Terry Sullivan would prefer to be well-known for his mountaineering expeditions or captaining his boat long-distances offshore, but his two decades spent as a leader in politics and public affairs have distracted from his efforts to attain notoriety in those more interesting fields.
Sullivan has played a senior strategic role in over 100 campaigns, including better than two dozen US Senate, Gubernatorial and Presidential campaigns. He has advised Republican candidates at every level, having been in some of the toughest political battles and emerging victorious. Over his career he has worked for some of the biggest names in politics, including Jesse Helms, Jim DeMint, Mitt Romney, Trey Gowdy and Marco Rubio, for whom he served as Campaign Manager on his presidential campaign.
Sullivan is a founding partner of the public affairs firm Firehouse Strategies, where he advises Fortune 500 companies and trade associations on how best to deliver their message in a targeted and effective fashion. He has built and run multiple award-winning communications and media firms over the years, including TV, digital and print.
Sullivan has a bachelor’s degree from UNC-Wilmington, and has served as an adjunct professor at George Washington Graduate School of Political Management and as a featured speaker at numerous universities including Harvard and NYU. He serves on the board of ClearPath, a conservative clean energy advocacy group. He has appeared as an expert on numerous major and cable networks, as well as in major news publications ranging from The New York Times to National Review.
Sullivan currently lives in Washington, DC where he hones his crisis management skills serving in his most impressive job: That of full-time single dad, raising his teenage daughter McKenna.
Alex Conant is a communications and media expert best-known for his work as the Communications Director for Marco Rubio’s 2016 presidential campaign. A trusted Rubio advisor for over five years, he served as Sen. Rubio’s press secretary in the Senate before leading communications for his presidential bid and serving as a senior advisor on his Senate re-election campaign. As the presidential campaign’s Communications Director, he played a large role in shaping the Rubio campaign’s message and media strategy, and was the campaign’s senior spokesman.
Conant has worked on every national election over the last 15 years, previously serving as Gov. Tim Pawlenty’s Communication Director during his 2012 presidential campaign and as a senior advisor on Sen. Joni Ernst’s successful 2014 Iowa senatorial campaign. Conant also served as the national press secretary for the Republican National Committee during the 2008 presidential campaign and as a White House spokesman during President George W. Bush’s second term.
Conant is a political contributor for CBS News and regularly appears on FOX News, CNN, CNN International, MSNBC and CNBC to discuss politics and communications. He is a sought-after speaker on American politics and public relations: Since Rubio’s presidential campaign ended, he’s traveled to Africa, Australia and Europe for speaking engagements.
He received his bachelor’s and a master’s degree in public affairs from the University of Wisconsin-Madison, where he was the editor-in-chief of the student daily, The Badger Herald.
Will Holley is a veteran of fifteen years of political campaigns, governmental service, and public affairs consulting. Most recently, he served as an attorney and senior staffer on Marco Rubio’s presidential campaign where he was the chief advisor on delegate strategy and allocation rules. Prior to that, Holley spent five years working as a public affairs consultant to companies and associations ranging from Fortune 50 to startups, and across industries including tech, gaming, financial services, and telecommunications, among others. In that role, Holley worked on every aspect of public affairs campaigns, including survey research, coalition building and management, grassroots/grasstops engagement, paid media production and placement, digital/social media strategy, and earned media. He dealt with governmental entities ranging from State Public Utilities Commissions and Attorneys General, to Congress, to Executive branch agencies such as FTC, DOJ, and FCC, as well as international authorities.
Holley began his career in the Office of the Press Secretary in George W. Bush’s White House, leaving the administration to manage a congressional race in West Virginia. From there, he became Press Secretary to Congressman Scott Garrett before being recruited back to the campaign trail as South Carolina Communications Director for Governor Mitt Romney’s first bid for the Republican nomination. Returning to Washington, Holley was Press Secretary for Citizens United throughout the course of its landmark First Amendment case, Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission.
Holley holds a B.A. from the University of Notre Dame and a J.D. from Georgetown University.
Matt Terrill has extensive experience working for political campaigns, state party political organizations, leadership PAC’s, national political party committees, and several leading national political figures.
Most recently, during the 2016 election cycle, Matt worked as a consultant to the Republican Party of Florida, where he managed a multi-million-dollar effort that produced 9 million voter contacts for Senator Marco Rubio’s successful re-election campaign, promoted early voting and Senator Rubio’s message through a targeted direct mail operation, and assisted Republican candidates across Florida.
Prior to Matt’s involvement with the Republican Party of Florida, he served as Chief of Staff to the Marco Rubio for President campaign. In that role, he assisted in managing a national staff of over 100 members and a complex multi-million-dollar enterprise.
Leading up to Matt’s involvement with Senator Rubio’s presidential bid, he worked for the Senator as the Political Director for the Reclaim America Leadership PAC. As Political Director, Matt coordinated logistics and political operations associated with Senator Rubio’s efforts to elect Conservatives to the United States Senate.
In 2011, Matt worked on Chairman Reince Priebus’s successful campaign for Chairman of the Republican National Committee and went on to serve as Special Assistant to Chairman Priebus at the RNC in Washington, DC.
While at the RNC, Matt also helped coordinate the Party’s political operations for targeted House, Senate, and Gubernatorial races within the Midwest during the 2014 election cycle, an historic year when Republicans won majorities in both the United States House of Representatives and the United States Senate.
A native of Wisconsin, Matt worked for the Republican Party of Wisconsin during the 2008 election cycle and has worked for over a dozen political campaigns in the Badger State.
Matt is a graduate of Roosevelt University in Chicago, Illinois. He currently resides in Washington, DC.
Jennifer Krantz joins Firehouse Strategies after serving on Capitol Hill as Communications Director for Congressman Joe Wilson and Press Secretary for Congressman Thomas Massie.
Prior to that, Krantz served as Executive Director of a Kentucky Political Action Committee, helping Republicans take back the State House for the first time in 90 years. In addition, Krantz worked as Political Director for a Congressional re-election campaign, Deputy Campaign Manager for a statewide race in Connecticut, and held grassroots campaign positions in Texas, Virginia, and Florida.
Krantz is a graduate of the University of South Florida.
Strategic Planning Director
Kate Kuenzle joins Firehouse with a variety of political and operational experience. Most recently, Kuenzle served as the National Political Director at Vanguard Field Strategies where she led direct voter contact programs in 13 states, connecting with over one million voters to support conservative candidates in the 2018 midterms.
She has also served as the campaign manager to a statewide congressional race in South Dakota and as the St. Louis region representative for the office of Missouri Governor Eric Greitens. Kuenzle’s previous experience also includes working in government relations at Nelson Mullins in DC and on the operations team on Marco Rubio’s 2016 presidential campaign.
Kuenzle is a graduate of University of San Diego.
Director of Business Development
Will May joined Firehouse Strategies in September 2017 after internships in the offices of Congressman Phil Roe, Senator Richard Burr, Congressman Leonard Lance, and the Gula Graham Group. Prior to that, Will worked as an intern at the Virginia Headquarters of the 2012 Mitt Romney Presidential Campaign.
A native of Bethesda, Maryland, Will graduated with honors from Wake Forest University with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Politics and International Affairs. While at Wake Forest, he was active with the Wake Forest College Republicans.
Dorinda Moss Verhoff
Senior Vice President for Marketing and Business Development
For more than 20 years Dorinda Moss Verhoff has been raising money for Republicans and conservative causes. She began her career with the state Republican party in her native Tennessee before moving to Washington, DC to work for the reelection campaign of President George W. Bush where she served as a Regional Finance Director.
Following the 2004 campaign she served as co-finance director for the 55 the Presidential Inaugural Committee, before returning to the Republican National Committee.
In 2007 she returned to her Tennessee roots by joining Senator Fred Thompson’s campaign for President as the finance director. In the years following she served as director of development for Newt Gingrich’s American Solutions for Winning the Future and served two cycles and finance director for the National Republican Senatorial Committee.
She most recently served as a senior advisor to Reclaim America PAC and Marco Rubio for President. Her consulting firm, DMoss and Company currently provides fundraising and management services for a variety of political and nonprofit entities.
Dorinda lives in Falls Church, Virginia with her husband Geoff, their son Jackson and their two French bulldogs.
John E. Ross
Chief Financial and Operating Officer
John E. Ross comes to Firehouse Strategies with nearly three decades of financial and operations experience in Washington, DC.
Before joining Firehouse, he worked for the U.S. House of Representatives for fifteen years and served as the Finance Director for over 40 House Members, Committees, and Leadership offices. Over the past six years, he has also provided financial and business operations consulting services to over a dozen companies in the DC Metro area.
Mr. Ross began his career in Washington, DC working for Capitol City Brewing Company for 12 years where he served as Vice President for Administration and helped open the first brewpub in DC since Prohibition. While there he helped manage its growth from the one location in 1992 to five locations and over five hundred employees by 1997.
He attended Georgetown University where he studied American government and the philosophy of religion. He also holds a degree in Finance from George Mason University where he later served as an Adjunct Professor for Corporate Finance in Mason’s School of Management.
A native of Hattiesburg, Mississippi, he was raised in Spartanburg, South Carolina. In 1985 he served as a Page for Senator Strom Thurmond of South Carolina. That experience kindled his life-long love of the Washington, DC area where he has now resided for over 31 years.
Senior Vice President
Brooke Sammon brings a wide range of communications experience with her to Firehouse, after having worked in the House and Senate, on two presidential campaigns, and for one of the largest trade associations in the U.S.
She most recently managed communications campaigns for issues like energy, tax reform, trade and foreign affairs for the American Petroleum Institute, which represents over 600 corporate members. She served as press secretary for Senator Marco Rubio during the 2016 presidential campaign cycle, and before that was on the communications staff in his Senate office. She also worked on Mitt Romney’s presidential campaign in 2012 and was a press secretary for two House members.
Sammon is a graduate of Miami University in Oxford, Ohio.
Senior Vice President
Leslie Shedd has served as a senior advisor to Members of Congress, on statewide and national political candidates and at a top trade association in Washington DC, developing and implementing winning communications and political strategies across the country.
After eight years as a senior staffer on Capitol Hill, Shedd was recruited by the National Republican Senatorial Committee (NRSC) in 2014 to lead the effort to defeat Michelle Nunn in the highly competitive Georgia Senate race. With an 8-point victory by now Senator David Perdue in her pocket, Shedd joined Carly Fiorina’s super PAC as the national press secretary, leading the successful campaign strategy to move Carly Fiorina from a position in the back of the pack to a place on the national stage. After Carly left the presidential race in February 2015, Shedd managed Kathy Szeliga’s U.S. Senate campaign in Maryland, where she also served as communications director.
After the 2016 race, Shedd took a break from politics to join the National Restaurant Association as their vice president of communications, but returned to the political arena to serve as the deputy campaign manager and senior communications advisor for Rep. Jim Renacci’s U.S. Senate campaign in Ohio.
Shedd has a J.D. from the University of the District of Columbia and a B.A. from Clemson University, and spends her Saturdays during football season in head-to-toe orange cheering for the Tigers.
Senior Strategist and Managing Director
Dave Vermillion is a strategic communications professional with over two decades of experience advising organizations across the spectrum of industries during transformative moments. Vermillion specializes in public affairs, issues management, and crisis communications as he helps senior leaders navigate complex regulatory environments, shape public opinion, and influence the behavior of their most important stakeholders. He has led sensitive campaigns for the world’s most admired brands during their defining moments.
Prior to joining Firehouse, Vermillion held senior leadership roles within several global communications consultancies, advising clients on strategies to protect and enhance reputation and brand equity. He served as Executive Vice President and leader of Edelman’s public affairs practice in New York, he was Vice Chairman of Burson-Marsteller’s U.S. public affairs practice, and he was Managing Director of Teneo and Kekst. In each of these roles, Vermillion led diverse, high performing teams in the development and execution of sophisticated, high stakes communications campaigns.
Vermillion’s efforts on behalf of the American Chemistry Council to promote plastic recycling led to landmark environmental legislation in New York City. The campaign was recognized with a Silver Sabre from the Holmes Group for “Best Campaign on Behalf of an Association” in 2008. In 2005, Vermillion played a central role in the landslide reelection campaign of New York City Public Advocate Betsy Gotbaum, the third woman elected to citywide office in New York City history.
Vermillion’s career began in New York City politics and lobbying. He was Senior Vice President of Sheinkopf Ltd., a political and public affairs consultancy based in New York City. At Sheinkopf, he served as a key strategist and creative director on a variety of sensitive communications campaigns including political campaigns in Bermuda, Puerto Rico, Italy, the Dominican Republic and seven U.S. states. He has produced over 150 television and radio commercials.
Vermillion holds a Master’s degree in strategic communications from Columbia University and a Bachelor’s degree in economics from Fairfield University. He is a graduate of Regis High School in Manhattan.
Madeleine Weast joins Firehouse Strategies after serving on Capitol Hill as Communication Director for Congresswoman Liz Cheney.
Prior to her work on Capitol Hill, Weast spent two years writing and working with the social media team at the Washington Free Beacon, where her work was featured on a variety of media, including Fox News and Drudge Report. Weast’s previous experience also includes a Communications Fellowship at The Charles Koch Institute.
Weast is a graduate of the University of Kansas.