We are now the Core Strategic Group

Friends, Colleagues, and Clients:

We have some really exciting news for our firm!

First, I sincerely hope this email finds you well during these interesting times. Across California and the nation, we’re approaching two months of stay-at-home orders, and now, thankfully, the COVID-19 curve appears to be flattening, and we are starting to see some of the restrictions lifted. I have no doubt we will all emerge changed, with a new normal to navigate.

During this crisis, I’m pleased to share with you our teams have not missed a beat. Even working from home, we have continued to deliver for our clients, whether for a political campaign, a non-profit association or professional society, a corporate public affairs client, or a public sector agency. This week we began planning a return to our offices, and we all look forward to being able to see you in person soon.

On to the exciting news! As of today, FSB Core Strategies is now the Core Strategic Group!

Let me tell you what that means.

Since January 2019, behind the scenes, we have engaged in a comprehensive and strategic restructuring of our firm. The company formerly known as FSB Core Strategies has transformed into a public affairs holding company with a vision of becoming nothing less than the premier public affairs holding company in the nation and, indeed, the world. We have created, spun off, and assembled a broad range of operating companies that bring together the brightest talent, delivering the best strategies and tactics across an array of individual disciplines and geography.

All geared toward getting “The Win” for our clients.

We selected this new name because frankly, we have outgrown our old one and its focus on our three founding partners. At the same time, we want to retain elements of our historical brand that commit us to being strategic at the “core” of what we do across all our companies.

Against that backdrop, it is my pleasure to introduce the entire Core Strategic Group of companies:

BadFish Media – our unparalleled creative advertising and production agency, across all media disciplines.
c3 Public Strategies – the premier grassroots and field campaign firm in the business, bar none.
Chariot Campaigns – cutting-edge political campaign strategy management and opinion research, a firm that helps clients win with deep data capabilities.
The Core Management Company – the most visionary, passionate, and results-driven association and non-profit management firm, period.
FSB Public Affairs – “Sacramento’s #1 Public Affairs firm” according to the Sacramento Business Journal – making a difference for our clients and the stakeholders they serve.
KPA Strategies – political campaign and corporate intelligence, because you need to know what you don’t know.

Collectively, the Core Strategic Group of companies is a diversified set of firms that are the best in the business. They all share a common set of values that define who we are and what we do:

  • Passion and commitment. To our clients, to ourselves, and to winning.
  • Fearless advocacy. For our clients, we’re always willing to take on the tough fights and do what’s right.
  • Collaborative problem-solving. Because the power of teamwork is greater than any one of us.
  • Accountability to our clients and ourselves. Owning our successes and learning from setbacks.
  • Brilliant strategic plans and tactical execution. We hire the most talented people and train them to be even better.

For those of you who know our firms, you will notice a couple of significant additions to our arsenal. An arsenal that now includes a growing team of bi-partisan professionals, including Republicans, Democrats and independents.

I am very pleased to share that one of the top campaign and opinion research pros around, Jamie Fisfis, and his firm, Chariot Campaigns, have joined the Core Strategic Group. Jamie will oversee our political campaign and opinion research practices, continue as the President of Chariot Campaigns, and he joins the CSG Board of Directors as a shareholder.

I am also excited to share that Dan Kramer has also brought his firm, KPA Strategies, into our Group. Dan is the top campaign and corporate intelligence operative available, and with him comes the understanding that in both campaigns and corporate public affairs work, information and research are the foundation of good strategy. Dan maintains an ownership stake, continues as President of KPA Strategies, and will lead that practice area along with cross-serving with Chariot and FSB Public Affairs in putting the fruits of his work into action at the operational level.

Finally, I want to announce that Frank Rizzo, who this past August left a firm he founded to join us because of his desire to be part of what we are building, has officially joined the CSG Board of Directors as a shareholder as well, and will continue in his role as President of FSB Public Affairs.

Of course, my long-time partners, Kristy Babb and Cherri Spriggs continue in their leadership roles and as CSG Directors. Kristy serves as our Chief Administrative and Talent Officer, making sure our business operations run smoothly, and that we continue to attract, hire and train the most talented professionals. Cherri continues in her role as Chief Client Service Officer, ensuring every client across all our companies is served with the highest degree of professionalism and ethics and that we remain true to our promises to be passionate, fearless, collaborative, accountable, and brilliant.

With offices in Sacramento, Anaheim, and San Francisco, and close to 50 of the smartest campaign, public affairs, association management, grassroots, and advertising professionals around, we have the scope to handle any challenge, big or small. We have the capabilities to scale our offerings based on client need – whether to utilize just one of our companies for a focused effort that demands a particular specialty or to deploy all of our firms to help clients achieve their goals on the most complex projects.

Clients can be assured that all their consultants and teams will operate with seamless coordination, across all companies. We also have the internal capabilities to firewall our firms from each other when the client’s needs call for that discretion.

This is an exciting day for us, and we hope to have the opportunity to share more about how the Core Strategic Group can help you achieve the win and the results you need.

There’s more exciting news to come, but for now, thanks for taking the time to read this, and again, we hope you are well and safe.

Sincerely,

Jeff Flint

President and CEO

Core Strategic Group

David Wilson

EXECUTIVE VICE PRESIDENT AND CFO, C3 PUBLIC STRATEGIES

David M. Wilson is Executive Vice President and CFO of C3 Public Strategies, Inc., managing partner of the firm. David oversees all corporate and political clients as well as campaign grassroots management. David has a lifelong passion for politics and a deep understanding of direct voter contact through grassroots communications.

A Sacramento native, David grew up in the political arena and has extensive experience in the industry aiding over 120 municipal, legislative, and congressional campaigns. David’s career has led him across California contributing to his expertise of California and it’s political geography. David resides in Newport Beach and anchors C3’s Southern California office.

Miranda Pinto

CONTROLLER

Miranda Pinto joined the Core Strategic Group team as our Administrative Services Director. Miranda brings nearly 15 years of experience in administrative management which includes finances, human resources, employee development, and office management.

 

Experience:

  • 13 years as Administrative Accounting Assistant/Office Manager for private educators
  • Two years as Office Manager for a mergers and acquisitions firm

 

Education:

  • Obtaining a degree in Business Administration

David A. Murillo, CAE

PRINCIPAL AND PRESIDENT, THE CORE MANAGEMENT COMPANY

David is a Principal and the President of The Core Management Company. He is the vision driver of TCMC and primary liaison to our client Boards. He provides executive level services, and assists in strategic planning, government affairs and PAC management for our clients. He possesses a Certified Association Executive (CAE) designation from the American Society of Association Executives (ASAE) and is currently enrolled in the US Chamber of Commerce’s Institute of Organizational Management (IOM) program. A respected leader in the realm of association executives, David was named the 2019 Association Executive of the Year by the California Society of Association Executives (CalSAE). He  currently serves as CalSAE’s Vice Chair & Secretary and is in line to become Chair of the Board in 2020. 

 

Experience:

  • Nearly 20 years of trade association/membership/risk management experience, including, executive management, marketing, program development, and communication with membership and public agencies
  • Has served in an executive director capacity for national, state and local trade associations and professional societies
  • Served as membership executive for California Restaurant Association and American Council of Engineering Companies of California
  • Strong background in insurance programs and risk management
  • Certified Association Executive (CAE) designation from the American Society of Association Executives (ASAE)
  • Completed half of curriculum of Institute of Organizational Management program, expected completion June 2020
  • 2019 CalSAE Executive of the Year

 

Community Involvement:

  • Current Vice Chair of the  California Society of Association Executives (CalSAE)
  • Member of the American Society of Association Executives
  • Former President of the California Capital Region Sigma Chi Alumni Association

 

Education:

  • Bachelor of Science, Business Administration, California State University, Sacramento

Carlos Madriles

CREATIVE DIRECTOR, CORE STRATEGIC GROUP AND VICE PRESIDENT, BADFISH MEDIA

Carlos brings a diverse business and communications background and over 13 years in marketing and design experience to the Core Strategic Group team. Using his proficiency in graphic design, video production, web design work, 3D space layouts, and event production, Carlos implements his experience in marketing and branding principles to deliver effective collateral pieces across several different mediums. Carlos understands the importance of being a student to the ever evolving marketing and creative world. Based in the Core Strategic Group Orange County office, Carlos has worked hand in hand with the Anaheim Chamber of Commerce on countless initiatives, election campaigns, community engagement campaigns, advocacy issues, and economic development policies over the past 9 years.

 

EXPERIENCE

• Former Lead Designer for a retail design company
• Former Director of Communications for the Anaheim Chamber of Commerce
• Over 9 years of public affairs work, leading the design and implementation of
campaign websites, logos, mailing collateral, and social media marketing
campaigns
• Proficient in Video Production and design suites Final Cut Pro, Adobe
Illustrator, Photoshop, InDesign, and Sketchup

Dan Kramer

SENIOR VICE PRESIDENT, CORE STRATEGIC GROUP AND PRESIDENT, KPA STRATEGIES

Dan Kramer, President of KPA Strategies, has more than 20 years experience in political, campaign and trade association management, investigative research and public relations. He is an expert in developing and implementing effective public affairs campaigns for businesses, institutions and individuals under attack from competitors, activists, political and regulatory officials, and the media. Dan holds both a B.A. and Master’s degrees from the University of Southern California.

Jerry Amante

SENIOR VICE PRESIDENT AND GENERAL COUNSEL, CORE STRATEGIC GROUP

Jerry serves as Senior Vice President and General Counsel for the firm. Based in Orange County, Jerry serves as General Manager of the Orange County office and leads business development efforts throughout the southern California region.  Jerry possesses nearly 40 years of real estate and land use law, business and corporate law, political and government experience.

 

Experience:

  • Seven years at Core Strategic Group
  • Ten years in public office, including Council Member, Mayor and as a Board Member and Chairman of several regional government agencies
  • Nearly 40 years of practicing law in complex transactions and litigation in California; Admitted to all California State and Federal courts and the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals.

 

Community Involvement:

  • Former Mayor, City of Tustin
  • Former Chairman of the Orange County Transportation Authority (OCTA) Board of Directors
  • Former Chairman of the Transportation Corridor Authority (TCA) Board of Directors
  • Former Member of LOSSAN Board of Directors
  • Past President, California League of Cities, Orange County Division
  • Past President, Association of California Cities, Orange County
  • Former Chair/Past Chair/Board Member of multiple Boards, the Irvine Chamber of Commerce, The Irvine and Tustin Exchange Clubs and the Irvine Public Schools Foundation, among others
  • Instructor / Lecturer on Public Policy at various So. Cal Universities & Colleges
  • Former member of the Association of California Cities Emeritus Council
  • Current Chair of Heroes and Healthy Families
  • Former Host, The City Square radio show on OC Talk Radio
  • Current Host, Java with Jerry Radio Show / Podcast

 

Education:

  • Bachelor of Arts, Political Science, UCLA
  • Juris Doctor, Southwestern University School of Law

Frank Rizzo

PRINCIPAL AND EXECUTIVE VICE PRESIDENT, CORE STRATEGIC GROUP AND PRESIDENT, FSB PUBLIC AFFAIRS

Frank Rizzo is President of FSB Public Affairs. He has over twenty-five years of political and public affairs experience and has led grassroots public affairs campaigns in over forty states and Canada. He is an expert at developing and managing grassroots campaigns to influence legislative, regulatory, and policy decisions at the federal, state, and local level for corporate and trade association clients. Frank has also managed various ballot and independent expenditure campaigns around the country. Frank has worked some of the country’s largest companies on wind and solar energy projects, cannabis issues, waste facilities, and mixed-use and commercial developments. His experience with community outreach extends to projects involving NEPA (National Environmental Policy Act), FERC (Federal Energy Regulatory Commission), and CEQA (California Environmental Quality Act), as well as many state and local environmental regulations around the country.

 

Experience:

Frank spent fifteen years working on political campaigns throughout the country at all levels including presidential campaigns, congressional races, legislative and county races. He has also worked for some of the country’s leading political consulting firms producing television, radio, and direct mail advertisements.

  • Founder Partner at Five Corners Strategies
  • Division Manager at Saint Consulting
  • Service Employees International Union
  • Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee
  • White House Office of Management and Budget

 

Community Involvement:

  • East Bay Leadership Council
  • Impact Diable Valley, Founding Member
  • Public Affairs Council

 

Education:

  • Harvard Business School’s “Leading Professional Services Firms” program
  • University of California-Davis CEQA CLE land-use program
  • MIT-Harvard Public Disputes Program “Deal with an Angry Public”
  • Masters in Public Policy, The Rockefeller College of Public Affairs and Policy at the University of Albany in New York
  • Bachelor of Science, History, and Politics from Drexel University in Pennsylvania

James Fisfis

PRINCIPAL, AND EXECUTIVE VICE PRESIDENT, CORE STRATEGIC GROUP AND PRESIDENT, CHARIOT CAMPAIGNS

Chariot’s President and founder James Fisfis has over two decades’ experience in U.S. and international political campaigns, including 18 years in California. He is the recipient of six AAPC “Pollie” Awards and three Reed Award nominations for his successful and innovative ad campaigns to elect moderates in deeply partisan districts in California, which earned him the Silver “Pollie” Award for best Candidate Media Campaign of the 2014 election cycle.

In addition to his award-winning media consulting for political candidates and elected officials, James has conducted and directed over 500 political and public affairs surveys and focus groups – in the United States and in over 20 countries on four continents – for Fortune 500 companies and business and technology organizations.

Prior to founding Chariot in 2006, James served in the California State Assembly as Political and Communications Director for three consecutive Minority Leaders.

Kristy Babb

PRINCIPAL, CORE STRATEGIC GROUP AND CEO, THE CORE MANAGEMENT COMPANY

Kristy is a Principal and CEO of The Core Management Company. She oversees TCMC’s administrative operations and leads a number of TCMC’s client teams. For nearly two decades she has excelled at developing integrated communication campaigns for corporate, government and nonprofit clients including Ford Motor Company, Western Carwash Association, Sacramento Metro Chamber of Commerce, California Travel Association and the Dairy Council of California. Kristy is currently enrolled in the US Chamber of Commerce’s Institute of Organizational Management (IOM) program. 

 

Experience:

  • 12 years with the Core Strategic Group Family of Companies
  • 20 years public relations/public affairs, political campaign management, and association management experience
  • A leader in strategic design, branding, message development and community-based outreach
  • Former Director of Communications, Dairy Council of California
  • Former Project Manager, The Hoyt Company

 

Community Involvement:

  • Past Board Director, Folsom Chamber of Commerce
  • Honorary Board Member, Raley’s Food for Families
  • Volunteer, Friends of the NICU
  • Wife and mom to two awesome boys

 

Education:

  • Bachelor of Science, Political Science, University California Davis
  • Minor, Communications

Cherri Spriggs

PRINCIPAL AND CHIEF CLIENT SERVICE OFFICER, CORE STRATEGIC GROUP AND FSB PUBLIC AFFAIRS

Cherri has managed day-to-day efforts and multi-million dollar budgets on behalf of a number of statewide and local initiative and referendum campaigns, Fortune 500 companies, local government agencies, non-profit organizations and associations.

Since 2012 she has lead the firm’s Latino Outreach and Spanish-Language team. Assimilating to the language and culture through study and living abroad, Cherri has spent much of her career developing and implementing culturally appropriate strategies for her clients. Her extensive experience and sage counsel makes her the go-to choice for clients seeking to deliver their messages to the Latino community.

Her record of success coupled with her unique collaborative approach to ballot initiative campaigns and traditional corporate public affairs programs has earned her a national reputation for being an intentional, strategic leader and a masterful tactical implementor. Cherri’s passion, dedication and vivacious spirit makes her a client favorite.

 

Experience:

  • Seven years with FSB Core Strategies
  • 20 years in public relations, public affairs, multicultural communications and ballot initiative campaigns with Porter Novelli, Edelman, VSP and California State University, Chico
  • Experienced in health care, education, transportation, insurance, tort reform, land use and patient advocacy issues
  • Served as Campaign Manager or Deputy Campaign Manager for 15 Statewide, Regional, and Local Ballot Initiatives in Transportation, Education, Land Use, Public Safety, Health Care and Tort Reform

 

Community Involvement:

  • Commissioner, Economic Development Commission, City of Lincoln
  • President, Lincoln Chamber of Commerce
  • Board Member, Visit Placer
  • Board Member, Lighthouse Counseling & Family Resource Center
  • Director at Large, CSU Chico Department of Public Relations & Journalism Advisory Board
  • Sustaining Member, Junior League of Sacramento
  • Member, California Women’s Leadership Association
  • Member, California State Railroad Museum Foundation
  • Member, Crocker Art Museum

 

Education:

  • Bachelor of Arts, Journalism, California State University, Chico
  • Minor, Spanish
  • Minor, Art History

Jeff Flint

CEO, CORE STRATEGIC GROUP

Jeff is the CEO of Core Strategic Group and the Senior Partner in the firm. He oversees all aspects of the firm, including client services, project management, business development, and managing the business. Jeff has extensive experience in public relations and political campaigns.

Experience:

  • 12 years with Core Strategic Group (including predecessor company)
  • 30 years public relations/public affairs/political campaign/government experience
  • 11 years in the State Legislature, managing campaigns including those of the Chief of Staff and Political Director at Assembly Speaker Curt Pringle’s office
  • Former Vice President at Russo, Marsh+Rogers, Inc.
  • Former CEO of Flint Communications

Community Involvement:

  • President and Board Chairman, Placer United Soccer Club (2013-Present), Board member since 2010
  • Husband to an amazing wife and dad to five wonderful kids

Education:

  • Bachelor of Science, Political Science, Caltech
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