This year we are honored to welcome Stephanie Schriock, President of EMILY”s List, as our keynote speaker. EMILY’s List President Stephanie Schriock is a recognized leader, bringing more than 12 years of fundraising, management and strategic planning experience to EMILY’s List. She’s been described as “inspirational,” a “star in American politics,” and “a spectacular campaign manager.” All of this, and she can make Senator Al Franken laugh while she’s doing it.
Stephanie has been at the forefront of some of the most challenging and innovative political campaigns of the past decade. As the national finance director for Howard Dean’s 2004 presidential campaign, she built and led the team that revolutionized political fundraising. By harnessing the power of the Internet and implementing other creative fundraising strategies, Stephanie’s team raised more than $52 million in a Democratic primary, far exceeding previous records.
The accomplishment caught the eye of a farmer and state senator in Stephanie’s home state of Montana, who was looking to unseat an 18-year Republican incumbent U.S. senator in a state with an eight-point Republican advantage. As the campaign manager for Jon Tester, Stephanie oversaw every aspect of a $5 million race — building an expansive field operation, maintaining strict message discipline, and ultimately leading Tester to defeat conservative Republican Conrad Burns and help Democrats take over the Senate. Tester quickly made Schriock his Senate chief of staff, giving her full authority to hire and direct a 40-person organization with offices in Washington, D.C., and in eight cities throughout Montana; manage the office budget; and develop a strategic plan that would solidify the senator’s strength in Montana.
When Democratic leaders in Washington were looking for the right person to manage Al Franken’s Senate campaign in Minnesota, they turned to Stephanie. Franken’s $18 million campaign against Republican Senator Norm Coleman was, not surprisingly, one of the most-watched races of the 2008 election cycle. After an extremely close vote on Election Day failed to produce a clear victor, Stephanie managed a $12 million recount operation that involved four law firms, 180 staff, and nearly 2000 volunteers over a period of eight months.
The hard-fought Franken victory solidified Stephanie’s reputation as a major force in Democratic politics. “Stephanie’s one of the absolute stars of American politics now,” says White House Deputy Chief of Staff Jim Messina (Washington Post, 7/13/09). Consultant Mandy Grunwald called Stephanie “one of the best campaign managers I’ve ever worked with” (Washington Post, 7/13/09). And in 2007, Washingtonian magazine named her one of “Forty Under Forty: Young Washingtonians to Watch.”
Through all this, Stephanie Schriock has never forgotten the values she learned growing up in the strong labor town of Butte, Montana. Montana has a proud history of electing women: the first woman to win a seat in Congress, Jeannette Rankin, was elected from Montana in 1916.
Stephanie is a graduate of Mankato State University in Minnesota.
For original text location, see Stephanie’s EMILY’s List biography.