The American Association of Political Consultants, founded in 1969, is a bipartisan organization of political professionals. Association membership consists of general consultants, media consultants, pollsters, campaign managers, public affairs executives, professors, fundraisers, lobbyists, congressional staffers and campaign service vendors.
Tom Shepard,Tom Shepard & Associates (R) – General
Tom Shepard is president of Tom Shepard & Associates, a political consulting and public affairs firm based in San Diego, CA. Shepard has earned a national reputation for providing assistance to local candidate and ballot measure campaigns, and for providing strategic counsel to businesses, government agencies and community organizations. Shepard has received eighteen of the American Association of Political Consultants coveted Pollie Award and his television, radio and direct mail advertising campaigns are consistently recognized as among the nation’s best.
Rose Kapolczynski, Rose Kapolczynski Consulting (D) – General
Rose Kapolczynski is a veteran campaign and communications strategist with four decades of experience helping hundreds of organizations and candidates advance persuasive, disciplined, and strategic campaigns.
Rebecca Donatelli, Campaign Solutions (R) – Internet
R. Rebecca “Becki” Donatelli is the president of Campaign Solutions / Connell Donatelli. An online political pioneer, Becki was the first person to raise political money on the Internet. Virtually every online innovation for over fifteen years has come out of her team at Campaign Solutions and Connell Donatelli.
Larry Huynh, Trilogy Interactive (D) – Digital
Larry has over a decade of experience in digital communications advising corporate, non-profit, and political clients on online advocacy and engagement, online fundraising, online advertising, and social media strategy. A nationally recognized digital strategist, Larry’s work has earned dozens of awards across multiple online disciplines and he is a frequent presenter and trainer at conferences.
James Aldrete, Message Audience & Presentation, Inc. – Communications
James Aldrete is a political communications consultant who is helping diversify the coalition behind today’s progressive victories. Aldrete served as a member of the Obama Media Team in 2008 and 2012, with a specific focus on Hispanic media and engagement. Aldrete’s firm, known as MAP (short for Message Audience & Presentation, Inc.), has also helped expand awareness and accountability on the issue of immigration reform, working with advocacy groups including FWD.us and SEIU, as well as access to health care and education, working with Planned Parenthood Texas Votes and the Texas State Teachers Association.
Danielle Cendejas, The Strategy Group, – Direct Mail/General Consulting
Danielle brings a campaign organizer’s approach to her role in The Strategy Group’s Los Angeles office, managing the development and execution of direct mail programs and campaign plans. She also has created direct mail, most notably for Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti, Congressman Bruce Braley and California’s No on Prop 32 campaign. Prior to joining The Strategy Group, Danielle was a field organizer and delegate tracker for Obama for America in 2008 and worked in the California State Legislature. Danielle graduated with her Bachelors of Arts from Gonzaga University in 2004.
Lorena Chambers, Chambers Lopez Strategies – General
Lorena Chambers, PhD, CEO of Chambers Lopez Strategies LLC, is the only Latina — and one of only two women — to have produced broadcast commercials for a U.S. presidential campaign. In 2020, she was the media strategist for People For the American Way’s Latinos Vote campaign and the Latina strategist for Senate Majority PAC (SMP) to elect John Hickenlooper as the new U.S. Senator from Colorado. Dr. Chambers is also a Visiting Research Affiliate at Yale University.
Ondine Fortune, Fortune Media, Inc. – Media Strategies, Planning and Buying
Ondine Fortune is recognized as one of the nation’s top experts in media planning and media buying for politics and public affairs campaigns. Since creating Fortune Media in 2000, she has bought $100M in advertising for the clients she serves.
Brian Franklin, Impact Politics – General, Writing and New Media
Brian Franklin is President of Impact Politics and founder/editor of PsyPology® – political consulting’s first subscription newsletter providing psychology intel specifically for campaign operatives. In addition to leading Impact Politics’ work for numerous federal, state, county candidate and public advocacy campaigns, Brian has provided marketing strategy, creative direction, language development, and writing services to over one hundred political campaigns, organizations, agencies, and corporations.
Kelly Gibson, Hamburger Gibson Creative – Cross-channel media
Kelly Gibson has spent much of her free time working to combat gender inequality, from serving on the Running Start Advisory Board sponsoring and training young women to run for office, to working with the American Association of Political Consultants to amplify the input of women on professional panels, boards and conferences. Her personal mission is to bring more equity to politics. When she is not working, or raising her two young boys, she is seeking out ways for women to have a more significant voice.
Jennifer Mathews, AMM Political – Voter Contact/Phones
In 2011, Jennifer Mathews formed Angle Mastagni Mathews Political Strategies (AMM Political) with J.D. Angle and Danee Mastagni after working together for ten years at The Tyson Organization. AMM Political is focused exclusively on voter contact and telephone communication programs, including targeting and scripts that enhance retention of other paid media.
Jefrey Pollock, Global Strategy Group – Polling
Jefrey Pollock is Founding Partner and President of Global Strategy Group, LLC (GSG). Since its inception, Jefrey has helped build GSG into a premier strategic research and consulting company that the 2014 Holmes Report named Public Affairs Agency of the Year (Americas). Jefrey was twice awarded “Pollster of the Year” (2015, 2011) by his peers in the bi-partisan American Association of Political Consultants and has been included in the prestigious Crain’s NY Business “40 under 40.”
Rick Ridder, RBI Strategies and Research – General Consulting, Survey Research, Radio, TV and Print
Rick Ridder is President and Co-Founder of RBI Strategies and Research. A former presidential campaign manager and a senior consultant for seven other presidential campaigns, Rick has consulted for numerous U.S. Congressional, gubernatorial, and state and local initiative campaigns. Internationally, he has worked in over 23 nations including the successful campaigns of seven heads of state. Rick has also been recognized with the “Award of Achievement” from the Gleitsman Foundation “in recognition of commitment and leadership initiating social change.” He is the author of the award winning book Looking for Votes in All the Wrong Places.
Taryn Rosenkranz, New Blue Interactive – Digital
Taryn Rosenkranz is a pioneer in creating successful digital political fundraising techniques and programs to reach American voters. She is the founder and chief executive officer of New Blue Interactive, which has become a powerhouse firm in the last three years, providing digital strategy services to large organizations and party committees including the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee (DCCC), House Majority PAC and also national groups like the Natural Resources Defense Council. In addition, her clients include Governors, Senators & Congressional leadership and members as well as challengers from everything from mayoral races down to county executive races.
Jaimey Sexton, The Sexton Group – General Consultant
Jaimey Sexton is Principal of the The Sexton Group. Mr. Sexton has 20 years of experience as an organizer, vendor, and consultant for campaigns large and small, from President Obama to a school board race in Las Cruces, New Mexico. Jaimey brings the same attention to detail to every project or campaign. His goal isn’t simply to make thousands of phone calls or send text messages; he strives to add value to every working relationship. Jaimey is also a board member of the American Association of Political Consultants.
Scott Simpson, Resonance Campaigns – Direct Mail & Digital
Scott has worked for candidates, labor unions and progressive organizations from California to Florida and from New Hampshire to Mexico, and was named a “Rising Star” by Campaigns and Elections Magazine in 2011.
Ward Baker, Baker Group Strategies – Campaign Management & Development of Comprehensive Campaign Strategy
Ward Baker is the founder and president of Baker Group Strategies. Ward currently serves as senior advisor to Senator Loeffler’s campaign. During the 2020 election cycle, Ward served as senior advisor to Bill Hagerty’s successful Senate campaign in Tennessee, where Hagerty had a decisive 27-point victory in the general election and won over 50% of the vote in a contested, 15-candidate primary.
Joanna Burgos, OnMessage Inc., – Media
After driving the NRCC’s $65 million polling, media and digital advertising campaign last cycle, Joanna Burgos is well suited to drive virtually any project in politics. And therefore she does. Whether general consulting, crisis communications, earned media, paid media, digital or polling for OMI’s political, corporate or sports clients, Joanna’s involved.
Tracy Dietz, DonorBureau – Data Science, Analytics, Insights
Tracy Dietz serves as the CEO of DonorBureau. Formerly, she was Executive Vice President of Sales & Marketing at L2 a leading provider of enhanced political data. Dietz grew the relatively small operation into a dominant force in the industry driving both revenue and new product development. During her tenure, Tracy was integral in expanding L2 to a national data provider and was a dominant force behind the development of L2’s online data and analytics platform.
Sara Fagen, Deep Root Analytics – Marketing Technology
Sara Fagen serves as the CEO of Deep Root Analytics, a leading marketing technology company that partners with advertising and communications professionals to more effectively reach target audiences across all media platforms. Fagen co-founded Deep Root Analytics in 2013 and is a long-term board member.
Brenda Gianiny, Axis Research – Public Opinion Research
Axis Research’s founding principal, Brenda Wigger Gianiny, is a nationally recognized expert in the field of public opinion research with two decades of experience honed at the highest levels of corporate America and Republican political campaigns. Using her background, experience and degree in mathematics, Brenda has worked with a wide range of both political and corporate clients to help them achieve success.
Millie Hallow, National Rifle Association – Public Affairs
Millie Hallow has served at the National Rifle Association as the Managing Director, Executive Operations since 1996. Reporting directly to the Executive Vice President and CEO of the NRA, she is responsible for a number of critical areas. As senior advisor for public affairs and public relations, she coordinates and advises both internal and external press and public relations strategy, and reviews all statements and speeches out of the Executive offices.
Dan Hazelwood, Targeted Creative Communications – Direct Mail Advertising
In 1992, Dan Hazelwood formed Targeted Creative Communications, Inc. (TC2) a Republican direct marketing company based in Alexandria, Virginia. TC2 has worked for campaigns in virtually every state. His past clients include Bush-Cheney ’00 and ’04, Dole-Kemp ’96, several US Senators and Governors, and over five dozen members of the House of Representatives among them former House Speaker Newt Gingrich.
Jim Innocenzi, Sandler-Innocenzi – Media
Jim Innocenzi is a founding partner of Sandler-Innocenzi. This year his firm won eight out of nine national campaigns. In addition, Jim briefly served on the John McCain for President Ad council. In 2006, Sandler-Innocenzi, won 17 of the 18 campaigns and was named by National Journal magazine as one of the “winners” of the election cycle.
Mike Madrid, GrassrootsLab – Grassroots Coalitions
For nearly two decades, Mike Madrid has been changing the outcomes of political campaigns throughout the country. His active involvement in local, state, and federal races has helped him to develop a keen insight into the successful characteristics of winning campaigns.
Beth Miller, Miller Public Affairs Group – Public Affairs
Beth is President and CEO of Miller Public Affairs Group, a full service public affairs and strategic communications firm that provides issue management, media relations, campaign management and innovative public affairs solutions to a growing list of corporate and political clients.
Trey Richardson, Sagac Public Affairs – Fundraising
Trey Richardson is managing partner of Sagac Public Affairs and GR Pro, national companies providing communications, market research, fundraising, issue advocacy and management solutions to hundreds of political, non-profit and corporate organizations. Sagac is the leader in the political community for strategy and implementation of political action committee finance operations, while GR Pro focuses on state-based issue initiatives.
Kyle Roberts, Smart Media Group – Media Buying
Kyle Roberts, President & CEO of Smart Media Group, is one of the top Republican media strategists in the nation. With over 20 years in political media buying, Kyle started Smart Media with a simple mission in mind: to provide GOP candidates with sophisticated traditional and digital research, faster responsiveness and tenacious negotiation on his client’s behalf—delivering stronger results and better value.
Tim Rosales, Rosales Johnson Agency – Public Affairs
Tim Rosales is the President and CEO of Rosales Johnson Agency, a nationally recognized Public Affairs firm specializing in ballot measure campaigns and regulatory/issue advocacy efforts, public awareness, brand management and multi-media strategies.
Jason Torchinsky, Holtzman Vogel Josefiak Torchinsky PLLC – Election Law
Jason Torchinsky is a partner at Holtzman Vogel Josefiak Torchinsky PLLC, specializing in campaign finance, election law, lobbying disclosure and issue advocacy groups. Jason has been recognized by Chambers USA as one of the top “Government Law” attorneys in the country. In addition to his practice counseling clients on compliance with campaign finance, ethics laws, lobbying disclosure and election laws, Jason has served as lead counsel in a number of litigation matters dealing with First Amendment freedoms and election law and redistricting issues.
Academic Board Members
Mike Burton – Ohio University
Larry Huynh – Treasurer
Trey Richardson (R) – Board Member
Jefrey Pollock (D) – Board Member
Jaimey Sexton, The Sexton Group – Mid-West
Michael Turk, Opinion Mover Strategies – Mid-Atlantic
Bart Robbett, Robbett Advocacy Media, LLC – Greater New York
John Rowley, Fletcher Rowley, Inc. – Southern
James Aldrete, Message Audience & Presentation – Southwest
AAPC Past Presidents
Mark Mellman, The Mellman Group (D) – Polling
Mark Mellman is one of the nation’s leading public opinion researchers and communication strategists. He is CEO of The Mellman Group, a polling and consulting firm whose clients include leading political figures, Fortune 500 companies, and some of the nation’s most important public interest groups. Mellman has helped guide the campaigns of some sixteen U.S. Senators, eight Governors and over two dozen Members of Congress, as well as numerous state and local officials.
Art Hackney, Hackney & Hackney (R)- General
Arthur Hackney has 35 years experience as a general and media consultant for political, government affairs and corporate clients.
Dr. Whit Ayres is the President of North Star Opinion Research, a national public opinion and public affairs research firm located in Alexandria, Virginia, that provides research and strategic advice for corporations, associations, and Republican candidates for public office. Roll Call, a widely-read newspaper on Capitol Hill, called the firm “one of the best in the nation.”
Winning Directions has been recognized for its creativity and winning track record, receiving over 100 Pollie Awards since it came into existence, and recently won a total of 22 Pollie Awards for its work on behalf of clients in 2004. For two years in a row, Winning Directions has received more awards in the Direct Mail category than any other competing direct mail firm.
Wayne C. Johnson, a native Virginian and graduate of Purdue University, resides with his wife, Jennifer, and their family in Sacramento, California where he serves as President of the nationally-recognized political and public affairs firm, The Wayne Johnson Agency.
Nancy Todd is a political consultant and president of Nancy Todd, Inc., an international strategic consulting firm based in Sarasota, FL. Todd’s specialty is controversial issues which have occurred worldwide over the last 30 years.
Donna Lucas has earned a reputation as a smart, strategic and successful communications consultant and business woman. Since opening Lucas Public Affairs in 2006, Donna has grown the firm into a team of accomplished public affairs professionals who work collaboratively with clients to explain the complexities around many of the major public policy challenges facing the state – and what can be done to address those challenges.
Raymond Strother is called the “consultant’s consultant” by his peers. Universities teaching campaign management named him “a living legend” in 2003. He was a Resident Fellow of the Institute of Politics at Harvard, a member of the Journalism Hall of Fame at LSU and an Honorary Fellow at the University of Akron.
A scale of life’s challenges might put a degree from Stanford University and a stint as a U.S. Marine Corps infantry officer at different ends of the spectrum. Dick Woodword carried both into the start of his political career and they served him well as he rocketed up the ladder, serving as campaign director for the California Republican Party as the GOP took control of the legislature in 1968.
Ralph D. Murphine
Ralph Murphine is a political and public affairs consultant based in Washington, DC and Quito, Ecuador. He has worked for more than 500 candidates for public office, public interest organizations, trade associations, political parties, public action committees, corporations, labor unions, and others.
Thomas N. Edmonds
Tom Edmonds is a Republican Media Strategist with more than 25 years in campaign advertising and marketing. Tom has developed and executed media campaigns for candidates at all levels from Presidential to state legislative seats.
William R. Hamilton
The late Bill Hamilton was widely considered an innovator in public opinion research. From 1964 until his death in 2000 he headed one of the premier research and strategic consulting firms in the U.S.
Joseph R. Cerrell
A prominent public affairs, public relations and political consultant, Joe Cerrell has worked professionally in politics for almost five decades. In 1966, Joe founded and currently serves as chairman and CEO of Cerrell Associates Inc.
Phyllis Brotman began her public relations and marketing career at her kitchen table and became one of the most respected and influential women in Baltimore business and civic affairs.
Matt Reese, 71, a veteran political consultant who helped mold grass-roots organizing, scientific polling techniques and issue-oriented campaign tactics into strategies for winning elections, died on Dec. 1, 1998 at his home in McLean, where he had been battling lung disease.
Joseph Napolitan, Co-Founder
Born March 6, 1929, Joseph Napolitan was an American political consultant and is considered one of the pioneers in his field. He was president and CEO of Joseph Napolitan Associates, Inc. of Springfield, Massachusetts, which primarily handles domestic campaigns, and chairman of Napolitan Associates /PAA, Inc. of New York, which specializes in political campaigns and public affairs programs outside the United States. Joe died December 2, 2013.
AAPC Contact Info
phone: (703) 245-8020