In 1995, David Wilhelm returned home to Chicago after finishing his tenure as chairman of the Democratic National Committee. He wanted to build a business that did well and did good at the same time. David soon joined forces with Kevin Conlon, a prominent labor lawyer and Democratic activist who shared his vision. The two became business partners, deciding to use their decades of experience in government, politics, finance, and labor to help others succeed in the public arena. Together they founded Wilhelm & Conlon Public Strategies in 1998.
In 2004, David left Wilhelm & Conlon and moved to Ohio to focus on the venture capital work he began at Wilhelm & Conlon. Chris Dunn joined the firm in 2007, bringing with him years of experience working as a lawyer and corporate government relations executive, serving in the executive and legislative branches of government, and managing numerous successful campaigns for political office. Chris became a principal in the firm, now known as Conlon & Dunn Public Strategies, in 2012.
From the beginning, we have been more than a public affairs firm. For example, we routinely give pro bono support to Democratic candidates and officials, have incubated and provided consulting services to nonprofits and businesses, have launched Illinois policy think tanks, and have created venture capital companies that invest in underserved communities in Appalachia and the Midwest.
Throughout the firm’s history, its founding principles have remained the same. These principles, as well as our commitment to conducting ourselves according to the highest ethical standards, are at the heart of all that we do as a firm and are not only best for the public, but also lead to the best results for our clients.
“The people at Conlon & Dunn Public Strategies have the highest ethical standards and insist on doing things the right way every time. It’s a new paradigm for how business should be done, and CTBA would not be what it is today without them.”
Executive Director, Center for Tax & Budget Accountability