About Avis LaVelle
A. LaVelle Consulting Services LLC is a strategic communications firm founded by Avis LaVelle, a communications expert with extensive experience in the public and private sector and three decades of practical application of the strategies she recommends.
LaVelle also has the added benefit of having been a senior reporter in Chicago, one of the nation¹s largest media markets. Covering major stories as they unfolded offered a unique opportunity to observe a wide variety of communications styles and practices in the public and private sector. From beginning to end, LaVelle covered such stories as the Tylenol tampering incident and the Jewel Milk salmonella outbreak which provided excellent case studies in handling crises. As Press Secretary to Mayor Richard M. Daley, LaVelle had oversight for more than two dozen city departments, strategic and crisis communications efforts for major initiatives such as workforce privatization, the Lake Calumet Airport initiative and the Chicago Flood.
As press secretary for both the Daley mayoral campaign and the Clinton/Gore presidential campaign, LaVelle designed and implemented grassroots community outreach strategies to keep members of multiple ethnic and geographic constituencies informed of campaign activities through strategic use of community and foreign language print, radio and television.
As a former U.S. Assistant Secretary for Public Affairs under the Clinton Administration, LaVelle supervised a staff of more than 500 communications professionals at the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services and directed the rollout of major national health marketing initiatives such as the Childhood Immunization Program and the FDA¹s Food Nutrition Labeling initiative under Secretary Donna Shalala.
As a senior level executive of private sector entities such as Waste Management, Inc. and University of Chicago Hospitals (UCH), LaVelle had responsibility for communications, community relations and advocacy for such major initiatives as the marketing rollout of the Blue Bag Recycling program, a campaign that resulted in nationwide changes in transplant organ allocation practices, and annual efforts to secure more funding for Medicaid and Medicare at the state and federal levels. These advocacy efforts required extensive communications support in the creation and dissemination of messages to generate and maintain public support.
LaVelle also served seven years on the Chicago Schools Reform Board of Trustees, five as Vice President. During her tenure, LaVelle provided strategic communications consulting to the board to guide CPS through major policy shifts on such potentially controversial issues as busing, school closings, and the end to social promotion.
As State Party Chairman for the Kerry/Edwards presidential campaign in 2004, LaVelle developed and orchestrated a grassroots political operation that mobilized 14,000 volunteers who signed up via the internet to raise money, write letters, increase visibility, and monitor the media.
Later, Ms. LaVelle honed her executive skills and community leadership network as she mastered the role and responsibilities related to her position at University of Chicago Hospitals where she served as Vice President of Government Communications and Community Relations.
LaVelle's most recent position was Vice President of Corporate Affairs and spokeswoman for Northstar Lottery Group, the private company charged with management of the Illinois State Lottery for over five years between 2012 and 2018.
Community leadership roles include board vice presidencies for the Chicago Park District, Chicago Public Schools and Chicago Cable Commission.
Throughout the past two decades, LaVelle has actively and successfully also led the efforts of A. LaVelle Consulting Services. Hence, her extensive client list.