New Blue Interactive (NBI) is a boutique digital/new media strategy firm that specializes in helping Democratic candidates and causes bring their small donor fundraising programs to the next level. New Blue was founded by Taryn Rosenkranz, a leading digital fundraising expert who has raised millions of dollars for Democratic campaigns and progressive causes. NBI’s leadership has a proven track record in counseling literally hundreds of candidates, non-profits and companies on successful online strategies, grassroots fundraising and online advocacy.
New Blue Interactive’s leadership team includes:
Taryn Rosenkranz, Founder & CEO
Taryn Rosenkranz is a pioneer in creating successful digital political fundraising techniques and programs to reach American voters. She is the founder and chief executive officer of New Blue Interactive, which has become a powerhouse firm in less than five years, providing digital strategy services to large organizations and party committees including the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee (DCCC) and House Majority PAC, as well as national groups like the Natural Resources Defense Council. In addition, her clients include Senators and Congressional leadership and membership, as well as Congressional challengers, mayors, and even county executive races. She has also counseled hundreds of candidates, non-profits and companies on online strategies, grassroots fundraising and online advocacy.
Prior to New Blue, Taryn served as managing director for digital communications and finance for the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee (DCCC) where she helped to elect more Democrats to the U.S. House by developing cutting-edge digital activities and breaking fundraising records. During her seven-year tenure, she increased the DCCC’s email list by over 400% and has raised over $200 million dollars directly for the committee through grassroots outreach (mail, phone and email). As a senior advisor and consultant to the DCCC’s program, she is credited with building the multi-million dollar digital program that accounted for more than $70 million in revenue in 2014 alone.
She was named as a 40 under 40 top political consultant and a Campaign Tech Innovator of the Year for her outstanding work and most recently her firm won several Pollies and the prestigious Reed Award from Campaigns and Elections magazine for Best Spanish Online Ad. Her clients have raised an outstanding $300 million collectively from grassroots efforts. Her work has also been recognized by the Institute for Politics, Democracy and the Internet with a Golden Dot award for “Online Dream Team” and multiple prestigious Pollie awards in previous cycles.
Taryn has literally counseled hundreds of campaigns with her training sessions and is a featured speaker and commentator on all things digital and political. She has been a featured speaker at Netroots Nation, Politics Online, AAPC, and Campaign Tech conferences and led countless training for the DCCC, Emily’s List, and the New Organizing Institute. This year, she was seen on CNN, MSNBC and Fox News as well as heard on All Things Considered on NPR talking about the how and why she was able to help Democrats raise so much money online.
Taryn has both her BA and MA in political science from American University in Washington, D.C. She lives in the Washington D.C. area with her husband, two children and oversized labradoodle.
Mary Jane Volk, Executive Vice President
Mary Jane Volk joined NBI as Executive Vice President in October 2015. She’s a nationally recognized fundraiser and campaign strategist, and joined our company from EMILY’s List, where she served as Senior Finance & Political Adviser in the Campaigns Department.
At EMILY’S List, she worked at the highest levels in campaigns, providing guidance and training, counseling campaigns on operations, personnel needs, strategy, fundraising plans, and budget management. Mary Jane also served there as Deputy Development Director for Major Gifts in 1999 and 2000, where she was responsible for managing the major donor fundraising program.
Mary Jane previously served as Deputy Finance Director for the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee (DSCC) where she counseled candidates and campaigns on their fundraising operations. In addition, as the Director of Events for the DSCC, she orchestrated multi‐million dollar fundraisers with President Bill Clinton as well as with Democratic U.S. Senators and key figures from the national Democratic Party. In addition, she has worked in the fundraising department of the DCCC.
During her distinguished career she has participated in the campaigns of some of the nation’s most high profile and important leaders including nearly every Democratic woman currently serving in the U.S. Senate and many in the House of Representatives.
A native Delawarean, Mary Jane got her political start on the early Senate campaigns of Vice President Joe Biden and later worked on his official Senate staff.
Volk is the co-author of “Making the Dough” a how-to fundraising manual for political fundraisers published by EMILY’s List.
Brandt McCool, Chief Technology Officer
Brandt McCool is a native Kentuckian and our resident jack of all trades. He cut his teeth as Digital Director on the head-turning Jack Conway Senate race in 2010. He brings a unique skill set of design and writing that is hard to find. For New Blue clients, he has created numerous advertising and fundraising campaigns and focuses on partnering with each client to help them grow their existing donor base. He has served on both statewide and congressional races as a New Media Director for Democratic candidates across the country.
Prior to New Blue, he was the internet director for Lois Frankel for Congress and Jack Conway’s 2010 Senate campaign and helped to raise over $3 million online combined for the races. He also served as Deputy Campaign Manager for Adam Edelen’s campaign in Kentucky. Brandt has been a featured speaker at Netroots Nation.
Jackie Bateman, Senior Advisor
Jackie brings over a decade of political fundraising and digital expertise to New Blue. She has worked with a wide variety of campaigns, from managing the digital arm of President Obama’s 2013 Inauguration, to working on high-profile Senate races like Senator Al Franken and Senator Heidi Heitkamp in North Dakota. In addition, she built the first ever grassroots convention fundraising, marketing and merchandising program for the 2012 Democratic Convention in Charlotte, NC. She has also served as Finance Director for the Minnesota Democratic Party and Tim Walz for Congress (MN). Jackie graduated with a political science degree from the University of Wisconsin–Madison. She has never lost a race she has worked on.
Jessi Rodriguez, Senior Digital Strategist
Jessi Rodriguez comes to New Blue by way of Congressman Ami Bera’s successful reelection campaign, where she handled his digital program and worked on the finance team. Jessi also worked stints at the White House and the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee (DCCC). She is a proud graduate of Texas State University.
Samantha Steelman, Senior Digital Strategist
Samantha brings years of campaign organizational experience to New Blue. Most recently, Samantha was the Arts Action Fund Program Coordinator at Americans for the Arts, where she managed the nonprofit’s PAC and citizen lobbying efforts for the nation’s largest arts advocacy organization. Before moving to the D.C. area, she served in many positions for campaigns throughout Nevada, including Organizing for America-Nevada and Mayors Against Illegal Guns. She grew up in Las Vegas and received her bachelor’s in visual art from University of Nevada-Las Vegas in 2009. She also has a master’s degree in Political Management from George Washington University.
Natalie Eppolito, Creative Director
As New Blue Interactive’s Creative Director, Natalie brings extensive experience and expertise in working collaboratively to design and execute creative and strategic projects, including print and online design for a variety of both private and public clients. In addition to her own design and creative consulting firm, Natalie Eppolito LLC, she has worked as a senior graphic designer for The Pivot Group. While there, she created original design concepts, including direct mail and web graphics for a multitude of political campaign clients.
Amy Adler, Senior Digital Strategist
Amy most recently came from the private sector, where she managed social media accounts and displayed her photographic skills for companies like Healthy Howard, Inc. and H&S Fashion Group LLC. But she also brings an extensive political resume in applying social media and digital advocacy communications, such as campaign manager for the Nevada Senate Democratic Caucus; Western Maryland Regional Field Organizer for Marylanders for Marriage Equality; as well as a number of other campaigns and causes.
Mary Baumgard, Senior Digital Strategist
Mary brings both operational and political experience to her role as Digital Strategist. She previously worked as New Blue’s Operations Manager and served as a field organizer on President Obama’s 2012 campaign in rural Colorado. Before joining New Blue, she also worked at the National Association for College Admission Counseling, where she supported staff in event management and promotional efforts. Mary is a proud graduate of the College of Saint Benedict in Saint Joseph, Minnesota, with a degree in political science.
Tess Troha-Thompson, Vice President
Tess joins New Blue Interactive with a wide breadth of strategic, managerial and operational experience in working on multiple political campaigns and her time on Capitol Hill. She is expertly skilled at engaging people and building coalitions and since the 2008 cycle has served in a variety of fundraising, field and political roles in multiple Congressional campaigns. These roles culminated in her becoming Deputy Campaign Manager for Mark Schauer for Governor (MI). In this role, Tess managed the campaign’s operational, scheduling/advance and political outreach teams. Tess has also served in both legislative and operational roles for multiple Members of Congress, including Director of Operations and Legislative Aide for Congresswoman Louise Slaughter. An Illinois native, Tess got her start interning for Senator Dick Durbin and working in public affairs in Chicago. She is a proud graduate of University of Rochester in New York.
Kyle Jarrett, Account Director
Kyle comes to New Blue with more than seven years of digital fundraising experience for Democrats. He got his start at the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee where he helped raise over $80 million online during the 2010 and 2012 cycles. From there he consulted for party committees, Senate and House races, and progressive nonprofits and was Digital Director for a Senate campaign. Kyle grew up in Southern California and graduated from the University of Utah.
Mike Crump, Senior Production Manager
As a former specialist in international democracy assistance, Mike brings a unique skill set and expertise to New Blue. In the past, he has worked to empower civic activists, teach NGOs to advocate for citizen priorities, and tell the stories of democratic successes across the globe. Through his work, Mike helped rural villages pass rules protecting women’s rights, disenfranchised groups establish legal awareness and protection centers, and local leaders grow their constituent outreach efforts and promote electoral reform. A former journalist and digital communications expert, Mike is an avid writer who hails from the Washington, D.C. area. He is a graduate of the College of William & Mary.
Naomi Rothwell, Senior Digital Strategist
With more than a decade of experience in communication, Naomi Rothwell bridges the divide between politics and the public, helping narrate each client’s story through messaging, mobilization and digital strategy. In the past, she has advised Congressional campaigns, the Malala Fund, women’s rights activist Sandra Fluke, and the New Leaders Council. In 2009, Naomi launched and managed a nonprofit organization – Greater NYC for Change – dedicated to social justice and health care reform. She graduated summa cum laude from Cornell University and is a native speaker of Japanese and fluent in German. Born and raised in Atlanta, she now calls Washington, D.C. her home.
Matt Grossman, Account Coordinator
Joining New Blue Interactive from Capitol Hill, Matt interned for Sen. Chuck Schumer and focused on communication and media. Previously he worked with local and statewide campaigns in North Carolina and worked on Gov. Martin O’Malley’s presidential campaign. He is a Duke University graduate with degrees in public policy and political science.
Molly Shapiro, Writer/Editor
Molly has more than 20 years of experience writing and editing for some of America’s top companies, nonprofits and publications in the country. She has written online content and fundraising appeals on behalf of a wide variety of nonprofit and political organizations, including Environmental Working Group, the League of Conservation Voters, the DSCC and EMILY’s List, as well as many politicians, pundits and celebrities, including Bill Clinton, Barack Obama, Al Gore, Al Franken, Kirsten Gillibrand, Donna Brazile, James Carville and Bonnie Raitt. Molly also provides strategic communications support to the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, GMMB, MSL and other organizations and public relations firms. Molly is the author of two works of fiction: “Eternal City,” winner of the Willa Cather Fiction Prize, and “Point, Click, Love,” published by Ballantine in 2011. She earned her B.A. in semiotics from Brown University and her M.F.A. in creative writing from Columbia University.
Mike Houghton, Senior Marketing & Communication Strategist
Mike Houghton has a proven track record of successfully managing complex and varied communication projects in the U.S., Europe, Latin America, Africa and Asia Pacific Rim. As president and founder of Communicreate, an international PR consultancy, he has worked with a large number of organizations of all sizes to make “the impossible possible. “ Prior to founding Communicreate in 1996, he served as AVP – Media Relations for the Cellular Telecommunications Internet Association. Before joining CTIA, he worked for Bell Atlantic Corporation, now Verizon, where he served as director of international corporate relations and advertising.
With more than 40 years experience and expertise in journalism and public relations, he has extensive experience in media relations, speechwriting, crisis communication, stakeholder management, marketing communication, strategic planning, external affairs and social media for public companies. A winner of local, regional, national and international communications awards, Mike is also a contributing author of Understanding and Using Video, and “Cranberry Memories: Voices from the Bogs.”