Wendy Riemann is President of 1492 Communications, a communications consulting firm she founded in Washington, D.C. Wendy is a native of Sheboygan, Wisconsin with extensive experience in state and federal government affairs, and strategic communications.
Prior to founding her own company, Wendy spent 4.5 years as the Director of Federal Relations for the State of Wisconsin under Governor Scott Walker. In that role, she proactively worked across the aisle on a range of issues and routinely brought state and federal staff and officials together. She was successful in helping shepherd needed legislation for the St. Croix Bridge, protecting the cranberry industry from burdensome regulations, moving federal legislation to convert Highway 41 to Interstate 41, and spearheading the Governor’s propane initiative during a shortage, among many other achievements.
Wendy also served as a Communications Director on both Capitol Hill and for a winning, competitive open-seat congressional campaign. She was the Regional Communications Director for John McCain’s 2008 Presidential Campaign in Iowa, Missouri, and Illinois, with Missouri being the only battleground state he won, thus ending the state’s bellwether streak.
She earned her start in Washington writing speeches and planning events in the public affairs office at the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services for Secretary Tommy Thompson. During this time she was selected to represent Wisconsin as its Cherry Blossom Princess in the National Cherry Blossom Festival.
Wendy also maintains a strong understanding of the private-sector, having worked at a public relations firm on corporate issues, including managing messages and writing speeches for executives at Fortune 100 companies.
One of the highlights of her career was serving as Florida Governor Jeb Bush’s speechwriter during an exceptionally busy term. She authored multiple nationally televised addresses during two of the most devastating hurricane season’s in Florida’s history, as well as the Governor’s congressional testimony regarding the federal government’s role in responding to emergencies, like Hurricane Katrina.
Wendy later took on the position of Communications Director at the Florida Department of Health, where she oversaw the $1.4 million dollar “Fifth Guy” campaign advocating flu prevention behaviors. The campaign won an Emmy and a Silver Anvil, among other public relations awards.
In her free time, Wendy is active in her church and her community, particularly with children in local homeless shelters. Seeing a need, in 2015 she created a six-week “Swim Camp” to teach homeless children this critical, lifesaving skill. Wendy led four camps that taught dozens of children how to swim, before leaving the popular program in the capable hands of a local organization to maintain and grow.
Wendy graduated from the University of Wisconsin-Madison with a bachelor’s degree in Journalism. While a student, she served as a White House intern under President George W. Bush and was elected Senior Class Secretary. At Wisconsin, she also addressed an audience of more than 10,000 people as the class commencement speaker. She earned her master’s degree in Health Communication from Johns Hopkins University with a thesis focused on organ donation. Both degrees were with honors. Wendy is now an adjunct communications professor at the Northern Virginia Community College.
She enjoys stand-up comedy, is a regular volunteer in the Ronald McDonald Family Room at Children’s National Medical Center, is learning to play golf, and loves her rescue beagle, Bailey, who is a certified pet therapy dog. Together, they regularly volunteer with the Paws to Read Program in Arlington libraries where children practice their reading skills on Bailey.
Wendy is also a proud part-owner of the Green Bay Packers!