<![CDATA[Colleen Callahan Consultancy - Blog]]>Fri, 10 May 2024 23:44:49 -0700Weebly<![CDATA[Pay No Attention…]]>Thu, 08 Jun 2023 15:19:38 GMThttp://colleencallahan.com/blog/pay-no-attention

It’s been nearly five years since I’ve written a commentary.  Not that there haven’t been times when I wanted to, but my Public Service responsibilities took precedence.  Now that I’m no longer serving in that capacity, I have the time and the liberty to resume sharing my thoughts and opinions; and as I write this, I’m realizing how much I missed it! 
So, let me begin by saying I love what social media can do.  And I regret what it has done.  I like that it can connect and/or reconnect people and entertain with funny videos.  But I don’t like how it has changed our attention span.  We no longer must wait for what comes next.  We expect instant gratification.  If we don’t see what we want, we keep scrolling until we do.  Or we fast forward the video.
I think I’ve known that for a while, but I didn’t SEE it until last weekend.  You see, we don’t have grandchildren yet, but we have pleasurably accepted the title of Grandma and Grandpa given by two sisters, 9-year-old Averie and 10-year-old Ryleigh.  So, when we were asked if they could stay with us for a long weekend, we gladly said yes. 
At this juncture, I bet you are thinking, “did you just now figure out that iPads and tablets are used as babysitters?”  Well, no, that’s not what triggered my realization.  It was when I learned that neither of the girls had ever watched the Wizard of Oz! 
As we were talking about the upcoming school play, Averie said her class was singing the song, “If I only had a brain.”  And then she began her rendition.  Immediately after complimenting her singing, I said I recognized the song and asked her some questions about the movie.  When she looked confused, I asked if she had ever seen the Wizard of Oz.  Clearly, the answer was no. 
What came next?  You guessed it. Because it was important to me that they watch this classic, I searched on a streaming site for the Wizard of Oz, and we sat down to watch it.  And that’s when the realization hit. 
About three minutes in, the girls wanted to pause it.  Then, they wanted to get a snack.  Then, they asked if we could watch it later.  They were ready to watch something on Netflix or go play with a new doll.  And that was when the epiphany occurred.  They hadn’t asked to watch the Wizard of Oz.   It was MY idea. 
Instead of the storyline from which I thought they should learn, I was the one that got the lesson.  And how ironic is it, that the iconic line in the move, “Pay no attention to the man behind the curtain” is exactly what they did! 
<![CDATA[Mercury Public Affairs Expands Agriculture Expertise]]>Sat, 13 May 2023 22:08:59 GMThttp://colleencallahan.com/blog/mercury-public-affairs-expands-agriculture-expertiseColleen Callahan is eager to announce a new opportunity to be a trusted advisor to Mercury - a leading global, bipartisan public strategy firm.

“As I return to my consultancy, I could not be prouder to have the opportunity to work with my cousin, Cheri (Callahan) Bustos and her son, Nick at Mercury Public Affairs. As Mercury expands into Illinois and focuses on agricultural issues, I’m looking forward to sharing my insights based on my ag and communications background and my leadership responsibilities at USDA Rural Development and the Illinois Department of Natural Resources.”

Read the full press release by clicking the text "read more" and learn about Colleen's involvement in this group.​ 
Mercury is strengthening its Agriculture practice bringing on new hires with an extensive network in agriculture industry.
SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (May 10, 2023) – Mercury, a leading global, bipartisan public strategy firm, will leverage its new Illinois hires to deepen its expertise in the agricultural industry and in the Midwest. The team, spearheaded by former Congresswoman Cheri Bustos, an Illinois native and fervent ally of rural communities, is well equipped to leverage a strong network with decades of experience, serving the constituencies of farming communities and the agricultural industry.
During her decade in Congress, Bustos served on the House Agriculture Committee for the duration of her tenure, and she Chaired the General Farm Commodities and Risk Management Subcommittee of the House Agriculture Committee. “Agriculture is the biggest economic driver in my home state of Illinois and is key to the success of the Midwest,” Bustos said. “My team and I at Mercury want to help build on that with our agricultural and rural business partners. We are built to help those we serve succeed.”
Mercury recently expanded its Illinois team with the addition of Nick Bustos and Michael Morthland, two leading names in Illinois politics and policy. Both come with a strong background in state government and politics, and both are lifelong Illinois residents. They join Mercury with an extensive network throughout the region and a firm understanding of Midwestern values and politics. 
Nick Bustos joined Mercury with strong ties to the agricultural manufacturing industry, where he served as a Vice President of Marketing. Overseeing all marketing, communication and reputation management, he brings a proven track record of leveraging out-of-the box, multi-channel marketing strategies to deliver revenue growth and elevate companies’ profiles and overall success.
Mercury-Illinois is advised by Colleen Callahan, who served in Illinois Gov. J.B. Pritzker’s cabinet as Director of the Illinois Department of Natural Resources. She also served in the Obama Administration as the Illinois Director of Rural Development in the U.S. Department of Agiculture. Callahan, a lifelong family farmer, was an agriculture broadcaster on television and radio for decades.
And Mercury is also served by Michael Morthland, a Decatur, Ill., native, who brings his vast knowledge and background in the Illinois State Government regulatory space to the practice. He is a lawyer and comes from a long line of Illinois judges.
Together, Mercury’s Illinois team complements the firms’ best-in-class public affairs capabilities with deep knowledge of politics, agriculture and business.
About Mercury 
Mercury is a high-stakes, bipartisan public strategy firm. The firm provides a comprehensive suite of services that includes federal government relations, international affairs, digital influence, public opinion research, media strategy and a bipartisan grassroots mobilization network in all 50 states. The firm has 130+ professionals in 20 American offices. Mercury is a part of the Omnicom Public Relations Group. 
About Omnicom Public Relations Group 
Omnicom Public Relations Group is a global collective of three of the top global public relations agencies worldwide and specialist agencies in areas including public affairs, language strategy, global health strategy and change management. As the largest group of communications professionals in the world, our employees provide expertise to companies, government agencies, NGOs and nonprofits across a wide range of industries. Omnicom Public Relations Group delivers for clients through a relentless focus on talent, continuous pursuit of innovation and a culture steeped in collaboration. Omnicom Public Relations Group is part of the Communications Consultancy Network, a division of Omnicom Group Inc. (NYSE: OMC). 
<![CDATA[Reflections From IDNR And What's Next!]]>Sat, 13 May 2023 22:04:25 GMThttp://colleencallahan.com/blog/reflections-from-idnr-and-whats-nextIn March of 2019, Colleen began her appointment as director of the Illinois Department of Natural Resources. She “paused” her C3 consulting activity and led the agency for nearly four years managing, conserving and protecting Illinois’ natural and cultural resources. 

During that time, Colleen guided the agency through a global pandemic, which resulted in millions of visitors seeking to nurture their physical and mental health in the outdoors at Illinois’ nearly 400 state parks, natural areas, and historic sites.
Colleen oversaw efforts to develop a strategic plan for the agency, with a focus on positioning IDNR as a leader on reducing the state’s carbon footprint and mitigating the effects of climate change. 
Colleen also ushered the agency into a new era of diversity, equity and inclusion, and she led the launch of Copi – a new brand name for invasive carp designed to spark consumer interest in the plentiful fish found in Illinois waterways. Since IDNR’s Enhanced Contract Fishing Program was established in 2019, commercial fishers have removed more than 9.4 million pounds of invasive carp from the Illinois River.
In 2022, Colleen advocated for IDNR to receive its largest state budget in 20 years to address long overdue improvements at state sites and to offer the largest round of Open Space Land Acquisition and Development (OSLAD) grants in the history of the agency.
Also during her tenure at IDNR, Colleen was named president of the Midwest Association of Fish and Wildlife Agencies (MAFWA) and vice president of the national Association of Fish and Wildlife Agencies (AFWA). Read more by clicking the text below.
After "pausing" her consulting activity in 2019, Colleen now resumes an active role in Colleen Callahan Consultancy as CEO. 

Colleen is ready to coach clients in leadership and work with teams to discover strengths and weaknesses and how to become better communicators, presenters, and leaders. She is working on a new presentation called Leadership Begins with 'C'. Colleen will share how effective leadership incorporates the three "c's" - communicate, collaborate, connect. 

Colleen's take - "I believe leadership is much like parenting. You have to be firm, fair, and consistent."

If you need to prepare for a presentation, whether it be for television, Zoom, or in-person, Colleen also offers media and communications coaching. She will teach you or your group how to prepare for an interview, learn proper techniques, and how to label yourself as an expert. Mock interviews with camera and audio equipment are also available. 

If you have an upcoming event and you're looking for a prepared, public presenter, consider Colleen. She will work with your organization to identify topics and speaking points to communicate and connect at your event.

Lastly, Colleen is also looking forward to announcing the project "Audio Albums" a storytelling service intended to preserve family history and legacy. This project accompanies the audio production and podcast division at Colleen Callahan Consultancy. 

If you are involved in your planning committee and would like to have Colleen speak to your group, please contact her via email or phone. She can discuss your target audience, topics, timing and speaking fees.

Our team looks forward to working with you to communicate, collaborate, and connect!