With more than 20 years of political and public affairs experience in Iowa and around the nation, Kochel has been a senior consultant to many successful political and corporate clients. He is respected in national political circles and is regularly sought out by top national media figures for his expert commentary and background information on key political issues. Kochel is the founder of Redwave Communications, a leading national political communications firm with national, state and local clients.
Kochel served as a senior advisor to the Romney for President campaign, providing strategic advice and marketing support in Iowa, Nevada, Colorado, and nationally. He has also served as Executive Vice President at one of the nation’s leading grassroots/public affairs firms, running an innovative and highly effective federal grassroots effort for AT&T in the late 1990’s and early 2000’s.
Additional experience includes:
Strategic and marketing support for California ballot initiatives led by Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger.
Land use campaigns in California for clients including Home Depot and Caruso Affiliated.
Strategic consulting to the center/right New Rights Party in the former Soviet Republic of Georgia.
Managerial experience as the Executive Director of the Iowa and Michigan Republican State Parties.
Creating and managing the Partnership for a Drug-Free Iowa in 1991, which became the largest public service campaign in Iowa history.
Kochel and his firm, JDK Marketing & Public Affairs (the forerunner to Redwave), won three Pollie awards for political marketing.
Kochel is a graduate of Iowa State University with a Bachelors of Arts in Political Science.
A University of Iowa graduate with dual degrees in English and Journalism, Tank began working as a copy editor and production manager for JDK Marketing and Public Affairs, the forerunner to Redwave. During her tenure at JDK, Tank was the SE Iowa Field Representative for Mitt Romney’s Commonwealth PAC. She later took a leave to work as the Youth Coordinator for Romney for President in Iowa and the Midwest E-Campaign Director for John McCain for President. Since rejoining Redwave as COO following the 2008 elections, Tank oversees the firm’s national direct mail efforts. With dozens of clients ranging from advocacy groups to state ballot initiatives, Tank manages the design/creative team, and overseas print production, product quality, and all facets of client management.
A graduate of Marquette University in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, Sara holds degrees in both Political Science and Journalism.
Upon graduation from college, Sara moved back to Iowa and began working as Western Iowa Field Director for the Legislative Majority Fund at the Republican Party of Iowa. She worked with State Legislators and Candidates for State House throughout the 2006 Election cycle.
Sara then went on to work as Central Iowa Field Director for Romney for President. Working the largest population region in the state, Sara helped organize and energize Polk and surrounding counties for Mitt Romney. Following Iowa, Sara continued on with the Romney campaign in the early primary states of Michigan, Florida and Minnesota.
To finish the 2008 election cycle, Sara moved to Bismarck, North Dakota and served as the Legislative Caucus Director and Executive Director of the North Dakota Republican Party. In a tough election, North Dakota Republicans performed very well by picking up the statewide elected office of Insurance Commissioner, kept control of both the State House and State Senate, and won the state for John McCain. Sara was also in Nashville Tennessee serving as campaign manager to Lt. Governor Ron Ramsey in his campaign for Governor of Tennessee. Overseeing a $4 million budget, she led the Ramsey team in a tough and competitive race. Most recently she was the Virginia State Manager for the Romney for President Campaign this past Election cycle.
Currently, Sara is consulting at Redwave Communications for the firm’s Political Clientele.