The

Team

Meet our team of dedicated communications warriors

Fiona Hutton
Founder & CEO
Fiona Hutton
Fiona Hutton Founder & CEO

Issue Areas: Healthcare, Clean Energy, Climate Resilience, Telecommunications, Technology, Water & Natural Resources, Parks, Education, Infrastructure, Manufacturing, Consumer Products

Expertise: 20+ Years Proven CEO/Business Leader, Communications Strategy, Narrative Building, Reputation Management, Grasstops Relationships, Policy Advocacy, Mentoring & Women Leadership Training

Recognition: Capitol Weekly’s Top 100 State Capitol Influencers, PR Week Agency Profile Leader, San Fernando Valley Business Journal’s Top 200 Influencers, Recipient of the Southern California Water Coalition’s Harriet M. Wieder Leadership Award

Boards & Affiliations: California Chamber of Commerce, LA City Department of Recreation & Parks Commission, Open California/Capitol Weekly, Ojai Valley Land Conservancy, She Shares, Los Angeles Area Chamber of Commerce (former), Sacramento Press Club (former), Valley Industry & Commerce Association (former)

Dagny Ellenberg
Partner
Dagny Ellenberg
Dagny Ellenberg Partner

Issue Areas: Healthcare, Medicaid/Medi-Cal, Access, Equity & Affordability, State & Local Government, Clean Energy, Land Use

Expertise: Strategic Planning, Reputation Management, Narrative Building, Media Relations, Owned Content, Crisis Management, Litigation Support, Bilingual (French)

Recognition: PRSA PRism Award for Crisis Communications – Rocklin Academy (transgender education); PRSA PRism Award for Integrated Communications for the California Association of Health Plans/Runaway Rx (high-priced drugs)

Clients: Sutter Health, Health Net, Western Sky Community Care, Centene Corporation, Los Angeles Health Care Plan, California Association of Health Plans, United Healthcare, California Hospital Association, OneLegacy, Donate Life California, Asante Health System, Avantus, TerraGen, SoCal Gas, NextEra Energy

Kendall Klingler
Partner
Kendall Klingler

Issue Areas: Technology, Cannabis, Telecommunications, Broadband, Utilities, Large-Scale Infrastructure, Public Safety, Water & Natural Resources

Expertise: Strategic Planning, Legislative & Policy Advocacy, Statewide Public Education Campaigns, Brand Development, Regulatory Navigation, Advertising, Ally Mobilization

Recognition: AAPC Top 40 Under 40 Political Consultants in America, PRSA PRism Award for Public Outreach for Proposition 14 (stem cell research), PRSA PRism Award for Public Affairs Campaign of the Year for Peace Officers Research Association of California (police reform) & Personal Care Products Council (cosmetic product safety and testing), PRSA PRism Award for Crisis Communications – Crimson Pipeline (emergency response)

Clients: Los Angeles Department of Water & Power, California Department of Cannabis Control, Peace Officers Research Association of California, California Cable & Telecommunications Association, Comcast, AT&T, Amazon, Association of California Water Agencies, Southern California Public Power Authority, Yes on Prop 14 (stem cell research)

Rebecca Nicholas
Partner
Rebecca Nicholas

Issue Areas: Water & Natural Resources, Climate, Agriculture, CEQA/NEPA, Large-Scale Infrastructure, Transportation, Federal & State Government

Expertise: Strategic Planning, Thought Leadership, Policy Development & Advocacy, Stakeholder Engagement & Facilitation, Conflict Resolution, Public Education & Outreach Campaigns, Change Management

Recognition: PRSA PRism Award for Integrated Communications – State Water Contractors; PRSA PRism Award for Public Service Campaign – DWR/Save Our Water

Clients: State Water Contractors, California Natural Resources Agency, California Department of Water Resources, California Department of Cannabis Control, California Department of Community Services & Development, Port of Stockton, Irvine Ranch Water District

Affiliations: Association of Women in Water, Energy & Environment, Association of California Water Agencies, Sacramento Press Club, PRSA California Capital Chapter, Women in H2O, She Shares

Sari Afriat
Vice President
Sari Afriat
Sari Afriat Vice President

Issue Areas: Finance, Agency Operations, Human Resources, Accounting, Administration, Information Technology

Expertise: Financial Planning, Projections, Analysis, Legal Compliance, Benefits, Contracting and Budgeting

Education: B.S. Business Administration, emphasis in Accounting & Marketing, California State University, Northridge

Ian Anderson
Vice President
Ian Anderson
Ian Anderson Vice President

Issue Areas: Public Safety, Water & Natural Resources, Large-Scale Infrastructure, Cannabis

Expertise: Policy & Political Strategy, State & Local Government, Legislative Advocacy, Regulatory Challenges, Ally Mobilization

Clients: Peace Officers Research Association of California, State Water Contractors, California Department of Cannabis Control, Irvine Ranch Water District, Yes on Prop 68 (parks/water), Greater Los Angeles Zoo Association, TerraGen

Education: M.A. Public Administration, University of Southern California; B.A. Political and Government, Manhattanville College

Affiliations: Los Angeles County Young Democrats (former executive board member), California Democratic Party (former delegate)

Erin Curtis
Vice President
Erin Curtis
Erin Curtis Vice President

Issue Areas: Water and Natural Resources, Climate, Air Quality, Renewable Energy, Environmental Regulations, Public Lands, Higher Education, Federal, State & Local Government

Expertise: Climate & Natural Resources Policy Communications (former Deputy Secretary for Communications and External Affairs at California Environmental Protection Agency and former administrator within the U.S. Department of the Interior), Higher Education Communications (former Associate Vice Chancellor within California community college system), Crisis Communications, Strategic Media Engagement, Policy Development & Advocacy, Stakeholder Engagement, Issue Campaigns, Reputation Management, Message Development

Recognition: Associated Press – local journalism awards; National Council for Marketing & Public Relations District Communicator of the Year

Affiliations: California Association of Public Information Officials; PRSA California Capital Chapter; Phi Delta Kappa; California Community Colleges Public Relations Association (former); Association of California Community College Administrators (former); National Council for Marketing and Public Relations (former); National Institute for Leadership Development (Leaders 2004)

Amanda Haig
Vice President
Amanda Haig
Amanda Haig Vice President

Issue Areas: Healthcare, Medicaid/Medi-Cal, Homelessness & Food Security, Clean Energy, Consumer Products

Expertise: Corporate Communications, Reputation Management, Issues Advocacy, Procurement, Government Communications 

Recognition: PRSA Influence Award for Electronic/Digital for Health Net/Bridging the Divide

Clients: Health Net, Sutter Health, Western Sky Community Care, Centene Corporation, RWE Renewables, Amazon, Western Dental, Rodan & Fields, Personal Care Products Council 

Education: B.A. Political Science, St. Mary’s College of Maryland

Alice M. Walton
Vice President
Alice M. Walton
Alice M. Walton Vice President

Issue Areas: Clean Energy, Climate, Air Quality, Ports, Labor, Manufacturing, Healthcare, State & Local Government

Expertise: Journalism & News Outlets (former reporter for Los Angeles Times, LAist/KPCC, City News Service), Narrative Building, Media Strategy, Content Generation, Transparency, Ethics

Clients: SoCal Gas, Kern Energy, Avantus, OneLegacy

Education: M.S.J. Northwestern University; B.A. Political Science & Print Journalism, University of Southern California

Affiliations: Women Communicators of Austin (Board President), Leadership Austin 

Michael Schwartz
Director, Creative & Digital
Michael Schwartz
Michael Schwartz Director, Creative & Digital

Issue Areas: Healthcare, Water & Natural Resources, Clean Energy, Public Safety, State & Local Government, Land Use, Cannabis, Large-Scale Infrastructure

Expertise: Creative Direction, Brand Development, Visual Design, Website Development, Targeted Digital Advertising, Digital Activation

Clients: State Water Contractors, RWE Renewables, Sutter Health, California Department of Cannabis Control, OneLegacy, Association of California Water Agencies, Comcast, AT&T, Peace Officers Research Association of California, California Association of Health Plans 

Education: B.A. Communications & Media Studies, Chapman University

Melanie Tuberman
Account Supervisor
Melanie Tuberman
Melanie Tuberman Account Supervisor

Issue Areas: Healthcare, Health Equity & Access, Social Determinants of Health, Homelessness & Food Security, Medicaid/Medi-Cal, Federal & State Government, Public Safety

Expertise: Thought Leadership, Outreach Campaigns, Ally Mobilization, Reputation Management, Social Media Strategy & Content, Legislative Tracking, Issue Analysis

Clients: Sutter Health, Health Net, Centene Corporation, Western Sky Community Care, OneLegacy, Peace Officers Research Association of California

Education: M.A. Public Administration, University of Southern California; B.A. Political Science, George Washington University

Katie Lee
Senior Account Executive
Katie Lee
Katie Lee Senior Account Executive

Issue Areas: Healthcare, Water & Natural Resources, Clean Energy, Large-Scale Infrastructure, Technology, Consumer Products

Expertise: Message Development, Content Generation, Landscape Analysis, Stakeholder Engagement, Corporate Communications, Multilingual (Korean & Spanish) 

Clients: Amazon, State Water Contractors, Kern Energy, SoCal Gas, OneLegacy, Health Net, Clear Channel Outdoor

Education: M.A. Public Policy, University of Southern California; B.S. Biology, Haverford College

Evan Swerdfeger
Senior Account Executive
Evan Swerdfeger
Evan Swerdfeger Senior Account Executive

Issue Areas: Clean Energy, Climate, Water & Natural Resources, Land Use 

Expertise: Stakeholder Engagement, Litigation Support, Message Development, Strategic Communications, Content Generation

Clients: Avantus, Los Angeles Department of Water & Power, RWE Renewables, California Department of Community Services & Development

Education: B.A. Communication, University of California, Santa Barbara

David Hourin
Account Executive
David Hourin
David Hourin Account Executive

Issue Areas: Public Safety, Clean Energy, Healthcare

Expertise: Legislative Tracking, Issue Analysis, Media Strategy, Research & Insights

Clients: RWE Renewables, Health Net, Peace Officers Research Association of California, Gold Star Foods 

Education: M.A. Business Administration, Colorado Technical University; B.A. English and Political Science, Williams College

Affiliations: Unite-LA, Labor Council of Democratic Socialists of America

Kasania Marie Khachadourian
Account Executive
Kasania Marie Khachadourian
Kasania Marie Khachadourian Account Executive

Issue Areas: Healthcare, Water & Natural Resources, State & Local Government, Clean Energy, Technology

Expertise: Stakeholder Engagement, Media Analysis, Research & Insights, Social Media Strategy & Content, Graphic Design

Clients: Sutter Health, State Water Contractors, Kern Energy, Amazon, California Department of Community Services & Development

Education: B.A. Communications, University of Missouri

Frank McMullin
Account Executive
Frank McMullin
Frank McMullin Account Executive

Issue Areas: Water & Natural Resources, Cannabis, Large-Scale Infrastructure 

Expertise: Issue Analysis, Content Generation, Landscape Analysis, Stakeholder Mobilization, Social Media, Bilingual (Japanese)

Clients:  California Department of Water Resources, California Department of Cannabis Control, Los Angeles Department of Water & Power, North Kern Water Storage District

Education: B.A. History, University of California, Santa Barbara

Jacey Carter
Account Coordinator
Jacey Carter
Jacey Carter Account Coordinator

Issue Areas: Healthcare, Education

Expertise: Research & Insights, Community Outreach, Legislative/Public Policy Tracking, Social Media Strategy & Content, Marketing

Clients: Amazon, Gold Star Foods, RWE, Sutter Health

Affiliations: MPA Candidate at USC Sol Price School of Public Policy; B.A. in Public Policy, Data Science Sequence, Claremont McKenna College; NCAA D3 Women’s Basketball

Max van de Kamp
Account Coordinator
Max van de Kamp
Max van de Kamp Account Coordinator

Issue Areas: Healthcare, Public Safety

Expertise: Legislative Tracking, Social Media Strategy & Content, Research & Insights, Media Strategy, Thought Leadership

Clients: Health Net, Sutter Health, OneLegacy, Peace Officers Research Association of California, Gold Star Foods

Affiliations: B.A. Political Science and Economics, University of Washington – Seattle

Matthew Gearhart
Executive Assistant
Matthew Gearhart
Matthew Gearhart Executive Assistant

Issue Areas: Leadership Support, Agency Operations, Culture, Administration

Expertise: Client & Team Coordination, Employee Engagement, Event Planning, Thought Leadership, Executive Positioning, Travel Logistics

Education: B.A. Marketing & Management, Illinois Institute of Art Chicago

Steven Sass
Administrative Office Assistant
Steven Sass
Steven Sass Administrative Office Assistant

Issue Areas: Office Operations, Administration, Information Technology, Event Planning

Expertise: Office Management, Client & Team Coordination, Technical Support, Travel Logistics, Bilingual (French)

Education: B.F.A. Theatre Performance/French, Niagara University

Affiliations: Phi Sigma Iota (foreign language association) 

Alejandra Kincheloe
Bookkeeper
Alejandra Kincheloe
Alejandra Kincheloe Bookkeeper

Issue Areas: Financial Planning, Accounts Receivable/Accounts Payable

Expertise: Agency Operations, Team Utilization and Management, Budgeting, Bilingual (Spanish)

Education: B.A. Spanish, California State University, Fullerton; Associate Degree in Accounting, Golden West College

Jessica Biller
Marketing Advisor
Jessica Biller
Jessica Biller Marketing Advisor

Issue Areas: Corporate Communications, Public Affairs, Brand Awareness

Expertise: Executive/Thought Leadership, Reputation/Image Management, Marketing/Branding, Stakeholder Engagement, Digital/Social Media, Strategic Partnerships, Interna/External Communications

Recognition: Capitol Weekly’s “Ones to Watch” in 2018; PR News “15 to Watch” in 2005

Brenda Deeley
Senior Counselor
Brenda Deeley
Brenda Deeley Senior Counselor

Issue Areas: Water, Airports, Hospitals & Healthcare, Renewable Energy, Nonprofits

Expertise: Strategic Planning, Thought Leadership, Stakeholder Engagement, Public Education & Outreach, Crisis Communications/Reputation Management, Media Training

Recognition: PRSA Silver Anvil for Community Relations – Orange County Water District; WateReuse Association Campaign of the Year – Orange County Water District; PRSA Silver Anvil for Community Relations – San Diego International Airport; SABRE Award for Community Relations – San Diego International Airport; Airports Council International – North America Campaign of the Year – San Diego International Airport; PRWeek Awards Honorable Mention for Community Relations for Hoag Hospital Irvine; Healthcare Public Relations & Marketing Association for Crisis Communications – Pomona Valley Hospital Medical Center; Public Relations Society of America, Orange County – Rick Miltenberger Mentorship Award

Education: M.A. Political Science/Public Policy & Administration, Western Washington University; B.A. Communications/Broadcast Journalism, University of Washington

Affiliations: Orange County Public Affairs Association; Reimagine Board of Directors

Kate Folmar
Senior Counselor
Kate Folmar
Kate Folmar Senior Counselor

Issue Areas: State Government & Politics, Clean Energy, Healthcare, Gun Violence Prevention, Education

Expertise: Journalism & News Outlets (former reporter for Los Angeles Times, San Jose Mercury News), Legislative & Policy Advocacy, Media Relations, Rapid Response, Crisis Management (former Communications Director for the California Health and Human Services Agency), Message Development

Clients: Avantus, SoCal Gas

Affiliations: Sacramento Press Club, Girls on the Run 

Madison Nagle Frizzi
Senior Counselor
Madison Nagle Frizzi
Madison Nagle Frizzi Senior Counselor

Issue Areas: Water & Natural Resources, Climate, Healthcare, Health Equity & Access, Housing

Expertise: Strategic Communications, Legislative & Policy Advocacy, Ballot Initiative Management, Coalition Building & Management, Stakeholder Engagement, Grassroots Activation, Message Development, Media Relations

Education: B.S. International Relations &amp Politics and Ethics, History & Public Policy, Carnegie Mellon University

Affiliations: Capitol Network