Today, Desiree Tims, President and CEO of Innovation Ohio, proudly announced several new additions to the organization’s staff. Innovation Ohio continues to expand and grow in order to meet the demands of this crucial moment in Ohio politics.
“We have reached a pivotal juncture for our state and our nation. Will we allow ourselves to be thrown backward by a vocal minority intent upon unraveling decades of progress, or will we stand up, fight back, and continue to move forward toward a future that’s better for everyone? Innovation Ohio is stepping up and staffing up to provide the research, messaging, and resources necessary for Ohio’s progressive champions to succeed,” said Desiree Tims.
New Innovation Ohio staff members include:
Chief of Staff
Kayla Lewis brings an abundance of state and local campaign experience to IO, as well as five years of state legislative experience and four years in direct service nonprofit work. She has held various positions on political campaigns ranging from field and volunteer organization to communications and strategy.
Kayla is a proud HBCU graduate of Kentucky State University, where she holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in Political Science. She has also earned a diploma from The Campaign School at Yale University and currently attends Capital University Law School.
Democracy and Civil Rights Director
Ambur C. Smith, Esq. is an Ohio attorney, political strategist and entrepreneur. Prior to joining IO, Ambur gained experience in progressive politics as a field organizer and strategist for Democratic campaigns; most recently as the Deputy Director of Voter Protection for the Ohio Democratic Party in 2020. Simultaneously, Ambur has dedicated her legal career to empowering women and marginalized communities in both the public and private sector while exploring the intersections between identity, law and politics.
Ambur is a proud graduate of Hampton University, where she earned a Bachelor of Arts in Political Science, and the Georgetown University Law Center, where she received her Juris Doctor. Ambur is licensed to practice law in Ohio and the District of Columbia.
Senior Communications Strategist and Paid Media Buyer
Nick Tuell is a political professional with experience in government and political campaigns. He worked for President Obama’s reelection campaign as a field organizer in southeast Ohio, and worked four election cycles for the Ohio House Democratic Caucus, where he eventually ran the statewide field, digital, and communications programs.
Nick has several years of government experience as well. He first served as Legislative Aide to State Representative Stephen Slesnick, then Senior Legislative Aide to Ohio House Minority Leader Fred Strahorn. Most recently, Nick served as Chief Spokesperson for the Franklin County Clerk of Courts, Maryellen O’Shaughnessy. Nick holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Political Science with certificates in Political Communications and Gender Studies from the Ohio University.
Senior Digital Communications Associate
Sha’Tisha Young was born in Colorado Springs, CO, but grew up primarily in Dayton and Xenia, OH. They attended Wright State University for a bachelor’s degree in Women, Gender, and Sexuality Studies with dual minors in Classical Humanities and Youth and Community Engagement.
Working in public libraries small and large for over 6 years, Sha’Tisha saw first hand how the lack of resources in any given community directly impacted its residents. Coupled with their work with organizations like Planned Parenthood, Pro-Choice Ohio, MoveOn and URGE, Sha’Tisha has developed a sense of organizing that is rooted in empowering and activating voters on a local level.
Research and Communication Associate
Emma Speyer is from Cleveland, Ohio, and a recent graduate of the University of Dayton. During her time at UD, she studied Public Relations and Political Science, finding passion in state politics and engaging her local community.
Emma spent over three years in community organizing by leading her school’s voting rights organization, registering students to vote, and educating students on local and federal issues. She also spent time working for the Cuyahoga County Board of Elections, directly working for voters and assisting with community engagement for her hometown. Emma is most excited about the opportunity to continue her passion of helping educate voters and providing fair and equal opportunities for civic engagement.
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