We are two native Chicagoans who became friends in our early PR years working at agencies in downtown Chicago. After living and working in communications and events in Manhattan and beyond, we returned to Chicago with the idea to pool our know-how to form a new type of PR agency: lean, no BS, no tiers (or tears!) and, most importantly, one that’s results-oriented.

Under the CO-OP PR name, we’ve racked up a six-year track record of communications successes with clients, the media and the community at large. 

We do this because we love what we do.



Whitley began her career working at top local and national PR firms in Chicago. In 2004, she left agency life to join Dom Pérignon as the head of the brand’s Chicago-area marketing. After a move to New York City, Whitley worked for five years in a variety of marketing roles for parent company Moët Hennessy, including serving as Director of National Events for Moët Hennessy and U.S. Director of Communications and Events for Moët & Chandon.

In May of 2010, Whitley returned to Chicago and began working as a marketing consultant for renowned interior designer Alessandra Branca. Whitley grew her business to include projects and clients from Chicago’s contemporary arts and design communities, including Mariani Landscape and Gallery Weekend Chicago. In January 2012, Whitley joined forces with Susu Block to create CO-OP PR. Since then, she has led national media relations programs for numerous designers and architects; promoted major events, such as Chicago Antiques + Art + Design Show and Lake Forest Showhouse & Gardens; planned events for luxury brands and marketed some of the Chicago area’s top nonprofits.


Susu began her career in New York City, where she specialized in publicity for TV networks, shows and personalities. After moving back to Chicago in 1997, she led award-winning marketing and PR programs for major consumer brands, such as Korbel, at Edelman.

Upon starting her independent PR consultancy in 2005, Susu worked on local influencer programming for Ruinart champagne and served as publicist for interior designer Kara Mann, helping establish the designer as a national talent. Her client portfolio grew to include event planning and PR for local organizations and retailers throughout Chicago. In January 2012, Susu joined forces with Whitley Bouma Herbert to create CO-OP PR. Since then, she has applied her expertise in media relations, marketing and event production to promote major fashion brands and high-end boutiques such as Madewell and Salvatore Ferragamo; interior design firms, including Studio Gild (AD’s Ones to Watch 2016) and top area nonprofits.