President and Co-Founder
As a co-founder and president at ACS, Scarlett Bouder directs strategic communication planning, government relations and advocacy efforts, policy analysis, and strategy development.
Scarlett has 25 years of experience in government relations and communication. After launching ACS in 2004, she left the company in 2007 to join the administration of Governor Ted Strickland, where she was appointed director of Communication and Marketing. She was later appointed chief of staff at the Ohio Department of Job and Family Services, then the state’s largest agency with an $18 billion budget. Scarlett also developed and led communication and marketing strategy for two cabinet-level agencies responsible for Medicaid, workforce, and child welfare programs.
Scarlett rejoined ACS in 2009 and helped the firm double its revenue and expand its national footprint. Prior to co-founding ACS, Scarlett held government relations and communication positions for the Cleveland Metropolitan School District, The Greater Cleveland Film Commission, Ohio Alzheimer Council, and the Ohio Democratic House caucus races, where she developed and led strategic communication efforts for more than 20 local and statewide candidate and issue campaigns.
In addition to her professional commitments, Scarlett previously served on the boards of:
- Dress for Success Columbus (Vice President)
- Greater Cleveland Gay & Lesbian Center
- Environment Ohio
- Ohio Healthcare Workforce Advisory Council
- Cuyahoga County Health & Human Services Levy Steering Committee
Scarlett earned a Bachelor of Arts in Political Science from The College of Wooster. Scarlett, her husband, and two sons live in Columbus, Ohio.
ACS is one of the only female- and minority-owned consulting firms in Ohio. The women-led, women-driven firm has a national reputation for its communication and strategy development expertise and deep understanding of policy and advocacy, especially for organizations in the early childhood and K-12 education sectors. Collectively, the firm has more than 75 years’ experience developing and implementing strategies that help clients achieve measurable results. The ACS team has won international, national and local awards for its work.
ACS has been the recipient of various awards and accolades recognizing their work as a firm with a history of growth and national expertise, for client projects around the country and their first publication, Influence on All Cylinders. These include but are not limited to the following, including the release of the firm’s first publication:
- Influence on All Cylinders a comprehensive guide to help enhance communication, messaging, policy, advocacy, and capacity building strategies.
- Hermes Award for strategic outreach and engagement for Franklin County Ohio’s Quality Rating System outreach strategy.
- The Corporate College Smart 50 Awards, presented by Smart Business magazine, recognizes the top executives of the smartest companies in Northeast Ohio for their ability to effectively build and lead savvy organizations. In 2019, Lori McClung, ACS CEO, and Scarlett Bouder, ACS president, were named Smart 50 winners.
- The Stevie® International Business Awards awarded ACS with the national bronze medal for Company of the Year in 2020 and 2019. The International Business Awards are the world’s premier business awards program.
- PR Daily’s 2019 Content Marketing Awards gave ACS an honorable mentioned in Content Marketing for the Purpose of Brand Awareness for our work with Franklin County Board of Commissioners—Department of Job and Family Services. Review the case study “Encouraging Preschool Providers to Improve Quality”.
- Stevie® Award for Women in Business for Small Business Company of the Year in 2018.
- Weatherhead 100 winner for small business growth in 2015.
- MarCom Platinum Award presented by the Association of Marketing and Communication Professionals for a two-year strategic communication plan for PRE4CLE, Cleveland’s plan to expand high-quality pre-K to all children in the city.