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Felix Schein, managing Partner of Griffin|Schein, is a campaign and communications strategist who has worked as a political campaign manager, corporate communications director, and network television reporter and producer.
A veteran of NBC News, Felix began his journalism career at Meet the Press and the NBC Nightly News, serving as a researcher and associate producer for NBC’s Chief Foreign Affairs Correspondent, Andrea Mitchell. In 2001, Felix joined the Today Show where he primarily produced live and long-form packages about 9/11 and its geopolitical aftermath. Shifting to domestic politics, Felix served as a reporter and producer for NBC’s Political Unit throughout the 2004 presidential campaign and logged more than 500 days in the field reporting on the campaigns of Gov. Howard Dean and Sen. John Kerry. In this capacity, he was a regular on-air contributor to NBC News/MSNBC programs.
In 2006, Felix moved from campaign reporting to political campaign management, leading campaign strategy, messaging and media relations for one of the most-closely watched gubernatorial candidates in the country.
As Managing Partner of Griffin|Schein, Felix and his team now work with leading foundations, advocacy organizations and philanthropists. Most recently this work has included developing and managing issue advocacy campaigns for California’s largest healthcare foundation, the nation’s largest corporate foundation and a variety of organizations involved in issues ranging from violence reduction, to environmental protection, to K-12 education reform. Most prominently, Griffin|Schein is responsible for the development and execution of the communications strategy supporting the Proposition 8 marriage equality lawsuit and for the advocacy campaign employed by Sandy Hook Promise in the wake of the Newtown school shooting.
Felix is a graduate of Georgetown University’s School of Foreign Service and holds an MBA from the Haas School of Business at the University of California Berkeley.
Lara Bergthold, Principal of Griffin Schein, is a campaign and communications strategist who has worked as a philanthropic advisor, political strategist, presidential senior campaign advisor, and PAC director.
An expert on the nexus of entertainment and politics, Lara began her career at the Hollywood Women’s Political Committee, a political action committee comprised of over 300 women in the entertainment industry where she eventually became the Executive Director. Raising over $6 million for Democratic candidates, the group lobbied on progressive issues and included executives, actresses, producers and below the line talent.
As Executive Director of the Lear Family Foundation, a private foundation of Lyn and Norman Lear, Lara 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 after the Lears purchased an original copy of the Declaration of Independence, which eventually toured all 50 states and registered over 4 million voters.
In 2004, Lara joined Wesley Clark’s presidential campaign and served as National Political Director for six months until transitioning to manage the entertainment industry efforts on behalf of the John Kerry Presidential Campaign.
Lara has served as the Board Chair of People for the American Way since 2000 and Board Chair of Campaign for America’s Future since 2007. She also serves on the Advisory Board for the Los Angeles Alliance for a New Economy (LAANE).
Lara is a graduate of UC Berkeley and holds a Master’s in Public Policy from the Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University.read less
Hillary has extensive experience in consulting, non-profit advocacy and political campaigns. With a policy and law background, Hillary excels at transforming complex macro ideas into concrete actionable plans. She has had the opportunity to advise foundations, celebrities and companies and non-profit organizations at all stages of an issue advocacy campaign.
At Griffin|Schein, Hillary manages the work for Students Matter, a national non-profit organization dedicated to sponsoring impact litigation to promote access to quality public education. In this role, Hillary is helping to build a non-profit organization from the ground up, developing the Students Matter brand and messaging and overseeing coalition-building activities. She also advises artist and HIV/AIDS advocate Alicia Keys on her philanthropic and advocacy work – including managing strategic partnerships and media related to the EMPOWERED campaign.
Most recently, Hillary was a Senior Analyst with Global Philanthropy Group where she advised high-profile philanthropists on how to effectively run their foundations. Hillary also worked at Cerrell Associates, a Los Angeles public affairs firm, where she advised the company’s energy and environmental clients to develop strategy, build coalitions, and engage the media. Prior to working at Cerrell Associates, Hillary managed the Green Schools Campaign on behalf of the Los Angeles-based environmental non-profit, Global Green USA.
Hillary’s campaign knowledge derives from her work in the political arena having worked on Barbara Boxer’s Senate campaign and General Wes Clark’s presidential campaign.
Hillary is a native of Los Angeles, and recently served on the Board of the Los Angeles League of Conservation Voters. She is also an alumnae mentor with the Fulfillment Fund. Hillary holds a B.A in public policy from Brown University and a Juris Doctorate from the UC Hastings College of the Law.read less
Manny is a seasoned media relations and reputation management professional with a proven record of delivering strategic and innovative thinking to some of the most recognizable companies, brands, and campaigns.
He brings to Griffin|Schein his broad experience in multi-tiered media relations, crisis communications and strategic campaign counsel.
At Griffin|Schein, Manny leads the communications and media relations efforts for the American Foundation for Equal Rights, the sole sponsor of the federal constitutional challenge to California’s Proposition 8. In this role, Manny provides strategic messaging support and regularly interfaces with media on one of the most high-profile cases to reach the United States Supreme Court in recent memory. Manny also supports The California Endowment by leading communications efforts around various health-related education and awareness campaigns, 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.
Manny trained within the corporate and consumer public relations practices at Fleishman-Hillard International Communications and Waggener Edstrom Worldwide, as well as specialized crisis boutique and public affairs firms. In his most recent role at Mercury Public Affairs, Manny was responsible for crafting and implementing public affairs and communications strategies supporting complex projects and business imperatives for a Fortune 10 company. Immediately prior to that, he led the rapid-response and strategic communications function for Apollo Group, one of the world’s largest private education providers, and served as national spokesperson for the company’s largest subsidiary, University of Phoenix. He began his career as a field representative and caseworker at the district office of the Hon. Congresswoman Grace F. Napolitano, D-Norwalk.
Manny is a graduate of Cornell University, earning Bachelor of Arts degrees in Sociology and Government, with a concentration in Law and Society.
Elizabeth is a seasoned communications strategist who is an expert in social marketing campaigns. Her work has impacted public policy, changed people’s behavior, and created healthier lives.
Her responsibilities at Griffin Schein include managing the communications efforts for The American Foundation for Equal Rights (AFER), the sole sponsor of the federal lawsuit to overturn California’s Proposition 8, and for Students Matter, a non-profit education reform organization.
Her past experience includes 10 years as a senior vice president with GMMB, a national strategic communications and political consulting firm, where her clients included the Entertainment Industry Foundation, Cisco Systems, First Five California, the Healthcare Finance Administration, Children Now, the Dave Thomas Foundation for Adoption, and Buckle Up America. On behalf of her clients, Elizabeth developed and directed various communications strategies including TV/radio/print advertising, strategic partnerships, event production (including press conferences, roundtables, concerts, Capitol Hill hearings), market research/surveys, strategic partnerships, PR and earned media outreach, collateral materials for internal and external audiences, website development and content, PSAs and videos.read less
Kylen PreatorAccount Executive
Kylen brings extensive management, research and communications knowledge to Griffin|Schein through her work experience in the sports, business, art and hospitality industries. She also leverages her marketing, branding and communications experience to help clients build meaningful narratives and campaigns for the causes they care about.
In her most recent role, Kylen worked with Global Philanthropy Group where she provided strategic philanthropic consulting services to high-profile individuals, such as Ben Stiller, Shakira, Demi Moore, and Ashton Kutcher, and to cause-conscious corporations and luxury-brands such as Bulgari. Through her client work, Kylen has also cultivated partnerships with key thought leaders, including Clinton Global Initiative and Gates Foundation. Kylen has broad international advocacy and fundraising experience in multiple issue areas, including; cancer, malaria, refugees, maternal mortality, sex-trafficking, poverty, homelessness, education, and intercultural understanding. She began her international issue advocacy while studying linguistics and intercultural communications in Switzerland on a Rotary International scholarship.
Based in Los Angeles, Kylen continues her volunteer work with several social entrepreneurship and education initiatives. Kylen is conversational in German and Spanish, and holds a double degree in International Business and Marketing from Georgetown University.read less
Aimee DewingAccount Executive
Aimee Dewing specializes in advocacy and political communications with experience executing domestic and international campaigns. From exploring Antarctica with the world’s leading climate scientists to producing press coverage from official White House events across the globe, Aimee’s strategic approach to event-planning connects audiences to meaningful messages.
At Griffin|Schein, Aimee works with Sandy Hook Promise, the community organization founded in Newtown, Connecticut in the days following the mass shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary, to find common sense solutions to curb gun violence. She produces high-profile policy and community events, earning national media coverage and building a diverse base of supporters. Aimee also leads campaign development for the Sandy Hook Promise Innovation Initiative, which has brought together over 40 of the nation’s leading entrepreneurs, spurring the private sector to find solutions to gun violence through innovation and technology.
Previously, Aimee has planned worldwide education and development campaigns with Al Gore’s non-profit organization, The Climate Reality Project, where she built partnerships with local government and sustainable corporations, committed to reducing their carbon footprint. Aimee’s experience in election management and community outreach also includes the organization of official White House events.
After earning a Master’s degree in Public Policy from Pepperdine University, with an emphasis in American Politics and International Relations, Aimee joined the Obama for America campaign where she orchestrated national news coverage from events across the country. She went on to produce internationally televised coverage of the 56th Presidential Inauguration and other official White House programs.
Aimee is part of Al Gore’s Climate Leadership Corps, trained to present An Inconvenient Truth slideshow in her community. She also writes for the art review Warholian where she covers contemporary art and culture. Aimee is a native of Los Angeles.read less
Danielle KeltonAccount Executive
Danielle is an experienced strategist who a strong track record developing innovative strategic communications and advocacy campaigns that influence media coverage and public opinion. Danielle has worked with leading foundations and Fortune 500 companies to build compelling narratives and produce effective communications tools, and she has extensive experience leading media relations and coalition-building efforts.
At Griffin|Schein, Danielle manages work for the Schmidt Family Foundation’s 11th Hour Project in their effort to move our country beyond fossil fuels and toward an economy based on renewable energy sources. Danielle is building a powerful campaign that questions the role of fracking in our energy future. Her work on the campaign includes building a campaign narrative, coalition-building, press outreach and regularly engaging with influential thought leaders and policymakers. Danielle also leads the communications and media relations efforts for Students Matter, a non-profit organization dedicated to sponsoring impact litigation to promote access to quality public education. In her role, Danielle develops persuasive messaging and regularly engages with national and statewide media.
Previously, Danielle worked at Winner & Associates, managing accounts for Fortune 500 companies. Prior to that, Danielle engaged in communications planning, as well as media monitoring and analysis for a variety of research institutes and non-profit organizations, including the Population Media Center, the USC Center on Public Diplomacy and the Montreal Institute for Genocide and Human Rights Studies.
She co-authored a book chapter evaluating Sudanese media, published in 2009, in The World and Darfur: International Responses to Crimes Against Humanity in Western Sudan. Danielle was also a contributor to a report evaluating American broadcasting efforts in the Middle East, entitled “An Evaluation of Alhurra Television Programming,” published by the USC Center on Public Diplomacy in 2008.
Danielle holds a Masters degree in Public Diplomacy from the University of Southern California and a Bachelors degree in Political Science and Psychology from McGill University.read less
Katharine AzarAccount Executive
Katharine Azar is a press and public affairs specialist adept in the use of media in advocacy and public diplomacy. She has extensive event planning, social media and strategic relationship management experience.
At Griffin|Schein, Kate supports Mother Jones magazine in their branding and public affairs efforts, works with Futures without Violence on their campaign development and supports The California Endowment by managing earned media initiatives, branding opportunities and events, in order to promote efforts around their various health-related education and awareness campaigns.
Previously, Kate served as a press liaison and political advisor for the British Consulate-General, Los Angeles. As Deputy Head of Press, Policy and Public Affairs, she executed various global initiatives, including the British Government’s global branding campaign. She also planned and implemented public affairs programs for Ambassadors, Members of Parliament and Royals–including the 2011 visit of The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge–to raise the public profile of the UK in the US.
Kate’s background includes working for various Government and non-profit organizations, including the US Department of State, Foreign Press Center, co-founding the award-winning Olive Tree Initiative and conducting special projects for the US Mission to NATO.
Kate holds a Bachelors degree in International Studies from the University of California, Irvine, and a Master’s in Public Diplomacy from the University of Southern California.read less
Stefanie GardenAccount Executive
Stefanie Garden is a communications strategist specializing in issue advocacy as well as government and public affairs. Prior to joining Griffin Schein, Stefanie worked at Winner & Associates where she managed accounts for Fortune 500 companies with strategic planning, research and analysis, media relations and community outreach.
Stefanie has more than a decade of combined communications experience that includes journalism, media relations, public diplomacy and providing strategic communications counsel. Stefanie spent several years in the Middle East where she helped found and run the Center for International Communication (CIC) at Bar-Ilan University in Israel. As the CIC’s Assistant Director she was instrumental in developing their Diplomat Communications Training Program as well as a variety of student advocacy seminars and workshops. She also spent several years as Director of Media Relations for the Consulate General of Israel in Los Angeles where she was charged with all aspects of government communications including writing and delivering speeches, media monitoring and analysis and working closely with dignitaries on key issues and developments. As a journalist, Stefanie authored a weekly column on Middle Eastern public diplomacy for The Jerusalem Post and also served as the paper’s News Production Manager.
Stefanie holds a Master’s degree in Public Diplomacy from the University of Southern California and a Bachelor’s degree in International Security and Conflict Resolution from San Diego State University.read less
David CherryAccount Executive
David Cherry is an experienced media and political strategist who specializes in creating dynamic social advocacy campaigns that enable clients to achieve their policy and communications objectives. He has worked as a Communications Director in Congress, an environmental advocate and as a news reporter and producer. David is an expert in strategic messaging and campaign branding and a seasoned storyteller who crafts compelling narratives that capture the public’s attention and generate extensive coverage in the media and digital landscape.
As a member of the Griffin|Schein team, David utilizes press and social media outreach to promote the innovative public health efforts of The California Endowment and the mission of Sandy Hook Promise, the foundation established to honor the memory of those killed in the Newtown, Connecticut tragedy and to support the families of those who were lost of injured.
David began his career as a news reporter and producer in Las Vegas before moving to Washington, D.C. where he worked for nearly 15 years on Capitol Hill, serving as a Press Secretary to U.S. Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid and as Communications Director to U.S. Representative Shelley Berkley. His background includes working as a Media Director for the Environmental Defense Fund (EDF), as a spokesman on multiple Congressional campaigns and for a state political party.
David has extensive experience in health care reform, energy policy, environmental regulation, international relations, veterans’ care, transportation and infrastructure, travel and tourism, and expanding educational opportunities for students of all ages.
A native Nevadan, David graduated from the University of Nevada-Las Vegas, where he earned a Bachelor’s degree from the Greenspun School of Communications.
Kacey BonnerSenior Account Associate
Kacey Bonner specializes in strategic relationship management with an emphasis on issue advocacy in the areas of education and health. She has extensive experience in K-12 education, research, project management, and community outreach.
Previously, Kacey served as Science Officer at the British Consulate-General where she was responsible for building strategic academic partnerships between the US and UK. Her work resulted in the creation of new programs of activity in K-12 education technology and global health. In addition, she was responsible for facilitating partnerships that drove joint funding efforts and faculty and student exchanges between the US and UK in priority research areas. Kacey’s expertise in relationship management also includes community engagement, which helped to build a membership base of over 1500 at Educators 4 Excellence, Los Angeles.
Kacey’s passion in the social impact space began with her work as a high school science teacher in some of Los Angeles’s toughest schools. Working with minority and low-income children, she consistently provided underserved students with high quality educational experiences. There, her desire to see better opportunities for her students drove her to become an outspoken advocate for students and progressive action to drive change in public education.
At Griffin|Schein, Kacey continues to follow her passion for social change by supporting outreach efforts and communications for Students Matter and strategy development for the 11th Hour Project and their campaign to end the country’s reliance on fossil fuels.
Kacey is a California native and holds a Bachelor of Science in Biological Sciences from Cornell University.read less
Jessica GelzerSenior Account Associate
Jessica Gelzer provides Griffin|Schein clients with a broad range of communications support, including media relations, strategic messaging, campaign development, social media engagement, and event planning. Jessica takes pride in assisting organizations craft a unique voice that elevates their work and advances progressive policy outcomes.
Fueled by a passion for equitable health advocacy, Jessica currently works with The California Endowment to advance their Health Happens Here campaign. She supports a variety of The Endowment’s health-related awareness efforts and has a proven track record of placing media coverage and executing events with high-profile participants. Jessica also leads communications efforts for Charles R. Drew University of Medicine and Science, a mission-driven University dedicated to transforming the lives of underserved communities. Additionally, she works with the Los Angeles River Revitalization Corporation on their Greenway 2020 campaign to connect all 51 miles of the Los Angeles River from the San Fernando Valley to Long Beach. Her work on the campaign includes building a campaign narrative, media relations and coalition building.
Jessica’s previous experience in public policy research informs her current strategic planning work. Prior to joining Griffin|Schein, Jessica facilitated projects at the Los Angeles Department of City Planning and provided policy consultation to the City of West Hollywood’s Department of Rent Stabilization and Housing. Jessica also worked with the Urban and Environmental Policy Institute to advance equitable food access, progressive transportation planning, and the smart growth of the goods movement in Southern California. In addition to her policy work, Jessica planned an annual Journalism Conference at Campus Progress, a division of the Center for American Progress.
A proud Los Angeles native, Jessica graduated Phi Beta Kappa from Occidental College with a degree in Urban and Environmental Policy, completing an honors thesis on gender equality in the green economy.read less
Jaclyn MatthewsAccount Associate
Jaclyn provides strategic planning and communications, social media management, and applied research skills for Griffin|Schein to enhance the positive impact of clients’ campaigns. Through her work on the Students Matter litigation-based campaign, Jaclyn has developed extensive knowledge of the national and California-specific education reform landscapes, as well as an in-depth understanding of leveraging new and social media to connect with other thought-leaders in an issue space.
Prior to joining Griffin|Schein, Jaclyn worked at the University of Southern California’s Jesse M. Unruh Institute of Politics, where she prepared content for and managed the Institute’s website and helped the Institute maintain dynamic and positive relationships with visiting politicians and politicos in order to engage the student body in the political sphere of California. She also previously worked as a legislative intern in the Washington, D.C., office of U.S. Senator Kirsten Gillibrand, where she conducted research to assist the legislative team in drafting bills and participated in the planning of the Senator’s landmark women’s economic development conference. As an intern in the press office of Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa, she helped prepare the Mayor for media events and inform the Los Angeles community of the Mayor’s work reforming K-12 education, reducing gang violence, and increasing public use of alternative modes of transportation.
Jaclyn graduated with a B.A. in Public Relations from the Annenberg School of Communication and Journalism at the University of Southern California and a B.A. in Gender Studies from the USC Dornsife College of Letters, Arts and Sciences. Jaclyn originally hails from Lafayette, LA.read less
Jackie PomeroyAccount Associate
Jackie contributes a background in research, policy analysis, and nonprofit management. She applies her knowledge of trends in the social impact space and experience with project management to provide comprehensive support to our clients’ campaigns.
Jackie is deeply committed to education as a tool to improve quality of life. Before joining Griffin|Schein, Jackie interned with Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa’s Office of Education where she informed the Mayor’s strategic goals in education through policy memos and issue briefings. Her senior thesis focused on reform efforts at Los Angeles Unified School District, which introduced her to the political context of education policy in California. As a graduate student, she worked with the California State Library to conduct original research on the impacts of discipline policies on children in California’s charter schools.
Her experience engaging the public on important policy issues includes an internship with League of Women Voters where she provided voter outreach and education services prior to the 2012 election. She also helped coordinate events to promote dialogue around the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change and co-authored a chapter on efforts to address global warming through informed citizen deliberation.
Jackie graduated with a B.A. in Public Policy Analysis and Politics from Pomona College. She recently earned a Master’s degree in Public Policy from the University of Southern California. Before moving to Los Angeles, Jackie lived in Florida, New Jersey and Colorado.read less
Nick DodaniAccount Associate
Nick brings experience in strategic research, program development, and grassroots community engagement. Fueled by a passion for equity and social justice, particularly in the area of public health, Nick utilizes these skills to advance the objectives of our clients.
Prior to joining Griffin|Schein, Nick worked on Elizabeth Warren’s successful senate campaign in Boston, Massachusetts. There, he was involved in the strategic design and dissemination of promotional materials both online and in print. Nick also assisted the Deputy Campaign Manager to plan and execute large-scale rallies, and mobilize college-aged voters with the campaign’s grassroots Youth Vote Team.
Previously, Nick served as the Community Outreach Coordinator of the Lower Ninth Ward Living Museum in New Orleans, LA, an organization that seeks to promote community empowerment through story telling and advocacy. As Community Outreach Coordinator, Nick designed and executed a comprehensive outreach campaign to shape the public profile of the museum in the Lower Ninth Ward. Nick also oversaw the collection of oral histories from residents of the community through audio and video interviews.
Nick is currently pursuing a B.A. in Politics from Occidental College in Los Angeles, where he has been actively involved in organizations such as Vote for Equality, Queer-Straight Alliance, CatAList TV, Telefund, and the South Asian Student Association.read less
Amy JasperAccount Associate
Amy brings expertise in social media, public policy, and a broad range of civil rights issues including the school-to-prison pipeline, immigration reform, education reform, religious freedom, and local corruption.
Prior to joining Griffin|Schein, Amy served as the social media and communications coordinator for The Broad Foundation’s education work, where she produced a video on The Broad Prize for Urban Education that was promoted by the United States Department of Education. As the online media manager of the American Civil Liberties Union of Southern California, she managed a complete website redesign that led to significant increases in user engagement while tripling the organization’s Facebook and Twitter followings. Amy managed a volunteer production team to produce videos for fundraising events and social media campaigns, resulting in 70,000 new YouTube views and promotion by Upworthy.com.
As a Fulbright Scholarship English Teaching Assistant, she taught research and writing skills at the University of Nicosia as well as speaking skills at a secondary school in the de facto Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus. She also taught a free SAT prep course to Cypriot students aspiring to study in the United States.
Amy previously served as a paid intern at the Institute of International & European Affairs in Dublin, Ireland. She wrote policy and personnel briefs for events featuring global and EU policy experts, including UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-Moon. She contributed to drafting press releases on in-house events and policies related to Treaty of Lisbon, helped create online promotional materials, and maintained the organization’s website.
Amy graduated with a B.A. in Political Studies from Pitzer College. She was born and raised in Mission Viejo, California.read less