Chief Executive OfficerAs Chief Executive Officer, Gerry Gunster provides strategic counsel and conducts issue advocacy for all of Gunster Strategies’ clients, which include Fortune 500 companies, leading trade associations, and global organizations. Gerry has a remarkable success record managing issue advocacy and ballot measure campaigns in more than twenty states and Washington, D.C., as well as internationally. He is a frequent lecturer at Georgetown University’s McDonough School of Business and The George Washington University’s Graduate School of Political Management, and was honored to be invited to The University of Oxford, St Antony’s College, Visiting Parliamentary Fellowship. He is a member of — and frequent lecturer for — the International Association of Political Consultants. He is the recipient of the 2017 Association of American Political Consultants’ (AAPC) “International Consultant of the Year” and the 2013 AAPC Excellence Award for “Best Public Affairs Campaign of the Year.”
Jonathan Stember brings more than 20 years of domestic and international leadership to the firm. It was this breadth of global experience that proved indispensable during Britain’s 2016 Leave.EU campaign, where he was instrumental in strategy and implementation. Over the years, Jonathan has built multicultural coalitions, designed advocacy campaigns, and commenced various grassroots strategies to include referendum and ballot measure initiatives. His impact may be seen around the world from the United Kingdom, to Mexico, Costa Rica, Colombia, Cyprus, Egypt, and Afghanistan. Originally from California, he counts Native American tribes among his clients in addition to several Fortune 500 companies. He had numerous successful business ventures in Venezuela and Brazil. Jonathan often applies his mantra, “No substitute for being there,” while overseeing projects abroad. You just might run into him if you’re traveling anywhere between South America, Europe, or the Middle East. Originally from California, he now resides in the Washington DC area with his wife and three daughters.
Senior Vice PresidentDwayne Bickford is a seasoned public affairs professional with an extensive background in managing campaigns and overseeing issue advocacy programs. He specializes in legislative advocacy at the federal, state, and local level. For the last 12 years, Mr. Bickford has been an advocacy consultant and ballot initiative manager for a wide array of public policy initiatives and projects around the country as well as in Europe, including Maine, Oklahoma, Colorado, Massachusetts, California, France, and the United Kingdom. Mr. Bickford helps clients execute advocacy campaigns with disciplined management, strategically bringing together a mix of opinion research, grassroots, coalition building, media relations, GOTV programs, and paid advertising.
He served as both Campaign Manager and as a consultant on numerous local and statewide ballot measures and grassroots advocacy campaigns on issues as diverse as tax and environmental policy, infrastructure, and regulatory issues.
Mr. Bickford served as the Executive Director of the Maine Republican Party and acted as Victory Director for two federal coordinated campaigns. He’s been considered a trusted adviser among candidates running for governor, U.S. Senate, Congress, state, and local offices.
Associate Vice President, Issue Advocacy and External PartnershipsBringing more than 10 years of public affairs experience to Gunster Strategies Worldwide, William Müller currently serves as Vice President of Issue Advocacy and External Partnerships. While employing tactical solutions to multifaceted advocacy campaigns internationally and domestically, William manages each of the firm’s partnerships. William strategically pairs experts who specialize in digital media, social media, website frontend and backend development, and video production to intuitively meet the needs of every campaign. As the founder of Müller Consulting, William managed grassroots efforts for state and local issue advocacy campaigns throughout the U.S. and abroad. He holds a B.A. in Marketing from Catholic University of America.
James “Jim” Hoffmann
Managing Director | Indo Pacific/AsiaJim is a global business development specialist focused on Asia, China, and – more importantly – the impact of China’s growth on global business. For more than 20 years, he has worked with Exceptional Resource Group, a unique China consulting firm engaged in targeted government affairs. Jim works on complex technology, communications, and resilience issues focused on China. He has in-depth experience with market development challenges in regions – often with limited transparency and complex cultural challenges. Recent projects include, power, transportation, Internet of Things, Smart Cities, and wireless communication. Jim’s experience runs from salesman to CEO with a background in technology, software, and consumer products for businesses large and small.
Director of Operations & Quality AssuranceResponsible for overseeing all operations at Gunster Strategies Worldwide’s headquarters and satellite offices, Steve is now entering his 23rd year with the firm. Steve has served in a variety of capacities to include his current position as Director of Operations and Quality Assurance. He previously managed accounts for an international aerospace firm located in Burbank, California for clients that included Boeing, Airbus, and Northrop Grumman. A native of California, Steve moved to Washington D.C. when the firm relocated from Malibu.
Counsel, Digital StrategySue Zoldak has nearly 15 years of experience in public affairs, including more than seven as a part of the original Gunster Strategies team. Acting as counsel, Sue supports ground-breaking digital, social media, and advertising campaigns. Sue has worked with corporate brands such as General Motors, AstraZeneca, Nestlé Waters, and numerous trade associations including the American Beverage Association, U.S. Chamber of Commerce, National Retail Federation, U.S. Travel Association, and American Insurance Association. Her digital work has been awarded a Gold Pollie for Best Digital or Internet Campaign in Public Affairs and a Reed Award for Best Use of Social Media.
Senior Counsel, Strategic Issue & Advocacy AccountsRobert Tappan has more than 30 years of public affairs and communications experience, ranging from the corporate and not-for-profit sectors, to the U.S. State Department during the George W. Bush administration. Mr. Tappan was Director of External Relations for Koch Industries. Mr. Tappan served as President of the Washington, DC office of PR giant Burson-Marsteller. For his service in Iraq, Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld awarded Mr. Tappan one of the highest Defense Department’s civilian honors, the Secretary of Defense Medal for Outstanding Public Service. Mr. Tappan was also the recipient of the Department of State’s Superior Honor Award. Over the years, he has appeared on ABC’s Nightline, NBC Nightly News, and the CBS Evening News.
Senior Counsel, New Business Development
Peter Dunn’s career in advertising and media spans nearly thirty-five years, representing such publishing, television and digital properties as American Express, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, Campaigns & Elections magazine, Dow Jones, The Wall Street Journal, News Corporation of America, The Weekly Standard, the Tribune Company, The Financial Times, and GateHouse Media. Prior to founding Dunn Media, Mr. Dunn held several senior roles at these properties, and developed long-standing national and international relationships with corporate advertisers, as well as those in the government, public affairs and issues advocacy categories. In addition, he has developed new and innovative platforms for media properties that have resulted in the creation of additional revenue streams above and beyond traditional advertising. Mr. Dunn was born and raised in Connecticut, attended Suffield Academy and graduated from the University of Vermont. He resides in Washington, DC with his family.
With roots in local and national print, radio, and TV broadcast news, Kelsey’s comprehensive public affairs and integrated communications experience includes crisis, issue advocacy, and reputation management. She has worked with corporate clients, trade associations, and professional societies on an extensive breadth of state and federal policy matters, such as the opioid crisis, renewable energy, and workforce development. She earned her Bachelors of Arts in Political Broadcast Journalism from DePauw University.
Madison Shields joined the Gunster Strategies team in 2018, after graduating magna cum laude from Saint Joseph’s University with a Bachelor of Arts in Political Science, and a minor in International Relations. Madison assists in the day to day account management for corporate clients including oversight of creative materials, digital tactics, and grassroots efforts.
Social Media/Digital Content Coordinator
Eamon, a thrice-former intern who has worked with Gunster Strategies since 2016, recently joined the team full-time after graduating with a degree in accounting from Radford University. Eamon assists in the day-to-day account management for Gunster Strategies’ clients, including developing research, digital and social media programs, and media monitoring.
Khaled El Sayyad
Advisor, Africa & Middle East Accounts | Cairo, EgyptKhaled is the founder of Prime Residential, a privately held real estate company focusing on the development, acquisition, and management of high-end serviced properties for rent. Khaled is also active in the Egyptian Automotive market, where he serves as a partner in KIA, Nissan, and Renault Certified Dealerships. His family business is in Maritime Petroleum transportation and trading. Prior to moving back to Egypt, Khaled worked for Gunster Strategies as an International Market Analyst — he was responsible for Business Development in the Middle East North Africa region (MENA), assisting in the development of strategies to overcome competition and international market entry barriers. He provided regular updates on economic, political, and industry changes within the Middle East/North Africa region. Khaled is now an advisor to the company, serving as a liaison between our DC and Cairo office. He holds a Bachelor in Business Administration from George Washington University and a Masters Degree in Public Relations and Communications.
Chief Executive OfficerJon has more than 25 years of experience in advertising and communications as a creative director, working with major international organizations on world-changing campaigns, including the hugely influential Global Britain and Democracy Movement social media campaign during the UK’s Leave referendum, and global sustainability campaigns such as Bright Future and Smarter Greener Living for Unilever. He also advised leading UK political figures on communications and image.
Client Strategy DirectorAdam is an experienced strategy and planning director. Adam has worked with numerous international corporations, campaigning groups and political parties to deliver groundbreaking innovative projects with highly positive outcomes. He has a deep understanding of state-of-the-art campaign methodologies and particular expertise in direct marketing to include cutting-edge digital micro-targeting programs. Adam holds qualifications in business, direct & digital marketing, and political science.
Creative DirectorA graduate of Kingston University, Alex has more than 26 years of experience in advertising and communications. He has been a Creative Director since 2003 and has worked across print and digital media, both above and below the line, including integrated marketing communications, internal communications, TV advertising, employee engagement programs, recruitment advertising, branding, visual identity projects, events, websites and social media. He has achieved numerous awards including D&AD, IVCA, Stevies, Revolution Awards, International Telly Awards and Clarion to name a few.
Creative DirectorA graduate of London School of Printing with an MA in Typography, Ilinca has more than 13 years’ experience in design and art direction across all media. Her list of clients include John Lewis, the Metropolitan Police Service, Unilever, Greystar, Arup, Sainsbury’s, and Ordnance Survey. Her skill set is diverse and includes brand strategy, brand visual identity, art direction, graphic design, digital design, user experience, photography, illustration and beyond.