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About Joel Johnson

JJ Strategies, Inc. was founded by Joel Johnson in 2020. Prior to that, Joel served as a partner at Community Solutions Consulting, another highly regarded lobbying firm with similar specialties.   Joel strengthened and expanded the expertise of CSC in several areas, including but not limited to the complexeties of Behavioral Healthcare and Criminal Justice policy.

Joel attributes a great deal of his success to the extraordinary guidance and direction he received early in his career from his mentors at CSC, Travis Wood and Rod Julander.  The three of them continue to work closely together and look for opportunities to collaborate. 


After serving as an intern for the Utah Association of Counties during 2011 General Legislative Session, Joel was recruited to become the Director of Advocacy for the Utah Support Advocates for Recovery Awareness (USARA). USARA is the largest public advocacy group that advocates on behalf of funding for the recovery community.


While serving in this position, Joel was also recruited to serve as the Interim Executive Director of the Salt Lake County Democratic Party. Joel served in this role for approximately six months before taking a position as Deputy Director of the Capitol Hill Association. The Capitol Hill Association is the largest trade association representing the lobbying community in the state of Utah.

Since becoming a contract lobbyist in 2015, Joel has had tremendous success and has represented hundreds of clients' interests  on various policy initiatives and funding priorities.


Joel currently serves as chairman of the board of the Helping Hand Association (the Haven) and holds various other positions with multiple nonprofit associations, representing a variety of industries. 


His advice is heavily valued and sought after by many professionals, particularly in the behavioral health and criminal justice industries.

Joel believes the most important qualities in any business relationship are those of honesty and integrity. 


Joel loves living in Utah and currently resides in Draper with his wife Ashlyn, and his two children Jaxon and Emery.

About Scott Whittle

Scott Whittle M.D. was recruited to  join JJ Strategies within the first hour of our learning of his status as a potential free agent.  His vast knowledge of the very issues we specialize in at the policy level, coupled with his political savvy and ability to adapt quickly and remain focused on solutions made it real easy for us to extend an offer and solidify Scott as a partner and associate of JJ Strategies.  


Until coming onboard, Scott served as Medical Director of Behavioral Health at SelectHealth since the position was created shortly after the passage of the Affordable Care Act.


Broadly, this includes responsibilities over Behavioral Health and Management of fragile populations. 

Prior to Scott's departure, he created and began implementation of a 3-5 year plan that supports growth in government programs including Medicare, Medicaid, and dual eligible populations.  The Accountable Care Organizations of Utah are heavily focused on aligning their commercial and government-subsidized plan networks, and Scott wanted to ensure that SelectHealth continued to blaze the trail and set a quality standard in that space.


About Scott Whittle

Scott's specialized areas of work include population health strategies, Zero Suicide projects and specialized substance use disorder programing.  His level of understanding these highly complex issues has garnered national attention and has been regularly quoted and referred to by local media outlets.



Additional work experience includes nearly two decades of leadership at Primary Children’s Hospitals behavioral health programing in Residential and Day Treatment Programing serving patients with substance use disorders and chronic mental illness.  

Educational experience includes director of the training rotation and supervision of residents and fellows from the University of Utah Residency Training Programs for Child Psychiatry in several programs at Primary Children’s hospital.

Awards include “Teacher of the Year” for involvement in resident education at the University of Utah. And the “Governors Award” for work relating to the management of opioid crisis in the state of Utah.

Meet The Team


Amy Daeschel


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Amy Daeschel comes to JJS with over three years of substance use treatment experience ranging from crisis outreach, peer recovery coach, detox, business development, and marketing. She is an advocate for the homeless population and organizes numerous outreach efforts within the community. Amy is a woman in long term recovery who comes from a place of lived experience. She serves on various boards within the community in effort to support change with the ever-growing opioid epidemic. Amy is currently pursuing her degree in social work and public health administration.


Jessica Wahl

Executive Assistant

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Jessica Wahl is an executive assistant with JJS, where she has expertise in scheduling and corespondence. Her project coordination and excellent attention to detail, as well as organization skills have shown her an indespensable member of the JJS team. She works in close coordination with team members organizing scheduling and managing projects to improve office support. Jessica graduated with her Bachelors in Exercise and Sport Science degree and Masters of Occupational therapy from the University of Utah. She has over 10 years experience in the medical field throughout various hospital organizations. Jessica’s goal is to cultivate a harmonious and fastidious work environment within the JJS administration allowing her to graciously represent the company when meeting with new and old clients alike. She resides with her son in Holladay Utah. 


Kyle Webb

Creative Consultant

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Kyle Webb is a freelance writer, designer, and creator. He has worked in a number of industries ranging from graphic design to manufacturing. When he is not designing and developing content for individuals and companies he can be found in his workshop building handcrafted custom furniture and one off pieces for clients around the U.S.A.


Sharmane Gull
SML Strategic

Subcontracted Associate

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