Fierce Advocates, Strategic Communicators, Effective Operatives

Velocity Public Affairs is a full-service public affairs company with decades of combined experience advocating for our clients. We prioritize a data-driven approach by utilizing market-leading, proprietary technology to help clients strategically address and manage public affairs challenges and public relations opportunities.

We’re driven to be your fierce advocates, strategic communicators, and effective operatives.

We bring together a strong core team of experts with extensive backgrounds and experiences in media, policy, government and politics to help you deal with challenges and capitalize on opportunities. We also tap into a strong team of outside experts that allow our core team to meet the scale, scope, and intensity of any project. With wide-ranging 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, we are uniquely qualified to meet your needs at all levels.

Our Team

Patrick Connolly
Co-Founder and Principal

A co-founder and principal of Velocity Public Affairs, Patrick has more than 20 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 Chambers of Commerce, and Minnesotans United. He has 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.

Patrick develops and coordinates targeted and results-oriented campaigns and outreach events as well as multi-city tours and meetings for his clients. With trademark zeal, he has garnered coverage for his clients in print, broadcast, radio, and digital media. Patrick 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, Patrick 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’s Food Company.

Patrick 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 in St. Paul.

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

Also a co-founder and principal of Velocity Public Affairs, Carl has more than 15 years of experience in politics and public policy. He has served in numerous senior communications and leadership roles for a United States senator, St. 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.

Carl has experience in every facet of public affairs, having served as campaign manager, communications director, press secretary, field director, and policy liaison. He 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 U.S. Senate.

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

Mike Zipko
Co-Founder and Principal

Mike is the third co-founder and principal of Velocity Public Affairs. He has more than 20 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 St. 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, Mike worked for seven years in several roles for Minneapolis/St. Paul broadcast outlets WCCO-TV and KSTP-TV, in roles 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 the merger that established Velocity Public Affairs, Mike owned and operated Zipko Strategy, a strategic consulting firm based in St. Paul that provided public affairs, media relations, crisis communications, grassroots advocacy, online content management, and marketing support for businesses, nonprofits, government entities, and advocacy organizations.

Brad Heagle
Account Director

Brad has been part of the Velocity team as an Account Director since 2019. With a Bachelor’s in History from the University of Minnesota, Brad has developed a diverse professional background in the fields of marketing, technology, and education. As an experienced project manager, Brad helps plan, manage, and execute successful campaigns on behalf of our clients.

Becky Scherr
Account Director

Following a decade working in politics, Becky joined Velocity Public Affairs as an Account Director in 2021. Becky worked for Tom Emmer’s Gubernatorial Campaign in 2010, Romney for President’s campaign in Wisconsin in 2012, Mike McFadden’s U.S. Senate race in 2014, and managed Jason Lewis’s Congressional Campaign in 2018. She worked at the State Capitol and spent three years as Congressman Emmer’s Communications Director in Washington D.C. Becky went on to work for the Republican Party of Minnesota, serving as both Communications and Executive Director. Becky brings more than a decade experience of creating content, developing and executing high-level communication strategies, and navigating the political and government arena.   

Matt Anderson Jr.
Account Manager

After serving as an intern at Velocity for two years, Matt graduated from the University of Minnesota – Twin Cities, majoring in Communication Studies and minoring in Political Science. Matt has now joined our team full time as an Account Manager, focusing on building relationships with grass roots and grass tops advocates and coordinating advocacy actions for client projects.

Partnerships

612Social

612Social is a full-service social marketing agency based in northeast Minneapolis. The 612Social team works to activate your social media accounts by creating measurable goals and maintaining a consistent flow of content. They sift through the social media noise to create measurable social marketing plans that make sense for your unique business model.

612Social is a certified Google Partner and works with businesses of all sizes to increase brand awareness, clicks, and conversions with people who are searching for your products and brand.

Endorse Communications

Endorse Communications is a professional communications and web support company committed to providing unique solutions to grow your business. Whether your communications needs consist of organizational messaging or web support, Endorse Communications is committed to getting your message across — loud and clear — and making you look good.

Plenty of folks think that web design is all about slapping some words and pictures together and posting them online. No doubt that attitude has created an abundance of underperforming websites that aren’t building a brand, driving sales, or working nearly as hard as they could be. At Endorse Communications, we know that web design involves a lot of work – and we’re not scared to roll up our sleeves and get our hands dirty.

Mercury Creative Group

Mercury is a talented group of brand-focused professionals that creates compelling marketing communications that foster lasting connections to your audience and grow your brand. The Mercury immersive method is the perfect blend of strategic thinking, collaboration and smart execution. They’ll sprinkle in some fun whenever possible.

John Miles Company

When marketing your company, John Miles believes the first impression you make is extremely important. Whether it’s your logo, your website, your latest email, or the literature that your sales people send to prospects, a polished, professional appearance is critical to your image and your message. JMC creates great-looking work that gets attention.

JMC’s long-term client relationships are the result of the unique approach it takes to servicing its clients and the measurable results they achieve for them. You’ll never sign a contract or pay a retainer with JMC. They shake hands, get to work and deliver projects on time and on budget.

What truly sets JMC apart is its ability to provide big-agency talent and services without the big-agency price tag. You won’t find them in a large downtown office space, and they don’t have layers upon layers of account people on staff. No matter the economic climate, John Miles Company is a great value: It’s that simple.