Communications & Events Creative Manager

Ace Hardware

Our Company:

Can-do attitude? Motivated? Helpful? You’ve come to the right place.

At Ace, we’re a place where you can make an impact. A place where your help is not only wanted, it’s encouraged and celebrated. A Chicago Tribune Top Workplace four years in a row. A place focused on the future, looking for new and better ways to compete in today’s marketplace. A place with an iconic history, a promising future and a competitive spirit. We like to win.

Sound like a place where you’d like to be? But wait, there’s more!

Our people are the foundation of what makes Ace great. We’re looking for the best people to help us fulfill our vision of being the most helpful hardware store on the planet. Join a competitive, fast-paced and friendly work environment and gain a sense of ownership, building on Ace’s continued success, and your own.

Position Details

Communications & Events Creative Manager
Northern Illinois
Oak Brook, IL

The Job:

We’re looking for a Communications and Events Creative Manager to join our Corporate Communications team, which manages strategic communications for more than 7,000 employees and 5,000 Ace retailers worldwide. The Communications and Events Creative Manager is responsible for leading effective retailer and employee multi-media communications planning, development and execution in partnership with communications team members, assigned departments and key business partners to drive Awareness-Interest-Desire-Action (AIDA) around Ace's strategic initiatives. In addition, this role promote Ace’s strategic objectives through impactful meetings – both live, virtual and hybrid. This includes the production and management of key events (themes, set designs, agenda, speakers/entertainment, activities, etc.). This individual will blend strong creative capabilities with a strategic mindset and the drive to deliver impact with excellence. This is fast-paced and dynamic role that provides the opportunity to touch all aspects of Ace’s business.

What you’ll do:

  • Provide creative direction and lead event planning for key meetings (in-person, virtual or hybrid) at Ace including our twice-a-year Retail Convention, Retail Group Leader and Platinum Retailer conferences, various symposiums and large team meetings as scheduled. Develop and brainstorm event themes, set designs, speakers, activities & entertainment to create “meeting excellence”. 
  • Partner with executive leadership and key business partners to translate complex, strategic business objectives into impactful experiences and clear, inspirational messages for internal and external audiences. Promote an organizational bias for high-quality event production where appropriate. 
  • Manage and execute communications projects to support key business initiatives with responsibility for developing strategies and tactics to communicate to a broad range of internal audiences (retailer and employee). Responsibilities include the development of communication plans, drafting articles, etc. 
  • Work collaboratively with in-house teams: Communications, PR/Media Relations, Travel/Conventions Team, Indirect Procurement, Marketing/Sales, etc. to prepare and manage event communications and planning. 
  • Develop and maintain good relationships with outside multi-media, décor, and entertainment vendors and speaker bureaus. 
  • Lead various aspects of event planning: speaker recruitment & management, vendor & speaker booking, budgeting, contract negotiation, meeting logistics, staffing coordination, presentation and materials support, on-site event management, and pre- & post-event communications, surveys and reporting. 
  • Serve as a member of the Meeting Excellence Steering Committee. Create or communicate share-able “best practices” (tools and templates) for others to conduct their own meetings with higher-quality planning, production, design and content elements. Help Ace make more meetings more impactful. 
  • Maintain a master calendar of key events to ensure adequate planning and optimal scheduling; identify and manage conflicts and timing issues; create event timelines for everyone involved and manage multiple projects and deadlines simultaneously.

What you need to succeed:

  • Bachelor’s degree in a job-related area and/or 7-10+ years of communications, marketing, public relations or event planning experience. 
  • Experience guiding strategy and overseeing execution of corporate communications. 
  • Thorough knowledge of corporate communication, marketing and branding principles. 
  • Knowledge of planning various types of events and professionally working with high-profile speakers, industry best-practices, and managing service providers, with a proven track record of producing high-quality events. 
  • Understanding of creative workflow process including project initiation and kickoff, execution, approvals, production, proofing, tracking and archiving. 
  • Strong critical thinking skills and the ability to identify communication opportunities. 
  • Excellent organizational and project management skills with keen eye for detail. 
  • Demonstrated ability to develop and leverage relationships; effectively influence and negotiate with internal partners. 
  • Understanding of design principles and ability to partner with and inspire artists and copywriters. 
  • Collaborative attitude. 
  • A wide degree of creativity and latitude is expected. 
  • Experience with speech writing and speech coaching. 
  • Exceptional verbal and written communication skills. 
  • High level of professionalism, maturity, emotional intelligence and relationship building skills.

« Back