Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Tickets Available for Obama Adviser Robert Gibbs' Lecture at SXU

Chicago (July 13, 2011) Tickets are now available to see longtime adviser to President Barack Obama and former White House press secretary Robert Gibbs talk at Saint Xavier University. Gibbs will speak at 7 p.m. on Thurs., Oct. 20 in the Shannon Center at the University's Chicago campus, 3700 W. 103rd St., as part of the SXU Voices and Visions Speaker Series. 

General admission tickets are $20 plus service charge. A limited number of $200 priority tickets are available, which include priority seating and admission to an exclusive post-lecture wine and cheese reception with Gibbs. Tickets may be purchased online at keyword: voices or by calling 866.468.3401.

Gibbs has been an adviser and strategist to the President since the early days of Obama's 2004 Senate race and most recently served as White House press secretary. Gibbs is one of Obama's masterminds and he can speak with great authority and accuracy from a White House insider's perspective on many issues that have crossed the President's desk. His leadership of Obama's campaigns makes him a valuable commentator on the upcoming 2012 elections.
Gibbs joined Obama's 2004 U.S. Senate campaign as communications director in 2004 and held the same title at the onset of the 2008 presidential campaign until becoming Senior Strategist for Communications and Message during the general election. During the four years of intense campaigning and close contact, Gibbs became an integral part of Obama's team. According to The New York Times, Gibbs advised Obama on politics, strategy and messaging, and spent more time with him than any other adviser. Gibbs assumed the role of the Obama administration’s press secretary on January 20, 2009.
Gibbs also served as press secretary of John Kerry's 2004 presidential campaign and previously specialized in Senate campaigns, having served as communications director for the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee and for four individual Senate campaigns. Gibbs also was the press secretary of Representative Bob Etheridge. 

Prior to his lecture, Gibbs will participate in an exclusive classroom discussion with select SXU students.

The SXU Voices and Visions Speaker Series is sponsored by University Relations and in part by the Student Government Association. For more information about the event, please contact the Office of Special Events at 773.298.3748 or

Media interested in interviewing Gibbs should contact Executive Director of Media Relations Karla D. Thomas at 773.298.3937 or

Robert Gibbs
Media Contact:
Karla Thomas, Executive Director of Media Relations
773.298.3937 or

SXU Chicago Campus: 3700 W. 103rd Street, Chicago, Ill. 60655 – (773) 298-3000
SXU Orland Park Campus: 18230 Orland Parkway, Orland Park, Ill. 60467 – (708) 802-6200

Founded by the Sisters of Mercy in 1846, Saint Xavier University was the first Mercy college in the United States and is Chicago’s oldest Catholic university. Serving more than 5,000 students at its campuses in Chicago, Orland Park and its Loop location, the University offers 43 undergraduate majors; more than 40 graduate program options in arts and sciences, business, education and nursing; and a variety of program options in continuing and professional studies. Recognizing Saint Xavier’s excellence in education, U.S. News and World Report has ranked SXU consistently among the Best Colleges in the Midwest.

Sunday, June 12, 2011


It's easy to not try in life
You could just create strife
Doing all the things you know are wrong
Singing the same sad songs

In life karma is alive and well
It flows through our lives and never fails
To knock you off your feet
Ruin your stride and make you scream defeat

Cause what you reap you sow
Life is made up of an ebb and flow
Make the choices in life that create success
New opportunities arise that feel like a test

Keep striving to succeed and do your best
Be prepared to embrace up and downs
No worries you’ll be made out a clown
Cause winners never lose when they know the secret
To bounce back up no matter what

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

TOUR Historic Old St. Patrick's Church!

Old St. Patrick's Church 

Old St. Pat's Church, a survivor of the Great Chicago Fire of 1871, invites the city of Chicago to a special tour on Tuesday, June 14, 2011 at 6 p.m.  Come and get a closer look at one of the oldest public buildings in the city of Chicago. This sacred space is a masterpiece of Celtic Religious artwork, which is considered the greatest example of Celtic Revival architectural design in America.   

Come and meet the pastor, Fr. Hurley, and learn how the church grew along with the growth of the city. After the tour, we hope you stay and join us for light snacks and beverages. 

In order to offer you our best hospitality, please R.S.V.P. by calling 312.648.1021 no later than Tuesday, June 7, 2011.

We look forward to having you join us!

Old St. Patrick's Church, circa 1800's

Monday, May 23, 2011

A Prayer for My Family and the World

God wrap a protective shield around my husband, children, parents, brothers, cousins, in-laws and friends. Make that shield strong enough to carry us through all the difficult journeys we’ll face as human beings in this world. Give us strength to get through the hard times and the sense to enjoy the lighter moments that surface. Love our flaws and help us dear God to get through the challenges we face each day.

God, send your love and strength to those dealing with illnesses, lost love, and fear of change. Help us to welcome change into our hearts and travel on the journey of the unknown with us as you give us courage and strength of character to face our fears.

Thank you God for all the blessings bestowed upon us each and every day. The breathe of life is so wondrous and thrilling; just such a gift I’m happy to receive.

Pray for the children who don’t have love, food and protection. Wrap your loving shield around them each and every day that they may grow to be strong and courageous. Continue to love our crazy world, and continue to show us your love each and every moment of our lives.


Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Level Playing Field Awards Scholarships To Five Deserving Taylor Business Institute Students

Pictured are 2011 Level Playing Field (LPF) Scholarship winners along with
LPF Board Members and TBI Faculty

Level Playing Field (LPF) awarded Scholarships to five deserving students during an official ceremony held on Tuesday, May 10 at Taylor Business Institute (TBI) located at 318 West Adams Street. All of the winners were TBI students who submitted 250 word well-written essays explaining how the Scholarship would change their lives. Each student was graded on grammar, spelling, thoughtfulness, clarity, and coherence. 

The LPF Scholarships ranged from $1,000 to $750 with the following students garnering the awards: Sharleatha Green, awarded $1,000 and majoring in medical billing/coding; Juanita Johnson, awarded $1,000 and majoring in Criminal Justice; Ashley May, awarded $1,000 and majoring in Criminal Justice; David Herrera, awarded $750 and majoring in Criminal Justice; and Carla Rodriguez, awarded $750 and majoring in Criminal Justice. 

"Each quarter I'm inspired by the essays we receive as well as the determination and hard work each applicant exhibits. We Hope Level Playing Field is doing what the name suggests, leveling the playing field for everyone willing to put in the hard work." said Lonnie Jenkins, president of Level Playing Field. 

Founded in 2002, Level Playing Field is an outreach resource for Taylor Business Institute and its students. Level Playing Field has awarded over $750,000 in scholarships to more than 300 students since its inception. These students have gone on to pursue both higher education and successful careers, achieving a level of accomplishment that wouldn't have been possible without assistance offered by LPF Scholarships that are awarded each quarter to deserving students. 

"We are so proud of our students. Although many of them face challenges in their personal lives, they are not letting that stop them from getting the education they deserve. They are becoming role models for their families," said Janice Parker, president of Taylor Business Institute. For the first time in TBI's history, the president of the school's Alumni Association, Ollie Sims, as represented by the TBI faculty, staff, and students, presented a check for $500 to the president of Level Playing Field during the ceremony. These funds will be added to the Scholarship money currently available.

The money was raised by TBI hosting a Rummage Sale for over two-weeks where TBI students, faculty, and friends purchased gently used baby and adult clothes for only $1. For more information about Level Playing Field and Taylor Business Institute, please go to their websites at and contact Karla D. Thomas at 312.543.5505.
Pictured is Keely Denneberg (far left), executive director of Level Playing Field and
Lenny Jenkins (center), president of Level Playing Field, holding a $500 check 

presented to him by Ollie Sims, president of Taylor Business Institutes 
Alumni Association.

Pictured is Janice Parker, president of Taylor Business Institute, posing with
Sharleatha Green, winner of a 
$1,000 LPF Scholarship

Monday, May 2, 2011

A Prayer for Our World

Let us pray to the Lord for our brothers and sisters in Alabama as well as numerous Southern states affected by the recent devastating tornadoes. Pray for the homeless, the addicted, the lonely, the mentally ill, for those living with violence in their neighborhoods, this country and around the world, and for those who struggle with their health.

Give all those that suffer the strength to get through their challenges and face each day with courage. God bless President Obama for his intelligence and shrewd decision-making, God bless the Navy Seals, Marines and the Military for their bravery, and help us all dear Lord to continue to make the right decisions for our own individuals lives.


Monday, April 25, 2011

Learn the In and Outs of P.R. and Marketing

As a public relations executive in an industry where the media landscape continues to change, you must stay ahead of the trends. I read industry magazines, online blogs, and tons of newspapers each and every day to stay on top of shifts and changes. I also continue to keep nurturing my relationships with media contacts on a regular basis. They are always looking for a story, and you’ve got to be the person ready to supply them with one. However, you can’t waste anyone’s time. Each time you contact a TV or radio producer, TV anchor or news reporter, you must have a pitch ready that will really capture their attention. That’s the most difficult part of my job when you work in cause-related marketing because sometimes the media isn’t always looking for a feel good story. They’re looking for information that is sometimes sensational. The story that might interest them would include a celebrity mention and involvement, or just anything they might feel their readership, viewers or listeners would be interested in knowing.

When I first got in this field over 20 years ago, keeping professional memberships current was easy. However, as a veteran P.R. professional, mother of multiples, wife and businesswoman, keeping up with those memberships have become pretty hard. I have many hats to where and not enough time to where them. Therefore, I must pick and choose what associations to join that will provide the best benefits to me because I have to stay ahead of the trends in order to offer the best services to my clients or employers.

I always create a P.R. and marketing strategy uniquely tailor made for each client or employer I work with in order to appropriately promote them. One client might need to boost their presence on Facebook initially and later start building their presence on additional online sites such as Twitter, YouTube, and their very own Web site. Another client might need to sell tickets to a concert, which would require gathering all music lists deadline dates to make sure your clients events are included. Well-timed articles in various newspapers and magazines will also build brand recognition, so a good P.R. professional should always be thinking about how to get their clients best achievements into great pitch letters and/or press releases that will hopefully turn into newspaper articles, TV and radio interviews or numerous magazine exposure. You might even be asked to write the articles for some small magazines, and small newspapers sometimes use your press release word for word. The more P.R. skills you have means top notched promotional campaigns. Clients and employers rely on you to get the word out utilizing multiple skills while you work on various projects that might involve social media as well as writing speeches, releases, articles, white papers, and many marketing materials.

Upon taking on a new client, you should always do a thorough inventory of all marketing materials as well as P.R. hits in the past to ascertain the clients true needs as well as perception out in the marketplace. Perception can be more powerful than reality, so you need to understand what you’ll be dealing with prior to getting started. When reviewing marketing materials you have to ask yourself if a consistent message is present. If not, you need to overhaul all materials and get the client up to speed on brand messaging and consistent designs starting with the company logo. Is the company logo working or does it need to be redesigned? What marketing materials do they really need? How many marketing pieces should you create? Answers those questions and move on accordingly. As far as P.R., as I said above you need to know what the current perception of a company is prior to writing any releases, speeches, articles or pitch letters. I am a firm believer in plenty of research to know what the objections to your pitch might be. If you’re prepared you’ll be ready to respond appropriately in order to secure the right media hits for your clients or employer. I could go on, but I can’t give away all my trade secrets. However, if you’re interested in learning more about my services and how K.T. Communications can help you build awareness and build your brand, please contact me at so we can discuss your P.R. and Marketing needs.