Spitfire Strategies

Spitfire Continues to Grow

Spitfire continues to add new talent to its staff roster and is proud to welcome Michael Cole-Schwartz, Jenny Kern and Alexandra Roose.

Michael Cole-Schwartz joins Spitfire as a director with more than a dozen years of experience on the front lines of the movement for LGBT equality. Most recently as the Human Rights Campaign’s director of communications, he was involved in the strategy and implementation of campaigns to repeal “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell,” expand the number of states with marriage equality and pass the Employment Non-Discrimination Act for the first time ever in the U.S. Senate. In other roles, Michael was the director of new media at HRC, bringing his public relations experience to bear on how the organization interacted with online communities. His work included editing the organization’s blog, working with other bloggers and citizen journalists to advance LGBT issues, and managing HRC’s state-of-the-art in-house media center. He also worked on the press team focusing on local markets, which brought him to dozens of states — everywhere from church basements in Topeka, Kansas, to the steps of the Supreme Judicial Court in Boston. He was also the founding producer and on-air correspondent of “The Agenda with Joe Solmonese” — HRC’s weekly live show that aired on XM Satellite Radio. Michael’s previous experience also includes time at the U.S. Embassy to Belgium and the U.S. House of Representatives.  He holds a bachelor’s degree in political science from American University and lives in Washington, D.C., with his husband Steven and their dog Gary.

Jenny Kern joins Spitfire as a Director. She brings to Spitfire a decade of experience in strategic communication, nonprofit advocacy, politics and public affairs, working on issues ranging from education to the environment to public health to criminal justice reform. Prior to joining Spitfire, she was a senior strategist at the communication firm PR & Company, where she directed major accounts such as Early Edge California, the Partnership for Children and Youth and the California PTA. Jenny cut her teeth at the Drug Policy Alliance, serving as the organization’s lead spokesperson on youth policy. She developed the organization’s policies on drug education and prevention, juvenile justice, school discipline and child welfare. Jenny is a San Francisco native and graduate of the Coro Fellows Program in Public Affairs.

Spitfire’s newest Senior Account Executive Alexandra Roose brings a dual perspective to Spitfire, having worked for both a large nonprofit organization and a public relations firm. She’s using her writing skills, project management expertise and digital savvy to support many of our clients, including the Mozilla Foundation and the Walton Family Foundation. Prior to joining the Spitfire team, Alexandra led outreach efforts for several U.S. Department of Education entities at Hager Sharp, from the National Assessment of Educational Progress to the Program for International Student Assessment. She also worked in the internal communication department at the Annie E. Casey Foundation, where she supported multiple welfare, equity and community change projects.

“This has been a tremendous eye opener. It shows us how to pull the aspects of communications skills, from the message, to the audience. It forced us to identify our strengths and our weaknesses in an effort to become more strategic in how we prepare our messages and communicate them.”

- Training Participant

Decolonizing Narratives and Communicating Justice: Spitfire at ComNet19

Mike Carter-Conneen

By Mike Carter-Conneen
Director

  At the Communications Network Annual Conference in Austin, Texas, Spitfire Strategies was proud to host a breakout session called “Decolonizing Narratives: Authentic Messaging, Ceding Control and Reckoning with Reality.” The panel, moderated by Spitfire Director Nima Shirazi, explored the blind spots of communication professionals, the problematic choices we can… (read more)

Spitfire’s 17th Season: Leading an Evolution

Kristen Grimm

By Kristen Grimm
President

  2002. It was a big year. George W. Bush came up with the term “Axis of Evil.” Serena Williams won her first single’s title at Wimbledon. American Idol premiered and MTV unleashed “The Osbournes” reality show. I also started my own reality series – Spitfire Strategies. It is in… (read more)

Making Your Pitches Count: Tips for Top-Notch Media Pitching Part Three

Hannah Ross

By Hannah Ross
Senior Account Executive

  Communication professionals are no strangers to the challenges that journalists are facing today, from the demands of the 24-hour news cycle to budget shortfalls and understaffed newsrooms. We respect them for their tenacity and commitment to uncovering the truth, and we value being able to build relationships with them… (read more)

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