Hud has more than 40 years of experience in public relations and public affairs strategy development as an agency advisor and head of communications for major corporations. He most recently served as Senior Communications Strategy Director for former Illinois Governor Bruce Rauner, joining the administration in 2017. He is also a founding partner of Beacon Advisors, Inc., a strategy consulting firm serving large and mid-size businesses on all aspects of corporate communications, investor relations, and crisis management.
Hud spent a dozen years with worldwide PR firm Hill+Knowlton, Inc. where he was on the USA executive committee and served as managing director of the Chicago Office. He was one of the agency’s top crisis counselors working on hostile takeovers, labor disputes, plant closings, industrial accidents, product recalls and contaminations, litigation, and management malfeasance. From 1996 to 2002, Hud was President of KemperLesnik Communications in Chicago, an integrated PR and sports marketing firm. He was chief communications officer for Lockheed Corp. and was the first director of corporate communications at Mellon Bank.
Hud’s portfolio of clients has included PNC, Discover Financial Services, Key Bank, Northern Trust, Kemper Insurance; Kraft Foods, Burger King, NutraSweet, Equal; Monsanto, CF Industries; United and American Airlines; Chicago Sun-Times, WTTW; University of Chicago Medical Center, College of American Pathologists, and the Rehabilitation Institute of Chicago.
Hud is an adjunct professor of crisis communications in Northwestern University’s Medill graduate school of journalism. He has served on the corporate development advisory board of the University of Michigan’s Ross School of Business and he is the former President of the Tony Award-winning Victory Gardens Theater in Chicago.
He is a 1969 graduate of the University of Michigan.