About Us

Discover the story behind ACS through a visual journey of growth and innovation—from our humble beginnings to significant achievements, ACS: From IDEA to IMPACT showcases the transformative moments that have shaped our identity and propelled us forward.

Below, hear our co-founders Lori McClung and Scarlett Bouder reflect on why the work ACS does is so crucial and why the two work so well together.

ACS is a national communication, advocacy, and strategy development consulting firm that helps nonprofits, for profits, government agencies, and philanthropic organizations successfully share their messages about target issues with key audiences, advocate for policy change, and position themselves as leaders in their respective fields.

Incorporated in 2004 and headquartered in Cleveland, Ohio, ACS is one of the only female- and minority-owned certified Small Business Enterprise (SBE) consulting firms in Ohio. ACS has gained a national reputation for its communication and strategy development expertise and its deep understanding of policy and advocacy.

ACS is also proud members of the following associations:

  • Communications Network
  • Council of Small Enterprises (COSE)
  • Council on Foundations
  • Ohio Lobbying Association
  • National Network of Consultants to Grantmakers
  • Native Americans in Philanthropy

Founding partners Lori McClung and Scarlett Bouder have worked together as staffers, business partners, or coordinated stakeholders since 1999. Their experience, combined with the rest of the ACS team, reflects more than 75 years of legislative and communication experience within the early childhood, K-12 education, health and human services, workforce, and Medicaid at the local, state, and national levels.

ACS has applied this expertise to engagements with dozens of for profit, private, nonprofit, and philanthropic organizations throughout the country, successfully lobbying for policy change; developing and implementing advocacy and communication strategies; conducting research and training; and building successful public awareness, political, policy, marketing, and communication campaigns. As a result, ACS has successfully shifted public opinion, garnered community support, and secured funding for important issues that affect vulnerable and at-risk individuals.

With deep roots and connections in the fields ACS serves, the team brings knowledge, insight, and relationships combined with subject matter expertise that are unmatched by other firms. ACS’ efforts have shined a light on organizations doing life-changing work, bringing attention to and support for the most vulnerable and at-risk individuals who have may not have a voice. The bottom line is that ACS helps its clients identify and address issues, build their own capacity, and sustain their efforts around the work that matters most to the vitality and health of their communities.

Fire Up Your Influence!

Influence on All Cylinders BookHaving served in the trenches in the worlds of public policy, nonprofit, government agency, and private business, McClung and Bouder have a deep understanding of the challenges their clients face and the resources that they can harness to deepen their impact. Influence on All Cylinders presents two decade’s worth of on-the-ground, real-world knowledge and expertise in strategy development, communication, advocacy, and capacity building from our nationally recognized and award-winning firm.

Learn how to plan for success, craft and share compelling messages, create legislative victories, and boost the capabilities and knowledge within your team. Better yet, learn how all four of these key functions can work together to create a smooth and powerful engine for change. Whether you’re a seasoned pro or just getting started, you’ll find tips, advice, and guidance that will help you work smarter and more effectively in pursuit of your mission.