City & State NY: The 2022 Political PR Power 50
January 18, 2022
- Evan Thies & Alexis Grenell
Co-Founders, Pythia Public
Since its founding five years ago, Pythia Public has consistently punched above its weight. Alexis Grenell has been driving changes in how the state responds to sexual harassment and highlights the need for good government reforms. Her business partner, Evan Thies, has been in the spotlight playing a crucial role in the ascension of New York City Mayor Eric Adams, perhaps the most significant election outcome in the country in 2021. The small firm, which also has Becky Stern on board as communications director, notched another major win at the polls last year with Brad Lander’s victory in the New York City comptroller’s race.
Other key employees: Becky Stern
Notable clients: New York City Mayor Eric Adams, Common Cause, SUNY, Safe Horizon, Hotel Association of New York City, Phoenix House
Company highlights: We are very proud of our work this year to help elect Eric Adams as our next mayor and Brad Lander as our next comptroller, while winning fights for sexual assault survivors, voting rights, homeless New Yorkers and industries critical to the success of New York City as we recover from the pandemic.
- Neal Kwatra
CEO and Founder, Metropolitan Public Strategies
After making a name for himself during stints in the state attorney general’s office and with the Hotel Trades Council, Neal Kwatra has delivered for candidates for elected office and for groups advocating for various causes – raising the minimum wage to $15 an hour, legalizing driver’s licenses for undocumented immigrants, boosting census turnout – in his role as the head of his consulting firm, Metropolitan Public Strategies. A former political director at the Hotel Trades Council, Kwatra worked with the influential union on a multimillion-dollar independent expenditure supporting New York City Mayor Eric Adams. If you’re a reporter, you already talk to Kwatra and know he’s one of the best around town at shaping a story. A key staffer at the firm is director of operations Jason Heard.
Notable clients: Building Decarbonization Coalition, New York Offshore Wind Alliance, Ørsted, Hotel Trades Council, The Witkoff Group
Company highlights: We continue to shift the focus of our work to concentrate on key climate campaigns, including the expansion of offshore wind in New York and the decarbonization of buildings, the largest source of emissions in New York.
- Michael Woloz & Danna DeBlasio
President and CEO; Managing Director, CMW Strategies
Other key employees: Skip Piscitelli, Matt Walsh, Kathy Cudahy, Evie Pope
Notable clients: New York State Latino Restaurant, Bar and Lounge Association, National Supermarket Association, Metropolitan Taxicab Board of Trade, Center for Science in the Public Interest, Hotel Association of New York City
Company highlights: Danna DeBlasio was elevated to managing director. CMW was able to revive and pass significant legislation on behalf of the Center for Science in the Public Interest requiring sugar warning labels in fast-food chain restaurants, and there will be more to come in 2022 to help combat obesity, diabetes and other disease through smart public policy.
- Jen Fermino
Managing Director of Communications, Moonshot Strategies
Other key employees: Jason Ortiz, Jenny Sedlis
Notable clients: New York Hotel and Motel Trades Council, StudentsFirstNY, Innocence Project, Vera Institute of Justice, New York Mets owner Steve Cohen, #BEYONDrosies
Company highlights: Firm was just founded in 2021.
- Hannah Arnold & Lisa Linden
President and CEO; Media Strategist, The LAKPR Group
The LAKPR Group, which boasts PR veterans Hannah Arnold and Lisa Linden on its team, often stays behind the scenes but is known among insiders for guiding corporate clients and political figures through media firestorms.
Notable clients: Hotel Association of New York City, Clearview AI, Salk Institute for Biological Studies, Quiznos, FMG Leading