About Michelle


Appointed Councilman, July 2014 - April 2015

Elected Councilman, April 2015 – May 2019, City of Highland Park, Highland Park, Illinois

Serve local government as one of the six members of the Highland Park City Council. Participate in policy setting, budget review, and oversight of all aspects of city operations. Respond to and help resolve resident issues and concerns.

Currently serves as liaison to the Housing Commission, Liquor Control Commission, and the Ravinia Festival Community Relations Commission.  Previously served as a liaison to the Historic Preservation Commission, Design Review Commission, School District 112, School District 113, the Sister Cities Foundation, Wolters Field Advisory Committee, and the Park Avenue Beach Task Force. 

Freelance Writer/Editor, Project Manager, and Marketing Communications Consultant, 2000 – Present

Partner with clients to examine communications issues and opportunities, and determine cost-effective and creative ways to meet those needs. Recent projects include issue assessment and analysis, message and content development, executive ghostwriting, web content development and search engine optimization, traditional/social media and public relations strategy and execution, proofing, editing, and publications project management.
Specific experience includes:

  • Strategic marketing communication plan development – manage all aspects of marketing communications plans from needs assessment and strategy development, through timeline planning, execution, and evaluation. 

  • Executive ghostwriting – research and produce a variety of executive communications including speeches, presentations, interactive webinars, newsletter articles, and OpEd pieces for local and national media. 

  • Content development – write and edit a wide range of printed and electronic publications from concept through production. Recent work includes a comprehensive image and identity program, website content and development, PowerPoint presentations for education and advocacy programs, comprehensive annual financial reports, annual reports, testimony for the Illinois House and Senate, membership newsletters (printed and electronic), social media and email marketing campaigns, health insurance and employee benefits materials, brochures, and flyers. 

  • Media relations and public relations projects – develop and execute media and public relations strategy for routine, strategic, and emergency communications. Write, distribute, and promote press releases, fact sheets, testimonials, and contributed articles. Responsible for interview preparation and media training for company representatives.

  • Special event and volunteer management – organize and develop special events to meet marketing goals. Examples include membership meetings, educational seminars for elected officials, fund-raising benefits, grassroots volunteer canvassing efforts, and community outreach events. 

  • Print production supervision – manage print and online production budget development, writing and evaluating requests for proposals, negotiation, and on-press print supervision.

Lake Forest College, Lake Forest, Illinois
Associate Director of Marketing and Communications, 1995-2000
Assistant Director of Marketing and Communications, 1993-1995
Managed all major marketing communications college-wide including admissions, alumni relations, and development. Responsible for annual print budget in excess of $400,000, and a team of 13 student workers and full-time employees.

  • Directed a college-wide assessment of external and internal communications, utilizing focus groups and institutional surveys. Based on needs identified, researched, interviewed, and developed a marketing communications plan. Coordinated a comprehensive identity program.

  • Selected qualified vendors, guided logo selection, wrote and published a comprehensive set of standards for identity usage, oversaw the development of printed materials, signage, and other branding efforts.

  • Developed a unique identity for Forester Athletics including a logo, wordmark, and school mascot.

  • Served as a founding member of WEBFORCE, the college-wide committee charged with developing a dynamic web presence for the institution.

  • Served as editor of Spectrum, Lake Forest College Alumni Magazine. Developed an alumni magazine to increase alumni satisfaction and promote institutional loyalty. Determined content, wrote editorial copy and feature stories, conducted interviews, and coordinated the contributions of external writers, photographers, illustrators, graphic designers, and printers. Alumni magazine named most important feature of alumni program in institutional surveys.

  • Managed all external media communications, pitched stories to local writers, wrote press releases, and oversaw the hometown news release program.

  • Responsible for all development (fund raising) communications ranging from annual direct-mail solicitations to the Campaign for Lake Forest College Case Statement and related marketing materials. 

  • Produced all admission materials including initial direct marketing search, view book, course catalog, and specialty brochures. Updated the communications program and contributed to a record increase in yearly applications and admissions yield.

Northwestern University, Evanston, Illinois
Publications Editor, 1991 – 1993
Responsible for all printed materials for The Graduate School and Office of Research and Sponsored Programs including the Graduate School Bulletin (course catalog), the Research Annual Report, The Catalyst (quarterly newsletter), Application Packet, and other materials.

The Art Dept., Inc., Gurnee, Illinois
Publishing Specialist, 1990 – 1991

Northwestern University, Evanston, Illinois, Master of Science in Education, Higher Education Administration
Thesis: How can small liberal arts colleges apply marketing principles to their World Wide Web sites to make the Internet a resource for active student recruiting? (1997)
University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign, Illinois, Bachelor of Arts, Speech Communication, Senior 100 Honorary


  • Highly proficient in use of graphic design programs including InDesign, Illustrator, Acrobat, Photoshop, and Live Cycle

  • Strong general computer skills include Microsoft Word, Excel, Publisher, PowerPoint, and Google Docs/Sheets/Forms, HTML editors including Constant Contact and Mail Chimp, and web editing/development with WordPress

  • Expert knowledge of style guides including AP and Chicago Manual of Style


  • Communications Director, C.L.E.A.R. 113: developed and implemented communication strategy for grassroots community organization which supported the passage of a referendum for a local school district. The $89 million referendum passed. 

  • Advertising Sales Coordinator for District 112 Buzz Books: manage all aspects of sales and production for elementary school buzz books. 

  • Lead Organizer, Friends of Rosewood: launched a successful grassroots campaign in support of the responsible development of Rosewood Beach.

  • Former President, Board of Directors, Family Network, Highland Park, Illinois

  • Former Member, Board of Directors, Family Focus, Chicago

  • Program Volunteer, youth education, Highland Park Presbyterian Church

  • Member, Troop Committee, Boy Scout Troop 34

  • Former Chairman, Pack Committee, Cub Scout Pack 34

  • Previously, Tiger Cub Den Leader, Cub Scout Pack 34

  • Room Parent and Program Volunteer, Ravinia Elementary School 

  • Parent Teacher Organization Volunteer for Ravinia Elementary and Edgewood Middle School


Highland Park Presbyterian Church

Tenth Democratic Organization

League of Women Voters Highland Park/Highwood

Highland Park High School Parent Teacher Organization

Giants Club