Who is Steff Hedenkamp?

Editor, writer, strategist, facilitator, innovator, PR + public affairs expert, fund developer, and connector, Steff Hedenkamp provides top-notch professional communications services, valuable creativity, and critical insight to help her clients actualize goals and objectives, communicate key messages, and manifest new success.

Steff is an entrepreneurial communications and public affairs professional with 20 years of experience in communications strategy, PR, community engagement and stakeholder involvement efforts, as well as special project initiatives. She has guided public- and private-sector clients to plan and implement actionable approaches to reach target audiences.

She is a successful strategist with significant experience who clearly communicates complex ideas and programs, precisely crafting the “words and design” of creative and effective communications and public affairs tools. She is highly skilled at researching, writing, and editing compelling ghostwritten content, talking points and speeches, backgrounders, award submissions, reports, plans, presentations, proposals, and other internal and external work product.

Steff is a creative catalyst who works collaboratively to increase awareness, promote understanding, extend and enhance internal and external dialogue, and foster consensus and results. She serves to not only advance public affairs and communications efforts, but also strengthen overall organizational mission, objectives, and brand reputation.

From international and domestic nonprofit organizations, to government entities and community development agencies, to for-profit partners including architectural + design and construction + engineering firms, national security strategists + corporations, market research + management consulting companies, Steff brings great value to bear.

Steff formed Red Quill Communications, Inc. in 2000 to extend to her clients the benefits of having their messages spoken with a clear, authentic, and imaginative voice. The firm specializes in helping organizations, governments, and businesses actualize communications and public affairs goals, and manifest organizational success.

As Red Quill Owner and President, Steff provides and manages project-wide professional communications and internal and external outreach efforts, writing, editing, presentation design, project management, stakeholder engagement, and community involvement consulting. All of her excellent clients are repeat customers or word-of-mouth referrals.

Today, she works as a subconsultant to International Architects Atelier providing internal and external communication services for the Kansas City Museum Restoration and Renovation Project.

In addition, she is a strategic partner to Parson + Associates providing project communications services for a number of municipal projects, including for the ongoing KC ADA Access project that is associated with the U.S. Department of Justice initiative Project Civic Access. She is also very proud to have served as a member of the Parson project team on the $74 million Leon Mercer Jordan Campus, home to the East Patrol Division Station and Regional Crime Lab in Kansas City, Missouri.

She also provides strategic marketing communications services to pioneer Ann Geisler, CPCU, AU, AAI, president of Southern Cross Insurance Solutions and developer of The Midwife Plan, an Allied Healthcare Professional and General Liability policy designed specifically for Out-Of-Hospital (OOH) Midwives and Birth Center Practices.

Currently, Steff serves as a board member with the Community Capital Fund, which supports and promotes community development by focusing on neighborhood capacity building initiative that leverage community resources and expertise. The Community Capital Fund works with organizations that strengthen and develop the financial, social, and knowledge capital of Kansas City’s historically under-resourced and under-invested communities and neighborhoods.

Previously, Steff worked with advertising and PR company, Barkley, one of the top 10 independent agencies in the United States, where she managed national retail corporate accounts involving public relations, crisis communications, cause marketing, community relations, strategic planning, and business development. (Interesting update: in 2012, her PR chums at Barkley in Kansas City created the new communications company Crossroads to help all kinds of amazing brands align all of their communications efforts around common and authentic brand values.)

In 2008, Steff helped to conceive and launch The Big Push for Midwives Campaign, which provides strategic planning and message development for state consumer and midwife groups that are actively working on legislation to license Certified Professional Midwives, specialists in out-of-hospital birth and envisioning the day when CPMs are licensed in all 50 states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, the Virgin Islands, and Guam. She currently is one of the five Steering Committee members for the Big Push.

Steff served as an editor for The Way Women Work initiative led by Rania Habiby Anderson.  In addition, from 2008-2012 Steff served in a fund development and communications role on behalf of Water.org, a U.S.-based international nonprofit organization co-founded by Matt Damon and Gary White that is providing access to safe water and the dignity of a toilet to people in developing nations.

Steff is a Wildcat at heart, bleeds purple, and attended Kansas State University’s School of Journalism. She and her projects have received special recognition:

  • Platte County Economic Development Council Business Excellence Award—North Patrol Division Station Consultant and Communications Lead to Project Team (2017)
  • Kansas City Business Journal Capstone Award for “Community Impact”—Leon Mercer Jordan Campus Consultant and Communications Lead for Project Team (2016)
  • Economic Development Corporation of Kansas City Cornerstone Award Finalist—Leon Mercer Jordan Campus Consultant and Communications Lead for Project Team (2016)
  • Innovations in American Government Award Finalist (one of 18), Harvard University’s Ash Institute in the John F. Kennedy School of Government—Capital Improvements Management Office (CIMO) within the City of Kansas City, Missouri, a public/private partnership—Communications Consultant to Program Team (2007)
  • US Conference of Mayors Award—Capital Improvements Management Office (CIMO) within the City of Kansas City, Missouri, a public/private partnership—Communications Consultant to Program Team (2006)
  • Regional American Public Works Association (APWA) Project of the Year—Communications Consultant to the Project Team. (2006)
  • PRISM Best in Show Award—Crisis Communications Program. (2000)
  • PRISM Silver Award—Special Events in Business. (1999)
  • One of 70 participants selected internationally to attend the Institute on Political Journalism through The Fund for American Studies at Georgetown University. Concurrent internship at the White House, Office of Presidential Correspondence for the White House Chief of Staff. (1993)
  • Ninth in the nation in the editorials/signed columns division—awarded by the William Randolph Hearst Foundation. (1992)

Steff’s husband, Bret, is owner of the residential home inspection firm, GeoInspections. Bret is also a luthier, engineer, and home remodeler.

Beyond their professional lives, Steff and Bret have two school-age children: Xander and Wiley, and two adult children: Julia and Oliver. They have four grandchildren, Christian, Vincent, Polo, and Norah.