Meet the Team

About the Team
It doesn't matter how big or small your race may be. We want to help. The NDTC offers free, interactive online training for Democratic candidates running for office. We aim to empower any Democrat who wants to be involved in local politics with the tools needed to be successful. We believe by working with local candidates, we can accomplish three goals: improve the performance of every Democrat up and down the ticket, elect more Democrats to office, and create a deeper bench of qualified candidates for higher office.
Meet the Team2019-05-16T11:53:00-05:00

Kelly Dietrich

Founder

Kelly spent eighteen years in Democratic politics working campaigns all across the country at every level of government. His specialty is new campaign creation, strategy and fundraising. After getting his start on a congressional campaign in Kansas in 1997, Kelly went on to work and advise dozens of candidates for U.S. House, Senate, governor, mayor and more. For several years he owned a national political consulting company with four partners and offices in Chicago, Boston, Philadelphia, Washington, DC and Kansas City. Building businesses and winning campaigns are his passions. For the fun “non-work” stuff, Kelly is a poker enthusiast, die-hard Kansas Jayhawk basketball fan, and avid movie buff.

Rose Clouston

Director of Online Trainings

Prior to joining NDTC, Rose was a National Coordinator at the Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Under Law, where she managed the non-partisan Election Protection hotline, training and managing thousands of volunteers who answered tens of thousands of voters’ questions in the 2014 and 2016 elections. She organized state-level poll monitoring and election reform advocacy efforts in Pennsylvania, New York and Florida. Previously, Rose worked at the New Organizing Institute creating an online guide to election laws, served as deputy campaign manager on a Virginia gubernatorial primary campaign and was a regional field director on a Florida gubernatorial campaign. Rose has a Master in Public Policy from the McCourt School of Public Policy at Georgetown University and a Bachelor of Science in Public Relations from the University of Florida. She is a Chicago native and in her free time enjoys running, yoga, watching Top Chef, and trying new vegetarian recipes (and getting omnivores to try them!).

Julio Daniel Díaz

Operations Manager

A proud son of immigrants, Julio Daniel centers his family in everything he does. Before joining NDTC, he spent the better part of a decade organizing for federal electoral candidates and issue-based campaigns across the country. It was these opportunities to learn from different communities that reinforced Julio’s commitment to a more fair and just society where everyone is valued and has the opportunity to thrive. At New Organizing Institute he learned the ropes to run great, holistic trainings that give organizers the tools to maximize their skills.

Julio Daniel grew up in Pilsen on the south side of Chicago. He’s been known to hit up karaoke spots and dance a good Cumbia. Otherwise, watching 90s reruns is his thing.

Collyn Warner

Deputy Live Training Director

Collyn Warner has had a career spanning outreach, communications, and rhetorical instruction. Before joining NDTC, Collyn worked in higher education programming, and previously worked on event coordination, communication efforts, and office logistics at the International Monetary Fund, as well as membership development with Business Forward and organizing with political campaigns. She has over five years of experience with working in communications and outreach (including digital organizing and social media strategy) in non-profit, political, and human rights advocacy capacities for the Campaign for Southern Equality, Neighbors for Equality (a grassroots LGBTQ rights group based in rural North Carolina), Amnesty International, and higher education institutions. Additionally, she has taught composition and digital communication rhetorical strategy courses at various higher education institutions and currently works with small businesses on communication and outreach efforts. She completed her M.A. in English (Composition and Rhetoric) at The University of Alabama, where she was awarded funding to research the digital tools of community organizing within social movements.

Jacob Vurpillat

Communications Associate

Jacob is the Communications Associate for NDTC. Jacob was initially an intern for NDTC in 2016 before moving on to work for both a Chicago Alderman and an Illinois State Representative. After working in Parliament in the Republic of Ireland, Jacob joined NDTC in April of 2018. Jacob is a graduate of DePaul University with a degree in Political Science. Outside of politics, Jacob tries to forget the Chicago Cub’s century of losing while enjoying their recent success.

Ashby Fiser

Ashby Fiser

Director of Product & Technology
Ashby Fiser is a designer, writer, and technologist who has been working at the intersection of form and function since 2000. Before joining NDTC she was focused on creating  high-impact and high-value products for companies large and small including: Amazon, Google, Microsoft, Deloitte, Wells Fargo, Exxon, Kohl’s, and many more. She is the author of the ‘Pulse’ UX research methodology and is an active advocate for the advancement of women in technology. Outside of work she has dedicated herself to lifting up others and has spent hundreds of hours speaking, coaching, teaching, and mentoring. She was the chair of the World Usability Day organizing committee from 2016 to 2018 and she is currently authoring a book on gender bias in big tech. At home she has a full house with 4 kids, 3 dogs, and 2 goats. When she isn’t at her computer she can be found in the studio painting and sculpting, or in the kitchen making fresh chèvre.

Taylor Pettiford

Operations Associate

Taylor is a Chicago native and started at NDTC as an intern in 2018 and now serves as the Operations Associate. Taylor has always been invested in gaining more knowledge on politics and government since a young age. She interned with the Illinois Public Interest Group focusing on the 2016 Presidential Election and the Former Governor of Illinois, Pat Quinn, on his Term Limit petition push. She also volunteered with the Illinois JusticeCorps through AmeriCorp for a year. She graduated from the University of Illinois at Chicago with her bachelor’s in Political Science and from the University of Louisiana at Monroe with a Master’s of Public Administration. Aside from politics, she focuses on self-care, enjoys traveling, and spending time with family on her downtime.

Zach Webb

Senior UX/UI Designer

A designer and web developer for the past ten years, Zach joined NDTC with a desire to do meaningful work for a noble cause. A self-taught designer and developer, Zach holds a BA from Western Michigan University in creative writing and media studies. In his free time he can be found playing board games, Dungeons & Dragons, playing music, watching the Detroit Tigers, and hanging out with his wife and child.