Founder and President
In 1998, Kevin Conlon co-founded our firm with former Democratic National Committee Chair David Wilhelm. Kevin offers the firm’s clients a unique understanding of the public arena derived from over 30 years of experience in law, government, venture capital and non-profit organizations. Over the years, Kevin’s contacts with talented individuals in all of these spheres have developed into an extensive network of relationships, which was once described by political commentator Lynn Sweet as “Conlon’s killer Rolodex.” The breadth of these relationships allows Kevin to counsel the firm’s clients at all levels of government and in the business, civic and non-profit communities.
Prior to the formation of the firm, Kevin practiced labor and employment law for 15 years. As District Counsel for the Communications Workers of America, Kevin represented more than 70,000 union members employed in the public and private sectors. During this time, he was appointed by President Bill Clinton to the Presidential Advisory Committee on Expanding Training Opportunities. He has published several articles on labor issues and has taught classes on labor and employment law at DePaul University, Chicago-Kent School of Law (Illinois Institute of Technology) and the University of Chile-Santiago. Kevin currently serves as an adjunct faculty member at the University of Chicago’s Harris School of Public Policy Studies.
Kevin has played leading roles in numerous political campaigns. These have included serving as a member of the National and Illinois Finance Committees for the Obama 2012 presidential campaign, Illinois State Co-Chair for Secretary of State Hillary Clinton’s 2008 presidential campaign, Illinois State Chair and Vice Chair of the National Finance Committee for Governor Howard Dean’s 2004 presidential campaign and, subsequently, Illinois State Finance Chair for Senator John Kerry’s 2004 presidential campaign. He has also worked in strategy and finance roles for dozens of Congressional and state-level campaigns, as well as in a variety of positions with the Democratic National Committee, most recently serving as a member of the DNC’s Permanent Committee on Rules (2006-08) and as an At-Large Delegate to the 2004 and 2008 Democratic National Conventions.
Kevin has held elected office himself, as Rich Township Democratic Committeeman for 14 years and as Rich Township Supervisor for nine years. Kevin was the first Democrat in 130 years elected to lead Rich Township and, in 1994, he was named “Supervisor of the Year” by Illinois township officials. He has also served as a member of the Cook County Zoning Board of Appeals, a court-appointed arbitrator for the Circuit Court of Cook County and a Special Assistant Attorney General for the State of Illinois.
In addition to his work for our firm’s non-profit clients, Kevin currently serves on the boards of the Great Books Foundation (Vice Chairman), the Irish Fellowship Club of Chicago (Vice President), the Loyola University of Chicago Council of Regents and the Illinois Connection/University of Illinois Alumni Association. He is also a standing member of the Economic Club of Chicago. He has chaired fundraising events for numerous nonprofits and has received outstanding service awards from several organizations, including the United Way and the American Heart Association. In 2004, he was awarded the Loyola Council of Regents Order of Merit.
Kevin is a founding partner of Adena Ventures Fund and Hopewell Ventures Fund, which provide equity investments and strategic advice to small businesses with high growth potential in underserved areas, primarily in Appalachia and the Midwest. These funds have received over $185 million in capital contributions, and the Adena Ventures Fund was the first fund recognized by the U.S. Small Business Administration’s New Market Venture Capital Program
Kevin holds degrees from the Loyola University of Chicago School of Law, the University of Illinois and Illinois State University. He lives in Wilmette with his wife Claudia Conlon, a retired Cook County circuit court judge, and their three children Cody, Carson and Zoe.