Meet The Difference Makers

January 24, 2023

A new year is here, and a new election cycle is approaching. Our company has seen so much growth since our inception in a small spare bedroom office. We’ve won 34 awards for our political excellence, expanded our in-house public affairs capabilities, and served as Senior Advisors to campaigns for Congress all the way to President. We added in-house design that allowed us to deliver tens of millions of pieces of mail and hundreds of thousands of digital impressions – all while maintaining our high service standards to our clients.

With that, we wanted to introduce our team, as they are the ones who keep the gears turning and help us reach new milestones. Don’t hesitate to contact any of our fantastic team members to discuss collaboration possibilities and how we can help you in 2023 and beyond.

Michael Biundo (Partner):
Michael Biundo, based in NH, is one of the most respected political consultants in the country. Michael is a veteran of nine Presidential campaigns. In 2016, Biundo served as National Senior Advisor to Donald J. Trump for President and Senior Advisor to Rand Paul for President. In 2012, he was National Campaign Manager for Rick Santorum for President before joining the Romney campaign as National Deputy Coalitions Director. Biundo is one of only a handful of consultants who have won the Iowa Caucus and the New Hampshire Primary.

@MichaelBiundo |

Andrew Boucher (Partner):
Andrew Boucher, based in South Carolina, advises campaigns and national organizations on strategy. Along with James Higgins, Boucher runs The Monday Meeting in New York and chairs The Charleston Meeting in South Carolina. In 2012, he served as National Political Director for Rick Santorum for President.

@AndrewBoucher |

Derek Dufresne (Partner):
Derek Dufresne, a New Hampshire native now based in Washington, DC, serves as Chief Strategist and General Consultant to Congresswoman Kat Cammack (R-FL-03). He has won races for Congress and has successfully managed multiple Super PACs and issue advocacy organizations. Prior, he served on the Hill as a legislative assistant and communications director for one of the most competitive House seats in the country. In 2021, Business Insider named Derek one of the 24 millennial and Gen Z Republican campaign operatives to watch ahead of the 2022 elections.

@DeDufresne |

Kory Wood (Partner):
Kory Wood, based in Carmel, Indiana, has experience on Capitol Hill and in political campaigns at every level. Kory helped craft and execute the voter contact phone program for the Donald J. Trump for President campaign in 2016 and has consulted on three Presidential campaigns. In 2021, Business Insider named Kory one of the 24 millennial and Gen Z Republican campaign operatives to watch ahead of the 2022 elections.

@KoryRWood |

Lee-Ann Bender (Director of Operations):
Lee-Ann Bender has campaign experience in Ohio and South Carolina, coordinating multiple federal campaigns during the past election cycles. Lee-Ann worked in the US Speaker of the House office and US Senator Rob Portman’s office.

Amanda Biundo (Creative Director):
Featured by Campaigns & Elections Magazine, Amanda Biundo is an award-winning graphic designer who has designed branding, digital ads, and direct mail for dozens of campaigns around the country. Amanda has also managed social media advertising for multiple local and federal campaigns. Most recently, she has expanded her knowledge into video editing and composition.

@amanda_biundo |

Wes Farno (Senior Consultant):
Wes Farno is a public affairs and issue advocacy expert. Under his direction, both public affairs and political campaigns have been successful in helping to elect numerous individuals and address legislative issues. Wes has worked on over 130 issue advocacy campaigns across all spectrums of public policy and political campaigns.

@WesFarno |

Mark Warner (Senior Account Executive):
Mark has been involved in Indiana politics for over 14 years. He has worked for and advised candidates from the local level to statewide races, including working with Governor Pence on the advance team and serving at the Indiana Republican Party during the 2015-2016 cycle. Iowa is where he grew up; he is an avid Cornhusker fan but has called Indiana home for the last 20-plus years.

@mwarner95 |

Austin Buholtz (Account Executive):
Austin Buholtz graduated from the University of Florida, earning a degree in Political Science and certifications in Political Campaigning and International Relations. In 2020, he was a part of Florida Congresswoman Kat Cammack’s 10-way Republican Primary and General Election victories. Since joining Ascent, he has worked on various campaigns from Senate and Congressional to state and local races.

@AustinBuholtz |

We craft strategies to help you win.

At Ascent Strategic, we devise winning strategies for candidates and political organizations. We'd love to see what we can help you achieve.

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