Meet our trainers
Every one of our training sessions needs two things to succeed: A great trainer, and the people—candidates, volunteers, and local leaders—ready to dig in and do the work. We’ve got the first one covered, thanks to a team of knowledgeable, passionate professionals with insight to share. The second? That’s up to you. Meet our trainers below!
Abigail is a campaign professional with five cycles of experience developing, training, and managing field staff across the country. Abigail has served as a field organizer in Indianapolis for the 2018 Indiana Coordinated, and a field organizer/intern coordinator for the Bill Daley for Mayor campaign in Chicago, IL. In the summer of 2019, she joined the Virginia Coordinated campaign (Take the Majority) as a POD Director for Virginia Beach and Suffolk. After turning the Virginia legislature blue, Abigail moved to Tucson, AZ to Dream Big & Fight Hard with the Elizabeth Warren for President campaign as the southern Arizona Regional Organizing Director. Most recently, Abigail served as the Training Director for the Joe Biden for President campaign in Pennsylvania.
Abigail is currently living in Nashville, Tennessee, and is pursuing a degree in Government and Public Service from the University of Arizona online. In their free time, they enjoy baking, knitting, reading, and hiking.
Alexa Jakusovszky is currently pursuing an MBA at Willamette University's Atkinson Graduate School of Management in Portland. They grew up in the mountains of Colorado but moved to Oregon to study International Affairs and Gender Studies at Lewis & Clark College. Prior to business school, Alexa spent time working in development and communications at a nonprofit where they discovered their passion for transportation policy. Alexa later transitioned to a policy role at the state legislature where they could make a larger impact in this arena. They currently serve as the Legislative Director for Oregon State Representative Karin Power. In this role, they focus on energy policy and LGBTQ+ advocacy. They hope to use their MBA to enhance collaboration between Oregon's private and public sector. In their free time, Alexa enjoys long distance bike riding and exploring new Portland restaurants.
Amanda Clarke is a political professional with nearly a decade of experience working on behalf of progressive issues, policies, and candidates. She most recently served as the Organizing Director for President-elect Joe Biden’s campaign in North Carolina where led one of the highest performing organizing programs in the country.
After helping deliver Hillary Clinton’s 2016 victory in the Nevada caucus, Clarke served as the North Carolina Voter Registration Director. At Run for Something, an organization dedicated to electing progressive state and local candidates, she provided strategic guidance to over 600 candidates across 30 states. She also worked at New York City’s Department of Homeless Services, where she helped spearhead what went on to become the nation’s first Public Engagement Unit.
Clarke has also worked on Ro Khanna’s 2014 Congressional campaign, Bill de Blasio’s successful 2013 and 2017 Mayoral campaigns, and Jim Johnson’s New Jersey gubernatorial campaign.
Ambar Calvillo-Rivera is the Principal and Co-Founder of CR Strategies LLC, a stakeholder and civic engagement consulting firm. Ambar brings nearly a decade of experience in strategic partner engagement, coalition building, and civic engagement across diverse communities. Ambar served as the Vice President of Campaigns for Voto Latino, where she led the implementation of Somos Más, a national campaign that mobilized young Latinos with SMS and digital engagement ahead of the historic 2018 midterm elections, successfully registering 202,339 people to vote in 11 states, with 76% voter turnout. Prior to that, Ambar led the mobilization of national organizations and caucuses during the historic 2017 special elections, to support down-ballot candidates across the country, as the Director of Community Engagement and Strategic Partnerships at the Democratic National Committee (DNC). She also previously served as National Director of Field and Partner Engagement for Enroll America.
Ana Torres is a former classroom teacher who entered the political organizing game after the 2016 election cycle. She left a steady teaching job to help turn her state blue and still believes in a Blue Texas. She worked as an organizer for the Beto for Senate campaign and as a community liaison with Judge Lina Hidalgo’s Civic Saturday’s campaign. After working to register voters with Battleground Texas, she joined the Warren for America campaign as a Community Regional Organizing Director, working to empower organizers within their communities. She has worked with GetThru to connect campaigns with their volunteers and with Collective Campaigns to get local progressive candidates elected. She is a lifelong reader.
Anastasia Apa runs ApaFirm, inc., which provides progressive political organizations and non-profits with management and fundraising consulting services. Her favorite things to do are problem solve, plan and organize. In 2002, she managed her first political campaign and quickly realized that if there was no money, there was nothing to manage, so she focused on fundraising. Since, she has traveled the country, managing political campaigns and raising money while building a fundraising system based on what she’s learned over the last 17 years, 38 states, and $50,000,000 raised.
Andrea Johnson’s first campaign staff job was in 1999, with Sen. Bill Bradley’s presidential campaign. Since then she’s worked on campaigns big and small, from presidential to state house, and has worked in almost all regions of the country. Andrea has worked on 4 of the last 5 presidential campaign cycles. Most of her experience is in digital, in particular, online fundraising and organizing, but she’s also worked in the field, fundraising, communications, message development, and has managed campaigns.
Outside of campaigns, Andrea has worked with Moveon.org and the Kaiser Family Foundation. She currently works with Run for Something by directly supporting campaigns to elect progressives who are 40 or under to down-ballot seats. Andrea has an undergraduate degree from Rice University and a graduate degree from Harvard.
Andrea Kraus is no stranger to swing states and purple regions. Growing up in Kissimmee, Florida, she first discovered volunteering with Barack Obama’s 2008 presidential campaign. In 2012 in Ohio she was back at it again in her college town of Delaware, OH. In 2013 her first job out of college was as an organizer in Loudon County, VA for Terry McAuliffe’s gubernatorial election and followed up with Jennifer Wexton’s first state senate campaign. In 2014 she worked in Dillingham, AK as the regional field director for Bristol Bay, on the rural Alaska team for Mark Begich’s senate race. Since campaigning she has lived in Seattle enjoying the Pacific Northwest, her dog Hamilton, and working on adult education in tech. She is passionate about empowering women, people of color, and underrepresented folks from all stretches of the US though education, knowledge sharing, and winning Democratic seats up and down the ticket.
Andrew has worked on political campaigns all across the country, from Virginia and Nevada to Pennsylvania and Kentucky. He currently serves as the Executive Director as the Democratic Party of Virginia. But before he led Virginia’s successful coordinated campaign in 2019, Take The Majority, which resulted in flipping both the House and Senate for the first time in nearly two decades, and managed successful campaigns for Delegate Chris Hurst, the Lieutenant Governor of Nevada, Virginia Senate Democratic Leader Dick Saslaw, and has across the country for Hillary Clinton, beginning in the Iowa caucuses and ending in Philadelphia. A proud graduate of Virginia Tech, born and raised in Southwest Virginia, he started his career working for President Obama’s re-election campaign in 2011
Anna is happiest when she’s working on strategy for resilient communities and bold, progressive change. She centers relationship-building, social-emotional intelligence, and joy in all her work.
Anna served as Deputy Training Director for two of the most consequential elections in recent memory: the Biden-Harris campaign in Pennsylvania and the Georgia Senate runoff. She previously worked for the Elizabeth Warren campaign and for Organizing Together, where she supported trainings in partnership with Crooked Media.
Anna went to a small school in British Columbia, where she studied critical political economy and culture. She likes to read, and shop for sneakers, and jog at a very slow pace.
Anna has a background in labor organizing, policy and elections tech.
As the daughter of Polish immigrants and a first-generation college graduate, Anna got her start in progressive politics with the Illinois Coalition for Immigrant and Refugee Rights and as a labor organizer with SEIU and AFT/AFL-CIO.
Working her way through many electoral campaigns, in 2016, Anna was the GOTV Director on an issue-based electoral campaign with NextGen America. She led the largest youth voter engagement program ever—spanning 96 campuses. Then, at the Roosevelt Institute, Anna oversaw a student network of policy wonks and activists.
Anna’s current role is at BallotReady, an election tech startup with the mission of making it easy to vote informed on every race and ballot measure.
Atima Omara is a nationally recognized award-winning political strategist, leader, advocate, and speaker who has focused her 18-year career on engaging youth, women, people of color, and LGBTQ+ people at the intersection of politics and advocacy in the progressive movement. As President of Omara Strategy Group, LLC, Atima provides training, coaching, and strategic political services to political candidates and organizations that center women, people of color, and LGBTQ people in their advocacy and campaigns. Over a decade, she worked as campaign manager, field director, finance staff, and other staff on more than a dozen federal, state, & local political campaigns in many red and battleground states across the country. She has also successfully led organizing efforts for voter registration, ballot initiatives, and GOTV operations in low-income communities of color and immigrant communities. She has a BA from the University of Virginia and an MPA from George Mason University.
Audrie MacDuff King
Audrie is a policy strategist and advocate based out of New York City. By day, Audrie is a Policy Director working in public health within local government. By night, she owns a small candle-making business. Audrie has over a decade of experience working on campaigns in various levels. Audrie's work is deeply informed by her anthropology background and past experience in grassroots organizing. Her intention is always to center the voices of the most marginalized communities, while working toward systemic change in intentional and strategic ways. Born and raised in rural Upstate New York, Audrie now lives in Brooklyn with her partner, a Boston Terrier, and many plants.
Austen E. High
Austen is a native North Carolinian with a background in counseling, childcare, and education.
Austen served as Executive Director of Wake County Democratic Party from 2014 to 2018. She directed the federalized county party to facilitate Senator Kay Hagan’s statewide coordinated campaign while overseeing the More with Four Campaign to flip the Wake County Commission to a 7-0 Democratic majority. In 2016, Austen led Wake County Democrats to historic voter turnout of 75.33% which provided 19,000 more votes for Governor Roy Cooper than any other county in NC.
Austen offers general consulting services and trainings to elected officials, campaigns, and nonprofits. In her free time, Austen enjoys NYT crossword puzzles, cooking for friends, and trying to convince everyone to buy an espresso machine.
Ben is currently a Data Analyst working for Democrats across the country. In a previous role, he worked for the South Dakota Democratic Party as their Field and Data Director. He has been involved with Democratic politics for several cycles and has helped progressive candidates running for office in predominantly "Red" states. Ben currently lives in Montana with his wife Gabrielle and his cat Luna.
Briayna is a lifelong Democrat whose community involvement and calling to public service began in elementary school. Her upbringing by politically active elders has resulted in valuing cultural awareness, social and racial justice, the political process, and a desire to bring intersectionality to politics. From door-knocking to serving as a Campaign Manager, she takes delight in being a part of campaigns whenever and however, she can.
While completing her degree at High Point University in North Carolina, she held internships with World Relief, the Guilford County Democratic Party, U.S. House of Representatives, and more. Over the years she acquired significant hands-on digital marketing and public relations experience, in addition to working in the state legislature.
In 2018, Briayna was featured as a High Achieving Millennial by SparkVision, currently serves on the Board of Supervisors of Elections for her municipality, and works for the federal government.
Brittny Baxter is a Political Organizer currently in Maryland. She is the Progressive Pipeline Coordinator for Maryland Working Families, and she is responsible for coordinating statewide trainings in partnership with Wellstone Action to prepare progressive Democrats, their campaign managers and grassroots organizers to run and win effective campaigns. Brittny is from Buffalo NY, where she cut her teeth on local and state legislative races. She formerly worked for New York Working Families as the Upstate Legislative Organizer, mobilizing and uniting labor, EJ, racial justice and community groups across the state. She has worked on many issue campaigns from environmental justice and safe staffing to the Fight for $15 and reproductive rights.
A strong supporter of labor and a former AFT organizer for NYSUT, she is committed to the fight for equity for all. “I stand with the poor, people of color, LGBTQ folks, immigrants and organized labor because our liberation is bound together.
Bryan Eastman believes that digital strategy is the future of politics, and the way Democrats will win the future. He is the founder of PoliEngine, a web building, design, and hosting platform for Democratic candidates and issues. Bryan has worked on dozens of races across the United States, from Congress to City Council, using a “digital first” model to integrate digital strategy and analytics into every facet of the campaign. For this work he has flipped dozens of races blue, was named a “Rising Star” of Florida politics in 2019 by Influence Magazine, and won numerous awards. While politics consumes most of his time, Bryan’s happiest when he’s out hiking and birding with his wife, playing bluegrass/country music around his home city of Gainesville, Florida, and nerding out on American history.
Cal Jack Cade is a native Texan and media strategist with a deep knowledge of earned media strategy, digital strategy, social media, media relations, and small-dollar fundraising.
They got their start working in Texas politics for attorney Steve Mostyn and State Senator Judith Zaffirini at the State Capitol while attending the University of Texas at Austin. Cal then joined the press team in Congressman Marc Veasey’s office on Capitol Hill.
After finishing their stint on Capitol Hill, Cal joined the communications team at STG and worked on a number of issues—from protecting and expanding the Affordable Care Act to emphasizing the importance of robust small-dollar fundraising in Democratic politics. In 2020, Cal served as communications director for Diane Mitsch Bush in her campaign against Lauren Boebert in Colorado’s Third Congressional District.
Cal is currently a Senior Associate at STG and lives in Washington, D.C. with their very small, very cute terrier mix named Biscuit.
Calvin Orr II
Flint Community Schools, industrious parents, Flint’s Fifth Ward, and a fair share of luck have contributed to the Social Scientist that is Calvin Orr II. Calvin’s parents, both entrepreneurs, modeled the importance of cultivating relationships, while his stepmother exemplified brilliant teaching. Calvin leveraged his personal experiences to earned a BS in communications, interdisciplinary leadership, and nonprofit administration from Eastern Michigan University and a MSW specializing in community partnerships from Georgia State University. As Principal Consultant at Stoëx LLC, Calvin has trained hundreds of progressive individuals representing dozens of progressive organizations over the previous five years. His clients have won issue campaigns, nationally. Calvin is an expert at walking clients through a process of cultivating emotional intelligence and leveraging deep authentic relationships to meet campaign fundraising goals.
Carla Aronsohn is a founding member of Cultivate Strategies, a values-driven full-service digital firm. Carla has extensive experience working with progressive organizations, unions and candidates from school board elections to campaigns for president. Their expertise is in digital, mobile, field, creative actions, branding, and strategic communications.
Previously the Senior Vice President of Strategy at Revolution Messaging, Carla has led large teams and hundreds of clients. Carla was the lead mobile strategist for Bernie Sanders for President 2016 which won two Reed awards and a Pollie award for mobile. Carla helped conceptualize and launch Daily Action, which uses mobile and calling practices to make civic engagement easy and effective by having one call action per day. Daily Action has been recognized with two Reed awards, a gold Pollie award, and a Mobile Marketing Association award for social impact.
Carly Manes is a reproductive health, rights, and justice advocate based in Washington, DC. From 2018-2020, she served as the Director of Training and Fellowships at Priorities USA, working to increase Democratic power and digital infrastructure across the country. She is a practicing abortion and birth doula, and runs an on-the-ground collective in DC to support patients traveling to the area for abortion care beyond 24 weeks of pregnancy. She loves chicken tenders and the ocean.
Cheryl D. Mayes
Cheryl Mayes is a Senior staffer in the U.S. House of Representatives (TN, District 5) and the Founder/Principal Consultant of My Toolbox Consulting, a leadership development and training consulting firm based in Nashville, TN. Cheryl is experienced as an Accountant, Community Engagement Advocate/Organizer and Leadership/Development Trainer, and Education Program Director. She serves as the Vice-President of Programming with the Davidson County Democratic Women.
As a longtime education advocate, Cheryl was elected to public office as a member of the Board of Education for Metropolitan Nashville Public Schools (MNPS) where she served for four years, her last two as the Chairperson of the Board. As a former candidate, elected official and community organizer, Cheryl brings a unique perspective and passion to educating current and future voters on the importance of getting and staying engaged at all levels of government.
Christopher has a singular fascination with the nature of leadership, civic society, and governmental structure. For the better part of a decade, he devoted his academic like to the study of political theory and history. In the wake of the 2016 election cycle, he decided that it was time to make a shift from the bookshelf to the ballot box. He signed on with MO Political Consulting, and hit the ground running.
Since then, Christopher has worked on over a dozen Missouri campaigns, including Annie Rice's race for the 8th Ward, Paula Brown's win in House District 70, and most recently Trish Gunby's flip of District 99. He has organized field programs, fundraisers, and election-day efforts alike, and has personally knocked thousands of doors on behalf of candidates worth fighting for. Now, he wants to bring those skills to Democrats nationwide, to help them thrive in organizing, advocacy, and activism.
Chuck Cook is the former Political Director of the Maryland Democratic Party. He’s a veteran of numerous campaigns at every level of government, and was the Field Director for the Maryland Democratic Party for President Obama’s re-election in 2012. Originally a software developer, he left his former career in 2008, and has worked on Congressional campaigns, Gubernatorial campaigns, County Council campaigns, and Mayoral campaigns. His passion in electoral politics is in messaging and field for Progressive Democratic candidates who support Unions and working families. Chuck lives in Crofton, Maryland with his wife Jessica—a Special Educator at Old Mill High School—and their three children.
Colin Curtis is a political consultant who has been working in politics for over a decade. Colin has worked across the country as a campaign manager, lobbyist, legislative staffer, and direct mail consultant. Colin studied Political Science at Washburn University in Topeka, Kansas and received his Masters of Professional Studies in Political Management from George Washington University in Washington, DC.
Colmon Elridge III
Colmon Elridge has been a leader in Kentucky and national politics and governing for over a decade. Coming from humble beginnings, Colmon broke the cycle of poverty through hard work, education, and opportunities afforded to him through the Democratic Party.
Colmon, 37, has served as the Outreach Director for the Kentucky Democratic Party, served two terms as the Executive Vice President of the Young Democrats of America, and served for eight years as the Executive Assistant and Senior Advisor the Kentucky’s 61st Governor. He has just been elected as the first African American to serve as the Chair of the Kentucky Democratic Party.
Colmon, his wife Victoria, and their three sons Colmon, Carter, and Camden, live in Georgetown, KY.
Courtney Hodges Jones is an accomplished and passionate political fundraiser. She has developed and executed strategic plans for multiple federal, state and local candidates. With a decade of experience, Courtney has grown to be an energetic and compassionate advisor with the ability to motivate candidates, donors, volunteers, and staff. She recently served as the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee’s Candidate Fundraising Advisor for the 2020 election cycle.
Prior to becoming a fundraiser, Courtney began her political career at the Florida Democratic Party where she served as the Deputy Compliance Director. Not long after, she took her talents to Washington, DC where she joined the prominent political law group at Perkins Coie as a Compliance Specialist.
Courtney attained a Bachelor of Political Science with a minor in Pre-Law followed by a Master’s in Public Administration, both from Florida A&M University.
Dallas Thompson is the Founder and CEO of Bright Compass, a boutique HR firm for political campaigns and progressive workspaces. Bright Compass focuses on anti-harassment training, leadership coaching, and comprehensive HR and Operations support to create inclusive organizations that live up to their values while executing on their mission.
Dallas brings more than a decade of management and fundraising experience from both the political and nonprofit fields, including as Chief of Staff for STG (formerly Smoot Tewes Group) in Washington, D.C. In 2016, she was Hillary Clinton’s Operations Director in North Carolina, where she oversaw operations of a 400-strong team working to elect Democrats up and down the ticket. Dallas has also served as Finance Director for the New Hampshire Democratic Party, National Director of Fundraising Development for the Leadership for Educational Equity, and Development Director for the New Organizing Institute. Dallas is a proud AmeriCorps alumna.
Dan Kovats has worked on campaigns for 10 years, starting on local races & working his way up. In 2014 he served as the Downstate Field Director & Deputy Political Director for US Senator Dick Durbin’s campaign. He served as Campaign Manager & Advisor for several candidates including Springfield Alderwoman Kristin DiCenso, District 186 School Board Vice President Scott McFarland, and Rianne Hawkins for City Clerk. In 2012, he was elected Vice Chair of the Sangamon County Democratic Party to oversee all campaign & Get Out The Vote operations within the county.
He is currently the Executive Director of the Illinois Democratic County Chairs’ Association (IDCCA). The IDCCA’s mission is to be a Democratic partnership resource for all 102 Democratic County Party Chairs’, to support the political agenda of the Democratic Party, to grow the Party, and to elect Democrats at every level including county, statewide, & national.
Dan lives with his wife Jennifer & two children in Chatham, IL.
Danielle Winterhalter specializes in political messaging, policy development, campaign management, and both traditional and emerging media communication tools. Currently, Danielle serves as the Managing Director of SpeakEasy Political—a political communications firm aimed at leveraging tech tools to cut costs in campaign advertising for down-ballot races and progressive organizations.
Prior to her current role, Danielle worked as a Campaign Manager, Policy Director, and political consultant where she’s scripted speeches, developed bipartisan policy initiatives, managed campaigns, and executed comprehensive, multichannel communication strategies for Democratic candidates, progressive causes and labor organizations.
A native of the Pacific Northwest, Danielle is obsessed with her family, reading the NYT in print, running the National Mall, and crafting cocktails.
Davis does not specialize in anything, but he’s done a little bit of everything.
A Texas native, he’s worked as an organizer in Colorado, a regional organizing director in Oklahoma, a finance director in Iowa, a campaign manager in both Iowa and Oklahoma, and a get-out-the-caucus director for two Presidential campaigns in Iowa.
He currently works as a Senior Program Specialist at staclabs, a consulting group for state Democratic parties where he helps states build out programs and use tools effectively.
Dejah Desiree Williams is a native of Washington D.C. and an alumna of Texas A&M University. After graduation, Dejah went on to manage a District 1 County Council race in Anne Arundel County. Afterward, she went on to work as an account executive and consultant for local races throughout Anne Arundel County. In addition to her consultant work, Dejah also worked as a field organizer for the Maryland Coordinated Campaign to support gubernatorial candidate Ben Jealous (D). After the 2018 election cycle, Dejah went to work in the Pittman Administration as the Transition Coordinator and CECS Officer for Districts 2&4. Dejah is a member of the Anne Arundel County Democratic Central Committee, where she works to promote democratic values throughout the county and state. Currently, Dejah is enrolled at Northeastern University in Boston, MA (Master’s of Public Policy) and working as a Legislative Aide in the Maryland General Assembly.
Denis Geary Lopez
Denis is a painter and political strategist currently based in Los Angeles. After graduating from Cornell University, Denis moved to San Francisco to work in the tech scene and try to launch his own startup. The disastrous 2016 election catapulted Denis into politics, first working on local races in the Bay Area before transitioning to digital advocacy with Fight for the Future. He has also worked as a Digital Strategist for the DCCC and has helped with digital strategy for the National Democracy County Officials. His art shows regularly in LA galleries.
Derek is an educator, coach and political professional based in Madison, WI. After working for the Iowa Democratic Party during the 2018 campaign cycle, he served on staff for Congresswoman Cindy Axne from Iowa's 3rd District. Prior to that, Derek was a high school social studies teacher and administrator and earned a Master's Degree in Education in 2017. A native of Madison, Wisconsin, Derek entered politics in 2006 as a volunteer in the effort to pass marriage equality in Wisconsin and has advocated for Democratic candidates, teacher's unions and progressive movements ever since including campaigns in Wisconsin, Nebraska, Iowa, Florida, and North Carolina. When not teaching, training, or knocking doors, he enjoys playing rugby, distance running, and coaching youth wrestling.
Devon G. Anderson
Devon G. Anderson is a social impact professional with 8 years of cross-sector experience in programming and multi-channel engagement. After earning a master’s in public administration through National Urban Fellows at Baruch College in 2016, Devon went to work as an organizer for Maryland League of Conservation Voters. Together with organizers from Fair Elections Maryland partner organizations, Devon helped finalize public campaign finance programs in two Maryland counties last spring. He is eager to work with NDTC and assist new and emerging Democratic candidates achieve their goal of winning elected office in 2018 and beyond. His areas of expertise include digital engagement, social innovation, career development, and campaign strategy.
Domonique is the founder of Politics with Purpose, a consulting firm that helps purpose-driven candidates, causes, and organizations raise money, share their message, and grow movements. She got her start in politics as a field organizer for President Obama’s re-election team, ultimately serving as Deputy White House Liaison to the Environmental Protection Agency. In addition, she’s worked on dozens of political campaigns up and down the ticket and in a range of roles. For her work she has been recognized as a Top 40 under 40 Consultant by the American Association of Political Consultants, a Rising Star by Campaigns & Elections Magazine, and sits as a juror for the North American Excellence in PR Awards. Domonique is a graduate of Spelman College. She was born and raised in Denver and now lives in DC.
Elaine Almquist has spent nearly 2 decades working in electoral politics, issue advocacy, and civic engagement, with a focus on advocating for the increased participation of youth, women, and underrepresented populations in politics. She is the founder and principal of QM Collaborative, a progressive political consulting firm. Her background includes 8 years on the board of directors of YDA and 10 years on the MA Democratic State Committee. She is a member of the Executive Committee and is the co-chair of the Party’s Resource Development Sub-committee. Almquist is also a member of the Democratic Socialists of America, and serves on the Political Education working group. Always an advocate of a well-balanced life, in her spare time, Elaine enjoys globe-trotting, roller-skating, craft beer, and playing with her energetic cat, Peanut Butter.
Elise Shrock is a Co-Founder of Wide Awake Digital where she specializes in candidate communications development, strategic campaign communications, and press relations. In addition to her work there, she serves as the Vice President of Tamm Capital Group, where she leads the firm’s association management program and serves as the principal Democrat on their government affairs team.
Shrock is the President of the Indiana Democratic Latino Caucus, where she works to engage Latino voters and ensure that the state's growing Latino population is reflected in local, state and federal representation. She is also a founding board member of Hoosier Women Forward, the state's leading leadership program for democratic women.
Within the Indiana Democratic Party, Shrock serves on the Indiana Young Democrats leadership team and is a member of the Indiana host committee that put on a historic Young Democrats of America convention in 2019.
Elissa McBride is Secretary-Treasurer of the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees, AFL-CIO, which represents 1.6 million workers. She was elected by acclamation by the International Executive Board in March 2017.
McBride joined the labor movement as a member of the United Auto Workers District 65 in 1989. In 1991, she was recruited to the AFL-CIO Organizing Institute, a new initiative to expand the ranks of union organizers and grow the labor movement. McBride became the New England organizing director for the Amalgamated Clothing and Textile Workers and later directed the AFL-CIO Organizing Institute training program. At the AFL-CIO, she trained hundreds of community activists and organizers to build power in their workplaces by reaching workers one-on-one and moving them to take collective action.
McBride lives in Takoma Park, Maryland, with her daughter, Rosie.
Ellie Heggerston is the Training Operations Specialist at Appian Corporation. Prior to working at Appian, Ellie was the Training and Digital Associate at the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee during the 2018 Election Cycle. In her training position at the DCCC, Ellie trained over 15,000 Candidates, Managers, and Campaign Staffers in 25 cities across the country, meeting individuals in their communities to run local races. Ellie also developed a nationwide online training program to train over 9,000 operatives interested in learning campaign skills to get hired on local races. In her digital position at the DCCC, Ellie worked on 20 local congressional email programs and contributed to raising over 11.2 million grassroots dollars for those races. Ellie received her Bachelor of Science in Communication Arts with a Digital Studies Certificate at the University of Wisconsin-Madison.
Emily Gittleman currently serves as Digital Director for Michael Bennet on his re-election campaign to help hold onto our Senate majority. Previously, Emily joined 50+1 in February of 2016 as a fundraiser, helping local and state level candidates like City College Trustee Alex Randolph and State Assembly member David Chiu fundraise for their successful re-election campaigns.
Following the 2016 election, Emily transitioned from fundraising into the world of digital and spent the ensuing months building out 50+1's brand new digital shop. Emily led all digital strategy for 50+1 candidates, campaigns, and special projects, including (but not limited to) content creation, email campaigns, digital advertising, social media strategy, and analytics.
Emily graduated from Trinity College in Hartford, CT with a degree in International Studies and a minor in Photography. In her spare time, she enjoys biking around the city, hiking with her friends, taking cool pictures, re-watching episodes of The West Wing, and convincing her friends and Lyft drivers to take a more active interest in politics.
Emily Michael started her career in organizing by working with rural communities in northwest Uganda as a Peace Corps Education Volunteer. She took that love for rural into the 2020 cycle as an organizer for Pete Buttigieg, and then managing 52 rural counties as Regional Organizing Director with the Missouri coordinated campaign. Emily has combined her two passions- teaching and organizing- as a coach with Organizing Corps 2020, training and mentoring the organizers that won battleground states in 2020.
When she isn't working with organizers across the country, Emily likes to bake treats for her friends and introduce them to The West Wing.
Erin Vilardi is the Founder and Director of VoteRunLead, a national organization leveraging technology and training to accelerate the number of women in civic and political leadership. She first launched VoteRunLead as Vice President of Program and Communications at The White House Project, establishing the largest national political training program readying women for public office and civic life, training over 15,000 women.
Evan has been working in politics and advocacy since beginning with the Obama campaign in 2007, and has worked in field, digital, media and organizational leadership. Evan has deep training experience including four years at the New Organizing Institute where he helped develop, lead and plan some of the organization's signature trainings. As communications director at the American Federation of Teachers, Evan led digital and media messaging and strategy for one of America's largest unions. In 2018, Evan founded Firekit Campaigns to help rising leaders in labor and politics navigate today's media landscape and build values-based strategies to build power.
A veteran of five campaign cycles, six states, and two Iowa Caucus teams, Fleming Beaver loves organizing with his whole heart and is incredibly excited to share this work with others. After working as a member of Hillary Clinton's presidential campaign in 2015 and 2016 in Iowa, Colorado, Idaho, and Virginia, Fleming spent two years organizing with the Democratic Party of Wisconsin, successfully re-electing Tammy Baldwin, defeating Scott Walker, and laying the long-term grassroots infrastructure to keep Wisconsin blue for the future. He then joined Elizabeth Warren's presidential campaign in Iowa, where he managed a caucus team across twenty-three counties and over 270 precincts, but more importantly, got to be part of an amazing team who fought for an incredible candidate. Fleming finished 2020 as a Deputy Organizing Director with Battleground Iowa. A North Carolina native, Fleming loves to cook, hike, and talk about Star Wars ("The Last Jedi" is good, "The Rise of Skywalker" is bad).
Gabriella Cascone most recently served as the National Training Director for the Biden-Harris Coordinated Campaign. Gabriella got her start in political organizing as a student at SUNY Geneseo, serving as the President of the campus' Planned Parenthood advocacy group. After working for three years in healthcare as well as in c3 and c4 Advocacy and Organizing at two NYS Planned Parenthood affiliates, she shifted the focus of her work for the past six years to the electoral campaign space. While serving on the late North Carolina Senator Kay Hagan's 2014 campaign as a Regional Field Director, she realized her deep passion for training. She joined the winning Hillary for Iowa team in June of 2015 and later ran one of the largest Statewide Training programs in the country in North Carolina, helping to elect Governor Roy Cooper. Prior to joining the Biden for President team in 2019, she was proud to elect Illinois Governor J.B. Pritzker and partner with Representative Underwood in 2018.
Hannah Roe Beck
Hannah is currently the Convention Director with the Texas Democratic Party. Born in St. Louis and raised in San Antonio, Texas, Hannah graduated from the University of Texas at San Antonio with a degree in Political Science and Women’s Studies. While still in school, she joined with several classmates to launch and later serve as the first Executive Director of MOVE San Antonio (now MOVE Texas), an organization dedicated to empowering underrepresented youth communities through civic education, leadership development and issue advocacy. Since her time at MOVE, Hannah has supported non-profit organizations & Democratic infrastructure through fundraising, campaign management, and political strategy.
Ibie is a Civitas Child Law Fellow J.D. and M.P.P. Graduate from the Loyola University Chicago School of Law. After law school, she worked for Common Cause as their youth organizer and state outreach engagement manager on democracy campaigns. In 2019, Ibie became the Chief of Staff for State Senator Robert Peters of the 13th District. She built his office based on radical transparency which led to continual listening sessions throughout his district. Ibie believes that people are surviving not thriving and the disinvestment black communities endure daily is something that cannot be ignored. Since then, she has been working for the State's Office of Minority Economic Empowerment (DCEO) supporting the economic efforts of small minority owned businesses. She is currently a proud member of the South Shore Works Board and serves as Secretary.
Ilana has over a decade of electoral experience on all levels of the ballot primarily in organizing ranging from state legislative campaign manager to WV State Director for Organizing for America to Deputy National Field Director for America Votes. Ilana spent 2020 advising on relational organizing strategy with Biden for President, the Democratic Senate Campaign Committee (DSCC), SEIU and multiple state parties working for Outvote. Prior to Outvote, Ilana worked as a National State Desk for the Bernie Sanders 2020 campaign and oversaw the organizing program in 5 Super Tuesday states (including Texas) plus Michigan, Illinois and Wisconsin. Ilana resides in Washington, DC with her cat and outside of pandemics enjoys traveling, good food and the Chicago Cubs.
Jamarr Brown (he/him/his) serves as the Director of Electoral Programs at re:power. Jamarr stewards and grows c4 partnership strategies and develops and oversees a portfolio of electoral and public leadership programs on behalf of re:power. He has over 10 years of experience working as a political strategist, nonprofit leader, and leadership trainer.
Prior to joining re:power, he served as the National Training Director for Tom Steyer’s presidential campaign, where he led a national leadership development program for staff, volunteers, community leaders and issue advocates. Jamarr served as the Organizing & Training Director for Planned Parenthood Texas Votes (PPTV). Additionally, his experience includes working with Progressive Majority, Young Democrats of America, Wellstone Action, and working on several local, state and federal campaigns across the country. Jamarr also successfully worked with ColorOfChange to remove the Confederate Flag from South Carolina’s State House grounds.
Jasmine Worles currently served as Advisor to the Chief of Staff at Shelby County Schools. When she’s not focused on preparing students and parents for 21st Century learning, she trains political candidates across the country on what it takes to run for office. Jasmine has trained more than 2,000 candidates from New Hampshire to Alaska on how to run successful campaigns. She has a burning desire to see reform in policy and electoral politics that reflects the needs of marginalized and underserved people. She has pushed for fluid communication between grassroots communities and local government and has also promoted the importance of civic engagement by developing Nashville’s first Black Millennial Voter Registration Rally. She has been named a Rising Star by the American Society of Public Administration and is on a continued mission to use her skills to bring the voices that matter most in Democracy to the decision making table. She lives with her husband and her newborn, Nile, and in her free time, she enjoys hoarding house plants and traveling.
Jeff Greene is a lobbyist and political fundraiser for both local and national races. Over the last 15 years Jeff has played a part in several wins and several heartbreaking losses. Jeff has been with NDTC for three years and has worked with dozens of potential candidates, staff and party attendees to master the skills associated with fundraising. As an entrepreneur, Jeff has had to raise money for not only candidates and party but also for business visions. Jeff’s ability to bring so many life lessons and business skills to the Democratic Party is what sets him apart.
Jeff Hall is a political consultant located in Lincoln, Nebraska. He has managed several campaigns including recent two red-to-blue flips, and has worked with numerous candidates and on several ballot initiative campaigns. In 2019 he managed the successful Lincoln, NE city council campaign for James Michael Bowers, becoming Lincoln’s first openly LGBTQ+ city council member. His team accomplished this by increasing turnout by 17.89% over the previous cycle, and raising 66% more funds than any previous Democratic candidate in the district. Jeff also has ten years’ experience in higher education, managing teams and budgets for programs serving low-income and first-generation college students.
Jen Brown is the Founder of The Engaging Educator (EE), an organization dedicated to helping people find their authentic voice, communication style and self through improv-based education. EE served over 70,000 students in 8 years, working with such companies as Viacom, Food Network, and CBS. Jen’s book, Think on Your Feet: Tips and Tricks to Improve Your Impromptu Communication Skills on the Job (McGraw Hill, November 2019), was called a “helpful maven’s guide ideal for anyone who views a podium with fear and trembling" by Publishers Weekly.
Jen has been working in progressive politics since 2016. Most recently, she worked in digital correspondence with Biden for President, Voter Protection with the Georgia Democrats, and as a Deep Canvasser with Down Home North Carolina. Currently, Jen is living in Winston Salem, NC with her husband Alex, dogs Drumstick and Pickle, and five-dozen houseplants.
Jenese Jones Oden
Jenese Jones Oden is founder of Oden Strategic Design Group, LLC, providing training, project management and strategic coaching services to political candidates and equity focused non profit leaders and organizations across the United States and West Africa. She brings nearly two decades of experience in strategic partner engagement, educational leadership, grass roots and grass tops coalition building and civic engagement across diverse communities. After cutting her teeth 19 years ago as a high school music teacher in Saint Louis, MO, she returned home to the DMV and charted a new path into local politics and ran for office in Washington, DC, becoming an Advisory Neighborhood Commissioner. Jenese has served as Executive Director of Maryland CAN, a policy advisor fellow under former U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan and co-founded the DC Education Coalition for Change.
In the political arena, Jenese is known as a skilled relationship builder and campaign manager, organizer and GOTV expert. She is an At Large Member and Fundraising chair of the Anne Arundel County Democratic Central Committee.
Jenese earned her B.A. in Political Science from the historic Clark Atlanta University and is currently pursuing an MBA program at
Jennifer Alberts is a campaign operative with a passion for state-level races and pro-voter organizations. She currently works as the Campaign Manager for Voters Not Politicians, a pro-democracy organization in Michigan.
Her professional career began as Campaign Manager, where she successfully launched a winning Michigan State Senate campaign. Jennifer then worked as Organizing Director at NextGen Michigan, working to mobilize young people to get out and vote in the 2018 election cycle. She then moved out to New Jersey where she was the Field Director for a successful slate of State Assembly candidates running for re-election.
In her free time, Jennifer enjoys crafting, camping, and hiking.
A proud Colorado native, Jennifer comes to the NDTC having worked on 50 campaigns and counting at every level of government. Since Jennifer found her love of community organizing volunteering on the 2012 Obama campaign in Fort Collins, Colorado, she can’t stop and won’t stop organizing.
Jennifer had a soft spot for county party folks as she served two terms as Vice Chair of the Larimer County Democratic Party. In that role, she trained local candidates to run for office and managed the county party’s field & fundraising programs. Jennifer thrives in training the next generation of fierce fundraising hard askers. She is especially passionate about electing more women, people of color, and LGBTQ+ folks to office.
In her free time, she enjoys unwinding with a Colorado craft beer while watching any show with a woman serving as President.
Jes Cruz is the former Training Director for the Florida Democratic Party and Florida Coordinated Campaign. She developed an online training program for Florida during the 2020 cycle that focused on training organizing staff and local candidates. Prior to that, she joined EMILY’s List in 2018 at the start of a historic year, when the organization trained thousands of women to run for office through the Run to Win training program. From coordinating the catering to training herself, Jes was responsible for ensuring that the trainings across the country ran seamlessly. Before joining EMILY’s List, Jes worked on several campaigns. In 2017, she joined Ron Nirenberg’s successful mayoral race in San Antonio as a Deputy Field Organizer. Later that year, she worked on Cheryl Turpin for Virginia Beach, a campaign that flipped a House of Delegates seat in Virginia. Jes is originally from California and graduated in 2017 from Trinity University in Texas.
Jess Morales Rocketto
Jess Morales Rocketto was the Digital Organizing Director for the Hillary for America campaign in 2016. After the presidential campaign, Jess founded her consulting group COVEN. She has experience helping Democrats and progressive causes use digital to achieve their goals—from the AFL-CIO to the Obama 2012 presidential campaign to the National Domestic Workers Alliance to Rebuild the Dream.
Jessica is a Vice President with 50+1 Strategies based in Washington, D.C., where she has spent nearly a decade advancing candidates and causes at the ballot box and developing community engagement programs.
Most recently, she served as Senior Advisor for Organizing for the Wisconsin Democratic Party, and she held senior roles on Cory Booker's and Michael Bloomberg’s presidential primary campaigns.
Previously, Jessica was Campaign Manager for Judge Rebecca Dallet in her race for Wisconsin Supreme Court and the former Training Director with Hillary for Wisconsin in 2016. Jessica fell in love with community organizing during her time working on President Obama’s re-election campaign. She has deep experience in nearly every aspect of campaigns from fundraising to political outreach, strategic communications, and digital organizing.
When she’s not working, you can find Jessica biking around DC, cooking up a new recipe in the kitchen, or scuba diving somewhere tropical.
Jessica is an experienced social impact professional with a history of working at the intersection of media, politics, & tech. She founded JL Reeves Strategies which consults for national & state-based organizations, including groups like the Texas Future Project & the Blue Leadership Collaborative. Nationally, she has led work for groups like Rock the Vote, Supermajority, & Voto Latino(VL).
Previously, Jessica was COO at VL, a pioneering civic media org shaking up the political process to bring young voices into the political process. There she was responsible for developing key partnerships & shepherding high-impact digital tools & campaigns with partners like Lyft & Google, as well as local & national organizations. Prior to joining Voto Latino, Jessica worked in advertising where she helped launch award-winning digital & social media marketing campaigns for major brands. Originally from El Paso, TX now lives in Austin with her husband, baby girl, & two Boston Terriers.
Joanne Antoine is a Haitian American organizer and progressive strategist based out of the Washington DC Metro Area. She currently serves as Manager of State Outreach & Engagement for a nonpartisan, nonprofit organization working for open, honest, and accountable government in Maryland and also serves as the Liaison to Caribbean Communities for Montgomery County Government, where she works to ensure the community voice is heard in county government. Ms. Antoine is the Director of Campaigns for Young Democrats of Maryland and works with At The Forefront to help build winning campaigns for women candidates in the Caribbean region and Democratic women candidates of Caribbean descent here in the US. She holds a Master of Arts in Public Policy and Bachelor of Arts in English and in her spare time, loves to try new recipes and watch reality TV.
Joe Caiazzo is a Boston based Democratic strategist. He has worked on campaigns ranging from local to presidential contests. Joe has worked for candidates such as Secretary Hillary Clinton, Senators Bernie Sanders, Elizabeth Warren and Sheldon Whitehouse, Representatives Joe Kennedy and Bill Keating.
Joe is a published author offering analysis on local and federal elections and has offered commentary in various media publications. He is a Political Partner at the Truman National Security Project and served as a delegate to the 2012 Democratic National Convention. Joe is an Eagle Scout and holds a BA in history and theology from Barry University in Miami, Florida. He lives in a suburb of Boston with his wife Nicole and pug Ethel.
Joe has been working professionally for Democratic campaigns and causes for 15 years. Starting as a Field Organizer in 2006, he is a seasoned manager providing strategic, operational, and financial leadership in complex, fast-paced and diverse political environments.
Recent career highlights include serving as Executive Director of the Democratic Party of New Mexico for 4 years. During his tenure, Joe ran the state’s largest coordinated campaign that resulted in Democrats elected to every statewide and federal office. In 2020, Joe served as Political Director and Director of Ballot Access for Colorado Senator Michael Bennet. Most recently, Joe served as Campaign Manager for Colorado Families First, a successful ballot initiative that made Colorado the first state to pass a Paid Family and Medical Leave program at the ballot box.
Joe lives in Wheat Ridge, CO with his wife. He holds an undergraduate degree from the University of Michigan and a law degree from Villanova University.
An educator and organizer with over 10 years of experience, Johnaé joined the NDTC team in 2019 to further her goal of securing a true democracy for folks on the margins. A former candidate herself, Johnaé brings a lens for authenticity and equity to her work to support nontraditional candidates in breaking up the “old boys’ club”. Johnaé holds a BA and MAT from the University of Chicago in International Studies and Urban Education. Strong is a founding member and leader of BYP100, a political organization for Black people 18 to 35 working for liberation for all Black people.
In 2020, Strong received a Voqal Fellowship for her project Razing to Restore, an online organizing training platform connecting emerging social actors to political education, organizing, and restorative practices, through on-demand learning modules developed by national organizers and healers.
When she isn’t building tools for democracy, Johnaé can be found making music, losing dance battles to her two children, Akeim and Jari, or in her hometown of Cleveland.
Jordan Berg Powers
Jordan Berg Powers (he/him) is the Executive Director at Mass Alliance. In his over a decade there, he has helped elect new progressive leaders across the state, recruited progressive champions to run, and trained hundreds of grassroots organizers. In 2015 Jordan was recognized for his exceptional work in politics as an inaugural inductee into the 40 under 40 Poly Award. Using his expertise in talking to ordinary voters about progressive policy, Jordan is active in campaigns for saving public education, environmental justice, and a more progressive tax system for the Commonwealth. He conducts trainings across the state on understanding government, advocating for your issues, grassroots campaigning, messaging and political power.
In his free time, Jordan serves on the board of JOIN for Justice, MassBudget and for the Jewish Liberation Fund; and is on the advisory committee for the Jewish Alliance for Law and Social Action (JALSA). Jordan has a Masters in International Politics from the London School of Oriental & African Studies as well as a B.A. in International Development and a B.A. in Economics from American University.
Joshua is a seasoned veteran of Democratic politics and progressive issue advocacy. His experience includes 13 years of leadership in some of the most pivotal races, including the election and reelection of President Barack Obama and Senator Tim Kaine’s impressive victories in Virginia. He has worked and advised on over 30 races at the national, state and local levels. In addition to his work in electoral organizing, he has worked in the labor movement and fought fiercely for environmental and social issues. Joshua is a father of two young boys; he works wholeheartedly to leave behind a more fair and just world in which they can thrive and prosper.
Joyce M. Rose-Harris is an experienced Digital Strategist for political and non-profit organizations. Most recently she was the Digital Organizing Director for the 2020 South Carolina Coordinated Campaign; and managed digital mobilization strategy & organizing as Digital Director in South Carolina for the Elizabeth Warren Presidential Campaign. Joyce has managed staff & programs for email campaigns, broadcast & peer to peer texting, event building, website content, paid media, online communities, and social media content. Joyce has over 10 years active experience in local & state Democratic parties. Her experience includes 5 presidential and 2 gubernatorial campaign cycles in addition to digital she has experience with data, event organizing, web design, and high-donor supporter management. Joyce is also a published poet.
Judson Scanlon began their political activism as a child growing up in Arkansas. They are the former Executive Director of Emerge Arkansas. Judson has worked as a national Wellstone Action trainer and was Deputy Director for the Wellstone Labor Program. In 2016, they were the National LGBTQ Outreach Director and Arkansas State Director for Bernie Sanders in 2016. Today they are the principal of Southern Strategies, a political consulting firm located in Little Rock, Arkansas.
Judy P. Neufeld
Judy P. Neufeld has over 15 years’ experience in elevating and amplifying women’s voices and leadership. She is an expert leadership development consultant, facilitator, and trainer and passionate about building high-performing teams, inspiring future leaders, and facilitating honest conversations necessary to take action towards making the world a better place. Judy’s work with Emerge America, the nation’s premier organization that recruits, trains and supports women running for elected office, increased the size and diversity of candidate training programs and designed and launched their first bootcamp program, which is now replicated across the nation. In addition to being a Boston Marathon Finisher, Judy holds degrees from top universities—her MBA from Crummer School of Business at Rollins College, and her BA from Tufts University.
Justin Vollmer is a political professional with nine years of experience developing and managing campaigns across the country, including roles in six presidential efforts. After serving on Hillary Clinton's 2016 presidential effort in Iowa, Kentucky, and North Carolina, he began consulting, ultimately becoming the managing director of McLarty Consulting, where he works with corporations, nonprofits, and political candidates. Justin spent the final weeks of the 2020 general election in Philadelphia working to elect Joe Biden. During the primary, he served as Mike Bloomberg's senior advisor for North Carolina, leading 125 staffers working across ten departments. He is a Charlotte, North Carolina native, who graduated with a degree in Political Science from the University of North Carolina at Charlotte. Justin currently resides in Little Rock, Arkansas, and enjoys spending time with family and friends - especially his wife and two pups, Rocky and Teddy.
Kandice is an experienced political organizer with a background in movement politics, legislative advocacy, fundraising, voter mobilization, and political consulting for progressive campaigns.She currently is the Midwestern Regional Director for Run for Something, a progressive political action committee and NDTC partner, that helps young Democrats run for office. Kandice is a firm believer in the power of grassroots and community driven campaigns and is passionate about empowering diverse voter bases and promoting women of color in campaign leadership.
Karina Rigel is currently a fundraising consultant for The Frost Group, where she raises PAC, Labor and national contributions for several prominent Democratic Congressmembers and national organizations. During the 2020 cycle she helped re-elect the Chairman of the House Transportation & Infrastructure Committee in what was the most expensive House race in Oregon history.
Karina began her career in politics as a Finance Specialist for the Florida Democratic Party and was instrumental in managing the finance team during the 2017/2018 transition to a new administration. In 2018, she served as the Deputy Finance Director for the successful Donna Shalala for Congress campaign.
Karina grew up throughout the state of Florida but considers Jacksonville her hometown. She is a graduate of the University of Florida and currently lives in Washington, DC.
Kate is a campaign strategist and public policy professional who is passionate about electing good people to make innovative policy solutions a reality. Most recently, Kate served as the Outreach Director for Sara Gideon’s US Senate campaign. Prior to that, she worked in Speaker Gideon’s legislative office and managed a policy portfolio including: health care, criminal justice, and marine resources. Kate returned to Maine, her home state, in 2017 to work on building the Maine Democratic Party’s long term field and digital organizing infrastructure. Before that, Kate worked on Hillary Clinton’s Florida organizing team, as well as working for the campaign during the Iowa, Colorado, and Washington caucuses. She got her start in campaigns while studying at Georgetown University and interning for President Obama’s re-election campaign. Kate is also an alumna of Emerge Maine. Outside of work, Kate is an avid reader, a lifelong ice hockey player, and a weekend explorer of Maine.
Kate Wolfe works as an independent political consultant and as a legislative aide in the Nebraska Legislature. A Nebraska native and lifelong Democrat, Kate entered politics in late 2007 as a volunteer for the Obama for America campaign and the first Nebraska Caucus. As a result of her volunteer efforts, Kate moved on to work for the county and state democratic parties. Following that, she has worked consecutively for three state senators in the country’s only unicameral legislature. Kate founded her consulting business, PolitiKate, Inc., in 2010, and has consulted on over 20 campaigns ranging from local to statewide candidates and ballot initiatives. She has been a fundraising trainer with the National Democratic Training Committee since 2017. Kate has four children: Bailey, Cody, Drew, and Peyton.
Kevin Wei is a political strategist and community organizer based in New York City, where he has extensive experience working in local politics and activism. After working on digital operations, automation & analytics, and social media for a technology startup in NYC, he joined a progressive 2021 Manhattan District Attorney campaign as Digital Director. In his current role, Kevin is responsible for leading the campaign's paid ads, email fundraising & engagement, website development, and digital analytics programs. He also worked for the 2018 Beto for Texas Senate campaign, the Asian American Pacific Islander Victory Fund, and numerous local campaigns across New York City. Kevin serves on the LGBTQ+ Victory Fund Campaign Board, the Executive Board of Manhattan Young Democrats, and was a Five Borough Future Fellow in 2019.
Kimberly Swett is a political consultant with fifteen years of wisdom. Kimberly has worked to elect democrats operating in diverse and politically difficult districts in red states at the Presidential, US Senate, Congressional, State Senate and Mayoral levels. Kimberly has mostly worked in the southeast region with her first race on the road being one she’ll never forget where she served as Campaign Director in Ocean Springs, Mississippi. She and the team were able to successfully reelect the Mayor only winning by 96 votes. After countless adventurous road travels Kimberly returned to her hometown of Nashville, TN where her political career began. Kimberly primarily consults on fundraising and outreach.
Kimberly received a Bachelor of Arts from Fisk University as a Political Science major, she is a very proud and active alumnus. Kimberly is a member of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority Inc. and one of the founding board members of New Leaders Council Nashville Chapter.
Lacey Connelly has been working on campaigns for over 15 years. Starting as an intern Opposition Researcher during the 2004 Illinois Senate primary (where her boss lost to a little known State Senator named Barack Obama), she then went on to be a Field Organizer, Direct Mail Consultant, Campaign Finance Nerd, and eventually, Caucus Director for the West Virginia House Democrats.
Lacey has lived in big cities across the country, but her heart lies in the small towns, especially of Appalachia. She loves working with organizers and candidates who want to make change on the local and state level. She believes health care is a human right and that the government's purpose is to help people.
When she's not corralling candidates or training up-and-coming superstars, you might find Lacey teaching a yoga class via Zoom, reading with a cat or dog on her lap, or camping in the West Virginia hills.
Laura Hernandez is currently the Campaigns and Program Manager at SEIU FL. Born in Colombia, raised in Florida, and proud Gator grad. She took interest in politics during President Obama's reelection campaign where she interned after school. She became a campus organizer, a community organizer, a field director, where she was able to put together successful large-scale field programs for several State Senate races. After working in field, she became the finance director for a competitive State Senate race that raised 2.5 million dollars. Using the knowledge she had, she became the deputy political director for Ruth's List FL where she recruited, trained, and helped elect pro-choice women in Florida. Now she is committing her time to labor efforts and run different programs for SEIU FL. She resides in Miami and when she's not working, she enjoys playing switch games and trying new places to eat.
Lauren Krupp has been training Democrats since the 2016 Clinton campaign. She has since worked as the Deputy Training Director on the JB for Governor campaign and as the Deputy National Training Director for the 2020 Coordinated Campaign.
Lauren is experienced in training field teams on volunteer recruitment and retention, direct voter contact, and GOTV strategy. She also trained thousands of volunteers on observing the recount process in both Florida and Georgia.
Training is about bringing people together and Lauren is committed to running participatory and engaging trainings to support future volunteer leaders, campaign staff, and candidates that shape democratic politics for years to come.
Lauren is a graduate of the University of Wisconsin-Madison and currently lives in Chicago.
Leann Knapp was raised in Colorado, and moved to Portland, Oregon to attend college. After graduating, she worked on her first political campaign, and later in the Oregon State Capitol as Chief of Staff to State Representative Teresa Alonso Leon in the only House District in the state home to a majority of people of color. It was there that she developed a strong passion for ensuring language access in progressive work. She then took on the role of Organizing Coordinator for the Fair Shot Coalition, a collection of 30+ labor and community groups across Oregon who set a policy agenda centered in racial, gender and economic justice. Leann now works at the Oregon Food Bank as the Uniting Oregon Organizer, working in rural communities to organize around ending the root causes of hunger.
Outside of her day job, Leann is deeply passionate about workers rights and supporting seniors. She also enjoys gardening and crafting with her partner, and spending time with their dog Eleanor Roosevelt.
Linara is the Managing Director for Development and External affairs at East Harlem Tutorial Program (EHTP) where she is responsible for raising $7 million of the operating budget, building relationships and working with media. She comes to EHTP from the public relations and government sector, and is currently an adjunct instructor at John Jay College of Criminal Justice. She recently worked for Hillary for America. Prior to that, Linara worked as a Vice President at Ogilvy Public Relations in their Corporate Group. She also served in New York City government for nine years in various capacities.
Linara served on the Board of Trustees for the Cathedral School of St. John the Divine for eight years; Advocates for Youth for six years; and is currently on a board member for the National Black Theatre. Linara received her MPA at Columbia University's School of International and Public Affairs and is a graduate of New York University where she holds a B.S. in Humanities.
Liz is a campaign professional who has spent the last 6 years organizing for progressive candidates across the country. She is currently a Senior Advisor at MobilizeAmerica, a digital organizing tool that connects thousands of volunteers to action. She started her career as an organizer for the Obama campaign in Colorado and has worked in several states since. Liz was a Deputy Organizing Director in North Carolina for Hillary Clinton and began working on the campaign during the Iowa caucuses. Liz currently lives in DC and when she’s not working, she enjoys hiking, listening to podcasts, and cooking whenever she gets a chance.
Lucia Nuñez (loo-SEE-uh NOON-yez) most recently served as Deputy National Training Director for the Biden-Harris Coordinated Campaign and then for the 59th Presidential Inaugural Committee Day of Service team. Before joining the coordinated campaign, she led organizing teams on the Joe Biden campaign as a Deputy Organizing Director in Nevada, Texas, Florida, and the Southeast Pod. She directed the winning field programs of Eric Johnson for Dallas Mayor and Josh Harder for Congress, which helped flip the House in 2018. Her political journey began with Ami Bera's successful frontline congressional race and at Brilliant Corners Research & Strategies, a Black-owned polling firm that focuses on the minority and youth electorate. She graduated from Scripps College, and she's spent most of her life in Colorado and California.
Lucy first volunteered for a campaign in middle school, making phone calls from the floor of the county Democratic headquarters. Since then, she’s made calls from the floor of many other field offices (and during the pandemic, her bedroom), working on races ranging from city council to president. She is an AmeriCorps alum, serving with Citizen Schools in Roxbury, MA. After leading a pilot program for 8th graders and five school sites, her middle school students inspired her to get back into politics, but she brings everything they taught her about good teaching to her work as an organizer. Most recently, she served as the Training Director on a senate race, bridging the political and the educational. Additionally, Lucy is a facilitator with the New Politics Leadership Academy. In her spare time, she likes to dance, read, and listen to podcasts.
Mallory Long is an organizer, trainer, and facilitator based in Baltimore, MD. She is currently the Director of Training at the National Democratic Redistricting Committee and the National Redistricting Action Fund, working to increase public engagement around the decennial redistricting process that will take place in 2021 to ensure fairer maps and representation. Prior to entering the Democracy Reform space, Mallory spent seven years in various organizing and training roles at Planned Parenthood's national and local organizations.
Born and raised in Cleveland, Ohio, Mallory's political career started as a field organizer for the Obama Campaign, making 2021 her 10th year as a campaign professional.
Originally a So. Cal Native, Manny Espitia started working on campaigns in 2012 in New Mexico for President Obama’s reelection. Since then he’s worked on campaigns in LA, Chicago, and San Antonio until he found his home in Nashua, New Hampshire. Organizer for Hillary Clinton’s NH Primary campaign, congressional staffer, and NH State Director for Julián Castro. Currently Manny works as the Northern Regional Director for Run For Something, an organization that helps 18-40 year old Democrats run for local and state office. Ran for office himself and is now a State Representative. Princeton University Graduate. Always looking for the best Mexican food in the Northeast.
Mariah Gould is a campaign professional with 5 years of experience in field organizing, management, and training. She began her career working as an organizer in Virginia helping to elect Hillary Clinton and Virginia Democrats in the Norfolk area; winning one of only 2 battleground states in 2016. Subsequently, she joined the gubernatorial race in Virginia in 2017 which helped to elect all statewide Democratic candidates and flipped 15 State House races. During the 2018 midterm elections, she was the Regional Organizing Director in southwest Pennsylvania. Soon after, she joined the Kamala Harris Presidential Campaign in Iowa as the Regional Organizing Director in southeast Iowa. In 2020, she was the Training Director for the Arizona Democratic Party helping to elect Mark Kelly, Joe Biden, Kamala Harris, and Arizona Democrats. Currently, she is the Coordinated Campaign Director for the Nassau Coordinated Campaign in New York. She lives by the motto that you can be successful in organizing if you—think creatively, work cohesively, and organize passionately.
Marrayam is passionate about strengthening democracy in the U.S. by increasing opportunities for civic engagement and leadership, especially among individuals from historically underrepresented communities. She firmly believes increasing access to strong training materials and resources is a key step to achieving this goal.
Marrayam most recently served as a Deputy Training Director with Joe Biden's campaign in PA. Previously she served as a Regional Organizing Director on Pete Buttigieg’s campaign in NH. In 2018 she worked with Senator Chris Murphy’s Fight Back CT and Jahana Hayes’ campaign to help Jahana become CT’s first black woman elected to Congress.
Marrayam is also passionate about women’s empowerment and previously worked at Vital Voices and Grameen PrimaCare. At VV, she supported women business owners’ business and leadership development and at GPC she supported the development of a healthcare program for predominately undocumented women and their families in NYC.
Marty is a partner in the Democratic political consulting firm Stones’ Phones.
Marty did five election cycles with the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee. He was the finance director for the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee. And he knows what it is to be a candidate, he ran for Congress in Santa Barbara and San Luis Obispo.
He served as a lobbyist for Environmental Action and for Americans for Democratic Action. On a pro-bono basis, Marty has worked with the National Democratic Institute in Bosnia, Croatia, and Azerbaijan.
He is the proud father of Stella Quincy Stone, a seventh grader. If campaigning gets into her blood, it won’t be a surprise. Marty’s grandmother, Lillian, was a suffragette and his mother, Nikki, now in her 80’s, still runs local races (and wins).
A Californian and a graduate of the University of California at Santa Barbara, Marty can’t figure out how he has spent most of his life in Washington DC!
Matthew Hatfield is currently working as a Deputy Organizing Director during the 2020 presidential primaries as well as a regional organizing coordinator for Swing Left. Matthew has experience with both issue advocacy campaigns as well as electoral campaigns, where he has worked for youth organizing initiatives, successful state legislative races, as well as coordinated state-wide campaigns to elect candidates from the top to the bottom of the ballot. He has a passion for building strong volunteer teams, rural organizing, as well as building a strong sense of community within the organizing teams that he has worked on. He is currently living in Richmond, Virginia, and in his downtime away from politics, enjoys camping, hiking, fishing, and the occasional long walk on the beach.
Originally from Silver Spring, Maryland, Meghan began her career in politics in 2010 with Promise Arizona, fighting against the draconian anti-immigrant law, SB1070. Most recently she was the Democratic Party of Georgia's Training Director for the Senate runoff.
Meghan now calls Philadelphia home and has previously been named a Pennsylvania Rising Star by PoliticsPA. She was the Senior Training Director for the Pennsylvania Democratic Party, the team that turned the commonwealth back to blue in 2020. Prior to 2020, she served as the Deputy State Director for Enroll America Pennsylvania, the foremost nonprofit behind implementing the Affordable Care Act.
Meghan is an avid runner and has worked for and volunteers with Students Run Philly Style. A theatre-kid at heart, she earned her BA in Theatre Arts and Sociology from Dickinson College, and is currently completing her Masters in Public Administration at the University of Pennsylvania.
Melissa Goldberg is a trainer, coach and political professional. Most recently, she served as a Regional Calls Manager on the 7-member national team that led over 100,000 volunteers to make over 88 million calls for Biden, Harris and Democrats down the ticket. This was the largest ever political calls program, completed virtually in 3.5 months. Melissa has personally trained over 40,000 volunteers on topics such as messaging, digital organizing tools, GOTV, and volunteer leadership.
She was inspired to get involved politically when she first lobbied for social justice issues in 2005. Over the years, Melissa has served in field organizing roles through Regional Organizing Director with various campaigns across the country.
Melissa also runs her own company, training executives, TEDx speakers, nonprofits, and other professionals in virtual and in-person presentation skills, executive presence and influence skills.
Melissa Markowich has over 6 years of experience in Organizing, Digital Organizing, and GOTV on both electoral and issue advocacy campaigns. She started as a volunteer for a Mayoral campaign in her hometown of Charleston, SC, and has since worked in multiple states across the country for Presidential, Gubernatorial, Congressional, and local elections. She recently served as the Organizing Director for NextGen America in Maine where she focused on mobilizing the youth vote. During the 2020 primary, Melissa worked for Vice President-Elect Kamala Harris in New Hampshire and was the GOTV Director for Pete for America in South Carolina. The first in her family to graduate college, she is passionate about making campaigns and organizing work more accessible and breaking down barriers for those looking to enter the political arena, especially for BIPOC communities and women. When she isn’t running between Zoom meetings, you can find her with an iced coffee and listening to a podcast.
Morgan Harris is president and managing partner of Acacia Consulting Group, a full-service communications and marketing firm with political, consumer, and social impact expertise. Acacia has consulted on campaigns including Lori Lightfoot’s successful run for Mayor, as well as congressional, state legislature, and city council races. Acacia represents Good Government Illinois, Campus Pride, Our Children’s Homestead, and Support Chicago Arts.
Morgan’s communications career began in 2000 at a boutique public relations firm, handling the Walt Disney Pictures and IFC Films accounts. In 2008 he joined a national agency, leading US marketing efforts for Disney, Warner Bros., Columbia Pictures, Paramount, and more.
In 2017 he volunteered for a gubernatorial campaign and was tapped to serve as Deputy Communications Director…and his political career began.
When not obsessing over campaign strategy, you can find him engaging in a Netflix binge or playing with his cats, Oliver and Simon.
Najaah Yasmine Daniels (she/ella) is the Founder and CEO of Twice As Good LLC, a social impact and advocacy firm specializing in helping individuals and institutions transmute trauma into triumph under a socio-cultural and liberation philosophy framework. As an orator, political strategist, and campaign operative with 15 years of experience, Najaah has worked across the United States spearheading electoral and issue-based campaigns at the local, state, and national level. She has received numerous accolades including a Certificate of Special Congressional Recognition and the Princeton Prize in Race Relations. Previously, Najaah served as Chief of Staff at Vote.org, the largest 501(c)(3) non-profit, non-partisan voter registration and voter turnout technology platform in America. Although a proud BlackLatina from New York, Najaah has lived and served in Las Vegas, NV since 2015 where she is affectionately known as the “New York Nevadan”.
Nancy Leeds is a veteran political operative with over 15 years of experience. She has worked on Democratic campaigns from Minnesota to California to Arkansas. She is also the author of CampaignSick, a popular blog about best practices in electoral politics and campaign management. Nancy holds an MPA and Master's in Gender and Public Policy from Columbia University. She is an avid Washington Nationals baseball fan, baker, and seltzer-drinker. Although a proud New Yorker, she now lives in Washington, DC with her wonderful husband, Michael.
A proud Michigan native, Pavitra got her start on campaigns as an Organizer with President Obama's re-election campaign in Ann Arbor, MI. Since then she has worked on campaigns across the country at the state, local, and presidential levels. She is currently the Constituency Organizing Director and Midwest Regional Field Director at the DCCC. Before that, she served as Kamala Harris' New Hampshire Organizing Director after working at NDTC for 2 years! Prior to NDTC, Pavitra was Training Director on Hillary Clinton's presidential campaign where she first fell in love with training.
When she's not campaign, Pavitra loves live music, relentlessly cheering on Michigan football (even when we're losing), and all things Bravo!
Peter Anich is a digital advertising specialist who brings over seven years of strategic consulting and training experience to the NDTC community. He discovered his love for training while working on digital advertising strategy and hands-on buying at Bully Pulpit Interactive. Most recently, Peter was the lead digital ads trainer for Priorities USA, where he developed and maintained the curriculum for their rigorous (and beloved!) digital ads bootcamp, bringing practical advertising skills to local organizers at in-person trainings in over a dozen states and several nationwide online intensives.
Peter’s work draws on experience with non-profit, corporate, and political campaigns at national, state, and local levels, his proficiency in Wisconsin-related trivia, as well as his commitment to building the bench of digital knowledge in the larger progressive movement. He loves putting on his trainer hat and always brings a fun and patient environment to every training space!
Peter Dougherty is a campaign operative with almost a decade of experience working to support Democratic candidates. Most recently, Peter served as the Deputy Coordinated and Voter Contact Director for President Joe Biden’s successful campaign in Pennsylvania, leading one of the largest organizing programs in the country. Peter was the New Hampshire Organizing Director for Joe Biden’s primary campaign and went on to oversee the Biden team’s organizing program in the Florida primary, where Biden won every county and city in the state. Peter spent half a decade overseeing field programs and managing campaigns on congressional campaigns and local races. Afterwards, Peter worked for the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee as their Southern Regional Field Director and oversaw the historic flip of the U.S. House of Representatives in 2018. Peter has worked on or helped oversee campaigns in 17 different states and supports campaigns at every level.
Quentin is the Director of Partnerships & Community Engagement, where he leads an amazing team that serves the greater progressive community by prioritizing accessible and digestible training content and resources. He loves all Black people and actively fights for Black liberation. Originally, from Augusta, Georgia he vibes to Big K.R.I.T. and aims to own a farm one day.
Rebekah Caruthers is managing partner at CAE Strategies and principal consultant at Caruthers Consulting. She has managed or advised campaigns in over two dozen states including presidential and down ballot races. Rebekah worked on Capitol Hill for Congressman John Dingell on the Affordable Care Act.
Rebekah’s goal is to remove barriers for participation in the American political system. She often works with emerging candidates and mobilizes communities of color. Her expertise is in political strategy, messaging, and engaging black women.
Outside of politics, Rebekah is a member of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Incorporated and the Links, Incorporated. She attended Creighton University and Nebraska Law.
Richard is a Fox News contributor and host of radio’s Fowler Show. On Fox News, Fowler brings a progressive voice to conservative broadcast on America’s most watched cable television network. He frequently co-anchors The Five and appears on The Story with Martha MacCallum, America’s Newsroom, MediaBuzz, and prime-times Kennedy and Mornings with Maria on Fox Business Channel. In 2018, Fowler was named co-host of the All-American New Year’s Eve Show Live from Times Square.
As a first-generation American from Jamaican parents, Richard began his political career in his home state of Florida, volunteering in numerous local and statewide races. Since then, Fowler has been an advocate for youth, social equity, and the African American LGBTQIA+ community. Most recently, Richard was named a Senior Media Fellow for the New Leader’s Council, where he trains, equips, and empowers the next generation of millennial leaders to use their voice to advocate for change.
Rose is the Director of Voter Protection at the Texas Democratic Party, where she leads the state party's efforts to create an easy voting experience for all Texans and support voters throughout the process.
As the former Director of Online Trainings at NDTC, Rose led the team in creating dozens of on-demand, 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 served as deputy director on a Virginia gubernatorial primary campaign and was a regional field director on a Florida gubernatorial campaign.
Rosetta Okohson is intimately aware of unique struggles and the impact political leadership can have on progress. This keen awareness guides her work. Previously, Rosetta honed her consulting and fundraising skills working for the Missouri Democratic Party and statewide campaigns.
Along with her fundraising acumen—which began with the YMCA of Greater Hartford's annual giving and capital campaigns—Rosetta brings valuable team-and relationship-building skills to the political scene to help her clients connect with voters.
Currently, Rosetta is the Founder & Principal Fundraising, and Political Consultant at MO Political Consulting, an NDTC Trainer, and a board member of the Gateway Regional YMCA.
Ruby is the Training Director at ActBlue. Since 2016, Ruby has been working to train the progressive movement. From the Clinton campaign to EMILY's list to ActBlue, Ruby has worked with candidates, nonprofits, and movement leaders, teaching them the skills they need to run for office, work on campaigns, and build sustainable growth. Ruby is an experienced trainer and political outreach manager with a demonstrated history of working in the civic and nonprofit space to build coalitions, create holistic curriculum and train rooms of progressive activists, future campaign staff and candidates who are ready to make a difference.
Ryanne Olsen is the Training and Curriculum Director at Emerge. She has personally trained over five hundred women on topics including campaign strategy, field, messaging, fundraising, and preparing oneself to run. She comes to Emerge after serving as the Executive Director of Emerge Massachusetts for almost three years. As Executive Director, Ryanne also increased the resources of the organization, raising a surplus every year and raising over $405,000 during her tenure. The Emerge Massachusetts alumnae won 72% of their races in the 2017 election cycle.
Prior to her time at Emerge Massachusetts, Ryanne worked the Public Policy Field Organizer for Massachusetts Coalition for Adult Education. Ryanne also has a deep history in political campaigns, serving on races from City Alderman to U.S. Senate. Ryanne graduated from Northeastern University, summa cum laude with a dual degree in Political Science and Communications.
Salim Zymet is a digital strategist with nearly 10 years of experience who has helped manage multi-million dollar ad buys and raised millions of dollars online for progressive candidates and causes.
He most recently worked at Crowdpac as the Director of Engagement and Marketing, a startup that helps political candidates raise money online.
In 2016, as Digital Director for Hillary Clinton in Ohio, he managed a team of 9 staff and 5 full-time fellows that amassed millions of social media views, nearly 100,000 social media followers, 52,000 online volunteer shifts and 175,000 online event RSVPs within the 6 months of the coordinated campaign.
Salim got his start in politics on the Obama 2012 campaign, where he served as a digital organizer in Southern California and Chicago in 2011. In 2012, he served as the deputy digital director in Ohio.
Sammi is a former West Virginia State Delegate and Union organizer. This past year, Sammi became a Commissioned Officer in West Virginia’s Air National Guard (following in the footsteps of her grandfathers, who both served our country). Raised in the Eastern Panhandle in a Union household, Sammi worked multiple jobs to pay her way through college and grad school. She organized some of the largest actions in the state on behalf of West Virginia’s working families and trains movement leaders across the country to carry on this work in their respective spaces. In 2018, she sought office on behalf of the community that raised her.
In total, she sponsored 100 pieces of legislation in her first term acting as a liaison for prominent job-creating and socially conscious projects. Sammi has been featured by the Public Leadership Institute, Netroots Nation, and the DNC while being named a Rising Star amongst the nation’s Progressive Leaders.
Sandra is currently a Vice President at BerlinRosen where she manages messaging, field and coordinated engagement with campaigns across the country. A veteran organizer, she’s worked for several progressive Candidates including President Obama, Hillary Clinton, Wendy Davis and Cory Booker as well as organizations like Planned Parenthood Federation of America and FWD.us. She is experienced in areas of issue advocacy and electoral organizing, strategic communications and campaign management.
Sara El-Amine is one of the world's leading experts on grassroots advocacy and organizing. She currently serves as Director of Advocacy at the Chan Zuckerberg Initiative, Mark Zuckerberg and Priscilla Chan's new organization that's working to build long-term solutions to some of the world's most pressing problems, leveraging tech, social impact, engineering, and philanthropy in innovative ways. Previous to joining CZI, she served as Executive Director of OFA, President Obama's 20-million- person-strong grassroots advocacy arm, and the founding Executive Director of the Change.org Global Foundation.
She's raised over $30 million in funds for causes, trained over 60,000 volunteer leaders and staff, and helped establish organizing models that successfully passed dozens of pieces of state and national legislation.
Sara Mitchell (she/her) was born and raised in Virginia and is a proud Virginia Tech Hokie. She has managed electoral and advocacy campaigns for various progressive organizations and PACs, with experience in field, digital and political departments. Sara is currently a Program Strategist at Analyst Institute, where she trains and advises campaigns on how to apply AI's advocacy, persuasion and mobilization research to their programs. As a former political and business journalist, Sara's work has always been rooted in storytelling. She'd be happy to share pictures of her cat, Rosa Diaz, named after the Brooklyn Nine-Nine detective and bicon.
Sarah jumped into politics in high school when she was elected to her local school board. Since then she has worked for dozens of candidates across the country from the local to presidential level. She is currently the Director of Political and Membership Engagement at the Planned Parenthood Federation of America. Previously, she worked at Run for Something as their National Political Director where she helped young candidates win down ballot offices. Before that, she was a Deputy Organizing Director for Hillary Clinton’s Virginia team, along with working for the campaign in the Iowa caucuses and 3 state primaries. She loves plants, flying trapeze, and will talk to you about traveling to all 50 states if given the chance.
Sarah Joy has over 6 years of experience in Organizing, Digital Organizing, Training, and GOTV. She recently served as the Deputy Organizing Director for the Georgia Senate Runoff and as the Deputy GOTV Director on Pennsylvania's coordinated campaign, helping to take back the Senate and the White House. She believes deeply in investing in future generations of organizing, and has trained thousands of first-time organizers as a Lead Coach with Organizing Corps. Sarah Joy believes in the power of rural organizing and the importance of local elections, working multiple cycles to flip seats in her home state of Pennsylvania. She feels organizing work should always be centering and uplifting the voices of historically marginalized communities and believes in a very simple workplace mantra: “Work hard and be nice.” When she isn’t working on campaigns, you can catch her traveling the country in her Subaru and camper.
Sean has over a decade of experience in strategic communications and online organizing and works at the intersection of digital media, culture, training, and organizing.
Formerly Chief Strategy Officer at Revolution Messaging and Senior Digital Director at FitzGibbon Media, Sean is an experienced strategist and consultant. He has worked with clients such as Wisconsin Voices, Western Conservation Foundation, The Surfrider Foundation, Clooney Foundation for Justice, Alliance for Justice, Amal Clooney, NBC Universal, Communications Workers of America, Independent Driver’s Guild, National Center for Transgender Equality, Restaurant Opportunity Centers United, Casa Ruby, Good Jobs Nation, People for the American Way, and many more. He has helped get candidates at all levels elected, campaigned against corporate abuses, designed national public education campaigns, and trained hundreds of people in how to use the internet to win.
Sean is an organizer who has worked for Democratic campaigns and progressive causes across the country. He currently works with Made to Save, a national COVID-19 vaccine equity and outreach campaign. Before that, he headed up organizing programs in Midwest battleground states for Joe Biden and Kamala Harris. He has worked for several Democratic candidates, including Hillary Clinton, Stacey Abrams, Beto O’Rourke, Mary Burke, and Ralph Northam, and for progressive organizations, like the March For Our Lives and Planned Parenthood. Sean got his start in politics as a fellow on President Obama’s re-election campaign. He is a graduate of the University of Wisconsin-Madison.
Seth Palmer is a seasoned public affairs professional. For more than a decade, he has used his skills and experience to translate engagement into action for public and private sector entities. A native North Carolinian, Seth serves as the Director of Strategic Communications for NP Strategy, a strategic communications firm with North and South Carolina operations. Seth advises clients on their next communications opportunity and how to apply the right tools to the job. He also serves as Founder and CEO of Longleaf Public Affairs, a communications training, and advisory firm. A graduate of North Carolina State University, Seth has been recognized with numerous fellowships, including NLC North Carolina, the Truman National Security Project, and the NC Institute of Political Leadership. He regularly presents on advocacy and communications topics for multiple audiences. Seth lives in Raleigh, NC with his wife and daughter.
Sophia C. Kerby
A political strategist with over eight years of experience, Sophia has trained hundreds of elected officials and advocates on storytelling, organizing, and policy advocacy. Based in Washington, DC, Sophia holds a B.A in Government and Politics from the University of Maryland College Park and is pursuing a Masters in Business Administration at Georgetown University. She is a practicing abortion doula and serves on the board of Reproductive Health Access Project, a national organization dedicated to integrating abortion, contraception, and miscarriage care into primary care providers’ practice.
Stacey Chavis serves as Managing Director of Campaigns Academy, where she works with at the intersection of politics, policy and advocacy. She built her expertise serving as Public Policy Consultant with the Community Foundation for Greater Atlanta, Southern Regional Director for the White House Project, Deputy Finance Director for the Democratic Party of Georgia, Finance Director for Congressional Campaigns and Constituent Services Representative for the United States House of Representatives. An expert in campaign finance, her work has trained over 30,000 candidates on the components of running for elected office. She has trained candidates for elected office from school board to statewide office. Stacey graduated with her Bachelor’s Degree in Psychology with a Politics minor from Oglethorpe University and Master’s Degree in the Study of Law from University of Georgia School of Law. She also completed The Women’s Campaign School at Yale University.
Stefanie Brown James
Stefanie Brown James is a master of making the political, personal. As an experienced social entrepreneur, Stefanie is the Co-Founder and Senior Advisor for The Collective—a consortium of political action organizations including The Collective PAC and Collective Future—dedicated to recruiting, training, funding and supporting black candidates to run for office on the local, state and federal level. Founded in August of 2016, The Collective has raised over two million dollars from 13,000+ individual contributions and organizations to support 57 endorsed candidates and launched a national training operation to prepare campaigns to win.
Stephen Bronskill skipped class for the first time to see Barack Obama speak and life has not been the same ever since. He has worked as a teacher in Pine Bluff, Arkansas and later went on to campaigns electing educators to office and passing progressive ballot measures in 2016 and 2018. In 2020, he worked as the training director for the Michigan Democratic Party and coach for Organizing Corps.
Tom is a founding partner of Acacia Consulting Group, a strategic public relations and communications firm in Chicago. Previously, Tom served as communications director for the Illinois Senate Democratic Victory Fund, Daniel Biss for Governor, and Ameya Pawar for Governor. He also previously worked as Press Secretary on the Independent Map Amendment, and was the Director of Operations for Chicago Forward, an issue-advocacy organization involved in the 2015 Chicago municipal elections. Before that Tom was the Director of Public Relations at Center on Halsted, the largest LGBTQ community center in the Chicagoland area.
Tom was born and raised in Texas, where he trained and showed horses. He has been in Chicago since 2013, and currently lives in the Rogers Park neighborhood with his fiancé Kevin and their dog, Lucas.
Specializing in fundraising, campaign management, and media, Valerie has spent seven election cycles working on competitive campaigns across the country. For the last six years, Valerie worked on national campaigns to create television advertising, provide media trainings for candidates, develop campaign plans, and offer strategic advice. She is now the Co-Founder and Partner at Silversmith Strategies, a full-service media and consulting firm.
Previously, Valerie managed two U.S. Senate races, including the 2010 open-seat U.S. Senate race in New Hampshire. Valerie raised money for a governor’s race in Georgia and Claire McCaskill’s 2006 upset victory in Missouri. McCaskill was one of six new Democrats who tipped the balance of the Senate toward Democratic control in the 2006 elections.
A native of San Diego, California and a graduate of the University of Dayton in Ohio, Valerie currently resides in Chicago.
Vanessa is a digital-comms enthusiast and writer based in Washington, D.C. She currently leads communications strategy at a community organization called Femex, and has spent the past year training grassroots organizers and comms professionals on messaging and digital advertising with Priorities USA. She believes that any good communications strategy should center racial and gender justice, and is passionate about the way good storytelling can help us better imagine the world we wish to see.
In the past, Vanessa has worked in the progressive economic advocacy space, designing programming and digital strategy around narrative shifts around progressive economic messaging. In her free time, Vanessa is an admirer of art, design, fashion, cats and pups, and can be found writing stories about joy and community at her desk.