If you attended our International Women’s Day Celebration “Women in Politics Panel,” you might recognize Mitch Kates of Think Big Campaigns for his introduction of our 7 accomplished panelists. But how familiar are you with the company itself and the two co-founders who have an office at Alloy 26?
Think Big Campaigns is a full-service consulting firm offering clients customized strategic plans and programs designed to fit each individual client’s unique requirements, according to their website. And, Think Big’s combination of candidate & issue based campaign experience integrated with cutting edge digital organizing skills and capabilities give our clients the direction and tactical advantage they need to succeed in the modern landscape.
Both Mitch Kates (right) and Craig Grella (left) are co-founders and principals of their company. When asked how they ended up at the point they are today, Mitch said:
“In the beginning politics and campaigns were basically a hobby; when I wasn’t running my own Sales & Marketing company I was volunteering for campaigns from local elections to Presidential races. Eventually, that hobby turned into an obsession and then a career. Never in my wildest imaginations would I have predicted that politics would send me to not only other states but the other side of the world.”
And Craig quipped, “By car.”
But in all seriousness, Think Big puts the candidate first in multiple ways so that the desired outcome comes true. If you’re an individual thinking about running for office or a declared candidate looking to build out their campaign or an organization looking for new methods to grow and communicate their mission or message, Think Big Campaigns formulates and executes a strategic plan to drive success.
So, without further ado, check out the rest of our Q&A with the minds behind Think Big.
Q: What does a typical day look like? / Can you describe what you do as if I knew nothing about it or the market?
M: I think Craig would agree that there is not a lot of “typical” in our world. On any given day we’re both working on various campaigns ranging from a local state legislative candidate to a Gubernatorial one.
C: Email. Slack. More email. Research. Reddit break. Slack. Phone call. Yell at Mitch.
Q: What has been your biggest customer success story or company success story?
M: Think Big Campaigns is a new venture for both of us so our “story” is just beginning. For me, it’s hard to pick my biggest success story since I have been blessed to have worked on some incredible races; from successfully managing the first openly gay candidate in Hillsborough County, Fl. and winning an “unwinnable” State Senate seat in Tampa Bay to running (& winning) the race for Prime Minister of Kosovo and helping overthrow the government in the Republic of Georgia during their country’s first “free and fair” election in the post-Soviet age. Of course managing the successful race of David Wecht for Pa Supreme Court Justice was pretty damn cool too.
C: If our emails raise money for our clients, I’m happy.
Q: What keeps you going when things get tough in your business?
M: Every campaign or cause we work on is hard work but knowing how important the work is and the positive impact success will have on so many lives, well that’s a powerful motivator.
C: When people have the voice they deserve good things happen. It’s gratifying, and humbling to be a part of that.
Q: What do you do when you’re not in the office?
M: Campaigns don’t just happen online so Craig and I are often in the field working directly with one of our candidates or campaigns.
C: Politics unfolds in real-time and is much to do about the business of life, so there’s not much down time.
Q: What 3 things does anyone starting in your industry need to know?
M: There is a lot to learn/know about running a successful campaign, campaigns will take over much of your time & life, and you gotta BELIEVE because effective campaigns can change the world
C: Listen before you speak, but when you do speak up, make sure you speak loud enough to be heard.
Q: What’s it like working in a coworking space?
M: We love this place, the energy in the building is refreshing and the features of the space (such as the conference rooms and auditorium) are valuable benefits of our membership.
C: Love the energy. Love the people. Love the space. Free LaPrima coffee saves me like $200 per month. No joke.
Q: Where do you see the future of your industry?
M: There will always be elections so there will always be campaigns or causes to work on.
C: I’m recruiting everyone at Alloy 26 to volunteer for the Mitch for President: 2020 campaign.
Big thanks to Think Big co-founders Mitch Kates and Craig Grella for agreeing to our interview and being our 4th Alloy 26 Influencers! If you need more convincing of the duo’s potential for success, take solace in this last piece from Mitch:
“Craig and I are both former wrestlers so we are competitive by nature. Every campaign is like a match and neither one of us likes to lose (and we usually don’t).”