Strategic Partnerships; Strategic Insights


Introducing the SP Consulting Executive Committee

SP Consulting has added a number of extraordinary clients to its roster over the last three months.  One of the most striking features of the most successful companies and organizations on this list is the quality of their people – smart, dedicated and passionate employees always seem to be the foundation of our most outstanding clients.

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SP Spotlight: Miranda Lauzon

    1. How did you connect with SP Consulting?

    Tanner, a good friend from college, actually knows Janelle Duray (Senior Vice President, Strategic Partnerships) and put me in touch with her. I’ve had my eye on the D.C. area for a while now and when this opportunity came about he was kind enough to think of me.


    1. What drew you to SP versus joining other firms or agencies?

    As I was researching the Strategic Partnerships, I was immediately drawn to JAG and the organization’s mission. I want to be part of something that’s making a positive difference and improving lives… JAG in a nutshell! Strategic Partnerships is an agency that utilizes innovative methods to provide creative solutions. I consider myself to be a creative individual, so this aspect of Strategic Partnerships really resonated with me.


    1. What skillset or area of expertise are you most looking forward to utilizing and sharing with the SP team and clients?

    I’m most looking forward to applying my organizational skills and time management skills. I’m an extremely organized individual in both my professional life and personal life. To be certain that I am prepared for the days and weeks ahead, I always make schedules and to-do lists… My planner goes everywhere I do! Additionally, I always make sure to prioritize to best manage my time in and out of the office.


    1. What prior role or professional achievement are you most proud of and want to make the SP community knows about?

    I worked as an event coordinator on Governor Scott’s campaign. I really enjoyed working with our supporters and sponsors to plan successful fundraisers and meet and greet events. The journey itself has been incredible—from long days and nights on the campaign trail, to transitioning the administration to celebrating him as Vermont’s 82nd Governor at the Inaugural Gala!

    1. What was the most recent position you held prior to joining SP?

    Prior to working at Strategic Partnerships, I was an intern on Governor Scott’s transition team. I had the honor of planning and staffing the former Governor’s luncheon as well as having a significant role in planning the Inaugural Ceremony and Inaugural Gala.


    1. Have you been working in the same career field the majority of your career or have you experienced a variety of professional fields?

    When I graduated from UVM, I traveled to Naples, Italy to teach English as a volunteer at a middle school in the historical center of town. I got rather close with one of the teachers there whose husband wanted to improve his English for business purposes, so I would go over to their house after school and teach him. This was a paid position. I have no teaching credentials, so this was a very interesting experience for me. Once I returned to Vermont, I began working at a restaurant (as a hostess and waitress) and on Kesha Ram’s Lieutenant Gubernatorial campaign, and then soon began working on Governor Scott’s campaign. I like to consider myself a jack-of-all-trades!


    1. What was the most unusual or interesting job you’ve ever had?

    I worked at a movie theater all throughout high school. I wish every job included all-you-can-eat, free popcorn!


    1. What are three words you would use to describe your personality?


Observant. Compassionate. Ambitious

    1. If you could go back 5 years and give yourself advice, what would you tell yourself and why?

    Five years ago I was 18… If I could go back and give 18-year-old me advice, it would be, “Believe in yourself, have confidence. You’re stronger and more capable than you think.”

    1. What do typical weekends look like for you?

    As I mentioned above, I’m an extremely organized person. I use weekends, specifically Sunday’s, to prepare for the upcoming week – grocery shopping, laundry, chores, to-do lists, etc. Now that I’m living in D.C., I hope to use my weekends to explore. First on my list is the Newseum, I’ve heard great things!




Lincoln Mitchell discusses latest book, “Will Big League Baseball Survive?: Globalization, the End of Television, Youth Sports, and the Future of Major League Baseball” in San Francisco

On Friday, January 27 at 7:00pm, SP Consulting Senior Partner and international political development expert Lincoln Mitchell, Ph.D., will discuss his latest book, Will Big League Baseball Survive?: Globalization, the End of Television, Youth Sports, and the Future of Major League Baseball at the SF Baseball Academy (SFBA) at 3010 Geary Blvd, San Francisco, CA 94118.

Dr. Mitchell’s most recent book analyzes Major League Baseball’s economic, social, and media
structures within the United
States. As the game develops beyond North America and media consumption evolves, will baseball continue in its current form as a growing global empire that offers a monopoly in the United States?

In addition to being a seasoned Senior Partner with SP Consulting and a lifelong devotee to baseball, Dr. Mitchell specializes in global democracy and governance related issues, with a specific emphasis on the former Soviet Union and Eastern Europe. Dr. Mitchell most recently served as the national political correspondent for The New York Observer until 2016 and from 2006-2013 was on the faculty of Columbia University’s School of International Affairs.

This event is free and open to the public. To RSVP and learn more information about this exciting event, please email Dr. Mitchell directly at



Bringing Work/Life Balance Into The Workplace

By Rhonda Poirier, Managing Senior Partner

There’s good news this week for the laboring masses, which is just about everyone in my estimation. “Simple pleasures,” defined as socializing, good food, entertainment and romance, to name just a few, facilitate goal achievement and can even negate the effect of those petty annoyances we encounter every day.  It’s true, according to a study reported in the Journal of the Association for Consumer Research by researchers from the University of Houston Bauer School of Business and the University of Cologne Social Cognition Center. Of course, the research findings are much more specific and nuanced. There’s a very nice summary of the findings, and the interpretative limitations, at

Imagine the possibilities if these research findings were to become widely embraced in the workplace. We might find agility derbies for our canine-buddies in the hallways, weekly open-mic stand-up comedy opportunities, movie afternoons, and virtual reality arcades in every business and industry. Slow adopters might start with bright, comfortable and inviting break rooms designed for socialization and chock full of catered goodies. The early adopters would quickly add shopping to their employee benefits package. This very entertaining and therapeutic pastime would garner paid time off and mental health coverage. I could go on and on. Working remotely could quickly become a thing of the past – who would opt to work from home when the office offers so much?

The ROI for this new investment in “simple pleasures” work environments? Nothing less than hockey stick growth curves for business and industry as employees achieve work objectives at the speed of light. And just think what might be accomplished with the feds working at lightspeed.

Such imaginings far exceed the interpretative limitations of the research to be sure. Though I found them to be quite entertaining and now, suddenly, I have a tremendous urge to get back to work! I think I’m off to a good start for 2017. Happy New Year!




Happy Holidays and Happy New Year!

Happy New Year to all of our Senior Partners! We hope you have a lovely, relaxing holiday season and are getting ready to embark on another busy (and prosperous) new year.

I first want to send my sincere thanks to all of you that made 2016 such a success for SP Consulting. I’m pleased to share that 2016 was a banner year for our firm, as SP experienced our largest growth in revenue ever in our 38-year history. We’re pleased with the diversity of truly reputable brands that we on-boarded this year, including athenahealth, Johns Hopkins Medicine, the National Park Foundation, Nugget Markets, Trust for the National Mall, and more.

We also expanded our roster of talented Senior Partners across the country. Our approach to recruitment is to leverage our network – our colleagues have been instrumental in attracting the best and the brightest to our firm. We’re proud to have galvanized such a diverse and strategic team, who possess strong experience across key industries – from healthcare and government to tech and beyond.  As we’ve grown our bench strength over the past 12 months, we’ve been able to deploy cross-functional account teams that can provide smart, thoughtful strategies and then skillfully implement customized campaigns to help each client reach their specific goals.

Our vision for the future is to continue crushing the competition and setting a new standard for high-end consulting services. Now that we have the reach, talent and experience across our service offerings – and the nation – we’re ready to take the next big leap in our evolution. We will continue doing great work for select clients that we’re passionate about serving. We will continue attracting talented, experienced Senior Partners as we expand and strengthen our network across our Centers of Excellence. We will continue collaborating with those who take their work seriously – but not themselves. We love challenges – and this is tough business – but nobody said we can’t have some fun along the way, too.

As our colleagues nationwide know, there’s a special satisfaction that comes from making a measurable difference.  Let’s continue our upward trajectory – the sky’s the limit in the new year.



SP Spotlight: Irakli Alasania



Irakli meeting Georgian military cadets

  1. How did you connect with SP Consulting?
    • I have known Paul Johnson and Lincoln Mitchell from my previous experience in the 2012 election campaign in Georgia.
  1. What drew you to SP versus joining other firms or agencies?
    • Reputation, professionalism based on a firm moral foundation.

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Senior Partner Sue Schram Featured in AAA Photography Contest


Photo by Sue Schram

We are excited to announce that Senior Partner Dr. Sue Schram is featured in the 2016 AAA World Photo Contest. Her image, titled “Feeling Blue,” is one of five finalists competing in the People category. With nearly 4,000 entries, Sue’s image has stood out with its vibrant blues circling throught the photograph. In Sue’s words:

“This photo was taken while walking through Chefchaouen, Morocco. This hill town has wonderful architecture, but is most famous for the medina walls that are painted a variety of shades of blue and/or white. Local “lore” says that the color was the idea of Jewish refugees in 1930, who considered blue to symbolize the sky and heaven. They also believed that the color blue would repel mosquitoes, which dislike clear and moving water.

It is not difficult to take interesting photos in Chefchaouen. I just happened to turn around and this woman was coming out of her door, seemingly dressed to match the town! Someone was moving toward her to help her down the stairs but I snapped this just in time!”

Please be sure to vote for Sue’s photo by going to the AAA photo website and selecting “Click to Vote.” Then select the image titled, People 5! We encourage you to share with friends and family. Way to go, Sue!



Memorializing General George Washington’s Gallant Charge

SP Consulting (SPC) continues to assist preservation groups fighting to protect a historically significant Revolutionary War battlefield in Princeton, New Jersey, from destruction. Recently, SPC was able to persuade a powerful ally to join the fight.


On September 1, 2016, the Philadelphia Inquirer editorial board weighed-in with an editorial titled “George’s gem worth saving” regarding the preservation fight over Maxwell’s Field adjoining the Princeton Battlefield State Park. The field is where then-General George Washington led a daring and decisive charge that turned the tide, not only of the battle, but also that of the Revolution: Only weeks earlier, the war was thought to be irreversibly lost.

SPC reached out to the Philadelphia Inquirer to make a case for the paper to editorialize in support of preservation noting the historical significance of the site, the paper’s close proximity to Princeton and the editorial board’s prior work taking positions on issues related to the Gettysburg battlefield. SPC assisted the paper in securing the information needed to take an editorial position.

At issue is a faculty housing project under development on the land by the Institute for Advanced Studies (IAS) – which is not affiliated with Princeton University. The IAS continues to bulldoze earth and build on the site and continues to ignore pleas from local and national preservation groups and historians to halt construction and sell the land at a premium price to preserve the treasured site.

Earlier in the summer, SPC was also able to secure valuable placement of a guest commentary – “The new battle of Princeton” – that the Philadelphia Inquirer graciously ran July 7. That piece provided the historical context of the Battle of Princeton during the Revolution and the current battle underway to preserve the site. Join the fight to save this historic site!


SP Spotlight: Meet the Summer Associates

This summer, SP Consulting was lucky to work with 3 rock star summer associates: Kelly, Suzanne, and Anna in our Washington, D.C. office. Through record heatwaves (up to 113 degrees with humidity!), a surge of D.C.’s subway shutdowns, and a fiery political race for the White House, our summer associates made the most of their 3 months with SP. Get to know who they are, what they gained from their experience with SP, and what else they’ve been up to this summer.




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JAG Finds Success for Opportunity Youth

By Kathleen McDonnell, Program Manager, Jobs for America’s Graduates


How do you define success? Reaching a goal? Breaking a record?

At Jobs for America’s Graduates (JAG), we define success as consistency. For the past 36 years, JAG has consistently achieved 90% graduation rates for one of the most challenged populations of students, those who face multiple barriers to high school graduation. This year, not only did JAG reach its graduation goal across our national network, but we also set a new record of achieving our “5 of 5” award for the first time on the national level. “5 of 5” is given to programs that reach high standards for graduation, post-graduation employment, and post-secondary educational enrollment. JAG has collected performance outcomes for our national network of affiliates at the close of each 12-month follow-up period (a full year after students graduate from high school) and, since 1981, the JAG model has ensured that high risk high school students receive the support needed to turn their academics and career pathways toward success.



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