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Richard Ray

Senior Account Director

Richard Ray draws on his years of experience as an Emmy-nominated Chicago journalist. He has covered beats from city crime and sprawling suburban school districts to former-President Barack Obama’s endorsement of Merrick Garland for the Supreme Court. His intimate familiarity with how stories are crafted offers Hawthorne Strategy’s clients a unique insight into elevating awareness of their brand, promoting leadership, reaching new audiences and protecting reputations. Richard worked for notable newsrooms such as the Chicago Tribune, NBC 5 WMAQ, Pioneer Press and as a contributing New York Times writer. He holds multiple awards from the Associated Press.

After leaving the news business, Richard spent two years as the corporate communications manager for SAC Wireless, a Nokia company. He was responsible for the telecom outfit’s external messaging to customers, vendors and other industry stakeholders, as well as internal communications targeted to its 2,000+ employees. During his tenure, he helped increase the brand’s share of voice by 25%, bolstered its media presence by four-million mentions and increased the company’s LinkedIn following by 35%. During the COVID-19 pandemic, as the company pivoted to working from home, he helped rally SAC’s leadership around weekly internal videos that were disseminated companywide. The year-long campaign helped remote and field employees stay inspired, engaged and informed while retaining more than 80% consistent viewership.

From newsrooms to boardrooms, Richard brings his experience as an intuitive storyteller to ensure your message is not just heard—but deeply understood.

Education: DePaul University

Three favorite hobbies outside of work: Spending time with my son, Brazilian jiu jitsu, exploring the Chicago-area’s many nature preserves

Currently reading: Exile and the Kingdom, Albert Camus

Currently listening to: Lore

Favorite food: Tacos

Coffee order: Pour-over, black