One of the state’s best-known public affairs professionals, Fiona Hutton has more than two decades of experience in California’s highly competitive and constantly evolving political and regulatory landscape. She’s a communications dynamo, offering clients insight into the people, processes and policies that dictate their success. As president of Fiona Hutton & Associates, she leads a team of top-level communications strategists who tackle complex and contentious issues for high-profile clients and specialize in a wide range of industry and issue areas.
Fiona’s approach is straightforward – a resolute and hands-on commitment to fulfilling clients’ needs, solving their problems and ensuring they achieve their goals. Her extensive experience and sage counsel make her the obvious choice for clients seeking to navigate complicated and controversial issues, advocacy efforts, regulatory processes, legislative actions and crisis management situations. As an industry leader, her clients and peers respect and depend on her for her detail-oriented approach and keen ability to assemble and manage the strongest teams for communications and outreach efforts for corporate clients, trade associations, large public agencies, nonprofit organizations, municipalities and political interests.
In addition to her work with FHA, Fiona serves on the boards of directors of the Los Angeles Area Chamber of Commerce and Open California. For several years running, she has been recognized by the Capitol Weekly as one of the 100 most influential players in California politics.
Kendall KlinglerVice President
An experienced communications specialist, Kendall Klingler is charged with leading integrated strategic communication programs from conceptualization through implementation. She is accomplished in developing public affairs and advocacy campaigns, knows how to gain support for issues and projects through coalition-building and outreach, and has managed high-profile crisis communications for clients, acting as their media relations liaison and spokeswoman.
With expertise serving clients in the energy, infrastructure, water and manufacturing sectors, Kendall is a pro at distilling high-level policy language and translating technical subjects to clear and impactful messages that can cross multiple communication channels to reach target audiences. She also spearheads the creation of collateral materials, such as brochures, websites, press kits and infographics, and shapes strategies to engage, influence and mobilize audiences and decision-makers to achieve clients’ objectives.
Dagny EllenbergVice President
Dagny Ellenberg is a media maven with an insider’s view of California state government and politics. With statewide public affairs and communications experience, she builds and manages communications strategies that maximize the value of traditional media relations while harnessing the power of new media technology.
Dagny’s keen understanding of the California media landscape offers clients the ability to stay ahead of the news cycle and communicate with target audiences through the right media outlet. She works directly with a far-reaching network of reporters and editors, pitches stories and manages media events that earn coverage statewide. Dagny is also a top-notch writer, developing compelling messaging and collateral materials for clients. She has expertise leading accounts for clients across the health care, energy, technology, transportation and municipal/public sectors.
Rebecca NicholasVice President
A veteran communications and advocacy campaign practitioner, Rebecca helps drive the agency’s footprint in the Sacramento market and the State Capitol. Rebecca brings unmatched expertise and experience to the team, specializing in infrastructure, natural resources/water, energy, transportation, technology and the emerging cannabis market.
With a keen eye for corporate reputation management, legislative and advocacy campaigns and public outreach programs, she skillfully crafts and executes effective communications and stakeholder engagement strategies for projects of all shapes and sizes. Years of experience working on some of California’s most challenging subjects gives Rebecca an unparalleled ability to translate complex, technical issues into effective messages and compelling narratives. Clients can depend on Rebecca’s steadfast tenacity, creativity and focus to deliver collaborative and positive project outcomes.
Amanda BobbittAccount Supervisor
Amanda Bobbitt is a public affairs professional with strong experience in corporate communications, government relations and advocacy. She is passionate about translating complex issues into effective communications campaigns that drive desired action and enact change.
Skilled at project management, message development, stakeholder engagement and media relations, Amanda designs integrated programs and deploys a variety of tactics that move the needle and client objectives forward. She brings experience from Washington, DC, where she worked on accounts representing the healthcare, technology, financial services and automotive industries — helping them navigate a number of high-profile legislative and regulatory challenges. Amanda’s leadership, diligence and productivity allow her to tackle new issues quickly and implement winning strategies.
Jon KorielAccount Supervisor
Jon Koriel is a seasoned public affairs professional with nearly a decade of experience that includes advocacy, public policy and communications work in the public and private sectors. As an Account Supervisor, Jon helps FHA clients in the higher education, healthcare and land use/real estate industries to develop and implement compelling strategies and narratives that advance their communications objectives.
Prior to joining FHA, Jon served as government relations manager for a national nonprofit focused on early childhood education and childcare services. In that role, he guided advocacy, strategic planning and media relations efforts on a wide portfolio of public policy initiatives and helped to build and maintain relationships with key state and federal legislative offices. Before that, Jon worked as a senior associate at a national public affairs firm, providing strategies to several nonprofit and corporate clients on a variety of issue areas, including criminal justice reform, higher education reform, low-income housing and others. He also has served as a policy fellow for several California legislators at the local, state and federal levels, providing research on a variety of issues and legislation and supporting constituency relations.
He has a Master of Public Policy degree from Pepperdine University and a Bachelor of Arts degree in political science from Chapman University in Orange, Calif. He enjoys tennis, golf and spending time with his family and friends.
Ian AndersonAccount Supervisor
Ian Anderson is a dynamic public relations and policy professional with proven experience in high-level political consulting, state and federal government, and communications roles. He has a strong track record of engaging stakeholders across all levels of government to address client needs and concerns.
Ian is skilled in media relations, strategic project planning, targeted outreach, internal/external messaging, and public policy. He is diligent and resourceful, with a passion for creating layered communications strategies to deliver messages in the most effective way possible. Ian is particularly proficient in developing partnerships between government agencies, nonprofit organizations and private sector firms to accomplish clients’ communications goals.
Sari AfriatManager of Accounting and Administration
Sari Afriat ensures that FHA business operations run efficiently and effectively. With more than 15 years of accounting and administrative experience, she brings a structured approach, meticulous attention to detail and a dedicated work ethic that matches FHA’s sterling reputation.
In addition to managing accounting and financial affairs, Sari oversees human resources, contracts and leases, legal compliance, information technology and much more. With a hands-on approach, she has a thorough understanding of the firm’s diverse client base and supports the careful management of each account.
Michael SchwartzManager of Digital & Creative
Michael Schwartz is a creative and digital specialist with strong knowledge and experience in the fast-paced and dynamic world of public affairs. He guides clients through the complex digital communications and social media realm, delivering creative strategies and effective campaigns that reach target audiences and keep them engaged.
Michael uses his sharp design skills and leverages digital analytics and insights to produce innovative communications across multiple platforms. Beyond offering clients digital and creative savvy, he has experience developing a variety of strategic communications and collateral materials, and managing media relations. He has been instrumental in crafting and administering campaigns for clients in number of industries, including public affairs, digital advertising, technology, business-to-business, business-to-consumer and professional sports.
Sarah MelbostadAccount Supervisor
Sarah Melbostad is a communications and public affairs professional well-versed in the California political and regulatory landscape. She expertly implements strategic communication plans, advocacy campaigns and comprehensive outreach and education programs with demonstrated results across various industries, including water, health care and natural resources.
Sarah dives into each challenge, quickly becoming a subject matter expert to consistently deliver creative and compelling content to our clients. Skilled in stakeholder outreach and ally development, Sarah has developed strong, trusted relationships with key opinion leaders throughout the state – able to identify key influencers, understand their organizations’ issues and motivations, recruit them into action and effectively mobilize for our client programs and projects.
Sierra LaytonAccount Executive
With a background in campaigns and advocacy, Sierra uses a systematic approach to provide clients with top-notch research and communications materials to meet their objectives. She is vigilant and detail-oriented, which enables her to multitask and respond quickly to client needs.
She has issue expertise in natural resources with a concentration in water, and also has experience in healthcare and local government. She brings fresh perspectives in traditional and social media to communicate effective, memorable messages to targeted audiences.
Evan SwerdfegerAccount Executive
With education and experience in communications and public affairs, Evan develops engaging content and supports meaningful community outreach efforts to help clients reach their target audiences across various communications channels. He is a strong writer who executes on deliverables thoughtfully and efficiently, ensuring that clients have the smart, timely support they need.
Evan has issue area expertise in natural resources, land use, manufacturing and health care. Attuned to the complex and nuanced political landscape in California, he leverages his knowledge across industries to help tell clients’ stories in compelling and creative ways.
Melanie TubermanAccount Coordinator
Melanie is a highly motivated practitioner who doesn’t shy away from hard work or a good challenge. Her experience in all levels of government drives her desire to work in public affairs, where she can inform and impact policy outcomes with creativity and persistence.
A recent resident of Washington, D.C., Melanie worked on both sides of the aisle on Capitol Hill, supporting Congressional efforts in foreign affairs, agriculture, healthcare, tax reform, women’s issues, education and environmental resources. Prior to that, she worked for her hometown Mayor in Binghamton, New York and Broome County’s Executive Office. In these roles, Melanie supported constituent engagement, research and backing on key issues and media relations.
Melanie is currently pursuing a master’s degree in Public Administration at The University of Southern California. She has a bachelor’s degree in Political Science with minors in International Affairs and Chinese from George Washington University.
Shannon StewartExecutive Assistant
Shannon keeps FHA running like a well-oiled machine, applying more than 10 years of experience in corporate executive management to our fast-paced, high-energy offices in Los Angeles and Sacramento. Shannon comes to work every day with a keen attention to detail and an unmatched sense of humor – making sure everyone is where they need to be and making them laugh along the way. She is skilled at navigating high-pressure situations with calm and confidence.
Shannon has a bachelor’s degree in Political Science from UCLA. When she’s not busy running circles around the FHA team, she’s managing her 11-year-old son, an All-Star baseball player.
Maddy WarnkeAssistant Bookkeeper
A recent transplant from Seattle, Maddy’s corporate accounting experience supports the management of FHA’s robust book of business. Her attention to detail, understanding of business administration and meticulous management of records keeps accounts running smoothly and seamlessly.
Maddy is pursuing a Bachelor of Business Administration degree in Accounting from Washington State University’s online campus. When she’s not working or studying, you can find Maddy hiking or playing with her two dogs.
Tiffany MoffattSenior Counselor
Sacramento insider Tiffany Moffatt is a high-octane, results-oriented player who knows the California Legislature and third house inside and out, bringing unparalleled public affairs talent to the table. With more than 20 years of experience managing communications and high-profile issues for legislative advocacy campaigns, corporate affairs, Governors and legislative leadership, and trade association initiatives, Tiffany has a sharp understanding of the State Capitol, and the regulatory and political climate in California.
Tiffany specializes in guiding clients through controversial public affairs issues and creating meaningful communications programs that help them to meet broader legislative, regulatory and outreach objectives. She brings a wealth of experience in media strategy and media relations at the local, state and national level, and is an expert in all aspects of crisis communication, from proactive planning to real-time strategy and response.
Alice WaltonSenior Counselor
Alice Walton is a strategic communications specialist who is able to tap into more than a decade’s worth of experience as a political reporter to develop strategies and implement tactics for a diverse base of clients. Alice provides clients with expert media counsel on a wide range of political and policy issues.
Alice’s skills as a communicator were honed at the top-ranked lobbying firm in Los Angeles, where she worked on issues ranging from urban planning to energy to infrastructure and logistics. Her career as a political reporter included work at the Los Angeles Times, KPCC Southern California Public Radio and City News Service. She remains active in journalism and politics through her volunteer work with the Society of Professional Journalists and Emerge California.
Riley spent his early years scratching to survive in a meth lab in the outskirts of Los Angeles County. After being rescued and elevated to Chief Pooch of PR at FHA, he has dived in with newfound professionalism and boundless enthusiasm, recognized for his highly sought stress relief techniques and energy boosting abilities. A creative at heart, Riley is often found roaming the HQ offering his pearls of wisdom and words of encouragement to the team. FHA clients and colleagues throughout California know and trust our furry friend and eagerly anticipate his sage counsel and participation in meetings. If your organization is in need of such a utility player, he encourages you to visit your local shelter or animal adoption organization for talented and well-qualified candidates.