A seed borne out of an unlikely confluence of events, the roots of the Acacia Consulting Group were formed in the trenches of a political campaign. In the looming darkness of a disastrous national election, the campaign was a beacon for unique and wildly talented people to come together and put their fear, their anger, and their hopes toward a common goal, working towards a better future for us all.
Together, we grew. We learned well, we worked hard, we taught others. And together, we celebrated and we mourned. We forged a solid bole, and when our campaign was done, we were not.
We expanded, serving candidates we believed in while continuing to stretch and grow. We realized our core vision: that politics and culture, message and media, can no longer exist apart from one another. Our canopy spread to embody this fundamental philosophy, resulting in a diverse client roster that each in their own way seek to teach, to inspire, and to lead.
We are Acacia.
morgan harris /partner
Morgan began his career at a boutique arts PR firm in Chicago, executing field marketing campaigns for film clients including self-distributed indies, arthouse distributors, mini-majors, and major studios. He began to take a leadership role in developing Midwestern campaigns for films including “My Big Fat Greek Wedding,” “Whale Rider,” “The Incredibles,” and “Finding Nemo.”
Morgan joined Allied Integrated Marketing as Director of the Chicago office, and expanded his portfolio to include building nationwide teams to more effectively tell clients’ stories. Here, he oversaw domestic field campaigns for Marvel, LucasFilm, Pixar, Disney, Columbia Pictures, Screen Gems, IFC Films, Netflix, and more.
In 2017, Morgan joined Ameya Pawar’s gubernatorial primary campaign as a volunteer, and over the course of the campaign became Deputy Communications Director. Following Pawar’s exit from the race, Morgan became a communications consultant for Daniel Biss, running in the same race. It was his first time as a paid political operative.
Following the 2018 Illinois primary, Morgan advised on several campaigns including Lori Lightfoot for Mayor and the aldermanic campaigns of Katie Sieracki, Daniel La Spata, and Maggie O’Keefe before being named Campaign Manager for Amanda Yu Dieterich, running for alderman in Chicago’s 35th ward.
When not obsessing over campaign strategy, you can usually find Morgan engaging in a Netflix binge or playing with his cats, Oliver and Simon.
tom elliott /partner
Tom’s interest in making progressive change began when he was a student at Southern Methodist University in Texas. SMU had no LGBTQ seat in the student senate. Tom spent his Junior and Senior years organizing for change, and upon graduating he continued to follow his passion for political activism.
Before becoming a founding partner of Acacia, Tom served as communications director for the Illinois Senate Democratic Victory Fund, Daniel Biss for Governor, and Ameya Pawar for Governor. He also previously worked as Press Secretary on the Independent Map Amendment, and was the Director of Operations for Chicago Forward, an issue-advocacy organization involved in the 2015 Chicago municipal elections. Before that Tom was the Director of Public Relations at Center on Halsted, the largest LGBTQ community center in the Chicagoland area.
The key to effective communications is telling a compelling story - whether it’s for a political candidate, a not-for-profit organization, or an executive at a Fortune 500 company. That’s where Tom digs in, crafting a narrative that engages and motivates people to act. The team at Acacia then gets the story out in the world using all the tools in the modern communications toolbox via earned, owned, and paid media.
Tom was born and raised in Texas, where he trained and showed horses. He has been in Chicago since 2013, and currently lives in the Rogers Park neighborhood with his fiance Kevin and their dog, Lucas.