Meet Tess

Mar 10, 2020

Tell us a little bit about your background before joining The Key team.
If you had told me just over a year ago that I’d have a career in tech public relations, I probably wouldn’t have believed you. Or maybe I would have; I’m not averse to change. I like to write, tell stories! But before 2019, I’d only ever really worked in politics.

Back in high school I spent parts of my Sophomore and Junior year studying in Costa Rica. The Costa Rican school system was on a different schedule than Wisconsin’s school system, so I was left with big chunks of time to fill between semesters. That’s why in Winter of 2010, at age 15, I joined a Gubernatorial race as a finance intern. By the time I was 17, and with a few more internships under my belt, I got my first job as a Finance Assistant at the Democratic Party of Wisconsin during the historic recall of then-Governor Scott Walker. We raised almost $7 million in just a few short months. I’d never seen people so passionate about a cause, and I got hooked.

I spent the next decade doing fundraising and communications for political campaigns, nonprofits, labor organizations, and socially-conscious businesses. Most recently, I was a Digital Strategist at Run the World Digital -- a fundraising firm aimed at helping progressives, especially women, have the resources to run and win their campaigns for elected office. I ran online email and advertising programs that raised millions of dollars for statewide, federal, and local candidates running for political office in Colorado, Connecticut, Ohio, Hawaii, Mississippi, and Wisconsin.

Describe your work style in five words.
Creative, quick, flexible, collaborative, impactful

What are your favorite kinds of projects to tackle?
Anything that gets those creative juices flowing. Maybe something with a dash of competition (I blame campaign life.) My colleagues know I love a new business proposal 😀

What’s your proudest moment at work (here or elsewhere)?
My gut reaction is to say “electing XYZ candidates and crushing XYZ fundraising goals, of course!” But if I think about it a little bit more, I’d say my heart feels fullest when I get a message from a former intern or staff member who tells me I’ve had some sort of positive impact on their life.

Mentorship is powerful. I wouldn’t be where I am today, personally or professionally, without the help of some incredible women. I hope to be able to provide that type of support to others, in ways big and small.

What makes you the most excited to be at The Key?
The people I get to work with on a daily basis. I learn so much.

Lightning Round:

Favorite office snack?
Coffee and chocolate.

Badass female role model?
There are too many to choose from! But for today, I choose Elizabeth Warren. THANK YOU!

Power song?
Anything reggaeton. Coffee + reggaeton is really my power combo.

BUT if we’re going to get cheesy, I’ll say Unwritten by Natasha Bedingfield. It’s been my go-to answer to this question since maybe the 7th grade.

If you could have a superpower, what would it be?

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