Partner and Director of Strategic Services
Chadderdon Lestingi Creative Strategies
This month, AAPC caught up with our very own, 2019 40 Under 40 Co-Chair, Joe Lestingi, Partner and Director of Strategic Services at Chadderdon Lestingi Creative Strategies.
Our newly launched Volunteer Spotlight feature puts our amazing volunteers front and center in the AAPC Community! We want to use this unique opportunity to thank the wonderful individuals that continuously donate their time and energy to help AAPC thrive. We encourage all AAPC members to connect with these star volunteers to thank them for their hard work! To be featured in our next Volunteer Spotlight, or to volunteer for an upcoming event, contact the AAPC at firstname.lastname@example.org.
AAPC: Tell us about yourself and what you do.
Joe: I am a Partner at Chadderdon Lestingi Creative Strategies which is a targeted communications consulting firm that works with Democratic candidates and progressive causes. We specialize in Direct Mail and Digital communications. As the Director of Strategic Services at the firm, I look for new and innovate ways to shape and deliver our clients’ messages to their targeted audiences.
AAPC: When did you become an AAPC member and what prompted you to join?
Joe: I joined AAPC in 2010, but stepped up my involvement in 2014. I initially joined because of the involvement of my business partner, Liz Chadderdon. At the time she was my boss at The Chadderdon Group. She continually stressed the importance of an industry organization that could foster ideas and development of technology as well as maintaining a code of conduct.
AAPC: Tell us about your volunteer experience with AAPC–what you’ve worked on in the past or upcoming projects.
Joe: I currently volunteer with the AAPC’s 40 under 40 Committee. We building a program that fosters recognition for younger operatives and consultants who are breaking new trails in our industry. As political consulting becomes a more specialized industry through new technology and tactics we feel it’s important to recognize leaders and innovators who are likely to lead our industry into the future.
AAPC: Why did you decide to become a volunteer?
Joe: It’s an opportunity to give back. Finding a strong mentor can be the difference between building a strong career and burning out too soon. I was lucky enough to have one that guided me along the way to showcase my skills, but more importantly strengthen my weaknesses. Our industry can be an intense experience for young operatives and consultants and we often can’t navigate our careers the way most do in typical civilian careers.
AAPC: What is your favorite part about being a volunteer?
Joe: Seeing young operatives who are proud of their accomplishments and earning the recognition they deserve. All too often young operatives and consultants can be overlooked or dismissed because experience dominates our industry.
AAPC: How has volunteering with AAPC impacted your career?
Joe: It has increased my recognition among my colleagues and peers. It has opened many networks to new products, experiences and ideas that I would not have seen has I not been part of the larger organization.
AAPC: What is the benefit of volunteering with AAPC?
Joe: Access, especially within my field of expertise. I have gained access to organizations, vendors and new technology that has help me and my firm produce better products and services for my clients.
AAPC: Why do you think it is important to give back to the industry?
Joe: It goes back to mentoring. None of us can be successful without guidance in our careers. We are a very type A driven industry where we all believe we built what we have on our own, but along the way someone helped you, whether it was a consultant when you were working on a race or a colleague that encouraged you to take a risk when no one else would support you. And as more and more money flows into our industry (Advocacy, Public Relations, Campaigns, etc.) we need to foster the development of young operatives and encourage them to stick with it and take risks. We also owe it to our industry and frankly to our clients to insure those operatives are instilled with a strong code of ethics as an industry that is often part of public scorn because we do something most people can’t understand.
Former AAPC Volunteer Spotlights: