Remembering Peter Schwartz, Agency Leader and Owner

We look back at the life and work of Streng’s owner, who passed away January 19th, and leaves behind a decade-long creative legacy, including a robust client list, award-winning work and charity initiatives.

Peter Schwartz 1949–2022

Almost ten years ago Streng Agency was entering a transitional period — its founder Rick Streng was ready to retire and pass the torch to a new leader. Peter Schwartz, who built a career as a business and association leader, stepped in and purchased Streng and was instrumental in building the creative agency as it is today.

Peter played a pivotal role in the agency’s growth, its creative direction, scope of capabilities and the award-winning projects produced.

Peter Schwartz — businessman, president, father, husband and grandfather — passed away last month, at the age of 72, following a brave fight against cancer. He is survived by his wife, Jill, his four children, Evan, Sonia, Jaclyn, and Adam, his two grandchildren, Maya and Luca, and his sister, Eileen.

“Peter came to Streng with impressive credentials and a vision to carry on the Streng Agency tradition. I felt comfortable that my long-time employees and clients were in capable hands. His leadership will be missed.” —Rick Streng, Streng Agency founder.

He leaves behind an impressive creative legacy that will live on in the variety of projects he led, his charity work and his dedication to his community. His legacy will also live on in all the agency’s future projects.

Under Peter’s guidance, Streng expanded their capabilities to offer Brand Strategy and Digital Marketing. This helped position Streng as “the small agency that could,” which competed with and often out-performed larger agencies.

During his time at Streng, the agency won work from the likes of Stanley Black & Decker, Big Apple Bagels, Medline, Delta Faucet, Ullman Devices, Kardiel, Remprex, Universal Gaming Group and John B. Sanfilippo & Son (Fisher Nuts, Orchard Valley Harvest, Squirrel Brand Nuts, Southern Style Nuts).

“Peter was a design aficionado and appreciated the hard work and the behind-the-scenes process. He pushed the agency forward and was passionate about our growth and the solutions we delivered for our clients.” —Will Sosa, Creative Director at Streng.

But Peter was very successful before he joined Streng. He received his B.A. in Political Science from California State University, Fullerton, and then began a long career in association management at NHFA, ASA, NAA, and the Homebuilders Association of Greater Chicago before purchasing Streng Agency.

His ability to lead a multidisciplinary creative team was unique, and it was his vision and foresight which helped Streng push boundaries and exceed the expectations of traditional design agencies. Peter enjoyed and cared about the people he worked with and employed.

“When the pandemic hit, companies started sending employees to work from home. I thought Peter might object, because he did enjoy having people around the office. But in fact he was an early adopter, talking with me frequently about the safety of his people. The same with shouldering the many issues for his employees that had to work around issues having to do with childcare and school. Peter worked with his people from a genuine place in the heart.” —Steve Clevenger, General Manager at Streng.

Over the last year of his life, Peter didn’t let his illness get in the way of the work that needed to be done, and was in the office on a daily basis. He never complained, was always positive, professional and led the agency with pride and strength.

Streng will carry on Peter’s legacy and continue to grow and build an agency that embraces his spirit and lives up to his vision.

“Peter’s unbridled enthusiasm in partnering with clients for successful outcomes was contagious. As his wife and CFO, I share in creating a culture where colleagues are respected and engaged in their work. I am committed to honor Peter’s legacy by continuing to build a strong foundation for sustainable success for our clients and colleagues.” —Jill Schwartz, CFO at Streng