For Second Consecutive Year, Walker Sands Communications Named Top 50 Employer for Gen Y Talent

Public relations and digital marketing agency's collaborative environment, connected workforce and professional development opportunities earn company a spot on Brill Street's annual list

The Walker Sands team

CHICAGO – January 6, 2014 – Walker Sands Communications, a public relations and digital marketing agency with a focus on technology and B2B clients, has been named one of Chicago's top employers for Gen Y talent by Brill Street + Company for the second year in a row.

The Chicago-based firm earned spot No. 35 on the "Top 50 Employers for Gen Y Emerging Talent in Chicago" list for a combination of its opportunities, benefits, culture, perks and employee enthusiasm. Awarded to companies in Chicagoland that have at least 10 percent of their workforce comprised of employees born between 1980 and 2000, recruiting firm Brill Street's annual ranking recognizes employers that understand and respond to the needs of Gen Y employees.

"We view Walker Sands as a marketing lab where team members experiment with new communication strategies and constantly develop their own skill sets," said Mike Santoro, president of Walker Sands. "We have created an incubator for great ideas and a learning environment where employees thrive. Walker Sands' Gen Y talent is one the firm's most valuable assets and a primary driver of our tremendous growth."

While headcount at Walker Sands has increased sevenfold in five years, the company retains its entrepreneurial spirit and flat hierarchy. Senior leadership remains accessible, and an open workspace encourages collaboration and sharing among employees. To recruit and keep Gen Y employees, the company has developed new policies such as additional paid time off for new parents.

"Through a period of tremendous growth, Walker Sands has maintained the strong camaraderie and openness that has defined the firm from the beginning," said Andrew Cross, an account director and Gen Y member of Walker Sands. "Company leadership has met the challenge of continuing to provide for the changing needs of millennial employees."

Walker Sands staff members also receive monthly stipends for gym memberships, play on company kickball and flag football teams, and get treated to social outings like an annual company Cubs game.

"We want all of our employees to feel invested in the success of our business," said Christine Pietryla, senior vice president of public relations at Walker Sands. "By keeping our Gen Y talent engaged, we're ensuring they stay happy, advance in their careers and deliver great results for our clients."

The recognition from Brill Street follows several other notable award wins for Walker Sands in 2013, including being named one of Inc. 5000's fastest-growing companies and a Best Place to Work in PR by PR News.

For more information about Walker Sands and career opportunities, visit /Why-Work-With-Us.

About Walker Sands
Walker Sands Communications is a full-service marketing and public relations firm offering service to B2B and technology companies ranging from startup to enterprise-level. With offices in Chicago and San Francisco, Walker Sands was founded in 2001 to provide marketing and public relations support for a wide array of companies with the business mission of providing best-in-class communications counsel. In 2012, Walker Sands was named a PR News and Bulldog Reporter finalist for Small Agency of the Year. To learn more, visit

About Brill Street
At Brill Street, we see talent differently. Founded in and focused on Chicago, Brill Street connects emerging professionals with companies, helping Gen Y (defined as those born 1980-2000) find meaningful work. Brill Street provides clients with advisory services, sourcing resources and contingent labor options, all with the Gen Y perspective in mind. We coach our clients to hire based on attitude, willingness and capabilities as Gen Y is a tech-savvy and purpose-driven generation that wants to grow with a company. For more information about Brill Street, please visit Follow Brill Street on Twitter @brill_street.

About Brill Street's Top 50 Employers for Gen Y Emerging Talent in Chicago
At Brill Street, we see talent differently. Founded in and focused on Chicago, Brill Street connects emerging professionals with companies, helping Gen Y find meaningful work. Since 2009, Brill Street has been ranking the top employers in Chicago for Gen Y emerging talent. Companies are evaluated on professional development opportunities, benefits, environment, company reputation and culture, perks offered and the enthusiasm of company leadership and Gen Y employees. For more information about Brill Street, and Brill Street's Top 50 Employers for Gen Y Emerging Talent in Chicago, please visit Follow Brill Street on Twitter @brill_street.