Staff

BRAD CHISM, PRESIDENT

601.918.4563  |  Email 

Brad has positioned Chism Strategies at the forefront of political communications with the use of research-based solutions and behavioral science lessons to craft both the wording and timing of message delivery.  His progression in this industry was not atypical --- from volunteer canvasser to fundraiser to Communications Director to Manager and finally as a candidate himself (State Insurance Commissioner).

His team has been repeatedly recognized over the last decade as America’s voter contact firm through a blind peer review process at the American Association of Political Consultants.  Brad is constantly searching for new tools for interactive conversations in this multi-channel world of political discourse.

Brad earned an honors degree in political science from Millsaps College and was a Rhodes Scholar at Oxford University. While at Oxford he focused his graduate studies on economics. He is an adjunct faculty member at his alma mater where he teaches courses in Campaigns & Elections and Politics & Technology. Brad is the author of the American Association of Political Consultants (AAPC) publication, Best Practices: A Guide to Selecting Telephone Voter Contact Firms. Additionally, he has been published in the three-volume Voting in America, a collection of essays used for upper-level college political science courses.

Brad has been the featured speaker at seminars sponsored by the American Association of Political Consultants, the International Association of Political Consultants and Campaigns and Elections Magazine.



Charles Richardson, Principal

601-826-0892 | Email

Charles first joined our firm in 2010 and quickly established himself as a telephone voter contact expert with a range of clients at the federal state and local level.  Candidates and institutions across the country looked to Charles for advice on how to pinpoint an audience targeting, messaging and timing of delivery.

In early 2015 Charles hung out his own shingle and posted impressive victories with Governor John Bel Edwards in Louisiana along with a number of legislative, county and municipal clients in the Bayou State and across the country.  Over the next two years Charles expanded his reach with state education and environmental organizations to more than 25 states. Charles rejoined our team in early 2018 as a principal with the firm. 

Charles is a graduate of the University of Louisiana at Lafayette with a degree in English and Political Science.  When not on the campaign trail Charles can be found coaching or playing soccer with his three sons and expanding the talent pool for the next U.S. World Cup run.

 


Pamela Shaw, Grassroots Mobilization Director

601.316.0176  |  Email 

Pamela brings more than twenty years of grassroots advocacy and coalition building expertise to the firm.  She has lobbied directly and built advocacy programs for a range of health care, public education and child advocacy programs at the federal, state and municipal levels.  Among her recent successes are the Mississippi Education Reform Collaborative, A Seat at the Table, and #OurJPS- education policy collaboratives and coalitions.  Pam has also run a number of successful state House and municipal campaigns.  

She is a Mississippi native with degrees from Southern University and the University of Maryland. She's a Jackson resident and a state Democratic Executive Committee member.


 


Joe Binns, Principal

404.388.2097  |  Email

Joe has worked as both a campaign manager and general consultant for federal, state and local contests over the last 25 years. He has mastered the different campaign disciplines with the most extensive experiences in grassroots organizing and voter contact. He has won multiple awards from Politics Magazine and the American Association of Political Consultants for voter contact through direct mail and radio.

He was the Southeastern Director for the largest grassroots campaign ever conducted in the United States and has extensive experience in issue advocacy at the state and federal level. His past non-partisan clients include PhRMA, the Mississippi Band of Choctaw Indians, Pew Charitable Trusts, Federal Home Loan Bank, the Farm Credit Council and various patient advocacy groups.   Since 2010, Joe has managed advocacy campaigns in multiple states for one of the largest and most respected NGO’s in the country.  His work on environmental causes has led to better federal, state and local public policy.

Joe studied political science at Davidson College, Cambridge University and Georgetown University. When he isn’t campaigning, he is playing drums in various Atlanta bands and trying to impress his five year old daughter, Josie.


Robert Burkes, COO

601.499.4162  |  Email

 Rob is the COO for the firm.  He has spent the last decade studying the changes in political messaging channels and building new tools for Chism Strategies.  Rob has done extensive analysis of Return on Investment all our voter contact programs to recommend the most cost effective tools for our electoral and institutional clients. He has served up programs for three Presidential campaigns and managed quality control for “white lab coat” research projects involving Yale and Fordham Universities, and the Analyst Institute.

His accomplishments in the “back office” side of political campaigns has been well recognized—he was named a Rising Star in American Political Consulting by Campaigns & Elections Magazine. 

Rob graduated from Millsaps College with a B.S. in Psychology and an M.B.A. When not working to advance progressive causes, Rob is out enjoying the local beer scene in Memphis, looking for new music or attending a show, and always contemplating whether he’s getting too old for one more Bonnaroo.

 


Brannon Miller, Director of Voter Targeting

601.499.4162  |  Email 

Brannon Miller is in his fourth election cycle with Chism Strategies, having joined us after a stint as field director for the Mississippi Democratic Trust.  There he managed the legislative caucus decisions on which races to target and the best combination of field, phone and mail programs for these races. Brannon also lent his expertise to key municipal races in the state. 

He is an expert at voter file analysis and how to leverage this information to win. Whether polling for a statewide race or a building a walk list for a city council candidate, Brannon knows how to use demographic data, previous election results, and information gleaned from the voter file to build the right universe for your project.

Like others on our team, Brannon is a native Mississippian who left to broaden his perspective on campaigns and elections and later returned. He spent time on races in North Carolina and then as an SEIU organizer in St. Louis. 

Brannon is a Phi Beta Kappa graduate from the University of Mississippi with a degree in Public Policy. He is a fan of Southern literature and Richard Linklater films. 

 


Julie Jaber, CFO

601.499.4162  |  Email 

Julie Jaber is the firm’s CFO, handling the financial operations. She holds an honors degree in accounting from Mississippi State University and has been a CPA for 30 years.

Prior to managing the firms financial affairs, Julie served a series of nonprofit and small business clients throughout the Jackson metro area.




 


Merritt Baria, Social Media Specialist

601.499.4162  |  Email 

Merritt Baria manages our firm’s social media platforms. She came to Chism Strategies from the Honors Program at Loyola University in New Orleans with advanced coursework in psychology and marketing. 

Merritt got her start in politics at an early age on the front lines in her father’s successful state legislative races.  She successfully managed his 2015 campaign for the State House in the most Republican district still held by a mainstream Democrat.  Merritt is a native of Bay St. Louis, MS.

 

 


Mary Cathryn Lord, Logistics Director

601.499.4162 |  Email 



Mary Cathryn (MC) Lord manages the communications flow among our four offices.  She came to us from the Mississippi Public Service Commission where she conducted policy research and worked on the communications team.

MC was president of the Young Democrats and publicist of the PRIDE Organization at Millsaps College. She was also the Arts Editor of the college newspaper. MC is a native of Charlotte, NC.

 



Cierrow Russell, Research Officer

601.541.1548 |  Email 

Cierrow Russell researches candidate profiles and electoral landscape overviews and gathers other essential data for the programs we launch. She is a rising senior at Mississippi College where she studies Communications and Marketing Research.  She is a member of the Phi Theta Kappa Honor Society and the video editor for the college news station. Cierrow is a native of Jackson, MS.