The Team

Petkanas Strategies is staffed with experienced communications operatives who have been battle tested in the most challenging and complicated campaigns, causes and corporate environments in the country. 

We bring years worth of media relationships and experience handling every possible scenario from product launches to crisis communications. This top tier team utilizes a blend of traditional and modern communication channels to optimize message reach and impact – and deliver for our clients.

Ryan Thomas

Having worked at the intersection of government, campaigns, and issue advocacy, Ryan Thomas helps our clients—ranging from nonprofits and issue advocacy groups, to private companies—achieve their communications goals and generate media coverage for their work in order to advance their agendas. Ryan was most recently the Coalitions Communications Director on Mandela Barnes for Wisconsin and the Democratic National Committee’s Midwest Press Secretary. Previously, he worked as National Press Secretary for Stand Up America, Communications Manager at The Hub Project, and on the communications teams for Hillary Clinton’s 2016 presidential campaign and the Obama White House.

Ryan got his start in politics after failing to make it big as a child actor. Based in DC, he grew up in Florida and hails from Minnesota

Dory MacMillan

Dory is a strategic communications professional who has held key communications roles in top U.S. Congress, Governor, and U.S. Senate campaigns. She also served as Press Secretary for North Carolina Governor Roy Cooper, including during the unprecedented Coronavirus pandemic. She recently served as Communications Director for Cheri Beasley’s United States Senate campaign in North Carolina, one of the most competitive and expensive races in the country. Through her work in campaigns and government, she has significant experience in strategic communications planning, media training, debate prep, principal management, crisis communications, among other critical communications roles.

Originally from Athens, Georgia, Dory is a proud Tar Heel. She believes there is always room for dessert and loves dogs, especially her hound dog, Oliver.

Joann Saridakis

Joann Saridakis is the Campaigns Director at Petkanas Strategies, where she helps spearhead the development of our expanding advocacy campaign and war room practice.

Before joining Petkanas Strategies, Joann served as Regional Campaigns Director at the League of Conservation Voters, where she guided electoral and issue advocacy efforts across 16 states, helping secure critical Democratic wins in Nevada, Georgia, Pennsylvania, Wisconsin, and Minnesota.

An experienced campaign operative with more than a decade of experience on competitive races, Joann has worked in senior roles in races across the country, including managing a DCCC Red to Blue race in the Midwest in 2020, the re-election of an embattled state delegate as part of the Virginia legislative wins in 2019, and serving as a senior staffer on now-Senator Catherine Cortez Masto’s first election to the Senate in 2016. 

A native of New Jersey, Joann is a diehard fan of Philly sports and Bruce Springsteen and enjoys robust debates about the nonexistence of Central Jersey.

César Vargas-Torrico

César Vargas-Torrico is the Communications Associate at Petkanas Strategies, where he works with the team to craft communications materials and helps manage, create, and distribute materials on behalf of clients.

Before joining Petkanas Strategies, César served as the Press Assistant for Senator Chris Coons, where he played a key role in the management of the Senator’s social media accounts, drafted press releases and advisories, lifted the Senators’ work in his Judiciary, Small Business, and Appropriations committees, and assisted press staff in the daily operations of a highly productive press office. In 2019, César started on the Hill in the House Committee on Rules and then Congresswoman Norma Torres’ team.

Hailing from Bolivia, Cesar’s secret weapon is a Spotify playlist that seamlessly transitions from reggaeton to campaign strategy podcasts. When César isn’t helping his team craft press materials, he spends time with his Siberian Husky and plays the electric guitar in his Washington-D.C. based band.

Join the Team

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Contact

Shoot us a message. We look forward to working with you in the future!