JVA Campaigns wins big battles and navigates difficult situations by bringing together some of the best minds in the industry and using an integrated approach to communications. Our clients know we'll tackle their biggest problems with a deft touch and a smart strategy that was designed specifically for them—not recycled from some other campaign.


Whether you're launching a statewide issue campaign that needs to contact voters in every single county, or you're running for village council and only have the resources to target a few hundred voters, JVA Campaigns has been there.

Direct mail and digital communications are the media by which JVA Campaigns was founded and in which we've won the lion's share of our awards from the American Association of Political Consultants. We take a comprehensive approach to our work as political strategists and communicators—wanting to be involved from day one of your campaign. Because JVA Campaigns works with political campaigns and progressive organizations in more than twenty states, you've likely seen our award-winning political communications in action.

Public Affairs

JVA Campaigns has served as public affairs counsel for major corporations, labor unions, and nonprofit associations.

We've developed and executed legislative advocacy plans; conducted organization-to-member campaigns and outreach and public-pressure campaigns; and communicated "small scale" directly with key stakeholders. With our extensive backgrounds in communications and media relations, we guide campaigns, candidates, and organizations on developing and delivering strategic messaging. Our team finds the most success when we're with you from day one, helping you plan ahead and play the long game. But sometimes, even with the perfect plan, things happen—so if you're in need of a crisis communications strategy, we're great at that, too.



  • AT&T
    When members of one of our nation's largest employers need Ohio public affairs assistance, they call JVA Campaigns. For AT&T, the Ohio Telecom Modernization Act was an important piece of legislation that would shape its business's future. AT&T hired JVA not only to develop the campaign strategy and track support from key legislators, but also to hire integral personnel for the campaign, help draw support for this issue from local municipalities, and develop the assets and deliverables for the campaign communications. As a direct result of JVA's public affairs campaign, then-Governor Ted Strickland signed the Ohio Telecom Modernization Act into law, marking a victory for AT&T.
  • International Association of Fire Fighters Local 1141
    In January 2015, members of the International Association of Fire Fighters contacted JVA Campaigns' Public Affairs division to create a campaign that would highlight recent attacks on its members and the citizens of Brook Park, Ohio. When JVA Campaigns came on board with the firefighters, Mayor Coyne of Brook Park was in the process of waging an assault on the safety service professionals of Brook Park by closing necessary fire stations and laying off city employees, thus placing the safety of citizens at risk. Through a combination of paid advertisements and targeted mailers, JVA Campaigns Public Affairs was able to change the direction of the administration and the city by reopening previously closed fire stations and backing off the threat of privatizing the city's safety services.
  • International Brotherhood of Teamsters Local 1224
    Over the course of two years, Teamsters Local 1224 sought out JVA Campaigns Public Affairs experience to conduct three campaigns on behalf of its organization and members. While each campaign was unique and presented a distinctive challenge to the International Brotherhood of Teamsters, central themes such as protecting workers' rights and security were present throughout each. Through these public affairs endeavors, JVA Campaigns was able to quickly identify the stakeholders in each of these instances and craft one-of-a-kind pressure point campaigns for each. Ultimately, JVA Campaigns was instrumental in helping the Teamsters Local 1224 workers keep their jobs and protect their pensions from corporate abuse.

Political Portfolio

Jonathan Varner

Jonathan Varner has built winning political and public affairs campaigns for candidates, committees, unions, nonprofits, and Fortune 500 businesses for nearly 20 years. In 2007 he founded the company that would become JVA Campaigns, which has worked from California to Maine, and many places in between. In 2014 alone, JVA Campaigns worked in 17 states on campaigns ranging from governor to city council. Other past clients include AFSCME, America Votes, AT&T, the International Association of Fire Fighters, Planned Parenthood, the United Steelworkers, and hundreds of candidates for state and local office. Under Varner's leadership as the firm's creative director, JVA Campaigns has won more than forty Pollie awards from the American Association of Political Consultants for advertising work in mail, digital, print, and radio. In 2013, Campaigns & Elections Magazine named Varner one of their national "Influencers 500" as well as one of Ohio's five most influential Democratic consultants.

AJ Stokes

AJ Stokes's passion for helping working families started early. His presence in the meeting hall of Teamsters Local 20 (Toledo) began when he was still in diapers, but in the more than three decades since he has become a veteran operative in government, politics, and public affairs.

He has served as a State Government Affairs Coordinator for the International Brotherhood of Teamsters, Executive Director for the Ohio House Democratic Caucus, Majority Chief of Staff to the Speaker and Ohio House of Representatives, and in 2011 he took a temporary leave to manage the statewide campaign to defeat Ohio Senate Bill 5, an effort for which the American Association of Political Consultants named him "Campaign Manager of the Year."

Kyle McDermott
Senior Vice President

Born into a family of steelworkers and teachers, Kyle has worked in the Labor Movement for over ten years, serving as the USW National Deputy Political Director, AFL-CIO State Director in Ohio, and AFSCME Ohio Political Director. In 2011, he served as Senior Advisor to the We are Ohio campaign to defeat Senate Bill 5. In 2012 Kyle served as the Executive Director of the Ohio Democratic Party, leading the party's successful campaigns for President Obama and Senator Sherrod Brown.

Kyle was raised in Zoar, Ohio, and graduated with a B.A. in Political Science from Baldwin-Wallace College.

Megan Wickersham
Chief Operating Officer

Before joining JVA, Megan orchestrated successful voter contact and public affairs campaigns for candidates, political committees, and nonprofits as a member of firms in Arizona and Washington, DC. Her experience working on local, state, and federal campaigns combined with her acumen in creating winning direct mail programs makes her an important asset to our team and our clients. In addition to her client work, Megan is also responsible for overseeing internal operations at JVA. She continually monitors our internal policies and procedures and introduces improvements when necessary to make sure JVA stays on the cutting edge of our field.

An Illinois native, Megan has a Bachelor's degree in Business Management from Bradley University and a Master in Public Administration from Arizona State University.

Rich Rhodes
Production Director

For almost two decades Rich has been at the heart of the advertising and media business in Ohio. As a director of creative and production services, an account executive, a production manager and a traffic manager for several firms, he's managed and directed all aspects of radio, television, and print advertising.

At JVA, Rich is the guy who makes the trains run on time. Internally, he ensures constant communication between account executives and the creative team, maintains the master project list and sample archive, and bids and purchases all outside production services. Externally, he assigns all projects to the appropriate vendors to ensure that each item is received by the targeted recipient when they are supposed to receive it. Rich is from Newark, Ohio, and attended Wilmington College.

Christy Haynes
Art & Studio Director

Christy spent almost twenty years working at various advertising and branding agencies before joining the JVA team. She is responsible for managing our creative team for in-house and client work. A native of Ohio, Christy has a degree in Advertising Design from the Columbus College of Art and Design.

Jordan McLaughlin
Senior Account Executive

Before joining our team, Jordan worked as a new media consultant helping businesses and organizations develop and implement marketing and social media strategies. He has years of experience in graphic design and website development. Jordan enjoys helping candidates and organizations hone their image and message through social media. Jordan is from Utica, Ohio, and graduated from The University of Akron with a degree in Political Science.

Jacob Manser
Account Executive

A veteran operations director for several statewide and national campaigns, Jacob Manser thrives on tackling big, ugly messes and setting them straight. With a skillset ranging from constituency relations, strategic communications, and campaign logistics to database management and web programming, Manser is the utility player that every client wants on their team. Born into a family of public school teachers in Columbus, Ohio, Jacob is a graduate of The Ohio State University, a rabid Buckeye fan, and a youth baseball umpire, and he serves on the board of a local youth leadership organization.

John Michael Moore
Senior Account Executive

A graduate of Appalachian State University in Boone, North Carolina, John Michael embarked upon his professional career working on political campaigns. Like many political operatives, John Michael began by working in campaign field operations, ultimately rising to the position of campaign manager in 2010. He then made his way to Washington DC, where he served as a public affairs consultant for one of DC’s most trusted firms. A recent transplant to Ohio, John now applies the lessons he learned, both from the campaign life and from his time as a communications consultant, to not only meet but exceed his clients' expectations.

Karl Rusnak
Account Executive

Prior to joining our team, Karl worked as a researcher and communications specialist focusing on trade and economic policy reform. His experience working on these issues honed his ability to distill complex information into effective grassroots communications. At JVA Campaigns he enjoys putting this experience to work helping clients craft high-quality messaging to reach their target audience and win campaigns.

Karl was born and raised in North Canton, Ohio, and holds a B.A. from The Ohio State University where he majored in Economics and Political Science.

Alicia Sisneros
Account Executive

Alicia is a veteran in Democratic politics. She came to Columbus from Chicago where she worked as the Data Visualization Manger at Organizing for Action. Prior to her time at OFA, Alicia lived in Las Vegas, Nevada, where she served in various positions supporting the Democratic Majority in the State Assembly.

Born and raised in New Mexico, Alicia's first job in politics was knocking doors for her uncle’s State House race when she was eight years old. She has been hooked on politics ever since. She received a Bachelor of Arts in Political Science from the University of Nevada, Las Vegas.

Leticia Martinez
Senior Vice President

Leticia has over 15 years of political experience that have taken her to more than 20 states to work on local, state, and federal candidate campaigns as well as a variety of issue campaigns. Prior to joining JVA, she designed and implemented strategic field, mail, and overall campaign plans while working for progressive organizations like SEIU, America Votes, and Planned Parenthood Federation of America.

Leticia is a 6th generation Coloradoan and the granddaughter of both a steelworker and bricklayer. She lives in Denver with her husband. She graduated from Smith College and received her law degree from the University of Denver.

Julie Varian
Accounting Specialist

Originally from Ohio, Julie joined JVA after spending fourteen years working in the accounting and insurance industries in North Dakota and Minnesota. At JVA she is our head bean counter, handling the accounting for our client accounts and our firm as a whole.

When not working, Julie loves going to yoga, biking, and making amazing soy candles. She and her family are also proud to have welcomed more than ten foster children into their home over the past several years.

Julie has a Bachelor's Degree in Business Administration from the University of North Dakota.

Genevieve Sauvage
Executive Assistant

Originally from the south suburbs of Chicago, Genevieve explored careers in education and the arts before becoming a political operative. At JVA Genevieve is Jonathan Varner's Executive Assistant, keeping the boss's schedule under control and running smoothly.

At home Genevieve is a devoted aunt and photographer. Genevieve has a Bachelor's Degree in Photography from DePaul University and a Master in Education from Dominican University.

Meredith Tucker
Director of Public Affairs

Meredith has an extensive background working in strategic communications. Prior to joining JVA, she was the Communications Director of the Ohio Democratic Party, and served as spokesperson and media consultant for Columbus's 2016 DNC convention bid. Meredith has worked on countless political and issue campaigns, guiding local, state, and federal candidates, non-profits, and labor organizations on strategic messaging and media relations. She has experience working in the field for Obama for America, and spent years working in legislative affairs at the Ohio Statehouse. In 2011, Meredith was a Regional Communications Director for We Are Ohio, the historic campaign that defeated Senate Bill 5.

Growing up in Lakewood, Ohio, she volunteered on her first political campaign when she was just 14 years old, and has been hooked ever since. Meredith is a proud alumna of Ohio University, where she studied political science with a specialization in American Politics.

Mary Bogus
Account Executive

Before joining JVA Campaigns, Mary Bogus served as the field organizing director at Planned Parenthood of the Rocky Mountains (PPRM)—one of the largest Planned Parenthood affiliates in the country. In addition to Mary?s vast experience leading ballot initiative and field campaigns, her background in legislative advocacy and public affairs allows her to provide her clients with the knowledge they need to build the strongest campaigns possible.

Mary is the daughter of a public school teacher and a social worker. Originally from Wyoming, she now lives in Denver, Colorado, with her partner Laurel and their two cats and two dogs. Mary received a political science degree from Colorado State University with a concentration in gender and ethnic studies.

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