I wanted to design a creative space that would make our dynamic team inspired every day, so we embarked on a gut rehab that we feel is part Willie Wonka, part Museum of Modern Art. The former space was a dark gym designed in the 80s, and Nick Mociran and Justin Bala did all of the construction work, from building a new kitchen and bathroom, to handling the lighting, electric, tiling and flooring—their contributions are immeasurable.

The office houses two original graffiti murals spray painted by street artist Greg Gunter, @Werm312. The first mural in the main office represents all of the passion and creativity that flows through a publicist’s head and heart. Inspiration for this mural came from a photo of my daughter, where I thought determination and tenacity was expressed on her face, two necessary traits of a publicist. We watched as Greg selected various cans of his hundreds of cans of colored spray paint and masterfully made this mural come to life in just five hours—his skills are truly remarkable.







The second mural in our conference room features a woman embarking on a new journey, symbolically representing what clients do when meeting with us for the first time and connoting the excitement that you feel when you are starting that first step of getting to a new destination. When meeting with our clients in the conference room, we hope to make music happen, so, we hung retro 45 records that can be taken off the wall and played on an antique record player.

12 pieces of colorful art near the kitchen were purchased from the One of a Kind Show which our firm annually represents. Some of the other art was picked up at thrift stores, which I love to comb through.

The office has an open space concept that allows for collaboration and brainstorming at the bar and conference tables or in relaxation areas. Custom ceiling work was done by design firm The Build: Chicago, featuring Sapele mahogany to mimic the feeling of waves, complemented by maple sky diamonds with flora in the main office. Adam Gutkin and Tony Bozzuto boiled linseed oil, hand oiling over 1.5 miles of Sapele strips for the ceiling. The holes in the steel and strips required drilling over 3400 holes housing 1700 rivets in the ceiling treatments to match the metallic desk in my office which mimics the wing of an airplane, continuing our theme of launching – making clients’ venues a destination. Additionally, the team created the wooden mural in the conference room (look for the HA in the piece for Heron Agency) and the art surrounding our agency logo at the entrance.

Behind my desk is a picture that hung in the lobby of the legendary Candlelight Dinner Playhouse, where I got my start as an usher when I was 14. I went on to become the House Manager, Subscriptions Manager and Public Relations Director there over a 16-year period and they were very happy years. Over this time, Director Bill Pullinsi asked if I would serve as a dancer in A CHORUS LINE, which consisted of being in the first number “auditioning” and being rejected, about a four-minute gig each performance. I love that the production where I was rejected for nine months and eight performances a week sits behind my desk every day. It daily reminds myself and the team to retain the determination to get the role, make things happen, and ultimately create a memorable experience…all of what we’re about for clients at Heron Agency.

In 2000, after serving as the Director of Public Relations and Advertising for Hyatt Regency Chicago for 5 years, I went to work at a startup company that I quickly could see was not going to make it. I started looking for freelance work, sending out drink stirrers with the ever so catchy line (groan) – “Want to stir something up? Call Noreen Heron.” Hyatt Hotels Eastern and Central divisions, half of the company’s domestic properties, became my first client with WNUA radio station the second. From there, various restaurants, theaters, events etc. started to actualize and Heron Agency was born! 22 years later, our firm has represented more than 1000 clients including over 50 hotel brands, a myriad of theaters ​and national tours, hundreds of restaurants and rooftop decks, retailers, celebrities, pop ups and events. In 2021, Forbes Magazine selected the agency as one of the “Top 200 in the Country” for PR, Expertise selected us as one of the top Social Media agencies in the country, and Clutch selected us as one of the top B2B companies in the nation.
They say teamwork makes the dream work and that is the truth. Our current long-term team includes Senior Managing Directors Kathy Bryja and Sarah Ficek Mordach, and Managing Director Gianna Fontana. These women are grace under pressure, dynamos and great leaders. Our superstar team also includes our creative and resourceful Director of Social Media Julie Culler leading Social Media coordinators Isabel Kaegi and Jenny Hawkins. Rock star, hard-working, ingenious Publicists include Aaron Woods, Madeline Bartusch, Jill Williams, and Kailey Kilraine. Our Bookkeeper Becca Tomesh is a details queen and a very special shout out to our patient, talented IT Director Parrish Adams, who has been with the agency over 20 years! ​

Together, we offer a one-stop shop providing creative public relations and social media services, targeted advertising strategies, digital marketing, influencer relations, grassroots marketing and crisis communications. We pride ourselves on cultivating successful long-term relationships with clients and creating collaborative partnerships resulting in measurable ROI. Executing dynamic, integrated campaigns for a variety of corporate, hospitality and lifestyle clients, Heron Agency focuses on strategically dreaming up unique initiatives that reach specific audiences, build brand exposure, and increase revenue. Looking back over the past 22 years, we’re grateful for the amazing clients and media relationships our team has built. Thank you!