Gene Reineke is the Chief Executive Officer of Hawthorne Strategy Group, an award-winning public relations firm based in Chicago, Illinois. Before starting Hawthorne, Gene worked at the international public relations firm of Hill+Knowlton Strategies on behalf of corporate clients and other organizations, and spent nearly two decades in Illinois state government for two gubernatorial administrations. Gene decided to start his own company more than six and a half years ago – Hawthorne Strategy Group. Hawthorne has grown to 14 employees with clients across the U.S. and beyond, such as the global energy drink Red Bull, North America’s largest convention center – Chicago’s McCormick Place, Wisconsin-based Evinrude Outboard Motors and Texas-based Acelity, a global medical device company. Gene’s experiences and expertise have been focused on crisis communications, issues management, thought leadership, reputation building (and protection) on behalf of his many clients over the past twenty years. Gene holds a Bachelor’s degree in political science from Loyola University Chicago, a Master’s degree specializing in American Government from Boston College, and eight professional certifications from the University of Notre Dame’s Mendoza College of Business.
What do you love most about Your City?
Chicago’s Lake Michigan shoreline and its skyline and neighborhoods.
Favorite breakfast meal & restaurant?
‘Eggsperience’ in Lakeview.
What are you doing at:
6:00 AM – Reading newspapers online.
10:00 AM – Meetings at or out of the office with and for clients.
12:00 PM – Favorite Power Lunch spot/meal?
Seven Lions on Michigan Avenue directly across from the Art Institute of Chicago.
7:00 PM – Just getting home to my condo a few blocks from Wrigley Field, home of my favorite team, the Chicago Cubs.
11:00 PM – Sound asleep!
What drink do you need to get through the day and at the end (and how many)?
Coffee to start the day, Red Bull Sugar Free to get through the day, and a Vodka and Tonic to call it a day. One or two of each usually.
Most used App/Favorite Instagram Account?
I use Twitter, LinkedIn and Facebook, but gave up on Instagram.
What should everyone try at least once?
Something that you are afraid to do.
Where do you enjoy getting lost?
In New Orleans.