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Kivvit Announces Newest Staff Members in New Jersey and New York

Kivvit Announces Newest Staff Members in New Jersey and New York

Kivvit today announced the addition of several new members to their continuously growing team.  The new hires represent individuals from a variety of backgrounds and specialties, bolstering Kivvit’s ability to operate at the highest levels of public affairs and communications.  Joining the Kivvit team are Jason O’Donnell, Andrew Fries, Michael Blaustein, Geoff Mullings, Lauren McCaskill, and Shea Savaria.

 “Our newest additions to the Kivvit family strengthen the team’s ability to provide unique insights and strategic guidance on a variety of fronts,” said Maggie Moran, Managing Partner at Kivvit.  “Jason, Andrew, Michael, Geoff, Lauren, and Shea bring with them years of experience in dealing with real estate, start-ups, campaign management, gaming, and labor unions. Their talents will allow us to further enhance our unique stakeholder engagement and build upon our diverse client portfolio.”

Jason O’Donnell will provide clients with strategic counsel in the areas of real estate, regulatory affairs, energy, transportation, and legislative issue advocacy campaigns.  He recently served six years in the New Jersey State Assembly, where he represented the 31st Legislative District. He served on the Labor Committee and Financial Institutions and Insurance Committee. Jason served for 20 years as a firefighter in his hometown of Bayonne, reaching the rank of Captain. In 2009, he was appointed the first Director of Municipal Services in Bayonne, where he oversaw the consolidation of three key city agencies into a single department.  Jason will serve as a Director and work out of the New Jersey office.

Andrew Fries’ work spans a variety of sectors and objectives, ranging from technology start-ups to Fortune 500 corporations.  Originally from Columbus, Ohio, Andrew started as an aide to Congressman Ted Strickland (D-OH) in Washington, D.C., and followed Strickland back home to Ohio after his election as governor in 2006. After leaving Governor Strickland’s Office in 2011, Andrew co-founded a public affairs firm that took on a diverse set of clients working to help them employ modern, data-driven tactics and strategies within their operations. He has played a leading role in several large ballot issues at both the state and local level. Andrew will serve as a Principal and work out of the New York office.

Michael Blaustein will work with private and public sector clients to manage multi-faceted campaigns.  Prior to joining Kivvit, Michael served as a Policy Analyst to New York Senate Coalition Leader Jeffrey D. Klein, focusing on New York City matters. He worked on many of the Senator’s investigative reports, including issues of dietary supplement safety, housing, labor, and childcare issues. Michael also spearheaded a joint report with the Bronx Borough President that documented the economic benefits of the Metro North’s planned expansion in Bronx County. Michael will serve as an Associate and work out of the New York office. 

Geoff Mullings will manage financial processes and implement administrative policies.  Prior to joining Kivvit, Geoff independently studied Sociology and developed a specialization in Urban Economics, Poverty, and Public Policy. He holds an MBA in Economics and Marketing from Baruch College and previously earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Psychology from Fordham University, where he also studied Communications and Media.  Geoff will serve as a Financial and Administrative Coordinator and work out of the New York office.

Lauren McCaskill will assist clients on researching and implementing various public affairs initiatives across a variety of sectors, such as gaming, labor unions, and not-for-profits.  Lauren comes to Kivvit with experience in advocacy, social media strategy, and research. Prior to joining the firm, Lauren worked at the law office of a sole practitioner where she worked extensively with client casework and developed an innovative marketing strategy. Previously, she served as a trainee for LiUNA: NJ State Laborers’ Political Action Committee, and worked on a variety of political campaigns.  Lauren will serve as an Associate and work out of the New Jersey office.

Shea Savaria will assist clients with immersive research, message development and social and digital media strategy.  Prior to joining Kivvit, Shea served as Project Lead for Sustainable Purchasing at the College of Charleston Office of Sustainability, heading a research initiative on digital signature software’s impact on the College’s campus.  She has also has conducted independent research on Sustainable Organic Urban Agriculture systems in Havana, Cuba. Previously, Shea served as a campaign intern during the 2013 special election for South Carolina’s 1st Congressional District. Shea will serve as an Associate and work out of the New Jersey office.

In addition to the newest members of the team, Kivvit also announced today the promotion of several individuals.  Laura Matos and Annie Lydgate will now serve as General Manager of the New Jersey and New York offices, respectively.  In the New Jersey office, Adam Steinberger will now serve as a Director and Jonathan Scharff as a Principal.  In New York, Ben Rubin will serve as a Principal, and Jackie LaBarbera, Alex Lewis, and Peter Mauric will each serve as a Senior Associate.

Kivvit is a strategic advisor to organizations with big ideas and robust agendas. The firm solves clients’ hardest challenges with an immersive and results oriented approach.  Kivvit’s professionals operate at the highest levels of public affairs and communications, coming from leading positions in government, politics, journalism, corporate America and public advocacy.  With over 60 professionals across five offices (Chicago, Miami, New Jersey, New York and Washington, D.C.) the firm continues to expand its capabilities and expertise. 

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