CHICAGO: Guy Chipparoni, a long-time fixture on the Illinois political and public affairs scene, has purchased the public affairs unit of KemperLesnick Communications (KLC).
Chipparoni will head up the now-independent company under a new name, Res Publica Group.
Chipparoni started KLC's public affairs unit five years ago after leaving Hill & Knowlton Chicago, where he had been senior managing director of public affairs. He also had been a press secretary to former Illinois governor Jim Edgar when Edgar was secretary of state. Edgar will serve as a consultant to Chipparoni's new agency.
Res Publica should realize revenues of $2.8 million this year, Chipparoni said. He has a staff of 12 who have moved from KLC, and Chipparoni expects to soon hire five additional staffers.
Clients include the civic committee of the Commercial Club, a Chicago business group, and Chicago's Field Museum. The agency will work with corporate clients on issues such as taxation, regulation, and competition, Chipparoni said.
KLC will continue working with PR clients such as NutraSweet and Aon.
Hud Engelhart, KemperLesnick president, said, "Guy has a unique client list for which there wasn't a lot of professional overlap. The basic operation of our PR unit will not change." KemperLesnick's PR staff will remain at 25 people.