Ace is a 40-year veteran of state and national politics and has directed winning campaigns from District Attorney to President. With deep experience on the West Coast, he specializes in high-stakes political, governmental and public affairs campaigns.
Over the years, Ace has worked with a roster of clients including Virginia Governor Doug Wilder, Chicago Mayor Richard Daley, Texas Governor Ann Richards, U.S. Senator Dianne Feinstein, U.S. Senator Barbara Boxer, California Governor Jerry Brown, LA Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa, SF Mayor Ed Lee and Oakland Mayor Libby Schaaf.
In recent years, Ace and his partners were instrumental in the historic election of Kamala Harris as California Attorney General and Senator and Gavin Newsom as California Lieutenant Governor and Governor. Ace ran San Francisco Mayor Lee’s victorious campaign and led the historic Proposition 30 effort for Governor Brown. He served as State Director for U.S. Senator Hillary Clinton’s campaigns in California, Texas and North Carolina during the 2008 Democratic Presidential Primary.
Ace also has extensive experience winning complex initiative campaigns, including the groundbreaking criminal justice reform of “Three Strikes” (Prop. 36) and sentencing (Prop. 47).
The subject of several newspaper profiles, Ace was called “legendary” by the New York Times and political campaign manager “heavyweight champion of the year” in the San Francisco Chronicle. Ace is author of the book “The Pitcher and the Dictator: Satchel Paige’s Unlikely Season in the Dominican Republic” and is writing books on the history of recorded sound and California politics. Ace earned his B.A. in English Literature from the University of California, Berkeley.
A former Los Angeles Deputy Mayor and longtime state and national media consultant, Sean works on a variety of advertising, strategy, messaging, and communications projects for a range of elected officials, ballot measures, nonprofits and brands.
Sean has led award-winning TV, radio, online, print, direct mail, and outdoor advertising campaigns for clients including Vice-President Kamala Harris, Governor Gavin Newsom, former Governor Jerry Brown, Lieutenant Governor Eleni Kounalakis, former Attorney General Xavier Becerra, San Francisco Mayor Ed Lee, Oakland Mayor Libby Schaaf, and Congresswoman Katie Porter, among many others.
Over the years, Sean produced media for dozens of successful state and local ballot initiative campaigns. During the 2018 cycle Sean was general consultant to the DCCC in its clean sweep of California congressional races. In 2019, Sean served as senior strategist for Kamala Harris for the People.
From 2005 to 2008, Sean was Senior Advisor and Deputy Mayor for Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa. As the Mayor’s lead political advisor, Sean played a key role in the design and implementation of the major policy wins of Mayor Villaraigosa’s first term. Prior to that, Sean was a founding partner at SCN Strategies and represented clients on candidate and issue campaigns around the United States, including the successful elections of California Governor Gray Davis, U.S. Senator Barbara Boxer, and Congressman Richard Gephardt.
Over the years, Sean was a staffer on the U.S. Senate Judiciary Committee, a campaign press secretary for San Francisco’s mayor and an associate at The Research Group, a San Francisco and Washington-based consulting firm. He earned a B.A. in Political Science from the University of California, Berkeley.
With experience as a campaign manager, policy advisor, and strategist serving leading elected officials, Juan works on a range of campaigns and strategic communications projects.
As campaign manager for Kamala Harris for Senate, Juan helped lead Harris to the largest vote percentage by a non-incumbent Senate candidate in California history, carrying every demographic group, party and region of the state.
Previously, Juan was Senior Advisor to Attorney General Harris in the California Department of Justice where he served as one of the Attorney General’s principal advisors on issues impacting business, labor, government bodies, regulatory agencies, and community-based and non-profit organizations throughout California and the United States. In this capacity, Juan was part of the Attorney General’s senior staff developing and implementing public policy, litigation, legislation, and outreach strategies for multiple issues. In 2014, Juan served as Interim Chief of Staff, supervising the office’s executive staff and managing communications, scheduling, and advance staff.
Prior to that, Juan was Director of State Relations for the City of Los Angeles under Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa. Juan oversaw an expansive government lobbying effort on issues including energy, education, transportation, public safety, water, economic development, revenue and taxation needs. During his tenure with Mayor Villaraigosa, Juan also served as a Senior Political Advisor, advising on national, statewide and local redistricting, and elections.
Juan received his B.A. from the University of California, Los Angeles and earned an M.B.A. from Pepperdine Graziaidio School of Business Management.
Erica Kwiatkowski Nielsen
Erica brings nearly a decade of experience in progressive political campaign strategy, media, management, and team building.
Erica has worked on campaigns up and down the ballot throughout her career, most recently serving at the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee (DCCC), strategically advising hard to win frontline and challenger campaigns from Maine to Arizona and protecting Democrats’ House majority in 2020. Prior to that, she helped lead the early states team on Vice President Kamala Harris’ presidential campaign.
Featured as a Rising Star in Orange Coast Magazine for managing Congresswoman Katie Porter’s historic 2018 Orange County win, Erica helped flip California’s 45th Congressional District from red to blue for the first time in history, winning by over four points and reaching a record turnout, all after winning a six way jungle primary.
Prior to managing Katie Porter’s race, Erica advised candidates and directed multi-million dollar paid media campaigns for winning candidates, independent expenditures, ballot measures, and legislative campaigns.
Erica graduated Phi Beta Kappa with a B.A. in Political Science from University of California, Santa Barbara and is currently the number one UCSB Volleyball fan. She lives with her husband in Southern California.
George’s experience includes leading a broad range of advertising and strategic communications initiatives — having worked extensively with some of the country’s highest profile candidates, ballot measures, private companies, and nonprofits.
As the firm’s creative director, George has overseen hundreds of video production and graphic design projects over the last decade, producing award-winning TV, radio and print campaigns for many of California’s top elected officials candidate and issue campaigns. Recent work includes campaigns for Governor Jerry Brown, Governor Gavin Newsom, Vice President Kamala Harris, San Francisco Mayor Ed Lee, Oakland Mayor Libby Schaaf, as well as state ballot propositions addressing education funding, criminal justice reform, the water crisis, and California’s long-term fiscal health, among others.
From 2005 to 2008, George worked with Joele Frank, Wilkinson Brimmer Katcher, a leading New York crisis management firm. During that time, he crafted critical communications for some of the country’s top companies and built ongoing relationships with national and regional media. George was a member of the team that advised on Motorola’s management change and proxy fight against Carl Icahn and the team that rolled out and defended SIRIUS’s landmark merger with XM.
George has a B.A. in Political Science and Spanish from Trinity University in San Antonio, Texas.
A seasoned communications specialist, David Beltran has over a decade’s worth of experience developing and executing communications strategies for local, state, and federal elected officials.
Since joining the firm, David has overseen a variety of projects, including working with then-California Secretary of State (now U.S. Senator) Alex Padilla to fight voter suppression and misinformation through the Democratic Association of Secretaries of State. Additionally, he served as general consultant on the historic campaign to elect Holly Mitchell to the first all-women Los Angeles Board of Supervisors.
Previously, David served as Communications Director for Attorney General Kamala D. Harris. In this role, David acted as Harris’ chief spokesperson, led the California Justice Department’s communications strategy and worked across its legal sections, policy team and office of legislative affairs to manage media rollouts of the office’s major announcements and initiatives, including landmark case rulings, major settlements and delegation trips.
Previously, David served as a Press Secretary for President Barack Obama’s reelection campaign in Nevada. He also spent time on Capitol Hill, where he led communications efforts for Congressman Sam Farr. Before that, David was press secretary for Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa and served as a communications coordinator for Major League Soccer’s Los Angeles Galaxy, supporting the international announcement of the signing of David Beckham. He is fluent in Spanish and earned a B.A. in Political Science from the University of California, Santa Barbara.
Elizabeth is a Bay Area native with a passion for both local and global policy issues. As an Associate at Bearstar, she supports clients with communications and digital strategy, advertising production, press relations, and political data analysis.
During the 2020 cycle, Elizabeth worked primarily on Holly Mitchell’s successful campaign for the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors, assisting the campaign manager with day-to-day operations. She also worked on several local and statewide ballot measure campaigns, coordinating English and Cantonese mail programs, multimedia ad production, and digital strategy.
As a summer intern for the firm in 2018, Elizabeth worked on campaigns up and down the California ballot. She helped organize fundraisers and press conferences and assisted with opposition research, primary analysis, and graphic design.
Prior to joining SCRB full time, Elizabeth was an intern at Lighthouse Public Affairs in San Francisco where she worked on projects ranging from public outreach initiatives to research on policy issues like marijuana delivery and affordable housing. She has also interned with the U.S. Department of State, USAID, and several international nonprofits.
Elizabeth graduated summa cum laude from George Washington University with a B.A. in International Affairs and minors in Journalism/Mass Communications and Arabic Studies. She speaks conversational Spanish and Arabic.
As an associate, Tausif brings a strong background in research and communications.
During the 2020 cycle, Tausif helped manage then-BART Board President Lateefah Simon’s successful re-election campaign. He also worked on the San Francisco 49ers successful independent expenditure campaign in the City of Santa Clara and assisted with the transition of US Senator Alex Padilla.
Previously, Tausif worked for the DC progressive advocacy group the Hub Project and its partner organizations. There, Tausif drafted a dozen op-eds for activists, elected officials and celebrities around key policy issues in various local and national news outlets.
Before he started in his full-time role with the firm, Tausif worked as an intern assisting on research projects and drafting communications materials for various clients ranging from local ballot measures to a presidential campaign.
Tausif is a Los Angeles native and graduated from UC Berkeley with a B.A. in political science and a minor in history.