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 is long and varied.
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, now.
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. In 2022, Ms. Glenn received the French National Order of Merit for her work promoting cultural exchanges between France and the U.S.
An active community leader working for positive social change, Ms. Glenn’s service and involvement in national and international organizations has included: Board of Trustee, Adler University; Board of Directors, North Lawndale Employment Network; current member, Paris Sister Cities Committee; former Leadership Council member, Public Narrative; and former member, Personal PAC Board of Directors and the University of Illinois at Chicago Department of Gender and Women’s Studies Advisory Committee. Ms. Glenn 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 the arts, film and music. She is a former member of the Union League Club of Chicago and is a current member of both The Arts 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.
Kelly Calvanico has been a senior writer with Thinkinc. since 2021. Ms. Calvanico has over two decades of experience in social impact communications on both the client and agency sides of the business. She is a values-aligned, impact-driven communicator who plays an essential role in raising the public profile of Thinkinc.’s clients. Through carefully thought-out communications strategies, messaging, campaigns, and storytelling, she partners with her clients to create positive social impact. She has extensive experience working with nonprofits, political campaigns, and socially conscious organizations. When she is not working, she is planning her next great adventure.
Linc Cohen has been a senior writer with Thinkinc. since 2014. During that time he was involved in a number of cases: the battle to slow down the city’s approval of a TIF for the Lincoln Yards mega-development; the efforts of Alderman Michael D. Rodriguez to gain environmental justice for the Little Village community after Hilco covered the neighborhood in dust; the work of Alternative Schools Network to expose the dire lack of employment opportunities for Chicago’s youths of color; the campaign of the Grassroots Alliance for Police Accountability to pass an ordinance creating a structure for civilian oversight of the Chicago Police Department and many other projects on behalf of public interest non-profit organizations. A former steelworker, Mr. Cohen was editor of the AFSCME Council 31 newspaper, which goes to all members and retirees in Illinois, is now retired. He has a blog with personal stories and commentary on the world in general, but climate change in particular.
Social Media &
Eric Gwinn develops and executes audience-building social media campaigns, writes stirring copy and manages attention-grabbing email campaigns for Thinkinc.’s clients. Before joining Thinkinc. in 2017, Mr. Gwinn wrote and edited for the Chicago Tribune and the University of Chicago Booth School of Business’s marketing department. In his spare time he writes contemporary music using found and synthesized sounds.
Media Outreach Specialist
A bilingual (English & Spanish) brand catalyst, Julia Lytle has always had an instinct for connecting people and brands with symbiotic goals. With almost 10 years of communication experience, Ms. Lytle has worked in public relations, both digital and social media and in event marketing across a variety of industries, including nonprofit , hospitality, travel, finance, sports and tech. Combining her areas of expertise into an integrated model for clients, she launched Che Consulting in July 2019. A coffee, food & travel enthusiast, you can usually find Ms. Lytle working from cafes across the globe, but when she’s stateside, she’s most likely road-tripping with her adopted pup Leo, boxing or mixing up a mezcal cocktail.