Mark Grebner became involved with politics while a student at Michigan State University at the time of the 18-year-old vote in 1971. He has been an Ingham County Commissioner since 1977, with the exception of 1981-84, and has served as chair of the Finance Committee. Currently, Mark serves as the Board Chair.
Mark is a commentator on politics and political issues, and is often interviewed on radio and television and quoted in news articles. He also writes on "Technical Politics" for the web site Michigan Liberal.
Mark is noted for his iconoclastic and humorous political tactics. The New York Times wrote that "Calling Mr. Grebner eccentric would be too obvious." David Josar, of the Detroit News, calls him "super wonk". During his campaigns for election and re-election as county commissioner, he has used self-deprecating slogans such as "No Worse Than The Rest," "He May Be a Fool, But He's Our Fool," and (in a coupon book) "Buy One Politician, Get One Free." A humorous letter he sent to his constituents in 1986, announcing his plans for re-election, was reprinted in the "Readings" section of Harper's Magazine.
Mark is the president of Practical Political Consulting and serves as the firm’s lead campaign consultant. Not only an elections expert – Mark also has extensive knowledge of FOIA law, and enjoys reading and classical music.
Alan Fox has been involved in Michigan political campaigns and government since 1968. As a partner in Practical Political Consulting he combines expertise in data management with experience running electoral and legislative campaigns.
Alan began knocking on doors in Lansing-area campaigns in 1968. In 1972, when Alan was in high school, Lynn Jondahl asked him to serve on the campaign committee for Lynn’s first race for state legislator. Alan worked with Rep. Jondahl as aide to the House Consumers Committee in 1975-1978 and was the first – and still the only – Michigan State University undergraduate elected to the East Lansing City Council in 1977.
In 1982 Alan was Deputy Campaign Manager for Bob Carr’s campaign for congress. As the campaign’s voter contact director he coordinated mailings, door-to-door and phone activities. He worked on Rep. Carr’s Washington staff for two years and was again Deputy Campaign Manager in 1984.
In 1984-1988 Alan was a legislative representative for the Consumer Federation of America. He worked primarily on banking issues and also introduced the personal computer to the nation’s largest consumer advocacy organization. In early 1988 he returned to Michigan and has managed PPC’s data acquisition and maintenance for over twenty years.
Alan has served on the Ingham County Board of Canvassers since 1993, four times as chair. He is also currently chair of the East Lansing Building Authority.
Penelope began working at Practical Political Consulting as a voter registrar in 2006, moved on to coordinate the voter registration drives on MSU’s campus, and later worked on special projects and as the sales manager. She now owns and manages PPC as well. While working at PPC, Penelope also recently worked as an attorney, practicing public defense for indigent adults and juveniles in Ingham County. She narrowly won election to the Ingham County Board of Commissioners against a worthy field of competitors by receiving 100% of the student vote in a special election held in February of 2009 and now represents Ingham County’s 8th District, which is comprised of the western part of East Lansing and includes part of MSU’s campus.
Penelope has worked and volunteered for numerous campaigns and organizations promoting the issues that she cares about, including Health Care for Michigan, the campaign against Right to Work, Clean Water Action, Michigan Equality, the Ingham County Animal Shelter, and many more. In 2006, she developed, fundraised for and implemented a program to provide 1,000 low-income families in Ingham County with free spay/neuter services for their pets through the "Angel Project". She is also on the Human Relations Commission for the City of East Lansing.
In 2004, Penelope signed on as a precinct captain for the Kerry campaign and has been involved in just about everything Democratic in Ingham County ever since. Most recently she managed Patrick Lindemann’s campaign for Ingham County Drain Commissioner and served as the volunteer office manager for the Lansing Obama office and deputy field organizer for South Lansing. She is the Chair and a co-founder of the Ingham County Young Democrats and 3rd Vice-Chair of the Ingham County Democratic Party. In 2008, she received the Michigan Democratic Party Volunteer of the Year Award.
Penelope received her JD from Michigan State University Law School, a Bachelor’s Degree in Psychology and Sociology from the University of Michigan and graduated from Southfield High School.
Steve Ross has been working on campaigns since 2004 when he volunteered for John Kerry’s presidential bid. The outcome of that election disappointed Steve but inspired him to take a larger role in the upcoming 2006 midterm elections. In 2006, while Steve was still an undergraduate at Michigan State University, he did work for the reelection campaigns of Senator Stabenow and Governor Granholm and volunteered for a statewide ballot initiative. It was on the campaign trail when Steve had a short meet and greet with then – Senator Barack Obama that sent him on a new path.
Shortly following the 2006 midterms, Steve got involved with a National PAC, Students for Barack Obama, and organized young people in support of the yet to announce presidential candidate. As the primary campaign moved forward, Steve was promoted multiple times within the campaign’s youth arm, ultimately to the position of Midwest Regional Director and oversaw youth vote operations in eight states. During the general election, Steve worked as a Field Organizer for Obama for America in East Lansing and was among the most successful in the nation in surpassing campaign goals among comparable turfs.
Steve spent the summer of 2009 interning in the Obama White House where he worked in the Travel Office arranging all travel needs and logistical operations for the President, First Family, and traveling press corps.
While in DC, Steve kept busy in his spare time by consulting candidates back in Michigan. The campaigns he worked with included those running for state representative, varying levels of judge, and governor. Steve had an astonishing year winning 85% of races he was involved with in 2010 – a year that was very tough for Democrats.
Steve’s expertise includes grassroots organizing, youth vote and outreach, and candidate consulting.
Marty Mccormick has been running political campaigns and tax millage elections in Michigan for 35 years. He has been involved in elections from Marquette to Detroit and many points in-between.
During that time he spent nearly twenty years with the Michigan Legislature both as a legislative assistant and organizer with House Democratic Communications.
Marty recently returned to PPC as manager of new products and services. From 2000-2007 He worked as office manager
Marty lives in Bath with his wife Kathy. They have three grown children and were recently blessed with their first grandchild.
Jim Daggy is involved with the front-end processes of raw data acquisition as well as the tail-end processes of data retention as the businesses data archivist - the cataloging & backing-up of PPC's mission-critical files (with the occasional recoupment of specific data files from specific time frames) at PPC.
Over the last decade he’s been involved in the acquisition of data from a number of statewide petition drives (perhaps, most famously, the 2006 Tabor -Taxpayers' Biil Of Rights - who's analysis by PPC resulted in it's disqualification from appearing on that November's ballot). In his capacity as archivist I have provided documentary evidence and testified in U.S. Federal Court as part of the process to establish standing for a group of litigants seeking to block another proposal from the 2006 ballot.
Many years ago when Jim was a geophysics major at MSU, he was required that he possess serious computational mathematical skills - skills that were pressed to their limits in an age prior to the advent of the modern calculator. Learning to program computers made it much easier to work through problem sets; working late into the night at the computer center's key punch and printer output rooms brought me into contact with PPC founder Mark Grebner for the first time.
Jim has created and maintains a number of instructional and research websites in his free time. These sites include a documentation of the 1927 Bath School Bombing (considered by the Michigan E-Library to be a major resource site on the subject), "fohp.info" (a site created as a - "how-to"; "what you should do"; "what you shouldn't do" - reference for individuals interested in conducting family oral history interviews, MSU's Beaumont Tower carilloneur website, and an online status directory containing basic biographical facts on over 22,000 individuals, celebrities, and other notables (as in "Are they Alive or are they Dead?") that receives nearly 2-million visits per year. Jim also enjoys bike riding, swimming, trivia contests, reading historical novels, watching older (pre-1970) movies, body surfing, and the Lansing River Trail.
Tracy got her start with Practical Political Consulting as a petition circulator in the summer of 2007. She then moved on to data entry and verification of various petitions. Shortly after her employment began she became involved in straw ballot projects. Over time Tracy proved to be a valuable employee and has taken on various duties in the office. Tracy is the back up person for several staff positions when needed. Some of her general duties are production of walk cards & maps and sending mail files, phone files, and general use files. Tracy is also responsible for setting up micro-polls and AV tracking for clients.
Tracy has canvassed for several political candidates and issues that she feels strongly about such as Parks and Zoo initiatives. She has volunteered on several campaigns, GOTV, voter registration, fund raising, and submission of candidate campaign finance reports. Tracy is currently a democratic precinct delegate in Lansing’s 3rd Ward, Precinct 15.
Since her first Sociology class, she has had a strong desire to examine and study populations through the lens of a Sociologist. She received her Bachelor’s Degree in Sociology and Master’s in Sociology and Urban Studies from Michigan State University. Her educational back ground provided training in research and study design, statistical analysis, and organizational skills. While working on her Master’s Degree, Tracy was an instructor at Michigan State University teaching undergraduate classes in Sociology and Statistics.
During her free time Tracy enjoys volunteering on campaigns, planning social events (political and others), attending political functions, spending time with family and friends, watching sports, and listening to Mark Grebner stories.
Dylan has been a Researcher and Data Analyst since 2005 on various assignments at the University of Michigan and Michigan State University as well as a Constituent Relations Specialist at two non-profit advocacy groups. In 2005 Dylan assisted on the Disproportionate Minority Contact Assessment project at MSU’s Department of Outreach and Engagement in which he created demographic profiles of all of Michigan’s 83 counties and 8 major cities, combining data from multiple government and non-profit sources to measure minority contact with the judicial system. While an undergrad at the University of Michigan, Dylan worked as a Research Assistant in both the Physics and Ergonomics Departments. In 2009, Dylan returned to Michigan State to assist the Department of Sociology on a project examining the precipitating factors of troubled children.
Dylan has also been involved in constituent relations at two non-profit advocacy groups. While at Fight Crime – Invest in Kids; Michigan in 2009, Dylan assisted in statistical research, membership mobilization, and reporting on congressional developments affecting children in the state of Michigan. And in 2010, as a Constituent Relations Specialist at the American Cancer Society, he participated in fundraising drives, anti-smoking campaigns with the Cancer Action Network, and constituent issues related to cancer treatment services.
He joined PPC in July of 2011 as a Data Analyst and has assisted on two recall campaigns of Michigan legislators as well as the Detroit Public School Survey Project.
Dylan received his Bachelor’s Degree in Political Science from the University of Michigan and graduated from East Lansing High School.