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 six years, providing digital strategy services to large progressive organizations and the Democratic party committees as well as powerhouse figures like Senators Cory Booker and Dianne Feinstein. In addition, her clients include Senators & Congressional leadership and membership as well as Congressional challengers and mayors across the country. She has also counseled thousands of candidates, non-profits and companies on online strategies, grassroots fundraising and online advocacy through her work with EMILY’s List, Wellstone Action and Netroots Nation.
During the 2016 cycle, it was New Blue clients who came home with victories on an otherwise dark night for Democrats. Her clients attribute their grassroots fundraising hauls to her ability to create and innovate. She was recently named as a “40 under 40” of top political consultants by the American Association of Political Consultants. She was also named CampaignTech Innovator of the Year for her outstanding work and her firm has won multiple Pollie Awards as well as multiple Reed Awards from Campaigns and Elections magazine including the prestigious Reed Award for Best Spanish Online Ad, Best Fundraising Email and more. 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 and Reed awards for prior cycles. Taryn teamed up with Senator Bob Graham to contribute to his latest book, America the Owner’s Manual. She is a featured expert on utilizing digital.
Prior to New Blue, Taryn served as managing director for the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee (DCCC) where she helped elect more Democrats to the U.S. House by developing cutting-edge digital activities and breaking fundraising records. During her seven-year tenure, she built from the ground up the DCCC”s digital fundraising program and raised over $200 million dollars directly for the committee through grassroots outreach. 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 just email revenue alone.
She has been a featured speaker at Netroots Nation, Politics Online, AAPC, and CampaignTech conferences and led countless training sessions for the DCCC, EMILY’S List, and the Wellstone Action/New Organizing Institute. This year, she was seen on MSNBC, CNN, FOX News and heard on All Things Considered on NPR talking about how and why she is 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, Managing Director and COO
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.
Amy Adler, Senior Digital Strategist
Amy has been with New Blue since 2015 and brings her passion for progressive politics to bear on her client work. She has an extensive political resume in organizing tactics, voter outreach, social media and digital advocacy communications. She has served 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. Before joining New Blue Amy 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. Amy is an accomplished photographer and artist. She hails from Maryland and has a degree in political science from UNLV.
Jackie Bateman, Senior Advisor
Jackie joined the New Blue team in 2013 and brings 15 years of political fundraising and digital expertise to her job. 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 in Minnesota 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 National 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.
Mary Baumgard, Senior Digital Strategist
Mary has excelled at digital strategy since joining the New Blue team in 2015, moving quickly from Operations Manager to Strategist to her current role as Senior Digital Strategist. She previously 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 was involved in event management and promotional efforts. Mary is a proud native of Minnesota and a graduate of the College of Saint Benedict in Saint Joseph, Minnesota, with a degree in political science.
Mike Crump, Senior Director, Advertising
Mike is a specialist in communication, program management, international development, graphic design, web development and content creation services. He joined the New Blue team in early 2016 and has honed his technical and strategic digital talents to move from Production Manager to Strategic Account Director. He’s worked on campaigns at every level from local office to major congressional seats, in addition to NGOs and state parties in critical swing states. Mike brings a unique skill set and expertise to his work and is fluent in Mandarin Chinese and Spanish. His prior work in international democracy-development includes program management with international partners and developing grant proposals for activities throughout Asia. Previously, he served on the government relations & public affairs staff of the National Endowment for Democracy in Washington, D.C. A digital communications expert and former journalist, Mike hails from the Washington, D.C. area. He is a graduate of William & Mary.
Natalie Eppolito, Creative Director
Natalie brings her extensive exhibit, print and digital design experience and expertise to New Blue’s clients as Creative Director by developing and executing creative vision and strategic projects across web, mobile, print, exhibit and social media platforms. Natalie Eppolito has worked collaboratively with a diverse array of political, non-profit, education and other local, national and global clients. Natalie previously 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.
Brandt McCool, Chief Technology Officer
Brandt holds the distinction of being New Blue’s first hire and its resident jack of all trades. He brings a unique skill set of design and writing skills to our successful campaigns for New Blue’s clients. He is noted for creating excellent, efficient, cost-effective and productive advertising and fundraising campaigns. Brandt has served on both statewide and congressional races as a new media director for Democratic candidates across the country.
Prior to New Blue, Brandt was the internet director for Lois Frankel for Congress and Jack Conway’s 2010 Senate campaign in his native Kentucky and helped to raise over $3 million online combined for those races. Brandt has been a featured speaker at Netroots Nation and is a highly sought-after speaker on digital trends and technology. Brandt holds the distinguished Kentucky Colonel honor in recognition of his noteworthy accomplishments and outstanding service to the state.
Matti Miranda, Senior Digital Strategist
Matti, has extensive experience creating fundraising campaigns, external digital communications and email programs. She provides New Blue clients with her experience and expertise in educating, promoting and networking with promising young progressive leaders. She is the former Chief Operating Officer of NLC4, a project of the New Leaders Council, where she also served as National Finance Director. As editor of several NLC publications, she collaborated with think tanks, elected officials, labor unions, and private corporations to produce policy memos and papers. Matti has organized a variety of national and regional public policy events, including private briefings at The White House. Matti is a graduate of the University of Arizona
Samantha Peterson, Senior Digital Strategist
Samantha, former Director of Communications for the San Diego and Imperial Counties Labor Council, AFL-CIO, joins New Blue as part of the company’s new West Coast Headquarters operations. Sam also served as chief communications staff for SEIU local 221 in San Diego where she was responsible for online engagement and social media outreach. She brings a proven record of success in online communications and developing integrated media relations, external and internal outreach, fundraising, graphic design and public affairs in California and Washington, DC. A graduate of the University of California, San Diego, Sam began her career in 2009 working in the office of U. S. Senator Dianne Feinstein in Washington, DC as a Research and Communications Aide to the Senate caucus on International Narcotics Control.
Jessi Rodriguez, Senior Digital Strategist
Jessi joined New Blue in early 2015 by way of Congressman Ami Bera’s successful reelection campaign in CA-07. As Digital Director, she led the campaign’s online program, increasing social media following by 50% and reaching up to 74,000 people weekly. She also served as an integral part of the finance operation, which raised more than $4.3 million dollars in the most expensive House race in the country at the time. Prior to the Bera’s Congressional campaign, Jessi worked in the White House Office of Presidential correspondence and at the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee (DCCC). Jessi is passionate about progressive Democratic politics and is a super fan of the Broadway Show Hamilton. She is a proud Texas native and a graduate of Texas State University.
Max Stahl, Senior Digital Strategist
Max joined New Blue as Senior Digital Strategist in 2017 and brings ten years of political experience to New Blue that includes developing and managing multi-faceted advocacy campaigns, campus organizing, message guidance, and directing traditional and digital media outreach. He came from Democracy Matters where he served as Director of Political Engagement. He was responsible for designing and implementing the “Restore Democracy Pledge” a campaign policy platform which was adopted by all three democratic candidates in the 2016 presidential elections. Max continues to serve as a board member of Democracy Matters. Max is a native of Massachusetts and graduate of Brandeis University with a political science degree.
Samantha Steelman, Vice President – West Coast Operations
Samantha brings years of campaign organizational experience to New Blue. She is a seasoned strategist with a decade of experience in project management, communications and digital marketing. Samantha joined the New Blue team in 2014 and has excelled at digital strategy, online fundraising and advocacy, fundraising analysis and forecasting and social media. She has moved through the ranks from Digital Strategist to Senior Digital Strategist and was recently tapped to head our West Coast operations as Vice President. Previously Samantha was the Arts Action Fund Program Coordinator at Americans for the Arts, where she managed the PAC and citizen lobbying efforts for the nation’s largest nonprofit arts advocacy organization. Samantha has also 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. Samantha and her new husband Alec live in Orange, CA.
Josh Sulier, Vice President
Josh Sulier is a veteran political fundraiser who has overseen programs that have raised well over $60 million dollars for state and national parties, gubernatorial, U.S. Senate, and congressional campaigns. Over the years Josh has honed the ability to speak to a broad set of donors and other interested parties. In 2017 Josh founded Invictus Campaign Strategies, an all-inclusive political fundraising firm, which merged with New Blue Interactive in 2018. New Blue is delighted to have Josh’s fundraising, message development and digital marketing expertise on our team. Experienced in high dollar, small dollar, and digital fundraising, Josh has built fundraising operations from scratch as well as optimized existing donor lists to reach their full fundraising potential. In the 2016 election cycle, Josh served as the Western Candidate Fundraising Director at the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee (DCCC) coaching campaign finance directors to their fullest potential. In 2014, he worked as finance director for gubernatorial campaigns in Arizona and Massachusetts.
Tess Troha-Thompson, Executive Vice President and Chief Development Officer
Tess joined New Blue Interactive in 2016 with a wide breadth of strategic, managerial and operational experience in working on multiple political campaigns and on Capitol Hill. She is expertly skilled at engaging people and building coalitions. At New Blue Tess works with our client teams leading digital fundraising and engagement strategy and overseeing professional staff development. For the last decade, Tess 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 2013. In this role, Tess managed the campaign’s operational, scheduling and 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 a top 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 Magna Cum Laude graduate of the University of Rochester in New York, and a member of Phi Beta Kappa Honor Society.
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.”