Riley Boyer

B2B marketer, storyteller,
and team-builder


About Me

A marketer, storyteller, and team-builder with 10+ years experience, I'm currently the Vice President of Marketing & Communications for ThinkCERCA, a Chicago-based education company that builds software to help students become better writers. As ThinkCERCA's first marketing hire and leader of the entire marketing department, I head up the company's overall marketing, brand, and communications strategy alongside a collaborative, empathetic, and diverse team.

I was also part of the founding team at Impact Engine, Chicago's first social impact investment fund, where I launched, managed, and marketed the organization's three accelerator programs for early-stage social enterprises. As part of this work, I oversaw Impact Engine's marketing and communications strategy, events, community outreach, operations, and finances. Impact Engine has since grown into a full-fledged venture capital and private equity firm with $52MM in assets under management.

Prior to Impact Engine, I spent three years at Chicago magazine, most recently as its Digital Engagement Editor, managing the company’s social media and reader engagement initiatives. I also work as a freelance content marketer and strategist, writer, and communications consultant. My writings on impact entrepreneurship have been featured by the Huffington Post and Crain’s Chicago Business.


Work Experience

2015 - Present

VP of Marketing & Communications

As the first marketing hire for ThinkCERCA, an ed-tech company that teaches writing and critical thinking, I built the marketing department from the ground up. I lead a small but mighty team that's responsible for generating awareness among educators across the country. We engage our audience through a variety of efforts, including storytelling, content marketing, events, social media, email marketing, and advertising.

2012 - 2015

Director of Operations & Communications
Impact Engine

I was a founding team member of Chicago’s first accelerator for social impact businesses. In this role, I was charged with developing the company's operations, marketing, and communications strategy from scratch, including developing processes for both attracting social impact entrepreneurs to the accelerator program and vetting portfolio investments. I mentored 23 portfolio companies on their marketing and communications strategy and helped with positioning and messaging to investors. I also supported the chairman and CEO with board and investor communications and led the company through a complete rebrand when the accelerator transitioned into a VC firm.

2009 - 20012

Digital Engagement Editor
Chicago magazine

I held a number of roles in my three years at Chicago magazine, including Digital Engagement Editor and Marketing & Digital Specialist. As the magazine's Digital Engagement Editor, I was responsible for collaborating with print editors on ways to further engage our audiences online. I wrote and produced audience-generated content, executed targeted social media campaigns for story packages and events, and grew Chicago magazine’s Facebook and Twitter audiences to 20,000+ and 50,000+, respectively. (This was a big deal in the early days of social media!) I also acted as an ambassador for transparency and open journalism throughout the newsroom.

As the company's first Marketing & Digital Specialist, not only did I maintain the social media strategy and outreach for both brands, I worked with our advertising department on creating and implementing integrated marketing programs for our online advertisers. I also initiated an SEO strategy for Chicagomag.com and trained the team on SEO best practices.




Northwestern University

M.S., Journalism


The University of Texas, Austin

B.A., American Studies

Minor in Communications


© 2020 Elizabeth Riley Boyer