Hud Englehart has more than 30 years experience in public relations and public affairs strategy development as an agency advisor and head of communication for major corporations. He is a founding partner of Beacon Advisors and provides large and mid-size businesses with communication strategy, media relations, investor communication, employee relations and crisis management.
Recent consulting clients include NutraSweet (brand re-launch, ingredient approvals, strategic alliance), KeyCorp ($1.6 billion capital restructuring), Tropicana Casinos & Resorts (Chapter 11), University of Chicago Medical Center (reputation management, corporate communication, community affairs), Discover Financial Services, Inc. (Discover US Spending Monitor, Small Business Watch), and Hudson Highland Group (investor communication, Hudson Employment Index). Hud has a business development affiliation with Rasmussen Reports, the public opinion polling company in which he was an original investor.
From 1996 to 2003, Hud was President of KemperLesnik Communications in Chicago, where he acted as chief integration officer for the PR, public affairs, advertising and sports marketing firm. He oversaw major sports events involving the PGA Tour (Kemper Open, SBC Senior Open), NCAA basketball (Maui Invitational), professional figure skating (Equal World Pro).
Hud spent a dozen years (1982-1988 and 1990-1996) with worldwide PR firm Hill and Knowlton, Inc. where he was on the USA executive committee and served as managing director of the Chicago Office. He was one of the agency.s top crisis counselors working on hostile takeovers, labor disputes, plant closings, industrial accidents, product recalls and contaminations, litigation, and management malfeasance. Clients included Navistar, Kraft General Foods, United Airlines, Gerber, Spiegel, Northern Trust Company, and the Chicago Sun-Times.
From 1988-90, Hud was Vice President - Corporate Communications for Lockheed Corporation, a leading U.S. defense contractor. An elected corporate officer, he was in charge of public affairs, financial and internal communication, advertising, media relations, contributions, and was chairman of Lockheed’s Political Action Committee.
Hud began his communications career in Pittsburgh in 1969 at Mellon Bank, where he rose from staff writer to head of the Bank's first corporate communications office. At the time, Mellon was the nation's 12th largest commercial bank.
Hud is an adjunct professor at Northwestern University.s Medill School where he teaches crisis communication to masters degree candidates. He has served on the corporate development advisory board of the University of Michigan Business School and he is the former President of the Tony Award winning Victory Gardens Theater in Chicago. He is a 1969 graduate of the University of Michigan.