DIRECT MAIL

Direct mail is our bread and butter. It's the business on which our company was founded in 2007, and it's the medium in which we've won the lion's share of our over forty Pollie Awards from the American Association of Political Consultants. Almost any professional's mail looks "nice" and we all claim to "break through the clutter," but few will integrate your campaign's mail so it is part of a seamless effort to engage, educate, persuade, and mobilize voters. We do it all.

DIGITAL

Even with gobs of campaign cash and advertising dollars, it's rare that anyone dominates any one medium anymore. We add valuable reinforcement to your primary means of communication by creating websites and implementing social media tactics that don't just simply contact voters, but engage them and further a meaningful dialogue. By combining display and video advertising with cutting-edge analytics, our campaigns rise to the top.

OPERATIONS

From state parties to legislative caucuses to statewide candidate and issue campaigns, we've managed large campaign operations with staffs in excess of one hundred and fifty persons and budgets in the tens of millions. We have the operational expertise to help you establish an infrastructure that works and a consultant team that adds value – not headaches. Our team will show you how to stretch your budget and squeeze your allies for maximum benefit.

BALLOT INITIATIVES

Ballot initiatives are won or lost in the early weeks. We can help you decide if the political environment is right for your issue campaign. Once you're ready to proceed, we can help you manage petition collection, vendor selection, and research, and serve as the general consultant. If you don't have the luxury of planning ahead, we can work with you to respond quickly and get your campaign up, running, and on the right track.

 
Jonathan Varner
President

Following years of work as a political consultant, organizer, fundraiser, and public relations professional, Jonathan Varner created a company that would reflect his values and principles in life and business: hard work, attention to detail, strategy and tactics based on experience and best practices, and doing right by people. A creative marketer and strategist, Varner has won Pollie Awards from the American Association of Political Consultants for his work in direct mail, print advertising, internet, and radio.

He is an occasional guest lecturer in both the undergraduate and graduate programs at the University of Akron's Bliss Institute for Applied Politics. In 2013, Campaigns & Elections Magazine named Varner one of their "Influencers 500" — and one of Ohio's five most influential Democratic consultants.

AJ Stokes
Principal

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

Born into a family of public school teachers in Columbus, Ohio, Jacob has been involved in campaigns since high school. He worked on several local and Congressional races in Central Ohio before managing the statewide business and logistical operations for the campaigns to repeal Ohio Senate Bill 5 and to re-elect President Obama.

Jacob's expertise in campaign operations is supplemented by his experience in running statewide constituency outreach programs. He serves on the board of a local youth leadership organization and graduated from The Ohio State University with a degree in Political Science.

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.

 

 

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