Bryan Specht, CEO and Founder of Salient Global, Passed Away Unexpectedly at 50

Last Updated on October 11, 2023, 3:35 am

Former ICF Next leader, Bryan Specht, died unexpectedly at 50.

Bryan Specht Dead
Bryan Specht (Image via Facebook)

Bryan Specht, a well-renowned name in the Chicago PR community, passed away unexpectedly at age 50. He was CEO and founder of Salient Global. The agency released a statement in a LinkedIn post on Tuesday announcing his death and offering their sympathies to the family. The post said,

“It is with immense sadness that we share that Bryan Specht, our CEO, founder, and chair, has unexpectedly passed away. Above all, he was a devoted and loving father, husband, friend, and colleague.”

“Our hearts are with his family during this difficult time. We will share details about how you can support them and honour Bryan in the coming days.”

Who was Bryan Specht?

According to the agency’s LinkedIn page, Bryan Specht was CEO and founder of Salient Global, a data-focused firm with expertise in communication, public relations, transformation, employee management, experience design, and much more. He launched his firm in October 2021.
Brayn had a humble beginning and was born in River Valley, Ohio. He earned his bachelor’s degree from Ohio University and has studied at prestigious institutions such as Oxford, Harvard, Stanford, Columbia, and George Washington University.

He was the former ICF Next leader, a 17,000-person global consulting agency that came into being with the merger of ten different award-winning businesses such as Olson Engage, Olson Digital, Olson Itol, PulsePoint Group, and We Are Vista.

He left ICF at the end of 2019 and led Real Chemistry, previously known as W2O. Before ICF, he had spent over a decade teaching Olson Engage and had served as president of Olson, a firm that earned multiple ‘agency of the year’ distinctions, and helped lead a $300 million sale of Olson to ICF. His name made the Homes Report Innovator 25 and three times to PRWeek’s Power 50 list, most recently in 2018.

He was more than a businessman. He was an upstanding community member and believed in giving back to society through charitable organizations. He served on several boards, including the American Red Cross, Prevent Child Abuse America and Washington Football Team Charitable Foundation.

His sudden, unexpected death has left a void in the community that can never be filled. His friends and colleagues describe him as generous, kind, and respectful. He cared deeply for the people he interacted with and had a great sense of humour. All those who had the privilege to know him will profoundly feel his absence.

We offer our heartfelt condolences to the family and friends. May they find comfort in their time of grief.


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