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’s firm, Kathy Schaeffer and Associates, Inc., offers hospital and health care clients unrivaled success and expertise in communications related to the Certificate of Need regulatory process.

In 2010, Kathy and team won the prestigious Platinum Award from the Publicity Club of Chicago for work with Sherman Health to open a new hospital in Elgin, Illinois. She and the firm have won numerous public relations awards since she founded the firm in 1994.

Kathy is an award-winning writer and editor. She is a skilled media and spokesperson trainer and an accomplished speaker. 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.

With 10 years of news reporting at the Daily Herald, Kathy understands how reporters think. Her transition from journalist to PR consultant began with six years at Jasculca/Terman and Associates, where she rose to vice president. Kathy holds a bachelor’s degree in journalism from the University of Illinois in Urbana.

Kathy’s commitment to the community flows through her personal life. She is a leader at the First United Methodist Church of Chicago and teaches youth Sunday school. She serves on the Chicagoland Chamber of Commerce Political Action Committee board. She serves on the board of trustees of La Rabida Children’s Hospital in Chicago. Kathy is a past president of the Chicago Area Public Affairs Group and a former member of the advisory board of the Axelson Center for Nonprofit Management at North Park University. A lifelong Bears fan, Kathy is a former member of the Chicago Bears Season Ticket Holder Advisory Group.