvil-winning teams, he was the management supervisor of the 2015 “Best of Show” in the PRSA/Chicago Skyline Awards. The Chapter honored him as the 2015 “Distinguished Senior Leader.”

Rich has been a board member of the Arthur Page Society and currently serves as co-chair of its development committee. He was a founding board member and then chairman of the Council of Public Relations Firms (now The Council). He is a member of the board of Off The Street Club and formerly served on the boards of The Institute for Public Relations and the Lincoln Park Zoo.

A journalism graduate of the University of Oregon, he was a trustee of the University for eight years. He is the first public relations professional inducted into the School of Journalism and Communications’ Hall of Achievement.

Longtime citizens of Chicago, Rich and his wife Jeani have two children, Ty and Tiffin, and two grandchildren, Ace and V.


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