The Team

Lauren Ashley

Lauren Ashley joined Be A Hero in the summer to help with operations. She has previously held positions as an Implementation Process Manager, Project Manager, Human Resources Business Analyst, Senior HR Specialist, and Chief Administrative Officer. Having worked in and with top-level management, her background covers strategic management and planning, HR, operations, administration, sales, marketing, facilities management, compliance, IT, project management and process improvement.

Julia Barnes

Julia Barnes has worked in progressive politics for well over a decade.  She has organized for President Barack Obama, the New Hampshire Democratic Party, the Vermont Democratic Party, Organizing for America, and congressional, gubernatorial and presidential campaigns throughout the United States.  She previously served as the executive director of the Association of State Democratic Chairs and as campaign manager for Tom Perriello for Governor of Virginia.  Most notably, Julia served as the National Field Director for Bernie 2016, helping to earn over 13 million votes nationally. Prior to this, she was the State Director for New Hampshire for Bernie, winning the heralded “First in the Nation” Primary by the largest margin in history. Currently, Julia advises progressives running statewide and federal candidate campaigns, as well as national organizations and advocacy groups using electoral organizing to affect positive change for criminal justice reform, climate justice and healthcare for all. In the last year, she has consulted for People's Action, FairVote, Working Families Party, Real Justice PAC and others.

Julia joined Be a Hero in the fall of 2018 and oversees the PAC's campaigns, grassroots organizing and helps manage overall strategy.

Sam Drzymala

Sam Drzymala joined the Be A Hero team during the Kavanaugh confirmation battle, when our crowdfunding campaign captured the public imagination and raised more than $4 million for Susan Collins' future opponent. Sam is responsible for digital content strategy at Be A Hero.

Previously, Sam served as Digital Director to U.S. Senator Cory Booker (D-NJ), where he helped Senator Booker launch his Congressional career with impactful digital engagement on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and Snapchat. Sam has worked in similar digital and communications roles for U.S. Senator Claire McCaskill (D-MO), on the Obama 2008 presidential campaign, and for left-aligned independent expenditure projects

Austin Fisher

Austin Fisher joined the Be a Hero team to help promote Uncovered: Health Care Conversations with Ady Barkan, when Ady interviewed the 2020 democratic presidential candidates about their health care platforms. He produces digital content for Be a Hero.

Previously, Austin served as Digital Director for Abdul El-Sayed’s 2018 Michigan gubernatorial bid, where he designed and implemented a multi-platform policy driven content strategy. Austin has also served as Communications Director during Michigan Attorney General Dana Nessel’s campaign and has been a producer on multiple left-leaning political podcasts.

Karthik Ganapathy

Karthik Ganapathy is a founding partner of mvmt communications, a new consulting firm created to help progressive clients and causes realize far-reaching progressive change. He’s an experienced communicator with deep roots in the progressive movement, and served as the Battleground States Communications Director for Bernie Sanders’ 2016 presidential campaign, after leading the campaign’s communications team in New Hampshire.

Since then, he helped the ACLU launch People Power, the organization’s first-ever attempt at organizing volunteers, ran the communications office of then-DNC Deputy Chair Keith Ellison, and played a senior role in helping MoveOn communicate about its midterm election work in 2018. Karthik began his career as an aide to then-Public Advocate Bill de Blasio, and feels at home in the movement for climate justice.

Liz Jaff

Liz Jaff is the President of Be A Hero PAC, an organization she co-founded with Activist Ady Barkan. Be A Hero ran the $4 million small dollar donation campaign against Susan Collins, and ran the top performing health care ads in the country for the 2018 cycle - Be A Hero recently launched the groundbreaking healthcare conversations, "Uncovered" with top presidential Candidates. Jaff is an Obama ‘07, ‘08, and 12 alumni - worked on the Hill, and was the VP for Business Development at Crowdpac where she recruited, trained and worked with over 200 local candidates across the country. Jaff worked at the White House, the U.S. Agency for International Development and the Department of Commerce. She ran a congressional race in 2014, and has worked with local elected across the country raise millions online. In 2017 Jaff ran for DNC Vice Chair on a platform of opening up democratic tech and data. She helped recruit the 2017 DNC Tech team, now one of the biggest and most diverse in the history of the DNC, and works with new tech products that aim to break up monopolies and old school tactics and help any Democrat run for office. Jaff started a small strategy firm, Leopard Strategies, and loves rapid response, branding, and candidate recruitment. She sits on the board of Netroots Foundation, is an Arena PAC Advisor and served as an appointee on the DNC Transition Team after her run for DNC Vice Chair.

Laura Packard

Laura Packard is a digital/new media and communications strategist, progressive political consultant, and health care advocate, currently based in Denver. She is a stage 4 cancer survivor, co-chair of Health Care Voter, and founder of Voices of Health Care, a non-profit organizing adults with serious medical conditions. Laura has been blocked by President Trump on Twitter, thrown out of her (former) U.S. Senator’s town hall for asking him about his health care record, and reached millions of people across the country with her story while fighting to protect our health care.

I was internet comms dir for Senator Stabenow’s re-elect in 2006, I was interim executive director of the New Organizing Institute in 2008, AFL-CIO sent me to Arkansas in 2009 to get the ACA passed in the first place, 2010 I was internet dir for Bill Halter for Senate and then ran the Secretary of State Project etc.
 also an advisor to Rocky Mountain Values, which is a c4 in Colorado doing Gardner accountability work, and I’m on the board of Blue Digital Exchange.