Deneen Gillespie

Senior Vice President

About Deneen

“When we strive to become better than we are, everything around us becomes better too.” – Paulo Coelho

Deneen Gillespie believes in harnessing the power of storytelling to inspire action and produce results. As an experienced creative and strategic marketing and communications leader, Deneen has earned a formidable reputation for building relationships, developing impactful work, and leading teams.

Polished over her 20-year career in higher education, Deneen’s multifaceted skill set spans the full spectrum of print, digital, and social marketing communications campaigns, media relations, design, video, photo, and experiential events.

Before joining Collaborative, she served as the University of Chicago and Loyola University’s in-house marketing and creative agency director, leading branding projects for institutional initiatives and creating award-winning marketing materials, including helping to secure the Obama Presidential Center on Chicago’s South Side. She was instrumental in developing the marketing strategy for Loyola University’s historic Final Four campaign and oversaw the communications strategy for the University of Chicago’s most ambitious fundraising campaign in the university’s history.

In her most recent role at the University of Chicago, Deneen served as Senior Director for Alumni Relations and Development, overseeing the engagement and communications strategy for 186,000 alumni. She was also the co-chair of the university’s DEI Staff Council. Deneen’s ability to cultivate meaningful relationships and develop resonant messaging produce long-term results, and she is motivated by the opportunity to deliver high-impact marketing and communications strategies for mission-driven organizations.

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