CHICAGO—Guy Chipparoni, the veteran Chicago political operative who established the public affairs division at KemperLesnik Communications five years ago, has acquired the practice and formed his own firm, Res Publica Group. KemperLesnik, best know for its work in sports marketing, will continue to operate a public relations unit, led by Hud Englehart.
The new firm—its name comes from a Latin phrase meaning public matters—will have a staff of around 12, including former Governor Jim Edgar and former North Side state Representative Judy Erwin. The unit’s revenues last year were about $2.3 million.
“In the past five years, our team and our client base has grown beyond expectations. More importantly, it was time for us to move forward as a stand- alone business in order to maintain our continued growth objectives,” said Chipparoni. “This purchase will allow us to provide our clients with a renewed focus at a time when they are grappling with critical public policy challenges.”
According to KemperLesnik chairman Steve Lesnik, “This transaction will enable us to refocus KLC’s attention on its core capabilities developed over the last 25 years in Chicago, including sports and event marketing, corporate and public relations, and specialty advertising. The timing worked well as Guy was ready to form his own firm, and I’m at the age where I’m ready to scale down to fewer businesses.
“KemperSports Management, our golf course development, ownership and management business, has grown rapidly the past few years and even after the impending sale of Kemper Lakes will have close to 3,000 staff members operating in 20 states. It is one of the five largest golf management companies in the nation and the only one of the top five that is entirely privately owned.”
Lesnik said a decision had not been made as yet whether to continue to operate the corporate and public relations group under the KemperLesnik moniker or to change the name, but he expressed confidence in Englehart’s leadership. “Hud has been my partner since the mid-90s, and he and I expect to continue as partners in this business until Hud is ready to take over completely,” he said.