History

Key Dates in the History of Schaffner Communications, Inc.

  • April 1963 — The bar for success is set high when his second grade teacher comments that, “Tom’s writing could probably be much better,” on his second grade report card.
  • May 1975 — Schaffner edits and publishes his first corporate newsletter, “Tube Ball Digest,” at Jack Wodell Associates, Chicago, Ill. It is a satirical publication for employees that evolved from an impromptu mailroom baseball “game.”
  • August 1976 — Freelancing for a local radio station, Schaffner interviews White Sox announcer Harry Caray and shortstop Bucky Dent at Comiskey Park just prior to a game.
  • August 1979 — As director of public relations for the American Hearing Impaired Hockey Assocation, Schaffner is asked to drive Chicago White Sox owner Bill Veeck from Comiskey Park to Northbrook — and back — in his bright red 1977 Ford Fiesta.
  • May, 1984 — Tom Schaffner launches the first edition of the Chicago Report (later to become the Chicago File), a monthly newsletter for former Chicagoans. The unique newsletter attracts a considerable amount of media attention.
  • June 11, 1986James Thompson, Governor of Illinois, congratulates the Chicago File newsletter on its first anniversary.
  • November 1986 — Schaffner Communications is officially launched in the basement of a duplex condo located at 2851 N. Burling, Chicago, IL.
  • July 1987 — Schaffner Communications is incorporated; Tom creates firm’s first logo in five minutes on PageMaker.
  • October 1987 — Schaffner Communications moves into its first office at 222 W. Adams, Chicago, IL.
  • November 1987 — Firm’s new logo introduced. Schaffner Communications embraces the digital age with a high tech logo and introduces its marketing brochure (with a lot of attitude).
  • October 1988 — Expanding relationship with food industry clients requires Schaffner to seek new offices, this time in a loft building at 213 W. Institute Place, Chicago, IL.
  • November 1988 — The Chicago File’s “Two Ballots” campaign generates publicity in media outlets across the country.
  • November 1990 — Schaffner wins first of 7 first place awards for excellence in public relations from the Chicago Chapter of the National Agri-Marketing Association. The seventh award for “Issues Management,” can be seen here.
  • October 1991 — Growing firm requires more office space, the new location is near Navy Pier, 445 E. Ohio St., Chicago, IL.
  • June 1992 — Mayor Richard M. Daley “officially” welcomes Schaffner Communications to its new offices on Ohio St. but botches the effort with typos.
  • December 1994 — Schaffner Communications writes and designs its first holiday greeting card for clients and friends. Click here for a complete archive of Schaffner Communications’ customized holiday card collection.
  • October 1996 — Schaffner Communications opens a second office, 400 S. Colorado Blvd., Denver, CO.
  • November 1996 — Firm celebrates 10-year anniversary with party at Museum of Broadcast Communications, Chicago, IL
  • November 1997 — Schaffner Communications wins national “Merit Award” from National Agri-Marketing Association.
  • November 1998 — Schaffner Communications wins national “First Place — Best of Show” award for a public affairs program from the National Agri Marketing Association.
  • January 2000 — Schaffner Communications introduces its second marketing brochure, with firm’s new logo on back.
  • June 2003 —Tom Schaffner awarded lifetime achievement award for his many years of volunteer service to the American Hearing Impaired Hockey Association.
  • September 2005 — Schaffner Communications’ clients and friends celebrate the firm’s 19th anniversary and Tom’s 50th birthday at a Skybox at U.S. Cellular Field.
  • December 2008 – Tom passes the 2 million mile mark after many years of cross-country travel.
  • January 2009 — Minus 20-degree temperatures outside cause a sprinkler pipe to burst, causing extensive damage to offices. Work is literally put on ice for an entire weekend.
  • May 2012 — 25 1/2-year anniversary celebration of Schaffner Communications, Inc., at the Chicago History Museum.