Coming & Going: Who is Where in the Political World...

Ethan Berkowitz, a former Alaska state representative, has joined the Seattle-based strategic communications firm Strategies 360 as a senior vice president.

Ethan Berkowitz, a former Alaska state representative, has joined the Seattle-based strategic communications firm Strategies 360 as a senior vice president.   Ethan Berkowitz   A graduate of Harvard University with a law degree from the University of California’s Hastings College of law, Berkowitz has extensive legislative experience. He served in Alaska’s House of Representatives for ten years and was the state’s Democratic leader for eight years. In 2010, he was the democratic nominee for governor. At Strategies 360, Berkowitz will focus on the energy sector in Alaska—a subject that he has taken a deep interest in since his days in Alaska’s legislature.   “We are thrilled to have a national political figure of Ethan’s stature join us at Strategies 360,” said the company’s president and co-founder, Eric Sorenson, in a press release. “Ethan’s expertise in running businesses and tackling complex business issues will help our clients create the environment for success.”   Strategies 360 has offices in five northwestern states and Washington, D.C. The firm’s clients range in focus from agriculture and natural resource production to education and the healthcare sector. Jake Braun, a former member of President Obama’s transition team and the former public liaison for the department of Homeland Security, has joined Chicago-based Resolute Consulting as executive vice president.   Jake Braun   As a member of Obama’s transition team, Braun served as deputy director for the National Security Agencies review. He oversaw the review of all programs related to national security and played a major role in the reshaping of national security policy for the Obama administration. As public liaison for the DHS, he oversaw all presidential appointment actions.   Previously, Braun spent a decade working in journalism and on campaigns. He was national deputy field director on Obama’s 2008 presidential campaign and Michigan field director on Sen. John Kerry’s 2004 presidential campaign.   With Resolute, Braun will design and implement public affairs campaigns focusing on issue advocacy for the firm’s newly launched homeland security practice. “Jake is a skilled expert in international and national political campaigns, and his experience and effectiveness is significant,” said Resolute Consulting’s founder and CEO, Greg Goldner, in a press release announcing Braun’s move. ASGK Public Strategies, a political communications management firm founded by David Axelrod, Eric Sedler, and John Kupper, announced a significant expansion of its Chicago and Washington, D.C., operations with seven new hires.   In the firm’s Washington, DC., office, Chris Lisi is now managing director, Bryan DeAngelis is a  principal, Ryan Vanderbilt is a senior associate, Benjamin Thrutchley is an associate, and Elizabeth Kenigsberg is a junior associate. In the firm’s Chicago office, Judy Erwin is now managing director, and Julie Adler is a senior associate.   “These additions to our team will directly and immediately help clients navigate high-stakes business, policy, and communications issues,” said Eric Sedler, ASGK managing partner, in a press release.   Lisi comes to ASGK from the Glover Park Group, where she was vice president. DeAngelis was previously communications director in Sen. Chris Dodd’s (D-CT) office. Vanderbilt was communications director for Congresswoman Debbie Halvorson (D-IL). Thrutchley was Congressman Chet Edwards’s (D-TX) assistant press secretary. Kenigsberg was a project manager in the California office of the Strategy Group. Erwin was executive director of the Illinois Board of Higher Education. Adler was an associate with the Dewey Square Group in Washington, D.C. S. R. Wojdak & Associates has announced that it has taken on professional political advisor Steven Crawford as its managing vice president.   Crawford served as former Pennsylvania Gov. Ed Rendell’s chief of staff and secretary of legislative affairs for his entire eight years in office. He was credited with helping the governor navigate the state’s contentious politics to introduce sweeping legislative initiatives dealing with alternative energy, education, and economic development.   In a press release, Stephen Wojdak, president of S.R. Wojdak & Associates, said that Crawford has the “right mix of experience and credibility” to be a significant asset to the firm. “Steve’s depth of experience in working with all the executive branch agencies and his credibility with members of the legislature is unmatched and will be a terrific asset to the firm,” said Wojdak. S.R. Wojdak & Associates is one of the largest governmental relations firms in Pennsylvania. Its clients include Fortune 500 companies, hospitals, universities, and statewide philanthropic and advocacy associations. The global public relations agency Weber Shandwick recently announced that Charlotte Otto and Douglas E. Schoen will join the company as senior advisors and key members of the firm’s Corporate Strategic Advisory Board.                                                   Charlotte Otto                                                                                                                                                                              Doug Schoen   Otto, a veteran public relations officer, joins Weber Shandwick from Procter & Gamble where she oversaw external relations. Schoen, a nationally known political analyst, pollster, and co-founder of the firm Penn Schoen Berland, will be advising the firm’s clients on corporate and public policy issues.   Harris Diamond, Weber Shandwick’s CEO, said of Schoen in a press release, “Doug is a powerhouse, whose strength in public affairs, corporate reputation, and crisis and issues management, coupled with his strategic insights and leadership skills, will be invaluable to our clients and staff.” Of the addition of Otto to the team, Diamond said, “Charlotte’s counsel will add continued depth to our corporate expertise worldwide.”   Weber Shandwick also announced that Craig Casselberry, founder and president of Quorum Public affairs, has joined its corporate practice as senior vice president in the Austin, Texas, office. Casselberry is a twenty-year veteran of Texas politics and has served three of the state’s governors, including current Gov. Rick Perry. He has also managed public policy campaigns for dozens of corporations and advocacy organizations.   Craig Casselberry   With offices in seventy-four countries, Weber Shandwick is an award-winning firm that provides strategic execution across corporate practices. It provides specialized services in social and digital media, advocacy, advertising, and market research. The president of Media Matters for America, Eric Burns, recently announced that he is leaving the watchdog group to start his own strategic communications firm, Bullfight Strategies.   Burns brings with him Karl Frisch, a Media Matters contributor, and Clay Johnson, a co-founder of the Internet consulting firm Blue State Digital.   Burns and Frisch first worked together on the staff of the House Rules Committee, where they helped its former chair, Louise Slaughter (D-NY), in her mission to uncover Republican corruption and ethics violations. Johnson’s Blue State digital, meanwhile, played a key role in developing President Obama’s revolutionary digital campaign during the 2008 presidential race.   “The disastrous fall elections showed that progressives desperately need a different communications and media strategy utilizing new tools and new tactics to be competitive,” said Burns in a press release announcing the new firm’s formation.   Based in Washington, Bullfight Strategies will provide media assistance for progressive causes and candidates. Its services will include press strategy, advertising production, new media, and media purchasing. Campaign Solutions and Connell Donatelli, Inc. recently announced the addition of Peter Amen, an online advertising strategist, as director of business development.   Peter Amen   Amen is an expert in online advertising and a specialist in building databases. He has worked with organizations including the U.S. Chamber of Commerce and SarahPAC. He has also served as the national sales director for Intermarkets, the publishing company for the popular online news aggregator, the Drudge Report.   “Peter is one of the most experienced online advertising strategists in the political sphere,” said Rebecca Donatelli, founder of Campaign Solutions and Connell Donatelli, Inc., in a statement announcing Amen’s move. “We’re very fortunate to have him.”   Campaigns Solutions, founded in 1998, has a strong track record of online fundraising, while Connell Donatelli, Inc., founded in 2003, specializes in online advertising. Former Congressman Michael Arcuri (D-NY) has joined the law firm Hancock Estabrook, LLP.   Arcuri will focus on the firm’s litigation, government affairs, and corporate law practices. Hancock Estabrook intends to utilize Arcuri’s wealth of experience in the public sector and will look to him to provide guidance on all issues that require close coordination with the New York State government or the federal government.   Arcuri represented New York’s 24th congressional district in the U.S. House for two terms, from 2007 to 2010. He was a member of the House Rules Committee and the Transportation and Infrastructure Committee as well as the Economic Development, Water Resources, and Environment and Highways and Transit Subcommittees.   Janet D. Callahan, managing partner of Hancock Estabrook, LLP, said in a statement that Arcuri’s achievements and skills will add immeasurably to the success of the firm. “Michael is well positioned to provide strategic legal advice to our clients, and we are confident that he will serve them well, particularly those with key interests in Albany and Washington, D.C.,” she said.

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