Direct Impact

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Direct Impact (DI) is a "grassroots" public relations firm founded in 1988. According to its website, the company "has been at the forefront of the grassroots communications industry for the past two decades." Direct Impact brings a "campaign-style approach" to public relations and has "played a role in many of the major social and policy issues", including taxes, Medicare, defense and trade. They have also "tackled some of the most pressing and complicated community-based challenges" for their clients. Direct Impact is a subsidiary of the Burson-Marsteller PR firm. [1]


  • Dave DenHerder - CEO
  • Nicole Cornish - President
  • Randy Bumps - Executive Vice President
  • Jeff Cohen - Executive Vice President
  • Connie Partoyan - Executive Vice President

The addition of Randy Bumps to the Direct Impact team was announced in March 2011. Bumps serves as Executive Vice President for the firm. He most recently served as the Chief Political Strategist for the National Republican Senatorial Committee’s (NRSC) Independent Expenditure Unit and previously as NRSC Political Director. [1] [2] [3] [4] [5][6]

Nicole Cornish was promoted to President, formerly serving as Executive Vice President, in October of 2010. As President, Cornish runs the day-to-day operations, manages the new business development process and leads key client accounts. [7] [8]

In the August 2009 issue of PRWeek, Direct Impact’s CEO Dave DenHerder was named one of the top “40 Under 40” in the Public Relations industry. His previous work as regional director for the Bush/Cheney 2004 election paved the way for his advancement to CEO of Direct Impact in 2007. [9]

In September 2005, president & CEO Craig G. Veith left Direct Impact after three years, "to pursue other interests," according to PR Week. Instead of replacing him directly, the firm hired Dennis Whitfield (formerly of BKSH & Associates and promoted Dave DenHerder (who "previously worked as a regional political director for the Bush 2004 campaign") to COO. [10]


Featured client work (though it is not clear whether the clients are current or historical) on the website include:

  • Bureau of Engraving and Printing
  • The Century Council
  • National Association of Realtors [11]

Contact information

Direct Impact
1110 Vermont Avenue NW
12th Floor
Washington, DC 20005
Phone: 202-572-4470
Fax: 202-649-4329
Email: info At

Articles & sources

SourceWatch resources


  1. About Us, accessed August 2009

External articles