Who We Are
We are friends and colleagues with shared values and diverse skill sets.
Our partnership is both personal and political. It’s about working with people we like on issues we care about. It’s about challenging one another and our clients to continue to learn and grow, to give back, to communicate better and to think differently.
We have a set of values, experiences and expertise – in the public, private and non-profit sectors, in the local, national and international arena, in government, politics, communications and law – that, when combined, will provide our clients with a uniquely nuanced and strategic StandPoint.
Our team has earned a solid reputation as thought-leaders and skilled tacticians by producing results for our clients and by acting as a trusted advocate for their interests. We earn that trust by asking the right questions, developing situational awareness and exercising judgment about what the public, stakeholders and other key audiences will expect to know balanced against legal or strategic constraints.
Mack is the creative force behind our partnership. He’s built a reputation as a thoughtful strategic partner who can help envision and defend one’s StandPoint. Mack focuses on strategic communications, crisis management, public affairs and media relations, and he’s a broadly trusted ally and sounding board to clients and colleagues alike. He’s worked for corporate clients large and small, local and regional government agencies, charitable foundations, not-for-profits and religious institutions. His expertise ranges from billion-dollar real estate development projects to large festivals (keep an eye out for him at Mardi Gras!), to complex public policy issues.
A frequent trainer and speaker, Mack has conducted media and/or crisis training for hundreds of participants in North America and Europe in various industries, including emergency risk communications training related to chemical, biological, radiological or nuclear threats. Part of this curriculum, sponsored by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, focuses on the psychology of risk communications in a public crisis.
Mack is an active member of the community. He currently serves on the St. Patrick Center Board of Trustees and is president of the Mardi Gras Foundation. He is past president of AmeriCorps St. Louis, and a past member of Mid-America Transplant Services Board, the Cardinal Glennon Foundation Development Board and the Mayor’s Commission on Violent Crime. He has served as an adjunct professor in the Brown School of Social Work at Washington University, teaching a graduate-level course on Social, Economic and Political Environment.
Mack earned a BA in political science from Illinois Wesleyan University and an MA in international affairs from Washington University. He was a National Security Forum participant at the Air War College, and a Coro Public Affairs Fellow.
Susan is the resident Devil’s Advocate – a title she once held (for real!) in the U.S. Intelligence Community. Her experience challenging military and civilian leadership to re-think assumptions, consider alternative StandPoints, and think more critically and creatively about our nation’s most challenging security threats provides the team with an analytic toolkit that helps clients improve decision-making through a better understanding of complex and dynamic environments.
During her time in government, Susan was at the forefront of Red Teaming in the military and intelligence communities. She was the lone female civilian in the first class of graduates from the Army’s Red Team University. After graduation, she headed to Hawaii where she built U.S. Indo-Pacific Command’s first Red Team. The concept was judged a “best practice” by Joint Forces Command and became the model for Red Teams across the combatant commands. In 2009, Susan testified before the Congressional US-China Economic and Security Review Commission about her publication, Chinese Perceptions of Traditional and Nontraditional Security Threats. Upon returning to Washington, DC, Susan became the Devil’s Advocate for the Defense Intelligence Agency. As the senior methodological expert on alternative analysis, Susan wrote the tradecraft manual on alternative analysis and led analysts across the agency in instilling creativity and rigor into their analysis. She received the National Intelligence Meritorious Unit Citation and Joint Civilian Service Achievement Award during her time in government.
Susan is also a professor of international affairs at Washington University in St. Louis, teaching graduate-level courses on the intelligence community, national security decision-making and alternative analysis. She serves as President of the Board for Samuel Preschool and as a nite site coordinator for the Room at the Inn, an emergency shelter program for women and families.
She has an MPA in International Security Policy from Harvard’s Kennedy School of Government and an MA in Political Management from George Washington University. As a military spouse who moved five times in seven years, Susan is happily settled in St. Louis with her husband Jim and their two growing boys.
Kevin d. gunn
Kevin’s breadth and depth of experience gives him a unique StandPoint at the intersection of law, politics and policy. As former Commissioner on the Missouri Public Service Commission and Chief of Staff to Rep. Dick Gephardt, Kevin has a longstanding, in-depth understanding of the regulatory and political landscape.
Kevin was appointed to the Missouri Public Service Commission on March 13, 2008, by Governor Matt Blunt. He was appointed as chairman by Gov. Jay Nixon on February 10, 2011 and served until he stepped down from the Commission on March 1, 2013.
Prior to his work on the Commission, Kevin was chief of staff to Rep. Richard Gephardt, overseeing all Congressional operations in Washington D.C. and St. Louis. He also worked for Gephardt’s congressional campaign. During his time working for the Democratic Leader of the House, Kevin worked on federal Congressional redistricting in Missouri and served on the Missouri Commission on Reapportionment.
Kevin has a BA in political science from American University and earned his JD from St. Louis University School of Law. He was also awarded an Eisenhower Fellowship and traveled to Australia to study energy and economic development, carbon pollution reduction schemes, renewable energy targets and carbon capture and sequestration.
Kevin serves on the SSM Foundation Board and the Board of Rainbow Village, that provides housing to developmentally disabled individuals. He has previously served on the Webster Groves City Council, the St. Louis County Fire Standards Commission and the St. Louis Regional Chamber and Growth Association Public Policy Council.
Perhaps Kevin’s most important title, however, is husband of Amy Gunn and father of Connor and Nathan.
Communication isn’t a field for Stephanie, but more like a way of life. During nearly 15 years in the broadcast news industry, Stephanie learned that the art of constant communication takes dedication and commitment. Working as a producer, reporter, and videographer meant being in touch with people at every hour of the day and night…be it viewers, colleagues, or trusted sources. It also taught Stephanie how to work quickly, efficiently, and accurately, sometimes under extreme conditions.
Most recently, Stephanie worked as a journalist for KSDK in St. Louis, where she spent time in the control room as a producer, and in the field as a reporter. Holding each of these positions allowed her the opportunity to both spot a great story, and execute it. The experience has made her an expert at pitching ideas that will be attractive to the media. During her time at KSDK, Stephanie became well-versed in the St. Louis economy, through her coverage of the development and growth of Cortex, the occupation of the T-REX building, and countless stories about how large-scale events and renovations generated revenue for the community. Stephanie was also among the first journalists on scene during the unrest in Ferguson following the shooting of Michael Brown, which she would go on to cover extensively in the weeks and months that followed. She learned the most valuable lessons of her career during that time, which included how to cover every single angle of a story, how to navigate the most sensitive of situations, and the importance of social media.
Prior to working at KSDK, Stephanie was a producer, anchor, and reporter at KAKE in Wichita, where she was awarded an Emmy for producing the ‘Best Daytime Newscast,’ and covered the historic tornado that ripped through Joplin. Before that, she worked at KSNF in Joplin, where she produced, anchored, and managed all weekend newscasts, and worked as a reporter. Stephanie graduated from the University of Missouri’s world-renowned School of Journalism. She’s active in her home community of Webster Groves, where she lives with her husband and two children.