Marcel Wieder, President and Chief Advocate for Aurora Strategy Group announced the firm’s largest expansion by adding six new consultants in Australia, Canada, and the United States. This follows the recent addition of consultants in Israel and the United Arab Emirates.
“Aurora continues to grow and develop new markets for our services,” said Wieder. “As economies begin to reopen, we are positioning our firm to assist clients in helping get their message delivered to government, media and stakeholders.”
In addition to its current offering of services, Aurora will now be able to offer clients polling and creative media services in-house. “These new services provide one-stop services to clients,” according to Wieder. “With a growing footprint in Australia, North America, and the Middle East, Aurora can assist clients with consultants on the ground. Plus, as members of the International Public Relations Network, we have access to firms in over 40 countries.”
Joining Aurora are Dr. Raphaella Crosby from Armidale, Australia; Hasneet Punia from Brampton, Ontario; Tom Sigurdson from New Westminster, British Columbia; Tony Fazio from San Francisco, California; Bud Jackson from Alexandria, Virginia; Cherri Senders from Los Angeles, California and Nancy Todd from Sarasota, Florida.
“This is an exciting time for Aurora Strategy Group as we continue to build out our team,” Wieder said. “The new members of the Aurora team will add additional depth to our existing team. We are thrilled that they have joined us in our journey to open up new markets and working with great clients.”
Dr. Raphaella Kathryn Crosby is based in Armidale, Australia, and is a pollster and political communication strategist with over 20 years’ experience in election campaigning and Not-For-Profit strategic communication. Best known for her work running the Australian Democrats in 2008-9 and as the Founder and board director for Migraine Australia since 2019, she is passionate about working for social good organizations and driving change agendas.
Earlier in her career, Crosby worked for the Federal Government and several leading universities in strategic communication and marketing before joining Essential Media, consulting on research-led campaigns and managing the account of the Australian Council of Trade Unions. Her belief in research-led campaigning fueled her drive to complete a Ph.D. in voter behavior and research methods, then transitioning to work primarily as a pollster. Dr. Crosby now runs the KORE Poll, a regular federal politics poll in Australia that continues her Ph.D. challenge of finding a better model to predict election outcomes and chases the pollster’s unicorn of trying to capture momentum.
Dr. Crosby brings together extensive experience from her public service, corporate, political, and not-for-profit background to be able to provide clients with holistic advice and a deep understanding of how to change hearts and minds in any context. In addition to research and campaigning, she has experience in lobbying and communication in the health, higher education, media, employment, and agriculture sectors.
Hasneet Singh Punia is based in Brampton, Ontario, and is an astute leader with over a decade of extensive senior management experience serving as Chief of Staff to both a provincial Minister and Mayor of a large urban Canadian municipality. He has also served as a public policy consultant and government relations and stakeholder relations manager in the private sector.
Punia has extensive knowledge of how government works at both the provincial and municipal levels. He has developed and maintains strong and effective relationships with government officials (elected and non-elected) and key public affairs influencers. He has developed and executed coordinated public affairs strategies, issues management plans, and built coalitions of like-minded supporters.
He has been focusing on disruption technology like ride-sharing and micro-mobility and how to help local governments adapt to innovation. Punia has served as a campaign manager in several municipal and provincial campaigns and advised candidates in federal election campaigns. Punia is active in the community volunteering at the local food bank, serving as a soccer coach, and helping to fundraise for his local hospital. He has an Honours Bachelor of Arts from the University of Toronto.
Tom Sigurdson is based in New Westminster, British Columbia, and has worked with building trades unions for over 20 years. He has twice served (1997 – 2003 & 2011 – 2020) as the Executive Director for the BC Building Trades Council. He worked for Canada’s Building Trades Unions in Ottawa as the Director of Political and Legislative Affairs. In addition to working with the national and provincial organizations, he has worked with local unions affiliated with the Teamsters and Heat and Frost Insulators.
Sigurdson was a two-term NDP Member of the Alberta Legislative Assembly (1986 – 1993) serving on several Legislative Committees as well as Official Opposition Critic for Labour, Education, Employment & Immigration and Career Development & Employment. He has been a volunteer board member for Habitat for Humanity (Lower BC Mainland), the Immigrant and Employment Council of BC, the Construction Sector Council, and SkillPlan. He was appointed to serve as a board member for the BC Industry Training Authority as well as a Governor of the BC Institute of Technology.
Sigurdson has worked with Indigenous leaders on workforce development programs and continues to engage in workshops as a non-indigenous co-presenter on historical colonization and current reconciliation actions.
Sigurdson has managed numerous political campaigns at the national, provincial, and municipal levels in Ontario, Saskatchewan, Alberta, and British Columbia.
Tony Fazio is based in San Francisco, California, and has over 50 years of experience working as a community organizer, political consultant, and non-profit advisor to hundreds of campaigns in a variety of communication industries. Mr. Fazio can create and advise winning battles for Political Candidates, Initiative Referendum Campaigns, Labor Organizations, Public Relations Agencies, and Public Affairs Companies across America. Mr. Fazio has worked in 45 different states since he started his career.
Fazio’s political consulting firm, Winning Directions, which he founded has been in existence since 1981 and has been recognized for its creativity and winning track record, receiving over 100 Pollie Awards the political industry’s highest honor on behalf of its clients.
Fazio was the past President of the American Association of Political Consultants, Campaigns and Elections magazine recognized him as an expert and rising star in the political business and American University hosts the Anthony J Fazio Political Direct Mail Archive, which houses more than 10,000 of his individual pieces of direct mail. Tony is also on the executive board of the Center for Congressional and Presidential Studies at American University.
Cherri Senders is based in Los Angeles, California, and brings more than 25 years of experience in journalism and communications to her role as publisher, communications director, and consultant to dozens of labor unions and non-profits. With an extensive background in messaging to both union members as well as the public, Cherri honed her skills writing about social issues for local and national publications ranging from Omni, Working Woman, and California Magazine to the LA Times and the LA Weekly. Her interest is in helping the public understand the issues complex confronting working families today.
Whether tackling day-to-day issues or long-term campaigns, Cherri uses her experience in print, web, and social media, and develops and implements strategic plans that deliver measurable results on time and within budget. Her company’s award-winning publications, websites, and campaigns have helped in numerous outreach efforts, from ongoing member education to contract ratifications to local, and state elections.
Cherri has a BA from the University of Maryland, where she majored in English Literature.
Bud Jackson is based in Alexandria, Virginia, and is an internationally recognized strategic communication and political consultant who has scripted, produced, and executed millions of dollars in highly successful and award-winning television and digital paid communication campaigns on behalf of political candidates, advocacy organizations, unions, and private sector clients. He also serves clients in public relations and crisis communication.
Jackson is an early pioneer of utilizing mass communication as a catalyst to build grassroots support and activism. He produced the first-ever television ad to draft a candidate for United States President (Draft Wesley Clark for President) and soon thereafter became the first media consultant to shoot, edit and upload daily videos on behalf of a United States presidential campaign. In 2006, Draft Obama for President retained him to encourage Barack Obama to run for President of the United States. His ad “Believe Again” was the first television ad in the 2008 presidential election and aired in early presidential primary states and Hawaii while the Obamas were vacationing on the island.
Jackson is a president emeritus of the American Association of Political Consultants Mid-Atlantic chapter. National Journal’s Hotline profiled him, and Campaigns and Elections Magazine featured him as a “Mover and Shaker” in American politics. He appears frequently on television and radio programs and is often quoted in print and online media as an experienced political and communication strategist. He occasionally lectures on current political events, campaign strategy, and strategic communication and is a contributing author to Louisiana State University’s Guide to Political Communication.
A Massachusetts native now in Washington, DC, he is a graduate of Boston University’s College of Communication and has an Executive MBA degree from Quantics School of Business and Technology in Washington, DC.
Nancy Todd is based in Sarasota, Florida, and is a political consultant and president of Nancy Todd, Inc., an international strategic consulting firm.
Todd cut her political teeth in Louisiana where she attended LSU law school and volunteered in political campaigns. She started with the legendary Matt Reese in 1979. Since then, Todd has been a consultant to over 196 campaigns in 42 states and six countries, with a winning record of 98 percent.
She has worked with candidates and projects both nationally and internationally and has received several national awards for creativity in political advertising. Todd has served as Chairman and Past President of the Board of Directors of the International Association of Political Consultants and now Past President and Chairman of the American Association of Political Consultants. In 2009 Todd was inducted into the prestigious Hall of Fame of the AAPC, the first such woman to be so honored.
She is a frequent speaker both nationally and internationally for governments, heads of state, key leaders in emerging democracies, and major universities including Harvard, the John F. Kennedy School of Government, George Washington University, Georgetown University, and Vanderbilt University. Her articles and commentary have appeared nationally in newspapers and professional publications.