Who We Are
Strategy Design Partners (SDP) is a strategy and communications consulting firm located in Cleveland with regional operations throughout Northeast Ohio.
Back in the 2000s, David Fitz, SDP's founding partner, was involved in a strategic planning process with his employer, a non-profit organization. A strategic planning firm facilitated the process on behalf of the board of directors.
The organization’s extended staff was largely detached from the process. David felt this disconnect directly because he was charged with overseeing three important departments, while also helping develop overarching strategy as part of the organization’s leadership team.
Through his work in political, media relations, and policy-related fields, David had learned that a clear vision and mission supported by sound strategies are fundamental to achieving measurable results, and that these successes provide the content for good messaging and storytelling.
Simply put, it’s tough to tell a compelling story to key audiences (clients, customers, donors, media, etc.) without good strategies that lead to results. And it’s difficult for staff members to feel ownership over and passion for a plan in which they’ve played a minimal role developing.
David had a passion for strategy making and story telling, understood their interconnectedness, and believed this particular planning process (and many others) missed this vital linkage. So, why not start a business that helps make this connection between mission and message or strategy making and storytelling?
David decided to start SDP and brought Michael Graham, an attorney, in as a partner. Michael and David work as a dynamic team with different and complementary personalities, strengths, and styles. Together they have added smart, creative, and dedicated team members in Erika McLaughlin, Virginia Houston, Brant Duda, and Ann Zoller.
The “Partners” in SDP are not just David and Michael. They include, of course, our clients. But they are also the external partners who team with SDP to bring our strategy making and storytelling to life.