For Eric, politics was a family calling. After his future NFL career was dashed by the realization that he had everything but the skill, size, speed and talent to make it, he turned to his second passion inherited from his grandparents. His grandfather, a civic leader in 1960’s West Virginia, campaigned with Bobby Kennedy and Hubert Humphrey. His grandmother, an Auschwitz survivor, insisted her grandchildren read TIME Magazine every week and use their opportunities to contribute to “our country that is truly free.”
Prior to starting the firm, Eric spent eleven years managing Democratic campaigns. At the age of 27, he served as State Director for the 1992 Clinton/Gore Campaign in Illinois, the first successful Democratic Presidential Campaign in Illinois since 1964.
Eric has appeared on WLS Radio’s Political Shootout, the nationally syndicated program Beyond the Beltway, the Nationally Syndicated WGN Steve Cochran Show and MSNBC.
He received his J.D. from the University of Chicago School of Law and graduated Phi Beta Kappa from Williams College. He was selected a Greater Chicago Leadership Fellow in 1993 and serves on the Board of Trustees of the Erikson Institute and the Advisory Board of Facing History and Ourselves.
Ann Liston became interested in politics as an idealistic college student for three very important reasons; Beer. Boys. And pizza. (Not necessarily in that order.)
But in the 1992 election, as a precinct captain for the 43rd Ward in Chicago, Ann saw the decisive power that elections can have upon a changing nation – and upon a young woman looking to make a contribution in the world.
Since then, she’s been hooked. Hooked and dedicated to working to make our country’s elective bodies look more like the make-up of America.
Ann has worked in every level of political campaigns – from a well-heeled ward office to serving as a senior member of the media team on President Obama’s re-election and everything in between. Ann has exported her skills across the globe, helping political parties take root in emerging democracies across Eastern Europe and Asia.
Ann’s work has stood on the front lines with working people fighting for progressive policies and thoughtful, forward-thinking leaders. From fending off attacks on workers’ rights to helping elect women and more people of color, AL Media works for meaningful change. But what she is most proud of is her firm’s ability to work on hard-fought, against-the-odds races and win.
Ann serves on the board of Girls in the Game and is a frequent lecturer for Harvard University’s Women & Public Policy program.
Andy leads the digital practice at A|L Media and has been working in the online political space since 2004. His work helped win elections in more than 30 states and been recognized by numerous Reed and Pollie awards.
Andy has advised a number of large labor unions, Fortune 1000 companies, the DNC, DCCC, and EMILY’s List, in addition to non-profits such as Autism Speaks and the Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence.
He has been commissioned as a Kentucky Colonel, worked illegally as a bartender in one of London’s hottest clubs and graduated from the Colorado College, where he was both an above average student and skier. Andy is a fifth-generation Chicagoan who loves nothing more than taking in a Cubs game with his wife and two daughters.
Karen Finney is an independent consultant who works with political and corporate clients in the United States and globally on message development, crisis communications, branding, public affairs and strategy. Most recently she was a Residential Fellow at Harvard Kennedy School’s Institute of Politics, Fall 2017.
Finney served as Senior Advisor for Communications and Political Outreach and Senior Spokesperson for Hillary Clinton’s presidential campaign. Additionally, she was a campaign surrogate and Communications Director for Senator Tim Kaine, the Vice Presidential nominee.
From her experience working in media, national politics, political and communications strategy in both the public and private sectors, Finney brings a unique perspective to her work. Finney hosted her own television show on MSNBC, “Disrupt with Karen Finney,” where she also worked as a contributor and political analyst for five years. Her work also includes four presidential campaigns, service in the Clinton White House, and Hillary Clinton’s first New York Senate race. Her international work includes a joint project with the French American Foundation and the American Embassy working with minority political candidates in France following the election of Barack Obama.
The first and only African American spokeswoman for the Democratic National Committee, Finney helped lead the DNC’s communications and media strategy for Howard Dean’s “50 State Strategy,” re-branding the Democratic Party, the successful 2006 Congressional elections and DNC communications efforts during 2008 presidential campaign.
Finney has also worked to improve public education. As Chief of Staff to the Chairman, CEO and President of Scholastic Inc., Karen led a number of corporate projects including branding campaigns, internet strategy and partnership development. As Director of Business Development and Strategy, she developed and oversaw the growth of Scholastic, Inc. into new market areas and cultivated strategic relationships with key organizations in the public and private sectors. As the chief spokesperson and Communications Director for the New York City Board of Education, Karen also managed crisis communications in the aftermath of 9/11. Karen has served on the boards of the Women’s Leadership Forum Network, NY; Teach for America, NY and the Women’s Vote Center. Currently, she serves on the boards of NARAL pro-choice America and the Civic Engagement Fund. Finney continues to appear regularly on television as a political analyst and has written columns for The Hill and U.S. News and World Report.
Patrick brings a hands-on business approach and an impressive track record of financial and operational management to AL Media. In his position here as Chief Financial Officer, Patrick is instrumental in linking finance, technology and operations to streamline business processes and execute complex financial company initiatives. As a financial leader, Patrick’s focus is on strengthening the agency’s infrastructure and strategic capabilities to maximize performance, efficiency and cost-savings that will benefit our clientele. For nearly 20 years, Patrick has honed his financial expertise in the areas of Public Accounting, Financial Derivative Markets, Corporate Finance, Government and Non-Profits. Patrick currently holds an MBA with a focus in Advanced Accounting and is certified in Forensic Examination. In addition to these professional achievements, Patrick is also a classically trained French Chef and a die-hard Chicago Blackhawks fan.
Josh got his start in the 2011 Wisconsin recalls and then served as campaign manager in Congressman Ami Bera’s historic 2012 upset over Dan Lungren. Since then, he’s been managing statewide races around the country. As a campaign manager, Josh has fought and won in primaries and generals, and run races for almost every elected office up and down the ticket. Fluent in Spanish and a lifelong tortured Orioles fan, Josh worked on the critically acclaimed documentary “Pelotero: Ballplayer” before embarking on a career in politics.
Since 2012, Alison has run our production department during our busiest cycles to date and has helped produced award-winning spots for top tier races. She started in television news as an anchor and reporter before going behind the scenes to write and produce documentary television programs for national cable networks including CNBC, The National Geographic Channel, and Investigating Discovery. Alison graduated from the University of Kansas with a degree in Journalism.
Brian serves as AL Media’s Creative Director, directing shoots and developing original content. He also is part of our editing team, and his work has helped win elections as well as several Pollie and Reed awards. Since 2005, Klemesrud has been working as a director and editor in film and TV in LA and Chicago – garnering success at film festivals and within the industry.
Miles took the reins of our competitive research and media-buying department in 2014, tracking spending and placing television and radio buys in competitive races across the country. His past experience includes working on campaigns in Chicago and as district staff for an Assistant Majority Leader of the Illinois House. Miles is a graduate of the University of Chicago.
Jake Breymaier has extensive and diverse campaign experience, having held roles ranging from campaign manager on Congressional and statewide campaigns to analyst at a leading DC polling firm. Jake has worked on some of the most competitive campaigns in the country, including Congressman Bill Foster’s stunning upset Special Election victory in a Republican stronghold – a victory described as a “political earthquake” by the Chicago Sun-Times. With over a decade of experience in his pocket, Jake knows that campaigns have to be built with a strong foundation and a sound strategy and provides that for AL’s clients.
Since joining AL Media in early 2014, Jake has helped to conceive, execute, and manage digital ad programs across a variety of online channels and social media networks. He has close to a decade of experience in the digital space, including various roles at sports retailer FansEdge.com and a high profile Internet start-up. Jake is a graduate of the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign and holds a Master’s degree from Northwestern’s Medill School of Journalism. In his spare time Jake likes checking Twitter and rooting for every Chicago sports team except the White Sox.
Joseph’s experience incorporates both production and post-production. He’s been a part of the AL Crew for the 2014 & 2016 political cycles and has assisted in finishing hundreds of spots for some of the biggest races in the country. He works as our head Online Editor; influencing the layout and visual outlook of our spots. Joseph graduated from DePaul University with a degree in Digital Cinema.