New development director and new address for STORY

Story’s head of new business development Melissa Thornley

For the first time, STORY production/post will have an in-house sales director, working in its new offices when commercial pro, Melissa Thornley, starts Nov. 1 as Midwest head of new business development.

Thornley will represent STORY’S roster of 10 directors and the 14 directors of its sister company Accomplice Media, and she couldn’t be more enthusiastic about her new role and working with STORY executive producer Mark Androw.

Thornley says her new brand is called “creative alchemy Chicago,” in that she’s engaged in working “with people I like and admire,” she says. She continues to mix sales with leadership coaching, agency and client consulting and industry activities.

She had a four-year stint at Beast/Company3/Method, the last year as managing director, having been promoted from executive producer.  Before that, she’d spent 11 years at The Whitehouse, the last three as managing director and had alternately produced in their Chicago, New York and London offices.

Androw and Thornley grew to know each other through their shared membership on the AICP/Midwest board. He calls her “a very good community citizen, who gives generously of her time and expertise to many organizations.” 

Thornley is currently working in new business development for Hum Music, a position she’ll hold concurrently with her new role at STORY and Accomplice.

STORY moving its office next week

Another STORY transition taking place is the move starting Monday into new 3,000-sq.ft space at 106 N. Aberdeen in the West Loop, from its 20-year location at 401 W. Superior in River North.

An increase in the editing side of its business is the main reason for the move, says Androw, who heads a staff of eight in Chicago (four in Santa Monica). 

The new space, which the building totally rehabbed recently, gives STORY two editing suites it didn’t have before, along with production space, offices and a kitchen.

Thornley can be reached at