Who is Steff Hedenkamp?

Steff Hedenkamp 2012

Editor, writer, strategist, innovator, facilitator, marketer + PR, connector, Steff Hedenkamp provides valuable creativity and critical insight to help her clients actualize their business goals, build their brands, and manifest their success.

Steff serves individuals, companies, nonprofits, and government—translating more than 15 years of experience of providing communications services into actionable approaches to help clients most effectively reach their target audiences. From messaging and materials development to PR and media relations, from event management and crisis communications to community involvement, stakeholder engagement, and advocacy + issue campaigns, she helps to:

  • Increase awareness
  • Promote understanding
  • Extend and enhance internal and external dialogue
  • Foster consensus and forward motion

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 and management consulting companies, Steff brings great value to bear.

Steff formed Red Quill Communications in 2000 to extend to her clients the benefits of having their messages spoken with a clear, authentic, and imaginative voice. She has helped her clients not only advance their messaging and communications efforts, but also strengthen their business endeavors as a whole. All of her 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 Rehabilitation 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 also has served as an editor for The Way Women Work initiative led by Rania Habiby Anderson. In addition, from 2008-2012 Steff served in a 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:

  • Kansas City Business Journal Capstone Award for “Community Impact”—Leon Mercer Jordan Campus (2016)
  • Kansas City Industrial Council Brick-by-Brick Award—Leon Mercer Jordan Campus (2016)
  • Kansas City Economic Development Corporation Cornerstone Award (one of 10 winners)—Leon Mercer Jordan Campus (2016)
  • Coverage in the Kansas City Star. (2009)
  • Communications Consultant to the public/private partnership of the Capital Improvements Management Office (CIMO), within the City of Kansas City, MO. The partnership received an award from the U.S. Conference of Mayors in 2006 and was selected as one of 18 finalists for the 2007 Innovations in American Government Awards from Harvard University’s Ash Institute, in the John F. Kennedy School of Government. (2004-2006)
  • 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 president and owner of the residential home inspection firm, GeoInspections. Bret is also a luthier, engineer, & 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.