Mac Strategies Group, one of the state’s premier strategic communications and government relations firms, announced today that former Politico White House reporter and Chicago Sun-Times political reporter Tina Sfondeles has joined the firm as Vice President of Public and Media Relations.
In this role, Sfondeles will develop effective communication strategies for issue-oriented public relations and public affairs campaigns, using her experience covering Illinois and national politics and government to drive meaningful conversations in media outlets across Illinois.
“We are excited to welcome Tina to our team,” said Ryan McLaughlin, President and CEO of Mac Strategies Group. “Her deep familiarity with the media landscape as well as state and national politics will further our ability to communicate complicated and nuanced subjects, allowing us to more effectively tell important stories and secure successes for our clients.”
Sfondeles will be based in Chicago, where she began her career in journalism, starting as a transportation reporter for the Chicago Sun-Times before eventually being elevated to political reporter. Sfondeles covered numerous elections and administrations, including the historic two-year state budget impasse. She has been a frequent guest on television and radio, providing expert commentary to help the public easily understand the complex issues and personalities driving public policy. In 2020, Sfondeles moved to Washington where she covered Joe Biden’s presidential campaign as a politics correspondent for Business Insider. In 2021, she joined Politico as a White House reporter and co-author of the influential West Wing Playbook, a newsletter about the people and power centers in the White House. An advocate for mentorship and professional development, Sfondeles has also served as an adjunct professor at her alma mater Loyola University Chicago, teaching students about essential writing skills, professional and business speaking and reporting.
“After a whirlwind experience in Washington, I’m so proud to be returning home to Chicago for my next adventure. I’m looking forward to working with Ryan and the Mac Strategies Group team to help drive conversations on important public policy issues that affect many people,” Sfondeles said. “As an added bonus, I get to work alongside Monique Garcia, a former competitor turned close friend whose personal and professional skills I have admired for years.”
Founded in 2008 by McLaughlin, Mac Strategies Group has a proven track record of conducting widely successful media relations and communication programs, earning more than thirty industry awards and becoming one of the most effective agencies for directing successful issue advocacy campaigns. The firm secures consistent earned media for clients, while also providing strategic counsel to meet goals and objectives.
As Mac Strategies Group continues the expansion of its capabilities with the addition of Sfondeles, Monique Garcia has been promoted to Senior Vice President of Public and Media Relations. A former Chicago Tribune Statehouse reporter, Garcia joined the firm in 2018 and helps lead its operations in Springfield. The firm’s roster of talent also includes Matt Butterfield, a Peabody Award-winning Chicago broadcast journalist, as well as Matt Murphy, former deputy leader of the Illinois Senate, and Anne Schaeffer, who previously managed a multi-state government affairs practice for a global Fortune 500 company. Murphy and Schaeffer lead the firm’s government affairs practice.