John Gilmour, Tour Press Agent & Communications Director for Hamilton

John GilmourJohn Gilmour is the Communications Director for the Broadway Musical Hamilton. Gilmour manages brand engagement and awareness and also oversees the strategy implementation for Hamilton’s three productions in North America. Before working for Hamilton, Gilmour led the marketing and press efforts for TMG – The Marketing Group/Allied Live/Allied Touring. During his time with TMG, he worked on other top Broadway Musicals including, The Book of Mormon, Motown the Musical, Mamma Mia!, Irving Berlin’s White Christmas, In The Heights and Avenue Q. Gilmour attended Michigan State University and graduated with a dual degree in General Business Management and Dance Specialization.


Marlen Garcia*, Editorial Writer, Columnist at Chicago Sun-Times

Marlen GarciaMarlen (MARE-a-lin) Garcia is an award-winning news media professional and current member of the Chicago Sun-Times Editorial Board. As a columnist and editorial writer for the Sun-Times she covers immigration, bills pending in the Illinois legislature and Congress, issues in Chicago Public Schools and other current events such as election endorsements. Before her work at the Chicago Sun-Times, she was a sports reporter for USA Today and the Chicago Tribune, where she covered multiple Olympics and NCAA Final Fours. Marlen is 1993 graduate of Illinois State University’s School of Communication.


Dr. Larry Long, Executive Director Emeritus, School of Communication at Illinois State University

Dr. Larry LongIn 15 years as executive director of the School of Communication and six more as a professor at Illinois State, Dr. Larry Long’s vision and leadership helped create ISU’s public relations and communication studies programs while redesigning mass media and journalism to focus on preparing students for today’s communication opportunities. He also opened the SMACC, expanded the internship program, developed Illinois’ first public relations program and led ISU’s first Communication Week (some 35 years ago). But the keys to his success work for everyone: fostering innovation, inspiring risk-taking, and leading through collaboration—traits that define today’s ISU School of Communication, and its students and faculty, and translate to better careers for ISU graduates.


Griffin Hammond*, Documentary Filmmaker

Griffin HammondGriffin Hammond is a documentary filmmaker in New York City, known for producing DIY filmmaking tutorials for indie filmmakers, and his award-winning documentary Sriracha. His 2016 election coverage aired on Bloomberg Television and MSNBC, and in the last 16 months he’s traveled to 16 countries as a brand ambassador for Panasonic Lumix cameras, and as a cultural diplomat for the U.S. State Department. Griffin previously worked at YouTube Next Lab and State Farm Insurance, and earned his Masters in Communication from Illinois State University in 2009. He also co-hosts the weekly podcast, Hey Indie Filmmakers.


Beth Esler*, Manager of Public and Media Relations at the Chicago Bulls

Beth EslerBeth Esler currently serves a the Manager of Media and Public Relations for the Chicago Bulls. Prior to being the Manager of Media and PR for the Bulls, Esler was the Manager of Corporate Communication. Grady graduated from Illinois State University in 2010 with a B.S. in Public Relations. During her time at ISU, Esler stayed very involved within her major. She was a member of PRSSA – Public Relations Student Society of America and excelled her classes as a Communication student. She always had a dream of working in sports public relations as a student, and is excited for the opportunity to return to the place where it all began and share her journey.


Stacey Shoemaker, HR Business Partner at Maui Jims[LT3]

Stacy ShoemakerStacey Shoemaker has been with Maui Jim for the last eight years. She seeks to develop integrated solutions for her employee’s needs. Shoemaker forms partnerships across the Human Resources function to ensure that business objectives reflect those of Maui Jim. She also acts as the first point of contact for managers and employees in teams including: Training & Development, Marketing, Corporate Gifts, Sponsorship & Events, Visual Design. These teams’ jobs involve incentive trips, VIP events, rewards programs, sponsors, and consumer engagement. Shoemaker’s job ranges from benefits to training and development for all of these teams, which is always keeping her busy.


An asterisk (*) indicates ISU alumni