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Not every client has the same needs. Our talented team combines experience and innovation to deliver results.

Who We Are

Tripepi Smith is a provider of marketing, technology and public affairs consulting services. Combining our years of experience in local government, technology and the marketing fields, Tripepi Smith offers a unique blend of skills to help our clients execute on their goals. The Tripepi Smith team stands ready to help you with your outreach campaigns, video production, content writing, messaging, graphic work, technology infrastructure and websites.

We are here to help.

See Our Services

Our Team

Luis Verdin
Junior Business Analyst

Luis is a marketing professional with a versatile set of skills including graphic design, account management, marketing strategy and more. With a degree in Psychology and Philosophy from Claremont McKenna College, Luis is passionate about exploring the interaction between creative and analytical aspects of marketing. Luis has honed his marketing skills through previous internships and mentorships where he worked with clients such as BlocPower, Circuit and Walgreens. Luis is also bilingual in the Spanish language.

Luis is a certified Hootsuite Social Marketing Professional.

Ryder Todd Smith
President

Ryder has over 20 years of experience in government relations, technology and marketing. As president, he leads Tripepi Smith and is the ultimate project owner of its clients, which span over 90 public, private and non-profit agencies. Ryder is also the creator of the City Internet Strategies Study, publisher of the Civic Business Journal and a frequent speaker on the local government circuit. Additionally, his insights have been published by industry-leading publications, such as Western City Magazine and Public Management Magazine, and local government professional organizations, such as the California City Management Foundation and Municipal Management Association of Northern California have recognized and awarded his support as a longtime partner.

Before Tripepi Smith, Ryder served as a senior vice president of operations and chief information officer for a software-as-a-service startup in the financial services sector. Prior to that, he was the technology manager for a regional staffing firm.

Ryder is a former planning commissioner for the City of Tustin. He resides in Ladera Ranch with his wife, daughter (who is currently away at college) and dog.

Fun fact: Ryder is the son of a commercial fisherman and spent several summers in Alaska working on the boat with his father. Thousands of halibut gave their lives to pay for a collection of Legos, Ryder’s first car and his college education.

Nicole Tripepi Smith, CPA
Chief Financial Officer

Nicole has over twenty-five years of experience in accounting and financial analysis, human resources and marketing. In 2002, she co-founded Tripepi Smith and has helped build it into a statewide public affairs firm with over one hundred public agencies, as well as private and non-profit clients.

Prior to launching Tripepi Smith, Nicole worked in PriceWaterhouseCoopers’ Business Assurance group, where she focused primarily on real estate and benefit plan audits. She later served as the Assistant Corporate Controller and Senior Financial Analyst for a publicly-traded homebuilder located in Orange County, and then worked for multiple clients in the real estate and services industries as an independent accountant. She now serves as the CFO and Director of HR for Tripepi Smith.

Nicole’s alma mater is Claremont McKenna College, where she graduated cum laude with a degree in Economics-Accounting.

Nicole is a Sustainer member of the Vista Irvine chapter of National Charity League and volunteers throughout her local community. She is the proud mom of a Wake Forest University college student. She resides in Ladera Ranch with her husband and dog and enjoys reading, hiking, working out and cooking.

Nicole is a certified Hootsuite Social Marketing Professional.

Fun Fact: Nicole grew up in local government–her father was a California city manager.

Jen Nentwig, APR
Principal

Jennifer Nentwig is a talented, well-rounded communications professional and project manager with more than 13 years of experience serving government organizations. She has built and implemented programs in strategic communications, media relations, internal communication, community relations and social media. Her skills include website and social media management, development of content including articles, speeches, talking points and FAQs, as well as event planning and implementation. Jen’s clients include the City of Vallejo, City of Lomita, Costa Mesa Sanitary District, City of Livermore and City of Lancaster. Jen earned a Bachelor’s Degree in Political Science from the University of Notre Dame and a Master’s Degree in Global Leadership from the University of San Diego.

She is a Hootsuite Social Marketing Professional, is Facebook Blueprint certified, and has her Accreditation in Public Relations from the Public Relations Society of America (PRSA).

Jon Barilone
Principal

Jon has a wide-ranging knowledge and skill set from years of Internet marketing and marketing communications work in a variety of industries. Jon’s professional background includes search engine optimization and advertising, website content management, content writing and editing, product marketing management, and significant experience with social media marketing and community management. His clients include the City of American Canyon, City of Benicia, City of Culver City, City of Fountain Valley, City of Manteca and City of Napa. Jon graduated from Claremont McKenna College with a Bachelor of Arts in Literature/English.

Jon is certified in Hootsuite’s Social Marketing, Twitter’s Flight School and Flight School Video, Siteimprove’s Digital Governance by Design, as well as Google’s Ads Video, YouTube and Google My Business. Jon also earned the Professional Certificate in Public Engagement For Local Government from the Davenport Institute at Pepperdine University’s School of Public Policy and has completed the California Association of Public Information Officials (CAPIO) Emergency Communications Academy.

Katherine Griffiths, APR
Principal

With more than 25 years of experience in nonprofit advancement, Katherine is an award-winning writer and creative director whose work with municipal and higher education clients has earned accolades from the California Association of Public Information Officers, the Council for the Advancement and Support of Education and the College Fraternity Editors Association. Her proficiencies include strategic planning, executive messaging, content development, proofreading and copyediting.

Katherine joined the Tripepi Smith team in November 2016. She previously was director of community relations for the Paine Art Center and Gardens, associate editor for The ANCHORA of Delta Gamma Fraternity, publications editor and director of creative services for Claremont McKenna College and a communications consultant for the Claremont University Consortium, Pomona College, Scripps College and the Marshall School of Business at the University of Southern California. She currently supports administrative and creative projects for Bayshore Consulting, California Choice Energy Authority, California Joint Powers Insurance Authority, Clean Energy Alliance, Energy for Palmdale’s Independent Choice, Mt. San Antonio Gardens, MuniEnvironmental, Pico Rivera Innovative Municipal Energy, Pomona Choice Energy and Renne Public Law Group. Her municipal clients include the City of Saratoga and the City of Snoqualmie, Washington.

During her tenure with Tripepi Smith, Katherine has completed professional development programming including credentials for Accreditation in Public Affairs (APR); Social Marketing Certification from Hootsuite; the Local Leaders Academy at the University of Southern California Sol Price School of Public Policy; Microsoft Excel from Beginner to Advanced through Udemy; Public Relations Media Monitoring, Customer Reporting, Social Media Marketing Industry Expertise, Foundations and Advanced Boolean training, Foundations and Advanced Social Listening with Explore through Meltwater; and a J. Lindsey Wolf Certificate from CAPIO. She holds a bachelor of arts degree in English from Denison University, where she studied literature and writing, as well as organizational and interpersonal communication.

An active volunteer, Katherine sits on the boards of directors for the Claremont Educational Foundation and the Southern California Blind Children’s Center. She has served Delta Gamma Fraternity as council trustee: communications, regional director for California and Hawaii, regional alumnae specialist and regional alumnae programming and recruitment specialist. Katherine currently is vice-president: communications for the Glendale-Burbank Alumnae Chapter, where she also has been vice-president: programming, recording secretary and a member of the nominating committee. She also volunteers for the Denison University offices of admission, alumni relations and development, most recently as co-chair of her 25th reunion committee.

Katherine lives in Claremont with her husband, Charlie, and daughter, Charlotte.

Cameron Grimm
Director

After a passion for storytelling compelled her to pursue a Bachelor of Arts degree in English at Scripps College, Cameron went on to study video editing and production at the Los Angeles Film School. This education led her to acquire more than 15 years of experience in video production and she later expanded her career into other areas of marketing communications. Her previous role as Director of Creative Services at Claremont McKenna College allowed her to manage print communication pieces and social media in addition to video work. Cameron’s background includes experience in a variety of industries including higher education, entertainment and the nonprofit sector. Her client work includes City of Indian Wells, City of La Cañada Flintridge, City of Burlingame and City of Sunnyvale.

Cameron is a certified Hootsuite Social Marketing Professional and Constant Contact Certified Solutions Provider and has YouTube certifications in Content Ownership, Channel Growth and Creative Essentials. Her video work in Indian Wells won a 2020 CAPIO EPIC award. She is also Library Board President for the City of Rio Rancho.

Kevin Bostwick
Art Director

Kevin Bostwick is an experienced Art Director and creative manager. He delivers powerful ideas visually, distilling unexpected stories from challenging content and designing media for understanding and absorption. He directs and executes for digital, interactive and print mediums…delivering across a blend of channels, particularly for learning, data-display and presentation. His work for major clients has included digital tools, logos, presentation, interactive learning, advertising and print design. He navigates the whole ecosystem, working with high-powered stakeholders to shape concepts, UX, branding, strategy, writing, asset management, information architecture, and infographics. Kevin’s client work includes City of Aliso Viejo, City of Cupertino, Pivot Charter Schools, California Joint Powers Insurance Authority and Renne Public Law Group.

Jennifer Vaughn
Director

Jennifer brings over 20 years of experience in the public sector working for local government and public utilities. As a new resident to Texas, Jennifer quickly ingrained herself in the community by serving as Adjunct Faculty at Tarrant County College where she teaches Public Speaking. She also Chairs the Communication Committee for her local PTA, and joined the Board for Keller Education Foundation. Prior to joining Tripepi Smith, Jennifer spent 18 years with Southern California Gas Company (SoCalGas) in a variety of roles. As Public Affairs Manager, she was responsible for representing the company to many Orange County cities by maintaining government and community relations. She served on several Chamber of Commerce boards and as President for the Coastline Community College Foundation. She played an advisory role on the Asian Business Association of Orange County and the Groundwater Replenishment Program. Jennifer also managed a staff promoting energy efficiency solutions to local governments in her role as Public Sector Programs and Partnerships Supervisor before promoting to Public Policy Manager where she provided policy direction and strategy.

Jennifer garnered her initial city government experience with the City of Anaheim and the City of Pasadena. She managed public relations efforts for the Anaheim/Orange County Visitor and Convention Bureau (now Visit Anaheim) during a $4.2 billion renovation of the Anaheim resort. She also served as Marketing and Communications Manager for an international economic development firm that promoted the Alsace region of France.

Jennifer earned both a Bachelor’s Degree in Political Science and a Master’s Degree in Communication from San Diego State University where she also taught public speaking.

Michael Balliet
Advisor

Michael Balliet brings extensive solid waste industry experience to his consulting and auditing services for local governments. Mr. Balliet’s primary field of expertise is in solid waste franchising, waste hauler management, agreement compliance audits, financial audits and rate setting analysis, as well as his in-depth understanding of the regulations governing solid waste collection, diversion and disposal, and how local jurisdictions can effectively meet State legislative requirements.

His audits of franchise hauling agreements have included the reviews of hauler operations and accounting practices throughout California and Nevada, Montana, Texas, Florida, and Georgia. He has performed well over 500 hauler-audits, and over 20 landfill and material recovery facility audits, producing an average client recovery of over $50,000. He has never had an audit fail to reach satisfactory resolution.

Mr. Balliet has been an environmental consultant based in California since 1991. As part of his work with local governments he has audited and developed recycling programs for many of the largest businesses in Los Angeles County (Northrop, Allied Signal, Dow Chemical, Mobil Oil, etc.). Work in Orange County began in 1992 with the City of Costa Mesa and eventually moved to institutional clients (U.C. Irvine) and Orange County’s most visible business, Disneyland. For the past several years this focus has shifted to AB 341 and AB 1826 compliance programs.

His clients include the City of Irvine, City of Costa Mesa, City of Cypress, City of Diamond Bar, City of Claremont, City of Los Alamitos, City of Fountain Valley, City of Newport Beach, City of Villa Park, City of Indian Wells and the Costa Mesa Sanitary District.

Kjerstin Wingert
Senior Graphic Designer

Kjerstin is a Senior Graphic Designer with Tripepi Smith. After studying Business Administration at both the Ecole Supérieure Libre Des Sciences Commerciales Appliquéesis in Paris and Concordia University in Irvine, Kjerstin went on to receive her Advanced Production Certificate in Graphic Design from Golden West College in Huntington Beach. She began working as a freelance graphic designer in 2012 and joined the Tripepi Smith staff in 2015.

Kjerstin has advanced knowledge of various creative platforms including Adobe Illustrator, Adobe Photoshop and Adobe InDesign. Kjerstin has experience leading an array of creative projects including layout, graphic design, illustration and creative concept development. Her client work includes: City of La Cañada Flintridge, City of Culver City, City of Walnut, City of Cupertino, City of Saratoga, City of Livermore, California Joint Powers Insurance Authority and Costa Mesa Sanitary District.

Kjerstin is a certified Hootsuite Social Marketing Professional. She also completed the University of Southern California Executive Education Forum for Local Leaders and the University of California, Irvine Public Policy Making Academy.

Kelly Keehn
Manager of Operations

Allison Molnar
Talent Curator

Allison Molnar brings a strong background in human resources and recruiting with extensive experience in the restaurant and pharmaceutical manufacturing industries. Throughout Allison’s career, she has supported employees across the United States and among all levels. She has spearheaded corporate projects, such as revamping the performance appraisal process and developing appraisal forms. Allison has also filled a variety of positions including Director/Manager-level positions, Engineering/Scientific positions and hourly positions. She enjoys developing working relationships and supporting business needs.

Melanie James
Senior Business Analyst

Melanie James is a talented graphic artist, expert on the WordPress platform, a skilled project manager and a lead for Tripepi Smith’s cablecasting and videography services. She has managed and delivered dozens of successful website development projects and has a full suite of creativity skills rooted in her formal graphic arts education. Her skills cover the full Adobe Creative Suite and into HTML and CSS. In addition, she has managed an array of projects ranging from robust digital advertising campaigns to comprehensive video production projects.

Her clients include City of Tracy, City of Daly City, City of Bellflower, City of Huntington Beach, City of Fullerton, City of La Cañada Flintridge, City of Menifee, City of Paramount, Santa Clara County Fire Department, Rowland Water District, and Placer Mosquito Vector Control District.

Melanie is a certified Hootsuite Social Marketing Professional and Constant Contact Certified Solutions Provider and has completed the University of Southern California Executive Education Forum for Local Leaders and the University of California, Irvine Public Policy Making Academy II.

Karen Villaseñor
Senior Business Analyst

Karen Villaseñor is a Senior Business Analyst with Tripepi Smith. She received her Bachelor of Science in Communication, with an emphasis in Public Relations, from California State Polytechnic University, Pomona. Karen brings unique local government experience and insight to the Tripepi Smith team. Having delivered both in-depth research and hands-on work for various public agencies and organizations over the past few years, she assists clients in leveraging their social media and online platforms to connect with their communities. Additionally, backed by first-hand experience in working with city managers and city staff, she is passionate about shaping positive and transparent relationships between local government agencies and the residents they serve.

Her client work includes: City of American Canyon, City of Benicia, California Choice Energy Authority, Clean Energy Alliance, SCV Water, Mt. San Antonio Gardens, City of Palmdale, Pomona Choice Energy and City of Tracy.

Karen is a certified Hootsuite Social Marketing Professional, Facebook Blueprint Planning Professional and Constant Contact Solutions Provider. She also holds certifications in Google Analytics and Google Ads Search and has completed LinkedIn’s former advertising course, Advertising on LinkedIn, as well as the University of Southern California’s Executive Education Forum for Local Leaders.

Saara Lampwalla
Senior Business Analyst

Saara has been a Junior Business Analyst, Business Analyst and Senior Business Analyst at Tripepi Smith, giving her opportunities to deliver on the spectrum of Tripepi Smith’s offerings, from full communication assessments and video productions to full-scale public education campaigns and event planning. She now leads engagement and advises on strategy having gleaned experience from collaborating with dozens of private and public sector clients including the City of Culver City, City of Duarte, City of Baldwin Park, City of Westlake Village, City of Hercules, California Contract Cities Association, Institute for Local Government, League of California Cities, Orange County City Managers Association, San Gabriel Valley City Managers’ Association and Climatec. In her tenure, Saara acted as Tripepi Smith’s own marketing manager for three years. She now acts as a business development manager for the firm, and also serves as managing editor for Tripepi Smith’s California local government news publication, PublicCEO.

Saara is certified in Constant Contact, Hootsuite Social Marketing, Hubspot Inbound Marketing and Google Analytics. She also completed the University of California, Irvine Public Policy Making Academy II in 2020. Saara has her bachelor’s degree in public relations from California State Polytechnic University, Pomona, with minors in marketing management, journalism and philosophy.

Sara Madsen
Senior Business Analyst

Sara Madsen has a skill set that is simultaneously wide and deep, ranging from graphic design to website development to project management; she is one of Tripepi Smith’s most trusted ‘Swiss Army knives.’ With a formal education in marketing and environmental sustainability from San Diego State University, Sara brings technical prowess and creative savvy to the clients she serves. Her work as a Business Analyst includes providing key account management support and project leadership, while simultaneously delivering on a variety of creative projects.

Her clients include City of Lomita, City of Paramount, City of Orange, City of Yucca Valley, City of Indian Wells, City of Pico Rivera, City of Palmdale, Clean Energy Alliance, CalChoice, Pivot Charter Schools, California Urban Forest Council, Civiltec Engineering and Renne Public Law Group.

Sara is certified as a Google Analytics, Constant Contact Certified Solutions Provider and Hootsuite Social Marketing Professional. She has also completed the Public Policy Making Academy II at the University of California, Irvine and the Executive Education Forum for Local Leaders at the University of Southern California.

Kaitlyn Wu
Senior Business Analyst

Kaitlyn Wu is a seasoned outreach professional with more than seven years of experience in public sector communications and higher education outreach. Throughout her career, Kaitlyn has spearheaded content strategy and copywriting for newsletters, annual reports, websites, social media, op-eds and more. In addition, she has managed water education programs and workforce development initiatives for K-12 students and beyond. Through strategic communication efforts, Kaitlyn helps organizations educate stakeholders and produce positive change within their communities.

Kaitlyn is a certified Hootsuite Social Marketing Professional and holds the J. Lindsey Wolf Certificate in Communications from the California Association of Public Information Officials (CAPIO). In addition, she has completed CAPIO’s Emergency Communications Academy, hosted in partnership with CalOES. Her clients include Santa Clarita Valley Water Agency, City of American Canyon, City of Napa, City of Downey, City of Fontana, City of Orinda and City of Jurupa Valley.

Sydni Overly
Business Analyst

Sydni is a strong project manager with a background in public policy and local government. After studying Sociology at Boston University, she went on to receive her master’s degree in Public Administration from California State University, Long Beach. Sydni further developed her leadership skills at the City of Gardena, where she supported several municipal departments and gained extensive experience in intergovernmental relations, emergency management, community outreach and content creation. As a Business Analyst for Tripepi Smith, Sydni manages a wide range of projects and continues to produce content, provide communication insights and develop outreach strategies for clients.

Sydni’s client work includes: City of Grover Beach, City of La Verne, City of Lomita, City of Paramount, City of Santa Paula, City of San Luis Obispo, City of San Clemente, County of Napa, HSITAG and West Basin Municipal Water District.

Sydni is a certified Hootsuite Social Marketing Professional. She also earned her Sprout Social Platform Certification in 2021.

Allison Torres
Business Analyst

Allison Torres brings a strong background in social media marketing and data analytics to the Tripepi Smith team. Allison graduated from Biola University with a degree in Business Management and flexed her leadership skills in several leadership positions, such as captain of the Biola Women’s Tennis team. She gained experience in marketing and project management during the various internships she held. Previously, she executed social media marketing at TSE Worldwide Press. Her client work includes the Clean Energy Alliance, City of Martinez, City of Manteca, City of Hercules, City of Grover Beach and City of La Cañada Flintridge.

Allison is a certified Hootsuite Social Marketing Professional, Facebook Blueprint Provider and Constant Contact Solutions Provider.

 

Danielle Rodriguez
Business Analyst

Danielle has previous experience with several industries: transportation, public affairs and non-profit. She graduated from California State Polytechnic University, Pomona (Cal Poly Pomona) with a Bachelor of Science degree in Communication with a minor in Public Relations. She developed her leadership and writing skills at Cal Poly Pomona with on-campus experience, such as Sports Editor of Cal Poly Pomona’s campus newspaper, The Poly Post, and as a Public Relations Intern for Patti Stanger from Bravo’s “Millionaire Matchmaker.” After graduating, Danielle developed her media and community relations skills at Metrolink and Arellano Associates, where she provided strategic communication support for transportation, private and non-profit clients. She has specific experience with large capital projects where she addressed proactive communications, staffed hotlines and developed routine processes to receive public feedback and address community concerns.

Danielle is a certified Hootsuite Social Marketing Professional and Constant Contact Solutions Provider. Her clients include Foster City, City of Manteca, CalChoice and City of Duarte.

 

Kaetlyn Hernandez
Business Analyst

Kaetlyn Hernandez brings an inventive and supportive spirit to the Tripepi Smith team with a background in several industries, such as public affairs, entertainment and non-profit. She graduated from California State University, Fullerton (CSUF) with a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree in Entertainment Arts with a minor in Public Relations. She developed her skills in leadership, event planning and marketing while involved in student government and other clubs, and with off-campus internships with the Alzheimer’s Association and NBCUniversal.

Her client work includes: City of Culver City, City of Indian Wells, City of Oakley, California Contract Cities Association, Municipal Management Association of Northern California, Municipal Management Association of Southern California, National Demographics Corporation and Claremont McKenna College’s Rose Institute. She also leads Tripepi Smith’s internal marketing efforts.

Kaetlyn is a certified Hootsuite Social Marketing and Sprout Social Professional, Constant Contact Partner and has completed the following Udemy courses: ‘Ninja Writing: The Four Levels of Writing Mastery‘, ‘Writing with Flair: How to Become an Exceptional Writer’, ‘The Complete Graphic Design Theory for Beginners’ and ‘ Writing Tools Hacks.’

Hannah Lebiga
Business Analyst

Hannah Lebiga brings a diverse skill set that combines visual storytelling with marketing strategy to the Tripepi Smith team. Hannah graduated from California State University, Long Beach with a degree in Marketing, where she utilized her experience to lead the creation of compelling marketing campaigns for innovations in precision measurement, 3D printing and additive manufacturing industries. Hannah deploys her passion for visual storytelling when screenwriting, directing and editing video. She also propels strategic content across print and digital platforms using her skills in graphic and web design, leads teams through social media strategies to support business development and coordinates corporate events and industry trade shows.

Hannah is a Hootsuite Social Marketing Professional. Her work includes various creative projects.

Alexandra Applegate
Junior Business Analyst

Alexandra Applegate is a talented technical and creative writer and copy editor, with experience writing news stories, social media posts, blogs, press releases and features. With a Bachelor of Arts in public relations, she is also practiced in creating and implementing campaigns for businesses and local government entities and confident in social media strategy and management. Passionate about multi-dimensional storytelling, Alex also has some experience with video, photo, design and other mediums. Her work at Tripepi Smith includes working as the editor of PublicCEO.com as well as working for the City of Culver City, City of Lancaster, City of Napa, Pivot Charter Schools, Merced County, City of American Canyon and Renne Public Law Group.

Alexandra is a certified Hootsuite Social Marketing Professional, Google Ads Search professional, Google Analytics professional and Constant Contact Solutions Provider.

Anne Jang
Junior Business Analyst

Anne is a Junior Business Analyst and Graphic Artist at Tripepi Smith. She brings a tireless work ethic and commitment to quality and a background in graphic design, marketing and public policy to the firm. While studying Government and Philosophy at Claremont McKenna College, she developed her skills in project management, writing, design and communication through experiences at research institutes and her work with the Veterans’ Legal Institutes and the Orange County Board of Supervisors.

Anne is a Hootsuite Social Marketing Professional, Constant Contact Certified Solutions Provider as well as Sprout Social certified. She is an editor of PublicCEO.com and works with clients such as the City of Benicia, City of Dublin and City of Napa.

Claire Torza
Business Analyst

Claire Torza is a talented writer and researcher with a background in several industries, such as public affairs, legal studies and non-profit. She graduated from Claremont Mckenna College in 2020 with a B.A in Philosophy, Politics and Economics. She developed her writing skills as a PPE major at Claremont McKenna through extensive reading of complex works of literature and subsequent analysis of such pieces. She continued writing and greatly developed her research skills while working as both a law clerk intern and a legal assistant at Public Counsel, the largest non-profit law firm in the nation, as well as gained extensive non-profit experience and knowledge.

Claire is certified in Hootsuite Social Marketing. Her client work includes: City of Duarte, Culver City, the California JPIA, California Urban Forest Council, West Coast Arborists, Inc., HSITAG, City of Lakeport, Trackdown Management and Napa County.

Kevork Kurdoghlian
Business Analyst

Kevork Kurdoghlian is a concise communicator with experience in the journalism, public relations and local government industries. He brings insights from each of those experiences to provide holistic solutions for clients. He developed a passion for public service as a Youth Council member for his hometown of La Cañada Flintridge. As a young reporter, he was assigned to the city hall beat for a local newspaper, taking a greater interest in local government. Consequently, he decided to study public administration at the University of Southern California, where he was a City/County Management Fellow. As a public relations professional serving charter public schools, Kevork sharpened his skills in content development, internal communications, and graphic design, while developing skills in media relations and digital marketing.

Kevork is a certified Hootsuite Social Marketing Professional. He also holds certifications in launching and supporting Twitter Ads campaigns from Twitter Flight School and social listening and developing Boolean searches from Meltwater Academy. His clients include the City of Westlake Village, City of Baldwin Park, HdL Companies, Culver City Transportation Department, City of Fontana, City of Renton and Pivot Charter Schools.

Cailyn Thompson
Junior Business Analyst

Cailyn Thompson brings a strong work ethic and open-minded dynamic to the Tripepi Smith Team with a background in recreation, collegiate athletics and event management. She recently graduated from St. John’s University (SJU) with a Master of Business Administration degree in Strategic Management and a Bachelor of Science degree in Sport Management with a minor in Business Administration. She developed her skills in leadership, organization and event management in her time at SJU with on-campus internships, the graduate assistantship program and summer employment with the City of Cypress Recreation.

Cailyn is a certified Hootsuite Social Marketing Professional. Her client work includes the City of Renton and the City of Downey.

Kylie Benzing
Business Analyst

Kylie Benzing brings a diverse skillset to the team from her experience in several industries, such as litigation services, academic administration and music marketing. She graduated from Biola University with a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration with a concentration in Business Management. She has a strong background in social media strategy, website development, writing and scheduling and high-volume operations due to her experiences as Administrative Assistant at Biola University, Marketing Intern at Transparent Productions, Social Media Marketing Manager at TSE Worldwide Press and Operations Associate at TSG Reporting.

Kylie is a certified Hootsuite Social Marketing Professional. She is working closely with clients on communications related to municipal district formation and Senate Bill 1383. She also takes lead on recruitments for Tripepi Smith Talent Solutions. Her clients include City of Cypress, City of Downey, City of Lynwood, City of Orange, City of Paramount, City of San Clemente. City of Santa Paula, Town of Yucca Valley and Independent Cities Finance Authority.

Melanie Moore
Junior Business Analyst

Melanie is a driven and detail-oriented team player with a background in financial research and marketing. She graduated from Claremont McKenna College with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Economics. Before joining the Tripepi Smith team, Melanie strengthened her policy skills in research and data analytics while working for the Financial Economics Institute on an accounting labor market issue. As a Junior Business Analyst at Tripepi Smith, Melanie works to share the stories of her clients through managing project and client needs, developing unique communication strategies and drafting targeted content.

Melanie is a certified Hootsuite Social Marketing Professional and is Sprout Social certified. Some of her clients include Climatec, California Contract Cities Association, City of Dublin, City of Tustin, City of Livermore, City of Daly City, Vallejo Police Department, and Olympic Staffing.

Kalee Cummings
Junior Business Analyst

Kalee Cummings is a creative analyst whose background has centered in public policy and the non-profit industry. Kalee brings a strong research background, which is evident in her experience as a student researcher for CMC’s Policy Lab and CMC’s Data Science Capstone programs. She also developed her professional skills with her experience in SOURCE, a student-led non-profit consulting group, where she gained client services and project management expertise. In her experiences, Kalee has developed a strong propensity for learning and delivering successful results in the fields of local government and marketing. She is a recent graduate of Claremont McKenna College, with a Bachelor of Arts in Government, concentrating in public policy and organization, and a sequence in Data Science.

Kalee is a certified Hootsuite Social Marketing Professional. Her client work includes Pivot Charter Schools and various redistricting projects.

Charlie Mounts
Junior Business Analyst

Charlie is an analytical and technical writer who specializes in public policy analysis and marketing strategy. Charlie’s experience in client relations, sales, product management and marketing spans multiple industries including finance, technology, public policy and non-profits. He graduated from Claremont McKenna College with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Government and a minor in Leadership Studies. He strengthened his skillset as a marketing associate for the Claremont Marketing Group, a Communications and Marketing Systems intern for the American Enterprise Institute, and a Product Management, Sales, and Client Relations Intern for Algomi LTD.

Since joining Tripepi Smith, Charlie has secured a range of certifications. He is certified on the following platforms: Hootsuite, Constant Contact, Sprout Social and Google Ads Display. Charlie has also completed a series of writing courses through Udemy. His client work includes the California City Management Foundation, California Choice Energy Authority, City of Palmdale EPIC Energy, Clean Energy Alliance, City of Westlake Village, Pomona Choice Energy, Renne Public Law Group and City of La Cañada Flintridge.

Skyler Addison
Junior Business Analyst

Skyler Addison knows the power of a well-told story in transforming and transmitting a message to a large audience. She graduated cum laude from Claremont McKenna College, receiving a dual degree in Literature (honors) and Government. Skyler was involved in several activities on campus that enhanced her writing, event planning and marketing skill sets. She was most recently a student manager for Gould Center for Humanistic Studies, a research institute where she established creative research fellowships and robust online programming for students. Skyler completed professional internships in both majors that have enabled her to illuminate the intersection between messaging and good governance.

Skyler is a certified Hootsuite Social Marketing, Constant Contact and Sprout Social Professional. She is an expert in updating websites, managing social media and strategizing marketing plans. Her client work includes: Civiltec, Town of Yucca Valley, City of Twentynine Palms, City of Orinda, Culver City Transportation Department and City of Lancaster.

Josiah Solis
Junior Business Analyst

Josiah is a graduate of Biola University where he earned a Bachelor of Arts in Cinema and Media Arts. During his time at Biola, Josiah learned valuable skills in directing, writing and video editing. Josiah is passionate about communicating the stories of clients in the most visually compelling way. Josiah has visited five different countries to provide videography services on behalf of humanitarian efforts. Josiah also has experience as a digital imaging technician and editor for an independent motion picture in Gonaives, Haiti, where he learned cross-cultural skills while working with American and Haitian industry professionals.

Josiah is a certified Hootsuite Social Marketing Professional. His clients include the City of Huntington Beach and the City of Fullerton.

Josh Hernandez
Junior Business Analyst

Josh is a driven creative professional with over 7 years of experience in the audio/visual and TV production industry. Josh attended Saddleback College where he participated in the Cinema/Television/Radio Department to strengthen his skills in TV production, directing, storytelling and video editing. He started his career in local government as a graphic designer for the City of Aliso Viejo and then furthered his experience in council meeting broadcasts with the City of Santa Ana and the City of Huntington Beach. He has also practiced his skills for companies, like Microsoft, Paul Mitchell, School First and the Boys and Girls Clubs.

Josh is a certified Hootsuite Social Marketing professional, as well as FAA certified to conduct commercial operations with drones. His clients include the City of Huntington Beach, City of Bellflower, City of Fullerton and City of Santa Ana.

Nolan Voge
Junior Business Analyst

Nolan Voge offers creative insight and technical solutions to the Tripepi Smith team with extensive knowledge in video systems, creative media projects and venue production. As a graduate of San Diego State University (SDSU), he received a Bachelor of Science degree in Television, Film and New Media with an emphasis in Production and a minor in Theatre Arts. He displayed his strong work ethic outside of the classroom by participating in nearly sixty projects relating to production. He further enhanced his experience as a content creator for the College of Education at SDSU, followed by employment in the government space. He previously practiced event videography, project management and his knowledge of video systems, computer systems and software with Empire Media Productions.
Nolan is Hootsuite Social Marketing and Sprout Social certified and holds a certification in Dante for audio solutions in production work. He is also FAA certified to conduct commercial operations with drones.

His client work includes: City of Bellflower, City of Fullerton, City of Huntington Beach, City of Menifee, the California JPIA, Town of Yucca Valley and City of Villa Park.

Kayla Cao
Junior Business Analyst

Kayla Cao brings a strong writing background to the Tripepi Smith team with experience in newspaper journalism, blog writing, and marketing. She recently graduated from Biola University with a Bachelor of Arts in Journalism with an emphasis in Writing and Publishing. She developed her writing and leadership skills through her time as a section editor and staff writer for the university newspaper, The Chimes and her internships at Biola’s Center for Marriage and Relationships and the Orange County chapter of the Make-A-Wish Foundation. After graduating, Kayla gained additional marketing experience at Mark 1 Mortgage and Wealth Academy, where she regularly wrote, designed, and published local real estate content.

Kayla is a certified Hootsuite Social Marketing professional. Her client work includes the City of Paramount and ProcureAmerica.

Molly Alvarado
Junior Business Analyst

Molly Alvarado brings a cheerfully collaborative supporting role to the Tripepi Smith team with a background in several industries such as finance, cosmetology and non-profit organizations. She graduated from California State University, Los Angeles (CSULA) with a Bachelor of Arts in Communication with an emphasis in Organizational and Applied Communication. During her time in college, she developed her craft of public speaking and creative writing via her participation in publication clubs and community outreach programs. While working towards her degree, Molly worked for small business companies that leveraged significant growth because of her public speaking, event planning, creative writing and content creation input.

Molly is a certified Hootsuite Social Marketing professional. Her client work includes City of Benicia, City of Martinez, City of Manteca, Costa Mesa Sanitary District, City of Duarte, CCMF- Online Professional Toolkit, and ICMA Reputation Management Solutions.

Jacob Lyle
Junior Business Analyst

Jacob Lyle brings a strong background in policy research and local government to the Tripepi Smith team. Jacob graduated from Claremont McKenna College with a degree in Government and Economics. During his college years, Jacob was able to gain experience through the various jobs and internships he held, including as a student researcher for the Robert Day School of Economics and Finance and a police cadet for the Ventura Police Department. Jacob acquired valuable leadership experience as a 3-year captain of the Claremont-Mudd-Scripps football team.

Jacob is certified by Hootsuite in Social Media Marketing.

Alyson Nichols
Junior Business Analyst

Alyson Nichols is a thoughtful and detail-oriented communicator, with a degree in Public Relations from Missouri State University. With work experience in retail, marketing and real estate, Alyson brings a unique background and an excited, go-getter attitude to the Tripepi Smith team. She has a strong track record in social media and event planning, as well as in writing and high-volume operations from her experience in office administration.

Alyson is certified in Hootsuite Social Marketing. Her client work includes Pivot Charter Schools and Clean Energy Alliance.

Eldon Shih
Junior Business Analyst

Eldon provides an advanced background in media and project management with extensive experience in the marketing world. As a recent graduate of San Diego State University (SDSU), he received a Bachelor of Science degree in Television, Film and New Media with an emphasis in Production. Throughout his college career, he was trained as a first assistant director to handle the logistics of running a set, acting as a liaison between the director and the rest of the production team, and created/managed the day-to-day operations whilst coordinating with all departments. He advanced his experience as a video producer, photographer, videographer and editor for SDSU’s College of Education and as media specialist for Idol Memory. After graduating, he continued his career as a technical director, editor and videographer producing content under Empire Media Productions for civic organizations.

Eldon is a certified Hootsuite Social Marketing Professional. His client work includes the City of Bellflower, City of Fullerton, City of Huntington Beach and City of Villa Park.

John Balliet
Junior Business Analyst

John Balliet brings a solid background in communication and SB 1383 know-how to Tripepi Smith. He graduated from Point Loma Nazarene University with a degree in Societal Communication and was able to hone his skills and leadership abilities as one of the captains of his collegiate baseball team. He further developed his communication skills, as well as expanded his knowledge in the solid waste recycling field during his time as a Junior Consultant.

John is a certified Hootsuite Marketing Professional. His clients include: Climatec, City of Huntington Beach, City of Fullerton and contracted SB 1383 work.

Amy Gallagher
Junior Business Analyst

Amy Gallagher is a detail-oriented individual with a background in journalism, photography and social media management. She graduated from California State University, Long Beach with a Bachelor of Arts in Journalism. During her time in college, she gained experience with writing, photojournalism and content creation. She developed her marketing skills through her internship at Segerstrom Center for the Arts where she worked alongside the Center’s marketing team to effectively communicate with their audience through social media.

Amy is a certified Hootsuite Social Marketing professional. Her clients include the City of Culver City, City of Manteca, City of Duarte, California City Management Foundation, ICMA and ICFA.

David Gushue
Junior Business Analyst

David brings a strong background in creative writing and storytelling with experience in both marketing and social media across several different industries. He is a graduate of Claremont McKenna College (CMC), receiving honors in both disciplines of his double major in Philosophy, Politics, and Economics; and Literature B.A. He also received the Senior Award for Best Thesis in Literature for his short story collection “Devil in a New Dress Shirt.” Likewise, David served as a Head Consultant for the Center for Writing and Publics Discourse on campus where he grew immensely in both his writing and tutoring practices. Outside of CMC, David served as a Marketing and Media Intern for Red Hen Press where he curated skills in social media marketing and content production.

David is a certified Hootsuite Social Marketing Professional. He will be utilizing his expertise in writing for several of Tripepi Smith’s clients.

Brooke Hager
Junior Business Analyst

Brooke Hager brings a diverse background in graphic design, media management and business analytics. She graduated from California Polytechnic State University, San Luis Obispo with a Master of Science in Business Analytics and a Bachelor of Science in Graphic Communication. Brooke’s undergraduate degree gives her a wide range of expertise in graphic design using the Adobe Creative Suite, print and digital media production, social media management and UX/UI design. In her master’s program, Brooke developed her technical skills in machine learning, data management and data storytelling while working on sales optimization and marketing projects for Informatica and the New York Jets. Professionally, Brooke developed a passion for community and local government while working for the City of San Luis Obispo, the City of Burlingame and the Highlands District in the City of San Mateo.

Brooke is a certified Hootsuite Social Marketing Professional. Her client work includes the City of Arroyo Grande, City of Pismo Beach, City of Grover Beach, City of San Luis Obispo and City of Downey.

Morgan Mock
Junior Business Analyst

A skilled communicator with a strong work ethic and passion for public speaking, Morgan Mock brings experience in social media account management, graphic creation, marketing and event coordination. With a degree in Communication from San Diego State University, she knows not only how to tell a story, but how to creatively tailor it to convey the vision and values of an organization. She enhanced her marketing skills during her internship with CalAmp, where she designed infographics, created media press kits, wrote bylines and headed the company’s 40th anniversary celebration. In addition, she is bilingual in the Spanish language.

Morgan is certified in Hootsuite Social Marketing and Sprout Social. Her clients include the City of Twentynine Palms, City of Carson and City of Culver City.

Olivia Moore
Junior Business Analyst

Olivia is a detail-oriented communicator who is skilled in content creation. Olivia graduated from the University of North Texas in May 2022 with a B.A. in Journalism, concentrating in Public Relations. While in college, Olivia was involved in organizations in which she served on the social media team. These experiences helped her grow her interest and love for content creation. Olivia also completed an internship at a mid-size PR agency, Cossman PR, through a practicum course called AGENZ. AGENZ is a student-run PR firm at the University of North Texas made up of selected Mayborn School of Journalism students. Through working with CossmanPR, Olivia was able to further her skills in media relations, pitching and writing.

Olivia is certified in Hootsuite Social Marketing. Her areas of expertise include website development, content creation, research and media relations. Her work focuses on SB 1383 communications with various clients.

Jenni Wechsler
Junior Business Analyst

A strategic thinker, fast learner with a strong work ethic and passion for graphic design, Jenni Wechsler brings experience in graphic design, photography and video editing. With a degree in Psychology from the University of Southern California, she knows not only how to tell a story, but how to creatively tailor it to convey the vision and values of an organization. She enhanced her graphic design skills during her time freelancing at Relationship Cubed, where she designed branding, course materials and photo assets. In addition, she is versed in the nuances of the psychology world.

Jenni is a certified Hootsuite Social Marketing Professional. She offers creative services to various clients.

Amanda Avery
Junior Business Analyst

Amanda Avery is well versed in the need for thorough, data-driven results with a background in both quantitative and qualitative research as well as public policy analysis and technical writing. With a dual Bachelor of Arts degree in Public Policy and Psychology from Claremont McKenna College, she understands how to capitalize on human nature in the policy sphere, and the crucial interplay between interpersonal dynamics and effective work output. Amanda’s experience working for the San Francisco-based consulting firm, Institute for Global Futures, allowed her to work with clients in the renewable energy sector and conduct research into existing and future markets of interest. She also worked for several research labs at Claremont McKenna College, and can translate overwhelming, complex data into clear and digestible key takeaways using data visualizations or providing recommendations rooted in tangible evidence.

Amanda is certified in Hootsuite Social Marketing. Her clients include Aquatrax, the City of Bell and City of San Carlos.

Sophie Doane
Junior Business Analyst

A talented graphic designer and visual communicator, Sophie Doane brings experience in print, digital and social media design. Sophie has a degree in Economics and Fine Art with a concentration in Digital Art, which has given her the ability to help clients convey their mission to customers and communities. Before coming to Tripepi Smith, Sophie developed her skills as a graphic design intern at the Claremont McKenna College Department of Public Affairs. There, she created designs for social media distribution on all official social channels. She also produced graphics for events and gatherings, such as the Claremont McKenna College 75th Anniversary Celebration. She further enhanced her design abilities during her internship at She Heals The World, where she created social content, website layouts and a year-long planner.

Sophie is fluent in German and is a Hootsuite Social Marketing Professional. She will be working on creative projects with various clients.

Our Ethics

Corporate ethics don’t just happen. They require a commitment from top to bottom in the organization. They evolve from a firm belief that work must be done openly, honestly and with the best of intentions for all parties involved.

Reputations take years to build. Trust is not bought; it is earned. In the areas that our firm operates, there is no room to equivocate or hide on matters of ethics.

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Pride

We do work we would be proud to see appear on the front page of a major newspaper.

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Transparency

We identify our client list to prospective clients early in the process to ensure there are no conflicts of interest. We also review potential new clients with existing clients when even the slightest appearance of a conflict exists.

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Not Political

We are not politically engaged. While we don’t discourage our team from supporting people they like/know/trust, there is never a link between a political action or donation and the work we do for our clients.

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Own It

If we make a mistake or fall short of client expectations (we are human – it does happen), we own it. We learn from it. We try to make it right.

On Camera, Straight from the Horse’s Mouth

Tripepi Smith President, Ryder Todd Smith, discusses the importance of ethics at the firm.

Seeking Talent

What are we looking for?

Tripepi Smith is seeking to revolutionize communications and marketing in the local government world. With our diverse array of services and mission to put thoughtful, holistic thinkers in front of clients, we seek people who can strategize and deliver on the communication needs of our clients.

Signs that you might be a good fit at Tripepi Smith:
  • New technologies interest you
  • Social media use comes naturally to you
  • Writing is fun and you know how to tell a good story
  • Public policy is interesting to you and you like to understand the role of local government in our daily lives
  • Doing something different each day sounds exciting
  • Attending local government meetings seems engaging
  • Operating independently with no micromanagement is ideal for your personality
Backgrounds that are good indicators of your ability to add value at Tripepi Smith:
  • Management Analyst with a local government agency
  • Associate at a public affairs firm
  • Reporter at a newspaper or magazine covering current events or a local government beat
  • B.A. or B.S. in politics, communications, public relations, English, graphic design or an M.P.A.
  • Field staff or legislative aid for an elected official
  • Recently completed a graphic design degree from college
  • Experience working for an industry or local government association

Key Benefits of Working at Tripepi Smith

  • You get paid (depending on your level, we pay from $40K – $100+K plus spot bonuses).
  • You usually get to work from home
    (though we reserve the right to get an office someday).
  • Your schedule is relatively flexible.
  • You will learn a lot.
  • We invest in ongoing education.
  • We send you to conferences and other high-profile events.
  • We provide you with nice computer hardware.
  • We provide you with a iPhone.
  • We offer an employer match 401(k).
  • We offer healthcare benefits.
  • Work with a team of nice people.
  • Surround yourself with quality professionals.
  • We take ethics seriously.

Roles we are currently recruiting for:

  • WordPress Intermediate to Advanced Website Skills
  • Junior Analysts
  • Junior Graphic Designers
  • Videographer
Email Us

Our Clients

  • SCCFD
  • PMVCD
  • RPLG
  • Grover Beach
  • Pivot
  • Culver City
  • MMASC
  • CMSD
  • RWD
  • MMANC
  • Vallejo
  • Tracy
  • CalChoice
  • Huntington Beach
  • FlashVote
  • Indian Wells
  • American Canyon
  • California JPIA
  • LCF
  • CCMF