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Our Team

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Stephanie Devitt, M.P.P.

Founder

Stephanie Devitt is a skilled veteran of public affairs strategy, working in both political appointee and consulting roles. Since 2012, she has led SDK Communications + Consulting, providing strategic counsel and directing projects of consequence for state and local government agencies, nonprofits, foundations, healthcare providers and public health agencies.   

 

Stephanie began her career leading regional community relations for U.S. Senator Tom Daschle, a role that provided a first-hand look at how government programs of all types impact people’s lives on a daily basis. She spent 8 years consulting with regional and national public affairs and public engagement firms before founding SDK.  

 

Stephanie holds a Master of Public Policy in Nonprofit Management, Communications and Engagement and a B.S. in Sociology with a focus on social research methods, both from the University of Minnesota.   Stephanie’s research on the role of communications and advocacy networks in nations’ adoption of climate change policy was at the forefront of network mapping and science communications analysis.  She is a frequent speaker on stakeholder engagement, communications and community engagement for complex policy, and the changing media environment’s impact on public trust.  

 

In her free time, Stephanie enjoys spending time with family, gardening, and plotting travel and home remodel adventures.  

Jay Kuvaas, R.P.A.

Chief Operating Officer

Jay is responsible for overseeing SDK’s partnerships with community-based organizations, SDK’s execution partners, and contract administration. He also collaborates closely with Stephanie on business planning.  

  

He joined SDK from the world of commercial real estate and holds a Real Property Administrator (RPA) certification. Previously, Jay managed a large portfolio of office, retail and industrial property, including the Young Quinlan Building in the heart of downtown Minneapolis. At YQ, Jay founded the 9th and Nicollet Block Club, bringing together business leaders and key tenants to address issues of crime, drug use and homelessness at the intersection. He led his company’s response to the dual crises of the COVID pandemic and the unrest following the murder of George Floyd, creating strategies for innovative staffing and building management.  

 

At SDK, Jay also contributes real estate subject matter expertise to client projects that explore the evolving and complex needs in public realm. Examples include helping craft the Saint Paul Public Library’s new safety model and devising community investment strategies for the CAAP Board. Jay also used his team management and operational skills to facilitate collaborations with six partner-organizations and manage multiple events to secure diverse responses to the Transportation Behavior Inventory.  

 

In his free time, Jay is a proud father who enjoys grilling, woodworking, writing, gardening and believing in the Minnesota Vikings.  

Lynn Zimmerman

Consultant

Lynn Zimmerman is a communications strategist who specializes in complex change projects, including providing added capacity to support AMCL’s Enterprise Asset Management system for the Met Council. Among her past projects, Lynn helped lead technology roll out of Papa John’s new delivery management system. This process connected with thousands of locations across the country to provide their pizza delivery drivers / deskless staff with mobile management system that allows customers to track when their pizza will be delivered.  Prior to SDK and almost a decade of consulting projects, Lynn led internal communications for Marriot Hotels and other corporate roles.  

Jacob Wascalus

Consultant

Jacob is an experienced researcher with skills in quantitative and qualitative analysis, primary data collection, and geospatial analysis that help clients develop a holistic picture of challenging problems. Prior to SDK, he worked as a research scientist at Wilder Research, a researcher and writer at the Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis, and a community GIS researcher at the Center for Urban and Regional Affairs. 

 

His writing on topics like transportation, food systems, affordable housing, and economic and workforce development has appeared in MinnPost, the Minneapolis Fed’s Community Dividend and books published by the Urban Institute, the Federal Reserve Board of Governors and the Community Indicators Consortium.  

 

Jacob holds a master's degree in urban and regional planning from the University of Minnesota’s Humphrey School of Public Affairs as well a bachelor’s degree in English literature from James Madison University. 

Mercedes Hamilton

Junior Associate

Mercedes joined SDK in 2023, and supports the team by providing research, writing and drafting help to advance client projects. Mercedes also supports the team with data entry and overall management of files and client project organization. Outside of work, Mercedes enjoys studying politics and health policy as she prepares to enter law school.  

Matthew Rezac

Graphic Design / Art Direction

Matthew is an adjunct professor at the Minneapolis College of Art and Design and a practicing graphic designer.  Select clients include Blu Dot, Chronicle Books, Minneapolis Institute of Art, Minnesota Fringe Festival, Northern Lights, and Weisman Art Museum. Matthew was part of the team that created and led Northern Spark, as well. His work has received numerous honors and awards including both the AIGA 50 Books/50 Covers and AIGA 365 Awards and has been published in HOW, Idea, Print, and STEP magazines.

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Mallory Jacquette

Executive Assistant

Mallory joined SDK in 2021, and helps the team keep organized by managing schedules, data entry, and other support. Outside of work, she enjoys caring for her two young daughters.  

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