Your LIF style Communications Partner

Celebrating 25 Years

In 1989, our founder, Jonni Hegenderfer, decided to leave the big-agency world and become an entrepreneur. JSH&A was a small start-up that Labor Day in 1989. The only other employee on the payroll was Rocky, Jonni’s rather rambunctious dog but an enthusiastic supporter and creative genius.

Twenty-five years later, JSH&A Communications is recognized as one of the country’s top consumer marketing agencies. Here are just a few of the great moments from our 25-year history.

JSH&A opens its doors

Office Moves to Downers Grove

JSH&A moves into its first “corporate” office space in Downers Grove, close to Hooter’s and fondly known as “The Swamp.”


The summer tour of New Kids on The Block gets assistance from JSH&A.

Crain’s Cover Story

We land our first Crain's Chicago Business cover story for British Steel.

Wall Street Journal

PR’s first musical press kit and romance novella, “Forever My Sweet,” for NutraSweet generates a “Marketplace” mention in the Wall Street Journal.

Whirlpool Campaign

JSH&A creates the first Whirlpool “Clean Out Your Refrigerator Day” campaign in preparation for Thanksgiving. The New York Times, USA Today, Oprah and more tout the annual celebration with tips featuring the Doctor of Refrigeratorology.

Warheads and Bizzerks

Wally Warheads and Bizzerks make their debut at the National Confectioners Association’s All-Candy Expo with a media blitz and street sampling with more than 20,000 pieces of candy causing Chicagoans to pucker-up.

Kokoris joins JSH&A

Jim Kokoris Joins JSH&A. We celebrate.

Client Workshop

JSH&A hosts its first client workshop introducing the hot new communications tool – the Internet and the World Wide Web.

WBE Certification

We are officially a Woman-owned Business Enterprise with our WBE certification from Cook County.

Hegenderfer Honored by NAWBO

Jonni Hegenderfer honored by NAWBO and The Business Ledger as an “Influential Woman in Business.”

The Morton Arboretum

The 75th anniversary of The Morton Arboretum earns the agency its first PRSA Silver Anvil.

60,000 lbs of food for Second Harvest

The Precious Moments 20th Anniversary Care-A-Van goes on a cross-country tour to 93 markets in 8 months collecting 60,000 pounds of food for Second Harvest.

Kentucy Bourbon Circle Reaches 72,000 Members

The Jim Beam “Kentucy Bourbon Circle” reaches 72,000 members and 25 local chapters.

Paving the Way for Reliant Energy

Reliant Energy enters Chicagoland with plans to build peaker power plants. JSH&A provides media and community relations support with key influencers and potential NIMBY adversaries.

Boutique Agency of The Year Finalist

JSH&A is named a finalist for Boutique Agency of The Year by PR Week.

Defining Women Survey

JSH&A conducts “Defining Women” survey to identify attitudes, aspirations, apprehensions and fantasies driving decisions as women travel through life experiences.

NYC Swat Team

Clarke Mosquito Control assigns JSH&A to lead the issues “swat” team after West Nile Virus breaks out in New York City.

LIF™ Trademark

JSH&A receives a U.S. trademark on LIF™ for its Life Influence Factors approach.

Recognized by Paul Holmes Report Card

The Paul Holmes Report Card recognizes JSH&A for its “lively, innovative public relations.” The agency has been honored to be included in the listing every year since.

The Rich Part of Life

Jim Kokoris receives rave reviews for his first novel, The Rich Part of Life.

Great Whiskey Debate

The first “Great Whiskey Debate” is held in NYC to determine the world’s favorite whiskey – bourbon or scotch.

Redbox Expands

Redbox introduces its DVD rental kiosks in McDonald’s Denver restaurants. JSH&A targets consumers, retail customers, industry and the financial community as Redbox expands nationally.

25 Years of Happy Meals

McDonald’s celebrates 25 years of Happy Meals with five new Happy Meal properties and the return of Ty Teenie Beanie Babies.

Girlfriends Study

The JSH&A “Girlfriends” study confirms that girls just want to have fun – and go shopping. (Forty-five percent of women believed we would have a woman president by the year 2016.)

McDonald’s Global Moms Panel

McDonald’s Global Moms Panel is announced with women from around the world offering guidance on serving families and helping to communicate the McDonald’s story.

America’s Longest Commute Contest

Midas celebrates its 50th anniversary with “America’s Longest Commute” contest. More than 3,000 entries are generated.

York Peppermint Patties at Fashion Week

York limited-edition, pink peppermint patties go to Fashion Week in NYC in partnership with designer Nicole Miller.

Hershey's Kisses Chocolates Turn 100

Hershey's Kisses Chocolates turn 100 with a year-long celebration that includes the U.S. Postal Service's "With Love and Kisses" stamp (just 39 cents!) and the Guinness Book of Records honoring the World's Largest Chocolate Kiss.

IPREX Membership

JSH&A becomes a member of IPREX, a global network of leading independent public relations agencies.

Survey on Women’s Media Habits

JSH&A’s survey on women’s media habits reveals the beginning transition from traditional to digital media.

NYC’s Longest Clothesline

Spray ‘n Wash Bright & White launches with NYC’s longest clothesline stretched across Grand Central Terminal in full view of 75,000 commuters.

Mommy Bloggers and Hershey’s S’mores

Thousands of mommy bloggers take a break at the Hershey’s S’mores backyard marshmallow roast during BlogHer. Branded blog posts are hotter than a beach-side bonfire.

Consumer Marketing Agency of The Year

JSH&A is named a “Consumer Marketing Agency of The Year” by Bulldog Reporter, an honor we repeat in 2013.

A Case of the Mandays

“A Case of the Mandays” multi-year social influencer campaign reaches busy moms. Program impacts sales and wins PRSA and PCC awards for JSH&A and ConAgra.

Beam Straight Up

Beam Straight Up – The Bold Story of the First Family of Bourbon, the autobiography of Jim Beam’s great grandson, Fred Noe, is written with assistance from JSH&A author-in-residence and president, Jim Kokoris.

SKILSAW 75th Anniversary

The 75th anniversary of the Worm Drive SKILSAW is celebrated with a custom chopper incorporating SKILSAW parts, designed, built and revealed on the hit reality show American Chopper.

Master Lock Welcomes Obama

Master Lock welcomes President Obama as he visits the company’s Racine, Wisc., plant in support of the administration’s “Made in America” initiative.

Tequila Mixology Roundtable

Tequila mixology roundtables are conducted in Chicago and Guadalajara on behalf of El Tesoro Platinum Tequila.

Reinvent A Classic

ConAgra’s Alexia invites consumers to “Reinvent A Classic” and create the next great flavor for the brand’s popular line of frozen potatoes.

Purina’s Dog-Friendly Dining

It’s the World’s Largest Dog-Friendly Communal Dining Event hosted by Purina’s Chef Michaels.

25 Years

JSH&A celebrates 25 years of helping America’s leading brands connect with their consumers.

Agency Photo Album

For 25 years, JSH&A has prided itself on being a fun and spirited place to work. Team members work hard and enjoy themselves while doing so. Here are some of our favorite photos of team members at work and play.