About Susan K. Laue and Media Masters, Inc.
Susan K. Laue is the CEO of Media Masters Inc., a DBE, multi-media communications consulting firm producing and implementing community, school, media relations and public involvement plans for client outreach to stakeholders and the news media in transportation, environment, planning, education and public health. Laue has assisted corporate, government and nonprofit CEOs in formulating strategies for proactive community relations as well as crisis communication scenarios. She has broad expertise facilitating dialogue and consensus development for divergent interest groups. Laue has guided clients through risk management planning, socioeconomic and environmental impact assessment for major health and transportation projects. She has managed Boards of Directors in strategic planning and fund development efforts both for environmental protection and in the health field. Laue is a freelance writer for the Chicago Tribune and other publications, and worked as Public Involvement Manager for the U.S. Route 20 Project & 6-county Chicago Metro CATS 2030 Regional Transit Plan.
Summary of Qualifications
Community & Media Relations
Proficiency analyzing public transportation, education and health policy to develop strong, pro-active messages via press release, media kits, newsletters, editorial board meetings and focus groups to engage the community & news media in development of shared solutions to public affairs issues.
Public Involvement & External Conflict Resolution
Experience managing staff in the design of two-way communication avenues for public
participation in regulatory/planning, education and corporate good neighbor programs.
Marketing & Team Building
Skilled in the design of marketing strategies and building wide-ranging public support networks for socio-economic and environmental impact analysis in transportation and for public health. Experience
Media Masters Inc. DBE, President, Communications Consulting
- Produce community relations/public involvement strategies.
- Manage media relations, corporate/public crisis communication.
- Facilitate public education in highway, transit, health projects.
- Analyze transportation socioeconomic/environmental impact.
- Train educator teams for social-emotional learning programs.
- Raised millions with ad campaigns to save endangered wildlife.
- Created Media Masters business/strategic marketing plans.
Chicago Tribune, Crain’s Chicago, United Press International
- Tribune Metro Focus/Beat & North Shore Watch Columnist, Metro Writer--education, public health, public affairs.
Illinois Department of Natural Resources
- Managed PR, crisis communication to regulate coal industry.
- Raised mining agency visibility to be primary media source.
- Raised income for IL Wildlife Preservation Fund.
Illinois Environmental Protection Agency
- Managed six staff for State Policy Water Quality Team.
- Coordinated technical/socioeconomic policy for public dialogue.
- Produced newsletter, video programs, press releases, brochures.
Illinois State Board of Education
- Editor of innovative education newspaper for teachers.
- EdPress Award for feature writing, increased circ. 100,000.
- Illinois State Register Newspaper, county government.
- Northwestern University, Medill School of JournalismM.S. Journalism/Media Management; Chicago Tribune.
- University of Kentucky, Lexington, KY, B.S., M.S. Community & Land Use Planning/Soil Science.
- Writer for The Council of State Governments, Lexington, KY, and the U.S. Natural Resources Conservation Service (formerly the U.S. Soil Conservation Service).
- Illinois State University, Normal, IL, B.S. Sociology/Journalism; Senior Year Study in France.
Clients & Projects
AECOM (formerly Earth Tech), Chicago, for METRA
Managed public input and meeting planning/facilitation, land use analysis for Southeast Service Line, a New Start Phase I transit study project for METRA.
Chicago Area Transportation Study(CATS) Regional Planning Agency, Chicago
Managed a public involvement and media relations campaign for CATS’ 2030
regional plan for highway and mass transit projects in six counties, Northeast IL
URS Corporation/IL Department of Transportation, Chicago
Managed public outreach and media relations for community involvement in the design and impacts study (EIS) for a new 80-mile, four-lane highway in Central IL.
Louis Berger & Associates/Earth Tech Inc./IL Dept of Transportation, Chicago
Managed Advisory Councils, coordinated public involvement for new highway designs, produced community relations plans, EIS socioeconomic impact reports for new U.S. Route 20 Freeport to Galena, IL.
METRA, Chicago’s Mass Transit Train System, Chicago
Created public workshops for new rail corridors and community development, ie., major investment studies.
Commonwealth Edison & Rhone Poulenc Chemical Company
Developed community relations plans for neighborhoods affected by chemical releases.
Mental Health America of Illinois, West 40 Intermediate Service Center, IL Children's Mental Health Partnership (ICMHP), CASEL and UIC, Chicago, IL
Social and Emotional Learning (SEL) Trainer and Coach for 18 Chicago public schools (8 elementary and middle schools, 10 high schools) and Cook County schools using ICMHP and CASEL model for SEL school culture change, family and community involvement to reduce student conflict, bullying, violence and substance abuse. Trainer for schools using the Second Step SEL planning.
UIC, School of Public Health, Chicago/Chicago Public Schools K-12
Created community action plans and convened local stakeholder focus groups for Chicago’s inner City schools to combat violence, drug use & gang activity.
City of St. Charles, IL
Managed downtown redevelopment PR & community focus
and current Red Gate Bridge socio-economic and environmental impact public input.
Recent Volunteer Activities
Past President & CEO, Boards of Directors
- Mental Health America of the North Shore (MHANS), Evanston, IL 2004-2006
- Jr League of Evanston-North Shore, Winnetka, IL 1999-2000 & Barbara Bush Event
- Lincoln Memorial Garden, Springfield, IL, 1989-1992
Current Boards/Committee Memberships
- Mental Health America of Illinois (MHAI), Program Committee
- MHANS, Communication Coordinator, Education Committee, PR
- IL Children’s Mental Health Partnership, School Age Committee
Illinois Children’s Mental Health Partnership, School Age Committee (K-12)
As an advocate for Children’s Mental Health on the Illinois Children’s Mental Health Partnership, School Age Committee, working to implement the Children’s Mental Health Act of 2003 to bring community mental health services into schools by preparing the state guidelines for school/community partnerships and promoting state social-emotional learning standards and curriculum development.
“Mental Health is for Everyone” Anti-Stigma Banner Campaign
Created an anti-stigma banner campaign for MHANS, which was adopted by SAMSHA as a national model for mental health stigma reduction to promote speaking out when teens or adults need assistance to conquer mental health issues. Banners displayed on high traffic streets in Evanston, Wilmette, Northfield, Glencoe and Highland Park for 2 years.
North Shore Mental Health Education Networking Group
Formed a partnership of approximately 50 different North Shore social service and mental health agencies and 10 high schools’ social work/psychology staff to advance social-emotional learning and to bring community services into the schools.
Current Project: Creating a community focus group/forum on young childhood suicide prevention; advocating for social-emotional learning programs in schools.
MHANS Website & Teen Page, “Real Life, Real Answers,” www.mhans.org
Created a website for MHANS with resources for mental health and social-emotional wellness; created a teen web page, “Real Life, Real Answers,” with easily accessible resources on depression and other mental health issues using engaging teen dialogue.
As President, guided MHANS Board in creating new vision statement in 2005 social-emotional wellness for everyone.