Kathy Schaeffer


Kathy Schaeffer has a gift for immediately getting to the heart of communications challenges, asking the right questions and recommending strategies for clients to win in the “court of public opinion.”

CEOs and other executives benefit from Kathy’s strategic communications counsel, aimed at achieving business goals and enhancing public image. Kathy helps association, corporate and nonprofit clients translate their policy positions to make landmark legislative progress and generate public support. She helps organizations and individuals build public awareness, mend reputations and navigate crises.

Kathy applies more than 30 years of communications experience to advise clients in an array of areas, including health care, corporate social responsibility, economic development, tax policy, energy and philanthropy. Kathy offers hospital and health care clients unrivaled success and expertise in communications related to high-stakes issues, including the Certificate of Need regulatory process.

Kathy is a well-respected media and spokesperson trainer and an accomplished speaker. She is an award-winning writer and editor. Kathy excels at messaging and guiding leaders and their organizations in the public arena – whether the environment is positive or fraught with crisis, opposition or political sensitivity.

More valuable than those skills, clients say, is who Kathy is at the core: enthusiastic, creative and funny. She is direct and willing to tell the emperor he wears no clothes. She intuitively understands human nature and unerringly puts the most difficult concepts into words. And, to Kathy, excellent client service means unquestionable integrity, loyalty to principles and exceeding expectations.

Kathy founded Kathy Schaeffer Consulting, LLC (KSC) in 2017 after operating Chicago public relations firm Kathy Schaeffer and Associates, Inc. (KSA) for 22 years. Kathy and the KSA team received accolades from many clients in the public affairs arena, and earned numerous awards, including the prestigious Platinum Award from the Publicity Club of Chicago. Prior to founding KSA, Kathy was a vice president at Jasculca Terman Strategic Communications. Kathy spent the first 10 years of her career as a news reporter at The Daily Herald in suburban Chicago. She holds a bachelor’s degree in journalism from the University of Illinois in Urbana.

A lifelong Chicagoan until 2017, Kathy now splits her time between Michigan and Illinois. Kathy has a long track record of community service. She has served as a member of the board of trustees at La Rabida Children’s Hospital in Chicago, as well as on the boards of the Chicagoland Chamber of Commerce, the Chicago Area Public Affairs Group and other nonprofit organizations. She has held numerous leadership positions at the First United Methodist Church of Chicago and now leads youth at Central United Methodist Church in Traverse City, Michigan. A die-hard Bears fan, Kathy is a former member of the Chicago Bears Season Ticket Holder Advisory Group.