AFIRE today announced that it has hired Benjamin van Loon as its new communications director. He will be responsible for public relations and serve as the editor of the association’s thought leadership initiatives, including the biannual journal AFIRE SUMMIT.
“I’m excited to welcome Ben to AFIRE,” said Gunnar Branson, CEO of AFIRE. “His diverse background and insightful writing will help advance AFIRE’s thought leadership, research, and analyses that challenge us all to become better investors, leaders, and global citizens.”
Van Loon brings more than a decade of communications, strategy, writing, and publishing experience. Most recently, he oversaw public relations and marketing communications for the Chicago office of Skidmore, Owings & Merrill, a global architecture, urban planning, and engineering firm. Before that, he led integrated communications for World Business Chicago, a quasi-governmental agency focused on foreign direct investment and economic development.
“AFIRE represents the forefront of ideation and influence in global real estate investment strategy,” said van Loon. “Much of my career has focused on issues of cities, economics, and technology, and I’m excited to continue this conversation with members of AFIRE.”
Previously, van Loon wrote for trade magazines specializing in sustainability and executive leadership before transitioning to roles leading teams and supporting clients across PR, marketing, and nonprofits. He holds a master’s degree in communications from Northeastern Illinois University, where he currently serves as an adjunct professor of communications. He also holds bachelor’s degrees in English and philosophy from North Park University in Chicago, where he graduated magna cum laude.