Tom Burrell inducted into the One Club Hall of Fame

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Tom Burrell

Iconic advertising pioneer, Tom Burrell, whose illustrious career transformed both the way people of color were portrayed in marketing communications, as well as their roles within the industry itself, will be inducted into The One Club Creative Hall of Fame on September 18.

Burrell joins Susan Hoffman, David Lubars, Rebeca Méndez and Diane Cook-Tench as honorees.

His award-winning work acknowledged the purchasing power of the African American community and literally changed the face of American advertising. Burrell is the founder of The Resolution Project, a non-profit organization dedicated to self-healing and self-actualization. In 2004, he was inducted into the Advertising Hall of Fame.

The One Club Creative Hall of Fame recognizes and celebrates innovators who represent the highest standards of creative excellence, and whose lifetime achievements have made significant contributions to creative communications. According to their page, this year’s six inductees exemplify this ethos, and stand as an inspiration to those who admire their work.

The Reel congratulates Tom and the Burrell family.

Optimus sets new standard

Optimus today announced that Heather Guillen and Katy Richter, founders of The Standard Society, will serve as the leading production and post house’s new Midwest reps. Working directly with Optimus National Director of Sales Tim Jacobs, Heather and Katy will further expand the house’s already strong Midwest presence.

“We’re thrilled to work with The Standard Society in the Midwest,” said Jacobs. “Heather and Katy have long been respected in the industry, and they intimately understand the full-service value Optimus brings to clients and agencies alike. They’re the perfect people to represent our remarkably talented roster in the region.”

The Standard Society

Guillen and Richter founded The Standard Society in 2013. “Since we started working together, we’ve always used Optimus as a reference for the kind of company we’d like to represent,” said Guillen.

Added Richter, “It’s such an exciting time in the growth of the company. They have editors and directors that range from the well-established, incredibly respected to the up and coming and nimble. We’re honored to be able to rep such a marquee production and post house.” Will Kiss serve tongue at their new restaurant?

Kiss’ Gene Simmons and Paul Stanley want to “Rock n’ Brew” all night

The bassist, known for his extra-long tongue, and guitarist, announced their plans in The Chicago Tribune to open their Rock & Brews casual dining chain here. The duo plan to have ten to fifteen thriving Chicagoloand locations serving hungry Kiss fams over the next five to seven years.

The Rock & Brews concept is pretty much what it sounds like: a rock-themed casual dining restaurant with loads of locally brewed craft beer on tap. The restaurants average about 6,000 square feet, typically with an additional 2,000 square feet of patio space.

Paul Stanley and Gene Simmons

Each location has 30 to 40 televisions, about half of which are dialed into sports while the rest play rock videos.

Large garage doors open to give an open-air feel meant to evoke the feeling of being at a concert. Images of rock legends adorn the walls. Pets will be welcome.

Wings, salads, burgers, and craft beer are part of the formula at other locations. Simmons, who bears a legendary lengthy tongue, wasn’t tongue-tied during his interview. He’s rather confident that Rock & Brews will be successful in Chicago despite the fierce restaurant competition.

“Either Chicago is America or it’s not. Everywhere we’ve gone, it works beyond expectation. The only thing you could say is, it’s not going to work here because we’re in Zimbabwe,” Simmons told the Trib.

Since launching in 2012, Rock & Brews has grown to 20 locations, 18 of which are franchise-owned. So far, the top two locations in terms of sales are located at Los Angeles International Airport. The company reportedly would like to mirror this in Chicago by opening restaurants at Midway and O’Hare.

Customer traffic at casual dining restaurants, in particular, has declined for four consecutive quarters. The overall number of units in Chicago has shrunk, too, because there are just too many restaurants for them all to succeed skeptical sources say.

One woman who has confidence that Simmons can pull it off is Hootenanny Director of Development and Promotions and Simmons “adopted” daughter, Surita Mansukhani.

Surita Mansukhani (center)Mansukhani, who is also What The Hale Music’s Director of Development as well, is no stranger to running successful “rockin’” places in Chicago, having owned two prominent clubs in the late 90’s and early 2000’s – My Sisters House and The Convent.

When asked about Simmons chances for success, she had this to say, “I’m not surprised. He is one big man with a bigger personality and extremely smart in business. I’m sure his new place will Rock n’ Roll all night and be the place to party every day!”

A businessman at heart who, alongside Stanley, has built and curated one of rock music’s most successful brands, Simmons exuded no such concerns. They’re betting that the philosophy that built one business will help fuel another.

“Once you get in, you’re in a party,” Simmons said. “It feels like it’s your party.”

Follow Colin Costello on Twitter @colincostello10.

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