Chicago 2016 Appoints New Marketing Head

Chicago 2016 announced Tuesday it has appointed Valerie Barker Waller as the bid’s director of marketing and communications.

According to a Chicago 2016 press release Waller will focus on furthering the bid’s marketing and communications efforts and spread the key messages about Chicago’s bid for the 2016 Summer Olympic Games to domestic and international audiences.

Waller was formerly vice president of marketing and public relations at the Museum of Science and Industry in Chicago where she was responsible for marketing strategy, advertising, promotions, media relations, crisis communications, photography, publications, internal communications and web-related activities.

Waller spent nine years at the museum where she “reframed the role of the marketing and public relations function to drive more than 14 million visitors to the museum”, increased the institution’s visibility and strengthened its brand reputation. Her efforts resulted in national recognition for the museum and, according to the press release, the museum won the first Effie award, received a Sabre award and the museum’s marketing and public relations department was named PR Week’s “Non-Profit Team of the Year” in 2006.

Patrick G. Ryan, chairman and CEO of Chicago 2016 said, “Valerie is a highly respected marketer and we look forward to having her leadership and guidance as we move forward in the bid process. She joins a well-established marketing and communications team and will play an integral role in building our brand and telling our story, locally, nationally and internationally”.

As well as serving on several boards Waller holds a degree in finance and business economics from the University of Notre Dame and earned a Masters Degree in business administration at the University of Michigan.

Waller, a Chicago native, said, “this is a very exciting time for the City of Chicago and the country, and I look forward to helping my hometown as we embark on the last 12 months of this campaign. Marketing a world-class city like Chicago is an honour and I am thrilled to join the team”.