A. LaVelle Consulting Services
Project Descriptions and Case Studies

A. LaVelle Consulting Services represents clients in a number of arenas -- political and governmental at the municipal, state and federal levels, health care, information technology, education, environmental services, transportation, and others.

The following are examples of services performed for a variety of clients:

CLIENT: BOMDARDIER TRANSPORTATION, NORTH AMERICA,
Global supplier of trains and rail cars; won the largest-ever contract to supply the Chicago Transit Authority with rolling stock.

Bombardier was vying to win the CTA contract to supply new rail cars and needed to establish its’ presence in the marketplace without compromising the bidding process. A. LaVelle Consulting Services (ALCS) provided the Bombardier Transportation N.A. Senior Management with public affairs, media and government relations consultation in connection with consideration of its proposal to sell rail cars to the Chicago Transit Authority. Messages were developed for all impacted constituencies and strategies devised for the most effective delivery of these messages.

Through an aggressive but targeted public, community and government relations campaign, Bombardier sought:

  • To inform CTA officials, local government and business leaders of the growing presence of Bombadier as a part of Chicago-area commerce and industry.
  • To educate key constituencies about the successful engagements Bombadier has with transit agencies in other major areas around the country and the world.
  • To build a team of allies to welcome them into the market and feel comfortable with the company’s products and level of customer service.
  • To create a favorable impression the Chicago media market by highlighting and promoting unique attributes and initiatives of the Bombardier Transportation N.A. to specialty and general market media.

CLIENT: CAMELOT SCHOOLS,
Operators of alternative high schools in major school districts across the country seeking the opportunity to present to school district officials in Chicago and St. Louis.

A. LaVelle Consulting Services facilitated access for The Camelot Schools representatives to key public school officials in St. Louis and Chicago and assisted in determining the extent to which the services of Camelot may be required in both school districts. While the St. Louis public school system had already established a need for a more concerted approach to alternative schooling, the Chicago Public School system required an effort to convince various administrators and board members of the need and the overall benefit of creating a systemic approach to this issue. The challenges facing Camelot Schools were two-fold:

  • To determine the extent to which there is a real opportunity for Camelot Schools to be involved in the St. Louis Public School System as part of the strategic plan recently outlined.
  • To encourage the Chicago Public Schools to take a put greater emphasis on a developing a systemic approach to dealing with these children to supplement the inadequate, piecemeal system now in place.

CLIENT: IRONWORKERS UNION LOCAL NO. 63
Ironworkers Local 63 is seeking support from the Chicago City Council, construction industry and development community to achieve passage of legislation to implement certification and licensing process for steelworkers and steel erection contractors.

This requires both government relations and public affairs services, as it will be necessary to build a public justification and to turn this effort into a “win-win-win” situation for the workers, the consumers and the Daley Administration. Included in these services are:

  • Strategic counsel for developing and managing a legislative advocacy and public affairs campaign to bring this issue to the attention of the Daley administration and the Chicago City Council.
  • Securing for Local 63 meetings with key members of the Daley Administration and City Council:
    • Buildings Commissioner John Knight
    • 43rd Ward Alderman Vi Daley (major porch collapse in ward—12 dead, 57 injured, June 2003)
    • City Council Buildings Committee (Chairman and Key members).
  • City Council Committee on License and Consumer Protection
  • Developing Talking Points, press releases and other materials as needed to assist in building the case for how important certification/licensing process is for public safety and consumer quality.

CLIENT: NEW SCHOOLS FOR CHICAGO/ RENAISSANCE 2010
Coalition of Chicago Business Leaders that raised funds to finance Mayor Daley’s plan to open 100 Charter Schools in Chicago by the year 2010.

A. LaVelle Consulting Services provided community relations and public affairs consulting in connection with the R2010 initiatives to transform these 100 Chicago Public schools into centers of excellence. Trust in CPS and the business community had to be reaffirmed by illustrating their shared commitment to improving education with no agendas other than what is in the best interest of the children. The change management process required extensive communications efforts throughout each phase of the transition to new practices and procedures. Services provided include:

  • Community Relations/ CPS Board Expertise
  • Editorial/Media Support
  • Media Coordination with Chicago Public School:

CLIENT: DON’T COUNT US OUT COALITION:
A national public affairs campaign to create public awareness of the Nielsen Media Research plan to introduce new TV ratings technology that was said to reflect a pattern of undercounting minority viewership in Chicago and other major cities.

A. LaVelle Consulting Services (ALCS) was responsible for the identifying and mobilizing key opinion leaders in the African-American community to support the Chicago portion of a national public affairs campaign for the “Don’t Count Us Out/Queremos ser Contados” coalition. ALCS mobilized a wide variety of high-profile minority community groups, including the Woodlawn Organization, and solicited the support of local elected officials to generate media and legislative attention, both locally and nationally. This effort generated extensive local and national coverage, including articles in the Chicago Tribune, Chicago Sun-Times, the New York Times, Los Angeles Times, and dozens of community and minority newspapers throughout the city.

CLIENT: PAYDAY LOAN REFORM ACT
A state-wide coalition of community and faith-based organizations that won passage of legislation to reform the policies and practices of the Payday Loan Industry in the State of Illinois.

ALCS was part of a team that was responsible for mobilizing civic and legislative support for a grassroots initiative that imposed reform on the Illinois Payday Loan industry. This effort was the culmination of two years of attempts to pass reform legislation in the Illinois General Assembly over the objections of association of currency exchange and payday loan store operators who were receiving exorbitant profits from loans in default. ALCS mounted a targeted campaign to gain the visible support of clergy, community leaders and elected official and used the African-American community radio and print to highlight the extent to which low-income and minority communities were being extorted by these businesses which primarily locate in their communities.

CLIENT: SKYWAY CONCESSION COMPANY
International consortium; won long-term lease for operating rights to Chicago’s 7.8 mile toll bridge. Transaction was America’s first-ever securitization of a major asset.

A. LaVelle Consulting provides the Skyway Concession Company LLC senior management with public relations, community relations and public affairs consulting in connection with the turnover and continuing operation of the Chicago Skyway so that SCC can enjoy a positive relationship with its patrons and the City of Chicago to showcase to the State of Illinois and other states that own and operate toll roads the advantages of privatization.

This is a project of long-duration and the needs of SCC are on-going. This project requires a hands-on approach to community and media relations. ALCS was engaged to provide the following services:

  • To inform and engage Skyway patrons and the broader community in the vision of the future for Skyway.
  • To keep Skyway staff, key community leaders and elected officials regularly informed of progress on the project to ensure broad-based community support for Skyway and its operators.
  • To create a lasting legacy for this project by highlighting and promoting unique attributes and initiatives of the Skyway Concession Company LLC to specialty and general market media.
  • To establish contact with Chicago and Northwest Indiana-area print and electronic media on behalf of Skyway Concession Company LLC to lay the groundwork for announcements in the near future as the agreement with the City is concluded and toll hikes become imminent.
  • To act as primary spokesperson to the media on behalf of SCC at all times.
  • To establish a solid working relationship with the City of Chicago’s Department of Streets and Sanitation and Office of the Press Secretary so that outreach efforts on behalf of SCC are tightly coordinated with the City’s overall message about the privatization.
  • Conduct introductory briefings and small group meetings with elected officials and community leaders to open the lines of communications and make them aware of the fact that A. LaVelle Consulting Services is now part of the project team.