Editor, writer, strategist, facilitator, innovator, connector, independent thinker, multiple points of view perceiver, information synthesizer, and public affairs expert, 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.
“My objective is to use my deep expertise and successful background in professional communications services to advance social entrepreneurial endeavors.”
Steff is an entrepreneurial communications and public affairs professional. She brings 20 years of experience in communications strategy, messaging, community engagement and stakeholder involvement efforts. She specializes in special-project and inflection-point initiatives. She guides public- and private-sector clients to plan and implement actionable approaches to reach target audiences.
Steff is a successful strategist with significant experience. She 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, key messages, talking points and speeches, backgrounders, award submissions, reports, plans, presentations, proposals, and other internal and external work product.
Steff is a creative catalyst. She 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 communications efforts, but also strengthen overall organizational mission, objectives, and brand reputation.
Steff brings great value to bear for her clients. She has served a wide variety of clientele, including private-sector firms in the architectural design and construction engineering sector; international and domestic nonprofit organizations; government entities; community development agencies; and consulting companies.
Steff founded Red Quill Communications, Inc. in 2000. She extends to her clients the benefits of having their messages spoken with a clear, authentic, and imaginative voice. The firm specializes in helping businesses, governments, and organizations actualize communications and public affairs goals, and manifest their intended success. All of her excellent clients are repeat customers or word-of-mouth referrals.
Steff works on a variety of meaningful, transformation projects.
She served as the Communications Manager of Bridge Space and helped to launch this coworking space + entrepreneur incubator in the old (now restored) post office in the historic downtown of Lee’s Summit, Missouri. Steff collaborated to develop the workflows, processes, and voice of this new brand devoted to accelerating the advancement of entrepreneurs, creating a hub to connect to business success, and a robust entrepreneurial ecosystem.
She serves through International Architects Atelier providing internal and external communication services as the Communications Director for the Kansas City Museum as it is transformed into a premier museum of Kansas City’s history and cultural heritage through a multi-year, multi-staged restoration and renovation project.
Steff is a strategic partner with Parson + Associates providing public affairs and communications services for a number of large-scale municipal projects for the City of Kansas City, Missouri, including on the redevelopment of the 18th & Vine Historic District, and previously, on the ongoing KC ADA Access project associated with the U.S. Department of Justice initiative Project Civic Access. She is also very proud to have served the Parson project team on the catalytic $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.
In 2016, Steff served through A. Zahner Company on the Kansas City, Missouri Bartle Hall Sky Stations Project and led the communications function for this special project. On May 8, 2016, the project team removed the 24,000-pound, easternmost sculpture from the pylon. The 40-foot-tall and 35-foot-wide sculpture was moved to the Zahner fabrication shop, disassembled and repaired, and then reinstalled atop the pylon on September 18, 2016. See the project video here.
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.
- 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)
- Institute on Political Journalism through The Fund for American Studies at Georgetown University—(One of 70 participants selected internationally)—Concurrent internship at the White House, Office of Presidential Correspondence for the White House Chief of Staff. (1993)
Steff’s husband, Bret, is owner of the residential home inspection firm, GeoInspections. Bret is also a luthier, engineer, and home remodeler.