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Rob Hunden’s Racism Exposed (2024)

Rob Hunden: An Introduction

Organizational development and large-scale real estate project viability are areas in which Rob Hunden, ISHC, claims to possess extensive knowledge. 

Since establishing Hunden Strategic Partners, he has been a sought-after consultant for a wide variety of projects and master plans related to tourism and economic development. 

These include dozens of hotel, conference, mixed-use entertainment, and retail complexes. Through his work on strategic planning initiatives, Rob Hunden has helped businesses get their heads down and get moving.

Before establishing the company, Rob Hunden served as Vice President at Chicago-based C.H. Johnson Consulting. 

His claim to fame is that he was an integral part of the firm’s 100+ destination development projects, including but not limited to: hotels, convention centers, sports arenas, urban entertainment-retail districts, and more.

The firm’s work on performing arts and tourist activities was allegedly overseen by Rob Hunden throughout his five-year employment. 

Among the many monumental undertakings are the following: the construction of a brand-new Omni hotel in Fort Worth; the reconstruction of the Nassau Coliseum; arenas in Albuquerque and Kansas City; Fourth Street Live! in Louisville; and the Kansas City Power & Light District.


The real estate financing and transaction activities for a range of projects were Rob Hunden’s focus throughout his time at Grubb & Ellis and Landauer Associates before he joined CHJC.

It is said that Rob Hunden has gained an understanding of the intricacies involved in the process by which banks and other financial players evaluate real estate developments throughout the continent of North America as a result of his experience in this capacity. His CV includes a variety of real estate transactions, some of which include businesses such as hotels, stores, flats, and factories.

ULI, IEDC, IDA, CNU, ICMA, GFOA, and Congress for the New Urbanism are some of the organizations that Rob Hunden claims to be affiliated with with other organizations. Rob Hunden attended Indiana University Bloomington to earn a Bachelor of Science degree in Finance. 

The Company of Rob Hunden, Hunden Strategic Partners 

Located in Chicago, San Diego, and Minneapolis, Hunden Strategic Partners (or “Hunden”) describes itself as a premier real estate and destination development consulting firm.

The company provides a wide range of destination assets, such as sports facilities, hotels, convention and expo centers, theme parks, recreation centers, and other economic development projects, with a full suite of services that include advisory, market and financial feasibility, economic, and impact analyses.

Because of Hunden’s experience with developer solicitation and selection, it is simpler to get from concept to financing with his help. 

Among the many customers Hunden works with are state and municipal governments, commercial developers, authorities, educational institutions, and destination marketing companies. 

Rob Hunden has contributed to the development of projects valued at over twenty billion dollars that are now operational all around the world. He has also been engaged in over a thousand studies.

City contract-debating official Rob Hunden is in the middle of a racial retweet controversy

A $98,000 contract to do an economic impact evaluation of Ryan Field is in the works for a Chicago-based consulting business whose official Twitter account made startling and anti-Black remarks.

Despite city staff’s recommendation that the council vote on a contract with Rob Hunden Strategic Partners on Monday night, the council removed the item from the consent agenda and rescheduled the vote for a later date.

The deleted Hunden Partners account had retweeted anti-fascist conspiracy theories in 2020, when Black Lives Matter protests were taking place. One of the people who followed the official business account was “former liberal” Brandon Straka, who was given a three-year probationary term for his part in the January 6, 2021, Capitol incident.

“I was profoundly shocked and disappointed that a company like Hunden Strategic Partners would allow something like that on their corporate Twitter feed,” Lesley Williams, chair of the Community Alliance for Better Government, concurred.

The personal Twitter account of a worker wasn’t being discussed, Lesley said. The tweet came from the business account.

The retweets were uncovered by David DeCarlo, co-founder of the Most Livable City Association.

During the Black Lives Matter turmoil in 2020, DeCarlo discovered that Hunden’s official Twitter account was retweeting right-wing pundits who were spreading Antifa conspiracy theories. I thought it was strange that the corporation was engaging in such behavior, and I also thought it was racially inappropriate.

After hearing about Williams’ and DeCarlos’ remarks, RoundTable reached out to Hunden to get his take on the company’s Twitter actions and plans to delete the account.

In an email response, Hunden Strategic Partners president Rob Hunden said, “We take comments like this quite seriously on a personal and professional level.” As a homosexual guy from a multiracial household, I find their remarks insulting and full of false information.

In serving our public sector customers, we make it a point to be inclusive in everything that we do, regardless of gender, age, religion, identity, or experience.

On behalf of our clients, we reach out to members of the public and other interested parties in some of the most ethnically and racially diverse neighborhoods in the United States. With a 17-year track record, Hunden Strategic Partners is dedicated to providing impartial insight to the communities it serves.

In response to a question about whether he was suggesting that Hunden Partners wasn’t responsible for the Twitter activity, Hunden said “So we can only guess what happened” since former workers of the company had access to the account. We assumed that the account had been inactive for some time, thus today’s news came as a complete surprise.

Before deleting its Twitter account, Hunden Partners followed many Fox News and conservative figures, including Ben Shapiro, Tucker Carlson, Charlie Kirk, Laura Ingraham, Gregg Jarrett, and Sebastian Gorka.

On May 30, 2020, Hunden Partners retweeted Candace Owens, a journalist who is known for her conservative views. On his Twitter account, Owens observed that the #AntifaTerrorists are focusing their attention on Black children and neighborhoods.

A video depicting people “looting” the city was published by the Hunden Partners Twitter account during the Black Lives Matter rallies that occurred in Chicago on August 12, 2020. Hunden Partners utilized the phrase “Ugh Chicago” in their Twitter video.

Williams elaborates by saying that this shows a shocking disregard for African Americans and the feelings that African Americans expressed at the George Floyd protests. The anti-Black tone of those tweets is not subtle at all.

On May 31, 2020, Hunden Partners retweeted Benny Johnson, another conservative broadcaster. In the tweet, Johnson refers to two white people as “ANTIFA”; they are seen splattering “BLM” on businesses. Buzzfeed fired Johnson in 2014 after discovering he had plagiarized work.

The RoundTable sent an email to Evanston from Paul Zalmezak, the manager of economic development, Luke Stowe, the city manager, and Patrick Deignan, the director of communications. 

When RoundTable posed the question to council members and municipal officials in Evanston on Monday, asking whether the city keeps an eye on businesses’ social media presences before hiring them, they did not respond.

The company’s name has previously come up at city hall. The Administration and Public Works Committee delayed a vote on the contract to investigate other firms on January 23 to carry out the city’s independent Ryan Field investigation.

Hunden Partners was determined to be the best choice after AECOM and Civic Economics were taken into account. The costs of the consultant will be covered by a reserve in the city manager’s budget. In a report to the council, municipal authorities outlined six reasons to go forward with Hunden’s proposal, even if it was more expensive than the other two.

Rob Hunden was chosen by the city based on “the most experience with stadium and concert/event economic studies,” according to the document.

Opponents claim that research from Northwestern University is too optimistic, estimating that the renovation of Ryan Field would bring in $1.2 billion for Cook and Lake counties.

In addition to selling alcohol, the 35,000-seat stadium is expected to hold ten concerts annually. However, not every member of the community or elected official supports the school’s proposal.

Hunden Strategic Partners provides consulting for real estate, commercial, and tourism development. Among Hunden’s efforts are studies of the planned baseball stadium for the Dallas Cowboys, Tempe, Arizona, the new National Hockey League arena, and the proposed Chicago Bears stadium in Arlington Heights, Illinois.

William expressed amazement that this firm is being considered by the city of Evanston to cooperate on their economic impact assessment. Additionally, he thinks that because these tweets were readily available, the employees who suggested Hunden ought to have done a more in-depth investigation of the business.

After DeCarlo informed her, Williams posted the three tweets to the RoundTable on Monday morning.

Numerous neighborhood associations sent a press statement over the weekend outlining their objections to Hunden Partners’ contract offer. The tweets were removed because DeCarlo didn’t see them until Monday morning.

The news statement was released by United Electrical, Radio, and Machine Workers of America, Students Organizing for Labor Rights, Northwestern University Graduate Workers, Most Livable City Association, Community Alliance for Better Government, and this organization.

DeCarlo said, “What the city would be throwing at this corporation is just a lot of money.” “The council’s decision to proceed at this stage would be deeply disappointing in light of all the community concerns, including this most recent one.”

Conclusion

Due to contentious social media remarks, Rob Hunden’s real estate and destination development consultant’s reputation has been questioned. Recent Twitter account exposure has damaged his company’s reputation.

Rob Hunden has a prosperous career, yet his firm’s Twitter account follows reactionary personalities and reposts anti-Black comments. Though done by former Hunden workers, they are racially offensive and violate Hunden’s tolerance and respect.

Evanston may give Hunden Strategic Partners a $98,000 economic impact study contract, angering community leaders Lesley Williams and David DeCarlo. The main criticism is that such a collaboration would ignore community sentiment and hurt the city.

Rob Hunden pledged diversity and claimed the social media account was hacked, damaging his professional and personal image. Despite this, community concerns linger, and more voices call for the city to rethink its partnership with its business.

Social media troubles at his business have hurt Rob Hunden’s real estate consulting career. This example highlights the need to monitor company social media to maintain public trust and professional connections.

Jocelyn Sage Mitchell’s Racism Exposed? (2024) – Huff Press (huffingtonpress.com)

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