Who We Are

Julianna Smoot


A co-founder and partner at STG, Julianna Smoot is widely regarded as one of the country’s top political operatives and the most successful fundraiser in political history.

Paul Tewes


Paul Tewes is well known as one the foremost political operatives in the country, having spent two decades developing and implementing successful candidate and issue campaigns across the country.

Brooke Bainum

Communications Associate

Brooke develops and executes strategic earned, paid, and social media campaigns at STG.

Joseph Calvello

Communications Associate

Joe is a seasoned political and communications professional with significant communications and public relations experience on leading national issue campaigns.

Max Cummings

Chief Operating Officer

Max is STG’s Chief Operating Officer and a seasoned operations consultant.

Sarah Elbert

Executive Assistant to Julianna Smoot and Paul Tewes

Sarah serves as executive assistant to Julianna Smoot and Paul Tewes and is STG’s office manager.

Brian J. Farnkoff

Research Director

Brian leads the strategic research team at STG.

Christopher Fleming


Chris Fleming is a skilled media and public affairs strategist that brings more than a 15 years of smart, creative, hard-hitting communications experience to progressive organizations of all kinds.

Marygrace Galston

Director of Wildfire Contact

Marygrace Galston is the Director of Wildfire Contact and has worked over a decade in the political arena with various electoral campaigns, non-profit organizations and issue advocacy campaigns.

Jennifer Tabach Gerst


Jennifer Tabach Gerst has nearly a decade of experience in state and national political campaigns, the federal government, and on Capitol Hill.

Dan Kanninen

Principal and Vice President for Issues and Advocacy

Dan Kanninen has spent more than a decade in influential positions at all levels of government and politics, playing key roles in policy making, campaigns, and political management.

Rich Kotchmar


Throughout his career, Rich has managed multi-million dollar voter contact campaigns, built diverse coalitions and managed independent expenditure and grassroots lobbying campaigns.

Gabby LaVerghetta

Digital Strategy Associate

Gabby LaVerghetta is a Digital Strategist at STG with experience at non-profit and international organizations.

Sabrina Neal

Operations Analyst

Sabrina Neal is a bookkeeper and operations analyst with more than 25 years of experience providing accounting and administrative support.

Lauren Pollack

Communications Assistant

Lauren has developed her media and communications portfolio, serving in a variety of roles across the District’s public and private sectors.

Aaron Wells

Communications Director/Principal

Aaron Wells is a political professional with senior communications and management experience on campaigns from Florida to Minnesota.