Iowa is home to the first-in-the-nation caucuses, and Des Moines-based Redwave has welcomed candidates, their staffs and reporters from around the country and world. While our early state location gets us noticed, it’s our Midwestern work ethic, superior design and creative messaging that commands attention.
Our integrated approach leverages our online and offline connections, weaving a campaign narrative across a variety of channels to ensure every candidate or cause is given priority attention regardless of how big or small a project. Our relationship with state and national reporters is expands from coast to coast. Our designers work around the clock. We plow intense passion into everything we create. Bottom line: When you partner with Redwave, you are a valued member of our family. A full and complete victory isn’t just a responsibility – it’s our mission.
Owner David Kochel has been involved in politics the majority of his professional life. With more than 30 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. His reputation in national political circles is unmatched, where he is regularly sought out by top national media figures for his expert commentary and background information on a wide range of political issues.
Redwave can deliver your message, whether it’s through the mailbox, inbox, web, phone or tablet.
Ride the Wave
Fresh, targeted messaging, aimed at the heart of your audience. Our strategy, design, and copy is built to win hearts and minds…and elections.
Public Affairs & Design
We are a full service public affairs and design firm that creates innovative and persuasive direct marketing programs to meet the needs of our corporate and political clients.
While our primary focus is targeted communications, Redwave has extensive experience in grassroots mobilization, media relations, database management, and electronic data marketing.
Our team features campaign professionals, creative talent, and management with the right experience in achieving results. We’ve managed voter contact campaigns of all sizes, from a few thousand voters, to tens of millions.
Chief Executive Officer
Marisa Tank has been the wheels that make Redwave Communications turn since 2006. She began working as a copy editor and production manager for JDK Marketing and Public Affairs, the forerunner to Redwave. 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. In 2009, Marisa came back to Redwave and has since served as the Chief Operating Officer. In 2015, Marisa was promoted to CEO. She oversees the design, production, and execution of every single project that comes through our door, which includes tens of millions of pieces of mail all over the country.
Sara Craig Gongol
One of the country’s top campaign managers, Sara brings vast strategic knowledge to Redwave. Serving as Iowa Caucus Manager and Virginia State Director for Mitt Romney in 2012, Campaign Manager for Ron Ramsey for Governor in Tennessee in 2010, Executive Director and Legislative Caucus Director of the North Dakota Republican Party in 2008, and various other campaign positions in between, Sara understands what it takes to manage a budget, direct a staff, and make strategic decisions.
Tim Albrecht is one of the most recognizable communications professionals in Iowa, with over 15 years of political messaging experience. Among his work, he served as Communications Director on the campaigns of Romney for President and Iowa Governor Terry Branstad, and in Governor Branstad’s official office. Tim masters the media and messaging arc of any political or public affairs project.
With more than 30 years of political and public affairs experience in Iowa and around the nation, David 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 local and national media for his expert commentary and background information on key political issues.
Angie Hughes has spent over a decade involved in Iowa’s local, state, and federal political arena. Prior to joining the Redwave team, Angie spent a number of years working with the Iowa Legislature as an assistant to the Iowa House Majority Leader, a policy analyst for the Iowa Senate Republicans, and the Director of Government Affairs for a leading Midwestern Public Relations firm. Among working for many statewide and federal races, her campaign experience includes serving as a GOP Victory field manager in President George W. Bush’s re-election campaign, and Iowa Director for the Unlocking Potential Project – a conservative grassroots initiative founded by Carly Fiorina. With her background in public affairs and campaign strategy, Angie understands the importance of crafting a targeted message to achieve winning results.
Jimmy Centers is a University of Iowa graduate who has been working in Iowa politics for a decade. He has served as communications director for Congressman Steve King’s campaign, and for Iowa Gov. Terry Branstad and Lt. Gov. Kim Reynolds. During his time leading communications for Branstad and Reynolds, Centers leveraged emerging social media while coordinating communications from Iowa executive branch departments, writing speeches for the governor and lt. governor, organizing hundreds of events and press conferences and serving as the on-the-record spokesman for administration. Centers’ background in campaigns, coupled with his experience messaging complex issues in both traditional and new media, brings value to developing a successful strategy.
Jon Kytola is a Minnesotan turned Iowan that has been creating and designing strategic advertising campaigns for nearly 10 years. He joined the Redwave team with an extensive background in newspaper advertising, as well as, print and digital graphic design. Jon has worked with a variety of clients ranging from small businesses to large corporations, including Mayo Clinic, Big Brothers Big Sisters and Pearl River Resort & Casino. He is accustomed to a fast-paced environment with quick turn around times, and enjoys designing unique, exciting pieces that best achieve the goals for each project.
Cassidy Miller began her graphic design career in Des Moines, Iowa shortly after graduating from the University of Northern Iowa. Previously working for the Gannett Imaging and Design Center, Miller gained a strong balance of quality work and speed. Since joining the Redwave team in 2015, Miller has been producing effective, quality mail that reaches millions of mailboxes nationwide.
2002: A Strong Start
Kochel forms JDK Marketing & Public Affairs, taking on such clients as Romney for Governor in Massachusetts, to Arnold Schwarzenegger, to the New Rights Party of the former Soviet Republic of Georgia.
2004: Award-winning Campaign
Provided consulting and mail support for Romney’s Gubernatorial campaign, as well as state and local elections and our numerous corporate clients.
2007: Cross Country Voter Contact
Provided consulting and mail support for Romney’s Presidential campaign, as well as state and local elections and our numerous corporate clients.
Kochel re-branded as Redwave Communications while continuing to produce winning messaging for clients nationwide.
2009: East Coast Swing
Handled mail for Chris Christie’s successful Governor’s race.
2010: New Location
Set up shop in the Ingersoll business corridor.
Winning with Direct Mail
Produced direct mail for 72 winning GOP congressional candidates in 24 states as a member of the Republican National Committee’s voter contact team.
2011/2012: Election Mail
Managed direct mail programs for Governor Mitt Romney’s successful march to the nomination and in several targeted states in the general election.
2013: Redwave Digital
Opened subsidiary company Redwave Digital, to handle increased digital campaign requests.
2014: A Banner Year
Handled direct mail for statewide campaigns of U.S. Senator Joni Ernst, Governor Terry Branstad, Scott Brown for U.S. Senate, and dozens of other clients from coast-to-coast.
2015: Award Winning
Redwave Digital lands AGC’s National Public Relations Campaign of the Year award.
Our team includes more than a dozen designers, staff photographers and videographers, and a huge production team that can produce tens of millions of pieces of direct mail per cycle, on time and on budget.
Hours of Development
million pieces of mail have been printed
ZERO Missed Deadlines
From simple postcards, to the most complicated executions of multi-piece packaging, our team has the creativity and the production talent to get the job done. We’ve been known to completely rebuild our production lines to accommodate complicated, long-run absentee ballot requests so they can run in one pass.
Branding & Identity
Whether you need a simple logo, or a full suite of marketing materials with an identity style-book, our talented designers deliver.
We’ve wrapped buses, RVs, provided made-for-TV backdrops, designed T-shirts, whatever your campaign needs. If you can put a message on it, we’ve done it.
Our team has produced mock debates and conducted debate prep sessions for some of the best-known leaders in the GOP. We’ve also prepped clients for media appearances, and managed media responses for every imaginable political and public affairs scenario.
Our unique digital creative will make your account stand-out amongst the noisy newsfeed. We’ve managed digital ad campaigns for candidates and issue-based clients focused on delivering the right message to the right audience – an audience to build your online support.
We are ready to work for you! Please see a sample of our work below: