Christy Haynes

Art & Studio Director

Kyle McDermott


Grace McMahon

Digital Director

Rich Rhodes

Production Director

Alyson Rowse

Account Associate

Tom Spencer

Digital Accounts Manager

AJ Stokes


Meredith Tucker

Director of Public Affairs

Julie Varian

Accounting Specialist

Jonathan Varner


Megan Wickersham

Chief Operating Officer

Jonathan Varner

Jonathan Varner has built winning political and public affairs campaigns for candidates, committees, unions, nonprofits, and Fortune 500 businesses for nearly 20 years.

In 2007 he founded the company that would become JVA Campaigns, which has worked from California to Maine, and many places in between. In 2014 alone, JVA Campaigns worked in 17 states on campaigns ranging from governor to city council. Other past clients include AFSCME, America Votes, AT&T, the International Association of Firefighters, Planned Parenthood, the United Steelworkers, and hundreds of candidates for state and local office.

Under Varner's leadership as the firm's creative director, JVA Campaigns has won more than forty Pollie awards from the American Association of Political Consultants for advertising work in mail, digital, print, and radio. In 2013, Campaigns & Elections Magazine named Varner one of their national "Influencers 500" as well as one of Ohio's five most influential Democratic consultants.

As the founder and creative director of JVA, Jonathan is intimately involved in all of the work we do, but he enjoys specializing in ballot initiatives, public affairs, vote-by-mail programs, and conducting mail tests and experiments.

614-485-9880 ext 301

Christy Haynes

Christy spent almost twenty years working at various advertising and branding agencies before joining the JVA team. She is responsible for managing our creative team for in-house and client work. A native of Ohio, Christy has a degree in Advertising Design from the Columbus College of Art and Design.

614-485-9880 ext 306

Kyle McDermott

Born into a family of steelworkers and teachers, Kyle McDermott has worked in the labor movement for over ten years. In 2006, he served as the state director for the Ohio AFL-CIO, where he managed a vast field effort of more than 5,000 staff and volunteers. Kyle later became deputy political director for the United Steelworkers (USW), where he ran the Iowa caucus and New Hampshire primary operations for labor allies. In 2009, following the decline of the auto industry, he managed a USW campaign that targeted local and statewide elected officials and successfully passed more than 1,000 "Buy American" resolutions.

In 2011, Kyle served as deputy campaign manager for We Are Ohio, a massive ballot initiative campaign to defeat Senate Bill 5/Issue 2 that gathered over 1.3 million signatures and won with more than 60 percent of the vote. Following that victory, Kyle became executive director of the Ohio Democratic Party, where he oversaw a $20 million coordinated campaign that led to the Party's successful campaigns to reelect President Obama and Senator Sherrod Brown.

Upon joining the JVA team, Kyle designed a multistate independent expenditure for the USW that found the most-effective messaging and tactics to persuade key working-class voters in critical state legislative races. The program had overwhelming success in 2014, and it earned JVA Campaigns and the USW a Gold Pollie Award for the Best Independent Expenditure Mail Piece from the American Association of Political Consultants.

Kyle was raised in Zoar, Ohio, and graduated with a BA in political science from Baldwin-Wallace College. At JVA Campaigns, Kyle focuses on labor projects, state party operations and programs, legislative caucus work, and independent expenditures.


Grace McMahon

A native of Columbus, Ohio, Grace McMahon is a graduate of The Ohio State University and has spent nearly ten years in the field of marketing and advertising with a focus on digital and social media. Grace also brings to JVA her experience with television, radio, and creative development.

Grace is responsible for managing digital accounts and projects for JVA, streamlining processes and communication with clients, designers, and developers to ensure satisfaction among all parties when developing digital ad campaigns.

Grace has extensive volunteer experience with multiple organizations, including the Columbus Museum of Art, and has taught English overseas. The daughter of a public elementary arts teacher, Grace is currently completing her master's degree in library and information sciences.

614-485-9880 ext 320

Rich Rhodes

For almost two decades Rich has been at the heart of the advertising and media business in Ohio. As a director of creative and production services, an account executive, a production manager and a traffic manager for several firms, he's managed and directed all aspects of radio, television, and print advertising.

At JVA, Rich is the guy who makes the trains run on time. Internally, he ensures constant communication between account executives and the creative team, maintains the master project list and sample archive, and bids and purchases all outside production services. Externally, he assigns all projects to the appropriate vendors to ensure that each item is received by the targeted recipient when they are supposed to receive it. Rich is from Newark, Ohio, and attended Wilmington College.

614-485-9880 ext 305

Alyson Rowse

Alyson Rowse grew up in a small town outside of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, in a family of unionized steelworkers and coal miners. Her passion for labor and progressive politics drove her to complete a Bachelor's degree in Political Science and a certificate in Global Leadership from Ohio University. Aly has gained extensive research experience through her internships with the Alliance for American Manufacturing and the U.S. Senator Sherrod Brown's office.

614-485-9880 ext 316

Genevieve Sauvage

Originally from the south suburbs of Chicago, Genevieve explored careers in education and the arts before becoming a political operative. At JVA Genevieve is Jonathan Varner's Executive Assistant, keeping the boss's schedule under control and running smoothly.

At home Genevieve is a devoted aunt and photographer. Genevieve has a Bachelor's Degree in Photography from DePaul University and a Master in Education from Dominican University.

614-485-9880 ext 312

Tom Spencer

The JVA team is excited to welcome Tom Spencer to the team, and to the United States of America! Tom grew up in the United Kingdom and graduated from the University of Stirling. After college, he joined a financial consulting firm, where he worked with investment banks to build-out their quantitative analytics platforms. In the final months of the 2012 U.S. presidential election, Tom left the world of finance to work for the Ohio Democratic Party to help re-elect President Barack Obama and U.S. Senator Sherrod Brown. Following that election, he returned to the UK as a staffer and campaign manager for a senior Labour Party Member of Parliament. Once back in the states, Tom started working in computer programming and web design. Tom has joined JVA's digital team to help develop creative and innovative digital campaign solutions for our clients.

614-485-9880 ext 308

A.J. Stokes

AJ Stokes's passion for helping working families started early. His presence in the meeting hall of the local union began when he was still in diapers, but in the more than three decades since he has become a veteran operative in the labor movement, government, politics, and public affairs.

During his time working for the Labor Movement, AJ worked with local unions around the country, supported federal lobbying activities, and helped build political and legislative programs that gained Teamster influence in state capitols around the country.

AJ took his experience back to his home state, serving as both Executive Director and Chief of Staff to the Ohio House Democratic Caucus where he orchestrated winning back the majority for Democrats in the House for the first time in fourteen years on lines drawn by the opposing party.

After joining JVA Campaigns, AJ took a leave in 2011 to serve as Campaign Manager for the We Are Ohio effort to defeat Senate Bill 5. He was awarded "Campaign Manager of the Year" for his efforts.

AJ is a proud graduate of The Ohio State University where he earned his BA in political science. At JVA, AJ focuses on labor projects, ballot initiatives, state legislative caucus operations, and public affairs.

614-485-9880 ext 302

Meredith Tucker

Meredith has an extensive background working in strategic communications. Prior to joining JVA, she was the Communications Director of the Ohio Democratic Party, and served as spokesperson and media consultant for Columbus's 2016 DNC convention bid. Meredith has worked on countless political and issue campaigns, guiding local, state, and federal candidates, non-profits, and labor organizations on strategic messaging and media relations. She has experience working in the field for Obama for America, and spent years working in legislative affairs at the Ohio Statehouse. In 2011, Meredith was a Regional Communications Director for We Are Ohio, the historic campaign that defeated Senate Bill 5.

Growing up in Lakewood, Ohio, she volunteered on her first political campaign when she was just 14 years old, and has been hooked ever since. Meredith is a proud alumna of Ohio University, where she studied political science with a specialization in American Politics.


Julie Varian

Originally from Ohio, Julie joined JVA after spending fourteen years working in the accounting and insurance industries in North Dakota and Minnesota. At JVA she is our head bean counter, handling the accounting for our client accounts and our firm as a whole.

When not working, Julie loves going to yoga, biking, and making amazing soy candles. She and her family are also proud to have welcomed more than ten foster children into their home over the past several years.

Julie has a Bachelor's Degree in Business Administration from the University of North Dakota.

614-485-9880 ext 311

Megan Wickersham

Megan Wickersham has vast experience orchestrating successful voter contact and public affairs campaigns for candidates, political committees, and nonprofits as a member of firms in Arizona and Washington, DC. Before joining JVA, she worked for a nonprofit that focused on voter education and issue advocacy, and then honed her skills as an account executive, coordinating direct mail, paid phones, emails and other projects for political and public affairs clients. Her experience working on local, state, and federal campaigns, combined with her acumen in creating winning direct mail programs, makes her an important asset to our team and our clients.

At JVA Megan works primarily with our state legislative candidates and caucuses as well as municipal candidates. In addition to her client work, Megan manages the day-to-day operations at JVA, keeping the company running smoothly and efficiently. She continually monitors our internal policies and procedures and introduces improvements when necessary to make sure JVA stays on the cutting edge of our field.

An Illinois native, Megan has a BA in business management from Bradley University and a master's in public administration from Arizona State University.

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