Spitfire Strategies

Kerry Leslie

Senior Account Manager

A passionate advocate for environmental and social health and justice, Kerry uses her research savvy, imagination and keen editor’s eye to help her clients spark social change. Her previous experience working with Spanish-speaking children and their families at Family Building Blocks in Oregon, taught her that creativity and thinking outside the box are essential for good communication.

Kerry loves serving as a liaison for clients and keeps projects moving forward through her professionalism and responsiveness. Often she dives in to organizations’ communication teams as a surrogate member, from groups like The California Wellness Foundation, to the Walton Family Foundation’s Environment program and the Better Together: California Teachers Summit coalition. Both in these honorary roles and as a trusted outside partner, she helps foundations and nonprofits weave their messages into emotional and compelling – and occasionally spunky – stories and social media posts.

A researcher at her roots, Kerry has a knack for distilling coherent themes from the maze of media and online discussions, stakeholder interviews, and clients’ own materials on issues from public health to economic and social inequality, environmental advocacy, and reproductive rights in the U.S. and abroad. With this skill, she has created thorough landscape analyses and strategic recommendations to support campaigns and messaging for organizations like AAPIP, Colorado Opportunity Project and The Packard Foundation’s Population and Reproductive Health grantees. She has also used her deft research skills to co-produced robust analyses of foundations’ stakeholder perceptions and visions around international stewardship in the Gulf of Mexico and nation-wide environmental justice challenges.

Kerry also uses her digital smarts to help clients amplify their message and impact by being smart online communicators – from crafting and implementing a powerful social and digital strategy for the California Teachers Summit team two years in a row to coaching state health care advocacy groups on how to use social media to tap into and connect with hard-to-reach communities. She continually supports clients and her colleagues by providing counsel on digital and social media strategy and analysis. And to satiate her own constant curiosity and help her fellow Spitfires and clients stay up on the latest, she also blogs on current digital trends.

moreless about Kerry

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The same week I started Spitfire in 2002, Chris DeCardy – my mentor and the first person to hire me many years earlier – asked if I could write up a memo about how to do communication planning. No problem! I told him I’d have it to him by the… (read more)

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Spitfire’s special sauce is its people. They are tremendously talented and committed. We know they would never brag about themselves, so we are going to do it for them. This occasional series gives you a chance to get to know the people of Spitfire better. Enjoy. Standing Up for Communities… (read more)

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