Chief Executive Officer
Chief Operating Officer
Chief Technology Officer
Chief Product Officer
Chief Financial Officer
Director of Business Development
Harold Ickes, President
Harold Ickes' nearly fifty years of commitment and accomplishments fighting for progressive causes have earned him trust, respect and friendship of unusual breadth and depth in the progressive political community. He is a founding partner of The Ickes & Enright Group, a Washington, DC consulting firm. Prior to this, Mr. Ickes served as Assistant to the President and Deputy Chief of Staff for Political Affairs and Policy to President Clinton, managing a number of the President's key policy initiatives. He was also an architect of the President's 1996 re-election campaign (the first successful re-election campaign of a Democratic president since FDR), the 1996 Democratic National Convention, and the 1997 Presidential Inaugural. Prior to serving in the White House, Mr. Ickes was a partner in the New York law firm of Meyer, Suozzi, English & Klein, P.C., specializing in election and union-side labor law. He rejoined the law firm as partner in 1998 and serves as co-chair of its thirty-member Labor Law and Government Affairs Departments.
Laura Quinn, Chief Executive Officer
Laura Quinn is a founder of Catalist, and has led the day-to-day management since its inception in 2006; assembling the team, and guiding the company from concept, through capitalization, to full production. Ms. Quinn has an extensive background in communications, technology and data innovation. She is a founding partner of QRS Newmedia, Inc. started in 1996, which specializes in communication technology design and integration services. QRS clients have included the DNC and every Democratic Presidential campaign from1996 through 2008; a wide of range of progressive organizations and non-profits; and other corporate and academic institutions. Ms. Quinn was also a founder of Copernicus Analytics which provided innovative micro-targeting and modeling services to progressive organizations and campaigns. Prior to these endeavors, Ms. Quinn served in the White House as Deputy Chief of Staff for Vice President Gore. Previously, Ms. Quinn spent several years on Capitol Hill as the Director of the Democratic Technology and Communications Committee for Democratic Majority Leader Senator Tom Daschle in the U.S. Senate; as Communications Director for Senators Jay Rockefeller and Carl Levin; and in a variety of senior staff and advisory roles for various not-for-profit organizations and political campaigns.
Gayatri Bhalla, Chief Operating Officer
Gayatri comes to Catalist with a wealth of knowledge from the private sector in Marketing and Business Development as well as in Digital Strategy and Social Media. Gayatri began her career working on Capitol Hill followed by work as a State Organizing Director for the National Association of Securities and Commercial Law Attorneys. In 1997 she joined Vertex Partners/Braun Consulting as a Senior Consultant and then spent four years at Digitas, a Publicis agency, working on complex web development projects for clients including Fleet Bank (now Bank of America), MorganStanley, AT&T, Pfizer, and Federated. In 2005, Gayatri was recruited to be Special Assistant to Chairman, Operations and Strategic Planning for the SEC. In this post she served as the Chairman’s representative on new facilities design project teams including the development and implementation for aligning facilities, technology, and organizational systems with the agency’s strategic themes. After completing this project, Gayatri returned to the private sector joining One to One Interactive as Senior Vice President, Account Services where she developed and managed executive client relationships, led new business development, and managed cross-functional development teams.
Since 2009, Gayatri had established practices at advertising agencies in healthcare, digital strategy, and new media. She has led web development, technology, digital and social media, and strategy teams for a range of agencies include RTCRM (a division of Wunderman), DigitasHealth (a Publicis agency), Greenfield/Belser and RedPeg Marketing. Recently, Gayatri has developed digital brand awareness, social media outreach and engagement, and online lead generation and conversation campaigns for clients such as GlaxoSmithKline, Siemens, General Motors, MedImmune, and sanofi-aventis.
Gayatri earned a B.A. in Political Science from the University of California, Berkeley where she was an ASUC Senator and inducted as a member in the Prytanean Society and the Order of the Golden Bear. She was an Olin Research Fellow and earned an MBA from Yale University. Gayatri served as an Advisor on the Goldman Sachs/Yale School of Management Non-Profit Ventures Fund and currently sits on the Board of Impact India, a public health initiative led by Fairfield University.
Jeff Crigler, Chief Technology Officer
Jeff Crigler comes to Catalist with more than 25 years of experience as a senior technology executive. He was a key contributor to IBM’s turnaround and repositioning as an Internet powerhouse, and has started four successful media and technology companies. He is a pioneer in developing digital media, on-line, and web based systems specializing in distribution and syndication. Network Computing Magazine has recognized him as one of the ’top 25 technology visionaries.’ Most recently, Mr. Crigler founded, grew and successfully sold the video content distribution and syndication system, Voxant.
Aastha Verma, Chief Product Officer
Aastha Verma comes to Catalist with more than 15 years experience in Technology, Consulting and Product Management. A certified PMP and Agile/Scrum Master, she has led projects at the Department of Defense, Federal Home Loan Banks and Fannie Mae, Corporate Executive Board, and most recently at The Chronicle of Higher Education, where she served as Senior Director of Business Solutions. Aastha began her career at the University of Maryland, earning a Bachelor’s degree in Electrical Engineering and a Master’s Degree in Systems Engineering. She is active in alumni organizations and serves on several technology forums and boards. Factoid: Aastha once co-hosted a locally produced and nationally televised show for 10 years called DarshanTV.
Gary Gruver, Chief Financial Officer
Gary Gruver comes to Catalist with nine years experience in the finance and budget field and ten years experience in Human Resources. Gary began his work in the political field in 1997 on the Clinton-Gore presidential campaign FEC audit. From there he went on to become the Comptroller and Assistant Treasurer of the Gore 2000 Presidential Campaign and the CFO of the Lieberman 2004 Presidential Campaign. Gary served as the CFO of America Coming Together during 2004 and 2005 and most recently at America Votes.
Will Loman, General Counsel
Will Loman has served for over nine years advising private and public sector companies on a broad range of corporate matters with extensive experience in matters regarding business transactions, mergers and acquisitions, and corporate finance and securities. Prior to joining Catalist, Mr. Loman served as Associate General Counsel for the industry-leading, information technology and management consulting company, BearingPoint, Inc., where he played a key role in the execution of multi-million dollar, transactional agreements with the company's largest commercial clients, as well as the development and implementation of risk mitigation strategies and dispute avoidance. Prior to BearingPoint, Mr. Loman held key positions in the General Counsel office at Acterna Corporation and DoubleClick, and was a Corporate Associate at the law firm Bryan Cave in New York. Mr. Loman served with distinction in the United States Marine Corps Division of the Judge Advocate General Corps and earned his Juris Doctorate from the University of Virginia School of Law and a B.A. degree in Sociology/Political Science from Howard University, with high honors. Mr. Loman is an admitted member of the New York bar.
Robert Blaemire, Director of Business Development
Bob has been an active participant in politics his entire adult life. Born and raised in Indiana, his career began at the age of 18 upon entering George Washington University. His employment with Senator Birch Bayh (D-IN) began in 1967 during Bob's freshman year and concluded with Bayh's unsuccessful re-election campaign in 1980. Those 13 years saw Bob rise from volunteer worker to Office Manager to Executive Assistant in the Senate Office, and, finally, Political Director of the 1980 campaign.
After the 1980 defeat, he founded a political action committee, The Committee for American Principles, an organization seeking to combat the growing role and influence of the New Right in political campaigns. He began his career providing political computer services in 1982, eventually joining with and starting the Washington Office of Below, Tobe & Associates. In 1991, Bob created Blaemire Communications, a political computer services firm serving Democratic campaigns, progressive organizations and political consultants. During that time, Blaemire Communications managed more Democratic state party voter file projects than any other vendor. In late 2007, Blaemire Communications was acquired by Catalist.
Yair Ghitza, Senior Scientist
Yair Ghitza comes to Catalist with over six years of experience in political microtargeting and statistical analysis. He began his career researching artificial intelligence at the MIT Media Lab but soon switched his focus to politics. As an analyst at Copernicus Analytics from 2005 to 2007, he played a key role in the proliferation of microtargeting models throughout the Progressive community, producing dozens of models and analyses for Gubernatorial, Senatorial, and Congressional campaigns. Most recently, he has conducted extensive public opinion research as a doctoral student at Columbia University, specializing in the development of statistical and data visualization tools for understanding American politics.