Felix Schein founded RALLY in 2011 and has since worked on countless communications projects, including the national movement for marriage equality, efforts to improve public education, and campaigns to preserve the environment. A natural storyteller, he has helped position RALLY at the intersection of strategic communications, creative advertising, and influencer engagement.
Since its launch, RALLY has been engaged to execute earned, paid, and digital media campaigns by leading foundations, advocacy groups, and companies, including the Gates Foundation, NARAL, Rock the Vote, Google.org, Reddit, Facebook, NBC Universal, and Teach For America. Felix has provided strategic guidance to many of these clients and plays a hands-on role in RALLY’s client work, especially as it relates to strategy, positioning, and messaging. In this capacity he has developed a reputation for aggressively managing campaign execution and reframing, repositioning, and reinvigorating policy debates. Felix is proud of leading RALLY to engage only with entities that align with the firm’s progressive vision, which has meant turning away work with oil, tobacco, and firearm companies.
Prior to founding RALLY, Felix tried his hand at political campaign management and was a member of the much-maligned mainstream media. As an intern for Meet the Press he clipped and organized newspaper articles for Tim Russert, a role he performed well enough to advance to the position of Researcher for Andrea Mitchell. He later joined the Today Show as an Associate Producer, and then NBC’s political unit where he was assigned to follow and report on the activities of Gov. Howard Dean and Sen. John Kerry during the 2004 Presidential election, an experience that frequently put him one-on-one with both candidates and embedded him with their campaigns for more than 18 months.
Born in Munich, Germany and raised in part in Telluride, Colorado, Felix is an avid, some would say rabid, football/soccer fan, a former ski racer, and outdoor enthusiast. He lives in Los Angeles with his brilliant wife.
Lara Bergthold, Principal Partner at RALLY, is a campaign and communications strategist with a wealth of experience in positions such as political and communications strategist, philanthropic advisor, presidential senior campaign advisor, and PAC director. Lara is a leader in integrating her wide network of relationships in entertainment, politics, and the nonprofit space to develop and launch campaigns involving high-profile individuals and the causes they support.
As an expert in managing creative projects, Lara’s clients at RALLY have included Gap, Inc., Maria Shriver’s The Shriver Report, NARAL, Common Sense Media, and Rock the Vote.
Skilled at developing and launching impactful campaigns on behalf of her clients, Lara delivers results that truly make a difference. Following the tragic mass shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School on December 14, 2012, Lara joined forces with Sandy Hook Promise in March 2013. The startup was designed to honor all victims of gun violence by turning their tragedy into a moment of transformation. Lara helped develop and launch Sandy Hook Promise’s campaign, “Parent Together,” which engaged over 10 million people in 2013.
Since 1997 and currently, Lara serves as Executive Director of the Lear Family Foundation, a private foundation of Lyn and Norman Lear, where she has directed millions of dollars of grants annually to progressive organizations working on civil liberties, civil rights, the environment, and the arts, among others. She helped launch the “Declaration of Independence Road Trip,” a multimedia historical document and voter registration tour following the Lears’ acquisition of an original copy of the Declaration of Independence. It eventually toured all 50 states and registered over 4 million voters.
Lara served as National Deputy Political Director for John Kerry’s presidential campaign in 2004, overseeing the engagement of entertainment industry figures as surrogates for the campaign. She had previously joined General Wesley Clark’s presidential campaign as National Political Director, where she managed political operations in over 12 battleground primary states. From 1989 to 1997, Lara worked with and then ran the Hollywood Women’s Political Committee, raising over $6 million for progressive candidates at the national level. She organized more than 50 celebrities and donors to attend the 1992 Choice March in Washington, DC.
Originally from Santa Cruz, California, Lara received a Masters in Public Policy from the Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University, and a B.A. from the University of California, Berkeley. Lara fights with passion for social justice issues, civil rights, and civil liberties by serving as Chair of the Board for People for the American Way, as well as Rock the Vote and her son’s school board. She is inspired by her colleagues at RALLY and is dedicated to building a better world for her son and other children.
After almost 20 years in communications, marketing, government, and the world of international NGOs, Latia Curry is channeling her wide breadth of experience into laser-focused messaging and communications campaigns at RALLY.
Specializing in strategic communications, message development, and campaign management, Latia manages a large portfolio of clients in different issue areas and oversees multi-faceted internal teams. As a Principal, she also plays a leadership role in recruiting, hiring and company culture as well as business development.
Latia currently leads communication campaigns and projects for The California Endowment, Reddit, the Ella Baker Center for Human Rights, and NBCUniversal. She recently served as the lead on Google.org, Teach For America, Education Trust – Midwest, Gap Inc., Come to Terms and The Shriver Report, created by Maria Shriver’s A Woman’s Nation. She also co-led a coalition of Hollywood content creators and entertainment influencers on an immersion tour of Havana, Cuba with The Center for Democracy in the Americas.
Previously, Latia spent three years as Senior Director of Partner Engagement and Special Initiatives at the U.S. Fund for UNICEF. In this role, she was responsible for creating, developing, and launching new ways to engage corporate partners. She has worked with American Airlines, UPS, Starwood Hotels, Pfizer and Giorgio Armani Beauty. She also served as the lead campaign manager for America’s oldest youth movement, Trick-or-Treat for UNICEF, overseeing all marketing, communications, and programmatic elements for the national campaign.
Prior to her work with the U.S. Fund for UNICEF, Latia managed all ethnic and specialty media outreach for former New York Governor David Paterson as Director of Special Projects. Latia regularly staffed the Governor at press conferences, acted as a spokesperson, led communications for new task force initiatives, and oversaw 83 state agency press offices, including coordinating messaging and fielding media requests.
Latia has also founded and run her own strategic communications firm, Statement, where she developed and implemented research-based communications for nonprofit clients and their corporate partners, including Mercy Corps, Dartmouth College, PepsiCo, The National Underground Railroad Freedom Center, The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, Goldman Sachs, and the U.S. Fund for UNICEF. Latia has held roles at consumer marketing agency PowerPact, integrated communications agency SS+K, and The Coca-Cola Company.
Latia enjoys a number of athletic pursuits, including volleyball, Bikram yoga, and triathlons. She has always been passionate about making the seemingly impossible, possible with creativity and energy. She graduated from Dartmouth College with a degree in African and African-American Studies.
Shayna Englin is a Principal at RALLY, where she leads a diverse portfolio of client projects and manages the firm’s business development and marketing efforts. A veteran political and communications strategist, Shayna has robust expertise in developing effective grassroots advocacy strategies at the intersection of digital and traditional tactics.
Shayna came to RALLY from Change.org, where she served as Managing Director, North America. She brings nearly 20 years of experience in campaigns, grassroots engagement, and advocacy at the local, state, and federal levels. Prior to joining Change.org, Shayna was one of very few women in a leading global public affairs firm’s senior leadership. Shayna previously built and ran her own firm based in Washington, DC, and Los Angeles, advising major national organizations on strategic policy communications and grassroots advocacy.
Working with a dozen national organizations, Shayna produced a report documenting the Advocacy Gap – the disconnect between common grassroots strategies and the way federal policy is made – and suggesting solutions. Since its release, the report has been widely referenced, and Shayna is a frequently requested speaker on the topic.
Shayna studied political science and psychology at the University of Colorado and completed a Master’s in Public Policy from the Harvard Kennedy School with a concentration in international security policy. She has since served as adjunct faculty in the George Washington University Graduate School of Political Management and Georgetown University Master of Professional Studies in Public Relations and Corporate Communications programs.
A Denver native and onetime denizen of Boston and Washington, DC, Shayna lives in Los Angeles with her husband David and her son Caleb. She’s a big fan of bourbon and American muscle cars.
Cynara Lilly is a Principal at RALLY specializing in communications, message development, political strategy, and public affairs.
Cynara oversees the strategy and leads teams for a variety of clients including Raise.me, the Washington Charter School Association, Green Dot Public Schools, among others. Most recently, her team created the Act Now for Washington Students campaign and led the effort to save public charter schools in Washington state in conjunction with the Washington Charter Schools Association and its coalition. In addition to her work directing teams in the political and environmental space, Cynara manages RALLY’s well-recognized education vertical.
Previously at RALLY, Cynara led the team that handled the national launch of XQ: The Super School Project and oversaw the communications strategy for year one of the challenge. She also led the Our Bay on the Brink public awareness campaign, which employed a variety of tactics (including this interactive documentary) to move public support for addressing the flooding threat in the Bay Area region by more than 10 points. Other projects include guiding strategic planning with the Center for American Progress and working with multiple foundations to help launch their communications initiatives.
Cynara has more than a decade of experience developing and implementing strategic plans for a wide range of corporate, nonprofit, and political clients. She brings a public affairs practice to RALLY as well expertise in media relations, strategic positioning, message development, coalition building, and politics. Before joining RALLY, Cynara served as a Director at both WE Worldwide, working in the tech sector, and at Seattle-based Sound View Strategies. She has managed statewide political efforts in Washington, Oregon, California, including directing 2014’s Marshall Tuck for California State Superintendent of Public Instruction campaign, which drew national attention.
Cynara graduated from Santa Clara University with a degree in French and Studio Art and lives in Los Angeles. She recently relocated from Seattle and is enjoying the sunshine.
Hillary Moglen is a Principal at RALLY, providing high-level strategy and communications guidance across an array of accounts. With a robust background in policy and law, Hillary is adept at simplifying complex advocacy challenges and transforming them into actionable, results-focused campaigns.
Hillary manages RALLY’s Los Angeles office, and over the years, has played a crucial role in helping to expand the firm’s footprint and grow the firm’s diverse talent pool. She has assumed a leadership role within the RALLY that allows her to contribute to the management areas she’s most passionate about: the professional development of staff and the shaping of the company’s culture.
Hillary approaches her work with enthusiasm and curiosity, fueling a drive for insights that translate into winning strategies for her clients. She is particularly proud of recent campaigns around environmental issues with Earthjustice and the Natural Resources Defense Council; social justice with Community Coalition; and civil rights, where Hillary co-led the communications campaign to help free wrongly-detained DACA (Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals) beneficiary Daniel Ramirez Medina. Hillary has also led some of RALLY’s higher profile education work, specifically XQ: The Super School Project, an ambitious first-of-its-kind initiative that calls on the American public to rethink and design the next American high school, and Students Matter, the nation’s premier organization dedicated to promoting quality public education through impact litigation and advocacy.
Before joining RALLY, Hillary worked at a national philanthropic consulting firm, where she managed high-profile clients’ philanthropic work, and a Los Angeles-based public affairs firm, where she focused on clients in the energy and environmental sectors. She also worked on both a California Senate campaign and a presidential primary campaign, and managed the Green Schools Campaign on behalf of the Los Angeles-based environmental nonprofit, Global Green USA.
Hillary holds a Bachelor of Arts in Public Policy from Brown University and a Juris Doctorate from the UC Hastings College of the Law. She is currently a mentor through Brown University’s Women’s Launch Pad program and volunteers with Social Venture Partners, Los Angeles. Hillary grew up in Los Angeles and currently enjoys hiking, trying to beat her husband in tennis, and keeping up with her two young boys.
RALLY’ers are passionate. Together, we’ve marched and protested over 400 times. RALLY on.
Leo Wallach is a Principal at RALLY, working with clients to develop political and communications strategies, create advertising, and oversee complex and multifaceted communications campaigns. Leo has an extensive background in paid communications, opinion research, ballot measure and candidate campaigns, and issue advocacy.
Leo has managed, consulted, and created advertising for more than a dozen ballot campaigns in California, Nevada, Arizona, Michigan, Ohio, and West Virginia. His broad advocacy and communications background has seen him work on a range of issues, including criminal justice reform, public land protection, and project entitlements.
Currently, Leo leads RALLY’s San Francisco office and serves a number of environmental causes, including the Center for Western Priorities, which advocates for balanced land and energy policies in the Mountain West, and Proposition 67, which made California the first state in the nation to ban plastic grocery bags.
Leo previously ran his own strategic consulting firm, Wallach Public Affairs. Prior to that, he was vice president at Winner & Mandabach Campaigns, one of the nation’s leading ballot measure consulting firms. In 2011, Leo was named a Rising Star by Campaigns & Elections magazine.
Leo grew up in Oakland, California and graduated with a Bachelor of Arts in Political Science from UCLA and has an MBA from Berkeley’s Haas School of Business. He loves soccer and is an avid hiker and runner.
Ashley Billings joined RALLY as Creative Director after spending over a decade in the advertising industry, building brands through creativity. She works across RALLY’s client roster, drawing on her experience as a seasoned storyteller to help foundations and coalitions communicate with audiences in new and creative ways.
Prior to joining RALLY, Ashley developed advertising campaigns for Audi, Intel, Google, eBay, and Target among others. That work earned her an Emmy nomination and has been recognized by Adweek, Ad Age, Creativity Magazine, Archive Magazine, NY Times, Elle Magazine, Wall Street Journal, and her mom. She has produced creative campaigns for some of the biggest stages including the Super Bowl, Olympics and the Academy Awards. Her Super Bowl work for Audi was rated the top automotive commercial of the big game by USA Today’s Ad Meter and received headlines such as “Audi Wins the Super Bowl.”
Having worked her way through a mix of advertising agencies including Venables Bell & Partners, Crispin Porter + Bogusky and TBWA/Chiat/Day, Ashley now uses her experience to enhance RALLY’s creative capabilities. Originally from Florida, Ashley knows how to avoid an alligator attack (run in a zig-zag), which luckily doesn’t come in handy in Los Angeles where she currently lives with her husband and cat.
Ashley Burns is the Director of RALLY’s Seattle office, bringing more than a decade of communications and marketing experience including community and influencer engagement, media events and storytelling, and shaping perceptions within ambivalent or disconnected audiences.
At RALLY, Ashley provides strategy and direction for clients focused on education, immigration and community revitalization. As part of a campaign to provide better-quality public schools to traditionally underserved students, the team conducted a communications strategy and training session for over 30 schools, launched social media properties to amplify positive stories, and landed broadcast coverage featuring public schools throughout the country. Other work includes supporting the wrongfully imprisoned Daniel Ramirez Medina and forthcoming outdoor museum at Crenshaw Boulevard.
Prior to joining RALLY, she served as an Account Director responsible for edtech campaigns, influencer events, and product launches including Minecraft, Hour of Code, OneNote Learning Tools, and Skype. She also provided comms strategy and execution support for Microsoft’s education efforts including SXSWedu, ISTE, LEGO, and the Obama Administration Department of Education. Before focusing on edtech, it was just tech. Ashley led multiple Microsoft account teams focused on developers, hackers, and startups spanning international events, community engagement, influencer research, and partner announcements such as NASA, Facebook, the Discovery Channel, TechCrunch Disrupt, and the Napa Valley Film Festival.
Before the agency world, Ashley worked in-house on marketing, PR, and design efforts in the built environment for Nintendo, Vulcan, Seahawks Stadium, University of Washington, the Pike Place Market, and Seattle Aquarium. She managed photography projects, marcom creation, and message development, and supported crisis communications.
Ashley graduated with Honors from Seattle University with a degree in Marketing and Japanese. Outside the office, she mentors college students and serves as an HI-USA Explore the World Scholarship committee member to help disadvantaged local youth travel abroad.
Noah Finneburgh is a Director at RALLY Campaigns, the political campaign strategy and paid media arm of RALLY, where he works to develop political and communications strategies for electoral campaigns throughout California. Noah specializes in paid media, targeting, and messaging. He approaches politics as both a science and an art, and is passionate about using creative communication tools to move public opinion.
At RALLY Campaigns, Noah manages strategy and paid media for campaigns for school board, city council, mayor, county supervisor, state assembly, and state senate, and for statewide and local ballot measures. Over the last several election cycles, he has worked to elect an array of progressive local candidates and has written TV, mail, and digital ads for state legislative independent expenditures.
Noah has also written and produced paid media for RALLY’s issue advocacy clients involved in state education funding, environmental protection, and state parks; and direct mail for a major statewide legislative battle around education in Washington state.
Prior to joining RALLY, Noah spent seven years as the Vice President and Communications Director at a Bay Area political consulting firm where he managed communications, direct mail, and digital strategies for candidates for municipal, county, and state office. He also worked on ballot measures at the local and statewide level. Previously, he worked as a fundraiser, field organizer, and social media manager for both local and statewide campaigns across California.
Noah grew up in Oakland and graduated from the University of California, Santa Cruz with a degree in Film and Digital Media and a Minor in Electronic Music. In his free time, Noah enjoys music, writing, reading political history, rooting for his Oakland A’s, and finding the next great sushi restaurant and coffee shop.
Director of Digital
Ravi Garla is the Director of Digital at RALLY, where he leads the firm’s digital practice and delivers best-in-class campaigns to meet client challenges.
Over the last decade, he has worked with dozens of clients on how to transform legislative, legal, and political opportunities into powerful moments to organize, fundraise, and share stories online with millions of people.
Ravi recently joined RALLY from the leadership of Everytown for Gun Safety after having spent several years building the digital program from scratch into the largest gun violence prevention organization in the country. During his time at Everytown, he ran digital campaigns to win ballot initiatives, pass dozens of state laws, change the policies of companies like Facebook and Target, and establish orange as the color of the movement.
Prior to that, Ravi worked at a DC-based agency that built digital fundraising and organizing programs for non-profits and campaigns. Ravi has a deep background in environmental and climate change issue advocacy. Previously, he consulted on a multi-year effort to coordinate online organizing between the nation’s leading environmental non-profits and secure President Obama’s signature climate initiatives. One of his first digital jobs was working for Vice President Al Gore’s Alliance for Climate Protection (Yes, he’s trained on how to present the deck.)
No client challenge is the same and Ravi loves crafting campaigns that combine creativity with technology in new and impactful ways. He graduated from the University of Chicago with a degree in International Studies. He recently traded Brooklyn for Los Angeles and hopes the shift in scenery helps revive some of his entirely dormant Midwestern charm.
Jacob Hay is a Director at RALLY, specializing in media relations, message development, and advocacy. Combining communications expertise with a legal background, Jacob is particularly adept at packaging complex issues into clear messages for a public audience.
At RALLY, Jacob has worked with Sandy Hook Promise to develop and advocate for commonsense community programs aimed at preventing gun violence. He also helped the Act Now for Washington Students campaign make students and parents heard in the fight to keep their public schools open. Jacob recently led earned media outreach for the Yes on Prop 62 campaign to end California’s death penalty, driving extensive positive media coverage of the issue and winning the editorial board endorsement of every major newspaper in the state.
Currently Jacob advises the Center for Western Priorities on communications strategies to promote responsible conservation and energy practices on national public lands in the Mountain West. He also provides communications support to several education-focused organizations including KIPP LA Schools, Oakland Families for Quality Schools and Educate78.
Prior to joining RALLY, Jacob worked on a variety of projects for the Service Employees International Union (SEIU), including developing campaigns to help improve the working conditions of janitors, security officers, and airport workers across California, leading communications efforts to call for immigration reform, and earning extensive media coverage on the issues of income inequality and the need to invest in good jobs to help struggling Los Angeles communities. In that capacity, he also handled media relations and produced campaign materials for independent expenditure committees supporting the Yes on Prop 30 and No on Prop 32 initiatives in 2012 and the Eric Garcetti for Los Angeles Mayor election in 2013.
Before his time with SEIU, Jacob handled national media relations for the Laborers’ International Union of North America (LIUNA) in Washington, D.C. where he earned coverage in key influential media outlets and led successful legislative advocacy campaigns in support of federal programs to put people back to work building America. Jacob has also worked with progressive organizations including Planned Parenthood and the California Democratic Party.
Jacob holds a Bachelor of Arts in Political Science from UC Berkeley and a Juris Doctorate from The George Washington Law School. Born in Napa and raised near Sacramento, Jacob enjoys exploring the music and food scene in Los Angeles with his wife Stacey and new daughter Hillary. A former ski instructor in the Lake Tahoe area and an outdoor sports enthusiast, Jacob loves California’s ski slopes and mountain bike trails.
Director of Design
Alexis Mahrus is the Director of Design at RALLY, where she works closely with the firm’s account teams to deliver groundbreaking creative work for clients. Alexis provides clients with a wide range of design capabilities, including brand development and identity, visual design for web, digital, and print. She is helping to shape RALLY’s approach in an increasingly visual communications environment.
Prior to working at RALLY, Alexis produced dynamic design solutions for a variety of projects and clients, specializing in brand, editorial, and advertising. Her recent clients include ad agencies, political consulting firms, start ups, non profits, and independents.
Alexis entered the design world through early studies in Illustration at the California College of Arts (formerly CCAC), which sparked her passion for solving conceptual problems through visual communication and storytelling, and where she met her mentor (and future boss), distinguished illustrator and designer Dugald Stermer.
Soon after graduating with distinction, she subsidized her budding freelance career by working with a San Francisco political consulting firm, creating logos, collateral, and direct mail for dozens of campaigns.
Alexis was also a part of the California College of Arts Illustration Program since 2001. Through the years she grew to wear several hats, including Assistant Professor, Assistant Chair, and more recently, Program Chair. As program chair, she directed the vision, advocacy, and comprehensive management of the program which at its peak reached 140 students, becoming the second largest student body in the design department.
When Alexis isn’t working with RALLY’s team, she’s chasing after her twin boys with her husband Sami, or finding time for her other passion, painting.
Howli Pfeiffer is a Director in RALLY’s San Francisco office where she specializes in strategic message planning, grassroots organizing, political communications, creative storytelling, and media events. At RALLY, Howli oversees strategy for XQ Institute, an organization dedicated to rethinking school in America in order to create new learning opportunities for young people and open up the possibilities of the wider world.
Howli moved to San Francisco from Washington, DC where she served as the Director of Message Planning for President Obama. In her time with the White House, she helped craft the President’s public message and bridged the gap between strategy and execution. Throughout her time on the Obama campaign and in the White House, Howli used her creative vision to communicate the President’s message to the American people and worked across the Administration to move teams in the same direction to achieve the President’s agenda. She made sure that all of the moving pieces of President Obama’s communications strategy stayed on track and spearheaded multi-layered logistical operations to gain press coverage and public support. She planned the President’s media events, live press statements, network interviews and domestic travel.
In her previous role as Special Assistant to White House Press Secretary Jay Carney, Howli helped manage the West Wing press office and prepare the Press Secretary for his daily briefing. She assisted in planning press strategy for international trips, traveled with the White House Press Corps, and coordinated feature articles and photo shoots for the President. As Director of Correspondence for First Lady Michelle Obama, Howli was responsible for managing the First Lady’s communication with the hundreds of Americans who wrote to her each week.
Prior to her time in the Obama Administration, Howli worked as a public relations account manager in New York City where she drove the execution of plans and campaigns to generate publicity, expert quotes, trend stories, and company announcements. She also managed media requests, developed compelling story angles and pitches, and identified media trends, news cycles, and spin opportunities.
Howli graduated from Chico State with a degree in political science and journalism. When she is not at RALLY, she enjoys searching for the best burrito in San Francisco and spending time with her Bay Area-based friends and family now that she is back on the West coast.
Manny Rivera is a Director at RALLY, specializing in strategic communications, including issue management and media relations. He brings to RALLY a strong background in crisis and litigation communications, and has been an instrumental member of the firm’s impact litigation practice. In his role as Director, Manny leads account teams and offers strategic communications guidance across a number of sectors with the ultimate goal of identifying new avenues to amplify the client’s messages.
Most recently at RALLY, Manny has worked with the national education nonprofit Students Matter, leading the communications efforts around the organization’s groundbreaking impact litigation and advocacy efforts, including managing stakeholder communications and media relations around the education equality lawsuit Vergara v. California, and the federal education equality case, Martinez v. Malloy. In this role, Manny executes at the macro and micro level—from the launching of communications campaigns around significant legal and organizational milestones, to the day-to-day efforts of media rapid response. Manny uses media opportunities as a vehicle to move the needle of public opinion on issues that are important to public school students.
During his time at RALLY, Manny has served as the media lead for a number of clients with high-profile, national media campaigns. He led the media relations effort for the American Foundation for Equal Rights—the sole sponsor of the federal constitutional challenge to California’s Proposition 8, Hollingsworth v. Perry—an effort that helped fuel a momentous shift in public opinion and paved the way for full federal marriage equality. He served as the media relations lead for Sandy Hook Promise, working with national and local media to help the organization and the families of Sandy Hook victims share their stories and promote solutions to address the issue of gun violence. He also oversaw the communications effort around various health-related education and awareness campaigns for The California Endowment, California’s largest health foundation, including steering earned media initiatives and branding opportunities, planning and executing events, and creating opportunities to raise the visibility of The Endowment’s flagship Health Happens Here campaign.
Prior to joining the RALLY team, Manny was a Vice President at Mercury Public Affairs, where he was responsible for crafting and implementing public affairs and communications strategies supporting complex projects and business imperatives for two Fortune 20 companies. Manny also provided his expertise to a fast-growing foreign automaker to promote the company’s economic impact and social responsibility efforts in the U.S. market. Immediately prior to that, he led the rapid-response and strategic communications function for Apollo Group, and served as national spokesperson for the company’s largest subsidiary. Manny trained within the corporate and consumer public relations practices at Fleishman Hillard International Communications and Waggener Edstrom Worldwide.
Manny is a graduate of Cornell University, with a double major in Sociology and Government and a concentration in Law and Society. An Angeleno for most of his adult life, Manny enjoys exploring his own town, making sure to experience Los Angeles’s diverse neighborhoods, outstanding cuisine, and notable tourist traps.
Kaitlin Funaro is an Account Manager at RALLY specializing in communication strategy and media relations. She has a background in news production and spent seven years as an international radio news producer in the fields of business, technology, and breaking news.
Kaitlin currently works with the global TIME’S UP movement that began when women in entertainment called time on sexual harassment, abuse and inequality in their own industry and joined forces with women from dozens of industries to create safer and more equitable workplaces. Kaitlin works with TIME’S UP’s many leaders to expand the movement’s reach and impact and develop a legislative and policy strategy to take TIME’S UP’s call to action into boardrooms and legislative chambers to create lasting change.
Previously, Kaitlin worked with the national environmental law firm Earthjustice on the zero-emissions energy and transportation campaign, Right to Zero, and with NARAL Pro-Choice America. With NARAL, Kaitlin led the communications, media relations, and organizing around All Access 2016, a night of music and comedy supporting abortion rights. All Access brought celebrities, activists, and abortion rights supporters together in 30 cities across the country on September 10, 2016, capped off with a concert in Cleveland featuring the Billboard 100 chart-topping artist Sia.
Prior to joining RALLY, Kaitlin worked as a radio news producer in Los Angeles for NPR affiliate KPCC and American Public Media’s ‘Marketplace’. Previously, she was a business & economics producer for the BBC based in London where she produced the early morning financial news program ‘Wake Up to Money’ and covered European and domestic business news.
When not at RALLY, Kaitlin is usually at the park with her two small children. She also knows all of the words to an awkward number of Broadway musicals.
Derek Jansen is an Account Manager at RALLY with a track record of managing successful public affairs, communications, and political campaigns. Derek combines operational expertise with political and media savvy to help build winning campaigns. He works with a variety of clients including Our Bay on the Brink and Teach for America.
Prior to joining RALLY, Derek served on the political team for Tom Steyer’s environmental advocacy organization, NextGen Climate. He led the California team working with coalition partners to successfully protect landmark climate change legislation from being undone. Derek also led NextGen Climate’s efforts to block the Keystone XL Pipeline by using earned media, political pressure, and mobilizing online supporters.
Derek has developed strong relationships with elected officials and political leaders in San Francisco working on high-profile campaigns including directing operations for Ed Lee for Mayor in 2011, and managing the campaign for a multimillion dollar citywide ballot measure in 2013.
As a public affairs consultant, Derek developed successful legislative, media, and coalition building strategies to ban chewing tobacco from baseball fields in San Francisco and Los Angeles, including at AT&T Park and Dodger Stadium. He also provided communications and media support for the team that successfully gained city approval of a new $2 billion seismically-safe hospital in San Francisco.
Derek began his professional career with Teach For America teaching elementary school in Brooklyn, New York, and saw firsthand the critical need to improve the quality of America’s public schools. He continued his commitment to improving public education after leaving the classroom by joining Teach For America national staff in an operational role to help recruit and hire critical staff during a period of rapid organizational growth.
Derek grew up in Davis, California and graduated from Kalamazoo College with a degree in political science, and has a Masters of Science in Teaching from Pace University.
Manager of People and Culture
Dr. Toya Johnson-Moore is RALLY’s Manager of People and Culture based in the Los Angeles office. Dr. Toya is an Organizational Psychologist dedicated to helping people and organizations excel. After spending nearly a decade attracting, managing, training, and progressing the careers of an array diverse employees, Dr. Toya knows that a company’s most precious asset is their people and talent. Dr. Toya is excited to merge her interests in social justice and talent management in her role handling recruitment, selection, onboarding, and engagement for all of RALLY’s offices.
Dr. Toya utilizes HR business strategies that include recruiting diverse candidates and retaining the right people, as well as providing ethical and cultural leadership. She contributes to RALLY’s success by guiding training and development initiatives to promote employee productivity. Within her role, Dr. Toya oversees RALLY’s Fellowship, Internship, and Mentorship programs. Dr. Toya is a certified Human Resources professional by the premier credentialing agency HRCI. As a current subject matter expert, she writes exam content and enhances standards for emerging and executing HR practitioners. Previously, she presided on HRCI’s task force for the creation and development of the Associate Professional in HR (aPHR) certification. Dr. Toya currently serves on the Board of the Los Angeles Chapter of the National Association of African-Americans In Human Resources (NAAAHR).
Outside of RALLY, Dr. Toya also enjoys supporting advocacy and leadership groups like the California State Association of Colored Women’s Clubs, and she was honored to be their inspirational keynote speaker for the Youth Awards Luncheon. Dr. Toya is a NorCal native, SoCal educated graduate from Phillips Graduate University where she earned her Doctorate of Psychology in Organizational Management and Consulting. Dr. Toya also holds a Bachelor’s degree in Criminology and Psychology from the University of La Verne.
To do this work, you can’t be afraid to take risks. It's no wonder we spend our spare time climbing active volcanos and swimming with sharks.
Karen Richardson is an Account Manager at RALLY with experience in public policy analysis, strategic planning, engagement campaigns, and coalition building. A veteran of the Obama White House and the Public Affairs Bureau at the U.S. State Department, Richardson has worked with elected officials, business leaders, diplomatic leaders, non-governmental organizations, the private sector, and the entertainment and arts community to advance a wide spectrum of causes.
At RALLY, Karen has worked on advocacy and communications strategies for the global TIME’S UP movement as well as The California Endowment’s Invest in Youth campaign.
Prior to joining RALLY, Karen served as a Deputy Assistant Secretary at the State Department where she was responsible for developing and implementing Engage America, a nationwide campaign to educate the public and state and local officials on the domestic impact of international diplomacy. She also helped lead communications and domestic outreach strategies on issues including the 2015 Paris Agreement to Combat Climate Change, the 2015 U.S.-China Climate Leaders’ Summit, the new approach to U.S.-Cuba relations, and the nuclear deal with Iran.
At the White House, Richardson served in the Office of Public Engagement and Intergovernmental Affairs. In this role, she developed and managed domestic outreach to NGOs, advocacy organizations, and constituency groups to promote President Obama’s position on a range of foreign policy and domestic issues including health care and education reform. She also worked closely with Senior Advisor Valerie Jarrett, including managing Ms. Jarrett’s involvement in international gender policy development in her role as Chair of the White House Council on Women and Girls.
Richardson began working for President Obama at his Senate Office in 2005, serving as Deputy to the Policy Director. After Obama announced his presidential run, she joined the Obama for America campaign as the State Policy Director for Iowa, a director role she again assumed in several other states throughout the presidential primary.
Born in Washington, DC, and raised in Los Angeles, California, Richardson has a BA from Howard University, a JD from Howard University School of Law, and a Masters in International Affairs from the London School of Economics.
Senior Account Executive
Salman Akhtar is a Senior Account Executive at RALLY who specializes in campaign planning, policy research and analysis, and media strategy.
Salman manages litigation communications for the Washington State Charter Schools Association, and works with NBCUniversal to lead outreach and planning around a speaker series for senior-level executives. Salman is proud to support RALLY’s pro-bono work on a federal case filed by Daniel Ramirez Medina, a DREAMer who was unconstitutionally stripped of his Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) status.
Previously, Salman worked on recruitment messaging for Teach For America, drove media outreach and messaging for leadership at Reddit, Inc., and conducted research for Ballmer Group to help develop a communications tool explaining and marketing performance-based contracting.
Prior to joining RALLY, Salman served as an intern for PwC’s Public Sector practice, Southern California Edison’s Integrated Planning and Strategy group, and split a summer between the Sierra Club’s Legislative Office and an organic farm in upstate New York. Salman is a graduate of Pomona College where he majored in Public Policy Analysis with a focus in Environmental Analysis.
Salman recently moved to the Pacific Northwest to help launch RALLY’s Seattle office. Though jaded by the superior Mexican cuisine of Los Angeles, Salman enjoys exploring Seattle’s restaurants and coffee shops, and is excited to experience seasons once again. He is currently seeking recommendations for a good pair of rain boots.
Senior Account Executive
Kacey Bonner is a Senior Account Executive at RALLY, specializing in strategic relationship management with a focus on issue advocacy in the areas of education and health.
With a background in science and expertise in project management and grant writing, Kacey brings a unique skill set to RALLY’s client work. She has an acute understanding of the vital role relationships play in moving causes forward, and is skilled at connecting the dots between a client’s needs and their overall objectives in a campaign strategy.
At RALLY, Kacey has worked with Students Matter, with whom she built stakeholder relationships, developed content, and arranged media placement; and Connecticut Coalition for Achievement Now, developing new messaging and a campaign to drive key statewide policy and legislative changes in education. Currently, Kacey works with XQ: The Super School Project, a national challenge to rethink and design the next American high school, supporting a national communications campaign and stakeholder engagement efforts.
Previously, Kacey served as Science Officer at the British Consulate General, where she built strategic academic partnerships between the U.S. and the U.K. in K-12 education technology and global health. Kacey also held the position of Outreach Director for Educators 4 Excellence, where she directly helped to build the organization’s membership base of over 1500 through community engagement initiatives and relationship management.
Kacey’s passion in the social impact space began with her work as a high school science teacher in the Los Angeles Unified School District. Teaching minority and low-income children, Kacey was inspired and dedicated to enriching the lives of underserved students through quality educational experiences.
Kacey grew up in Northern California and holds a Bachelor of Science in Biological Sciences from Cornell University. Heavily influenced by her Southern-grown family, she loves to cook and bring friends and family together over a good meal and enjoys listening to live music at small venues across Los Angeles. Kacey also values giving back to her community and spends much of her free time volunteering with the homeless population of downtown LA and mentoring children in underserved communities. Kacey’s passion for education and fighting inequity is rooted in her family of educators and a long history of civil rights activism.
Senior Account Executive
Rachel Horning is a Senior Account Executive in the Los Angeles office. She has served the Los Angeles County region as a communications specialist for five years, first as the Communications Director at the LAX Coastal Chamber of Commerce and later serving as the Communications Director for the Los Angeles County Business Federation. Her responsibilities have included advocating for job creation and economic development in LA County and the state of California more broadly. Throughout her career, she has nurtured a passion for merging the tech sector with the traditional business sector, overseeing digital content distribution and specializing in business advocacy and branding strategy.
Rachel co-founded Startups in the Sky, LLC in early 2015 with the simple goal of building a stronger pipeline between West LA’s Silicon Beach community and DTLA’s tech ecosystem. Today, Startups in the Sky is the largest running tech-event series in DTLA, bringing together over 150 startup founders, digital media specialists, artists, civic leaders, and entrepreneurs every month.
Inspired by the increasing role non-profits and foundations play in driving public policy at the local, state, and federal levels, Rachel is thrilled to work with RALLY’s education team in Indianapolis, Indiana, as well as The California Endowment’s health-policy focused team. Rachel is also dedicated to developing a thoughtful and informed approach to tackling pressing immigration issues.
Born and raised in Los Angeles, Rachel holds a degree from UC Berkeley in Sociology and Public Policy. She is passionate about activating communities and is a self-proclaimed “tech connector.” Rachel currently resides in Downtown LA where she gets her New York fix, without the snow in the winter.
Senior Account Executive
Rachele Huennekens is a Senior Account Executive at RALLY specializing in grassroots organizing, messaging, and media relations. With ten years of experience at the intersection of advocacy and strategic communication, Rachele is adept at honing social-impact messaging to move hearts and minds.
At RALLY, Rachele currently works with the national environmental law firm Earthjustice on their new Right to Zero campaign. Rachele manages advocacy communications, media relations, events, and messaging for the campaign, which aims to transform California’s energy and transportation systems to zero-emissions, with zero excuses. In the past, Rachele has helped tell the stories of Oakland students, teachers, staff and families advocating for quality schools and contributed to earned media and digital communications for the Yes on 62 campaign.
Prior to joining RALLY, Rachele served as Press Secretary for California Attorney General Kamala D. Harris; acting as a spokesperson and disseminating public information about the Attorney General’s initiatives to protect consumers, safeguard the Golden State’s environment, and ensure justice for voiceless and vulnerable Californians. In this capacity, Rachele led digital communications for the Attorney General’s task force to end cyber-exploitation.
Rachele has also served as the national communications strategist for the Los Angeles Alliance for a New Economy (LAANE). There, she devised comprehensive branding and communications plans for the Jobs to Move America campaign and co-created the #WomenCanBuild initiative, empowering female factory workers in the tradition of Rosie the Riveter. Rachele has also worked for the Sierra Club, SEIU-United Service Workers West and the AFL-CIO, using media relations, grassroots organizing, digital communications, and public events to amplify the voices of disadvantaged people.
Rachele was born in Washington D.C. and holds a Bachelor of Arts in political communication from the George Washington University. She now calls Oakland home. Outside of RALLY, she enjoys social justice activism, reading, travel, yoga, wine, and her bulldog Louie.
Senior Account Executive
Amy Jasper is a Senior Account Executive at RALLY, specializing in strategic communications, media relations, and digital advocacy. She is passionate about translating tough issues into people-focused stories, especially in the education, health care, and digital spaces.
Amy recently worked with Reddit to help shape the public narrative around its transformation into the one of the largest and most important websites in the country. She has worked with the Smart Tech Challenges Foundation, helping drive earned media around smart guns. She also worked with The California Endowment, Sandy Hook Promise, Charles R. Drew University of Medicine and Science. She also assisted Education Cities in the launch of the first national comparative measure of the achievement gap between students from low-income families and their more advantaged peers.
Prior to joining RALLY, Amy served as the social media and communications coordinator at The Broad Foundation, an organization dedicated to advancing entrepreneurship for the public good in education, science, and the arts. She also held the role of online media manager for the American Civil Liberties Union of Southern California.
Amy was the recipient of Fulbright Scholarship to Cyprus, and interned with the Institute of International and European Affairs in Dublin, Ireland.
In her free time, Amy enjoys bargaining at estate sales across Los Angeles. She holds a B.A. in Political Studies from Pitzer College.
Senior Account Executive
Kevin Singer is a Senior Account Executive at RALLY’s San Francisco office where he specializes in paid media and creative projects, digital communications, and electoral campaigns at RALLY Campaigns (learn more at http://rally.vote/).
At RALLY, he has worked on a variety of environmental and water-related issues, including campaigns to highlight inequity in California public parks, build support for Bay Area wetland restoration, call attention to inadequate water infrastructure, promote clean energy, and ban plastic bags in California. Recently, he played a key role developing the messaging strategy, paid media plan, and digital campaign for the 100 Hours effort to alleviate LA traffic by the Southern California Association of Governments.
Kevin will go as far as it takes to get the perfect product. He’s hiked miles for quality footage of the San Gabriel Mountains National Monument, mastered complicated mapping technology to produce an award-winning interactive documentary, and worked closely with dialysis patients and care providers to capture authentic interviews for an online ad campaign. He is excited about the rapidly changing media landscape, in which digital channels are becoming the primary means of disseminating information, and takes pride in keeping RALLY’s clients on the cutting edge when it comes to crafting effective messaging and communicating to a highly targeted audience.
Prior to joining RALLY, Kevin worked as a campaign manager on state legislative campaigns where he coordinated strategy, managed digital programs and ad buys, oversaw field efforts, and conducted endorsement outreach. Previously, he wrote copy for various mailers, brochures, and emails for candidates in the North Bay Area.
Kevin graduated from Cal Berkeley (go Bears!) with a B.A. in Political Science and a minor in Theater. When he’s not in the office, he moonlights as a professional actor, singer, and performer around the Bay Area. He also enjoys rooting for his San Francisco Giants and Cal Golden Bears and watching some quality television.
Digital Account Executive
Brooke Cullison is an Digital Account Executive at RALLY where she specializes in targeted digital advertising, social media marketing, email marketing, and website development.
She brings cutting-edge digital strategies to RALLY, creating and executing digital campaigns or projects for our clients. Brooke led the creation of an interactive map for Los Angeles’ Vision Zero campaign that allows people to interact with the city’s collision data in a personal way to engage and create mechanisms for users to share information with their online networks. She’s also implemented successful digital marketing campaigns for open enrollment in charter public schools on behalf of Enroll Oakland Charters and the Washington State Charter Association.
Brooke worked with several Democratic campaigns and organizations – DLCC, Virginia & Alaska State Democratic Parties, Washington Center for Gun Responsibility, Cory Booker for Senate, NARAL, Planned Parenthood, NEA and more – executing digital advertising campaigns. She’s also overseen hundreds of targeted consumer campaigns for major brands – Hyundai, Best Western, Dignity Health, Infiniti Motors – leveraging and analyzing data to target the most qualified audience leads.
Brooke graduated from UCLA with a B.A. in Political Science. When she’s not in the office working on all things digital, Brooke enjoys views of LA from Runyon Canyon and traveling with her close friends.
Andrea Flores is an Account Executive in RALLY’s San Francisco office with expertise in media relations, digital strategy and content creation, and design.
At RALLY, Andrea uses digital communications and outreach to strategic partners to support Parks Now’s mission to ensure that underserved, park-poor communities across California have access to quality parks. Andrea also supports strategic communications planning and creates web content for Education Matters, a non-profit dedicated to improving public education in the West Contra Costa Unified School District.
Previously, Andrea supported media relations for the National Student Poets Program, the nation’s highest honor for youth poets supported by a partnership between the President’s Committee on the Arts and Humanities, the Institute of Museum and Library Services, and the Alliance for Young Artists & Writers. Additionally, Andrea worked with Californians for Water Security in their efforts to repair California’s aging water distribution system. Andrea managed CWS’s online communication channels and monitored analytics for the digital campaign.
Andrea began her career at RALLY as a fellow, working with Our Bay on the Brink to raise awareness around flood risk in the San Francisco Bay Area.
Prior to joining RALLY, Andrea supported UC Berkeley’s Center for Latin American Studies’ mission to promote an understanding of Latin American issues on the university campus and in the local community. She produced videos of CLAS sponsored events and worked on CLAS’s biannual publication.
Andrea is a graduate of UC Berkeley where she majored in Media Studies and Political Science with a concentration in international relations. As an undergraduate, she worked with various organizations to support students in higher education and explored cinematography at the university’s TV station. Andrea is a Bay Area native and enjoys fine-tuning her graphic design skills, asking too many questions during movies, and being a role model for her two younger sisters.
Candace Johnson is an Account Executive in RALLY’s Los Angeles Office specializing in strategic communications, community engagement, media relations, and project management. At RALLY, Candace works with the United Way of Greater Los Angeles’ campaign: EVERYONE IN, where she helps drive media coverage around the importance of building supportive housing and ending homelessness in LA. Candace also supports KIPP LA Public Schools, a network of 15 high-quality charter public schools serving students in East and South Los Angeles, with proactive and reactive earned media support.
Prior to joining RALLY, she was a Senior Associate at a social change communication agency where she supported the development of communication and community relations strategies for Oregon’s state-based health insurance marketplace through the Affordable Care Act, Oregon Department of Education’s Early Learning Division, U.S. Forest Service, Power to Decide: the national campaign to prevent unplanned pregnancy, and the Special Olympics of Oregon.
Candace graduated from the University of Oregon School of Journalism with a focus in public relations and a minor in ethnic studies. While pursuing her degree, Candace provided communication support for Lane County Health and Human Services Division, the local YMCA and the on-campus Student Veterans Center. In her free time, she enjoys going to the beach, trying new restaurants, listening to live music, and spending time with family and friends.
Annie Kim is an Account Executive at RALLY’s Los Angeles office with experience in community engagement and campaign management.
As a part of the RALLY team, Annie helps manage the Hollywood United campaign for the Schmidt Foundation, working to end neighborhood oil drilling in Los Angeles by engaging and growing a coalition of celebrity activists. She also assists KIPP LA with strategic communications, helping them serve students in under-resourced communities and preparing them for success in school, college, and life.
Previously at RALLY, Annie helped develop messaging and strategy for Vision Zero, an initiative that aims to eliminate traffic fatalities by 2025. She also provided strategic communications and event management support for NARAL Pro-Choice America.
Prior to RALLY, Annie worked as a UNICEF Kid Power Coordinator, managing ninety schools participating in an innovative program encouraging kids to get active to save lives. She was also a UNICEF Community Engagement Fellow, where she engaged thousands of Southern Californians on UNICEF’s mission.
Annie is an alumna of Occidental College where she majored in Diplomacy and World Affairs and minored in Classical Studies. During her years there, she interned for Sen. Barbara Boxer and EaterLA, where she explored the best restaurants in LA.
She also serves as the Events Committee Chair for the Los Angeles World Affairs Council Young Professionals and is the Sponsorship Chair for the IMPACT National Conference. In her free time, Annie enjoys boxing and golfing.
Mackenzie Long is an Account Executive at RALLY where she specializes in editorial writing, policy analysis, and campaign development.
Mackenzie works with the Center for Western Priorities, the nonpartisan advocacy organization promoting responsible conservation and energy practices on national lands in the Mountain West. She drives political research and supports the creation of CWP’s reporting on public lands issues. Mackenzie also executes and advises on legal communications for Washington State Charter Schools Association, and she provides strategic communications support to Green Dot Public Schools.
Mackenzie is also the author of SCOTUSDaily, presented by Come To Terms, the only tipsheet covering the best of Supreme Court news and politics every day. Leading journalists, attorneys, law professors, and scholars from across the country use her tipsheet as their morning briefing on what’s happening in and around 1 First Street.
Prior to RALLY, Mackenzie interned for Sen. Dianne Feinstein in Washington D.C., where she worked for the Senator’s counselors and legislative assistants on issues pertinent to the Judiciary Committee, such as immigration and gun legislation. She also worked as a legal assistant at Waters, Kraus & Paul, a Los Angeles law firm specializing in complex civil litigation.
Mackenzie is a graduate of UCLA, where she majored in Political Science with a concentration in International Relations, and a minor in French. She spent a semester abroad studying at Sciences Po in Paris, France’s top university for studies in politics and international relations. She took her courses in both French and English.
As an undergraduate, Mackenzie was the first UCLA campus editor for The Huffington Post. She authored articles and recruited a team of bloggers to serve as community leaders at UCLA. She was also the president of her sorority, Kappa Alpha Theta, and the campus representative for NBCUniversal.
Mackenzie is a fourth generation Bruin, therefore her greatest strength is her ability to work amicably with Trojan colleagues.
Sara Lueders is an Account Executive in RALLY’s Los Angeles office, where she specializes in media relations, strategic planning, and message development. At RALLY, Sara works on XQ: The Super School Project, a national initiative to rethink and design the next American high school, where she leads proactive and reactive media relations and supports on general communications strategy.
Sara leads the media relations strategy and message development for Youth Speaks, an international youth poetry organization that encourages young people to speak out on the pressing issues of our time. Previously, Sara worked with NARAL Pro-Choice America, helping advance NARAL’s mission of supporting every American woman’s right to make her own reproductive choices. Sara supported press and event coordination for the All Access concert in Cleveland, Ohio and managed organizing and paid media for All Access satellite concerts in four cities.
Prior to joining RALLY, Sara worked as an Assistant Account Executive at Edelman Public Relations where she held a variety of nonprofit and entertainment accounts including The Movember Foundation, the Television Academy Foundation, Ticketmaster, and Redbox. While at Edelman, she assisted in developing and executing large scale public relations campaigns, which included earned media, paid and social strategies.
Sara graduated from Northeastern University where she majored in Communication Studies, focusing on media relations and political communication, and minored in Political Science. While at Northeastern, she spent a semester abroad in Rome where she studied Italian art and architecture.
Growing up, Sara split her time between Washington, D.C. and Los Angeles. Outside of RALLY, Sara supports the Los Angeles Dodgers in person, and the Patriots and Redskins from afar.
Digital Account Executive
Sam Read is an Digital Account Executive at RALLY where he specializes in social media strategy, targeted digital advertising, and web and email campaigns.
Sam’s experience spans from digital marketing and communications strategy to online advocacy and awareness campaigns. At RALLY, Sam leads digital communications for various campaigns. Among these are helping to promote charter public schools in Oakland for Oakland Families for Quality Schools, designing paid social media activations for the Campaign for Student Success in Washington state, and developing digital strategy for the 100 Hours campaign here in Los Angeles.
Prior to joining RALLY, Sam oversaw social media and digital engagement for No Kid Hungry, driving awareness and action to end childhood hunger in America. He has worked on legislative advocacy campaigns, grassroots mobilization efforts, and fundraising partnerships with a broad spectrum of non-profit, government and private sector partners. He also worked as a field organizer for President Obama’s 2012 campaign, executing voter outreach and turnout strategies.
Sam graduated from Tufts University with a B.A. in Anthropology. While at Tufts, Sam competed on the track & field team as a pole vaulter, and studied abroad in Melbourne, Australia. A lifelong East Coaster, Sam is new to Los Angeles and working hard not to judge people for being cold when it’s 65 degrees.
Chris Taylor is an Account Executive in RALLY’s Los Angeles office specializing in community engagement, event logistics, digital strategy, and media relations.
At RALLY, Chris works with The California Endowment, California’s largest health foundation, to support event logistics for signature events with key stakeholders.
Chris supports Oakland Families for Quality Schools, an initiative to ensure all families have access to great public schools, through the development of messaging and digital collateral that educates the public about charter schools and enrollment options in Oakland.
Prior to RALLY, Chris worked for a Chicago-based communications firm where he supported state legislative and regulatory approval campaigns by organizing activists, drafting op-eds for influencers, and managing event logistics for large-scale rallies and demonstrations. His work included building awareness through digital campaigns.
Chris graduated from Ball State University with a degree in Public Relations. His studies included a focus on political science and entrepreneurship. While pursuing his degree, Chris served on the Midwest Regional Leadership Team of Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Incorporated where he advised senior leadership on social justice issues occurring on college campuses.
Outside of RALLY, Chris enjoys listening to live music, longboarding, and scenic road trips with friends. He’s a foodie and will try any menu item once
Sommer Yesenofski is an Account Executive at RALLY, advancing environmental justice and public health policy through social media management, media relations, and campaign development.
At RALLY, Sommer conducts legislative research and directs social media for the 11th Hour Project, a program of the Schmidt Family Foundation, dedicated to promoting the responsible use of California’s energy. On behalf of the foundation, Sommer works on message development to improve public understanding of oil extraction in California and empower local communities to become catalysts for sustainable change.
She also works with The California Endowment, helping the Foundation promote health equity and access through effective communication strategies. Traveling up and down California, Sommer crafts and presents training workshops designed to help the Foundation’s grantees build their organization’s communications skills and increase their ability to effect meaningful policy changes for their communities.
Previously at RALLY, she worked closely with Common Sense Media on digital strategy to build a community of parent advocates, promoting responsible media consumption for children. Prior to becoming an Account Associate, Sommer worked with the RALLY team as an intern before continuing as a Summer Fellow.
She also worked as a policy intern with Music for Relief, a nonprofit organization dedicated to providing aid to natural disaster survivors and working with the United Nations to encourage global action on climate change. At Music for Relief, Sommer led web development, directed community relations and developed fundraising strategy.
Sommer is a graduate of the University of Southern California, where she earned a bachelor’s degree in Public Relations with a minor in French. As a Trojan, she worked as a barista and graphic designer at a student-run coffee shop, managed a lecture series and events for students and faculty, and wrote for the The Daily Trojan.
A native of Southern California, Sommer spends as much time in the ocean as possible, in between hiking, rock climbing, eating tacos and exploring bookstores around Los Angeles.
Aarti Chandorkar is an Account Associate in RALLY’s Los Angeles office with experience in policy analysis and research, legal research, urban planning, online advocacy campaigns, messaging, polling, and editorial writing.
At RALLY, Aarti works with Green Dot, a nonprofit educational organization dedicated to helping historically underserved communities in demanding better school options and preparing every student for higher education and life after college. On behalf of Green Dot, Aarti helps manage event planning, strategic communications, and content development to effectively push forward the organization’s mission.
Prior to RALLY, Aarti worked as a research assistant at Benenson Strategy Group, where she aided her team in developing messaging and strategy for a myriad of corporate and political clients. She also interned at Center for American Progress, where she produced content for the online advocacy campaign Why Courts Matter—a project committed to discussing state and Supreme Court cases and calling on US senators to confirm a diverse set of judges to fill court vacancies.
She also spent time in Washington D.C. interning for Sen. Maria Cantwell of her home state of Washington. A proud Trojan, Aarti earned her Bachelor of Science in Policy, Planning, and Development from the University of Southern California. She was the Co-President of Teach for Los Angeles, a student-run organization that tutors local elementary-aged children in reading, writing, and math in order to help them reach their fullest academic potential. She also served as the Co-Scholarship Chair of her sorority, Kappa Alpha Theta, and briefly participated in USC Women’s Ultimate Frisbee.
Aarti is a Seattle native and a diehard Seahawks fan. When she isn’t watching them play, she enjoys hiking, bungee jumping, rafting, dancing, traveling, and hosting friends. There isn’t a food truck in existence that she won’t try.
Micaela Chavez is an Account Associate in RALLY’s San Francisco office with experience in campaign development, policy analysis, and digital strategy.
At RALLY, Micaela works with The California Endowment, California’s largest health foundation, to fund and further youth development programs and restorative justice policies in communities of color.
Prior to RALLY, Micaela worked as a digital associate for a political consulting firm in Washington D.C., where she designed and executed digital programs during the 2016 election cycle for state legislative races and issue advocacy organizations.
During the Democratic primary, Micaela worked on Bernie Sanders’ 2016 digital team at Revolution Messaging, developing SMS messaging content and implementing mobile fundraising strategies.
Micaela graduated from American University where she majored in International Relations with a concentration in Global and Comparative Governance, and minored in Spanish Language Studies. She spent a semester abroad in Santiago, Chile, taking coursework in international political systems and interning at the Chilean Ministry of Education.
A California native, Micaela was born in San Francisco, grew up in Mill Valley, and is excited to be back in the Bay after a five-year stint in the nation’s capital. When she’s not in the office, Micaela spends her time exploring Mount Tam with her always disappointing yellow Lab and planning her next trip to Latin America.
Alex Hammarstedt is a Design Associate based in RALLY’s San Francisco office. Alex brings imaginative solutions to graphic design projects across all mediums; including print, digital, web, and interactive. She aspires to create work that is both meaningful and memorable.
At RALLY, Alex works closely with account teams to ensure her designs are appropriately targeted to each client’s larger brand strategy. Her scope of work includes creating advertisements, social media content, websites, print materials, and more.
Before joining RALLY, Alex was the Art Director for SOMA Magazine, a bi-monthly publication dedicated to discovering and featuring trendsetting creatives. Supplementing the print heavy magazine work, Alex dabbled in freelance digital and web design, keeping herself up-to-date with the latest in design trends and technologies.
Alex graduated from Boston University, where she spent four years in the middle of a blizzard, studying Art Direction and History of Art and Architecture before escaping to the better coast. While at school she created award-winning designs with an advertising team as part of BU’s AdLab program.
In her free time, Alex tries to spend as much time outside as possible. Her current favorite activities are water-skiing and surfing; and entertaining her co-workers with a new face-plant story every Monday.
Kasey Iranon is an Account Associate in RALLY’s Seattle office with experience in grassroots organizing and media outreach.
At RALLY, Kasey works with the National Alliance for Public Charter Schools supporting strategic communications and driving earned media outreach to amplify the positive work being done by charter schools in underserved communities. She also helps build communications capacity for charter schools in Denver, Colorado by connecting local school leaders and advocates with media.
Prior to RALLY, Kasey was a fellow at The Washington Bus, a nonprofit aimed at increasing youth participation in politics. While there, she led community voter registration drives and managed field logistics for an initiative to create publicly funded Seattle city council elections. She also completed a fellowship with Progressive Majority Washington, an organization focused on providing resources to help historically underrepresented groups in politics run for local and state offices. As a fellow, Kasey organized their largest annual fundraiser and conducted intake interviews with potential partners.
Kasey graduated from the University of Washington, where she studied marketing and political science. Outside of the office, Kasey enjoys reading, traveling, and embarrassing herself at dance classes. She is also a black belt in Shaolin Kung Fu, having practiced for 8 years.
Julia Kwasniza is an Account Associate at RALLY Campaigns, the political strategy and paid media arm of RALLY, where she specializes in campaign strategy, planning and management, messaging, polling, and policy analysis.
At RALLY, Julia helps coordinate successful campaigns for a range of candidates and ballot measures at the state and local level. She is currently developing strategic campaigns for several RALLY clients and candidates running for office.
Prior to joining RALLY, Julia interned for the San Francisco Mayor’s Office, where she wrote and edited speeches, produced extensive background research reports for Mayor Ed Lee, and assisted in coordinating his diplomatic trips to Israel and Brazil. Julia also interned for U.S. Congresswoman Lois Capps and California State Senator Hannah-Beth Jackson, conducting field campaigns and organizing fundraisers and other events.
Julia graduated from UC Santa Barbara with a degree in Political Science – International Relations and a minor in Russian Language and Literature. While at UCSB she helped manage and win dozens of campaigns for UCSB’s Open People’s Party. Julia also spent a semester studying abroad in St. Petersburg, Russia.
Outside of the office, Julia spends her time in dance studios, practicing yoga, and attending concerts. Julia also enjoys traveling, and has visited over 25 countries in North America, Europe, and Asia.
Brendan McCartney is an Account Associate in RALLY’s Los Angeles office, with experience in grassroots organizing, policy research and analysis, and content creation.
At RALLY, Brendan works with The California Endowment in its Building Healthy Communities initiative to rethink health at the local level. His work includes managing a statewide digital campaign and supporting the planning and execution of signature events.
Brendan first joined RALLY as a Fellow in the firm’s San Francisco office, where he also supported the Ella Baker Center’s efforts to elevate stories of formerly incarcerated individuals across Northern California. Brendan assisted in campaign strategy, media monitoring, and digital content creation.
Before moving cross-country to work at RALLY, Brendan served as a field organizer for Hillary Clinton’s presidential campaign in Palm Beach, Florida. In that role, he mobilized the local community by recruiting, training, and managing a team of volunteers and interns through hundreds of phone banks, canvasses, and voter registration events.
Brendan graduated from Duke University with a double major in Public Policy and Political Science. He competed on the debate team and served as a columnist for the school newspaper. Inspiring his later campaign work, Brendan also conducted research on newly passed voter regulations in North Carolina. Through exit polling during Durham’s 2014 midterm elections, he witnessed the disenfranchising impact of convoluted voter laws firsthand.
Outside of work, Brendan spends his time writing comedy sketches, singing Fight Song, and hopelessly trying to keep up with today’s lightning-fast political news cycle. Born in New York and raised in South Carolina, he raises an eyebrow to the phrase “West Coast, Best Coast,” but has nonetheless fallen in love with both San Francisco and Los Angeles.
Clare McCreary is an Account Associate at RALLY in the Los Angeles office, specializing in social media strategy, content creation, and education policy research and analysis.
At RALLY, Clare works with Students Matter, a national nonprofit organization that seeks to improve access to quality public education for all students through impact litigation. On behalf of Students Matter, she manages social media, supports communications work, and conducts research on litigation in the education space. Clare started at RALLY as a Fellow, where she also worked with Washington State Charter Schools Association and Come to Terms.
Before RALLY, Clare worked as a research assistant for the Los Angeles County Commission on Human Relations, studying various court cases and analyzing policy on domestic human trafficking. She also interned at the Burkle Center for International Relations, where she developed outreach strategy and helped plan, execute, and promote events.
Clare graduated from UCLA with a triple major in Global Studies, Political Science, and Italian. While at UCLA, she volunteered for Best Buddies, an organization devoted to changing the stigma around intellectual and developmental disabilities by promoting one-to-one friendships, and participated in marching band where she played alto saxophone. She also spent six months studying abroad at the University of Bologna, taking classes in Italian on politics, language, and opera.
Outside the office, Clare’s hobbies include whistling, traveling, and listening to live music — especially opera.
Lana Ramadan is an Account Associate in RALLY’s San Francisco office with experience in message development, political strategy, and media relations.
At RALLY, Lana combines experience in digital content management with strategic messaging to guide Students Matter, a national nonprofit organization that seeks to improve access to quality public education, in engaging and activating parents through the tough challenges facing California public schools. Lana also supports the media outreach and digital communications of XQ: The Super School Project, in driving a national conversation about redesigning America’s high school system.
Previously, Lana helped launch Resilient by Design | Bay Area Challenge, a collaborative research and design project that brings together residents, public officials, and experts to develop innovative solutions to a changing climate, through press and event coordination, digital marketing, social media content, and messaging.
Prior to RALLY, Lana worked on criminal justice reform at a social impact firm in Los Angeles, where she developed messaging and strategy for several California Endowment campaigns. She also guided policy research and developed messaging and digital content for influential artists and nonprofits.
Born and raised in California, Lana is a graduate of the University of California, Berkeley, where she majored in Political Science and Middle Eastern Studies. She is passionate about the migration rights of Syrian refugee women and their access to physical and mental health services.
When she’s not in the office, Lana enjoys trying new brunch spots, flying her friend’s drone around the Bay Area, zip lining, and being cast as an extra in films.
Claire Shipton is an Account Associate in RALLY’s San Francisco office with experience in strategic communications, policy research and analysis, and message development.
At RALLY, Claire works with the Natural Resources Defense Council to advocate for the integration of a Western energy grid by creating social media content, website management, and supporting press outreach. Claire also supports the Center for Western Priorities by writing website content and assisting with communications strategies that promote the responsible conservation and energy practices on national public lands in the Mountain West.
Prior to joining RALLY, Claire worked for a Chicago-based communications firm where she guided clients through state and municipal regulatory approval processes, developed and supported an outreach strategy for a state-wide education initiative, and facilitated community engagement and event logistics for nonprofits.
Claire has also spent time interning for Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel in the press office, assisting the staff with event planning, media relations, and press inquiries. She has also interned for then-U.S. Congresswoman Tammy Duckworth and at D.C.-based communications firm Precision Strategies, where she conducted policy research.
Claire graduated from the University of Chicago with degrees in Political Science and Public Policy, with a specialization in Poverty Policy. Outside of the office, Claire enjoys reading, traveling, excessive NPR-listening, and cooking new recipes, which only occasionally result in disaster.
John Vitzileos is an Account Associate in RALLY’s Los Angeles office with experience in digital strategy, grassroots organizing, and policy analysis.
John works with Casey Family Programs on a campaign to change the conversation about our nation’s child welfare system. He helps conduct public opinion polling to create data-driven messaging and executes earned media strategies. Additionally, John works with XQ: The Super School Project, in driving a national conversation about redesigning America’s high school system through media outreach and digital communication efforts.
Prior to RALLY, John worked for Bain & Company as an Associate Consultant Intern, where he focused on creating and executing digital marketing strategies for Fortune 100 companies, gaining experience in paid advertising, search engine optimization, and search engine marketing. He has a diverse background with experience in political consulting, finance, nonprofit management, and marketing, which he combines with his passion for social justice to drive high-impact campaigns.
John is a graduate of the University of Southern California, where he majored in International Relations and Global Business. He was the head of USC’s policy debate team as well as the director of the Queer and Ally Student Assembly, an organization dedicated to programming events and fostering community for USC’s LGBTQ students.
John was born and raised in Chicago and is the youngest of six children. He comes from a family that can best be described as My Big Fat Greek Wedding meets The Brady Bunch. When he’s not in the office, he is searching Southern California for the best eggs benedict and hash browns.