Arc Initiatives and True Blue Strategies Announce Strategic Partnership

July 26, 2022

Washington, DC – Today, public affairs firm Arc Initiatives and Seattle-based digital-first communications firm True Blue Strategies announced the beginning of a new strategic partnership just weeks after the firms were awarded five AAPC Pollie Awards and two Campaigns & Elections Reed Awards for their collaboration on the ongoing effort to Stop Pebble Mine.

Arc Initiatives' experience managing high-profile political and advocacy campaigns combined with True Blue's award-winning digital creative and strategy team will bring together unmatched talent, providing clients with comprehensive campaign services for some of the most pressing policy issues of our time.

From working with Indigenous Tribes in Alaska to protect their sovereign rights to advocating for critical public lands protections, and energy policy reforms, the firms have already proven to be critical partners in the fight for bold environmental action. With the combined force of over 40 world-class communications, creative, and policy professionals, this new phase of collaboration will broaden the teams’ ability to take on the toughest fights from Washington, DC to Washington state.

Based in Washington, DC with offices overlooking the White House, Arc also boasts on-the-ground leadership in Minnesota, and a sister creative firm, Studio Gradients, in New York City. All together, Arc Initiatives is a team of nearly 30 leading communications, political, and policy professionals. Arc Initiatives was founded by Dan Kanninen and Aaron Wells, who grew the firm after taking over STG – formerly the Smoot Tewes Group – the political and public affairs shop first launched by Obama Campaign architects Julianna Smoot and Paul Tewes.

Under Dan and Aaron’s leadership, Arc has built a roster of political and communications clients ranging from national coalitions and non-profits, to electoral campaigns including top-tier presidential candidates, Fortune 100 companies, national campaign committees, the White House, and foreign heads of state. Arc has managed countless political and communications campaigns that reached and moved target audiences to change the conversation and bent the arc of the issue to achieve their clients’ goals.

As a full-service creative and strategic communications firm, TrueBlue Strategies employs a dynamic approach and deep expertise in a wide array of services to help clients connect impactful messages with the audiences who need to hear them.

“Arc Initiatives couldn’t be more excited to enter this new phase of our partnership with True Blue Strategies. Solidifying our alliance will elevate our digital and creative strategies and open a whole new window of opportunity for growth,” said Jonae Wartel, Managing Director of Arc Initiatives.

“Bringing together some of DC’s leading communications and political strategists with an award-winning digital creative team, the Arc-True Blue strategic partnership is a winning combination. With a talented partner like TrueBlue on our side, our team is eager to continue bending the arc of our clients' boldest campaigns and delivering winning results,” said Dan Kanninen, Partner & CEO of Arc Initiatives.

“Past collaborations between True Blue and Arc prove that we can deliver for our clients on their boldest, most ambitious goals. By bringing our firms closer together, we’ll be able to offer our clients even more while continuing to provide best-in-class work,” said Brooke Blue, President, and Founder of True Blue Strategies.

“Since the beginning of our work with Arc Initiatives and True Blue, we’ve been blown away by their partnership going above and beyond for our campaign to protect Bristol Bay. We’re eager to see them continue to deliver extraordinary results as their collaboration evolves," said Erin Dovichin, Alaska Venture Fund,” said Erin Dovichin, Alaska Venture Fund.

About Arc Initiatives
A leader in federal strategy for health care, climate, and advocacy campaigns, Arc Initiatives understands how to bring political stakeholders, paid and earned media, lobbying strategies, and grassroots organizing together to create change from Capitol Hill down to the state and local level. With experience ranging from the highest level of national politics, including six presidential campaigns, to grassroots advocacy work and critical state and local races, the team at Arc Initiatives has helped countless clients see the full arc of their initiative and bend it toward the right outcome.

About Jonae Wartel
Jonae Wartel is the Managing Director at Arc Initiatives. In addition to serving as Southern Regional Director for the Democratic National Committee, she recently served as the Runoff Director to elect Senators Rev. Raphael Warnock and Jon Ossoff in Georgia.

About Dan Kanninen
Dan Kanninen has spent 20 years in influential positions at all levels of government including leadership roles on both the Obama Presidential Campaigns and in the Administration. He has played key roles in policymaking, campaigns, and political management, and has advised presidential candidates, cabinet members, governors, major private sector CEOs, nonprofits and coalitions, and foreign heads of state. He is a Partner and CEO at Arc Initiatives.

About Aaron Wells
Aaron Wells has spent a decade in the intersecting worlds of law, policy, politics, and communications. From for-profit startups and local political campaigns to large national campaigns and organizations, Aaron has a consistent record of successfully advising and executing on his clients’ ongoing strategic communications, and managing advocacy and public relations projects from one-off press events to multimillion-dollar, years-long campaigns.

About True Blue Strategies
Founded by leading political consultant Brooke Blue, True Blue Strategies is an award-winning full-service public affairs agency that designs innovative campaigns and communication tools. Their dynamic approach and deep expertise in a wide array of services help clients connect impactful messages with the audiences who need to hear them.

About Brooke Blue
Brooke Blue is the founder of True Blue Strategies, a full-service public affairs agency located in Seattle, Washington. She provides strategic counsel to a diverse portfolio of clients: Fortune 500 companies, government agencies, private/public partnerships, coalition groups, Tribal governments, nonprofits, political campaigns and advocacy groups.

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