ACTNOW TEAM

BARBARA MAYNARD
Principal & Founder

 

“Tenacious…” “high-energy...” “connected...” “creative...” – all words used to describe ActNow’s President, Barbara Maynard. A tireless advocate for justice, fairness, and equality for working people, Barbara has spent the past twenty-plus years fighting on the front lines of the most high-profile progressive battles, earning the respect of colleagues and adversaries alike. With roots as an equity trader on the Pacific Stock Exchange, and later as Director of Budget and Finance for L.A. County Supervisor Gloria Molina, Barb’s knowledge of government budgets, municipal finance, pension fund issues, and public policy has established her a leading go-to consultant among progressive organizations and political campaigns in California, and across the country.  Barbara’s expertise in policy, crisis management, and media relations has been a cornerstone of her work in advising unions, progressive coalitions, elected officials, and some of the largest and most prominent progressive actions, political campaigns, and union strikes in the U.S.

BARBARA MAYNARD
Principal & Founder

 

"Tenacious," "high-energy," "connected," "creative" – all ways to describe ActNow’s President, Barbara Maynard. A tireless advocate for justice, fairness, and equality for working people, Barbara has spent more than twenty years fighting on the front lines of the most high-profile progressive battles, earning the respect of colleagues and adversaries alike.

 

With roots as an equity trader on the Pacific Stock Exchange, and later as Director of Budget and Finance for L.A. County Supervisor Gloria Molina, Barb’s knowledge of government budgets, municipal finance, pension fund issues, and public policy has established her a leading go-to consultant among progressive organizations and political campaigns in California, and across the country. Barbara’s expertise in policy, crisis management, and media relations has been a cornerstone of her work in advising unions, progressive coalitions, elected officials, and some of the largest and most prominent progressive actions, political campaigns, and union strikes in the U.S.

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MARK WEIDHASE

Data Security Specialist

Mark joins ActNow Strategies after a 30-year civil service career. Mark played a key role in designing and deploying information sharing systems to federal, state, local, tribal, and private sector partners and managed the fusion of vastly disparate legacy data sets, enabling the Department of Homeland Security to identity and respond to ever increasing threats across multiple domains. As a proven victim advocate and champion for civil liberties, Mark joins ActNow as we create a secure information sharing environment with detailed and accurate reporting that will empower the workers of America.

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ANDY GROW

Communications Director

With more than 35 years of experience in communications, politics, public policy, and public affairs, Andy has a skillset developed though decades of work for political and advocacy campaigns, federal, state, and local elected officials, non-profits, labor unions, and governments. His communication chops were sharpened in fast-paced, demanding environments helping clients with communications strategy, media relations, and day-to-day communications challenges. He also has considerable experience with capacity building, opinion research, message development, and community outreach. 

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REV. WILLIAM D. SMART, JR.

Faith-based Organizing Director

 

Rev. William D. Smart, Jr. has been organizing in faith-based communities since Bill Clinton’s Arkansas gubernatorial campaign in 1984. Since then he’s pastored and organized in Alabama, North Carolina, Tennessee, Virginia, and – since 2002 – Southern California. Rev. Smart is the President and CEO of the Southern Christian Leadership Conference (SCLC) of Southern California, and Co-Pastor of the Christ Liberation Ministries in Los Angeles, where his wife serves as Senior Pastor. He recently served as Director of External Training and Outreach at the Los Angeles Alliance for A New Economy (LAANE) a nationally-recognized nonprofit organization, where he worked for almost ten years.

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REV. WILLIAM D. SMART, JR.

Faith-based Organizing Director

 

Rev. William D. Smart, Jr. has been organizing in faith-based communities since Bill Clinton’s Arkansas gubernatorial campaign in 1984. Since then he’s pastored and organized in Alabama, North Carolina, Tennessee, Virginia, and – since 2002 – Southern California. Rev. Smart is the President and CEO of the Southern Christian Leadership Conference (SCLC) of Southern California, and Co-Pastor of the Christ Liberation Ministries in Los Angeles, where his wife serves as Senior Pastor. He recently served as Director of External Training and Outreach at the Los Angeles Alliance for A New Economy (LAANE) a nationally-recognized nonprofit organization, where he worked for almost ten years.

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LEXIE GRITLEFELD

Public Relations and Marketing Assistant

With several years of experience in public relations, Lexie has a background in working on marketing campaigns for businesses, public agencies, nonprofit organizations, and high profile political campaigns. As the Marketing and PR Assistant at ActNow Strategies, Lexie assists the Principal with leading marketing initiatives and creating innovative digital media campaigns to enhance business for both Spanish-speaking and English-speaking clients. Lexie holds a Bachelor’s Degree with a double major in English and Political Science and minor in International & Global Studies from the University of California, Davis. In her free time, Lexie spends whatever time she can alpine skiing, mountaineering, and backpacking in the Sierra Nevadas.

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JASON VAN BUREN

Digital Media Specialist

 

Jason van Buren is a digital media specialist fluent in print and web design, photography, high definition video production, as well as video editing. His past work includes broadcast-quality promotional material for a range of small businesses to non-profit organizations, including MTV and the Los Angeles Lakers. His educational background includes liberal arts and media programming at Santa Monica College, USC, and UCLA. An outdoor enthusiast, you can catch Jason exploring and photographing the landscapes of California on foot, bike, motorbike, skis, and snowshoes.

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