Meet The Team
Chief Executive Officer
Mike Needham is the Chief Executive Officer for Heritage Action for America. He is responsible for setting the strategy and vision of Heritage Action, ensuring it advances the mission of The Heritage Foundation while building it into a permanent presence in Washington. He also oversees all policy decisions that hold Members of Congress accountable. He appears regularly on television, including Fox News, CNN, CNBC, MSNBC and CBS. Prior to his role at Heritage Action, Mike served in four different roles at The Heritage Foundation, including Chief of Staff, advisor to the President, and a director in The Kathryn and Shelby Cullom Davis Institute for International Studies.
Chief Operating Officer
Tim Chapman is the Chief Operating Officer of Heritage Action for America. He oversees the day-to-day operations while working closely with our sister organization, The Heritage Foundation, to ensure both organizations work towards common goals. Prior to his role at Heritage Action, Tim previously served as Chief of Staff to Heritage Foundation President Ed J. Feulner, Ph.D. In this position, Tim advised Dr. Feulner on public policy matters and activities of the conservative movement. He also managed Dr. Feulner’s office staff and Heritage’s day-to-day operations.
Senior Legislative Assistant
Josh Arnold was born and raised in Canton, Ohio. He graduated from the University of Akron with a bachelor’s degree in international politics (magna cum laude) and a focus on U.S. national security. Before joining Heritage Action, he worked as an intern, then executive assistant for Congressman Jim Jordan of Ohio, chairman of the House Freedom Caucus and former chairman of the Republican Study Committee. Prior to moving to Washington, D.C., he was active in Ohio politics and worked in the golf industry alongside PGA staff, professionals, and manufacturers. A true Cleveland Browns fan, he always has hopes for next year and the year after that.
Managing Director, Communications and Grassroots
Sondra oversees the outreach activities of Heritage Action and supports the work of the grassroots and marketing teams. Before joining Heritage Action, Sondra worked at Nestle, The Heritage Foundation, and oversaw digital fundraising and GOTV efforts at the Republican National Committee. Sondra is a contributor to the Daily Signal and has a Masters in Public Relations from Georgetown University.
Wesley Coopersmith was born in Doylestown, Pennsylvania, and grew up in the greater Philadelphia area. He earned a bachelor’s degree in Political Science and a bachelor’s degree in Biblical & Religious Studies at Grove City College. Before joining Heritage he worked at Generation Opportunity as a Policy Analyst for two years. Wesley has written on a wide variety of topics and has been published at a number of news media outlets including U.S. News & World Report, The Hill, Townhall, the Daily Caller, and the Richmond Times-Dispatch, among others. He resides in Washington, D.C. with his wife Elizabeth Coopersmith.
Hanna Hiel is from Summerville, South Carolina. She is graduating in August from Clemson University with a degree in Communications. Before joining Heritage Action, Hanna was a part of The Heritage Foundation’s Young Leaders Program. She previously worked as a public speaking tutor for the Clemson Communications Department, and also interned as an event production assistant in downtown Charleston.
Dan Holler is the Vice President of Heritage Action for America. Prior to his work with Heritage Action, Dan was the deputy director of Senate Relations for The Heritage Foundation.
Senior Legislative Assistant
Nick Iacovella is a Senior Legislative Assistant on the Government Relations team at Heritage Action for America. Prior to his work with Heritage Action, Nick was a Legislative Assistant for former Representative Scott Garrett, Chairman of the House Financial Services Subcommittee on Capital Markets and Government Sponsored Enterprises and a senior member of the House Budget Committee. He graduated from the University of Tampa with a bachelor’s degree in International Business and Government and World Affairs and was a member of the varsity baseball team. He is originally from Tampa, FL and currently resides in Washington, D.C.
Director of Marketing
Tyler Jacobs is the Director of Marketing for Heritage Action. In this role he is responsible for overseeing Heritage Action’s online engagement efforts and activist recruitment. Prior to joining Heritage Action, Tyler worked as a Research Analyst for Berkowitz Public Affairs, as well as at the American Enterprise Institute, The Republican National Committee, and on Capitol Hill. Originally from Atlanta, Georgia, Tyler holds a dual degree in Political Science and International Studies from American University.
Director of Grassroots
Before joining, Matt completed a double major in political science and finance at Washington university in St. Louis. While studying, Matt was the President of the WashU College Republicans, where he publicly debated members of the College Democrats and organized events to advance the conservative movement. Matt also interned in the strategic communications department at the Heritage Foundation and for Senator Mike Lee in Washington, D.C.
Gina is a Legislative Assistant for Heritage Action. Prior to joining Heritage Action, she worked as a constitutional lawyer for a DC-area non-profit organization, aiding in education policy reform through drafting federal and state legislation and testifying at bill hearings. In 2016, she was chosen for the U.S. State Department’s International Visitor Leadership Program, where she advised foreign state government lawyers and officials on legal ethics and reform. Gina holds a B.A. in Political Science with minors in Philosophy and Religion from The College of New Jersey and a J.D. from Washington and Lee University School of Law and Duke University School of Law Geneva Institute. She is a member of the Virginia Bar and is a board member of the Virginia Phi Delta Phi chapter.
Andrea was born in Rochester, New York and grew up in Celebration, Florida. Before joining the Heritage Action team she interned for Congressman Ron DeSantis, Florida Chief Financial Officer Jeff Atwater, and was part of The Heritage Foundation’s Young Leaders Program. She earned her bachelor’s degree in public relations and political science from Florida State University.
Nathan Rogers was born in St. Louis, Missouri, and grew up in St. Louis. He earned a Bachelors of Arts degree in Politics at Ave Maria University. Nathan is a graduate of the Young Leaders Program at Heritage. Before joining Heritage he worked at Strategic Advocacy as a Director of Field Operations for the 2014 election Cycle. He resides in Falls Church, Virginia.
Emily graduated in May 2016 from Baylor University with a BA in International Studies and a minor in Asian Studies. She interned for The Heritage Foundation in the Asian Studies Center as a part of the Young Leaders Program. Though most of her childhood was spent in Europe, she is originally from Beaumont, Texas.
Ryan Shrum is a Legislative Assistant for Heritage Action for America. Before working with Heritage Action, Ryan worked on the hill for Congresswoman Vicky Hartzler. He grew up in rural southeast Missouri and currently resides in Washington DC.
Before joining Heritage Action, Gloria interned for The Heritage Foundation in the Roe Institute for Economic Policy Studies and with Congressman Trent Franks. She graduated magna cum laude from Furman University with a BA in economics and political science. She is a native of the Carolinas.
James manages Heritage Action’s websites, databases, and political intelligence software. Prior to joining Heritage Action, James worked for Strategic Media Services as a Political Research Analyst. He has also managed and consulted for various campaigns around the country and spent some time working on Capitol Hill. James grew up in Frederick, Maryland and earned a degree in History from George Mason University in 2009. He still fondly remembers the Patriots amazing Final Four run in 2006 where he camped out overnight for tickets and was interviewed on SportsCenter.
Managing Director, Government Relations
Dan Ziegler is the Managing Director of Government Relations for Heritage Action for America. In this role he manages the day to day interactions and relationships with Members of Congress and their staff. He is returning to Heritage Action after previously serving as one of the original employees of the organization. Previously, he served as a senior staffer to a Member of Congress and then worked for several other conservative non-profits dedicated to advancing conservative policy. He hails from the Buckeye State where he graduated from Malone College in Canton, Ohio.
Mid-Atlantic Regional Coordinator
Melody Himel Clarke was born and raised in New Orleans, LA. Melody is a life-long entrepreneur having founded and operated businesses in the hospitality, realty, and communications industries. She was the first woman to run for the 100th Legislative District in Virginia and has worked on numerous state and federal campaigns. She is an avid equestrian and also hosts a conservative talk-radio show.
Southwest Regional Coordinator
Nathan Duell is a native Arizonan and a graduate of Arizona State University with bachelor’s degrees in economics and supply chain management. While at ASU, he was a conservative voice in student government and College Republicans, and Nathan also completed the Koch Internship Program in DC where he interned with Mercatus Center at George Mason University. Before joining Heritage Action, he worked in banking as an analyst and remained involved in politics as a precinct committeeman.
Gulf Coast Regional Coordinator
Shane graduated from Hampden-Sydney College in May 2016 with a BA in Government, and a minor in Spanish. He has Interned for Heritage Action as part of the Young Leaders Program and with Congressman Dave Brat. He is originally from Richmond, Virginia.
Ben Evans has been working with grassroots conservatives since he graduated from law school in 2009. The vibrant tea party community in St. Louis provided many opportunities to become active in the political arena. Ben started with promoting the Missouri Health Care Freedom Act (Prop C) through new media and then managed the St. Louis Tea Party Coalition’s election HQ in 2010. He continued serving on the executive board of the St. Louis Tea Party Coalition while actively promoting conservative ideals to the Missouri Legislature in 2011. He wrote for 24thstate.com, worked a few political campaigns, and then joined Heritage Action. Ben strives to see the tea party movement grow and thrive. Ben graduated from the University of Missouri – Columbia (Mizzou) in 2005 with a double major in political science & history, and he graduated from Barry University School of Law in Orlando, Florida in 2009.
Florida Regional Coordinator
Karen Jaroch is a University of South Florida graduate and licensed professional engineer from Tampa, FL. After working several years in manufacturing, Karen changed professions and followed her passion into politics. In 2009 she co-founded a vibrant, active tea party and then co-led a successful campaign that defeated a local sales tax increase for light rail despite overwhelming odds. Her efforts led to her board appointment to the local transit agency HART. During the 2012 election cycle she served as a field coordinator in the Tampa area building grassroots relations with conservative organizations while managing a top-producing volunteer phonebank and canvassing center.
Midwest Regional Coordinator
Stephanie Kreuz has been involved in public policy and political campaigns since 2005. Prior to joining the Heritage Action team she worked in the legal field, and wrote for WatchdogWire, a project of the Franklin Center for Government and Public Integrity. She also previously interned for the Mackinac Center for Public Policy in Midland, Michigan in education policy. Stephanie graduated with a Bachelor of Arts from Hillsdale College in 2012, with a major in Politics and a minor in Latin.
South Central Regional Coordinator
Wade Miller served in the United States Marine Corps and is an infantry combat veteran with multiple deployments including Iraq and the Horn of Africa. After completing his military service, Wade enrolled at The University of Texas at Dallas and majored in Political Science. While attending university, Wade served as a Bill Archer Fellow and as an intern for the President of The Heritage Foundation, Dr. Edwin J. Feulner. After completing his Heritage Foundation internship, Wade went on to the American Enterprise Institute Summer Institute.
Upper Northeast Regional Coordinator
Betsy Nelsen was born and raised in the Western Philadelphia suburbs. She earned a degree in Political Science at Dickinson College and spent two summers abroad at the University of Oslo studying government. Before joining Heritage Action, Betsy worked as Executive Director for the Cumberland County Republican Party and has experience working on other campaigns throughout PA and NJ.
Southeastern Regional Coordinator
James Quarles was born and raised in upstate South Carolina. He earned a degree in Political Science from Clemson University, where as a member of College Republicans, he worked with conservatives on campus and volunteered on several campaigns around the state. Before joining Heritage Action, he interned in the Roe Institute for Economic Policy Studies at The Heritage Foundation, with a focus on regulation and free market issues. James now serves as the Southeastern Regional Coordinator.
Stephen Siao returned to Heritage Action after working for Senator Ted Cruz’s presidential campaign as the Georgia & Tennessee State Director and on the Delegate Operations team. He previously worked in communications at the Becket Fund for Religious Liberty and completed a fellowship at the John Jay Institute. A longtime Tennessean, Stephen received his B.A. from Vanderbilt University.
Western Regional Coordinator
Interested in politics since she was eligible to vote, Rebekah Warwick has spent time working with Colorado Legislators at the Capitol in Denver. She has been involved with various grassroots campaigns, advocating conservative principles and encouraging citizens to engage in politics and public policy. She is a graduate of Colorado Christian University with a double-major in Political Science and History.
Southern Regional Coordinator
Josh Wheeler was born in Birmingham AL and grew up in Pelham AL. He attended the University of Mississippi receiving a degree in Political Science. He has served in the Mississippi National Guard since 2010. Before working at Heritage Josh worked with his father in their family business.