The Team:

Susu BlockCo-Founder

As a Chicago native, Susu has long been involved in many aspects of the city’s life and is intimately familiar with the market, its key players and media landscape. She offers more than 13 years of experience in national and local media relations, marketing and event production.

Previously, Susu served as the Chicago representative for Ruinart, one of Moët Hennessy's boutique champagnes. In addition to identifying tastemakers in Chicago's contemporary art community, Susu co-hosted intimate, in-home dinner parties to which modern art influencers were invited. Additional key event experience includes working with The Nature Conservancy, as well as planning and managing a joint birthday celebration for Apartment Number 9 and P. 45 and working with Judith Ripka’s Chicago store to host in-store events for target clientele.

Susu oversaw traditional and social media outreach as well as marketing communications for Lisa Cotten Fine Jewelry, a boutique fine-jewelry line. Successes include retail sell-in, exposure in new markets and capsule collection consultation. As a result of Susu's media outreach, Lisa Cotten Fine Jewelry has appeared in Town & Country magazine, the "All the Best" blog, online in Financial Times and in local publications such as CS, Michigan Avenue, Chicago Tribune and Chicago Magazine.

Additionally, Susu served as a publicist for nationally-recognized NY and Chicago-based interior designer, Kara Mann, spearheading all local and national media relations activities. In addition to select marketing and advertising initiatives for Kara Mann Design, Susu has secured media placements in national publications as diverse as Elle Décor, The New York Times, InStyle, Traditional Home and O at Home, as well as multiple placements in local publications, such as Chicago Tribune Magazine and Chicago Magazine. After living abroad in Germany with her family, Susu returned to Chicago in 2011 before founding CO-OP PR with Whitley Bouma Herbert in 2012.

Whitley Bouma HerbertCo-Founder

Whitley began her PR career in Chicago, where she worked in local and national PR agencies for over seven years. She focused on promoting a mix of restaurant, fashion and retail clients and managed the award-winning media relations campaign for The Peninsula Chicago.

Whitley was hired as the first Chicago-based Dom Pérignon Brand Ambassador in 2004. In addition to creating private and PR-driving event programming, she led the media relations for the brand in the region, actively pitching story ideas and personality profiles to increase media exposure for the brand.

Upon moving to New York City, Whitley was brought on to work a variety of roles for Moët Hennessy, including: Director of National Events for Moët Hennessy, Regional Marketing Director for Moët & Chandon and Dom Pérignon and Communications Manager for the Champagnes at Moët Hennessy.

Whitley last held the position of U.S. Director of Communications and Events for Moët & Chandon. Under her leadership, the brand’s publicity value grew by 500%, reestablishing Moët as the leader in media coverage in the Champagne category in the U.S.

Upon her return home to the Chicago area in May of 2010, Whitley began working as a consultant in the position of Marketing Director for Elle Décor 2011 A-List interior designer Alessandra Branca and Branca Inc. Whitley grew her consulting business to include projects and clients from Chicago’s contemporary arts and design communities, including Mariani Landscape, Gallery Weekend Chicago and Next Art Chicago. In January 2012, Whitley joined forces with Susu Block to create CO-OP PR, a public relations agency specializing in luxury marketing, media relations and VIP events. Since, she has routinely placed mutli-page features in outlets including Chicago Tribune, Trib Mag, Splash, CS & CS Interiors, in addition to national publications, such as The Wall Street Journal, Town & Country and Architectural Digest.