Partner & Co-Founder
Michael Dubke is a veteran GOP operative and has been involved in local, state and federal politics, as well as issue and public policy advocacy since 1992. His experience has brought him a unique understanding of the relationship between media strategy and public policy development.
Mike recently served as Assistant to the President for Communications in the White House. In that capacity, he oversaw a communications department that coordinated Congressional and Cabinet communications, Digital Strategy, Media Affairs, Production, Strategic communications as well and Surrogate operations.
In 2009, Mike was a Founding Partner at the Black Rock Group (BRG). At BRG, Mike has helped plan and lead successful communications and advocacy efforts in a variety of industries including energy, technology, transportation, financial services, restaurant and retail. In the non-profit realm, Mike has worked to promote digital security, eradicate child sex-trafficking, foster international dialogue and keep kids safe online.
In 2001, Mike founded a group of media services firms (Main Street Media Group, Crossroads Media and Herd Media) that have collectively placed almost $1 billion dollars of media for clients. The firms specialize in advertising strategy and placement for political candidates, issue advocacy organizations and trade associations. The media group has established itself as one of the go-to firms on the national scene for both political candidates and corporations.
Mike also served as President of Americans for Job Security (AJS), a pioneer independent expenditure organization that provided direct advocacy for citizens to public policy makers. Prior to co-founding AJS, he held the position of Executive Director for both the Ripon Society and the Ripon Educational Fund, where he oversaw the growth of the TransAtlantic Conference and the re-emergence of the Ripon Society as a participant in national politics. Mike began his career on the Bush/Quayle ’92 campaign as assistant to the Political Director.
Mike currently serves on the board of the Franklin Center for Public Policy Exchange and the Ripon Society. He is a graduate of Hamilton College and resides in Alexandria, VA with his wife Shannon and their two children.
Partner & Co-Founder
Carl Forti has nearly 20 years of experience in politics, campaign strategy, media relations and public affairs. He is a seasoned political operative, having served in leadership positions at advocacy organizations, a presidential campaign and four election cycles at the National Republican Congressional Committee (NRCC).
Carl has been described as “one of the smartest people in politics you’ve never heard of” by Karl Rove and “the Alexander the Great of the Republican independent expenditure world.”
While at Black Rock, Carl develops campaign strategies for the nation’s most successful issue advocacy groups, third-party organizations and SuperPACs. Previously, Carl was Executive Vice President for Issue Advocacy at Freedom’s Watch, an organization that was a strong voice for conservatives and impacted the public policy debate at local and national levels.
During the 2008 presidential campaign, Carl served as Deputy Campaign Manager and Political Director for Romney for President, where he built and managed the national political operation that produced 11 primary or caucus victories.
Carl also has extensive experience on Capitol Hill. He served in numerous capacities at the National Republican Congressional Committee, including Communications Director and Issue Advocacy Director, where he managed an $80 million independent expenditure campaign.
Originally from Western New York and a graduate of the George Washington University, Carl resides in Alexandria, VA with his wife Sandy and their three children.
Brian has a proven track record of creating and managing successful public affairs and public relations campaigns for some of the country’s most innovative companies, top-tier associations, influential coalitions and national political candidates. In addition, he has worked with a number of national and local nonprofit organizations.
Over the past two decades, Brian has helped lead effective communications and advocacy efforts for a variety of industries including technology, transportation, energy, financial services, restaurant and retail. In the nonprofit realm he has worked in support of marriage equality, early childhood education, eradicating child sex-trafficking and keeping kids safe online.
Brian has also been active in the world of electoral politics. Serving in senior roles for the presidential campaigns of George W. Bush, John McCain, Mitt Romney and Chris Christie. Once named one of the “top free-agent GOP operatives” by The Washington Post, former RNC Chairman Ken Mehlman noted Brian has “fantastic judgment, the respect of the press, good management skills, creativity and a commitment to excellence.”
Brian currently serves on the board of the National Network to End Domestic Violence. He earned his MA from the University of Washington in Seattle and BA from the University of Massachusetts in Amherst. Brian lives in Alexandria, VA, with his wife Emily and their two children.
Jamie (Loftus) Rhoades
Jamie’s experience extends from strategic political communications work for leaders on Capitol Hill and presidential campaigns to managing public affairs campaigns for leading global companies. In 2012, she started her own communications consulting company, Quartus Strategies, based in Washington, D.C.
Jamie previously served as the Chief of Public Relations and Government Affairs at the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey from January 2011 to March of 2012. There she managed the media relations, marketing and government and community relations departments at the bi-state agency. Prior to her work at the Port Authority, Jamie was a member of GE’s corporate communications team at the company’s headquarters in Fairfield, Connecticut. She helped lead the development and implementation of global corporate campaign initiatives to proactively define the company’s reputation and enhance growth.
In 2007, Jamie joined DCI Group, a communications and public affairs firm, where she helped lead public affairs campaigns, communications campaigns and coalition building activities for Fortune 500 companies and nonprofit organizations with a focus on education, telecommunications and energy issues.
Her tenure on Capitol Hill includes press positions in both the House and Senate. She served as press secretary for members of the U.S. House of Representatives and for Texas Senator Kay Bailey Hutchison. Jamie also handled media affairs and rapid response as a member of the McCain-Palin campaign communications team, and served as a state communications director for the Bush-Cheney ’04 campaign.
Jamie attended the College of the Holy Cross in Worcester, MA. Originally from Skaneateles, NY, she currently resides in Washington, D.C. with her husband Matt Rhoades.
Senior Vice President
Throughout his career, Chris accumulated extensive experience managing political, public relations and brand marketing campaigns and has served as a lead strategist on numerous issue advocacy efforts impacting healthcare, technology, trade, education, and energy public policy initiatives. Chris joined the Black Rock Group in 2013 as a Vice President.
While at Black Rock, Chris has advised numerous political campaigns across the country, including Dan Sullivan’s bid for the U.S. Senate in Alaska and Liz Cheney’s campaign for Congress in Wyoming. Prior to his time at Black Rock, Chris served as a Midwest Communications Director for former Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney’s presidential campaign in 2012. In 2011 he spearheaded strategic communications and policy research as Communications Director for the Ohio Republican Party. As a chief spokesman for Governor Romney and the Ohio Republican Party, Maloney regularly took part in interviews with national television, radio and print journalists.
Chris was nationally recognized as a Campaigns & Elections Magazine Rising Star in 2015, and is currently pursuing a Master’s degree in Communications from Georgetown University. Originally from Port Jefferson, New York and a graduate of the George Washington University, Maloney resides in Alexandria, VA.
Vice President - Digital
Matt joins Black Rock Group from Arena Online, a top-tier political-digital marketing firm. While at Arena Online, Matt oversaw strategy, messaging, creative development, and advertising for political campaigns, issue advocacy organizations, and independent expenditure groups.
Earlier in his career, Matt served as Research Director for Right to Rise USA, the leading Super PAC supporting Jeb Bush’s candidacy for president and as Research Director for American Crossroads during the 2014 election cycle.
He also held positions as a research analyst for American Crossroads and worked as a legislative and communications aide for a Congressman from Colorado.
Originally from Centennial, Colorado, Matt graduated from Colorado State University with a degree in Political Science.
Charlotte has a successful record of running media relations and public affairs campaigns for Fortune 100 companies, multi-stakeholder coalitions, trade associations and international governments. She joined the firm in 2015 as a Senior Director.
She previously worked at CLS Strategies executing comprehensive communications plans for technology, trade and litigation clients. Charlotte’s responsibilities included developing effective messaging, leading media outreach, and generating savvy digital and social media initiatives. Prior to CLS Strategies, she educated federal policymakers on adoption and foster care issues at the Congressional Coalition on Adoption Institute.
A New Jersey native, Charlotte graduated Phi Beta Kappa from The George Washington University with a degree in international affairs. She resides in Washington, DC.
Anna’s experience extends from running successful communications campaigns for Fortune 500 companies, national trade associations, and non-profit organizations, to leading media relations at the highest level of electoral politics.
Prior to joining the Black Rock Group in 2016 as a Senior Director, Anna served as National Press Secretary for Carly Fiorina’s presidential campaign. In this role, she worked regularly with national and regional reporters as an on-the-record spokesman. Her responsibilities also included managing the campaign’s television and radio booking operation, as well as staffing media appearances, GOP primary debates, and campaign events in over 25 states across the country.
Anna spent the 2014 election cycle as a Press Assistant at the Republican National Committee. She began her career in the office of the RNC Chairman.
Originally from Charlotte, North Carolina, Anna earned her BA in Communications and Political Science from Tulane University. She resides in Washington, DC.
Senior Account Executive
Savannah joined the Black Rock Group in 2017. Prior to joining Black Rock Group, she worked as a Production Coordinator for DMM Media in Arlington, VA.
A University of Georgia alumna, Savannah graduated with dual degrees in Advertising and Political Science. During her time as an undergraduate, she interned for Georgia Senator Johnny Isakson, as well as the advertising firm, Initiative.
Savannah was born in Lynchburg, VA and raised in Buford, GA. She currently resides in Washington, D.C.
Gabriella joined Black Rock Group in 2017. She most recently served as a congressional intern for the Office of the Speaker Paul D. Ryan and as a member of the communications team for the 2016 Republican National Convention.
An alumna of The George Washington University’s School of Media and Public Affairs, Gabriella graduated summa cum laude with a Bachelor’s degree in Political Communication and a minor in Creative Writing. She is currently pursuing a Master’s degree in Media and Strategic Communication at GW.
Gabriella was born and raised in Millstone Township, New Jersey and currently lives in Alexandria, VA.