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Board of Directors

The 2013 - 2015 Democratic GAIN Board of Directors:

Amy Prichard, President & Founder

Rodell Mollineau, Board Chair

Seth Johnson, Secretary Treasurer 

Alexandra Acker-Lyons

Georgie Aguirre-Sacasa 

Michael Bassik

Jeremy Bird

Matt Blizek

Brandon Davis

Alix Dejean

Amy Kurtz

Mary Rickles

Simone Ward

Jessica Weinstein

 


Amy Prichard, President & Founder

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Amy Pritchard is a Progressive Democratic Political Consultant and entrepreneur.For more than 25 years she has worked full time on political and issue advocacy campaigns on the ground in 28 states and for clients in 20 others in the US. Internationally she has work in on programs for the National Democratic Institute (NDI) in Kosovo, Thailand (Burma program), Iraq, Rwanda, and most recently in Egypt where she ran a voter education program around the 2011-2012 Parliamentary Elections. Pritchard spends the majority of her time working for Mission Control,a political communications, voter contact and new media firm that works with Democratic candidates, party committees, initiative and referendum campaigns, trade associations, labor unions and public interest groups. She joined "TheMCTeam" in 2007 and opened their DC office. AP Campaigns is Pritchard's general political consulting firm for progressive non-profits and partisan organizations. She is also a partner at Digital Turf - a consulting firm that provides website development, digital strategy and online advertising for Democratic and Progressive Campaigns and Organizations. With Mission Control she provides consulting services to a diverse variety of clients like AFSCMEAFL-CIO and Working AmericaSEIU, UFCW, Change to Win, America Votes, EMILY’s ListMichigan Coalition for ProgressUS Action, several ballot measure campaigns and many Democratic candidates and party organizations. Pritchard is the founder of Democratic GAIN. As a active board President, she volunteers with GAIN though raising money, developing program, expanding membership, training, and one on one career counseling for its members (check out her Ohours).

 


Rodell Mollineau, Board Chair

Mollineau is a political strategist who has developed national message campaigns and lead high-level communications operations across the country. He is a veteran of Senate and Presidential elections, as well as state government and Capitol Hill. As a former senior aide to Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid he directed the long-term message development and rapid response operations of the Senate Democratic Caucus and worked closely with the White House, House Leadership and members of the progressive community to coordinate communications strategy.

Most recently, Mollineau built and led the overall efforts of the research and tracking Super PAC, American Bridge 21st Century were he served as its president for the last three years. He is a native of Ramsey, New Jersey and a graduate of the University of Dayton.


Seth Johnson, Secretary Treasurer

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Seth Johnson serves the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees (AFSCME) as an Assistant Director of Political Action, overseeing the department’s political communications, research, financial and compliance functions and running the unions Independent Expenditure programs. In the 2008 cycle, Seth was loaned to America Votes, where he served as the progressive coalition’s National Field Director. Since joining AFSCME’s political shop in 1999, Seth has run campaigns for the union in more than a dozen states, and spent two years managing the International Union’s political and legislative program in Maryland. In his younger days, Seth worked as a budget, tax and intergovernmental finance analyst in AFSCME’s Public Policy Department, for the Texas State Comptroller of Public Accounts, at the U.S. House Committee on the Budget and for Federal Funds Information for States (a joint project of the NGA and NCSL). Seth holds a master’s degree in public policy from the University of Michigan and a bachelor’s degree in government from Cornell University. He lives in Washington, DC with his wife Kate and their Washington Humane Society rescue dogs Nessie and Sam.

 


Alexandra Acker-Lyons

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Over the past 10 years, Alexandra Acker-Lyons has worked for candidates and campaigns, party committees, and progressive organizations, with an emphasis on youth politics. She was recently honored with the 40 under 40 National Advocacy Award from the New Leaders Council.

Alexandra is a recognized political commentator and appears regularly on CNN, Fox News, and in numerous national print publications. Currently, Alexandra is the Director of the Youth Engagement Fund, a collaborative project of the Democracy Alliance and civic engagement foundations. She is also President and Founder of AL Advising, with clients including Share Our Strength's No Kid Hungry campaign, Maria Shriver’s Open Field Foundation, and Rappaport Family Foundation. She also travels internationally as a trainer for the National Democratic Institute. In 2012, Alexandra published The Political Ladder: Insider Tips on Getting a Job in Politics.

Alexandra’s expertise in youth politics culminated during the 2008 election cycle, when she served as Executive Director of the Young Democrats of America, the nation's largest youth-led partisan organization. In 2004, Alexandra served the National Youth Outreach Director for the John Kerry for President Campaign and the Democratic National Committee. As the Campus Outreach Manager for Planned Parenthood Federation of America from 2003 to 2004, Alexandra worked with PPFA affiliates across the country on campus organizing for public policy initiatives. Alexandra was elected the national Vice-President of the College Democrats of America in 1999 and served as that organization’s female representative to the Democratic National Committee.

From 2009-2010, Alexandra served as the Executive Director of Democratic GAIN, overseeing the professional organization for political operatives. She previously worked for GAIN as Training Director in 2005. She has also managed the National Campaign for Fair Elections, a project of the Lawyers' Committee for Civil Rights, working on state-based election reform issues. During the 2002 election cycle, Alexandra worked at the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee as the Assistant to the Chair, Rep. Nita M. Lowey. She joined the DCCC after working for Rep. Lowey on her congressional staff.

Alexandra currently serves on the Board of the Bus Federation, Democratic GAIN, and New Leaders Council. 

Alexandra graduated magna cum laude from the State University of New York at Binghamton in 2000 with a B.A. in political science.  She is a native of Nyack, NY, has lived in Washington, DC and Philadelphia, PA, and currently lives in Palo Alto, CA with her husband and two cats.

 


Georgie Aguirre-Sacasa

Georgie has most recently served as the Chief of Staff for America Votes. In conjunction with the President and Executive Director of America Votes she helps manage a diverse coalition of the leading national progressive organizations while coordinating independent electoral activity through each election cycle.

Prior to joining America Votes, Georgie served as the Human Rights Campaign Regional Field Director for the southwest. While at HRC she spearheaded membership mobilization in targeted Congressional and Legislative races in AZ, NM, CA and NV. During the 2008 primary season, she organized the GLBT community in the Nevada caucuses.

Georgie has also served as political and regional director for the Arizona Democratic Coordinated Campaign in 2004, helping to develop early-vote and vote-by-mail programs, as well as managing statewide political outreach on behalf of the Kerry/Edwards campaign. Before heading to Arizona, Aguirre-Sacasa was the deputy political director for Sen. John Edwards' political action committee. She also served as the director of national Hispanic/Latino outreach for the Edwards for President Campaign, where she organized grassroots Hispanic/Latino activity in Arizona, California, New Mexico, New York, Texas and Virginia.

Georgie and her wife reside in Denver, CO with their twin baby girl and boy, Gabriela and Joaquin, and their dog Jackson.

 


Michael Bassik

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Michael Bassik joined MDC Partners in 2014 as Managing Director and President of Digital Operations. In this role, Michael is responsible for partnering with MDC’s highly awarded strategic communications firms to support their growth and development, and supporting MDC’s network of firms in all areas of digital partnerships and strategy. Prior to joining MDC Partners, Michael served as Managing Director and Chairman of Burson-Marsteller’s US Digital Practice, as well as CEO of its full-service integrated marketing and advertising firm, Proof Integrated Communications. Before joining the WPP group of agencies in 2011, Michael co-founded DSPolitical, a leading digital political advertising network. He previously served as Senior Vice President of Global Strategy Group, Chief Digital Officer of Air America Media, and Vice President of MSHC Partners where he built and managed the nation’s first Democratic online political marketing agency, attracting high-profile clients including John Kerry for President, Hillary Clinton for President, MoveOn.org and the United Nations Foundation. Michael brings over 14 years of significant experience driving award-winning, global digital media programs to MDC Partners. An accomplished digital strategist and leader, Michael has worked with such high-profile clients as Intel, Ford, Bank of America, Coca-Cola, HP, IBM and the Democratic National Committee, and been honored numerous times including being named one of Advertising Age’s “40 Under 40” in 2014 and “PRWeek’s “40 Under 40” in 2013.

 


Jeremy Bird

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Jeremy Bird is a founding partner at 270 Strategies and a longtime grassroots organizer with broad experience across domestic and international politics, labor, and policy. He helped launch 270 Strategies after serving as the National Field Director for the 2012 re-election campaign of President Barack Obama, where he was responsible for building a nationwide army of staff and volunteer organizers. Dubbed the campaign's "Field General" by Rolling Stone magazine, Jeremy was listed among "The Obama Campaign's Real Heroes" and has been cited as "a former Harvard divinity student who took to political organizing as though it were his higher calling." He is credited with helping establish a ground game and turnout machine that in 2012 "reproduced - through brute force, dedication and will - a turnout in the swing states that in some cases bested the campaign's remarkable performance of four years ago." In 2013, he was featured in Fortune magazine's "40 Under 40" list, which highlights 40 people under the age of 40 the magazine considers to be the most influential executives and "the year's most important young innovators, risk-takers, and rule-breakers in business.

 


Matt Blizek

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Matt managed his first campaign at the age of 19 and has never stopped organizing. At 33, he is a nationally known progressive organizer with experience in field, fundraising, training and online organizing for numerous campaigns and organizations including MoveOn.org, Democracy for America, PCCC, Rebuild the Dream, Credo and dozens of electoral campaigns.

Training and supporting grassroots organizers has always been a passion. He has created major training programs for multiple organizations & campaigns and has trained thousands of progressive activists, staff and candidates. He also serves on the boards of directors for Democratic GAIN & Chicago Votes.

For the last year Matt has worked as a Campaign Director for MoveOn.org, helping pioneer a new cutting-edge distributed online organizing strategy.

Matt currently lives and works in Chicago and currently is the Electoral Field Director at MoveOn.org.

 


Brandon Davis

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Brandon L. Davis is the National Political Director for the Service Employees International Union (SEIU), the nation’s fastest growing union with 2.1 million members in the healthcare field, the public sector and property services. In this capacity, Brandon leads one of the nation’s largest political programs dedicated to winning for working families, and is tasked with developing and implementing a national member focused and member driven campaign to win key 2012 elections while building permanent political infrastructure in the field that will lead to real policy change for working families in 2013 and beyond.

SEIU’s political and electoral program is focused on advancing the major issue areas of a winning agenda for working families and the 99%: good jobs; tax fairness; an end cuts to essential services like Medicare, Medicaid, and Social Security; and comprehensive immigration reform.

Before becoming the National Political Director, Brandon was the Deputy National Political Director for Member Engagement at SEIU and worked diligently on SEIU’s fight to win historic national healthcare reform.

Brandon joined SEIU in 2007 as the Political Director for SEIU’s Missouri State Council. Prior to joining SEIU, Brandon worked extensively on electoral campaigns, including Senator Claire McCaskill’s 2006 campaign, where he served as Political Director and Deputy Campaign Director.

Brandon lives the DC area with his wife Brandi and their daughter Bella.

 


Alix Dejean

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In 2010, Alix Dejean, an accomplished political and fundraising strategist, joined Dewey Square Group’s state and local affairs practice. Dejean provides strategic guidance to clients which build upon deep relationships with mayors, Congressional members, governors and other elected and community leaders across the country.

Prior to joining DSG, Dejean served as a principal consultant with the Dejean Group working with an array of non-profit, political, corporate and issue advocacy clients. From 2007 to 2009, Dejean served as the finance director for the African American Leadership Council (AALC). During his tenure, the AALC exceeded its fundraising goals as a result of Dejean’s oversight and strengthened ties to prominent African-American business and political leaders. He also served as the group’s liaison to the Congressional Black Caucus.

In 2005, Dejean joined the Democratic National Committee (DNC) as Southern Deputy Finance Director with a focus on developing a strong grassroots fundraising apparatus. Shortly thereafter he became the Northern Deputy Finance Director to help grow and develop donor relationships with the major donors in the region.

While with the DNC, Dejean cultivated and grew the party’s network of donors and built deep relationships with the political staff to U.S. Congressional Members and Senators. Previously, Dejean worked for the presidential campaign of Sen. John Kerry in Florida as a liaison to local-elected officials and a local director of the state’s get-out-the-vote effort.

Alix Dejean is a graduate of the College of Holy Cross in Worcester, Massachusetts, where he majored in Political Science with a minor in French and Africana studies. In addition, a board member of the Episcopal High School EHS The Promise Campaign, and the Jessie Banks Scholarship Foundation (NJ)

   


Amy Kurtz

Amy has more than 20 years of experiencing managing and consulting on campaigns across the country – both within and outside of advocacy organizations. Amy currently manages the independent expenditures for the National Education Association overseeing the state and federal public candidate campaigns for the 3 million member union. Her primary responsibility at NEA is working with national staff and state affiliates and on gubernatorial and legislative election strategies across the country.  Amy also works with the governance team coordinating the Federal PAC work for the association.

Prior to joining the NEA Amy worked in the conservation community managing independent expenditure and ballot campaigns across the country. At the League of Conservation Voters, Amy managed independent campaigns in more than a dozen congressional races in 2004. Amy also helped LCV play in the 2004 presidential and organized LCV’s June Presidential Debate on the Environment that cycle. Prior to joining the League of Conservation Voters Amy worked as a senior advisor for The Nature Conservancy helping secure more than 300 million dollars at the ballot in statewide and local conservation campaigns across the country. Additionally, Amy has extensive candidate campaign experience and has worked in New Jersey, Kentucky and Washington State on several winning races.

Amy is a 1991 graduate of George Washington University with a BA in political communication. She and her husband Joe have two, great, funny kids and live in DC.

 


Mary Rickles

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Mary Rickles is the Communications Director of Netroots Nation. She has a unique background in both traditional and new media, having worked as a reporter and with agencies, non-profits and corporate companies on projects ranging from brand development to community outreach.

She previously was communications director for Democracy for America and, in 2009, was named one of the New Leaders Council’s Top 40 Under 40 Emerging Leaders. Mary grew up in Alabama and now lives in San Francisco.

 


Simone Ward

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In 2007, Simone Ward joined the political department at EMILY’s List (EL). EMILY’s List is the largest political action committee in the country and works to elect pro-choice democratic women to office. Simone serves as a Senior Political Tracker working to identify, assess, and support federal races, works with the EMILY’s List Democratic National Convention Committee advisory team and investing in building diverse relationship for the organization.

Most recently, Ms. Ward served the Democratic National Committee (DNC) as the Deputy Executive Director for the American Majority Partnership (AMP). The AMP is a new department in Chairman’s Dean’s Administration which services our core constituencies groups including but not limited to African Americans, Women, Hispanics, and Asian Americans by researching and organizing around issue prioritized by those communities. Prior to that, Simone served as the Executive Director for Democratic GAIN, a national grassroots training and political placement program building infrastructure for the progressive community through political opportunities.

She served as the National Executive Director for the Young Democrats of America (YDA) and continues to be very committed to the inclusion of young people in the political process while finding innovative new ways to encourage participation. Formally, she served as the Democratic National Committee’s (DNC) youth coordinator and an adviser to the DNC Chairman for the Young Democrats of America. Additionally, Simone has served in the Finance Department for the Women’s Leadership Forum and a Special Assistant in the Office of Presidential Personnel at The White House under the Clinton Administration.

She has also served as an acting Board of Directors member for the Summer Time Area Reading Together (START) local literacy program, for underrepresented youth in Washington, DC she is able to provide mentoring relationships with underprivileged middle school students. Ms. Ward has been a guest speaker and is frequently asked to represent young African-American women by speaking on CNN, various radio programs, sitting on guest political panels, as well as visiting various community organizations. Ms. Ward received a B.A. in Political Science from the Oklahoma City University and is a candidate for the Master’s of Public Administration at American University. She was raised in Kansas City, Missouri. 

 


Jessica Weinstein

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Jessica Weinstein serves as Assistant to President Lee Saunders of the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees (AFSCME). In addition to advising the President, Jessica oversees the union's political independent expenditure efforts and the Next Wave program that promotes activism and leadership among younger members.

During the 2008 Presidential election, Jessica took a leave of absence to serve as Labor Director for Hillary Clinton in Pennsylvania and Indiana. During the General Election, she acted as Barack Obama’s Labor Vote Director at Pennsylvania for Change.

Prior to working in the Executive Office, Jessica worked as a Legislation and Field Specialist advocating for AFSCME members on a wide range of issues on Capitol Hill. She started her career at AFSCME in political action, where she served as the Deputy Political and Legislative Director for AFSCME NY and the Political and Legislative Director for AFSCME PA. 

Jessica holds a bachelor’s degree in political science from Millersville University in Pennsylvania. A native of Upper Darby, PA, she now resides with her partner Brian Beallor in Alexandria, VA. And, she still cheers for the Philadelphia Phillies.

 

 

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