top of page

Our Story

Elevate Strategies was founded by three Utahns, to show that fighting for what is right is worth it. The goal is straightforward: to help build a bench of talented campaign staff and candidates to bring balance to the state of Utah. The founders of Elevate all have national campaign experience and have found themselves back home in Salt Lake City professionalizing Democratic campaigns, innovating, and bringing tactics to a place that has very seldomly seen local campaigns do more than put up yard signs. Elevate strives to deliver a high quality of work and demonstrate that professionalized campaigns, organizations, and public servants can exist even in places where people least expect it. 

We all have two things in common: our love of Utah and intense optimism. 

DSC_7019.jpg

Gabi Finlayson

Gabi has experience working in some of the highest-profile political battlegrounds in the country. She worked on multiple campaigns in Utah, in the U.S. Senate, and in Iowa for Pete Buttigieg’s presidential campaign. She ran a statewide campaign in New Hampshire focused on youth engagement for President Biden’s General Election race. She stayed in New England, running two campaigns in Boston: a mayoral race and a state Senate special election. After working in the State House as the youngest Chief of Staff in modern Massachusetts history, Gabi moved back to Utah with the goal of giving candidates and elected officials the elevated management and guidance they deserve.

  • Twitter
  • LinkedIn
  • Instagram

Jackie Morgan

Jackie is a seasoned political strategist, with years of experience working on political and issue campaigns, public affairs, and legislation. She has worked in Utah politics for over 10 years, helping numerous campaigns, candidates, and causes including as the Deputy Communications Director on the Mike Weinholtz for Governor campaign, Volunteer Director on Better Boundaries, and Campaign Manager or Senior Advisor for more than 25 local candidates. She most recently served as the National Campaigns Director at Stand for Children where she worked with nonprofit and advocacy organizations to drive educational equity and racial justice across the country.

  • Twitter
  • LinkedIn
  • Instagram
DSC_6821.jpg
DSC_6275.jpg

Ben Haynes

Ben is a former candidate himself and most recently the Communications Director for the Salt Lake County District Attorney’s Office. He got his start in local politics working on a number of races before spending two years working during the primary for Hillary Clinton in UT, NH, ME, WI, and PA. Ben brings a unique lens to his work by combining his experience in strategic communications with the heart of an organizer. Widely known as the best communications strategist in the state, Ben has earned that title with hundreds of successful media events, near-daily coverage, and excellent relationships with reporters.

  • Twitter
  • LinkedIn
  • Instagram

Tia Jochimsen

A relative newbie to Utah and politics, Tia joins Elevate with experience in communication, client relations, and social media. Tia is originally from Wisconsin, but ventured to Utah to attend Weber State University, graduating with a degree in Communication with an emphasis in Civic Advocacy. Tia previously worked as an intern with a democrat representative in the Wisconsin State Legislature and as an intern for The Borgen Project, focused on mobilizing constituents, meeting with staffers, and creating marketing and fundraising campaigns addressing global poverty. When Tia isn’t staring at a computer or phone screen, she is an avid coloring book artist, puzzle do-er, and blanket hogging, reality romance show watcher.

DSC_6859 - Edited.png

Mayren Rancifer

Mayren is a communications professional passionate about gender equality, civil rights, and immigration reform. She has focused her professional career on progressive advocacy and political campaigns, including U.S. Senator Jon Ossoff’s campaign and Secretary Pete Buttigieg’s presidential campaign. Born in Mexico, Mayren immigrated to the United States as a child, is a DACA recipient, and remains fluent in Spanish. She resides in Texas with her daughter, a cat and two dogs.

Sara Stewart

Sara got her start in politics as an intern on a local race for Salt Lake City Council. Sara joined Elevate in June of 2022 working as an organizer on a race for State Senate. In the Fall of 2022, she worked on 13 campaigns around Salt Lake and Weber County. She spent her childhood living in Europe and moved to Utah for her undergraduate. Sara graduated summa cum laude with a degree in Political Science and Sociology from the University of Utah. When she isn’t playing with her dog, cooking, or playing music, Sara can be found watering the copious amount of house plants that she loves dearly, or sometimes doing all four at the same time.

  • Twitter
  • LinkedIn
  • Instagram
DSC_6978.jpg
DSC_7067 - Edited.png

Tatum Smith

Tatum was born and raised in Seattle where she became involved in politics and activism. In 2019 she moved to Salt Lake City to attend the University of Utah, graduating with a bachelor's degree in Political Science and Sociology. Tatum worked her first campaign in Utah in 2020 on a U.S. Senate race and has worked a campaign every year since. She joined Elevate in 2022.  Outside of work she enjoys reading books, cooking, and trying new types of tinned fish.

  • Twitter
  • LinkedIn
  • Instagram

Gabby Nieto

Gabby is currently a senior at the University of Utah, studying Political Science with a minor in Campaign Management. She began her journey in politics as an intern for a city council race in her neighborhood. Gabby joined Elevate in 2022, working on a State Senate race. Since then, she has been involved in 13 campaigns around Salt Lake and Weber County. When Gabby isn’t crocheting or enjoying the outdoors, you can usually find her growing her circle of besties. 

DSC_26252.jpg

Josh Anderson

Our newest hire, Josh, joined us in early 2024. A lifelong Utahn, Josh started his career in politics interning for two Utah State Representatives during the 2021 general legislative session, working in healthcare and environmental policy. He then completed his Bachelor’s degree in Political Science and Philosophy from Southern Utah University in 2023. Since graduating, Josh spent several months working with Equality Utah advocating for LGBTQ+ equal rights and protections in Utah. Josh is an avid skier, reader, and movie-watcher. When Josh is between jobs or semesters, he is often out of the country traveling, having traveled to 15 countries in the last two years.

bottom of page