Stephanie Saathoff, President
Stephanie Saathoff leads the team in developing long-term strategy, major wins and short-term results for clients with government, community, and media relations needs. She has successfully tackled complex projects in the City of San Diego and County of San Diego for 17 years, representing a wide variety of private and public sector clients. Her experience working with the Port of San Diego, Caltrans, California Coastal Commission, San Diego County Regional Airport Authority, and other local and regional jurisdictions, has helped clients achieve their goals in land development, procurement and regulatory matters.
Stephanie joined the San Diego office of Carpi & Clay in 1999, working closely with Nikki Clay and the firm’s founders, Ben Clay and Ken Carpi. In 2010, she became the Owner and President of the Clay Company, maintaining the established roots of Carpi & Clay, while adding additional capacity to the firm to serve long-time and new clients.
Born and raised in San Diego, Stephanie enjoyed a 15-year career in sports marketing and promotion, which started with an internship at the Holiday Bowl. Her experience includes management at the San Diego International Sports Council, non-profit fundraising, sponsorship and special events including Super Bowls, ESPN X Games, Davis Cup, and NCAA events. She is actively involved with the San Diego Regional Chamber of Commerce, San Diego Regional Economic Development Corporation, Red Cross of San Diego/Imperial Counties, and Rotary Club of San Diego.
Denise Z. Price, Vice President
Denise brings more than 25 years’ experience in public affairs to help Clay Company clients achieve their goals. Her extensive background working in government at the state and local level, blended with her communication and advertising skills, brings unique insight that adds value for our clients.
Before joining Clay Company, Denise worked as District Director to Speaker Emeritus Toni G. Atkins. In that role she led local outreach, managed constituent relations and served as liaison to education, labor and social justice organizations. She was Chief of Staff to Toni Atkins during her terms on the San Diego City Council and her service as Interim Mayor.
Prior to joining Atkins’ City Council staff, Denise served in a variety of roles, including policy advisor, to Antonio Villaraigosa, California Assembly Speaker Emeritus, and former Assemblymember Mike Gotch, as well as Valerie Stallings, former San Diego City Councilmember.
Former Speaker Villaraigosa appointed Denise as a member-at- large of the California Domestic Violence Program Advisory Council. She also has served as a volunteer on various boards and associations, including California Women Lead, North Park Community Association, North Park Planning Group and the Mid-City Chamber of Commerce.
Denise graduated from San Diego State University with a master’s degree in Public Administration and bachelor’s degree in Public Administration with an emphasis in urban planning, and studied at the USC School of Public Policy.
Nikki Clay, Strategic Counsel
Nikki Clay provides experienced, results-oriented advice to clients with major projects and complex approval, regulatory and procurement needs. Nikki led the San Diego office of Carpi & Clay for nearly 15 years, and prior to that was Senior Vice President of the public affairs division of Stoorza Ziegaus & Metzger.
She currently serves on the Board of The Old Globe. She is also past Chair of the Downtown San Diego Partnership, the San Diego Regional Chamber of Commerce, and the San Diego Bowl Game Association (Holiday Bowl), and is still serving on the boards of those organizations.
Nikki earned Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees from San Diego State University, where she was honored by the University as “Woman of the Year.” She and her husband, Ben, also received the President’s Service Award, and were honored as Alumni of the Year. She remains actively involved with her alma mater, serving on the SDSU Campanile Foundation Board.