Southwest Strategies’ San Diego Team Expands Again

Aug 15, 2018

Firm strengthens team with three new additions

SAN DIEGO, CA (August 15, 2018) –– Southwest Strategies, one of California’s leading public affairs and public outreach firms with offices in San Diego and Fresno is adding to its growing team with three new hires in San Diego, including Manager of Public Affairs, Ryan Purdy, from San Diego Councilmember Lorie Zapf’s office and Account Executives, Courtney Pittam and Natalie Kessler, who previously worked with the San Diego Regional Economic Development Corporation and San Diego Regional Chamber of Commerce. 

 Purdy joins Southwest Strategies after serving as Councilmember Zapf’s Director of Policy. He brings extensive land use and intergovernmental relations experience to Southwest Strategies’ growing team. 

 “Ryan’s knowledge of land use and experience working with local government agencies will be a strong asset to our team. His experience will add even more depth to our residential and commercial development expertise,” said Executive Vice President Elizabeth Hansen. 

 Purdy also advised the Councilmember on the San Diego Association of Governments (SANDAG) Board, SANDAG Regional Planning Committee and San Diego Local Agency Formation Commission (LAFCO). During his time as the Councilmember’s Smart Growth and Land Use Committee Consultant, he helped shepherd seven Community Plan Updates through Committee that resulted in bipartisan City Council support. Alongside Councilmember Zapf, Purdy worked with a coalition of housing industry and advocacy groups on initiatives to reduce housing production costs.

 Pittam is a published political journalist, having composed articles on the bipartisan Independent Voter Network. Prior to joining Southwest Strategies, she worked as an economic development, communication and marketing intern with the San Diego Regional Economic Development Corporation. 

 “Courtney has a strong background blending politics and communications,” said Vice President Melissa Cameron. “I am confident Courtney will help us uphold our collective goal to provide our clients with superior strategy and unparalleled service, especially with our thriving ballot measure campaign arm.” 

Pittam graduated magna cum laude from Point Loma Nazarene University (PLNU) with a Bachelors in International Studies. During her time at PLNU, Pittam served as president of the Pi Sigma Alpha Political Science Honors Society and developed a strong background in writing, political science and women’s studies. 

Kessler joins Southwest Strategies with a background in public service and nonprofit administration. After completing her undergraduate degree in Planning, Public Policy and Management from the University of Oregon, she served as an AmeriCorps VISTA Member both in San Diego and Washington D.C. Kessler also supported the Economic Opportunities Program at the Aspen Institute by coordinating policy research and events on topics pertaining to the workforce. 

Kessler recently graduated from San Diego State University with her Masters of Public Administration. Before joining Southwest Strategies, she was Policy Intern with the San Diego Regional Chamber of Commerce. 

“Natalie’s ability to effectively conduct outreach and communication about key infrastructure projects will greatly benefit Southwest Strategies as we continue providing excellent service to our clients in the water, transportation and energy industries,” said Vice President Ben Boyce. 


About Southwest Strategies

Southwest Strategies is a full-service public affairs, public outreach and strategic communications firm with offices in San Diego and the Central Valley. At nearly 50 employees, Southwest Strategies is one of the top communications firms in the State of California. The firm provides comprehensive communications strategy and outreach support to the public sector and private companies across a broad range of industries, including energy, transportation, water, retail, housing, professional sports, maritime and real estate development. For more information, visit

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