Winning messaging and professional execution for political and issue-based campaigns.
Danny Diaz is a founding partner at FP1 Strategies LLC, a public affairs, media relations, digital communications and advertising firm specializing in project management, strategic planning, message development and advertising for political and issue-based campaigns.
Diaz has worked at the highest levels in national political campaigns. Most recently, he served as campaign manager for former Florida Governor Jeb Bush’s presidential campaign.
Throughout his career, Diaz has helped Republican candidates in congressional, senatorial, gubernatorial and presidential races. He also serves as a strategist and consultant on various public affairs initiatives addressing a host of issues, including transportation, health care, retail and education.
In 2014, Diaz served as the general consultant in Arizona Governor Doug Ducey’s general election campaign, as well as once again serving as a senior advisor to New Mexico Governor Susana Martinez. Previously, he was a senior consultant to Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli in his campaign for Virginia governor in 2013. Diaz also served as a senior advisor to Governor Mitt Romney’s presidential campaign in 2012.
In 2010, Diaz worked as a lead consultant on two of the most closely watched races in the country, Mark Kirk for U.S. Senate and Susana Martinez for Governor. Martinez became the first Hispanic woman elected governor in both New Mexico and American history.
In 2008, Diaz was the communications director of the Republican National Committee (RNC). As such, he managed the national party’s press, research and e-campaign operations, including specialty, regional, broadcast and online media.
Prior to that, Diaz served as deputy communications director for John McCain 2008 and deputy communications director at the RNC. He played a key role in developing and implementing the strategic media plan to advance the nominations of John Roberts and Samuel Alito to the U.S. Supreme Court, in addition to managing the committee’s independent expenditure program and anti-vote fraud efforts.
In 2004, Diaz served as southwest regional press secretary for Bush-Cheney ’04 and was a member of the campaign’s National Hispanic Working Group.
A native of Washington, D.C., Diaz graduated from George Mason University and resides in Vienna, Virginia with his wife, three daughters and son.
Jon Downs is a founding partner of FP1 Strategies. An award-winning writer, producer and director, Downs develops strategy and advertising for political candidates and issue campaigns across the country. He employs all mediums – television, radio, print and digital – to persuade voters, inform opinion leaders and influence decision makers.
Downs has worked to elect candidates to office at all levels of government, overseeing the creative process from concept to filming and editing to placement. Downs has also designed messaging and communications strategies for several high-profile ballot initiatives and public affairs efforts—on issues ranging from energy independence to patent reform—and for leading companies like Charter Communications and Walgreens.
The Washington Post called Downs’ work “some of the best commercials of the cycle.” National Review referred to him as “a political operative turned media maestro” and Politico named him one of the top ten political operatives to watch. Additionally, Downs has won numerous Pollie Awards from the American Association of Political Consultants and Reed Awards from Campaigns & Elections. His awards include Public Affairs Ad of the Year, Ballot Initiative Ad of the Year, Republican Congressional Ad of the Year, Republican Statewide Ad of the Year, Presidential Primary Ad of the Year (in both 2012 and 2016) and Overall Campaign Best in Show (in both 2015 and 2017).
Prior to founding FP1 Strategies, Downs founded and directed Bright Media, a political advertising firm in Washington, D.C. He got his start in politics working for Bush-Cheney 2000 in Austin, TX.
Downs graduated from the University of Wisconsin. He currently lives in Vienna, Virginia with his wife, Alicia, and their three children.
Terry Nelson consistently achieves high levels of success in both the strategic and tactical areas of campaigns. He has played a senior role in the last four elections and was named one of “Politics Fabulous Fifty” — a listing of the fifty most influential political operatives in Washington.
Nelson has worked in the last two presidential campaigns and been a general and media consultant on numerous House, Senate and Gubernatorial campaigns around the country. In 2010, he was the Senior Advisor to the National Republican Senate Committee.
Terry also has a long history in public affairs. He has conducted national campaigns on behalf of Wal-Mart, the American Chemistry Council and Pfizer. He has also worked with the US Chamber of Commerce, Disney, Fox Entertainment, the National Association of Manufacturers, AHIP and InBev.
Terry served as the National Political Director for Bush-Cheney 2004 where he was responsible for directing the messaging for the mail and phone program, grassroots organization, turning out the vote, and coalition outreach. This effort produced a historic increase in turnout for President Bush.
Terry graduated from the University of Iowa. He lives in Falls Church, Virginia with his wife, Marci, and their three children.
Rob Jesmer joined the firm as its fourth partner in January of 2013. Prior to that, and during the past decade, Jesmer worked at the highest levels of Republican politics.
Most recently, Jesmer was executive director of the National Republican Senatorial Committee (NRSC) reporting directly to then-Chairman and Senator John Cornyn. During his four years directing the campaign committee, Jesmer oversaw an effort that netted five seats for Republicans and raised over $200 million.
Prior to the NRSC, Jesmer lived in Texas where he managed Senator Cornyn’s re-election campaign. He spent the 2006 election cycle as regional political director (RPD) for the Southeast at the Republican National Committee (RNC) serving as the liaison between state parties, campaigns and the committee’s chairman. As an RPD, Jesmer’s primary focus was managing the get-out-the-vote operation in Tennessee and Missouri, an effort consisting of 120 staff members and over $10 million spent between the two states.
In December 2002, Jesmer was hired by newly-elected Alabama Congressman Mike Rogers as his chief of staff. In that capacity, he set up Rogers’ office and managed his political activities.
From 1999-2002, Jesmer worked at the National Republican Congressional Committee (NRCC), first as a field representative for the Midwest, then as the national field director during the 2002 cycle.
Jesmer’s political experience also includes running campaigns in Tennessee, Mississippi, Illinois and Minnesota.
A native of St. Paul, Minnesota, Jesmer earned his bachelor of arts in political science and communications from the University of Saint Thomas. He currently resides in Arlington, Virginia with his wife Kendall, their sons, Jack and Carson, and daughter, Reaves.
Partner, Public Affairs
With more than 20 years of communications and political experience, Dave DenHerder is a partner at FP1 Strategies leading the Public Affairs practice.
DenHerder’s extensive communications experience spans the automotive, energy – specifically renewable energy and ethanol, healthcare, corporate and political sectors. Most recently, he served as the U.S. chief executive officer of Burson-Marsteller, one of the largest public relations and communications firms in the world. For more than two years, he led U.S. operations and oversaw a diverse portfolio of clients managing public affairs, crisis management, corporate reputation and media relations campaigns. Dave also served as the WPP global account lead for Ford Motor Company managing the communications business in North America, Europe, South America, Africa and Asia. Prior, DenHerder was chief executive officer of Direct Impact, Burson’s grassroots subsidiary – running winning grassroots campaigns across the U.S. and ultimately, bringing the company to double-digit growth in five years. In 2009, he was named one of the top “40 Under 40” leaders in the public relations industry by PRWeek.
In addition, DenHerder spent more than a decade in national and statewide politics. He was a regional political director for the Bush-Cheney campaign in 2004, managing political and grassroots operations in the Midwest. During President George W. Bush’s Administration, DenHerder served as White House liaison and special assistant to the U.S. Secretary of Labor. He also worked on the Bush-Cheney campaign in 2000 and various major statewide races during the 1990s. DenHerder began his career on Capitol Hill with former U.S. Representatives Jim Leach and Jon Christensen.
A native of Logan, Iowa, DenHerder graduated from Baylor University.
Chris Georgia most recently served as the digital director for Florida Governor Jeb Bush’s presidential campaign, where he was responsible for and oversaw all online persuasion advertising, online fundraising, development and web design.
Ahead of his time with Governor Bush, Georgia co-founded the payment processing company Revv, which powered payments for four major presidential campaigns. With his co-founders, Georgia created an out-of-the-box one-click payments tool which, to date, has allowed clients to increase donations by 390% on saved credit cards.
In the 2014 cycle, Georgia led all digital operations for the National Republican Congressional Committee’s (NRCC) independent expenditure (IE) unit. With a focus on finding voters as they moved with cross-device and cross-channel targeting, Georgia directed the investment of more than $5 million across 20 congressional districts, helping to secure a historic Republican majority.
Before heading up the digital effort for the NRCC’s IE, Georgia was deputy digital director for the NRCC, where he worked to build the online fundraising operation, analytics team and digital political team. These efforts laid the groundwork for the largest expansion in online fundraising in the committee’s history.
Prior to his work for the NRCC, Georgia served as the digital director for the American Action Network and American Action Forum. In that capacity, he oversaw the millions of dollars the groups spent in online advertising, with a particular focus on the Hispanic Leadership Network, where he managed all event-based digital operations, including co-hosting a presidential debate with CNN.
Joe Mansour leads the digital practice at FP1 Strategies where he architects winning online campaigns for his clients.
Most recently, as the digital director at Public Notice later, Freedom Partners Chamber of Commerce, Mansour built and managed an eight-person team that ran all online advertising, website development, digital content creation, analytics, and social media monitoring for the organization and its numerous allied groups.
At Public Notice, Joe masterminded the launch of Spendopedia, a Wikipedia-like resource of wasteful government spending whose unveiling was featured in The Washington Times. Spendopedia was referred to as “a new sheriff in town… going after the big, wasteful spenders” by Citizens Against Government Waste.
Mansour also oversaw the production over several innovative web series including a parody of The Office about the government’s yearly practice of “use it or lose it,” which won an award from IJ Review for “out of the box” use of digital media.
During the 2012 election cycle, Joe was recruited by DC-London and a coalition of center-right organizations to run a cutting-edge social media war room that tracked social media sentiment on relevant policy issues and then shaped the narrative via compelling content, memes, influencer outreach and other digital tactics.
In 2011, Mansour joined No Labels to run their digital department where he recruited a supporter base of a half-million high-value voters via savvy, low-cost online advertising and organic outreach efforts.
Prior to that, Joe joined the digital agency the David All Group as its first employee in 2007 and helped the firm grow to nearly 20 staff over four years. In that time he consulted for numerous clients like PhRMA, the Retail Industry Leaders Association (RILA), Senator Marco Rubio, then-Congressman Jeff Flake, The Heritage Foundation, among others.
Mansour got his start in politics and digital media working as a press aide on Oakland County Sheriff Mike Bouchard’s 2006 senatorial bid in Michigan.
Joe is a graduate of Kalamazoo College, and was born and raised in Michigan. He currently lives in Alexandria, Virginia with his wife, Samantha, and their handsome dog, Theo.
Mark is the visual force behind FP1’s production team. He comes to FP1 from a career in the feature film and television industry, where over nearly 20 years, he worked his way up through the ranks of the camera department on countless prominent feature films and television series, including Hannibal, Wedding Crashers, Minority Report, The Fog of War, Syriana, The West Wing, and The Wire.
The thousands of hours Mark has spent working on high-level, big-budget film sets has made his experience an invaluable asset to FP1. With nearly two decades of experience working closely with Oscar winning directors, cinematographers, editors, and colorists, Mark has developed a keen ability to not only create beautiful story-driven images, but has a deep understanding of how to preserve organic emotion throughout the entire process —a key component of what elevates FP1’s work.
Mark lives with his wife, and three sons in Alexandria, Virginia.
Caroline Knox joined FP1 Strategies in July 2015 with over ten years of executive experience. As chief administrative officer, Caroline is responsible for the firm’s financial planning and analysis, human resources and day-to-day operations.
Caroline most recently served as vice president of finance and operations for New America, where she spearheaded a complete overhaul of all financial and operational systems. Before that, Caroline worked as the director of operations for the Committee for a Responsible Budget, where she was instrumental in the Committee’s spinoff from New America and its rollout of the Campaign to Fix the Debt.
Prior to her time in DC, Caroline served as director of finance & operations at Watson & Knox in Thomson, Georgia, and practiced labor and employment law with Troutman Sanders LLP in Atlanta. Before practicing law, Caroline worked as an account manager at Pritchard & Jerden in Atlanta and as an investment banking analyst at Morgan Keegan in Memphis.
Caroline is a proud Georgia Bulldog. She graduated summa cum laude from the University of Georgia with a B.B.A. in finance and marketing and received her J.D., cum laude, also from the University of Georgia.
A native of Thomson, Georgia, Caroline currently lives in Arlington, Virginia with her daughter, Mimi.
Richard Cullen joined FP1 Strategies in January 2012. At FP1, Cullen manages communications and advocacy campaigns for corporate, political and non-profit clients.
During the summer and fall of 2013, Cullen took temporary leave from FP1 and served as the communications director for Ken Cuccinelli’s gubernatorial campaign in Virginia. In that role, Cullen was a senior spokesman for the campaign and managed the digital, communications and research teams.
Before joining FP1, Cullen spent three years working on Capitol Hill, including as special assistant to former Majority Leader Eric Cantor (then Republican Whip) before joining his press office as communications coordinator. Cullen also performed political work for the National Republican Senatorial Committee (NRSC) during the 2010 campaign cycle. Cullen came to Washington in the summer of 2007 after graduating from Furman University and joined POLITICO as the assistant to Editor-in-Chief John Harris and then Executive-Editor Jim VandeHei. He eventually became a reporter for the publication and produced video content including Politico Playback.
A native of Richmond, Virginia, Cullen currently lives in Washington, D.C.
Rich Dunn joined FP1 in June of 2015, bringing with him over a decade of experience at the top levels of Republican politics, including successful stints as the political director of the National Republican Senatorial Committee and chief of staff to Senator Tim Scott (R-SC).
Most recently, Dunn was Independent Expenditure Director at the National Republican Congressional Committee (NRCC), where he oversaw a $65 million national advertising campaign. The effort resulted in a net gain of thirteen Republican House seats and the Party’s largest House majority since 1930.
Prior to the NRCC, Dunn served as Chief of Staff to newly appointed Senator Tim Scott. From 2009-2012, Dunn worked two cycles at the National Republican Senatorial Committee (NRSC), serving as both deputy political director and then as political director for the 2012 election cycle. During Dunn’s tenure at the NRSC, Republicans gained five seats in the upper chamber.
In 2008, Dunn helped lead the NRCC’s incumbent retention program, after serving as chief of staff to Congresswoman Michele Bachmann. He also served as legislative director to Congressman Chris Chocola and managed his successful 2004 reelection campaign.
A native of Bloomington, Illinois, Dunn graduated from the University of Notre Dame and resides in Arlington, Virginia.
Tim Edson has 12 years of experience working as a consultant and campaign manager on tough races across the country. He was part of the FP1 media production team in the 2016 and 2014 cycles. Edson has managed and consulted campaigns and independent expenditure efforts in Florida, Indiana, Mississippi, Missouri, New York, North Carolina, Ohio, Utah and Virginia as well as advertising campaigns in those and numerous other states. Edson continues to serve as National Field Director for the Susan B. Anthony List and Women Speak Out PAC. Edson has also worked as a Deputy Chief of Staff and Communications Director on Capitol Hill as well as working as a legislative and press aide in the Virginia State Legislature. He is a graduate of Virginia Tech and lives in Washington, DC.
A proud South Carolinian and graduate of Clemson University, Chandler Hudson started her career as a regional field director for Governor Rick Perry’s presidential campaign during the 2012 primary cycle. She then went on to manage several state house and senate races before turning her attention to grassroots issue campaigns.
After the 2012 general election, she made her way to Washington, D.C. to continue working in issue advocacy as a digital media strategist for The Public Notice. She has deep experience in managing online messaging campaigns – from website management and social content creation to social media monitoring and reporting.
She joined FP1’s digital team in June 2014, where she manages digital strategy for companies, trade associations and campaigns.
Senior Vice President, Political
Annie Kelly Kuhle is currently a senior vice president at FP1 Strategies specializing in political campaigns. Most recently she served as the Iowa Director for Governor Jeb Bush’s presidential campaign. Annie joined FP1 in 2015 after working at the National Republican Congressional Committee (NRCC) as a regional political director. At the NRCC, Annie led the “Red Zone” program wining five out of seven of the most competitive offensive races in the country and contributing to the largest Republican House Majority since 1928.
In 2015 Annie was recognized by the American Association of Political Consultants and was named to their inaugural class of the 40 under 40.
In the 2012 election, Annie managed Congressman Tom Latham¹s successful campaign in Iowa, one of only two member versus member races in the country. She is also a veteran of Governor Tim Pawlenty’s political organization, working as deputy state director for his Iowa campaign, operations director for his PAC and deputy campaign manager for his 2006 reelection.
Her extensive campaign experience also includes working as a senior associate at BlueFront Strategies.
Annie is native of Philadelphia and a graduate of George Washington University.
Senior Vice President, Political
Brock Lowrance has spent over a decade working in Republican politics and brings an extensive background in campaigns and strategic communications to the team at FP1.
In 2014, Brock served in senior leadership roles on two winning U.S. Senate campaigns: Steve Daines in Montana and Dan Sullivan in Alaska. In Montana, Brock helped manage Daines’ campaign for the U.S. Senate, electing the first Republican to the seat in over 100 years. In Alaska, he served as a senior advisor to Sullivan’s campaign during the final months of the election.
Previously, Brock managed Rick Hill’s gubernatorial campaign in Montana in 2012 and Rob Cornilles’ congressional campaign in Oregon in 2010.
Prior to that, Brock served in President George W. Bush’s White House as associate director in the Office of Political Affairs. In that role, he acted as the political liaison to state and local elected officials, Republican campaigns, political parties, and grassroots activists in over a dozen states in the Pacific Northwest, Northern Plains, and Mountain West. Before serving in Office of Political Affairs, Brock served as a deputy associate director in the office of Presidential Personnel. Brock first joined the Bush Administration as a political appointee at the Department of the Interior.
Brock’s political experience also includes stints at the National Republican Congressional Committee (NRCC), the Montana State Senate, the Montana Republican Party, on Capitol Hill and numerous other GOP campaign efforts around the country.
Brock is a proud Montanan and graduate of the University of Montana.
Jim Landry has 15 years of research and strategic communications experience, working with national party committees, candidates, advocacy campaigns and non-profits. Jim leads FP1 Strategies’ research team working, across the firm’s full range of capabilities to inform strategic and tactical decision-making, provide clients with actionable intelligence and support product development.
Jim recently served as a senior communications adviser for a national non-profit and super PAC advising leadership on communications strategy on both policy debates and political campaigns. Prior to that, he led communications at American Action Network and American Action Forum shortly after their launch in 2010, developing paid and earned media strategies.
Jim served as Deputy Research Director at the Republican National Committee during the 2008 presidential campaign, guiding the day-to-day operation of a 30 person research team and advising on state-level rapid response.
He spent the 2004 and 2006 cycles at the National Republican Senatorial Committee working the legal, political and research departments. During the 2006 cycle, Jim led opposition research for several Senate campaigns and advised on earned and paid media efforts.
Jim grew up in Arlington, VA and has a degree in history from the University of Notre Dame. He is married with three children.
Senior Vice President, Public Affairs
Eric Sutton brings 20 years of experience as a public affairs and marketing executive providing counsel to Fortune 500 companies, major brands, trade associations and government agencies.
Prior to joining FP1 Strategies, Eric served as vice president of corporate relations for Transurban, a global infrastructure investor and operator of the innovative 495 and 95 Express Lanes in Virginia, where he oversaw corporate communications, consumer marketing and government relations.
Previously, Eric was also a vice president at Weber Shandwick/Powell Tate where he managed public affairs and brand marketing services for their largest DC based client – the United States Postal Service (USPS), an iconic brand with more than $65 billion in annual revenue and the second largest employer in the U.S.
Prior to joining Powell Tate, Eric served as an executive at a top DC public relations firm where he managed successful public affairs campaigns garnering government support for more than $12 billion in public-private partnerships for major transportation and infrastructure projects including the Silver Line Metrorail extension and high occupancy toll lanes.
Earlier in his career, Eric spent nearly a decade as a political strategist and state party executive.
Eric graduated from the University of Delaware. He lives in Leesburg, VA with his wife, Nicole, and his three daughters.
Senior Vice President, Communications
Ryan Williams has worked at the highest level of politics, most recently serving as a deputy national press secretary for Governor Mitt Romney’s campaign for president. In that role, Williams acted as a spokesman for the campaign.
During the 2012 election cycle, Williams also managed communications for Governor Romney’s successful primary and caucus campaigns in New Hampshire, Maine, Florida, Nevada, Ohio, Illinois and Wisconsin.
Williams previously served as communications director of the New Hampshire Republican State Committee under former Governor John H. Sununu and as a communications staffer on former Senator John E. Sununu’s 2008 reelection campaign.
He also managed candidate and surrogate interviews for Governor Romney’s 2008 presidential campaign after serving in the governor’s state house press office and for his gubernatorial campaign in 2002.
Williams is a graduate of Boston College.
Lauren Zelt brings more than one decade of experience working in the media and communications space to FP1 Strategies. Most recently, she served as deputy communications director and press secretary for U.S. Senator Kelly Ayotte. During the 2012 election cycle, Zelt worked as director of media affairs for Romney for President, following her tenure at the Republican National Committee.
Before entering politics, Zelt worked at the Fox News Channel as a segment producer and guest booker for America’s Newsroom with Bill Hemmer and Martha MacCallum, America’s News HQ and America’s Election HQ political specials. In that role, she prepared distinguished guests, anchors and producers for on air-interviews. She has also held positions at CBS News and at KDKA-TV, located in her hometown of Pittsburgh, PA.
Zelt graduated cum laude from Georgetown University following her career as a professional ballet dancer with Pittsburgh Ballet Theatre and Pacific Northwest Ballet.
Trent Wisecup has more than two decades of experience providing strategic advice and advertising services to Republican political candidates, business leaders and industry coalitions.
During his career, Wisecup has been a senior advisor to former Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney, former California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger, U.S. Senator Lamar Alexander and former U.S. Senator Spence Abraham.
In 2014, Wisecup wrote and produced advertising for the Republican Governors Association, National Republican Congressional Committee and the National Republican Senatorial Committee, along with the winning campaigns for U.S. Senators Dan Sullivan, Steve Daines and Pat Roberts.
During the 2012 cycle, Wisecup was a captain for the National Republican Congressional Committee, managing 12 IE campaigns and playing a leadership role in defending the Republican Majority.
In addition to his political work, Wisecup has managed advocacy and image campaigns for General Motors, Philip Morris International, the Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America, the United States Chamber of Commerce, the New York Jets and Miami Heat.
Wisecup and his wife, Elif, have three daughters, Mercy, Verity and Melody.
Jamie Wren has more than a decade of strategic communications, grassroots mobilization and marketing experience.
Currently at FP1 Strategies, she leads public affairs and consumer education campaigns for clients across healthcare, energy and technology sectors.
In 2012, Wren joined Burson-Marsteller to oversee day-to-day operations and special projects for the executive office of U.S. CEO. Serving as the chief of staff, she was a liaison to the U.S. leadership team working with seven practices and across nine markets to manage client service, talent and new business initiatives. She was also a project manager for one of Burson’s largest global cross-agency accounts.
Previously at Direct Impact (grassroots subsidiary of Burson), Wren developed and implemented integrated national and grassroots communications campaigns focused on stakeholder outreach, earned media, government engagement and marketing initiatives. She also managed regional field teams across the U.S. executing public affairs, corporate reputation and brand marketing programs.
Prior to DI, Wren worked as a marketing specialist at The Institute for Advanced Learning and Research. Through print and radio advertisements, she promoted higher education, research and economic development in Southside Virginia.
A native of Danville, Virginia, Wren graduated from Averett University with a B.A. in Political Science and also attended the Universitá per Stranieri in Perugia, Italy. She lives in Washington, D.C.
Joe Carruth joined FP1 in July 2013 and currently serves as a vice president in the firm’s public affairs division. In this role, he spearheads communications, grassroots and issue advocacy campaigns on behalf of FP1 clients.
Upon joining FP1, Carruth was initially tasked with managing a media monitoring and rapid response war room for a major corporate client. Carruth provided the corporate communications team with timely breaking news alerts and broader media coverage reports, ensuring they maintained a firm grasp on a rapidly-evolving news environment.
Janiece Cheap joined FP1 Strategies in May 2017 with over ten years of finance and accounting experience. As the controller, Janiece is responsible for overseeing the company’s entire accounting and financial flow process from invoicing, accounts payable, expense coding and payroll to processing monthly and year-end closes and financial reporting.
Most recently, Janiece served as a client financial director at Freedom Partners Chamber of Commerce, where she led and oversaw all finance and accounting activity at a nonprofit client. Prior to that, she held finance and accounting positions at Booz Allen Hamilton and Eaton Corporation.
Janiece is a graduate of The Ohio State University and currently resides in Washington, DC.
Zachary Cikanek has over a decade of communications experience winning campaigns, raising awareness of key issues, and shaping conversations among policymakers.
Prior to joining FP1, he conducted media relations for America’s largest trade association of oil and natural gas companies, coordinating public affairs and serving as spokesman on major legislative and regulatory priorities. In that role, his work was instrumental in securing passage and enactment of legislation lifting America’s 40-year ban on crude oil exports.
An Illinois native, Zachary began his career on Capitol Hill as an intern for U.S. Senator Peter Fitzgerald. Eventually, he became the chief speechwriter and communications director for U.S. Rep. Judy Biggert. During his eight years in the House, Zachary worked extensively on issues before the Financial Services, Education & the Workforce, and Science, Space, & Technology Committees. These included genetic discrimination, banking regulation, flood insurance, energy research, education, and science funding.
He also directed activities for the House Financial and Economic Literacy Caucus, a bipartisan initiative harnessing support in the non-profit and the financial services sectors to expand consumer understanding of tools for saving and investment.
A graduate of Columbia University in New York City, Zachary resides in Washington, DC.
Abbey Kang is a vice president in FP1’s public affairs division where she specializes in grassroots mobilization and strategic communication. In her role, she works with clients to manage local and national field campaigns on a variety of issues.
Upon joining FP1 in early 2013, Abbey managed FP1’s research division, providing supporting material, policy analysis and vetting for the firm’s public affairs, political and new business efforts. Abbey also worked at the Republican National Committee (RNC), where she conducted both offensive and defensive research in conjunction with the 2012 presidential election.
Abbey is a native Michigander, but attended Texas Christian University (TCU) in Fort Worth, Texas, where she received a Bachelor’s degree in political science and graduated magna cum laude.
Michelle Neuman has more than 10 years of experience in financial management and operations management at public affairs firms. Before joining FP1 Strategies she was owner/operator of Let Michelle Do It, a pet sitting and dog walking business in Northern Virginia. She has previously worked for firms such as Powell Tate, Weber Shandwick, Edelman and Lunde & Burger. Michelle graduated Summa Cum Laude from George Mason University with a degree Marketing and Economics. She lives in Alexandria with her dog, Jackson.
Joe Ascioti joined FP1 Strategies after graduating from Colgate University with a degree in political science. Prior to graduation, Ascioti interned at Lewis-Burke Associates and the National Association of Corporate Directors.
At Colgate, Ascioti worked in the office of admission and was a member of the Phi Delta Theta fraternity.
Originally from Massachusetts, Ascioti currently lives in Washington, D.C.
Hunter Bedford is FP1 Strategies’ Director of Political Operations – a key part of FP1’s advertising process for political campaigns and public affairs clients, as well as FP1’s new business initiatives.
In the advertising process, Bedford oversees post-production and the distribution of finalized ads to clients, vendors and television stations. Over 1,000 ads have been produced and distributed during his time at FP1. He also has his hand in aspects of production ranging from script concept development to film shoot planning.
Bedford started his political career as an FP1 intern through Marquette University’s Les Aspin Center for Government and then worked for the Republican Party of Wisconsin during Governor Scott Walker’s successful 2014 reelection campaign.
A proud Hoosier and an honorary Wisconsinite, Bedford has lived in Washington, DC since 2015. He graduated magna cum laude from Marquette University in May 2015 with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Political Science and Theology.
Sam Dashiell joined the FP1 team in May 2014.
Before FP1, Dashiell worked for JDA Frontline, a strategic communications and public affairs firm based in Washington, D.C. Prior to his time at JDA, Dashiell worked in corporate finance at the Republican Governors Association (RGA).
Dashiell also spent a summer learning political fundraising with The Gula Graham Group.
Dashiell received his Bachelor’s degree in political science from Furman University in Greenville, South Carolina.
Brian joined FP1 Strategies in August of 2015 and currently serves as Director, Production and Creative. He heads the post-production department internally at FP1, working as the lead video editor and media management expert. Brian is a graduate of the 2012 Institute for Documentary Filmmaking at the George Washington University School of Media and Public Affairs, bringing his passion for storytelling and video editing to the FP1 team. Prior to joining FP1, Brian worked as a Digital Media Manager for a top education association in Alexandria, Virginia.
Brian cut his teeth in Massachusetts politics working in the Massachusetts House of Representatives, first as a Legislative Aide and then as a Budget and Policy Coordinator before moving to the nation’s capital. Brian moved to D.C. to work as a political consultant before segueing into video production.
Brian is a native of Massachusetts, and currently resides in Washington DC.
Amy Miller joined FP1 Strategies as Director of Digital Content in 2017.
Amy first made her mark on US politics in 2008, when she began writing political commentary for conservative and mainstream publications. She continued to focus on public policy during her time in law school, where she gained attention for her work with local and national advocacy organizations and developed an expertise in Constitutional Law. Following the 2013 Texas legislative session, where she served as a General Counsel in the Texas House of Representatives, Amy joined Texas Senator John Cornyn’s campaign and managed the campaign’s digital presence. The campaign team went on to win awards for their gamechanging work in digital strategy and foreign language outreach.
Following the campaign, Amy moved to Washington and joined as partner to a Texas-based law firm specializing in small business, immigration, and election law, and political consulting. Outside of her time at FP1, Amy continues to provide low-cost and pro bono representation for at-risk clients, and serves on the board of a taxpayer advocacy nonprofit.
An avid fan of college sports, Amy comes to FP1 from Big Ten country, and is a graduate of Purdue University and Michigan State University College of Law. She lives in Washington, D.C.
Evan Ross is the Director of Digital Advertising for FP1 and is responsible for planning, implementing and optimizing winning advertising campaigns across Facebook, Twitter, Google and other channels for FP1 clients.
Prior to joining FP1, Evan was a digital data analyst for CRAFT Media | Digital where he was responsible for reporting on and optimizing online ad campaigns for CRAFT’s clients, including Rep. Martha McSally, Sen. Dan Sullivan and Mitsubishi Heavy Industries. He began his career at Targeted Victory, a Republican digital communications firm in Alexandria, VA as a member of their data and analytics team.
A native of North Carolina, Evan earned his B.A. from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill where he studied Political Science and Art History.
Director, Media Production
Amanda Thomas joined FP1 Strategies in August 2015 as Deputy Director of Production. She coordinates all aspects of FP1’s production schedule. She manages logistics, crew, scheduling, production materials, travel, and ensuring quality control throughout.
After graduating from SUNY Plattsburgh’s Film & Television program in 2014, Amanda worked in New York City as a freelance editor and production assistant until she moved to the Washington, D.C. area to pursue her interest in political media.
Prior to joining FP1, Amanda worked at Citizens United, assisting in all areas of production including video editing, booking cast and crew, and photographing GOP presidential hopefuls at live events such as CPAC 2015 and The South Carolina Freedom Summit.
Amanda is a native of New York, and currently resides in Virginia.
Lara Veit joined FP1 in June of 2016 as a Staff Assistant for the production team. In this position, she serves as a coordinator for political and public affairs campaign shoots.
Prior to starting at FP1, Lara interned at McCarthy Hennings Whalen, Inc., a political media firm in Washington, D.C., where she actively contributed in the creation and production of political commercials. Through drafting spot scripts and conducting content research, Lara found a passion for the political media arena.
Lara graduated cum laude from The George Washington University in May of 2016 with a B.A. in Political Communication at the School of Media and Public Affairs. In her undergraduate years, Lara served on the D.C. Federation of College Republicans executive board—an opportunity that provided a platform for her work on both state-level and national campaigns.
A New Yorker by birth and disposition, but a native of the Nutmeg State, Lara currently resides in Virginia.
Daniel joined FP1 Strategies as its Research Director in April 2016, where he conducts research for the firm’s Public Affairs and Political clients and new business initiatives.
Before joining FP1, Daniel worked at a full-service public affairs agency in Sacramento, CA, where he specialized in research, writing and project management. During that time, he worked on several major statewide and local campaigns for a variety of industries and companies, including a major civil rights organization, ride-sharing startups and an education reform association.
Additionally, Daniel has worked at the California Energy Commission’s Energy Research and Development Division, where he assisted in developing economic analysis for the agency’s Public Interest Energy Research (PIER) program. He also previously worked for the California State Board of Equalization’s Taxpayers’ Rights Advocate Office, where he conducted advocacy outreach to enroll taxpayers into its Tax Appeals Assistance Program.
Daniel is a graduate of the University of California, Davis and has a Bachelor’s degree in Political Science and Sociology. He is a native of Southern California.
Prior to joining FP1 Strategies, Baksay worked at public affairs firm FWD Affairs, interned at the U.S. Embassy in Hungary, KPMG, and the Kurucz & Kovats law firm in Budapest, Hungary.
Born in New York, Baksay grew up in Massachusetts and Florida, and spent over a decade in Budapest, Hungary, earning his undergraduate degree in international affairs and his graduate degree in political communication.
Tim Donahue is a deputy director on the FP1 digital team and is responsible for implementing email marketing, online fundraising and website optimizations for a variety of political and public affairs clients.
Prior to joining FP1 Strategies, Tim worked at Targeted Victory, executing the day-to-day operations and analysis of the email programs for all clients.
Tim is a native Californian. He graduated from Cal State Fullerton in 2012. During college, Tim interned in Congressman Darrell Issa’s office, and after his Capitol Hill internship, he decided to move to Washington, D.C. where he resides today.
Deputy Director, War Room
Dean Kontos joined FP1 Strategies as a staff assistant in June 2015 and currently handles administrative operations for the firm.
Prior to joining the FP1 team, Dean had two valuable DC experiences interning for Congressman Richard Hudson on Capitol Hill and the International Franchise Association. Dean also spent a summer interning at Strategics Consulting.
Dean received his Bachelor’s degree in Government from Hampden-Sydney College.
Hal Smith is the Deputy Director of Digital Advertising and is responsible for building, executing and optimizing advertising campaigns across all digital platforms.
Prior to FP1, Hal was a Digital Advertising Coordinator for the Republican National Committee and the Trump Make America Great Again Committee, leveraging Facebook and Google Adwords for list acquisition, fundraising and Get-Out-the-Vote campaigns. In this role, he was also a member of RNC Digital’s Performance, Optimization & Experiments Team (POET).
Before joining the RNC, Hal was a state policy associate at Americans for Tax Reform, a digital intern at America Rising and a field representative for John Stirrup in Virginia’s 13th District.
Hal studied History and Political Science at Sewanee: The University of the South and hails from Lexington, Virginia.
Britina Lamas joined FP1 Strategies in 2017 as the team’s Graphic Designer.
After graduating with her Bachelor of Science degree in Graphic Design in 2010, Britina began working in Fort Lauderdale, Florida as a Junior Art Director. She continued working as a freelance graphic designer until she moved shop back to Maryland to work remotely with her wide variety of clients.
Prior to joining FP1, Britina worked closely with IBM partners in Southern California, and most recently collaborated with the California Rifle and Pistol Association, using her diverse skills in graphics, illustration, and advertising to build effective brand strategies for front-end web and print campaigns. She has also worked closely with the Florida Panthers and Disney on Ice, and served as a creative director with the National Student Advertising Competition.
Britina studied Graphic Design and Advertising at the Art Institute of Fort Lauderdale, and hails from Frederick, Maryland.
Kyle Klase joined FP1 Strategies as a Video Editor in July 2016.
Kyle was previously the production manager at the Eberly College of Business creating educational videos for online courses. He also interned as a production assistant with Double R Productions in Washington, DC.
Originally from New Tripoli, Pennsylvania, Kyle attended Indiana University of Pennsylvania and graduated summa cum laude in May of 2016 with a Bachelor of Science in Communications Media.
Christian Schaeffer joined FP1’s digital team as a digital analyst in 2017. In this role, Christian executes digital strategy for political and public affairs clients.
Prior to joining FP1, Christian served as the assistant to the chief of staff on Marco Rubio’s presidential campaign, managing campaign headquarters operations. Previously, Christian has interned for POLITICO, the Data Trust, and Jamestown Associates, as well as numerous campaigns.
Originally from Pennsylvania, Christian moved to Washington, D.C. in 2013 to study Political Communication and Political Science at the George Washington University.
Hunter joined FP1 in May of 2016 as a war room analyst. He is responsible for handling high-profile media monitoring for the firm’s public affairs clients.
Hunter graduated from the University of Richmond in May of 2016 with degrees in political science and journalism.
Prior to joining FP1, Hunter worked at The Alliance Group, a public affairs firm in Richmond, VA, and interned in both the U.S. Senate and House of Representatives.
Thomas joined FP1 as a Staff Assistant in August 2016. In this role, he handles administrative operations as well as being responsible for various research and media monitoring duties for the firm’s political and public affairs clients.
Prior to joining FP1, Thomas had two valuable experiences interning for government affairs firms in Washington D.C. and Hartford, CT.
Thomas graduated from the University of Connecticut in May of 2016 with a B.A. in Political Science.
Melissa joined FP1 Strategies as a Research Analyst in May 2017.
Prior to joining FP1 strategies Melissa served as a Policy and Media Associate to a South Carolina non-profit where she supported their governmental affairs initiatives, and executed the non-profit’s media outreach. Additionally, she has worked as a Communications Specialist for the University of South Carolina School of Law and as an intern for a Washington, D.C. based government affairs and strategic consulting firm.
Melissa is a graduate of the University of South Carolina where she studied Public Relations and Political Communications.
Chris Cordova is a Staff Assistant at FP1 Strategies, having joined the team in March 2017. He aids FP1’s production team in the planning of film shoots, as well as the organization and distribution of media. Cordova attended the College of William & Mary where he graduated with a Bachelors in Film and Media Studies and a minor in Marketing.
After graduating, Cordova worked as a Production Assistant/Assistant Editor at Evolving Communications, where he aided in the production of several videos for science-based non-profits such as the National Academies of Science (NAS) and the Foundation for the National Institutes of Health (FNIH).
During the 2016 election cycle, Cordova worked as an Assistant Project Manager at Henninger Media Services. While there, he helped the management team with their political season rush as well as their usual workload.
Chris was born and raised in DC area and currently resides in Northern Virginia.
Winning messaging and professional execution for political and issue-based campaigns.