This is important. We hate to use the term boutique (well, because we’re not hairdressers). But in essence, as the term has come to be used in the PR/PA world, we are this. But let’s not get stuck on terms. Our independence means a couple of things: first, we’re not weighed down by a corporate bureaucracy, much less a multinational one; second, we will always be nimble - as situations change, as fast as they may, we will always be prepared to turn on a dime.
We are a young firm created at exactly the right time. If there ever were "new" times, they are now. Regardless of one’s politics, nothing is the same. Nothing is predictable. No particular playing field will be the same from one day to the next. This is why consistency and adaptability must not be at cross currents with one another, but must work hand in hand as part of a long term strategic plan.
Raptor has the breadth and experience, from the agency side, from the media side, from the client side, from the CEO side - virtually every piece of the pie, to give our clients that 100% complete view and analyses for any given situation.
We’re different. And our difference is more critical today than ever.
No two clients, problems or challenges are ever identical. And the right solution to these also can never be the same. We’ve grown into a world where boilerplate answers, strategies and proposals are often the order of the day – but rest assured that they will not win the day.
As each client issue is unique so must be our thinking about solutions, about creative strategies and about how to get from today to a ’win’ in the most efficient, successful manner possible. Sitting around soaking up clients’ money with hourly fees when there’s no necessary work product being produced is pointless and will lead to the long-term detriment of both consultant and client. It’s not the way we work. Raptor operates on a Value Based Model.
Raptor aims to be different from the start. To look at each client as a completely unique entity with a completely unique challenge. And to respond to that challenge with a completely unique set of tactics, strategies, ideas and a plan. Unique not only to the client and not only to their external situation, but to intimately understand the dynamics of their internal situation as well. The greatest external communications or public affairs strategies can easily be stymied by dysfunctional internal politics. We aim to know the terrain, not only of the battlefield and behind enemy lines, but within our own camp.
We’re Raptor. New times demand new strategies.
Whatever image first comes to mind, Raptor is synonymous with aggressiveness, precision, maneuverability and tactical superiority. At Raptor Strategies, we could not think of a word that better exemplifies that for which we stand: Raptor.
As the original bird of prey, the raptors (Eagles, Hawks, Falcons, etc.) are known for their intelligence, speed and acuity. Their targeting skills, cunning battle tactics, and nimbleness on wing are without equal. In particular, the Peregrine Falcon is the fastest of all raptors, and its maneuverability can overwhelm any opponent. It is nature’s "Top Gun."
Similarly, the F-22 Raptor is the undisputed leader among all fighter aircraft. Its speed, maneuverability and advanced stealth technologies make it truly one of a kind. Combining a revolutionary air attack system with lethal ground strike capabilities, the Raptor is ready to deploy instantaneously anywhere in the world. Like the fighter plane, Raptor’s team of experts is always eager to take on new challenges at a moment’s notice using our best-in-class strategies.
Raptors often tactically work as a team to overpower much larger opponents. Let’s not forget the ending scene of the 90s blockbuster Jurassic Park. It was a team of clever velociraptors that overcame the much larger and certainly more feared Tyrannosaurus Rex. Raptor Strategies takes this same approach for our clients as we diligently work as a team to tackle even the most feared issues.
You can have the finest senses and every aspect of physical superiority, but you won’t accomplish the mission unless you put them to good use, and that means clever tactics and shrewd strategy. It’s here that Raptors truly excel.
Nothing focuses a Raptor more than prey. What issue may we attack for you today?
David H. Bass
Hon. Barry M. Goldwater, Jr. | Dr. Balla Mohamed Keita | Art Roberts | Roselee Roberts
Curtis Robinson | Paul Crespo | Sean T. Miles
Rwasibo Tele Indekwe | Brian T. Marriott | Erwin Baizas
Nick Kralev | Jennifer A. Burke
David H. Bass is President and CEO of Washington-based Raptor Strategies, LLC, an independent public relations and public affairs firm specializing in media, issue advocacy, corporate communications, state and federal government affairs.
Having spent nearly twenty years on all sides of the media and PR worlds, and witnessing the revolutionary election of 2008, it was evident to Mr. Bass that there was substantial need for a new model of consultancy. One which understands, intimately, all sides of the communications equation, and how to help clients adapt to these changing times; Raptor was borne of this philosophy.
Prior to founding Raptor, Mr. Bass had been Vice President and Chief Development Officer for Omnicom’s Luntz, Maslansky Strategic Research, Managing Director of Qorvis Communications, Deputy Publisher of News Corporation’s The Weekly Standard as well as having held various positions, within and as counsel to, major media organizations nationwide.
Mr. Bass has counseled varied foreign interests as well has provided government relations and regulatory counsel for clients interacting with the Departments of State, Energy, Treasury, Commerce and Defense, and has also performed extensive work with the National Association of Insurance Commissioners and states’ Departments of Insurance.
Mr. Bass has also appeared as a political commentator on CNBC, BBC and regularly on Fox News. As well, Mr. Bass has written on numerous topics for Capitol File magazine.
Mr. Bass sits on the Advisory Council of the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars.
Mr. Bass and his wife live in Washington D.C. with their two daughters.
Education: Mr. Bass did undergraduate and graduate work at the University of Richmond, Old Dominion University and Syracuse University.
Barry M. Goldwater, Jr., is a former Republican member of the United States House of Representatives from California, serving from 1969 to 1983. He is the son of the late Arizona Senator Barry Goldwater, the Republican nominee in the 1964 presidential election.
After graduation, Goldwater moved to Los Angeles and became a stockbroker with Noble Cook now Wedbush. Deeply involved in local civic activities, Goldwater at the age of 30 ran for Congress and won. He and his father were unique, representing one of the few instances in U.S. history when both father and son were serving in Congress at the same time.
During his 14 years in Congress, Goldwater served on a number of committees; His areas of expertise included energy, the space program, aviation and defense, and government procurement. The Privacy Act of 1974, which prevents the distribution of private information from government and businesses, is one of the best known laws he drafted.
Goldwater retired from politics in 1983 and began his consulting business. Over the past 26 years he has consulted with many companies who had important issues with various branches of government. His many years in Politics and government have given him an insight and connections. For the past ten years he has specialized in, among other things, the insurance business. "Goldwater * Taplin" represents all insurance segments including reinsurance. Former Insurance commissioners, regulators, and attorneys comprise a leading edge team that assists clients in achieving common sense solutions to their federal and regulatory issues.
In 2008, he and John Dean, former counsel to President Richard Nixon, published a New York Times bestselling book, Pure Goldwater, which contains the journal and personal correspondence of Senator Barry Goldwater. With his book in hand you will find Goldwater on the speaking circuit talking about current events with an inspiring message.
Dr. Keita is an expert in Africa and International Relations. His diverse experience reaches the political, corporate, and diplomatic domains. Throughout his career, Dr. Keita assisted foreign officials and was instrumental in bridging the gap between the U.S. and several African countries such as Côte d'Ivoire, Togo, and Angola. Dr. Keita has built important ties with the US Congress, working closely with US Senator Paul Strauss. Dr. Keita has negotiated petroleum contracts in West and Central Africa with US oil and gas corporations facilitating contacts and cooperation with various government officials in West Africa.
Dr. Keita is fluent in French, English and Bambara. He has published articles and provided interviews in both languages on Côte d'Ivoire and US media. He his very familiar with the West African region and Europe.
Dr. Keita currently teaches political science at The George Washington University with a focus on comparative politics and international development.
Dr. Keita obtained a Ph.D. in Political Science with a concentration on International Relations, Comparative Government and Politics from Howard University and a Master's degree in History, graduating with Honors. He received a Bachelor's Degree from the University of Houston, TX.
Dr. Keita edited many books on Africa. His publications include:
Art Roberts comes to Raptor with a wide array of experience in the private and public sectors, working in various capacities for both. A long-time Washingtonian, Art has successfully represented a diverse list of clients and issues for more than 45 years, including those of Native Americans, colleges and universities, transportation entities, corporations and local governments.
In 2004, Art founded the Advocate Company, a Strategic Communications and Public Relations firm based in Washington, DC and continues to serve as consultant. Prior to The Advocate Company, Art was the principal and former owner of Jefferson Government Relations and its predecessor, The Jefferson Group. During three decades at Jefferson, Art secured more than three quarters of a billion dollars in funding for transportation, infrastructure and educational requests. Although Art is no longer a lobbyist, he draws on his knowledge of the legislative process and his wide-ranging connections with policy makers in representing Raptor's clients.
Art's earlier Washington career included service as Senior Vice President of The Keefe Company, a government policy firm. He also served as Director of Government Services for the Westinghouse Electric Corporation where he marketed products and services to U.S. and foreign government entities. Art was the recipient of the Westinghouse Special Award, the company's highest honor for individual achievement.
Prior to entering the private sector, Art served in several capacities in the executive branch and on Capitol Hill. He worked in the Office of Vice President Hubert H. Humphrey and as Legislative Director to the late Congressman Claude Pepper (D-FL). Art also served as a senior consultant to the Congressional Commission on Administrative Reorganization, chaired by Representation David Obey (D-WI) (ret), which generated far-reaching changes in the operation of Congress. Art remains active in both Democratic and Republican politics on the national level.
Art is active in the education, arts, civic and business communities. He is a founding and current member of the University of Miami's President's Council; a member of the Board of Trustees of the Corcoran Gallery of Art; an Advisory Board Member for a Washington, D.C.-area community bank; and an elected representative to his Georgetown neighborhood's community association.
Art received a B.B.A. degree in business from the University of Miami and has attended Harvard University's Advanced Management School.
Roselee Roberts brings to Raptor with more than four decades of experience in government and the private sector, with a focus on aerospace and defense. She most recently served as the Special Assistant to the Associate Administrator for NASA's Exploration Systems Mission Directorate, where she worked to expand outreach for the Constellation program. In her previous work at NASA as Special Assistant to the Deputy Administrator, Roberts led a rapid response team to promote the Constellation program.
Prior to joining NASA, Roselee worked on Capitol Hill where she was Chairman Ken Calvert's (R-CA) designee for the Space and Aeronautics Subcommittee of the House Science and Technology Committee. During her tenure there, Chairman Calvert was successful in having a NASA Authorization bill signed into law for the first time in five years.
Before joining the Subcommittee staff, Roselee was the Director for Legislative Affairs for The Boeing Company where she represented Boeing's space and aeronautics interests before the U.S. Congress for 19 years, including 10 years with McDonnell Douglas Corporation before it merged with Boeing. She was involved with the International Space Station, the space shuttle, launch vehicles, satellites and aeronautical research. Roselee was the founder of the Coalition for Space Exploration, an industry coalition in support of NASA's program to go to the Moon and Mars.
Previously, Roselee spent eight years on Capitol Hill, where she served as the Legislative Director/appropriations staff for two congressmen. She was also the Chairman's designee to then-Congressman Bill Nelson (D-FL) (now Senator Nelson) when he served as Chairman of the House Space and Aeronautics Subcommittee. Roselee also was an economist for several federal agencies, including the Office of Management and Budget, the President's Council of Economic Advisers, and the Department of Transportation.
Roselee is widely recognized for her leadership in aerospace and business. She is the founder, past president and board member of Women in Aerospace, and past president of Women in Aviation. In 1997, McDonnell Douglas nominated her as one of two women for the Leadership America program. She has also received the Outstanding Young Woman of America award, the Women in Aerospace Emeritus award, Women in Aerospace Outstanding Leadership Award, the Outstanding Alumna of the Year (1994) award for the University of Miami, and the Alumna in Residence for the University of Miami in 2003-4.
Roselee holds an B.A. degree in economics and mathematics from the University of Miami, and she completed coursework for a Master's degree in Economics from Virginia Tech.
Curtis Robinson advises clients on grassroots, media and major litigation support.
Following a 20-year journalism career that included editing newspapers in California, Colorado and Kentucky, Curtis Robinson entered the Washington D.C. public affairs community in 2000 as a vice-president with the Burson-Marsteller group, where he designed and implemented national grassroots media outreach programs at the company's Direct Impact (DI) subsidiary. In addition to public affairs efforts, Robinson used some of those "political" tactics to create some of the nation's first "grassroots marketing" programs at DI, working for clients ranging from Ford Motor Company to Miller Beer.
In 2002, Robinson became a partner at Qorvis Communications, helping build that firm from about two dozen employees into Washington's largest independent public relations firm. He has served as a senior strategist and managed multi-state campaigns on virtually every major public affairs issue of our time, including health care, federal tobacco regulation, stem cell policy, social security, technology and communication regulation, intellectual property policy and others.
Paul Crespo is a seasoned and multi-faceted communications professional and public policy expert. He is focused on strategic communications, public relations and public affairs. His varied background spans the political, corporate, media, diplomatic and military worlds. Bi-lingual in English and Spanish, he has experience in print, web and broadcast media in both languages.
As a Senior Manager with L-3 Communications, he recently led the development and launch of a new tri-lingual, multi-million dollar Latin American web news effort for the U.S. government.
Mr. Crespo previously co-hosted his own radio talk show in Spanish with Univision Radio in Miami. Earlier he was an editorial writer and columnist for The Miami Herald. He also writes for other venues including American Legion Magazine, American Enterprise Magazine and NewsMax magazine.
An expert on U.S. politics, national security and international affairs, he has appeared as a political and military analyst on CNN, Fox News, MSNBC, Sky News, Telemundo and Univision, as well as numerous local network TV outlets.
Active in both the 2000 and 2004 presidential elections, Mr. Crespo was an Observer with the Bush Florida Recount Team in 2000 and was the South Florida Media Coordinator for the 2004 Bush-Cheney presidential campaign. He taught U.S. politics and world politics as a Lecturer at the University of Miami, and is an Adjunct Fellow with the Foundation for the Defense of Democracies in Washington, D.C.
As an artillery and intelligence officer in the U.S. Marine Corps he served in the U.S., Far East and Europe. Assigned to the Defense Intelligence Agency (DIA), he was also posted in a diplomatic capacity at several U.S. embassies in the Balkans, Middle East and Latin America. There he served as Acting U.S. Naval Attaché in Croatia, U.S. Defense Attaché Liaison in Qatar, and Assistant U.S. Naval Attaché in Venezuela.
Mr. Crespo advised CEOs of major multinational corporations operating in Latin America (primarily Venezuela, Columbia and Mexico) on political risk and security issues as an international security consultant -- and kidnap and ransom (K&R) negotiator -- with the Ackerman Group in Miami. Earlier he did a stint on Wall Street as an investment advisor/broker with Lehman Brothers in New York City.
Experienced in the non-profit arena, Mr. Crespo was the Executive Director of the U.S.-Cuba Business Council which prepared Fortune 500 companies to do business in a democratic and free market Cuba. He is also currently President of Civica Americana (Hispanic-American Civics Foundation), a non-profit foundation that promotes U.S. civic values and constitutional principles in the Hispanic community in the U.S. and in Latin America.
Mr. Crespo graduated from Georgetown University with a BSFS in International Politics. He also has an M.A. in War Studies from the University of London and an M.Phil in International Relations from Cambridge University in the U.K.
Sean Miles is Principal at The Mayfair Group, a Washington DC based strategic public affairs and business consultancy focusing on all aspects of media relations, event based messaging and corporate, crisis & financial communications.
Mr. Miles has twenty years experience in international, public and media affairs. He has a wealth of experience in government and the private sector. While at the U.S. Department of Energy, Mr. Miles served as a Consultant in the Office of Science, and as a Special Advisor, Environment, Safety and Health, where he was focused on external and media affairs.
While at the Department of Treasury, he served as Senior Advisor, Public Affairs and as Special Assistant to the Secretary/Acting Director, Public Affairs. In addition, Mr. Miles was an official US Delegate at dozens of economic conferences, meetings and summits representing the US in over 30 countries. Mr. Miles has represented the White House at numerous political and official venues across the nation and worldwide.
Mr. Miles is a veteran operative in all aspects of local, state and national campaigns. Past positions include: Press Advance roles with the Bush-Cheney 2000 Presidential Campaign and the Dole-Kemp 1996 campaign.
As Senior Public Affairs Consultant to Shandwick Public Affairs in Washington DC and New York, Mr. Miles worked on crisis management and corporate communications, as well as grassroots organization and coalitions for such clients as: Amtrak, Government of Northern Ireland Trade Mission, American Cancer Society, and the “Stand Up for Steel” campaign.
Mr. Miles is a graduate of the University of Alabama, Birmingham with a degree in Political Science/History.
Mr. Miles resides in McLean, Virginia.
Erwin Baizas comes to Raptor with over 15 years of marketing and advertising experience on the agency side. Most recently, Mr. Baizas was the president of VUE Marketing, a start-up agency based in Birmingham, AL focused on developing strategies to enhance and extend the brand experience of its clients from the public, private and non-profit sectors. Mr. Baizas has held various leadership roles while in the marketing industry, including Director of Quality for CCM in Troy, MI where he oversaw multiple capital projects. Most notably, Mr. Baizas designed and instituted a quality operating system (QOS) geared to improving the service levels and operations of CCM and serving as a precursor for the company obtaining its ISO 9001 certification and Ford Motor Company Q1 certification. The architecture of the QOS fueled the CCM's growth strategy by creating a footprint for folding in acquired companies to the company's culture and operational environment. Within 5 years, CCM grew revenue from $8 million to more than $40 million and was acquired by HALO in Chicago, IL, forming the largest advertising specialty company with annual revenue over $100 million. Following the merger, Mr. Baizas focused his attention on implementing the QOS at HALO, which was instrumental to the company's successful IPO in 2000.
Additionally, Mr. Baizas served as the Director of Financial Operations for the southeast region of SCA, formerly the outpatient ambulatory surgery division of HealthSouth Corporation. While with SCA, Mr. Baizas led the initiative to streamline the Anti-Kickback ("Stark Law") reporting procedures required from SCA's 2,000+ physician partners. As part of the initiative, Mr. Baizas developed and administered a comprehensive training program highlighting the anti-kickback statute and safe harbor compliance.
Mr. Baizas began his career in commercial banking with Michigan National Bank where he specialized in healthcare and middle market lending. Mr. Baizas was often consulted by senior management on the proposed Clinton Administration health plan and its impact on the bank's healthcare portfolio. Later, Mr. Baizas shifted his healthcare expertise to the bank's investment and private banking division. Mr. Baizas organically grew a managed asset portfolio over $145 million by developing an "Emerging Physicians Program", a program designed to establish early financial relationships with medical school graduates, including residents and fellowship participants.
Mr. Baizas received his B.S. Management from Purdue University.
Senior Advisor - Africa
Rwasibo Indekwe, holding dual citizenship of both Rwanda and the United States, is an International Relations specialist who brings to Raptor a wealth of knowledge of Sub-Saharan Africa, including the varied socio-political and business environments of East, Central, and West Africa.
Mr. Indekwe first became active on the U.S. foreign affairs scene in the early 1990s when he, on behalf of his fellow Rwandans seeking democratic changes, lobbied Senators, Congressmen, and Executive branch personnel. Foremost among his eventual supporters was Sen. Nancy Kassebaum (Committee on Foreign Relations, Subcommittee on African Affairs) who offered her full support for political reforms in Rwanda.
Mr. Indekwe has also held positions with Bank of America and the US Internal Revenue Service.
In addition to his role at Raptor Strategies, Mr. Indekwe serves as Strategy & Business Development Consultant for Rwandan based Sebulikoko N. Emanuel Construction Company.
Mr. Indekwe graduated magna cum laude from the Thunderbird School of Global Management where he graduated with an M.A. degree in Global Affairs and Management. Mr. Indekwe maintains strong ties to Thunderbird and frequently acts as visiting lecturer on sub-Saharan issues at the University. Mr. Indekwe received his B.S. in Business Management from Florida Gulf Coast University.
Mr. Indekwe's languages include: English, French, Spanish, Swahili, Lingala and Kinyarwanda.
Mr. Indekwe resides in the greater Washington DC area.
Brian Marriott is a Senior Communications and Public Relations Executive with 15 years experience in the public and private sectors, specializing in Media Relations, Community and Public Outreach, and Media Coaching. His dynamic media projects included advising leaders in the US House, Senate, and White House. Brian has managed several political campaigns in Missouri and has been a registered lobbyist and communications advisor in private industry. In 2000, he was named political director of the statewide campaign for Bush/Cheney in Missouri. He subsequently was appointed by President George W. Bush to the Department of Agriculture and the Federal Communications Commission in 2001. For 8 years Brian led press and staff advance logistics for the White House.
Most recently Brian was an Associate for Booz Allen Hamilton, where he led major client campaigns in communications planning, public affairs, high-impact story placement and crisis communications. Brian was in the Organization and Strategy, Strategic Communications area where he regularly counseled clients on navigating their public policy and business agenda through the national media and public/government outreach. His last project was with the Department of Defense's P&R IM in Ballston, Virginia.
Brian has coached top executives in Fortune 500 companies, the AARP, and business coalitions. His government and public relations experience includes working with public figures, celebrities, and associations with national campaign projects and coalitions. In addition, his involvement in policy debates and crisis communications include food safety, the aftermath of 9/11, the transition to digital television, and other telecommunications issues. Brian's reputation for successfully navigating the complexities of mass communication has made him a sought-after media trainer and coach.
Brian was recognized as an influential communications executive and political operative by several Capitol Hill newspapers, magazines, and trade publications.
A Mass Communications (Media Broadcasting) graduate from Northwest Missouri State University, Mr. Marriott resides in Arlington, VA.
Jennifer Burke comes to Raptor with ten years of marketing and communications experience on both the agency and corporate side for publicly traded, private and non-profit clients. Ms. Burke focuses on strategic public relations planning and implementation, writing of press and marketing materials, online marketing, website planning and internal communications.
Most recently, Ms. Burke managed corporate communications initiatives in the U.S., Europe and Asia for private equity firm, American Capital. Ms. Burke led all media outreach efforts, securing placements in Forbes, Wall Street Journal, The Washington Post and several financial and private equity trade publications, as well as multiple CEO appearances on Bloomberg TV. Additionally, Ms. Burke worked with investment teams worldwide to develop evergreen business development strategies and marketing materials designed to evolve with the financial markets.
While at Dittus Communications, Ms. Burke worked on a wide scope of issues relating to financial services, public health, food and nutrition, public safety, transportation, tobacco, alcohol, pharmaceuticals, and education. With a focus on crisis communications and grassroots outreach, Ms. Burke led outcome-oriented campaigns that helped clients overcome publicity challenges and business obstacles big and small. Ms. Burke's proven track record of versatile program management included clients such as American Council on Fitness and Nutrition, Ford Motor Company, Grocery Manufacturers of America, International Dairy Foods Association, International Paper, Kraft Foods, Pernod Ricard USA, Pharmaceutical Research & Manufacturers of America, Rubber Manufacturers Association, TASER International and Tyco International.
Prior to Dittus, Ms. Burke worked for Doceus, Inc., a management software company, doing marketing and business development throughout the trade association and non-profit community in the U.S.
Ms. Burke received her undergraduate degree from the Loyola College Sellinger School of Business where her studies focused on Marketing and International Business and spent a semester studying at Monash University in Melbourne, Australia. Also a certified yoga instructor, Ms. Burke currently resides in Chevy Chase with her husband and son.
Nicholas Kralev is a writer, educator and speaker on global travel, diplomacy and international affairs. A former Financial Times and Washington Times correspondent, he has traveled around the world with four U.S. secretaries of state - Hillary Clinton, Condoleezza Rice, Colin Powell and Madeleine Albright. He has flown almost 2 million miles and visited more than 80 countries.
He is also the founder of Kralev International LLC, a company for travel education, training and consulting. He teaches seminars and webinars on airfares, frequent-flier programs and travel regulations, such as U.S. entry visas and the new ESTA program for visa-waiver travelers. He has a master's degree from Harvard's John F. Kennedy School of Government and speaks five languages.