My name is Ben van Loon and I’m a writer, educator, and communications consultant and proud Chicagoan. I have more than 15 years of experience across a huge range of fields, including writing, PR, marketing, economic development, nonprofit administration, publishing, and dozens of odd jobs, including bike shops, stock rooms, and open fields. I even once spent a summer working in a stuffed animal warehouse.
Most recently, I managed communications for the Chicago office of Skidmore, Owings & Merrill LLP (SOM), one of the largest and most influential architecture, engineering, and urban planning firms in the world. By night I serve as an adjunct professor of public relations at Northeastern Illinois University, where I hold a master’s degree in communications and media. It’s just up the block from the college I graduated in 2009, with dual bachelor’s degrees in English and philosophy.
As a writer, my work has been featured across a huge range of literary, professional, and business media. As a PR and strategic communications consultant, I have helped clients and employers gain placements in the New York Times, Forbes, TechCrunch, Fast Company, Financial Times, and dozens of other leading publications and networks. I’ve also presented creative and academic lectures across the U.S. From 2011 to 2014, I also served as the co-founder and editor-in-chief of Anobium, an independent literary publisher and experimental writing collective.
When I’m not at work or teaching, I spend my time offering pro bono consulting to nonprofits with the Arts & Business Council of Chicago and the Taproot Foundation. And when I’m not doing any of that, I’m exploring, traveling, reading books, watching movies, and taking pictures of everyday life around Chicago.