Velocity Public Affairs brings together a strong core team of experts with extensive backgrounds and experiences to help clients deal with challenges and capitalize upon opportunities.  Velocity Public Affairs is supported by a strong team of outside experts that allow the core team to meet the scale, scope, and intensity  of any project.  Velocity Public Affairs has relationships with people from media outlets, stakeholder groups, and elected officials across the ideological spectrum at all levels of government, private industry, associations, and not-for-profits.

 

Patrick Connolly

Co-founder and principal of Velocity Public Affairs, has more than twenty years of experience in marketing and mobilization, public policy and media strategies. Connolly’s successful grassroots and community relations experience includes work on behalf of the Mayo Clinic, U.S. Senator Norm Coleman, the Rochester Coalition, Minneapolis and Saint Paul Chamber of Chambers of Commerce, and Minnesotans United.  He’s also led and supported coalition efforts on behalf of the Hennepin County Sheriff Foundation, the Republican Party of Minnesota and Alliance for a Healthier Minnesota.

Connolly develops and coordinates targeted and results-oriented campaigns and outreach events as well as multi-city tours and meetings for his clients. With unabashed zeal, Connolly has garnered coverage for his clients in print, broadcast, radio and digital media. Connolly earned his political stripes in the 2002 Coleman for U.S. Senate campaign as a lead member of the grassroots field team. After Coleman’s historic victory, Connolly transitioned his mobilization skills to the U.S. Senate office as a policy liaison for Senator Coleman. Prior to entering the Public Affairs arena, he developed his business skills as a Regional Manager for the food service division of the Schwan Food Company.

Connolly holds a bachelor’s degree in marketing with a minor in public administration from St. Mary’s University of Minnesota and a master’s degree in organizational management from Concordia University.

Patrick has owned and operated independent public affairs consultancies since 2006, first Connolly & Associates followed by Connolly Kuhl Group and now Velocity Public Affairs.

 

Carl Kuhl

Co-founder and principal of Velocity Public Affairs, has more than fifteen years of experience in politics and public policy. Kuhl has served in numerous senior communications and leadership roles for a United States Senator, Saint Paul Mayor, Gubernatorial and U.S. Senatorial Candidates. He is an adept communicator with a natural ability to distill complex messages while driving a public affairs campaign.

Kuhl has experience in every facet of public affairs, having served as campaign manager, communications director, press secretary, field director and policy liaison. Carl has blended his communications background with innovative digital and data tools to build multifaceted campaigns for clients such as Xcel Energy/Minneapolis Chamber of Commerce, Mayo Clinic – Destination Medical Center, I-94 West Corridor Coalition and McFadden for US Senate.

Whether managing public policy campaigns, state-wide electoral campaigns or third-party campaigns, Kuhl has a unique ability to blend innovative ideas with disciplined approach focused on the overall goal.

Following the 2008 election cycle Carl founded Kuhl Partners, he has owned and operated public affairs consultancies since, including Connolly Kuhl Group which was founded in 2010.

 

Mike Zipko

Co-founder and principal of Velocity Public Affairs, has more than twenty years of experience helping clients manage issues, address challenges, and maximize opportunities that involve creating and executing effective communications. He has served as communications director for Saint Paul Mayor Norm Coleman, deputy communications director for Governor-elect Jesse Ventura’s transition office, deputy communications director for the Minnesota Republican Party during the 1998 campaign season, and deputy press secretary for Minnesota Governor Arne H. Carlson. He has also provided media relations counsel to political campaigns and elected officials.

Earlier, Zipko worked for seven years in several roles for WCCO-TV and KSTP-TV, ranging from field producer to assignment editor. He also spent considerable time covering political issues and events during legislative sessions and election seasons. Mike has strong connections with Twin Cities media that he leverages to help clients target the appropriate media contacts and outlets.

Before merging into Velocity P.A., Zipko owned and operated Zipko Strategy, a strategic consulting firm based in Saint Paul providing public affairs, media relations, crisis communications, grassroots advocacy, online content management, and marketing support for businesses, nonprofits, government entities, and advocacy organizations.

 

Kim Skatrud

Account executive at Velocity Public Affairs, has worked with the team since graduating from the University of St. Thomas in 2014. As an account manager, Skatrud executes the client’s public affairs needs through a variety of activities including project management, communications plan development and management, message development, writing and editing, and grassroots advocacy.

Erin Burns

Account manager at Velocity Public Affairs, has been on the team since 2015. Burns is working towards her Bachelor’s in Journalism-Strategic Communication, and Political Science at the University of Minnesota. Burns is a strategic thinker that has developed vital skills in data base management, community engagement and media relations to provide support for all Velocity Public Affairs Clients.

 

 

Mike Wilhelmi

Consultant

Jen Niska

Consultant