Communications and Events Specialist

Ace Hardware

About Ace Hardware:

We are your local hardware store and we are a part of your community. Ace Hardware has over 5,000 stores around the world with the majority of those stores independently owned and operated by local entrepreneurs. These hard working men and women are part of the fabric of your community. They are small business owners who are local and loyal...just like it ought to be. While others have become large and impersonal, at Ace, we've remained small and very personal. That's why we say a visit to Ace, is like a visit to your neighbor.

Ace stores come in all sizes and shapes based on the needs of each individual neighborhood. We have small, urban stores, large rural stores and everything in between. Ace stores offer a wide variety of paint, lawn and garden, tools, local niche services and virtually anything you'll ever need to fix, repair and maintain your home. And of course, Ace is most certainly the place with the HELPFUL HARDWARE FOLKS TM.

Founded in 1924 by a small group of Chicago hardware store owners, Ace changed the retail landscape by allowing individual stores to purchase merchandise in bulk to save money and buy at the lowest possible price. This partnership enabled even the smaller stores to compete effectively at retail despite larger stores in their market. And to this very day, Ace Hardware Corporation is still owned solely and exclusively by the local Ace retail entrepreneurs.

Position Details

Communications and Events Specialist
Northern Illinois
Oak Brook, IL

The Job:

The Communications and Events Specialist will support the strategy, planning and execution of Ace Hardware’s world-class meetings and events, both live and virtual.

Core responsibilities include developing strategic meeting agendas, creative and video concepts and event-related communications, managing and coordinating presentation design for senior executive leaders, maintaining agency/vendor relationships, collaborating with cross-functional stakeholders, managing post-event reporting and conducting detailed event research.

What you’ll do:

  • Partner with the Events Manager and other stakeholders to plan and execute a variety of high-profile live and virtual events including internal employee events, company meetings/town-halls, General Sessions and Conferences 
  • Recommend thoughtful and engaging meeting agendas that are on-brand and on-message. Ensure communications and materials are high-quality, accurate, appropriate in tone and messaging, and supportive of company priorities. Support the creation of compelling presentation content which includes providing visual storytelling recommendations to senior leaders and coordinating with graphic designers to ensure delivery of quality content and upholding version control 
  • Develop detailed Run of Show document for events and secure alignment by all appropriate parties 
  • Support some or all aspects of events: speaker recruitment and management, vendor and speaker booking and contract negotiation, logistics, staffing coordination, presentation and materials support and on-site event management 
  • Develop and brainstorm event themes, set designs and entertainment for special events. Support creative ideation and development of concepts pertaining to video content and other experiential opportunities. Develop video scripts and key messaging for a variety of audiences including Ace Retailers and Corporate Employees 
  • Conduct external speaker research based on set criteria and event objectives. Work with speaker bureaus to secure speakers. Manage and track speakers’ requirements, i.e., transportation, hotel room reservations, meals, AV, presentations, etc. 
  • Coordinate with Legal Department to review and finalize appropriate contracts for all vendors. Work collaboratively with cross-departmental teams including but not limited to Meetings and Conventions, Marketing, Sales, Merchandising, etc. to prepare and manage event communications and planning 
  • Create post-event online surveys and manage event recap development, identifying key themes and recommending areas for improvement 
  • Maintain master calendar of events to ensure optimal scheduling; work with appropriate internal partners to identify and manage potential conflicts or gaps 
  • Develop shareable best practices with cross-departmental teams regarding meeting excellence 
  • Keep a regular pulse on event industry trends and technology to bring fresh ideas to the table 
  • Participate in other special projects and tasks as assigned

Knowledge, Experience, and Competencies:

  • Minimum five (5) years’ experience in communications and/or coordinating and planning meetings, conferences (General Sessions) and special events 
  • Strong, creative, and dexterous writer with the ability to simplify complex information for multiple audiences and craft compelling stories. Superior grammar, editing, and proofreading skills 
  • High degree of content development experience. Demonstrated success crafting stories for a variety of formats, including video, across a range of channels 
  • Understanding of creative workflow process including project initiation and kickoff, execution, approvals, production and archiving 
  • Strategic thinker and strong verbal communicator, able to help guide and present ideas to senior company leaders 
  • Must be able to manage external vendors, including video production and full-service agencies 
  • Impeccable attention to detail, a focus on superior customer/stakeholder service, and a can-do attitude 
  • Excellent project management, organizational and multi-tasking skills are critical 
  • Solutions-oriented approach to problem solving 
  • Follow up and follow through in a timely manner 
  • A team player who works collaboratively with cross-departmental colleagues and management 
  • Ability to conduct detailed research, analyze / interpret data and proactively make recommendations 
  • Proficient in Microsoft Word, Microsoft PowerPoint, Microsoft Excel and Microsoft Outlook. Microsoft Teams experience is a plus. 
  • Willing and able to travel as required for events, venue site visits, and video production shoots

« Back