Entrepreneurial mindset. Visionary leadership.
Meet Susan Markgraf
GreenMark Media's Founder & President
An award-winning reporter, editor, field producer
and media relations practitioner, Susan has more than
30 years in media and corporate, non-profit and
agency communications, specific to the horticulture, environment and agriculture industries.
She has been described by a client as a "visionary"
at brand ideation and development, and she excels at strategic planning, team leadership, issues and
reputation management, and integrated marketing communications.
Because green is all GreenMark does, Susan's passion
for her for work and the sustainable industry forges
alliances among the firm’s clients that yield above-and-beyond results, including in industry leadership capacities, higher-profile visibility and reputation enhancement. She is on the cutting edge of new media, guiding the firm’s direction for clients in social media and digital marketing that are on top of traditional strategies. With her team, success yields brand-elevating results through public and media relations, digital marketing communications, social media development and analytics, and influencer enhancement. These successes directly impact the brand and success of the firm's clients.
Prior to founding GreenMark as a woman-owned green PR firm in 2006, Susan led the award-winning public relations team at the Chicago Botanic Garden (CBG). She created and managed proactive, full-scale communications and reputation management programs, from launching CBG's science education programs and the Gardens of the Great Basin/Evening Island to elevating its presence nationally and internationally. Her work delivered millions of consumer impressions that increased visibility, drove attendance and provided tangible results that contributed to a successful rebrand initiative and one of the most successful capital campaigns in CBG's history. Under her direction, coverage of the garden and its work in science, education and leadership grew from minimal to international in just five years. Susan's background includes agency experience with the Chicago office of Fleishman-Hillard. For many years Susan represented agriculture, representing the dairy industry as news editor of Dairy Foods Magazine, executive editor of Dairy Field Magazine and corporate communications director with Dairy Management, Inc. for the American Dairy Association, Dairy Farmers of America and National Dairy Council.
As a media relations professional, Susan's work includes broadcast in front of and behind the camera as segment coordinator, field producer, field director and spokesperson. A lifelong journalist, Susan worked for more than a decade as a newspaper reporter and editor with Lerner Newspapers in Chicago. She continues to write articles for leading newspapers, digital outlets and national consumer and trade magazines. She has contributed to a best-selling author's book and has guest-taught editing and writing to teens and adults. With one foot also in the professional development side of media relations, Susan is a past president of the Publicity Club of Chicago - the nation's largest public relations membership organization. A graduate of Mundelein College Chicago with a degree in both journalism and public relations, Susan's continuing education includes Dale Carnegie Leadership Training for Managers and numerous agriculture, horticulture, and public and media relations presentations, webinars and workshops. She is a public speaker on marketing sustainable businesses and presents at industry events, including AmericanHort and The Western (The Western Nursery & Landscape Association). To reach her directly, call 847-917-9654 or send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.