CEO & Founder
Tyler Jones is a veteran political strategist and public relations executive who has advised elected officials, candidates, advocacy groups and businesses for nearly 20 years. Jones has served key roles in three presidential campaigns, led the public relations effort to bring down the Confederate Flag from the South Carolina State House, and helped pull off one of the biggest political upsets in the history of the state.
Named by Campaigns and Elections Magazine as one of the most influential Democrats in the country, Jones founded SPEAK Strategic Public Affairs (now Bold South Strategies) in 2015 and today serves as CEO.
In 2009, he became the youngest caucus director in the country when he was named Executive Director of the South Carolina House Democratic Caucus. In 2013, he was named Senior Advisor to the House Democratic Caucus where he also served as spokesman for House Democratic Leader Todd Rutherford until 2017. In the legislature, Jones crafted legislative, political and communications strategy for individual members as well as the caucus as a whole. In 2015, he helped spearhead House Democrats’ successful campaign to remove the Confederate flag from the state house grounds, which he considers the proudest moment of his career.
In 2018, Jones served as chief strategist and general consultant for Joe Cunningham’s historic campaign in South Carolina’s First Congressional District, flipping a district that had not been held by a Democrat in 40 years. The Charleston Post and Courier called it, “the biggest upset in modern South Carolina history,” while The Hill described Cunningham’s victory as “one of the biggest political upsets of the decade."
Over the course of his career, Jones has led upset victories throughout the state. In 2012, he helped now-State Rep. Beth Bernstein unseat an eight-year incumbent Republican by 13 points in the biggest surprise of the year. In 2016, he managed the campaign of the then-State Representative Mary Tinkler, who defeated a Republican incumbent to become the first Democratic Treasurer of Charleston County in over two decades. In 2020, Jones helped run the insurgent campaign of Spencer Wetmore, who flipped a Republican-held state house seat in Charleston by 20 points.
Jones was born and raised in New Bern, North Carolina before attending Charleston Southern University. He is a die-hard fan of the Chicago Cubs and the University of North Carolina Tar Heels. Tyler and his wife, Lauren, a clinical pharmacist at the United States Veterans Administration, live on Johns Island with their daughter, Afton, their son, Addison, and their dog, Leia.
COO, Managing Partner
Renee Harvey is a passionate advocate for her community. She is a proud daughter of South Carolina and strives to make her community and state work for and support ALL people. When you hail from the greatest city in the world, it’s impossible to leave. Thus, Renee attended the College of Charleston where she majored in Psychology. After finishing up with college, she spent some time working and then decided to return to school for her MBA.
Renee has been involved with a variety of community service initiatives. She was a board member and secretary for Second Chance Bikes. Additionally, Renee served as a board member for Art Forms & Theatre Concepts.
In addition to serving on these boards, she has assisted in fundraising for many noteworthy causes. She was instrumental in the launch of Heroes Need Masks, a non-profit created as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Renee has also been instrumental in fundraising for many elected officials and candidates. She spent time bundling for Joe Cunningham throughout both Congressional races. Her efforts helped flip a Congressional seat held by a Republican for nearly 40 years. She continued bundling for Rep. Cunningham during his second election for Congress, in which he set several fundraising records for Democrats in the state of South Carolina. In addition to her work with Joe, Renee held the position of Finance Director for Dr. Annie Andrews for Congress. She was responsible for significantly outraising the incumbent. Dr. Annie Andrews for Congress raised over two million dollars.
Renee is married to her college sweetheart and love of her life, Matt Graves, an Adult Cardiothoracic Anesthesia Fellow at MUSC. Matt, Renee, and their loyal canine companions reside in Charleston, SC.
When Renee takes a break from being a community advocate and fundraising for candidates, you can find her on the Peloton, doing Pilates, running, boating with her husband and beloved canines, traveling, rescuing dogs, cheering on the College of Charleston Cougars basketball team, and enjoying all the fine dining The Holy City has to offer.
Stuart joined the SPEAK Strategic team in May 2022. She graduated from Clemson University in December 2021 with a B.S. in Graphic Communications and a minor in Business Administration. During her time at Clemson, Stuart spent a lot of her time going to the lake, cheering on the tigers, and exploring Clemson with her friends.
Stuart grew up in Greenville, SC where she spent most of her childhood swimming competitively. When she was not swimming, she was coaching for various swim teams around Greenville and lifeguarding at different pools. Stuart currently lives in Charleston, SC where she enjoys going to the beach, playing tourist, and trying new restaurants with her friends.
At Bold South Strategies, Stuart is responsible for anything visual from direct mail to web design, social media, and logo design. She loves being creative and coming up with new ideas to share with clients.
Director of Client Affairs
Born and raised in the Charleston area, Jane graduated from the University of Virginia in 2022 with a B.A. in Media Studies and a minor in Government.
After graduating, she moved back to South Carolina to work on Joe Cunningham's campaign for governor. Following the election Jane joined the Bold South team in February 2023.
In her spare time Jane enjoys playing tennis, spending time at the beach, and cheering on UVA’s basketball team.
Director of Special Projects
Kessler joined the SPEAK Strategic team in the fall of 2022 after hearing Tyler speak to her Campaigns and Elections class.
Kessler's a Charleston native, and a graduate of University School of the Lowcountry. During her High School career she created the Youth Poll Working Initiative, which helps recruit and train teenagers to Poll Work each election.
She plans to continue studying Public Policy and Political Science at the University of Virginia in the Fall.
Whitney Knotts is a junior at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill studying political science and history. She is also a visiting student at Oxford University in England for the 2023-2024 school year. Whitney joined Speak Strategic in the summer of 2022 and is back to work for summer and fall of 2023. At UNC, she is a Deputy Student Attorney General where she makes charge decisions on cases reported to the Office of Student Conduct. She is also a counsel on the Attorney General’s staff and represents students accused of honor code violations in formal hearings.
Whitney is also passionate about diabetes advocacy. She has worked for six years with the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation to push for the renewal of legislation that helps diabetics. Throughout her time with the JDRF, she has shared her story with many Congressional representatives. Whitney also runs a non-profit called PAWS that manufactures products for kids with diabetes, and she donates these products to local hospitals.
In her free time, Whitney enjoys watching all UNC sports and playing pickleball.