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Core Strategic Group expands into Missouri with Ryan Hawkins leading St. Louis office


Core Strategic Group (CSG), a national holding company, is expanding into Missouri with veteran public affairs consultant Ryan Hawkins at the helm. 

Opening in St. Louis, this will be CSG’s first foray into the Midwest. The firm boasts a large array of companies — including BadFish Media, Belmont Digital Media, and FSB Public Affairs — in California, Texas, and Washington, D.C. 

Ryan Hawkins

“This is an exciting step for Core Strategic Group as we work to bring our team of talented professionals and industry-leading public affairs programs to St. Louis,” Jeff Flint, president and CEO of CSG, said in a statement. “Our team looks forward to serving a broader range of clients and projects across the Midwest.” 

Hawkins joins the team as senior vice president for FSB Public Affairs and will manage all Midwest operations, including the new St. Louis firm: 1880 Strategies. 

“What we plan to do is take the political knowledge of connecting with voters and moving it more into the public affairs realm,” Hawkins told The Missouri Times. “We’ll look at how we motivate people in the middle of a pandemic; how do we move more toward mobile communications — texting, calling, things of that nature — and move qualitative research into a usable fashion.” 

The name 1880 Strategies pays homage to the year Alexander Graham Bell transmitted wireless voice messages, Hawkins said. The name recognizes the ability to take what’s thought of as an outdated, older medium to become “at the forefront of connecting people,” he said.

Hawkins is the former senior advisor in Missouri for Mike Bloomberg’s presidential bid. He has been involved with a bevy of political campaigns nationwide, from polling for then-President Barack Obama in 2012 to aiding U.S. Senate races in North Dakota. 

Hawkins was also a partner at Winding Creek Strategies consulting firm and plans to roll his existing client base into CSG. 

“They have all these different entities. One does creative and media, another does polling, another does digital — we all feed off of one another and work on different projects,” Hawkins said. 

According to CSG, the St. Louis office will offer the “full range” of services to clients. CSG serves political committees, companies, trade associations, and nonprofits.