Buffalo Grove creates new communications department, hires director

After years of discussion, Buffalo Grove has launched a new Communication and Community Engagement Department and hired a former Elgin official to lead it.

Molly Gillespie. formerly communications manager for Elgin, will serve as director of the new department, which officials say will oversee all communications, including news releases, e-newsletters, social media, and newsletters while exploring other opportunities to engage with the community.

"We are excited about this new department and how it will enhance our services for Buffalo Grove residents and businesses," Village Manager Dane Bragg said in Wednesday's announcement. "Ms. Gillespie's unique combination of skills and knowledge base makes her the ideal candidate to develop communication strategies and establish key relationships to grow the village's connection with the public and its partners."

According to the village, Gillespie has 12 years of experience in public service, including eight years with Elgin, where she developed a social media presence. Those efforts earned the Colorado State University graduate the Marguerite Henry Award for Communication/Technology in 2016, the village said.

"I am honored for the opportunity to serve Buffalo Grove and look forward to building relationships throughout the community," Gillespie said in the announcement of her hire. "I'm eager to get started and build upon the strong foundation that exists already with the village's communications and engagement efforts."

Gillespie's position was one of two full-time positions approved in the village's 2022 budget for the new department, the other being a coordinator. Her starting salary will be $120,323.

Whether to spend money on a "community engagement manager" was an issue during budget discussions as far back as 2018. Some trustees questioned why community engagement duties could not be handled by existing staff in the village manager's office.

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