Rosemaria DiBenedetto - President


SMG Chicago helps businesses, political leaders, candidates and not for profits in a multitude of areas including; public relations, political consulting, advertising, media relations and training, crisis communications, research, graphic design and social media. We have extensive professional and personal contacts throughout Illinois in government, business, education and the media.

Rosemaria DiBenedetto

Rosemaria DiBenedetto is the president of Stryker-Munley Group, Chicago.

A lifelong Illinois resident, Rosemaria DiBenedetto has a reputation both for her political acumen and her unique ability to create press for clients. As president of Stryker-Munley Group Chicago, LLC and president of Newsmakers, Inc. for the past twenty years, Rosemaria understands business operations, meeting client expectations, and producing results.

The media exposure she gets, has created publicity for clients on all levels of media—national, state and local. From labor negotiations to marketing and publicity, creating media strategy plans to coordinating press events, her experience runs the gamut. Rosemaria is a high-demand professional advising political clients and office holders on media presence and crisis management.

Rosemaria is described by many as highly energetic, professional, reliable, focused and results orientated. She is known for her ability to manage multiple projects simultaneously and motivate staff, colleagues, and teams to action.

Rosemaria served as the campaign manager for the Illinois Vision 20/20 initiative designed and sponsored by the largest education associations in Illinois. Vision 20/20’s goal is to fulfill the promise of public education to guarantee every student equal access to a quality education. She organized the Chicago and suburban media rollout and has assisted with other downstate media outlets as well.

Rosemaria has also been a consultant since July,2010 in two capacities for Illinois American Water (IAW), a wholly owned subsidiary of American Water. She serves as an external affairs consultant covering media requests and other projects for the entire Chicago Metro area. In addition, she has advised IAW on an eminent domain litigation filed by five municipalities.

For six years, Rosemaria served as the full-time press secretary for the 31,000-member Chicago Teachers Union, the third largest teachers union in the nation. In her press secretary capacity, she advised the union president on all media-related and communication matters, responded to all media inquiries, set up press conferences, handled crisis communications and participated in various projects including event planning, polling, teleconferences and member surveys. With the appointment of Arne Duncan as U.S. Education Secretary, Rosemaria’s media contacts grew beyond Chicago and Illinois and included many national and even international media outlets.

Early in her career, Rosemaria served as the director of community relations for Thornton Township, the largest township in Illinois. From 1994-1998, she supervised a staff of nine and was responsible for publicizing all township programs and services. As director, she generated a quarterly newsletter with a circulation of 70,000, prepared annual budgets, produced video programs for cable access and coordinated an annual legislative dinner. During her tenure, the township increased participation in programs, improved public awareness of services and greater visibility in the 17 township communities.

Rosemaria holds a Masters in Public and Social Administration from Brunel University near London, England, and a Bachelor of Arts in Political Science from DePaul University in Chicago. She also completed coursework through a study abroad program at the Il Centro Linguistico Italiano Dante Alighieri, Florence, Italy.

Rosemaria and her family reside in the southwest suburbs of Chicago.

"Rosemaria DiBenedetto has helped us strategically deliver fact-based information to educate our customers and the news media in our Chicago Metro District. She knows the local news market very well. She strives for balanced, fair news coverage. Her approach is always professional. She is well-respected in the Chicago area, by the news media and key stakeholders."
Terry Mackin
Director, Communications & External Affairs
American Water, Central Division

"I have been in the entertainment industry for 47 years and have been involved in endeavors both work and charity related that are just too numerous to list at this time. About 20 years ago I was introduced to Rosemaria DiBenedetto who was working on a project that I was involved in that ultimately was very successful primarily because of her expertise and diligence. I have since hired her many times for business purposes and asked for her help on charitable causes. She has an incredible work ethic that is second to none. I highly recommend her because quite simply she gets the job done".
Tom Dreesen
Entertainer, Philanthropist

“Rosemaria and her firm helped with our rollout in Illinois of a statewide education initiative called Vision 20/20. We received great media coverage in Chicago and around the state during our rollout and even a year later at our annual state conference.
She continues to coordinate press matters, fundraising and other tasks for the group. Her dedication and knowledge of education-related issues is invaluable.”

Roger Eddy, Executive Director
IASB Illinois Association of School Boards