Sam Myers

President

Sam Myers, Jr. is the President of Direct Impact, the nation’s leading grassroots public affairs agency and a part of the BCW Group. Sam leads a DC based public affairs team and a nationwide network of local public affairs executives in every community across the US, who focus on issue advocacy, reputation management, marketing and communication for clients.

Sam brings to Direct Impact a unique understanding of the power of grassroots and localized messaging. He has built coalitions in hundreds of communities across the United States around the policies and ideals of six presidential campaigns, three presidential administrations and advocacy organizations spanning commerce, technology, education, healthcare, defense and aerospace. Throughout his 25 years in politics and public affairs, Sam has credited meeting people where live their lives, armed with a deep understanding of the factors that define who they are, as central to every winning campaign.​

Sam’s work in the Obama administration helped put in place policies that increased investments in teachers, new skills training, job creation and economic growth. Much of that success came from going to places like Macomb Community College with President Barack Obama, Selma, Alabama with Education Secretary Arne Duncan and the 92nd St Y with Vice President Joe Biden to locally frame why these policies mattered to people, in their communities.

After the Obama Administration, Sam led partnerships and development for Brooklyn-based Huge, Inc, developing thought leadership dialogues around autonomous vehicles, the future of work, space exploration and the empowerment of women and girls, focusing heavily on how outcomes affect people. Sam grew up in a rural farm community in Northeast Missouri and has lived in the Washington, DC area since 1995. He and his family currently live in Arlington, VA.

Hometown Newspaper: The Edina Sentinel

Robert Beaird

Senior Project Manager

With over 30,000 Twitter followers, you can say Rob is our resident social media expert. The Texas native credits his success to his first-hand knowledge of local media after years working in the Dallas-area industry.

Hometown Newspaper: The Dallas Morning-News

Sarah Blauner

Project Manager

Sarah Blauner is a Project Manager at Direct Impact. In her role, Sarah helps to implement and manage corporate reputation and issue advocacy campaigns at the local level. She utilizes her background in research and strategic communications to support a wide range of clients across the corporate and public spheres. A native New Yorker, Sarah lives and works in the Big Apple.

Hometown Newspaper: The Journal News

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Sloane Whelan

Vice President

As a Vice President at Direct Impact and in her 12 years of experience, Sloane has navigated healthcare, finance, telecommunications, and non-profit clients through some of their most difficult issues. Prior to joining the team, Sloane worked on President Obama’s 2012 re-election bid and served as spokesperson and chief lobbyist for Planned Parenthood in South Carolina. And most recently, she worked at KO Public Affairs in Maryland where she was on the frontlines of some of the state’s largest policy issues. Known for her thoughtful client counsel and targeted strategies, Sloane brings her multifaceted background in politics, policy, and strategic communications to all her client work at Direct Impact.

Hometown Newspaper: The Barrington Times

Zoe Stoenner
Zoe Stoenner

Project Manager

Zoe has honed her public relations skills through events, influencer management and media relations across a wide range of corporate sectors — making her an expert at engaging consumer audiences to shape brand recognition at the grassroots level. As a new plant mom, she hopes to soon be an expert of succulent care while strengthening her propagation of prose.

Hometown Newspaper:The New York Times

Amy Cloessner

Executive Vice President

Amy Cloessner has over 18 years of grassroots and communications experience, designing and executing local public relations and public affairs campaigns across the U.S. As Executive Vice President / Managing Director of BCW’s grassroots team Direct Impact, Amy has served as the grassroots senior strategist for Fortune 100 companies, associations and nonprofits spanning a wide range of issues and industries, such as healthcare, financial services and automotive. Leading a nationwide field network, she currently serves as the senior strategist for a local media and communications program covering 92 markets across the US. She is a graduate of Louisiana State University and The Columbus School of Law.

Hometown Newspaper: The Advocate

Michael DeFilippis

Vice President

This PRSA Pro knows the ins and outs of The District like the back of his hand. Mike’s penchant for all things public affairs make him a key asset to all his client teams.

Hometown Newspaper: The Journal News

Joshua Hill

Project Manager

Josh joined DI shortly after graduating from college and is excited to work in grassroots communications and support projects from a wide range of clients, bringing previous experiences in public service and strategic communications with him. In his free time, you can find Josh out and about, trying new foods and exploring D.C. with friends.

Hometown Newspaper: Democrat & Chronicle

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Abby Wills

Assistant Project Manager

After graduating from the University of Texas at Austin, Abby Wills headed east to the nation’s capital – just in time for the Stanley Cup and World Series wins. Abby leverages her experience in content creation and media relations to engage audiences on behalf of major brands at the local level. As a former Austinite, she brings her love of live music to the District and is a go-to resource for upcoming concerts and shows in the area.

Hometown Newspaper: The Dallas Morning News

Kathy Jeavons

Executive Vice President / Chief Operating Officer

Kathy leads key client accounts and support business development for the firm. She is a demonstrated leader in developing and leading multifaceted national and international public affairs, issue advocacy and reputation campaigns.

Hometown Newspaper: The Cleveland Plain Dealer

Danielle Kanter

Project Manager

With a strong political background, Danielle understands the power of a successful grassroots campaign to make effective change. Her passion for international relations and public affairs has led her to work with a variety of clients, from foreign governments to major transportation and infrastructure projects. Danielle was a member of the Harold Burson Summer Intern program before joining the DI team in 2017.

Hometown Newspaper: The Boston Globe

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Elizabeth Bonnie

Assistant Project Manager

With a background in content creation, project management and public relations, Elizabeth brings a distinctly creative and organized approach to managing reputation campaigns, community relations and media outreach on behalf of major corporations at the local level. Shortly after graduating from the University of Georgia in 2018, Elizabeth moved from Atlanta to D.C. and joined the DI team.

Hometown Newspaper:Atlanta Journal-Constitution

Kunal Khosla

Vice President

Kunal brings more than 7 years of experience in public affairs to Direct Impact, specializing in grassroots mobilization, coalition building, message development, and issues management. He works closely with DI’s field network on multi-market client programs. A native of the Washington, D.C. area, Kunal attended the George Washington University. He is a world traveler in his free time, having recently explored Thailand and Myanmar on his honeymoon.

Hometown Newspaper: The Washington Post

Heidi Lifson

Senior Vice President

Heidi manages client budget operations for the firm’s largest accounts and supports DI’s new business efforts. She is integral to the development of DI’s nationwide field network, among other operational responsibilities.

Hometown Newspaper: The Journal News

Mike Mullen

Project Manager

Mike’s collaborative nature and optimistic attitude makes him a great teammate in the office.  He serves his clients with a mix of reliability and humor. Although he now sits in the New York office, Mike’s nine years living in Washington helped hone his political senses and love of public affairs.

Hometown Newspaper: The Newark Star-Ledger

Vincent Price

Managing Director – Finance

In his role as finance director, Vince is responsible for the office P&L, including quarterly budgeting and planning, and monthly reporting to Burson-Marsteller. Additionally, Vince is responsible for client contracting, client billing, accounts receivable and revenue forecasting.

Hometown Newspaper: The Capital Gazette

Nick Rourke

Senior Project Manager

Getting his start on D.C.’s K Street, Nick brings a deep understanding of the legislative and regulatory playing field to Direct Impact and its clients. He has worked on issues focused on transportation, healthcare, energy, technology, and financial services. Having run successful grassroots and grasstops campaigns at the local and national level, he brings expertise on a plethora of issues – successfully leading clients campaigns across the country. Prior to joining Direct Impact, Nick lead mid-level M&A transactions for Fortune 500 clients.

Hometown Newspaper: The Wilmington Star

Mark Walker

Senior Financial Administrator

Mark is an experienced Finance Administrator with a history of working in the public relations and communications industry.  He has a Bachelor of Business Administration (B.B.A.) focused in Business Administration, Finance and Management from St. Petersburg College.

Hometown Newspaper: The Tampa Bay Times

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Sam Wolde

Financial Administrator

Sam Wolde has been working as a Financial Administrator at Direct Impact for the past eight years, dong things like billing and tracking budget. Sam loves music and is currently  learning how to operate a sound system mixer for large events.

Hometown Newspaper: The Alexandria Times

Tal Woliner

Senior Vice President

A native of Southern California, Tal left the palm trees and beautiful weather for a career in public affairs, working on high-profile campaigns across a wide variety of industries. To make Tal feel at home, the LA traffic followed her to Washington, D.C. Tal loves exploring Virginia wine country is also a sports enthusiast and four-time fantasy football co-winner, much to her husband’s chagrin.

Hometown Newspaper: The Thousand Oaks Acorn

Imani Elam
Imani Elam

Executive Assistant

Imani Elam serves as the Executive Assistant to DI President Sam Myers as well as an Assistant Account Executive on the Direct Impact Team. Always eager to do more, she also provides support across projects for multiple clients as well as co-leads BCW’s DC Chapter of AAER (African American Employee Resource Group), helping to develop resources and create events for members to feel supported and stay connected.

Hometown Newspaper: Washington Post

Briana Huxley
Briana Huxley

Senior Project Manager

Briana Huxley is a Senior Project Manager at Direct Impact, with over eight years of grassroots and communications experience. In true DC fashion, Briana has lived in Maryland, the District, and most recently, Virginia. A Massachusetts native, she can point anyone to the nearest Dunkin’.

Hometown Newspaper: The Enterprise

Julia Jaramillo
Julia Jaramillo

Assistant Project Manager

Julia leverages her curiosity and tenacity across various sectors — including financial services, energy and healthcare — to manage clients’ reputations and help major brands connect with target audiences at a hyperlocal level. After graduating from San Diego State University, Julia began her career as an intern with Burson-Marsteller in New York, joining Direct Impact and BCW Global in D.C. in 2018. An English major at heart, Julia is passionate about creative writing and will also gladly argue the pros and cons of the serial comma.

Hometown Newspaper:Los Angeles Times

Sierra KaiKai

Financial Analyst

Native Washingtonian and University of Connecticut alumni. Sierra holds a bachelor’s degree in Economics and Public Policy minor. Before joining the Direct Impact finance team, Sierra has worked in the banking, law and government contracting industries providing analytical and financial expertise on various projects focused in the healthcare, defense, banking and legal sectors. In her spare time, Sierra enjoys indoor bouldering, training for obstacle course races and crafting with her family.

Hometown Newspaper:Washington Post

Stephanie Kundert

Senior Project Manager

A native Wisconsinite, Stephanie has 15 years of experience ranging from Capitol Hill to the Wisconsin legislature to managing several political and public affairs campaigns at the state and national levels. This includes a successful legislative campaign in a district that is home to the historic Lambeau Field. When she’s not focused on securing victories for her clients, Stephanie enjoys cheering the Brewers, Packers and Badgers onto victories.

Hometown Newspaper: The Independent Register

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Frank Lentini

Senior Vice President

Frank Lentini is a Senior Vice President at Direct Impact based in New York. He has over a decade of experience leading communications and marketing programs for complex clients in the energy, insurance, financial services, and consulting sectors. Prior to working at Direct Impact, Frank was at Edelman leading a team supporting companies including Verisk, a leading insurance data company which includes Wood Mackenzie and PowerAdvocate among its portfolio companies, and asset managers with funds aligned to the energy sector. A Fordham University alum, he lives in Brooklyn with his wife and a rambunctious toddler.

Hometown Newspaper: New York Post