R.D. Sewald | Co-founder & Principal
Prior to founding Sewald Hanfling in 2012, RD Sewald was the Senior Strategic Advisor and Director of Government Affairs for Colorado’s Governor John Hickenlooper. Sewald served as one of the Governor’s primary relationship managers with respect to state and local elected officials, government agencies, community boards, community stakeholders, private stakeholders, county commissioners, Mayor’s offices and city legislative affairs. He helped to ensure that the Governor and the administration’s legislation and policy priorities received attention at the state and local level. He was responsible for maintaining the executive office’s relationship with the state legislature as well as outreach to various community organizations including local elected officials, labor and union groups.
Sewald has more than 20 years of experience in state and local government with an emphasis on public policy and political management. Prior to joining the Governor’s office, Sewald was Director of Legislative Services and City Council Liaison for then-Denver Mayor Hickenlooper. In this role he monitored and evaluated legislative actions for the administration and was responsible for the administration’s legislative team that included neighborhoods, boards and commissions and state and local legislative affairs.
Before his mayoral appointment, Sewald was the Director of Government and Community Affairs for the Denver Auditor’s Office, appointed by Auditor Dennis Gallagher. He also was the Deputy Director of Denver’s Planning Department and Zoning Enforcement for the Webb Administration and worked as Director of Neighborhood Inspection Services from 1998 to 2002.
Sewald’s political experience includes work on several campaigns, including Roy Romer for Colorado Governor in 1994, Wellington Webb for Denver Mayor in 1995, Denis Gallagher for Denver Auditor in 2003, Hickenlooper for Denver Mayor in 2007 and Hickenlooper for Colorado Governor in 2010 and 2014. In 2014 Sewald was tapped as Political Director for Latino Outreach for the state and ran the “Get Out The Vote” effort in the last 60 days of the campaign.
JoshUA Hanfling | Co-founder & Principal
Josh Hanfling is the co-founder of Sewald Hanfling Public Affairs. In this role, Josh delivers results for clients on issues such as the approval of a $1.8 billion, 34-year public private partnership remodel of the Great Hall at Denver International Airport, allowing Uber to operate legally in Colorado, legislation related to marijuana at both the state and local level, local real estate, zoning and licensing issues, allowing Century Link to offer cable service in Denver, and many more high profile issues.
Josh’s client industry experience includes real estate/construction, telecom, technology/software, disruptive businesses, professional sports, retail, financial services, restaurants, private equity, non-profits, and more.
As a passionate and active supporter of the community, Josh frequently donates time and resources to non-profits, political organizations and candidates. He currently serves on the boards of the Friends of the Denver Fire Department, Imagination Library Denver, AMP the Cause, and Democrats for Education Reform. Additionally, Josh is the chairman of the board of The Denver Health Foundation.
Josh founded his first business in college and has worked with many other companies in Colorado, Washington D.C. and London. Josh was the founding CEO and current trustee of the London based Mohammed S. Farsi Foundation, an international foundation focused on health, education and culture globally. Josh spent 2012 living and working in London to focus on the foundation while working with a private-equity firm based there. In 2008, he ran for the Colorado State House of Representatives.
He was named one of Denver’s 25 most powerful people by 5280 Magazine, elected to the "40 under 40" by the Denver Business Journal, named one of Colorado’s “Hottest Politicos” by Face the State, voted one of Denver’s “Movers & Shakers” by the Colorado Statesman and identified as one of Colorado’s top philanthropists by Colorado Company Magazine.
Additionally, Josh is also the Honorary Consul General to the Kingdom of Morocco for Colorado.
Josh grew up in Washington, D.C. and has a BS in management with a major in entrepreneurial studies from Babson College.
Brittany Morris Saunders | President of Local Affairs
Brittany Morris serves as the head of the local affairs division at Sewald Hanfling. She specializes in the representation of businesses, developers, corporations and non-profits before local governments, including cities, counties and special districts.
Prior to joining Sewald Hanfling, Brittany had been involved in Colorado and Denver politics for over 20 years, with experience in the private and public sectors. She was previously the Senior Vice President of Public Affairs and Economic Development for the Downtown Denver Partnership, Director of Economic Development for the City of Commerce City, and Senior Vice President of CRL Associates, Inc.
With a passion for local government politics, Brittany enjoys working on projects and initiatives that have a direct impact on people’s lives, positively changing the course of Denver. She believes that through strategic investments in infrastructure, policies and programs, Denver has become a city of the rise.
In her personal time, she loves spending time with her husband and two sons. Together they enjoy hiking, camping and taking advantage of all Colorado has to offer.
Brittany graduated with a Bachelor of Arts in Political Science from CU Boulder in 2002 and a Master of Arts in Political Science from CU Denver in 2007.
Sami Davis | Senior Associate for State Affairs
Sami Davis joined Sewald Hanfling as an Associate for Local and State Affairs. She is responsible for lobbying elected officials at the State Capitol.
Prior to joining Sewald Hanfling, Sami served as the caucus director for the Colorado Senate Majority Office. While there, she was an active leader on the Senate Majority Staff, charged with overseeing legislative aids and interns as well as outreach and office operations.
With extensive knowledge of policy, the legislative process and building relationships, her experience includes but is not limited to public engagement, managing complex stakeholder relationships, and working with decision makers. She is well-versed in corporate communications, public relations, and event management.
Davis graduated with a bachelor’s degree in Political Science from the University of Colorado Denver. Upon graduating, she began her career as an associate at Novitas Communications, where she worked on media relations, corporate communications and issue management. In her spare time, she enjoys anything involving sports and the Colorado outdoors.
Wes Friednash | Associate for Local and Municipal Affairs
Wes Friednash joined Sewald Hanfling as an Associate for Local and Municipal Affairs. He is responsible for supporting the Lobbying and Strategic Communications teams on issues as they relate to local government.
Wes enjoys being actively involved in projects and policy that impacts the future of Colorado. Since joining the Sewald Hanfling team, Friednash has worked on a variety of projects that directly impact the day to day lives of local citizens, from securing funding for the e-Tuk to mitigating signage issues in Jefferson County.
Prior to joining Sewald Hanfling, Wes completed a year-long internship with the City of Denver at Denver International Airport (DEN), supporting the communications and marketing teams on campaigns including the Hotel Transit Center Project, employee events, the brand launch, and social media campaigns. In addition, he also interned for the Denver Broncos, and worked for the University of Colorado football team.
Friednash is an active member of the community, serving on two young professional committees. He serves on the YP4Kids board, a young professional group that supports the non-profit, and Invest In Kids, as the professional development chair. Friednash also participates in Mile High Young Professionals and serves on the communications committee. In his free time, you can find him avidly cheering on the Broncos and Buffs, practicing photography, and exploring the outdoors.
A graduate from the University of Colorado at Boulder, Wes earned a bachelor’s degree in Communication, with a minor in Technology, Arts, and Media.
Mariah Linton | Associate for State Affairs
Mariah Linton serves as an Associate for State Affairs at Sewald Hanfling. After completing an internship with the firm Mariah joined the team full-time, taking the lead on healthcare clients. Coming from a family of Colorado lobbyists, politics run in Mariah’s blood.
Mariah is passionate about representing her clients and fighting for causes that positively impact the future of Colorado. She represents Sewald Hanfling at several events and maintains working relationships with Colorado legislators for the benefit of her clients.
Mariah participates in philanthropic events benefiting St. Baldricks in raising money for children’s cancer research. She also takes part in several events throughout the year to benefit Alzheimer’s research.
A graduate from the University of Northern Colorado, Mariah graduated with a degree in Political Science and a double minor in Legal Studies and Sociology.
Mariel Snyder | Executive Assistant + Office Manager
Mariel Snyder joined Sewald Hanfling as Executive Assistant and Office Manager. She is responsible for supporting the team and maintaining the office.
Prior to joining Sewald Hanfling, Mariel worked as a Development Associate at BodeTree where she assisted senior team members in sales, as well as marketing projects and campaigns for multiple franchise brands. In addition, Mariel interned for the Starboard Group, Denver Metro Chamber of Commerce, and U.S. Senate.
A graduate from the University of Colorado at Boulder, Mariel graduated with a degree in Political Science and a minor in Geological Sciences.