MEET K2&CO

Experts at navigating the corporate, non-profit, media and political worlds.


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KIRSTEN KUKOWSKI

PARTNER

Kirsten has unequaled communication, public relations and public affairs experience.  She’s a professional strategist who has excelled in all types of high exposure communications.  Seasoned. Fast on her feet. Pressure tested. Through her vast experience in national and statewide politics, non-profit development, and corporate public relations, Kirsten has established a reputation as a leader who can recommend the right communication strategy for every situation, no matter how unique.

Kirsten has led communications on some of the highest profile political campaigns in the country giving her unmatched experience in the political process and access to leaders across the political spectrum all the way to the highest offices in the US. Kirsten’s communications experience brought her from the House of Representatives to a successful U.S. Senate campaign. She also served for five years as the National Press Secretary for a National Political Committee. She served as Communications Director for a presidential campaign before leading the communications operations for a 2016 National Convention.

She has unmatched experience in crisis communications, media relations, communications planning and strategy, grassroots advocacy, social media campaigns, media placement, opposition research, media booking, media training and writing.  Kirsten accepted a fellowship at the University of Chicago's Institute of Politics where she taught a course called "The American Political Playbook – Can’t Live With It, Can’t Live Without It," analyzing the 2016 election.

Kirsten now uses her understanding of the political process and connections to help companies, non-profits and associations navigate tough situations whether its building an advocacy campaign or developing a communications strategy.

•Hometown: Elk River, Minnesota

•Personal Motto: Get to Yes. Work Hard, Play Hard

•Favorite Book: Pride and Prejudice

•Favorite quote: "The secret of getting ahead is getting started." – Mark Twain

•Favorite Sport: I grew up playing softball year-round and love the game. As a spectator, I love watching baseball.

• Dream client: Minnesota Twins

•Favorite show to binge watch: Criminal Minds

•Favorite podcast: MFCEO

•First thing you'd buy if you won the lottery: A trip to Hawaii

•Where would we find you in your free time: Reading, working out, watching a sporting event live or at a bar/restaurant.

•Tell us one thing most people don't know about you: I walked onto the crew team in college.


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KRISTEN SHEEHAN

PARTNER

Kristen is a grassroots public affairs, public relations, and fundraising professional who brings over a decade of experience to work for her clients. Kristen launched her business in 2015 following years of work in political, corporate and non-profit worlds. The mission is to be the premier strategic team clients demand in order to create transformational change.

From 2009-2013, Kristen was VP for Accounts at one of the top grassroots Public Affairs firms in the Twin Cities where she represented clients in Western and Midwestern states on a variety of issues. Kristen’s grassroots expertise stems from years of experience building coalitions and partnerships and coordinating earned media campaigns for national associations in Iowa, Minnesota, Illinois, Wisconsin, South Dakota, Arizona and Utah. 

Prior to K2 & Co. Kristen coordinated raising over seven-million dollars for a first-time U.S. senate candidate in Minnesota and currently advises numerous clients on their development and fundraising needs. Whether it’s fundraising, grassroots or media, Kristen is a focused achiever who excels in developing and executing clear, organized plans to achieve measurable results and long-term sustainability.

•Hometown: Youngstown, Ohio

•Personal Motto: Work hard, play hard, if at first you don't succeed - try again!

•Favorite Book: The Go Giver, Mans Search for Meaning (by far my favorite!)

•Favorite quote: "Everything can be taken from a man but one thing: the last of the human freedoms—to choose one's attitude in any given set of circumstances, to choose one's own way" - Viktor Frankl

•Favorite Sport: I don't play a sport, I rarely watch sports unless my son is playing, but I do love all things PiYo (Pilates + Yoga) and Turbokick that I teach them in my spare time

•Dream client: Beachbody, Clean Wine Company or Godiva Chocolate

•Favorite show to binge watch: I'm documentary obsessed now and Beachfront Bargain Hunt

•Favorite podcast: NPR How I Built This, The Chalene Show for all things health and business tips, Freakonomics, and my husband’s new podcast Fantasy Baseball FOR REAL

•First thing you'd buy if you won the lottery: A home on St. John

•Where would we find you in your free time: Always with my family.....and in PiYo studio or by the water (Caribbean, Pacific, St. Croix River, Lake Erie or pile of snow in my backyard!)

• Tell us one thing most people don't know about you: I'm equal parts health nut and food junkie. Pizza, chocolate and wine makeup a perfect meal for me!


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NICHOLAS KLITZING

VICE PRESIDENT & DIRECTOR OF PUBLIC AFFAIRS

Nick is a tested public affairs, communications, and public relations professional with 12+ years experience at the nexus of politics, government, law, and the private sector. He has earned the trust of corporate executives, community leaders, and high-ranking elected officials for his ability to achieve strategic objectives by activating grassroots networks, framing compelling media narratives, and executing successful marketing campaigns. Relentlessly focused on achieving results, Nick has spent his career navigating multi-dimensional problems in crisis situations at the highest levels, and has the hands-on experience, wisdom, and battle scars to prove it.

Nick has been a recognized leader on high-profile political and issue campaigns at the national, state, and local levels, giving him a deep understanding of politics and media and a national rolodex of top leaders from across the political spectrum. He has extensive experience in his home state of Illinois, where he served as Executive Director and Special Counsel for one of the statewide political parties and served as a senior team member for a Governor, three statewide campaigns, and a state legislative campaign operation. Through these roles, he developed an unrivaled network of grassroots leaders in every corner of the state and an unprecedented ability to strategically navigate the challenging political and media environments in Illinois.

In addition to his diverse Illinois experience, Nick has designed, produced, and executed scores of large-scale strategic communications, media, and grassroots engagement events throughout the country for multiple presidential campaigns, federal agencies, non-profits, and Fortune 100 companies. Whether it is for Pope Francis’ visit to the US, a nationwide bus tour of small businesses with GE Capital, or bilateral meetings in Jerusalem with both the Israeli Prime Minister and President of the Palestinian Authority, Nick is routinely called upon to help accomplish strategic goals through the successful execution of world-class events on a large-scale.

Nick has deep, varied experience and an extensive network in Illinois and throughout the country that he employs to help companies, non-profits, and associations achieve strategic objectives through advocacy campaigns, grassroots engagement initiatives, and dynamic communications strategies. As a licensed attorney, he also offers a unique perspective that can help clients navigate the maze of complicated federal and state law at the intersection of politics, public affairs, and media.

 
 
 
 
 
 

● Hometown: Altamont, Illinois

● Personal Motto: Opportunities don't happen. We create them.

●Favorite Book: The Grapes of Wrath - John Steinbeck

●Favorite quote: Teddy Roosevelt's "Man in the Arena:" "It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood; who strives valiantly; who errs, who comes short again and again, because there is no effort without error and shortcoming; but who does actually strive to do the deeds; who knows great enthusiasms, the great devotions; who spends himself in a worthy cause; who at the best knows in the end the triumph of high achievement, and who at the worst, if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly, so that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who neither know victory nor defeat."

●Favorite Sport: Golf, college football (despite my ill-fated University of Illinois rooting interest)

● Dream client: The Big Ten Conference

●Favorite show to binge watch: Game of Thrones (before season 8)

●Favorite podcast: Axe Files, Barstool Sports' Foreplay

●First thing you'd buy if you won the lottery: A vacation home to host my family and close friends

●Where would we find you in your free time: At the park with my black lab Augie. Bring a ball, and he'll be your friend forever.

●Tell us one thing most people don't know about you: I am an expert on trivia about the TV show, Saved by the Bell.


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MELISSA WOLF

VP OF ACCOUNTS

Melissa comes to K2 & Co. with over a decade of legislative, public affairs and government relations experience. Melissa is an expert in grassroots advocacy and public affairs and brings to the company a unique background of experience in all areas of public policy. Her attention to detail, strategic planning and creative approach to diverse issues have helped her clients navigate and achieve success in complicated political landscapes at both the state and federal level.  

Melissa spent four legislative sessions in Minnesota Senate before joining a national grassroots organization as Regional Director, where she spearheaded legislative efforts in eleven Midwestern states and tracked and managed legislation nationwide.

Prior to joining K2 & Co., Melissa spent two years representing clients from a wide range of industries from large corporations to local non-profits at the Minnesota Legislature as a lobbyist.

Melissa is an enthusiastic and passionate advocate for her clients who is committed to deepening her broad personal and professional relationships, exceeding goals and delivering exceptional results. She graduated with a Bachelor of Arts in political science from St. Catherine University in St. Paul.

 
 
 
 

●Hometown: Stillwater, Minnesota

●Personal Motto: Success is a journey, not a destination

●Favorite Book: Too many to name! But one of my favorites is "The Longest Winter: The Battle of the Bulge" and the "Epic Story of WWII's Most Decorated Platoon", which is a story about my Grandfather’s platoon.

●Favorite quote: “In three words I can sum up everything I’ve learned about life: it goes on” - Robert Frost

●Favorite Sport: Golf and Football (especially when the Vikings are winning and the Packers are losing!)

●Dream client: March of Dimes Foundation, Tiger Woods, Tough Mudder, REI, Athleta

●Favorite show to binge watch: Love it or List it

●Favorite podcast: Haven’t gotten into any podcasts yet, I know, I’m late to the party

●First thing you'd buy if you won the lottery: A cabin in the mountains of Montana

●Where would we find you in your free time: With my family being active! We love going for walks, hiking, skiing, visiting local parks and lakes and just being outdoors enjoying all of Minnesota’s seasons.

●Tell us one thing most people don't know about you: I love to workout! I love pushing myself to new heights I never thought possible physically. It has helped to improve not only my health but my overall well-being. It is my go to stress reliever!


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CHELSEA THOMPSON

ACCOUNT EXECUTIVE

Chelsea is a skilled public relations and communications professional known for building relationships with press and policymakers, tailoring messaging to fit brands and engage diverse audiences, and creating compelling media narratives through both social and earned media.

She started her career as a communications intern for a gubernatorial campaign in 2010 before landing in the Minnesota House of Representatives where she spent eight years, including five years as a communications specialist. In that role, she assisted lawmakers, members of leadership and committee chairs with communications, public relations and media outreach, successfully placing meaningful stories in newspaper, radio and television outlets across the state.

Chelsea is organized, creative and passionate about building a strong brand and delivering meaningful results to clients. She graduated from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln with a Bachelor of Journalism in advertising and political science. 

 
 
 

● Hometown: Woodbury, Minnesota

● Personal Motto: Travel often

●Favorite Book: So hard to choose! Harry Potter, anything Neil Gaiman, Pride and Prejudice, Odd Thomas...

●Favorite quote: “Always forgive your enemies; nothing annoys them so much” - Oscar Wilde

●Favorite Sport: Football. Go Patriots!

● Dream client: The New England Patriots or an animal rescue charity

●Favorite show to binge watch: Arrested Development or Bob’s Burgers

●Favorite podcast: I think I’m the only person left who hasn’t gotten into podcasts yet. Taking recommendations!

●First thing you'd buy if you won the lottery: A plane ticket

●Where would we find you in your free time: By the pool in the summer, watching football on Sundays, or binging a good TV show when it’s too cold to go outside

●Tell us one thing most people don't know about you: I have no musical talent of any kind