Information on Jessica Haddaway

You're the PR writer at the Armitage Hall Foundation. Here's all the information you need to write a pitch letter and confirmation letter (see additional details below.)


    The date is April 5.

    Jessica Haddaway is 43 years old... she's divorced and lives in River North (Chicago)... she walks to work every day, about 10 blocks... she is also a certified aerobics instructor... and conducts classes (it's more like a hobby for her) at the Chicago Sports Club, 311 N. Wabash, Chicago 60610...

    She got her B.A. in Marketing Communication at George Washington University (Washington, D.C.)... got her M.B.A. at Univ. of Maryland... and for a few years she had her own PR firm in D.C.

    Ten years ago she was hired at Radnor Steel, in Gary, Indiana... they make ball bearings... she was hired in their communications office... then became (5 years ago) head of corporate communications... one of her responsibilities was keeping track of Radnor's modest donations program (giving $$$ to local worthy causes)... under her, their corporate contributions grew from $10,000/yr to $100,000/yr, despite the depression of 2008 ... (Her business card reads Vice President of Government Relations, Radnor Steel -- but her primary focus is still corporate philanthropy -- if you don't know what that means you should look it up!) ...

    Not only did contributions increase, but the way she gives away Radnor's money is interesting. She believes too many corporate contributions are wasted on administrative red tape. She would rather give money directly to social service agencies, even very small ones like battered spouse clinics, or pre-natal and neo-natal care, Head Start type programs, community medical clinics, and the like.... If you're in the "wrong" type of neighborhood, you might see her on the sidewalk some morning, wearing her blue jeans and sneakers, just waltzing into some storefront clinic to see what they're doing and to figure out if they can use some funding to do their good work.

    She plans to continue this approach, on a bigger scale. The foundation will still provide the major funding support to the big medical research institutions. But Jessica will allocate one percent of the total annual giving, in micro-grants, to small Chicago social service agencies -- which she will personally scout out, on her own time. That much money, though a small percentage of the total, will go a long way toward improving the quality of life for low-inccome men, women and children -- without really robbing from the big institutions.

    By the way, about five years ago she joined the Society of Corporate Philanthropy and now is a member of their board. She is also a member of the American Association of Charitable Services.

    Meanwhile, back when Ms. Haddaway was opening her own PR firm, Arnold A. Phillips ascended to the presidency of the Armitage Hall Foundation, at 150 N. LaSalle, Chicago 60601 (312-443-4000)... This is a foundation with an endowment of over $1 billion; it makes grants to the Mayo Clinic, and many universities, for medical research -- previously only very large grants -- which total over $100 million a year. Thus it is one of the biggest funding resources for medical research in the world.... Now Phillips is retiring after 20 years service .... He wants to spend time fishing in California. That's where he comes from.

    Next week -- Monday, April 7 -- there will be a press conference at which the board of trustees of Armitage Hall Foundation is going to be proudly announcing that Ms. Haddaway will be their new president. She will leave Radnor Steel and hook up with Armitage Hall on July 1... As an anonymous note on the foundation's cafeteria bulletin board said, "the board likes her style, and this is going to be good news for smaller Chicago non-profits, since she's not against giving the big grants, but wants to do more small grants too like at Randor." That includes a new emphasis on Chicago social services, which will now receive one percent of the Foundation's total giving each year.

    In the days following the press conference you will begin to book Jessica Haddaway on radio and TV, including the Sam Gordon Show. This is a weekly community affairs program on the local public radio station, WKYK-FM, located at 12500 Persimmon Avenue. It is heard all across the Chicago area. You are writing to Sam Gordon himself, who arranges all his own interviews -- i.e., ihe has a continuously changing interns for program assistants, so he still prefers queries in hard copy (not email), sent directly to him.

    You will succeed in booking her on Sunday, April 20. (You need this information for the confirmation letter.) The show is broadcast live every Sunday evening, 7-10 p.m. After your successful pitch letter, you and Sam agree that Haddaway will be on for a half-hour, 8:00-8:30, to talk about her plans for the Armitage Hall Foundation.