In the News

Sáez will serve as a Senior Vice President in firm’s DC Office

Washington, D.C. – Today, SKDK announced Mariel Sáez will join the firm’s Washington D.C. office as a Senior Vice President of the public affairs practice. Sáez comes to SKDK from President Biden’s White House communications team, where she served as the Director of Broadcast Media. With over a decade of DC experience in senior roles in the Legislative and Executive Branch, Sáez will work across the firm to support public affairs and corporate clients.

“Mariel is one of the brightest talents in communications and broadcast media,” said Jill Zuckman, Partner. “From serving at the White House to Capitol Hill, she has worked at the highest levels of government and politics and will be an incredible asset to advising our clients. We couldn’t be happier to have her join our team.”

As White House Director of Broadcast Media, Sáez served as the Administration’s point person for over 2,700 interviews in the first year of the Biden presidency. As the Administration worked to communicate about the economic recovery, COVID-19, national security, and other top policy priorities, she developed and implemented the broadcast media strategy; worked closely with the networks to shape coverage of the Administration and negotiate interviews, town halls, and special events; and briefed Senior Administration Officials and Cabinet Secretaries ahead of their media appearances. Prior to her role at the White House, Sáez served as Deputy Communications Director for the Presidential Inaugural Committee and as Women’s Media Director for the Biden-Harris presidential campaign. For over a decade prior to that, Sáez worked on Capitol Hill for House Majority Leader Steny H. Hoyer, serving in a variety of roles to include his Deputy Communications Director. In that role, she served as his spokeswoman, helped communicate the House legislative agenda and coordinate the messaging strategy for the House Democratic Caucus, and provided strategic and crisis communications advice. Originally from Maryland, Sáez earned a bachelor’s degree in economics at St. Mary’s College of Maryland.

“It’s been an honor to work in government and politics for over a decade, and I’m very excited to bring my experience to SKDK, which has earned a reputation as one of the most effective and respected public affairs firms in the country,” said Sáez. “I have long admired the talented and diverse team at the firm, and I’m honored to be working alongside them to deliver results for our clients and shape the way some of our country’s most important organizations and businesses tell their stories.”

About SKDK

SKDK is a top national communications and political consulting firm bringing unparalleled strategic communications experience to Fortune 500 companies, nonprofits, philanthropic organizations and labor unions, as well as political committees and candidates. With offices in Washington, New York, Los Angeles and Albany, SKDK offers strategic support to managing a crisis, protecting a brand, advocating an issue or winning an election.

In 2020, SKDK was a key advisor to the Biden for President campaign and helped to make history by electing Joe Biden as President of The United States and Kamala Harris, the nation’s first Black, Asian-American and first woman, as Vice President. The influential Holmes Report once again named SKDK as the North America Public Affairs Agency of the Year in 2019, following wins in 2015, 2016, and 2018. To learn more about SKDK, visit our website at www.skdknick.com.SKDK is a proud member of The Stagwell Group, a collaborative group of agencies who are out to “reinvent the holding company,” according to the Wall Street Journal. The Stagwell Group portfolio includes more than a dozen best-in-class, digital-first agencies who are focused on what modern CMOs need. Learn more about Stagwell at www.stagwellgroup.com.

Washington, D.C. – Today, SKDK, the leading public affairs and political advertising firm in the country, announced the hiring of several creative, paid media and political team members. Ryan Rose joins SKDK as Political Creative Director, Andy Yazdani is an Art Director, Mackey Reed is a Senior Vice President, Lucy Macintosh is a Vice President and Ileana Astorga is a Senior Associate on the Paid Media team in DC. This quintet joins a talented and diverse group of SKDK strategists who are involved in some of the most closely watched 2022 campaigns. 

“I’m very excited to welcome this dynamic and diverse group of professionals to our team. More than anything, SKDK prides itself on the people who work here,” said SKDK Partner Doug Thornell. “We know that our firm is only as strong as our team members and we couldn’t be happier with the additions of Ryan, Andy, Mackey, Lucy, and Ileana. Each of them brings their own unique skills to our firm that will complement the talented team we have already assembled,” said Thornell.

As Political Creative Director, Ryan Rose will be responsible for executing compelling creative ads for SKDK’s political clients ahead of the 2022 midterms. He is an experienced media and communications professional. Prior to SKDK, Rose worked as a producer and assistant director, serving political, corporate, and creative clients in the New York and Philadelphia metropolitan areas. As a freelancer, he worked on productions for the DNC and then-candidate for New Jersey governor, Phil Murphy.

As Art Director, Andy Yazdani will help bring to fruition creative work products for SKDK’s public affairs, political, non-profit clients. He comes to SKDK from the international membership organization, Community Associations Institute (CAI) in Fall Church, VA where he served as Art Director producing creative across a large span of the organization’s seminars, workshop, conference, publication offerings. 

Mackey Reed is joining SKDK’s advertising team as a Senior Vice President, where she will help lead some of the firm’s most prominent advertising clients. She comes to SKDK having served as Deputy Director of Paid Media for the Michael Bloomberg 2020 presidential campaign where she oversaw the day-to-day creative and production process for over $400 million in TV advertising. She previously worked for Everytown for Gun Safety where she served as an official spokesperson developing and executing state-by-state press relations strategies advocating for common sense gun laws and also helped oversee the major donor fundraising effort.

Lucy Macintosh is joining as Vice President on the Political team. Macintosh comes to SKDK as a longtime campaign strategist with experience managing candidate and advocacy campaigns. Previously, she was the Associate Director of Campaigns at the Hub Project and has managed some of the toughest campaigns in the country, including Representative Anthony Brindisi’s re-election. A Clinton presidential campaign alum, she has also served as Chief of Staff to VA Delegate Hala Ayala Lucy and as a member of the DCCC’s Political Department in the historic 2018 cycle.

Ileana Astorga is joining as a Senior Associate in Paid Media, where she will support political campaigns. Prior to joining SKDK, Astorga served as a Legislative Correspondent for Senator Bennet’s (D-CO) office focusing on education, foreign affairs, and infrastructure. She has experience working on local and national campaigns where she developed a deep passion for campaign work.

SKDK remains the leading political advertising firm in the nation. In 2021, SKDK advised Rep. Troy Carter on his hard fought special election victory in Louisiana’s second congressional district. SKDK’s paid media team worked closely with Rep. Shontel Brown on her amazing come from behind victory in Ohio’s 11th congressional district. The firm also helped elect Aftab Pureval as mayor of Cincinnati, the first Indian American to lead the city. In addition, SKDK has been the leading ad maker for Climate Power, which has been fighting hard to help pass President Biden’s Build Back Better bill.  In 2020, SKDK partner Anita Dunn was a top advisor to the Biden for President campaign and helped to make history by electing Joe Biden as President of The United States and Kamala Harris, the nation’s first Black, Asian-American and first woman, as Vice-President.  

About SKDK

SKDK is a top national communications and political consulting firm bringing unparalleled strategic communications experience to Fortune 500 companies, nonprofits, philanthropic organizations, and labor unions, as well as political committees and candidates. With offices in Washington, New York, Los Angeles, and Albany, SKDK offers strategic support to managing a crisis, protecting a brand, advocating an issue, or winning an election.

In 2020, SKDK was a key advisor to the Biden for President campaign and helped to make history by electing Joe Biden as President of The United States and Kamala Harris, the nation’s first Black, Asian-American and first woman, as Vice President. The influential Holmes Report once again named SKDK as the North America Public Affairs Agency of the Year in 2019, following wins in 2015, 2016, and 2018. To learn more about SKDK, visit our website at www.skdknick.com. SKDK is a proud member of The Stagwell Group, a collaborative group of agencies who are out to “reinvent the holding,” according to the Wall Street Journal. The Stagwell Group portfolio includes more than a dozen best-in-class, digital-first agencies who are focused on what modern CMOs need. Learn more about Stagwell at www.stagwellgroup.com.

NEW YORK, NY – Today, SKDK announced the appointment of Marissa Shorenstein and the promotion of Loren Riegelhaupt to Principal in the firm’s New York City office. Shorenstein, a well-known political and corporate public affairs strategist, most recently served as Director of the Executive Transition for Governor Kathy Hochul. Alongside the SKDK senior leadership team, Marissa will be responsible for strategic planning and business initiatives across the firm.

Marissa Shorenstein
Loren Riegelhaupt

“Marissa is one of New York’s savviest communication and political strategists,” said Josh Isay, Chief Executive Officer of SKDK. “She has worked at the highest levels of government, politics, and business and is widely recognized as one of the most accomplished communications and public affairs professionals in the state. She will play a critical role in SKDK’s growth and leadership, and we couldn’t be happier to have her join our team.”

Shorenstein has a long and seasoned career in public affairs, corporate communications, campaign politics, and government. Most recently, she served as Director of the Executive Transition for New York State’s first female governor, Kathy Hochul. In that role, Shorenstein oversaw a seamless transition for Governor Hochul, helping navigate the executive appointment process and to build a first-class team of professionals to lead the State of New York.

Prior to her work with Governor Hochul, Shorenstein served as Global Chief Communications Officer for WeWork, after spending more than eight years at AT&T where she served as President – Northern Region, overseeing the company’s external affairs for seventeen states from Maine to Illinois, as well as Washington, DC. In addition to her work leading state and federal campaigns, Shorenstein also served as Senior Manager for Strategic Planning and Corporate Communications for the New York Jets.

“SKDK is one of the most respected and successful public affairs firms in the country. I couldn’t be more excited to work with some of the country’s most accomplished strategists,” said Ms. Shorenstein.

SKDK also announced the promotion of Loren Riegelhaupt, a Managing Director and the President of New York Public Affairs to Principal. Riegelhaupt will retain his President of Public Affairs duties continuing to oversee the New York public affairs division and lead the healthcare vertical. In his role as President, Riegelhaupt has played a critical role in the growth of the New York office, while also creating and co-leading the firm’s healthcare division and leading national and regional public affairs campaigns for a wide variety of clients including Mount Sinai Health System, Columbia Business School, Ernst and Young (EY), just to name a few.

“Loren has been instrumental in managing the expansion of our New York public affairs division over the past decade. His promotion to Principal is a recognition of how critical he is to this firm and its long-term growth,” Isay added.

About SKDK

SKDK is a top national communications and political consulting firm bringing unparalleled strategic communications experience to Fortune 500 companies, nonprofits, philanthropic organizations, and labor unions, as well as political committees and candidates. With offices in Washington, New York, Los Angeles, and Albany, SKDK offers strategic support to managing a crisis, protecting a brand, advocating an issue, or winning an election.

In 2020, SKDK was a key advisor to the Biden for President campaign and helped to make history by electing Joe Biden as President of The United States and Kamala Harris, the nation’s first Black, Asian-American and first woman, as Vice President. The influential Holmes Report once again named SKDK as the North America Public Affairs Agency of the Year in 2019, following wins in 2015, 2016, and 2018. To learn more about SKDK, visit our website at www.skdknick.com. SKDK is a proud member of The Stagwell Group, a collaborative group of agencies who are out to “reinvent the holding,” according to the Wall Street Journal. The Stagwell Group portfolio includes more than a dozen best-in-class, digital-first agencies who are focused on what modern CMOs need. Learn more about Stagwell at www.stagwellgroup.com.

D’Seantè Parks

NEW YORK, NY – Today, SKDK announced D’Seantè Parks joins the firm’s New York City office as a Senior Vice President. With more than a decade of communications experience for public, private, and non-profit organizations, Parks brings deep public affairs expertise to her new role at the firm, where she will support a diverse portfolio of advocacy and public affairs clients.

“D’Seantè is an absolute star. She’s experienced, passionate, and whip-smart — and we are hugely lucky to have her. At SKDK, we know that we are only as good as our people. With D’Seantè coming on board, we’ve strengthened our firm and the many clients we serve,” said Josh Isay, CEO of SKDK.

Prior to joining SKDK, Parks maintained an independent public affairs consulting practice and founded civic empowerment app, 1000 MORE, which allows users to advocate for their communities in the legislative process. She has worked across federal, state, and local elections, including on U.S. Senate campaigns for former Senators Mary Landrieu and Kamala Harris. Parks recently completed a Master of Public Policy degree at the Harvard Kennedy School where she contributed to various publications, including a playbook for campaigns to combat misinformation and disinformation attacks. She holds a Bachelor of Political Communication from the Manship School of Mass Communication at Louisiana State University where she contributed research for several published works on the roots of propaganda in America. Parks previously was an Associate on SKDK’s public affairs team in DC.

“At SKDK, I will be able to deliver top-tier communications services with a personal touch to some of the country’s most important organizations. SKDK is the leading public affairs and political consulting firm and I’m lucky to call it my home base,” said D’Seantè Parks. “I’m looking forward to building on our civic and non-profit communications work.”

About SKDK

SKDK is a top national communications and political consulting firm bringing unparalleled strategic communications experience to Fortune 500 companies, nonprofits, philanthropic organizations, and labor unions, as well as political committees and candidates. With offices in Washington, New York, Los Angeles, and Albany, SKDK offers strategic support to managing a crisis, protecting a brand, advocating an issue, or winning an election.

In 2020, SKDK was a key advisor to the Biden for President campaign and helped to make history by electing Joe Biden as President of The United States and Kamala Harris, the nation’s first Black, Asian-American and first woman, as Vice President. The influential Holmes Report once again named SKDK as the North America Public Affairs Agency of the Year in 2019, following wins in 2015, 2016, and 2018. To learn more about SKDK, visit our website at www.skdknick.com. SKDK is a proud member of The Stagwell Group, a collaborative group of agencies who are out to “reinvent the holding,” according to the Wall Street Journal. The Stagwell Group portfolio includes more than a dozen best-in-class, digital-first agencies who are focused on what modern CMOs need. Learn more about Stagwell at www.stagwellgroup.com.