Homewood’s PR manager to become village consultant
BY GINGER BRASHINGER Correspondent February 26, 2014 7:12PM
Homewood public relations and special events manager Rachael Jones was presented with the South Suburban Small Business Association's 2014 Economic Development Leader of the Year award at the 12th annual Summit Awards Breakfast held recently at Idlewild Country Club in Flossmoor. | Supplied photo
Updated: February 28, 2014 3:21PM
Homewood’s public relations and special events manager Rachael Jones is leaving her full-time position with the village and will become a consultant.
Jones, who announced her resignation this month, recently was named the 2014 Economic Development Leader of the Year by the South Suburban Small Business Association.
The SSSBA award “acknowledges management ability, contribution to the community and region by working toward continued growth and viability of the region, along with efforts made to build good, strong relationships with business,” according to the SSSBA website.
Jones, who said she was surprised and honored to receive the award, said the SSSBA has been following Homewood and its various successes, such as the Richard Haas murals in public spaces project, the 2013 award-winning marketing strategy of the “Zombie Paradise” videos and the “Pop Up Shops” of the 2013 winter holiday season.
“The SSSBA nomination committee acknowledged Homewood for its marketing efforts and believes ultimately the positive results benefit the region,” Jones said.
Because both marketing and economic development seek “investment and buy-in” from the marketplace, her job was to keep close tabs on both, Jones said.
“Naturally, a town’s marketing efforts — or lack thereof — will impact what businesses are opening their doors, which businesses are expanding, and who is moving in to town,” Jones said.
Since Jones joined the village in 2005, her marketing strategies have resulted in national recognition and prestigious awards for Homewood.
Mayor Rich Hofeld said Jones’ SSSBA award is “well-deserved.”
“She’s the best,” Hofeld said.
Hofeld said the holiday Pop Up Shops brought special attention to Jones’ talents.
“What a fantastic idea. People are still buzzing about it,” Hofeld said. “It was Rachael’s idea and she ran with it. It worked out so very, very well.”
Jones, 37, said she is leaving her full-time position with the village to be “a better mom for the two most important parts of my life”—her children Nathanael, 5, and Evelyn, 2.
She and her husband, Christopher, have lived in Homewood since 2006.
Jones said she will serve as a consultant for Homewood, “maintaining creative leadership over the marketing and PR strategies of the village.”
“I will continue to develop and direct initiatives to support economic development and the overall growth of our town, “she said.
Jones said she will also use her marketing skills to work with not-for-profit organizations and businesses.
“I don’t leave Homewood for a full-time position somewhere else, rather to better focus on the one I have juggled while managing the many successful projects and events for the Village,” Jones said.