Sard hires Culp to open and run new Chicago operation

Chicago: Ron Culp, former head of PR and government relations for Sears, will launch a Chicago office for Incepta's financial PR flagship, Citigate Sard Verbinnen.

Chicago: Ron Culp, former head of PR and government relations for Sears, will launch a Chicago office for Incepta's financial PR flagship, Citigate Sard Verbinnen.

An existing Citigate office will be folded into the new operation, where Culp will be managing director. He left Sears in February after 10 years at the retailer. Citigate Sard works for Sears, and knew Culp from that engagement.

"He's an extraordinary talent, said Paul Verbinnen, president. "We've been evaluating the idea of expanding the Citigate Sard Verbinnen brand for some time. Chicago was an obvious place where we've done a lot of business in the past. When it became clear Ron would be interested, we decided to move forward."

The existing Citigate Chicago office does about $2 million in revenues annually.

"My goal is to grow the office pretty substantially," said Culp. He said he considered moving to an agency halfway through his tenure at Sears, but the chairman persuaded him to stay.

Firm principal Judy Brennan will move from New York to Chicago to join Culp in the new operation, as will senior associate Kara Findlay. They'll "bring in the culture" of the firm, Verbinnen said.

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