CHICAGO— Louis C. Williams, founder of one of Chicago’s most prominent independent PR firms and a leader in the region’s professional community, died on December 27, peacefully at his home in Sturgeon Bay, Wis.

In 1985, having previously worked at several large national agencies, he founded L.C. Williams & Associates, which drew on his ideals and experience in research, training, and strategic public relations. Under his leadership, the firm acquired several other well-respected PR agencies and became one of the top 10 independent PR firms in Chicago.

Williams retired in 2009 after selling LCWA to his employees. The firm is led today by president Kim Blazek Dahlborn, who said: “I was honored to work with Lou for many years and learned so much from him. Lou’s influence at the firm goes far beyond his name on the front door. All of us at LCWA will continue to pursue his vision and honor his legacy. He certainly will be missed.”

In addition to his agency work, Williams served as chairman of the International Association of Business Communicators and was selected a Fellow, the highest honor the organization bestows. He authored Communication Research, Measurement and Evaluation: A Practical Guide for Communicators, an IABC bestseller.

He also was a Fellow of the Institute for Public Relations (IPR) and its Measurement Commission.

Born November 7, 1940 in Huntington, Ind., Williams raduated in 1959 from Redford High School in Detroit, Mich., and went on to earn a degree in Education from Eastern Michigan University in Ypsilanti, Mich., in 1963. Williams is survived by his wife, Mary Moster, two daughters and one son,  and five grandchildren. Memorials may be given in Williams’ honor to Birch Creek Music Performance Center (P.O. Box 230, Egg Harbor, Wisc. 54209) or Unity Hospice (2366 Oak Ridge Circle, De Pere, Wisc. 54115).