Our Story

Ship Creek Group was founded in 2014 by political strategist John-Henry Heckendorn and photographer/director Joshua Corbett to provide political and commercial communications services that set the local standard for professionalism, innovation, and efficiency. Commercially, SCG has provided dynamic branding, modern digital design, and award-winning visual content for Alaska small businesses, non-profits, and advocacy efforts.

In 2016, Heckendorn's brainchild business model of combining day-to-day management, strategic planning, and top-quality comms across multiple campaigns helped dramatically change the face of Alaska politics. Of the political campaigns SCG has directly managed: our team has won one statewide ballot initiative, four-of-four Anchorage Assembly races, eight-of-eight State House races, and contributed a la carte services to over 25 campaigns in 2016. At the year's end, SCG was recognized as the top political consulting firm in Alaska in 2016 by the MidnightSun political blog. And those services are increasingly in demand in the private sector as well.

At the end of 2018, Ship Creek Group re-launched with a few new faces: Managing Partner Allie Banwell and Operations Manager Jenny-Marie Stryker. They join John-Henry, Paula, and Josh to continue to forward leaders, organizations, and ideas that raise the bar in our community.

Known for our bold creative communications and innovative strategic visioning, SCG continues to break the mold and elevate our clients beyond the status quo. Come work with us!



Allie Banwell

Managing Partner

Allie is a seasoned campaign manager with consulting expertise in politics and business. In 2018, Allie founded Copper River Group, a political strategy firm that managed six state legislative races and multiple large independent expenditure groups. She has previously worked as an Anchorage Urban Fellow with Alaska Media and as a Digital Media Assistant for the Democratic National Convention. She holds a Bachelor’s in History from Yale University, with a concentration in Politics and Law. She enjoys outdoor running and completing the New York Times crossword puzzle.


Jenny-Marie Stryker

Operations Director

Jenny-Marie Stryker comes to Ship Creek Group after working with Copper River Group as the Campaign Finance Director, where she managed treasury and budgets of all sizes for four legislative and two independent expenditure campaigns. She has also previously worked as a journalist for the Chilkat Valley News in Haines, Alaska, and as a special projects fellow working under the CFO for the Municipality of Anchorage. Jenny-Marie holds a BA from Wellesley College with a major in American Studies focused in political economy and a minor in Economics. She is also an amateur chef and hiker.


John-henry heckendorn

Founder, Managing Partner

John-Henry Heckendorn has worked in Alaska politics and communications for six years, building a portfolio of wins. In 2016, Heckendorn and partners helped win 13 municipal, legislative, and ballot proposition campaigns for clients across the aisle, helping establish a historic bipartisan coalition in the State House. Heckendorn was named Alaska's top political consultant by the lead Alaska politics blog. Graduating Whitman College with a double degree in politics and economics, he has also worked as Policy Director for former Governor Bill Walker (I), as Executive Director of the Alaska Sustainable Fisheries Trust, and as a deckhand on a Bristol Bay fishing boat.  


Co-Founder, Creative Director

Josh is an Alaska-born director, photographer, and all-around creative professional with a 10-year background in photography, film, and graphic design. His editorial photography has been featured nationally by Newsweek and the New York Times and his work on narrative political branding in Alaska has received significant acclaim. He previously worked for the US Army in Afghanistan and for Peace Corps in the Philippines.  Josh now splits his time between photo and video work and helping wife Genevieve raise newborn daughter Sloane. He holds a BA in English from Montana State University and an MA in International Relations from Johns Hopkins-SAIS.

Paula Delaiarro

Financial Officer

Paula initially got involved in local political campaigns by volunteering for a friend, but quickly proved herself a campaign finance expert, now recognized among the top Alaskan professionals in her field. In the last 5 years Paula has filed over $7million across 350 reports for 28 APOC or FEC campaigns — all without a single fine. Paula is also a successful Anchorage business owner, helping local students and parents navigate the college application process much in the same way she helps candidates navigate public finance laws. Paula graduated magna cum laude from Boston College with a BA in mathematics and received her certification in college counseling with distinction from UCLA. 



At SCG, we believe in giving credit where credit is due. While emeritus staff are no longer employed/active with SCG, they helped build the company into what it is today, and we're damn proud to be associated with them.

Courtney Owen

Project Manager & Graphic Designer

Courtney has pioneered branding through both graphic and web design for over thirty clients in the last year. She is a life-long Alaskan and has actively volunteered on political and civic engagement projects in Alaska since 2007. She is a founding member of AKGAP, a grassroots organizing initiative for young people, and is well-known in Anchorage's arts and music community. Courtney graduated from UAA in 2014 with a BA in International Studies and a Minor in German language. 



Managing Director

Rafi is a seasoned campaign operative and political strategist with experience at the local, state and national levels. He has managed or served in leadership roles on campaigns in New Jersey, Connecticut and Alaska, in addition to working on the finance team for a presidential election campaign. He is passionate about rural policy and politics and contributed to multiple winning campaigns throughout rural Alaska in the 2016 election cycle. He holds a BA in American Studies, with honors, from Yale University. He is also an avid fly-fisherman, cyclist, outdoor educator and private pilot.



Campaign Manager

Shea first came to Alaska from the University of South Alabama in 2016, running field operations for multiple legislative campaigns in Kenai, Palmer, and Anchorage. He has also worked in the Alaska State House as a Legislative Aide. Shea came back aboard the “Ship” in 2017, with primary responsibility for 2017 operations for the Walker-Mallott gubernatorial re-election campaign, exceeding quarterly fundraising goals by more than thirty percent. Shea returns to the Alaska Legislature for the 2018 Session to work for Representative Jason Grenn, a freshman independent from Anchorage.