As a creative director, designer, producer, and communications strategist, Kate has spent more than a decade helping clients define their brands, build public trust, raise more money, and win tough campaigns. A founding partner at FSSG, Kate brings unmatched creative and technical skills along with a lifelong personal commitment to organizing in rural and faith-based communities.
Kate has led campaign communications teams and advised candidates across the Midwest. She served as Communications Director for the Minnesota DFL Party in the 2012 cycle – the Democrats’ most successful election in Minnesota history – in which the party was able to regain both chambers of the Minnesota legislature, defeat a Tea Party hero to elect Congressman Rick Nolan (MN-08), re-elect Senator Amy Klobuchar, and defeat both an anti-marriage equality amendment and a voter restriction amendment.
After the 2012 election, Kate founded a studio focused on branding, print, and digital media for state Democratic party organizations and candidates at the local, statewide, and federal level. She led the successful digital effort for Cap the Rate, a faith-focused campaign that ended abusive payday lending practices in South Dakota in 2016. She has consulted with campaigns and nonprofits organizations throughout the country on design strategy, branding, digital advocacy, direct mail, and fundraising communications, and today she is one of the Democratic Party’s most sought-after creative strategists.
Kate grew up on the South Dakota farm where her family has lived for over 125 years. She studied religion and classics at St. Olaf College in Northfield, MN, where she co-founded a nonprofit called Ruth's House that has provided over 10,000 nights of shelter for women and children in central Minnesota. Kate earned her M.A. in religion and theology at United Theological Seminary of the Twin Cities, where her thesis on media representation of the Reverend Jeremiah Wright in the 2008 presidential primary was awarded the Donald R. White Prize for Theological Interpretation of Culture.
Kate is committed to supporting emerging progressive leaders from outside traditional politics. She has served as communications co-chair on the Louisiana leadership team and edited national curriculum for New Leaders Council, which trains young progressive entrepreneurs. She currently provides volunteer consulting and serves on the board of directors of The Juror Project, a nonprofit working to increase jury diversity. She is also a member of the Truman National Security Project, where she works with emerging candidates and trains other members in the Candidate Advisory Group.
Kate spends her time in New Orleans, South Dakota and Washington, D.C. She’s currently developing a design training for Democratic teams and writing a guide that applies foundational design theory to creating better direct mail.