M. Harris & Co.

Our Team

 
 
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Our Story

From its inception in 2016, Melissa Harris has grown M. Harris & Co. to a 20-plus-client roster with more than $1.5 million in annual revenue. The firm has taken off because of her relentless pursuit of veteran talent — Pulitzer winners, Emmy winners — hand-picked to meet a client’s needs as well as her refusal to let anything out the door that is less than exceptional.

Headshots by M. Harris & Co. photography partner Alex Garcia.


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Melissa Harris

Founder/CEO •  LinkedIn

  • Clio Award winner for Cards Against Humanity Saves America

  • Named No. 4 marketer in Chicago by Agency Spotter

  • Entrepreneur-in-Residence at the University of Chicago’s Booth School of Business

  • Winner of the 2016 Reed Award from Campaigns & Elections for Best Earned Media Around a Single Event for The Nuisance Committee

  • Capped 15-year journalism career as a Pulitzer Prize-nominated business columnist for the Chicago Tribune

  • Education: BSJ, Medill School of Journalism, Northwestern; MA in government, Johns Hopkins University; MBA, Booth School of Business, University of Chicago


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Jane Hirt

Project Partner •  LinkedIn

Practice Areas: Marketing Strategy, Content, Messaging, Social Media, Digital Marketing, Event Marketing, Headhunting

  • Former managing editor and vice president of the Chicago Tribune

  • Founding editor in chief of pioneering millennial news brand RedEye

  • LinkedIn Top Voices 2016: The 10 Must-Know Writers in Media

  • Crain’s Chicago Business 40 Under 40, 2006

  • Education: BJ, University of Nebraska-Lincoln


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Deborah L. Shelton

Project Partner • LinkedIn

Practice Areas: Public Relations, Messaging, Executive Communications, Content, Speechwriting

  • Former managing editor, The Chicago Reporter

  • Former director of health care media, Golin

  • Former investigative reporter, focused on health, medicine and science, Chicago Tribune

  • CNN documentary producer, Body Parts (as a Kaiser Family Foundation fellow)

  • Winner, National Headliner Award for Public Service Reporting

  • Education: BA, Pitzer College (Claremont Colleges)


Mark Jacob

Project Partner • LinkedIn

Practice Areas: Communications Strategy, Content, Messaging, Speechwriting

  • Former Chicago Tribune metro editor

  • Editor of Mary Schmich’s Pulitzer Prize-winning columns (Here’s her column about Mark.)

  • Member of Tribune team that won the 2001 Pulitzer Prize for explanatory journalism for its “Gateway to Gridlock” report on O’Hare Airport

  • Former Sunday editor at Chicago Sun-Times

  • Author of six books: The Game That Was; Wrigley Field: A Tribute to the Friendly Confines; Chicago Under Glass; What the Great Ate; Treacherous Beauty: Peggy Shippen, the Woman Behind Benedict Arnold’s Plot to Betray America and 10 Things You Might Not Know About Nearly Everything.

  • Education: BA, Hendrix College

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Stephan Benzkofer

Project Partner • LinkedIn

Practice Areas: Executive Communications, Content, Speechwriting

  • Former Chicago Tribune Sunday editor and Page One editor.

  • Member of Tribune team that won the 2001 Pulitzer Prize for explanatory journalism for its “Gateway to Gridlock” report on O’Hare Airport

  • Co-author of the book, 10 Things You Might Not Know About Nearly Everything

  • Contributed to and edited the book, Chicago Flashback: The People and Events that Shaped a City’s History

  • Commentator on documentary A City at War: Chicago

  • Education: BSJ, Medill School of Journalism, Northwestern University


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Michelle Kucera

Project Partner • LinkedIn

Practice Areas: Public Relations, Crisis Communications, Community Outreach

  • Former principal Dewey Square Group, a public affairs consulting firm

  • Former deputy press secretary of the Democratic National Committee

  • Former press secretary for Tipper Gore and the Gore family

  • Former director of communications for Cook County Assessor Jim Houlihan

  • Education: BA, DePaul University


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Alex Garcia

Project Partner • LinkedIn

Practice Areas: Photography & Videography

  • Member of Tribune team that won the 2001 Pulitzer Prize for Explanatory Reporting  for its “Gateway to Gridlock” series

  • Member of team that won a 2017 Titanium Lion in the Cannes Lions Festival of Creativity for the “Boost Your Voice” campaign for Boost Mobile. 1st Place Winner, World Press Photo Award for work in the first U.S. newspaper bureau in Cuba in 40 years.

  • Called by HarperCollins “one of the world’s leading photojournalists”

  • Board Member, National Press Photographers Association

  • Member of Alumni Advisory Board, Northwestern University Magazine.

  • Education: BA, Northwestern University


Susan Anderson

Project Partner

Practice Areas: Executive Communications, Public Speaking, Messaging, TV Appearances

  • Former anchor and reporter WBBM-TV (CBS 2) Chicago

  • Six-time Emmy award winner

  • First to develop a consumer TV investigative unit in the country

  • Named Best Consumer Reporter in the country by National Press Club, Washington D.C.

  • Coached dozens of CEOs of Fortune 500 companies

  • Education: BA, University of Illinois

 

 

Lindsey Camelio

Project Partner • LinkedIn

Practice Areas: Visual Design

10+ years of design experience with agencies, startups, nonprofits and small businesses

  • Winner of 2016 Visual Design of the Year, PR Daily

  • Published in Milton Glaser’s Design of Dissent, Updated Edition

  • Former Art Director for PepsiCo, Philips Global, NASCAR, Kimberly-Clark and American Cancer Society

  • Former Interim Creative Director of San Francisco AIDS Foundation

  • Education: BFA, Maine College of Art; MFA, Cranbrook Academy of Art