The Political Life

By Jim O'Brien

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Description

A podcast about the people whose lives are immersed in the political world, and how they got there - from campaigns to capitols and everywhere in between. Politicians, lobbyists, pollsters, and business people. If they're on the show, they're living the political life.

Episode Date
Building Teams & Providing Counsel to Silicon Valley’s Most Disruptive Startups
37:55

Corey Owens is the Managing Partner at Box B Strategies, a public affairs advisory firm that provides counsel to Silicon Valley’s most disruptive startups and their publicly-traded counterparts. 

  • Corey earned a B.S. at Truman State University, and an MPS at George Washington University;
  • He began his career at the ACLU as an assistant to the Chief Legislative Counsel;
  • He then became the Director of Communications at the Constitution Project, before becoming the Sr. Campaign Communications Specialist at the United Food and Commercial Workers International Union;
  • Following those roles, he was a Manager of Public Policy at Facebook, Head of Global Public Policy at Uber, and the Head of Global Public Policy at WeWork;
  • Since 2017, Corey has been operating his own consulting shop, Box B Strategies. 

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Aug 10, 2020
How to Make the Move From D.C. to VC-backed Startups
40:08

Justin Kintz is the VP, Head of Global Public Policy at Uber, the technology platform that uses a massive network, leading technology, operational excellence and product expertise to power movement from point A to point B. 

  • Justin graduated from the University of Florida with a BA in political science;
  • He started his career as Special Assistant - External and Intergovernmental Affairs at the U.S. Dept. of Interior;
  • He then worked as a Manager, Special projects for the Sudden Cardiac Arrest Association, and as Corporate & Public Relations Manager for the European-American Business Council;
  • Following those positions, he took a role as Director, Government Affairs for Orbitz Worldwide;
  • In September 2013, he joined Uber, where he has worked his way up to his current position.

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Aug 03, 2020
Saat Alety on How to Build a Successful Career on Capitol Hill
37:45

Saat Alety is the Director of Federal Affairs and Public Policy at Allstate, the nation's largest publicly held personal lines insurer. In this capacity, Alety leads the company’s advocacy efforts with Congress, the White House, and federal agencies, in addition to its public policy development.

Previously, Alety served as Legislative Assistant to U.S. Senator Tim Scott (R-SC), a member of the Senate Committee on Banking, Housing, and Urban Affairs. As Sen. Scott’s senior policy advisor on financial services issues, Alety also served as the Majority Staff Director for the Subcommittee on Housing, Transportation, and Community Development.

Prior to his tenure as a Senate staffer, Alety spent almost three years as Communications Director to U.S. Representative Ed Royce (R-CA), Chairman of the House Foreign Affairs Committee. While spokesperson, Alety was also a Legislative Assistant to Rep. Royce for his housing and capital markets portfolio on the House Financial Services Committee.

In addition to his Capitol Hill experience, Alety has held positions with the Financial Services Roundtable (now Bank Policy Institute), the leading trade association for the financial services industry, and Senator Mitt Romney's 2012 Presidential campaign.

Alety began his career in the office of U.S. Representative Judy Biggert (R-IL).

He currently serves on the board of the National Network to End Domestic Violence and the grant committee for The Allstate Foundation. Alety is also an alumni advisor for the Congressional Asian Pacific American Staff Association

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Jul 27, 2020
Carlyle, Speaker Boehner, and the Capitol Lounge: Meet Stacey Dion
28:58

Stacey Dion is the Managing Director and Global Head of Government Affairs at The Carlyle Group.

Stacey leads The Carlyle Group’s global government relations and public policy functions. She is the leader of teams in the U.S., Asia and Europe and employs a strategic, innovative and proactive approach to building best-in-class global government affairs practices.

In her current role, Stacey oversees and helps shape Carlyle’s global legislative and regulatory activities and is establishing the organization as a resource for public policy insights in government and broader stakeholder circles.

  • Stacey earned her B.A. at Merrimack College, and her J.D. at Catholic University; 
  • She was a pension law specialist for the U.S. Dept. of Labor before transitioning to the House Committee on Education and the Workforce, where she developed, drafted, and analyzed legislation for Committee action;
  • Stacey then became the Tax and Pension Policy Advisor to then-Maj. Leader John Boehner, and was responsible for drafting the Pension Protection Act of 2006;
  • She was then promoted to Policy Advisor and Counsel for Boehner, and was his lead staffer for negotiating and drafting the Economic Stimulus Act of 2008;
  • Stacey then moved on to Boeing as VP of Corporate Public Policy, where she led Boeing’s corporate public policy team of executives and analysts;
  • She joined Carlyle in 2017. 

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Jul 20, 2020
From Big Law to Legal Tech and Government Relations
31:42

Ken Friedman is the Vice President, Legal and Government Affairs at LegalZoom. LegalZoom is one of those companies that almost needs no introduction - it's the nation's leading provider of personalized, online legal solutions and legal documents for small businesses and families. 

  • Ken attended UC San Diego, where he earned his B.A. in political science and communications;
  • He then went on to earn his J.D. at USC Gould School of Law;
  • After law school, Ken spent nine years working for Sidley Austin, LLP in the firm's litigation group, where he handled consumer class action defense, products liability, unfair competition and business practices, breach of contract, and other matters;
  • Ken then moved on to LegalZoom, where his areas of responsibility includeareas of responsibility include risk management, government relations, corporate transactions, litigation, intellectual property, employment issues, crisis communications, advertising review, and corporate regulatory compliance.

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Jul 13, 2020
From NYC Deputy Mayor to Cutting Edge Tech Executive
31:17

Cas Holloway is the head of Public Enterprise at Unqork - a completely visual, no-code application platform that helps large enterprises build complex custom software faster, with higher quality, and lower costs than traditional approaches. All without a single line of code.

  • Cas received his B.A. from Harvard University
  • After graduating, he went to work for the legendary head of the New York City park system - Henry Stern - for three years. 
  • Cas then earned his J.D. from the University of Chicago Law School, and then worked as an associate at Cravath, Swaine, & Moore, as a clerk on the U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals, and as an associate at Debevoise & Plimpton. 
  • He then served as Chief of Staff to the New York City Deputy Mayor for Operations for four years, before becoming Deputy Mayor for Operations himself for another four years. 
  • After that, Cas spent nearly 7 years at Bloomberg LP before joining Unqork. 

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Jul 06, 2020
Overseeing Legal & GR for the Largest On-Demand Alcohol Delivery Platform
34:50

Jaci Flug is the General Counsel/Senior Vice President at Drizly

Drizly is the nation's leading e-commerce platform for on-demand alcohol delivery. Drizly connects consumers with local retailers, for delivery of beer, wine, and spirits in under 60 minutes. 

  • Jaci started her career working as Assistant D.A. in the Bronx District Attorney's office;
  • She then went on to be an administrator for New York City's Assigned Counsel Plan;
  • From there, Jaci became the General Counsel of the New York State Liquor Authority;
  • She then moved on to serve as the General Counsel & VP of the Roosevelt Island Operating Corporation, before heading to Drizly. 

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Jun 29, 2020
Chief of Staff, Sports Agent, Lobbyist, & More - The Life of Lenny Lopes
32:54

Leonard "Lenny" Lopes is the President of The Victor Group, LLC, and Leonard Lopes Law Firm, LLC. 

The Victor Group, LLC is based in Rhode Island. It's a full-service government relations & lobbying firm with an extensive range of clients. Leonard Lopes Law Firm, LLC is a boutique law firm focused on the representation of college coaches, athletic directors and radio and TV personalities in all aspects of their employment agreements and media and television contracts.

  • Lenny got his start in politics working for U.S. Senator Claiborne Pell (D-RI);
  • After law school, he held dual part-time positions for the Massachusetts Attorney General, and the Rhode Island Lieutenant Governor;
  • He then went on to serve as Chief of Staff for Rhode Island Attorney General Patrick Lynch, and ran the office as the state was grappling with the Station fire tragedy;
  • After his time with Attorney General Lynch, Lenny moved into lobbying and government affairs, and eventually started his own firm
  • Lenny is also a sports agent, and represented former Red Sox pitcher Oil Can Boyd. 

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Jun 22, 2020
A Diplomat's Journey into Government Affairs
34:56

Courtney Gillespie is the Director of Government Affairs for TaskRabbit. TaskRabbit is a leading task management network that conveniently connects people with "Taskers" to handle everyday home to-do’s such as furniture assembly, handyman work, moving help, and much more.

Acquired by Ingka Group in 2017, TaskRabbit operates in more than 70 markets across the United States, the United Kingdom, Canada, and France, and is headquartered in San Francisco.

  • Courtney started her career working as a tour manager in Europe for Contiki tours.
  • The experience led her to pursue a degree in foreign service - she received her masters in the field from Georgetown University. 
  • After graduating, Courtney served as a Presidential Management Fellow, doing stints with the U.S. Navy, and the Department of Energy.
  • She then moved on to serve as a foreign service officer with the U.S. Department of State, doing work in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia and Bern, Switzerland.
  • After her time at the State Dept., Courtney moved to San Francisco - after doing some work at Twitter, she landed at Gilead Sciences, where she rose to become Associate Director, Policy.
  • In Courtney's current role as Dir. of Government Affairs at TaskRabbit, Courtney oversees U.S. (state and federal) and international government affairs for the company. 

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Jun 15, 2020
Marcus Mason Responds to George Floyd's Death
54:19

Marcus Mason returns to the show today to respond to the death of George Floyd. 

Marcus is a senior partner at The Madison Group, and the immediate past president of The Washington Government Relations Group (WGRG) -  a non-partisan, independent, volunteer association that was founded to enrich the careers and leadership abilities of African-American government relations professionals. Members represent corporations, financial institutions, law firms, trade associations and non-profit organizations on a broad range of policy areas in state, federal, and international arenas.

The organization aims to foster meaningful dialogue between its members and pertinent, senior-level policymakers to facilitate superior public policy solutions.

Jun 08, 2020
A Preview of Privacy Legislation Post-COVID-19
32:56

Andrew Kingman is a Senior Managing Attorney at DLA Piper, and General Counsel at the State Privacy & Security Coalition. 

Kingman  counsels his clients on state privacy and cybersecurity laws, regulations, and compliance. As General Counsel to the State Privacy & Security Coalition, he represents leading technology, media, and retail companies as a legislative strategist and advocate on cybersecurity and privacy issues at the forefront of the policy arena in all 50 states.

  • Andrew got his start in politics working in the Massachusetts state legislature, and on a statewide campaign.
  • He then did a stint at Stateside Associates before heading to Suffolk University Law School. 
  • After law school, Andrew practiced law at Goodwin Procter LLP, and then moved on to AT&T as a Regional Director for Government Affairs.

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Jun 01, 2020
Building a Network for Women in Politics & Policy
25:21

Amy Whited is the founder of Pink Granite, a non-partisan community of women supporting women.

Pink Granite's members and contributors each work or aspire to work in Texas politics and public policy. Consultants, activists, elected officials, lobbyists, staff, students, interns, and yes - even supportive men, all have a place at Pink Granite regardless of experience level or political affiliation.

Amy has been involved in politics for over fifteen years as a campaigner, a staffer, and now as a government relations director. She's also worked as a creative director, freelance writer and web-designer.

Those worlds all collide at Pink Granite. Over the years she's managed to transition from state to state, build relationships, and advance a career in politics despite the hurdles a cross-country move (or 4!) can bring to this business.

Reach out to Amy to learn more about Pink Granite, or how you can start your own chapter at info@pinkgranitetexas.com

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May 25, 2020
Making the Move from Prosecutor to Government Relations
34:19

Laura Bisesto is the Head of Policy at Checkr. Checkr’s mission is to build a fairer future by improving understanding of the past. Their platform makes it easy for thousands of customers to hire millions of people every year.

Using Checkr’s advanced background check technology, companies of all sizes can better understand the dynamics of the changing workforce, bring transparency and fairness to their hiring, and ultimately build a better future for workers.

  • Laura attended UCLA for her undergraduate degree, and attended law school at Hastings College of Law;
  • After law school, Laura worked as an Assistant District Attorney in the City and County of San Francisco.
  • From there, Laura headed to Lyft, where she became a Senior Public Policy Manager
  • Laura then moved on to Oath (now known as Verizon Media) to serve as Head of State Public Policy
  • In December of 2019, she became Checkr's first head of Policy, where she oversees federal, state, and local government affairs. 

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May 18, 2020
Building Trust and Effectiveness in Congress
27:05

Brad Fitch is the President and CEO of the Congressional Management Foundation ("CMF"). Founded in 1977, CMF is a 501(c)(3) nonpartisan nonprofit organization with a mission to build trust and effectiveness in Congress. CMF does that by enhancing the performance of the institution, legislators and their staffs through research-based education and training, and by strengthening the bridge and understanding between Congress and the people it serves.

  • Brad began his career as a radio and television reporter in the 1980s, and then went to work on Capitol Hill in 1988 where he served for 13 years.
  • He worked in a variety of positions for four Members of Congress, including: press secretary, campaign manager, legislative director, and chief of staff.
  • Fitch left Congress in 2001 to work for the Congressional Management Foundation.
  • As Deputy Director of CMF, he served as a management consultant for Members of Congress, offering confidential guidance, conducting staff training programs, and writing publications on enhancing the performance of individual congressional offices and the institution.
  • He left CMF in 2006 to form a new company, Knowlegis, in affiliation with Capitol Advantage. Knowlegis is now a part of CQ-Roll Call Group, where Fitch served as a Vice President until 2010 when he returned to CMF.

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May 11, 2020
Addressing Ventilator Demand as the COVID-19 Pandemic Unfolds
36:27

Geoffrey Becker is Director, State Government Affairs for Medtronic -  a global leader in medical technology, services, and solutions. He covers sixteen states for Medtronic by working to partner with policymakers, healthcare professionals, and industry stakeholders to advance new ways to develop solutions to deliver better patient outcomes. 

Geoffrey has had a number of high-level jobs in government affairs and state politics. He's been a deputy chief of staff to the Governor of Florida, Executive Director of the Florida GOP, and has held contract and in-house government affairs roles.

We discuss Geoffrey's career, and what it's been like to be a part of the push to build and deliver ventilators in response to COVID-19. 

May 04, 2020
Successful Advocacy in the Age of COVID-19
28:20

Jeb Ory is the CEO and Founder of Phone2Action. Phone2Action is the world's leading technology company for civic participation and stakeholder engagement. The platform has empowered advocates to make over 27 million connections with elected officials.

25% of all messages from constituents to the U.S. Congress are sent using Phone2Action's platform, through emails, phone calls, and more. 

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Apr 27, 2020
Governing in Times of Crisis
20:55

Former Governor of Puerto Rico Luis G. Fortuño is the head of Steptoe & Johnson's corporate practice. He represents investment funds and Fortune 500 companies in regulatory, public policy, public-private partnership (P3) and project finance, finance, and other corporate matters in the United States and throughout Latin America.

Luis' 12 years of government service includes serving as Puerto Rico’s governor and as its sole representative in the U.S. House of Representatives. Under his leadership as governor from 2009 to 2012, Luis's signature public-private partnerships law paved the way for two of the largest recent infrastructure investments in the U.S., one in Puerto Rico’s highway system and the island’s main international airport. Other P3 transactions during his tenure included schools, energy projects, and ferry services.

Luis served from 2005 to 2008 in the US House of Representatives, holding the roles of vice-president of his House Republican freshman class and later as vice-chair and then chair of the Congressional Hispanic Conference during the 109th and 110th Congresses, respectively. 

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Apr 20, 2020
Building a Platform for Smart Cities
39:50

Bret Beringer is the Chief Engineering Officer at Fybr, an end-to-end internet of things solutions provider, collecting and delivering data to advanced analytic tools to solve business and community-based issues. Fybr works in the transportation, power, and water management spaces, and also covers safety and quality of life issues for customers worldwide.

  • Bret attended the University of Missouri.
  • His first job out of school was working for a small development company that also handled manufacturing
  • He then moved on to working for a major semiconductor manufacturer
  • Bret then ran his own consulting firm for years, before joining Fybr. 

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Apr 13, 2020
The Future of Voting is Mobile
34:38

Sheila Nix is an American political strategist, most recently serving as Chief of Staff to Dr. Jill Biden. She is currently the President of Tusk Philanthropies, where she leads efforts to dramatically increase voter turnout and participation in U.S. elections through mobile voting. She has coordinated successful pilots in West Virginia, Denver and Utah County that allowed some voters, including deployed military members, to vote by using a blockchain based mobile voting application that increases security and ease of voting. 

Previously, she served as a Deputy Assistant to President Obama, was Chief of Staff to Vice President Biden on the 2012 re-election campaign, helped develop policies as Deputy Governor of Illinois and Chief of Staff to two U.S. Senators, and coordinated resources to fight poverty and disease in Sub-Saharan Africa as the U.S. Executive Director of Bono’s ONE Campaign.

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Apr 06, 2020
Making the Move from Distinguished Congressional Staffer to Transportation & National Security Expert
38:43

Today we sit down with Stephen Martinko, Government Affairs Counsel at K&L Gates.

K&L Gates is a fully integrated global law firm with lawyers located across five continents. The firm represents leading multinational corporations, growth and middle-market companies, capital markets participants and entrepreneurs in every major industry group as well as public sector entities, educational institutions, philanthropic organizations and individuals.

  • Stephen earned his B.A. in History/Public Policy from Brown University
  • While attending Brown, Stephen interned for Ohio Senator George Voinovich
  • Following graduation, he moved to Washington, D.C. where he landed his first paid job on the Hill working for Congressman Jim Gibbons
  • Stephen continued working on the Hill for Congressman John Porter, and then moved on to the House Republican Conference
  • After a few years, Stephen took a position with Pennsylvania Congressman Bill Shuster, and eventually served as his Chief of Staff
  • Following his time with Rep. Shuster, Stephen moved to Pittsburgh and became the Executive Director of the Port of Pittsburgh Commission
  • Stephen eventually moved back to D.C. and took a job with K&L Gates, where he continues to work today.

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Mar 30, 2020
From Educator to Tech Executive
26:28

Today on the show we have Qiana Patterson, Vice President of Strategic Development for HopSkipDrive. Qiana is a former educator who brought her teaching skills to the tech industry. Qiana talks to us about her move from the classroom to tech and what she sees for the future of school transportation.

HopSkipDrive uses sophisticated technology to provide safe and reliable transportation for schools and families.

  • Qiana received her BA from the University of Washington and her MBA from the University of Southern California
  • Following her graduation, Qiana became an educator and then dean of a middle school.
  • After seven years as a traditional educator, Qiana left the classroom to work for Educational Networks, Inc.
  • Qiana held many positions during her time at Educational Networks, Inc, from Product Manager to Senior Vice President of Operations.
  • Qiana then became the founding Chief Operating Officer of Edlio, Inc.
  • Following Edilo, Inc., Qiana went to work for HopSkipDrive where she currently serves as the Vice President of Strategic Development.

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Mar 23, 2020
Providing a Voice for the Innovation Economy
30:24

On today’s episode, we sit down with David London, Vice President of Public Policy & Politics at TechNet. Inspired by the internet boom of the '90s, David moved from Washington, D.C. to California to pursue a career in government affairs and the tech industry. David talks to us about his career path and the issues affecting the tech world.  

TechNet is the national, bipartisan network of technology CEOs and senior executives that promotes the growth of the innovation economy by advocating in support of a targeted policy agenda at the federal and 50-state level.

  • David is a native of Washington, D.C.
  • He started his career in politics working for the Maryland Democratic Party
  • David went on to work for Maryland State Senator Ulysses Currie.
  • Following the internet boom, David moved to California and briefly worked for the Valley Transportation Authority.
  • David then went on to work for Cisco, where he spent the next two years in customer advocacy.
  • David’s next career move came when his former boss at Cisco offered him a job at eBay. He spent the next twelve years there in various roles.
  • Following his time at eBay, David briefly worked for a startup, and then moved on to his current role at TechNet.

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Mar 16, 2020
Building a Community for Public Affairs Professionals
41:45

Today we sit down with Doug Pinkham, President of the Public Affairs Council.  Doug talks to us about the Public Affairs Council, and how his career in public affairs led him to his current role.

The Public Affairs Council is the leading association for public affairs professionals worldwide. Their mission is to advance the field of public affairs and to provide members with the executive education, expertise and research they need to succeed, while maintaining the highest ethical standards. The Council’s staff of professionals have experience in a host of communications-related areas, including lobbying, public affairs, and social media.

  • Doug received a B.A. in English from The College of Wooster.
  • While in college, Doug interned for Oregon Public Television.
  • After graduating, Doug moved to Washington, D.C., where he did PR for the Association for Wholesale Florists.
  • Doug then went on to work for the American Gas Association as a Senior Editor.
  • After 15 years at the American Gas Association, Doug moved on to the Public Affairs Council, where he continues to work today.

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Mar 09, 2020
Practicing the Habit of Excellence
36:40

Today we sit down with Hunter Bates, a Partner and Co-Chair of the Public Law & Policy Group at Akin Gump. Hunter has an impressive résumé. He started his career working for Senator Mitch McConnell and came close to becoming one of the youngest Lieutenant Governors in Kentucky history. Hunter talks to us about his career and gives advice for those looking to get their start in politics.

Akin Gump is one of the world’s largest law firms with 20 locations and over 900 lawyers. Leaders in public policy and government relations, Akin Gump is frequently a recipient of industry recognition for its strength in litigation and high-stakes appellate work, leadership, and depth in public policy.

  • Hunter received his B.A. from Eastern Kentucky University and his J.D. from Harvard Law School.
  • While at Eastern Kentucky, Hunter took summer internships with Senator Mitch McConnell working on his senatorial campaign.
  • After finishing law school, Hunter worked briefly as a clerk for the 6th Circuit of Appeals in Kentucky and then a large law firm in D.C.
  • Following his time in big law, Hunter went back to working for Senator McConnell, holding various positions.
  • In 2002 Hunter headed back to Kentucky to run Senator McConnell’s successful reelection campaign.
  • In 2003, then-Kentucky Congressman Ernie Fletcher was running for governor and tapped Bates to be his running mate. 
  • A successful lawsuit challenging Bates’ residency status derailed his chance to participate in the GOP primary that year.
  • Following the lawsuit, Hunter moved on to the private sector, where he continues to work today. 

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Mar 02, 2020
FiscalNote: Using Tech to Transform the Lobbying & GR Sector
28:43

Today on the show, we sit down with Chris Lu, Senior Strategy Advisor & Josh Resnik, Chief Content Officer and SVP/Publisher at FiscalNote. Chris and Josh joined FiscalNote with impressive résumés - Chris worked for former President Obama, and Josh lead Gannett's digital department. 

FiscalNote has a number of products and services - from issues management, to legislative and regulatory tracking, digital advocacy, and more. The company is at the forefront of modernizing the government relations space, leveraging data and analytics to help their clients navigate complex legislative and regulatory environments, as well as stakeholder management, with ease. 

  • Chris Lu received his J.D. from Harvard Law School.
  • Following law school, Chris went to work for fellow Harvard Law School classmate Senator Barack Obama, first as his Legislative Director, then Acting Chief of Staff.
  • Chris continued to work for Barack Obama after he became president, serving first as his cabinet secretary, and then as Deputy Secretary of Labor
  • In 2017, Chris joined FiscalNote where he serves as Senior Strategy Advisor
  • Josh Resnik received his J.D. from Boston University School of Law
  • Josh spent the following seven years working as Assistant General Counsel for AOL
  • Following his time with AOL, Josh went to work for Gannett, leading their newly formed digital division. As the Vice President and General Manager of Gannett Digital, Josh lead Gannett’s transition to the digital space, using technology to create new cross-platform content.
  • In 2018, Josh joined FiscalNote as the Chief Content Officer and SVP/Publisher of CQ and Roll Call, where he uses technology to produce, monetize, and distribute content.

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Feb 24, 2020
How a Former Diplomat and His GR Team Fought a Hostile Takeover
35:05

Today we bring you another international episode, featuring Marcel Halma, the Global Director of Public Affairs & Government Relations at Nouryon. Marcel started his impressive career as a diplomat in the Netherlands at the age of 26. From there, he held various positions in government and the private sector, and has been with Nouryon since 2018. 

Nouryon is a global leader in specialty chemicals. Nouryon is a relatively new name, but it has a stunning 400 year history in the field - it was formerly a part of AkzoNobel. It has over 10,000 employees that operate in 80 countries around the world. 

  • Marcel graduated from the University of Amsterdam with a minor in economics and a Masters in American Studies and Political Science.
  • At the age of 26, Marcel’s dream of becoming a diplomat came true. Marcel spent roughly the next 15 years as a diplomat
  • He then went to Brussels as Head of Communications of Minister for European Affairs Frans Timmermans
  • After leaving government service, Marcel worked in the private sector for the next several years
  • In 2018, Marcel joined Nouryon, where he is now the Global Director of Public Affairs.

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Feb 17, 2020
Taking on Fraud and Identity Theft
33:43

Today’s guest is Kelli Emerick, Founder and President of 121 Strategies & Government Relations, and Executive Director of the Secure ID Coalition. With over 12 years of experience in the tech industry, Kelli has an in-depth background in the areas of online child safety, identity management, information sharing, e-commerce, and privacy.  

  • Kelli received her B.A. from the University of Southern California and her M.A. from George Washington University.
  • While at USC, Kelli interned for President Ronald Reagan.
  • Kelli’s first job after college was working for Mike Huffington’s U.S. Senate campaign in California. Kelli was part of Huffington’s communications team.
  • Kelli moved to Washington, D.C., and eventually went to work for Fleishman-Hillard Public Relations
  • Kelli then went on to found 121 Strategies & Government Relations

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Feb 10, 2020
Senator Jeff Brandes on Autonomous Vehicles & Innovation
18:01

While at CES, we had the opportunity to sit down with Florida State Senator Jeff Brandes, and learned how Florida is becoming a leader in the autonomous vehicle space. Senator Brandes is passionate about using technology to solve problems in his state, and he’s hoping that Florida will serve as a model for other states. Senator Brandes tells us why he believes in autonomous vehicles, and why lawmakers need to place a greater focus on technology. 

  • After graduating high school, Senator Brandes joined the U.S. Army Reserve, where he served for 11 years, and completed a tour of duty in Iraq;
  • He graduated from Carson Newman College in 1999 with a degree in Business Administration;
  • He was elected to the Florida House of Representatives in 2010;
  • Brandes was then elected to the Florida State Senate in 2012, where he continues to serve;
  • The Senator currently sits on nine committees, and is Chair of the Appropriations Subcommittee on Criminal and Civil Justice.

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Feb 03, 2020
Smart Cities: Making Municipalities More Responsive
19:53

On today’s episode, we sit down with Benson Chan at CES. Benson is the Co-founder and Senior Partner at Strategy of Things, a management consulting firm specializing in strategy, innovation, and business transformation.

Technology and efficiency usually aren’t words many would associate with government, but Benson wants to change that. He believes technology is the key to making cities more efficient and responsive to its citizens’ needs. Benson talks to us about how he can help solve municipal-level problems with cost-effective technology, and help cities become responsive.

• Benson received his MBA from UCLA's Anderson School of Management
• Before starting Strategy of Things, Benson worked in the smart home industry

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Jan 27, 2020
From the National Governor’s Association to the World’s Largest Law Firm
37:19

Today we sit down with David Quam, Counsel and Co-leader of the Dentons 50 Network. David has an impressive résumé, and it’s clear from the start that he loves what he does. David talks to us about his time at the National Governor’s Association, the Dentons 50 Network, and the unexpected job offer that led him to a career in government relations. 

Dentons is the world’s largest law firm, operating in 74 countries and employing over 10,000 lawyers. In the U.S., Dentons has built a network of talent with expertise at the state and local level. The Dentons 50 Network is a comprehensive, centralized resource for any business faced with complex, multistate policy matters.

  • David attended Duke University for his undergraduate studies and went on to Vanderbilt Law School, where he earned his J.D.
  • After finishing law school, David moved to Maryland where he practiced law.
  • After an unexpected job offer, David started working for the Senate Judiciary Committee. This career move sparked his interest in government and politics.
  • Following his time with the Senate Judiciary Committee, David started working for the National Governors Association, where he served as the Director of the Office of Federal Relations and Deputy Executive Director.
  • After 13 years at the National Governors Association, David moved to Dentons, where he serves as Co-leader of the Dentons 50 Network.

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Jan 20, 2020
The Future of Urban Air Mobility
17:29

Today's episode was recorded at CES, the world's largest consumer electronics trade show, held in Las Vegas, Nevada. While at CES, we had the opportunity to sit down with Brian Chase, Director of Global Government Affairs & Public Policy at Bell Flight. Bell had one of the best exhibits at CES, where it displayed Nexus, their new all-electric flying vehicle. Brian talked to us about Nexus, what he sees as the future of flying vehicles, and how his passion for space landed him at Bell.

Bell Flight is an innovative aerospace manufacturer producing 60% of today's helicopters, and working to create the next generation of flying vehicles. Bell has a long history of being on the cutting edge of aerospace technology - it was the first to break the sound barrier, the first to certify a commercial helicopter, and it was part of NASA's first lunar mission.

  • Brian attended The University of Texas as an engineering student, where he was able to spend time working at NASA as part of the university's co-op program.
  • After two years in the program, Brian made the switch to economics.
  • He made his move into politics by working for Congressman Dave Weldon of Florida, who represented Florida's space coast.
  • Brian held many positions during his time with Congressman Weldon. His duties included legislative aide, press secretary, and campaign manager.
  • After working on the hill for a few more years, Brian went to work for the Bush administration as NASA's Assistant Administrator for Legislative Affairs.
  • After a few years at NASA, Brian transitioned back to Texas and started working at Bell flight.

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Jan 13, 2020
Championing the Benefits of Play, and the Importance of Networking
26:29

On today's episode, we sit down with Matthew Lenz, Director of State Government Affairs at The Toy Association. Matthew's story is a great example of how important networking is to becoming successful in this industry. Matthew went from managing a restaurant, to Senior Policy Advisor to the Attorney General of Rhode Island, and is now a lobbyist.

The Toy Association is the not-for-profit trade association representing businesses that design, produce, license, and deliver toys and youth entertainment products. The Toy Association represents over 1,000 members from large toy companies to small mom and pop shops.

  • Matthew attended the University of Rhode Island part-time while managing a restaurant in Warwick, RI
  • After realizing he wanted to work in politics, Matt quit his restaurant job to pursue politics full-time
  • He became former Attorney General Peter Kilmartin’s Deputy Campaign Manager
  • Following Kilmartin’s win, he was appointed Executive Assistant to the Attorney General,
  • Matthew then ran Kilmartin's reelection campaign, and became Kilmartin's Senior Policy Advisor during his next term in office
  • Matthew then moved to his current position in the private sector at The Toy Association.

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Jan 06, 2020
Tackling Healthcare and Children's Issues in Tallahassee
27:04
On today’s episode, we sit down with Ellen Anderson, Director of Government Relations at Community Health Systems.
 
Although Ellen did not come from a political family, political conversations with her grandfather sparked her interest in pursuing a career in government. 
 
Community Health Systems is one of the nation's biggest hospital management companies, operating 106 acute care hospitals in 18 states. 
  • Ellen is a first-generation American - both of her parents immigrated to the U.S. from Chile
  • Majored in Political Science with a minor in Latin American Studies at the University of Central Florida 
  • Interned for the Florida House of Representatives as a legislative aide 
  • Became Florida State Senator Nan Rich’s Legislative Aide where she focused on children's issues and healthcare
  • Ellen went to work for the Florida Hospital Association after Sen. Rich left office in 2012
  • In 2013 Ellen was appointed by Governor Rick Scott to the Cabinet for Children and Youth
  • In 2015, Ellen joined Community Health Systems where she currently serves as the Director of Government Relations 
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Dec 30, 2019
An Intro to International Lobbying
22:09

This is our first international interview, featuring Daniel Ureña - the Founder & Managing Partner of MAS Consulting. Daniel hails from Madrid, Spain but knows politics in the United States, having attended school in the U.S., where he fell in love with lobbying. 

MAS Consulting, founded by Daniel and his business partner Cesar Martinez, is a consulting firm specializing in corporate reputation management and public affairs with more than 15 years of experience. 

  • Daniel studied at the George Washington University School of Political Management;
  • While in school, Daniel interned for the Republican National Hispanic Assembly;
  • He started MAS Consulting which is active in Spain, the E.U. Mexico, and Latin America; 
  • In 2010 he launched the first graduate-level lobbying program in Spain. 

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Dec 23, 2019
Cannabis Delivery, Ridesharing, & the Cutting Edge of Government Affairs
01:11:20

On today's special live episode, we sit down with Katie Kincaid, Director of Public Affairs, and David Mack, Senior Vice President of Public Affairs at Eaze. Katie and David talk about their experiences at Lyft, what it's like working in the cannabis industry, and answer audience questions.

This episode was recorded on November 8th, 2019 at Dentons, in Washington, D.C. 

Special thanks to our sponsor, State & Federal Communications - trusted experts on lobbying compliance laws & required reporting, with over 25 years of experience. 

Eaze is an online marketplace and technology platform that provides legal access to cannabis through safe and convenient delivery. Eaze's technology helps local cannabis retailers run compliant on-demand delivery, and their online marketplace gives consumers a seamless e-commerce experience alongside information on product selection and safe consumption. 

  • As the Director of Public Affairs, Katie establishes partnerships with grasstops organizations and creates campaigns to educate key policymakers with the objective of advancing delivery as an important option for the legal cannabis marketplace. 
  • David oversees government affairs, community relations, communications, research, and social impact work across the platform’s U.S. markets.

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Dec 16, 2019
From Educator to Advocate
31:29

Roberto Fierro is Director, Legislative Strategy with BSA | The Software Alliance. 

BSA is a leading advocate for the global software industry before governments and in the international marketplace. With headquarters in Washington, D.C., and operations in more than 30 countries, BSA pioneers compliance programs that promote legal software use and advocates for public policies that foster technology innovation and drive growth in the digital economy.

As a member of the Legislative Strategy team, Roberto helps drive engagement with the U.S. Congress by developing government relations strategies and implementing plans to advance BSA’s policy agenda.

  • Roberto attended the University of San Diego for his undergraduate studies, and the University of Denver for his master's degree.
  • His first foray into politics was working in the office of the County of San Diego Auditor and Controller.
  • Roberto then worked in education in a number of different capacities, before taking a position with Solidarity Strategies, working in administrative and financial management.
  • Roberto then spent a number of years as a principal with D&P Creative Solutions as a lobbyist, before joining BSA. 

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Dec 09, 2019
How to Add Value in the Digital Age
40:39

Rhod Shaw is the Principal and President of the Alpine Group, a bipartisan, bicameral government affairs consulting firm located on Capitol Hill. The Alpine Group's clients include Fortune 100 companies, private equity firms, trade associations, local governments and more.

Rhod brings over 20 years of high-level government experience to the Alpine Group. Rhod's experience includes work affecting industries such as telecommunications, energy, automotive, technology, financial services, and those requiring the protection of intellectual property rights.

Rhod attended Franklin & Marshall College, and worked in senior leadership positions for a number of members of congress before joining the Alpine Group. 

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Dec 02, 2019
Making the Move from State to Federal Government Affairs
25:59

Today we sit down with Megan Hannigan, who is a Manager of Government Relations at PayPal, Inc.

Megan is a member of PayPal, Inc.'s Global Government Relations team, which represents the interests of PayPal and its community before governments around the world. Their mission is to work with lawmakers to open markets and remove barriers for consumers and merchants, establish PayPal as a knowledge resource and thought-leader in the payments arena, and protect PayPal and the communities it serves from undue regulatory and legislative burdens.

  • Megan was raised in Virginia, and grew up in a political family;
  • She attended Miami University in Ohio, and graduated with a B.A. in political science;
  • Her first job in politics was an internship in Sen. Sherrod Brown's office;
  • She then interned, and was ultimately hired by the Democratic Legislative Campaign Committee ("DLCC");
  • After her time with the DLCC, Megan moved to eBay, and then moved to PayPal after it was spun off from eBay.

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Nov 25, 2019
The Future of the U.S. Health Care System
33:05

Today on the show we sit down with Dean Rosen. A partner at Mehlman Castagnetti Rosen & Thomas, Dean is one of Washington’s foremost experts on America’s complex health care system—and a master of both the politics and policies that shape it. He has more than two decades of experience developing and advancing health policy initiatives on Capitol Hill and in the private sector.

  • Dean was raised in Minnesota;
  • He earned his bachelor's degree at Boston University, and then a J.D. and master's degree at Syracuse University; 
  • After earning his postgraduate degrees, he practiced law at Dow, Lohnes and Albertson in Washington, D.C.;
  • His first political position was on the House Ways and Means Health Subcommittee;
  • He then served as VP of Policy and General Counsel at the Health Insurance Association of America;
  • Afterwards, he served as the Health Care Advisor for U.S. Senate Majority Leader William Frist.
  • In 2005, he joined Mehlman Castagnetti Rosen & Thomas as a named partner.

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Nov 18, 2019
Making the Jump from Wall Street to a Venture-backed Beauty Startup
21:30

Today we are joined by David Goldweitz, the founder and Chief Strategy Officer for Glamsquad, the on-demand in-home beauty service. Glamsquad is a significant innovator in the beauty industry, providing a platform that connects clients with salon professionals. Glamsquad offers in-home or offsite work opportunities for the 700,000+ cosmetology professionals active in the U.S.

  • David was raised in Boston.
  • He attended Harvard University where he earned an A.B. in History, and then earned an MBA in Real Estate from Columbia Business School.
  • David worked as an analyst for Capital Properties Associates, and later became a Senior Credit Analyst for Dynamic Credit.
  • He then served as the Director of Duff & Phelps, a Wall Street hedge fund, before founding Glamsquad with a friend.

 “The Mission of Glamsquad is to democratize the beauty industry, making it more accessible . . .”

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Nov 11, 2019
Inside the Labor Movement & The Fight for Criminal Justice Reform in NYC
37:27

Jason Ortiz is the Founder & CEO of Blue Suit Strategies. He is a seasoned political operative, with eighteen years of experience in lobbying, strategic research, public relations and political action, and has a long track record of significant political and electoral victories in New York City and State.

Since starting his consulting firm last year, he has been the driving force behind several significant legislative victories for unions, non-profit/advocacy groups and criminal justice reformers; most notably, the transformation of New York State’s bail, discovery and speedy trial statutes.

  • Jason earned his B.A. in in Economics from Rollins College
  • He served in a number of capacities for the New York Hotel Trades Council and its international affiliate, UNITE HERE, between 2001 and 2011.
  • He then worked in the public sector for New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman, before taking a roll as the Managing Director of the New York City-based political consulting firm Metropolitan Public Strategies
  • In 2015, he returned to the New York Hotel Trades Council, where he served as Director of Political and Strategic Affairs.

Purchase tickets for The Lobbying Show's first live event, taking place on Nov. 8th in Washington, D.C.

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Nov 04, 2019
Managing State Policy for an Iconic American Brand
27:06

Jessica Stram is the Director of Advocacy - Northeast for Target. Jessica has spent her entire career in lobbying, and has a deep background in the industry with senior-level experience working both in-house and as a contract lobbyist.

  • Jessica attended UCONN, where she earned a B.A. in political science
  • She obtained her first internship in D.C. through The Washington Center
  • She earned a Master of Science in Public Policy and Administration from Southern Connecticut State University
  • Jessica spent seven years at ConnCAN, working her way up from intern to Senior Director of Government Affairs
  • After that, she worked at another education reform organization, and then as a contract lobbyist for two years before landing her position with Target

Jessica recently returned from a trip to Cambodia and Malaysia with the American Council of Young Political Leaders. Learn more about the organization here

Purchase tickets for The Lobbying Show's first live event, taking place on Nov. 8th in Washington, D.C.

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Oct 28, 2019
Providing Everyday Americans Access to Lobbyists
37:07

Jeff Allan is the Founder & CEO of EchoRidge, putting the power of lobbyists into the hands of everyday Americans. Their key tool is Nation Crowd, a crowdfunding platform that brings people together around a common issue and translates their energy into actionable legislation.

EchoRidge connects clients to a network of retained "boots on the ground" lobbyists. They have been highlighted in recent articles for the seed funding they have generated.  

  • Jeff attended the University of North Dakota for a B.A. in Psychology and is currently pursuing a Masters of Forensic Psychology.
  • Jeff has international career experience in Singapore and Indonesia working in business development.
  • He moved to Tokyo to work for ioCubed as VP for Business Development working with tech startups.
  • He then became the Vice President of Business Strategy for Lottery.com.

“We concentrate on the business side of things and the lobbyists can concentrate on the lobbying.”

Jeff talks about his life in the tech industry, how he has created his own business, connecting small groups to lobbyists. EchoRidge has several interns every year and encourages interested individuals to apply.

Purchase tickets for The Lobbying Show's first live event, taking place on Nov. 8th in Washington, D.C.

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Oct 21, 2019
The Key to Maintaining Clients
26:25

George Cronin is the Managing Director for the public affairs practice at Rasky Partners. Based out of Boston, they cover government relations at the state and municipal level, grassroots organizing, and ballot questions. They also have a D.C. office to cover federal affairs.

George discusses how he strikes a balance between managing a firm with over 20 employees and staying engaged with his clients.

  • George hails from Massachusetts, and was raised in a campaign environment.
  • He attended UMass Amherst for his Bachelors degree, and Suffolk University for his Masters of Government.
  • His first job in government was interning at the Choate Group, a public affairs firm that would later merge to become Rasky Partners.
  • George has extensive campaign experience. He served as a senior advisor and New England political director for then U.S. Sen. Joe Biden’s 2008 presidential campaign.

George gives the lay of the land for Massachusetts’ political landscape and discusses what the work pace is like during a 2-year legislative session. 

Oct 14, 2019
Marcus Mason: Congressional Chief of Staff at the Age of 22
41:05

Marcus Mason is a Senior Partner at The Madison Group, a boutique bipartisan consulting and lobbying firm that specializes in tax, technology, telecommunications, trade and transportation issues. Clients include Google and Education Network of America.

Marcus also serves as the President of the Washington Government Relations Group (WGRG), an organization of African American lobbyists whose goal is to enrich the community, by providing mentorship and professional growth opportunities while promoting diversity within the lobbying profession.

  • Marcus was raised in Los Angeles, CA.
  • He attended California State University - Dominguez Hills, where he obtained a B.A. in Political Science, Economics, and English.
  • His first job in government was working for a state senate campaign in CA, and he won his first Congressional race as a campaign manager at 21.
  • At 22 Marcus began his career as a Chief of Staff/Legislative Director in the U.S. House of Representatives. He served in that role from ’92-’99.
  • He then transitioned to the private sector, where he worked as the Senior Director of Government Affairs for Amtrak.
  • Marcus has served on the Board of Directors for the Congressional Black Caucus Political Action Committee for the last 10 years.
  • He also serves as a Super Delegate on the Democratic National Committee.

“50% of my job is advocating for my client to Capitol Hill, and the other 50% is advocating Capitol Hill to my client.”

The Washington Government Relations Group offers a number of events, including a Table Talk Series where they hold lunches with seasoned professionals and young individuals. They also host the annual Tin Cup Awards Dinner recognizing those who advocate for the enrichment of African American Government Relations Professionals. The WGRG also facilitates college scholarships for young adults interested in government relations.

Oct 07, 2019
Burning Man Has a Lobbyist. His Name is Rich Gold.
40:54

Did you know the Burning Man festival has a lobbyist? We are joined today by Rich Gold, who is a Partner at Holland & Knight, one of the largest lobbying firms in D.C., where he serves as a leader of the firm’s Public Policy and Regulation team. Rich shares his experience working for unique clients like Burning Man, and many more. Rich manages the firm's national lobbying team which has over 85 members, bringing in annual revenue of $25-30 million.

  • Rich grew up in New York and New Hampshire
  • He attended The University of Vermont for a B.S. in Business and obtained his J.D. from George Washington University.
  • He served as a Staff Attorney, and later Special Assistant to Carol Browner at the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.
  • Rich served as a Special Assistant for Environmental Affairs to US Senator Lloyd Bentsen.
  • He has worked at Holland & Knight for the last 25 years.

“It’s really important in current times to understand that the process that we are involved in, advocating for public policy, is sacred, and something that most around the world don’t get to do.”

Burning Man is an annual festival which takes place in Nevada on federal land, and Rich talks about the unique issues that arise with lobbying for one of the most famous music festivals in the world. At its height, Burning Man populates the desolate desert area with a population, comparable to a small city.

Rich also provides tips on coalition building, and the key skills he looks for in potential employees.

Holland & Knight takes on about six paid government relations interns in D.C. every semester!

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Sep 30, 2019
How to Use Data to Lobby
23:19

Today we sit down with two employees from Quorum – an integrated public affairs software platform providing stakeholder engagement, legislative tracking, and grassroots advocacy tools to government affairs professionals.

Quorum is represented in this episode by Gray Kinsella and Neal Walia.

  • Neal was raised in Colorado, attending Univ. of Colorado-Boulder for his B.A. in Political Science and International Affairs, and Univ. of Colorado-Denver for his M.A. in Criminal Justice.
  • Neal served as a Program Coordinator for Community Partnerships for former Colorado Gov. Hickenlooper.
  • He was a Legislative Coordinator for the National Governors Association before joining the Quorum team.
  • Gray is from the Boston area and attended George Washington Univ. for his B.A. in Political Science and Political Communication.
  • He served in Marketing Research and Sales Support for Proclivity Recruitment Solutions in the D.C. area before joining Quorum.

Quorum was founded 6 years ago in a Harvard dorm room by two college students who wanted to help improve the advocacy capabilities of individuals working in the government affairs space. Today it has over 85 employees, serving clients ranging from NGOs, embassies, and lobbying firms across the globe.

For a recent story about Quorum expanding their international capacity, see the following link.

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Sep 23, 2019
From the Hill, to the DOJ, to the Tech Industry
34:10

This week, we welcome Sarah Matz to the show. Sarah serves as Senior Director of State Government Affairs for CompTIA, and is based out of Austin, Texas.

CompTIA is a trade association that represents the U.S. tech industry, representing nearly 2,000 member companies, and offering I.T. certification programs.

Sarah serves as an advocate for CompTIA in the southern region of the U.S. with an impressive portfolio of 12 states, drawing on her years of experience working in government, from the Department of Justice to Congress.

  • Sarah was raised in Arizona, but now calls Texas home.
  • She attended West Texas A&M University for her B.A. in Criminal Justice, and Gonzaga University for an M.A. in Communication and Organizational Leadership.
  • Her first government/political job was interning in the U.S. House of Representatives during her senior year of college.
  • She worked in the U.S. House first as a Legislative Assistant to Congressman Larry Combest, and then as a Senior Policy Advisor to Randy Neugebauer.
  • She then worked as a congressional/public affairs specialist for the U.S. Department of Justice.
  • She then returned to Texas, serving as a Legislative Liaison for the Texas Department of Transportation, before joining CompTIA

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Sep 16, 2019
How to Build the Firm of the Future
35:24

Jonathan Kilman is the Chairman of Converge Government Affairs. Based out of Miami, Florida, Converge offers government relations and public affairs services at the state, national AND international level! After graduating from Harvard Law School, Jonathan had a career as an attorney before transitioning to the government affairs sector.

  • Jonathan earned a B.S. in finance from the University of Florida and then received his J.D. from Harvard Law School.
  • He served as a partner at Foley & Lardner LLP for eleven years, working in their government practice.
  • As a lawyer, Jonathan represented the Florida House of Representatives in litigation and appeals related to the redistricting of Florida's state and federal legislative districts. Two years later, he represented the Florida Department of State in state and federal election litigation and appeals. Jonathan also served as legal counsel to the successful 2006 campaign of Florida Governor Charlie Crist.
  • Jonathan serves as Chair of the Strategy Committee for the Florida State Hispanic Chamber of Commerce.

Converge has an impressive list of tech and startup clients, and employs a remarkable staff of seasoned lobbyists. Within just two years, Converge has expanded to fifteen full-time employees. Jonathan designed his firm like a tech startup to resonate with the clientele he wanted to attract.

Sep 09, 2019
From Philosophy Major to Real Estate Investing and Government Affairs
23:54

Charles Tassell is the Chief Operating Officer for the National Real Estate Investor Association (REIA), a trade organization representing 60,000 members from all walks of the real estate investment industry. Charles has a lot of experience working in local city government and in government affairs, specializing in real estate and land development. He is a man who wears many hats: COO, owner, and City Councilman! 

  • Charles calls the Cincinnati area home.
  • Charles' first political job was working as a campaign manager for a City Council race in Cincinnati, OH.
  • He then worked in Cincinnati's City Hall in a range of capacities.
  • He is currently a City Council member in Deer Park, Ohio.

Charles has helped develop policy for dozens of municipalities, counties, and states. He's worked on several pieces of legislation dealing with economic development, fair housing, and environmental issues. He also helps train local chapters of REIA in organizing, coalition building, and best practices for hiring contract lobbyists.

If you're in the Cincinnati area and interested in real estate development, Charles encourages you to reach out - he is happy to chat or grab lunch. 

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Sep 02, 2019
Turning a Passion for Politics and the Environment into a Career, and How to Succeed Before Local Boards & Commissions
41:58

Our guest today is Steve Conant, who is a partner at Anbaric Development Partners, a Massachusetts-based company that specializes in early stage development of large-scale electric transmission systems, the transformation of the electric and heating/cooling systems on campuses, and storage solutions surrounding microgrid projects.

Steve is passionate about environmental issues. He began his career working in municipal and federal government before transitioning to the government relations field.

  • Steve is native to Lowell, Massachusetts.
  • He attended UMass-Lowell for a B.A. in Philosophy & Environmental Science, and earned his M.A. in Urban and Environmental Policy from Tufts University.
  • He served as the President Green Line Devco, LLC, and spent 8 years working for Stone & Webster Engineering.  
  • Steve worked as a District Director for Congressman Chester Atkins doing constituent affairs.
  • Interestingly, Steve worked as a Principal Planner for MA Dept. of Environmental Management and as a Planning Director in Lowell.

In his role at Anbaric, Steve spends his time responding to wind energy and transmission RFPs. He works with both state governments and the federal government to create better energy policy for local communities.

Aug 26, 2019
How to Outsource Your In-House Government Affairs Team
34:40

Dusty Brighton is the Managing Director of Brightstone Bridge, LLC, a firm that Dusty created after an illustrious career in the GR field. Dusty and Jim sat down to chat in Nashville, TN, talking about Dusty’s unique career serving as both an in-house and contract lobbyist, and breaking down the differences between the two.

  • Dusty hails from Arkansas.
  • He attended the University of Arkansas for his B.A. in Communications and also a Masters of Public Administration.
  • His first experience in politics was in 3rd grade, hanging up campaign flyers in a gubernatorial race.
  • He served as the Director of State and Government Affairs for Microsoft, and Director of Government Relations for eBay, Inc.
  • He was the Vice President of State Government Affairs at the Internet Association.

“At the end of the day, we have a skillset. Doctors know how to be doctors, lawyers know how to be lawyers and Government relations people know how to navigate the government process.”

Aug 19, 2019
Five Minute Friday with George Cronin
01:39

George Cronin is the Managing Director at Rasky Partners. Based out of Boston, Massachusetts, Rasky Partners provides traditional government relations services at the state and municipal level, as well as grassroots organizing, and ballot question support. Their clients range from companies such as Toyota to Raytheon. In this conversation, George covers the ins and outs of managing a firm with over 20 employees.

  • George hails from Massachusetts, and was raised in a campaign environment.
  • He attended UMass Amherst for his undergraduate education, and attended Suffolk University for his Masters in Government.
  • His first job in government relations was interning at the Choate Group, a public affairs firm that would later merge to become Rasky Partners.
  • George has extensive campaign experience. He served as a senior advisor and New England political director for then U.S. Sen. Joe Biden’s 2008 presidential campaign.

George provides the lay of the land for the Massachusetts political scene, and offers his perspective on the work pace during the state's two year legislative session.

Massachusetts allows for ballot initiatives, and Cronin’s firm specializes in grassroots campaigns. Rasky Partners has an office in Boston as well as a federal government relations team in Washington D.C. 

Aug 16, 2019
How to Make the Jump from Intern to Full Time Staff, and the Importance of Paying it Forward
23:25

Christina Fisher is the Executive Director for Massachusetts and the Northeast at TechNet, a trade association that represents over 80 technology companies. TechNet provides a face for the technology community. Christina talks tech, testimony, and public policy. 

  • She attended American University for her B.A. in Political Science and received her J.D. from Suffolk University Law School.
  • She served as a Fellow at the Marshall Brennan Constitutional Literacy Project.
  • She moved up from an unpaid intern position to working as a Senior Research Analyst at the Massachusetts State House, and later worked as Committee Counsel, where she gained experience bill drafting.
  • She transitioned to the private sector to work as Senior Manager for Policy at Bloom Energy.

Christina shares her passion for giving public testimony and shares her tips and tricks. For college students in the Boston area interested in interning at Technet or chatting with Christina she encourages you to connect with her on Linkedin.

Aug 12, 2019
Five Minute Friday with Christina Fisher
01:37

Christina Fisher is the Executive Director for Massachusetts and the Northeast at TechNet, a trade association that represents over 80 technology companies. TechNet provides a face for the technology community. Christina talks tech, testimony and public policy. 

  • She attended American University for her B.A. in Political Science and received her J.D. from Suffolk University Law School.
  • She served as a Fellow at the Marshall Brennan Constitutional Literacy Project.
  • She moved up from an unpaid intern position to working as a Senior Research Analyst at the Massachusetts State House, and later worked as Committee Counsel, where she gained experience bill drafting.
  • She transitioned to the private sector to work as Senior Manager for Policy at Bloom Energy.

Christina shares her passion for giving public testimony and shares her tips and tricks. For college students in the Boston area interested in interning at Technet or chatting with Christina she encourages you to connect with her on linkedin.

Aug 09, 2019
How to Get a Presidential Management Fellowship, and the Surprising Places it Can Take You
51:52

Paige Fetzer-Borelli is the Director of Global Government Affairs and Public Policy at Dell. Paige shares her interesting background working in international affairs, public policy and government affairs. Paige describes her experience with U.S State Department internships and her time as a Presidential Management Fellow, and discusses how to succeed in the application process.

  • Paige hails from Idaho.
  • She attended Boise State University for her B.A. in Anthropology, and Seton Hall University for her M.P.A. and M.A. in International Relations.
  • Paige interned for the State Department at the Embassy in Brazil, later working as an Advisor on Corporate Responsibility.
  • She was awarded a Presidential Management Fellowship at the Treasury Department, and served as a Policy Advisor and Special Assistant to the Undersecretary.
  • Paige has served as a professor of political science at the University of Duhok in Iraq, while working at the Civil Society Development Institute of Iraq in 2011.
  • Fun fact: Paige has learned French, Spanish, Portuguese, and Arabic through her world travels.

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Aug 05, 2019
Five Minute Friday with Paige Fetzer-Borelli
01:34

Paige Fetzer-Borelli is the Director of Global Government Affairs and Public Policy at Dell. Paige shares her interesting background working in international affairs, public policy and government affairs. Paige describes her experience with U.S State Department internships and her time as a Presidential Management Fellow, and discusses how to succeed in the application process.

  • Paige hails from Idaho.
  • She attended Boise State University for her B.A. in Anthropology, and Seton Hall University for her M.P.A. and M.A. in International Relations.
  • Paige interned for the S State Department at the Embassy in Brazil, later working as an Advisor on Corporate Responsibility.
  • She was awarded a Presidential Management Fellowship at the S Treasury, and served as a Policy Advisor and Special Assistant to the Undersecretary.
  • Paige has served as a professor of political science at the University of Duhok in Iraq, while working at the Civil Society Development Institute of Iraq in 2011.
  • Fun fact: Paige has learned French, Spanish, Portuguese, and Arabic through her world travels.

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Aug 02, 2019
Breaking Down the Net Neutrality Debate with an FCC Expert
19:27

Russell Hanser is a Partner at Wilkinson Barker Knauer LLP (WBK), a law firm based in Washington, D.C., where he works in telecommunications and state regulatory affairs. Russell describes his career path including his time as a law clerk, working at the FCC, and for large law firms with policy niches.

  • Russell was raised in Westbury, New York.
  • He obtained he B.A. in Political Science from Amherst College, his J.D. from Harvard, and his M.A. in Global Policy from Johns Hopkins University.
  • While in law school, he served on the Harvard Law Review.
  • He spent 2 years working as an attorney at Ropes and Gray LLP, before serving as a Law Clerk for the US Court of Appeals in the 1st
  • From there Russell became an Associate at WilmerHale.
  • He then worked in various roles at the Federal Communications Commission.
  • Russell is a member of the Board of Directors for Byte Back, Inc, an organization that provides free IT certification classes with the mission of helping people receive a living wage.

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Jul 29, 2019
Five Minute Friday with Russ Hanser
02:47

Russell Hanser is a Partner at Wilkinson Barker Knauer LLP (WBK), a law firm based in D.C., where he works in telecommunications and state regulatory affairs. Russell describes his career path including his time as a law clerk, working at the FCC, and for large law firms with policy niches.

  • Russel was raised in Westbury, New York.
  • He obtained he B.A. in Political Science from Amherst College, his J.D. from Harvard, and his M.A. in Global Policy from Johns Hopkins University.
  • While in law school, he served on the Harvard Law Review.
  • He spent 2 years working as an attorney at Ropes and Gray LLP, before serving as a Law Clerk for the US Court of Appeals in the 1st
  • From there Russell became an Associate at WilmerHale.
  • He then worked in various roles at the Federal Communications Commission.
  • Russell is a member of the Board of Directors for Byte Back, Inc, an organization that provides free IT certification classes with the mission of helping people receive a living wage.

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Jul 26, 2019
Abby Watson: At the Cutting Edge of the Wind Power Industry
31:13

Abby Watson is the Head of Government Affairs for Siemens Gamesa, managing the company's state and federal policy agenda across North America. Siemens Gamesa is an international renewable energy company based in Spain. Abby chats about wind energy, lobbying, responding to RFPs, and the differences between east coast and west coast government relations work.

  • She attended Penn State University, and earned her B.A. in Energy and Sustainability Policy. She is pursuing her Executive MBA from Villanova School of Business.
  • Abby worked for a variety of renewable energy companies, including Astrum Solar and RealWinWin.
  • She has worked with Siemens Gamesa for the last 8 years, and was originally hired as a development assistant.
  • She is a Chapter Founder and Past President of Women of Renewable Industries and Sustainable Energy

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Jul 22, 2019
Five Minute Friday with Abby Watson
04:12

Abby Watson is the Head of Government Affairs for Siemens Gamesa, managing the company's state and federal policy agenda across North America. Siemens Gamesa is an international renewable energy company based in Spain. Abby chats about wind energy, lobbying, responding to RFPs, and the differences between east coast and west coast government relations work.

  • She attended Penn State University, and earned her B.A. in Energy and Sustainability Policy. She is pursuing her Executive MBA from Villanova School of Business.
  • Abby worked for a variety of renewable energy companies, including Astrum Solar and RealWinWin.
  • She has worked with Siemens Gamesa for the last 8 years, and was originally hired as a development assistant.
  • She is a Chapter Founder and Past President of Women of Renewable Industries and Sustainable Energy

Follow The Lobbying Show on FacebookInstagram and Twitter for weekly updates about the show, our guests, and more.

Jul 19, 2019
An Engineer on Capitol Hill: From Senate Staffer, to the FCC, to Ericsson
26:50

Matthew Hussey is the Director of Government Affairs & Public Policy for Ericsson, a multinational network and telecommunications company headquartered in Stockholm, Sweden with over 90,000 employees. Matthew has a background in engineering, the legislative process, and advocacy.

  • Matthew obtained his bachelor’s degree in electrical engineering from the Georgia Institute of Technology and his MBA with a focus in corporate finance from the University of Maryland.
  • After college, Matthew worked as a broadband engineer for Media One / Road Runner, a corporate engineering and technology group.
  • He transitioned to become a Senior Staff Consultant for Verizon Communications while obtaining his MBA.
  • He then joined the American Legislative Exchange Council as the Telecommunications & IT Task Force Director. Matthew had an interest in applying policy to the technical aspects of his engineering background.
  • Matthew transitioned to the public sector and became the Senior Policy Advisor to U.S. Senator Olympia Snowe on issues pertaining to telecommunications and education.
  • For six years, he served as Associate Chief of Policy at the Federal Communications Commission before taking on his current role at Ericsson.

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Jul 15, 2019
Five Minute Friday with Matthew Hussey
04:07

Matthew Hussey is the Director of Government Affairs & Public Policy for Ericsson, a multinational network and telecommunications company headquartered in Stockholm, Sweden with over 90,000 employees. Matthew has a background in engineering, the legislative process, and advocacy.

  • Matthew obtained his bachelor’s degree in electrical engineering from the Georgia Institute of Technology and his MBA with a focus in corporate finance from the University of Maryland.
  • After college, Matthew worked as a broadband engineer for Media One / Road Runner, a corporate engineering and technology group.
  • He transitioned to become a Senior Staff Consultant for Verizon Communications while obtaining his MBA.
  • He then joined the American Legislative Exchange Council as the Telecommunications & IT Task Force Director. Matthew had an interest in applying policy to the technical aspects of his engineering background.
  • Matthew transitioned to the public sector and became the Senior Policy Advisor to U.S. Senator Olympia Snowe on issues pertaining to telecommunications and education.
  • For six years, he served as Associate Chief of Policy at the Federal Communications Commission before taking on his current role at Ericsson.
Jul 12, 2019
Innovating at the Intersection of Government Affairs and Venture Capital
36:18

Alex Johnson is the President of InState Partners, a firm that helps businesses expand their operations into new states as well as introduce and promote innovation within government. Since 1999, InState Partners has impacted legislation and government contracts for their clients throughout the country. 

  • He received his B.A. from Marquette University in Political Science and History.
  • Alex’s first job in politics was working at the Republican National Committee in the fundraising office.
  • He worked on John McCain’s 2000 run for President as the Deputy Finance Director.
  • Alex dipped into the dotcom boom of the early 2000s and founded a startup called SpeedGreetings.
  • He then served as the Executive Director for the Republican State Leadership Committee.
  • Alex became a Principal and founder of Avalanche Advisors, before serving as a Senior Vice President of FP1 Strategies.
  • For the last 12 years, Alex has worked with the American Council of Young Political Leaders, now serving as the President of the Board.

Check out the startups Alex mentions in the interview: Payit, and Acivilate.

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Jul 08, 2019
Five Minute Friday with Alex Johnson
02:04

Alex Johnson is the President of InState Partners, a firm that helps businesses expand their operations into new states as well as introduce and promote innovation within government. Since 1999, InState Partners has impacted legislation and government contracts for their clients throughout the country. 

  • He received his B.A. from Marquette University in Political Science and History.
  • Alex’s first job in politics was working at the Republican National Committee in the fundraising office.
  • He worked on John McCain’s 2000 run for President as the Deputy Finance Director.
  • Alex dipped into the dotcom boom of the early 2000s and founded a startup called SpeedGreetings.
  • He then served as the Executive Director for the Republican State Leadership Committee.
  • Alex became a Principal and founder of Avalanche Advisors, before serving as a Senior Vice President of FP1 Strategies.
  • For the last 12 years, Alex has worked with the American Council of Young Political Leaders, now serving as the President of the Board.
Jul 05, 2019
Advocacy in The Aviation Sector - Representing 340,000+ U.S. Pilots
31:13

Jim Coon is the Senior Vice President of Government Affairs & Advocacy for the Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association representing over 340,000 members. Jim has a unique resume with extensive experience working in Congress and in the aviation field.

  • Jim was raised in Virginia.
  • He graduated from Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University with a B.A. in Urban Planning.
  • After college, Jim took an internship working on the Hill, getting his foot in the door.
  • Jim worked as a staff member on the Aviation subcommittee in the U.S. House of Representatives.
  • He transitioned to serve as the Director of Congressional Affairs for the Air Transport Association before serving as the Director of Congressional Affairs for The Boeing Company
  • Jim then returned to work in the House of Representatives, where he served as the Republican Staff Director for the Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure.
  • In 2013, he became the Executive Vice President to the National Air Transportation Association before joining AOPA in 2014.
  • Jim previously served as an officer in the Army Reserves and the Virginia National Guard.

The AOPA was founded in 1939, with the mission to protect an individual’s freedom to fly in the United States. Many members are people who own their own plane and enjoy flying. AOPA has consistently been named a top 50 advocacy organization

Jul 01, 2019
Five Minute Friday With Al Gordon
03:23

Welcome to Five Minute Friday! A new segment on the Lobbying Show where we ask this week's guest for a quick tip (or cautionary tale) for all of the lobbyists and government affairs professionals working in D.C. and throughout the states. 

This week, Al discusses the importance of being honest with clients and potential clients, and conducting outreach and due diligence before getting hired.

To check out the full episode with Al, click here

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If you like what you're hearing, don't forget to subscribe and leave us a comment on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, or wherever you get your podcasts. 

Jun 28, 2019
From Cuomo Advisor & Confidante to Procurement & Gov't Affairs Expert
37:48

Al Gordon is the CEO and founder of National Strategies (NSI), a state and local government relations firm.  

Since founding the firm in 1996, Al has helped companies successfully navigate the complexities of procurement, legislative, and regulatory issues in the state and local government market. Under his leadership, NSI has helped generate over $23 billion in new revenue, as well as execute dozens of successful legislative and regulatory programs for its clients.

  • Al is from the Borough of Queens, New York City.
  • He obtained his B.A. in History from Clark University, and his J.D. from Fordham University.
  • Al's first job in politics was interning for Mario Cuomo when he was running for Mayor of New York City.
  • He later worked on Mario Cuomo’s campaign for Lt. Governor.
  • Al then served as an aide to Mario Cuomo (when he was governor) for about 10 years from 1983-1994.
  • Gordon also served as the Chairman of the New York State Democratic Committee.

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Jun 24, 2019
How to Make it in Albany: Hustle, Humility, and Hard Work
35:57

David Weinraub is a Co-Founder of Brown & Weinraub, a government relations firm based in Albany, NY serving almost 200 clients. They work with clients including, BAE Systems, Dow Chemicals, 23 and Me, and AirBnB.

  • David was raised in New York City.
  • He attended St. Johns University and earned a BS in Criminal Justice, then earned a JD from St. Johns Law School.
  • David worked at a boutique law firm before branching out into politics.
  • Through a chance encounter with someone from Governor Mario Coumo’s staff, he got involved in the governor’s re-election campaign.
  • After the campaign, he became the Governor’s representative to the Borough of Queens.
  • David then served as Counsel to the Lt. Governor of New York and then as the Director of Legislative and Intergovernmental affairs for Gov. Cuomo.

“We have to prove ourselves every month. This business is a hustle. it is a consulting business and those clients have to make a decision every 30 days if they want to sign that check for you or not. You have to be on your toes.”

David shares great advice about being a successful government relations professional, starting his own firm, and about becoming involved in New York politics. David gives some frank advice about the importance of humility to the process, respect for the system and respect for legislators. David’s firm offers internships and encourages students to apply through their website.

Jun 17, 2019
It's All About Relationships - From Intern, to Congressional Chief of Staff, to the Weather Channel
51:12

John Goodwin is the Vice President of Communications for the Weather Channel. He discusses the importance of networking, and offers insights he's picked up from a career working in Congress and in various government affairs roles. 

  • John was raised in Cranston, Rhode Island.
  • He graduated with a BA in Political Science from Marymount University, and earned a graduate degree in Public Policy Analysis from George Mason University.
  • His first job in government relations was interning for a trade association.
  • He served as a Public Affairs Manager for the National Marine Manufacturers Association.
  • John Served as a Press Secretary, a Communications Director and later as a Chief of Staff in the U.S. House of Representatives.
  • He gained campaign experience working for Connecticut Congressman Rob Simmons in 2006.
  • He served as Vice President for The Herald Group from 2013-2017.

In a job driven by the weather, every day is different. Part of John’s job includes coordinating with governors, members of congress and other elected officials to get the Weather Channels's message out to their constituents during hazardous weather conditions. 

The Weather Channel offers summer internships in communications in both New York and Atlanta, and John encourages you to apply!

Jun 10, 2019
Building a Top-Ranked Firm in NYC
40:49

Suri Kasirer is the President and founder of Kasirer, LLC, the #1 NYC-based lobbying firm with over 200 clients. Suri shares insights into how to build a successful business in the government relations industry.

  • Suri was born in New York City.
  • She graduated from Yeshiva University with a focus in education.
  • Suri founded her firm in a studio apartment in 1997, growing to become the city's #1 firm with a staff of over 30 people.
  • She served as a special assistant to Governor of New York Mario Cuomo
  • Suri serves on the Board of Directors for the League of Conservation Voters.
  • She is a member of the steering committee for the Association for a Better New York and a member of the Brooklyn Chamber of Commerce.
  • She serves on the Board of Directors for the New York Women’s Leadership Forum.
  • In 2018 she was awarded the National Organization of Women’s Women of Power & Influence Award.

Suri discusses NYC politics, the city's 51-person city council, and the impact of instituting term limits. She also talks about her unique journey into the world of government relations, including a story about a world class chess player and Mayor Rudy Giuliani.

Kasirer, LLC has a robust internship program taking 5-6 paid interns every semester, providing professional development, weekly speakers, and scheduled mentor lunches. She encourages interested applicants to apply!

Jun 03, 2019
From Lobbyist to Serial Entrepreneur
52:40

Mark DeSantis, PhD is the CEO of RoadBotics, a tech company that uses artificial intelligence and smartphones to help government and engineering firms make data-driven decisions regarding road and transportation assessments. Mark is a tech entrepreneur with a long history of work in the public sector and government affairs. He’s worked for mayors, congressman, and a president, in addition to consulting and lobbying work. Mark sits down and shares some great advice for entrepreneurs and government affairs professionals alike.

  • Mark was raised in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.
  • He graduated from the University of Dayton with a BA in American Studies and an MBA, an MS in Technology Management from American University, and a PhD in Public Policy from George Mason University.
  • Mark worked in consulting for Booz-Allen Hamilton.
  • He served in the White House under President George Bush in the Office of Science and Technology Policy, and the Department of Commerce.
  • He worked as the Director of Government Relations for Texas Instruments.
  • Mark has served on the Executive teams for a plethora of startups and companies including, kWantera, Freemarkets inc, Think Through Learning and LogiNext.
  • Mark serves as an Adjunct Professor at Carnegie Mellon University at the Heinz College.

 “What Washington taught me is that there is no point in getting power for powers sake, it should be power to do something useful and meaningful.”

“The advice I would give to young people considering politics, government or entrepreneurship? I would say to them - be about something before you go do it. Understand who you are as a person, what motivates you, what you care about, and focus on that first. Don’t focus on the position, title, or status.”

RoadBotics is based on an AI program developed at Carnegie Mellon: a user can download an app, face their phone’s camera towards the windshield to passively record data, and the app will automatically identify problem areas on the road. RoadBotics serves the cities of Detroit and London. RoadBotics finds innovative and cost-effective ways to collect data, including partnering with street sweeping companies. Roadbotics reduces the cost and labor required using traditional methods of road surveying. RoadBotics can not only spot existing potholes, but can also identify precursors to other road issues.

For more information, watch RoadBotics on PBS NewsHour.

RoadBotics offers internships based in Pittsburgh, and Mark encourages you to reach out with resumes if interested. You do not have to be a Steelers fan to apply!

“I think of my experience in Washington as a very positive one. It developed me as a person, helped me understand how the world works, how power works, and how to get things done. It was not a big transition into entrepreneurship!” 

May 27, 2019
Offshore Wind: Flavor of the Year - Hear from a Former Energy Commissioner
41:16

David O’Connor is the Senior VP for Clean Energy and Technology at ML Strategies, a government relations powerhouse in Boston, where he works to drive beneficial public policy for clean energy projects. He served as the Commissioner of the Massachusetts Division of Energy Resources during the tenures of five Governors, from 1995 to 2007.

  • David obtained his BA in Political Science, Education and English at Middlebury College and his MPA from Harvard’s Kennedy School.
  • David worked as an adjunct professor at Tufts University teaching mediation.
  • He served as the Executive Director of Massachusetts Dispute Resolution.
  • He then served as the Commissioner in the Massachusetts Division of Energy Resources.
  • He has been a lobbyist with ML Strategies for over ten years.

People don’t appreciate the role of the lobbyist in the public policy making process… In my experience legislators depend on lobbyists heavily, because they are inundated with thousands of pieces of information that they [have to] address. 

May 20, 2019
A Deep Dive into the Polling Process
36:03

Adam Probolsky is the President and founder of Probolsky Research, a non-partisan opinion research organization that conducts polling and analysis for a range of clients including government, non-profit and political candidates.

  • Adam was raised in West Orange, New Jersey.
  • Growing up, Adam volunteered with his local Republican party.
  • He served as a Planning and Finance Commissioner for the city of Irvine, CA.
  • Adam sat on the Energy and Environment Committee of the US Chamber of Commerce.

“Identifying who is going to show up and vote is one of the most fundamental aspects of the job.”

“Our biggest fear is that the research report we deliver [the client] ends up on the shelf. We want it to be used, because we know that data will be helpful for them.”

Probolsky is a well-known pundit, and has contributed to The New York Times, Politico, the San Francisco Chronicle, and MSNBC. Probolsky shares the pollster research process from start to end, sharing the benefits of polling in the current age of technology.

Probolsky Research accepts interns all year round, and he emphasized that interns will, “roll up their sleeves and get to do the work.” You are welcome to email, but he encourages you to make the phone call.  

Firm website: https://www.probolskyresearch.com/  

Twitter: https://twitter.com/AdamProbolsky/

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/adamprobolsky

LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/adamprobolsky/

 

May 13, 2019
L.A. Politics, Ridesharing, and the Future of Tech Policy
01:03:55

 

Chris Massey is the Head of Global Government Relations and Public Policy at Square - a financial technology and IT service management company designed for small businesses, based out of San Francisco, California. 

  • Chris was raised in the Los Angeles area.
  • He obtained his B.A. in Political Science/ History from UCLA
  • His first role in government was as a Legislative Aide in the U.S. Senate Committee on Labor and Human Resources.
  • After several years of working at lobbying firms like Cerrell Associates, Chris returned to the public sector to serve as the deputy Chief of Staff and Legislative Director for the City of Los Angeles.
  • He was the President and Founder of Impact Group, a state and local lobbying group.
  • Chris spent 2 years working at Lyft between 2013-2015, serving as the Senior Director of Government Relations.
  • He also served as the VP of Government Relations & Business Development at Zenefits, where he led GR outreach.

“It’s critical that you can humanize a story!”

May 06, 2019
The Keys to Managing Associations and Building Consensus
30:19

Christopher Badgley is the Executive Director and CEO of the Association of Dental Support Organizations (ADSO), which represents dental practitioners across the U.S. This includes HR, tech support, financing, and the administrative functions of the dental industry. Badgley spent much of his career in the healthcare and pharmaceutical industry.

  • He obtained a B.S. in Wildlife Management from the University of Wisconsin - Stevens Point.
  • Christopher spent 18 years working for Wyeth Pharmaceuticals, where he started as a sales representative and ended as the Executive Director of State Government Affairs.
  • He then served as the Senior Vice President for Government and Public Affairs at PhRMA, and Senior Vice President of State Government Affairs for TechAmerica, a trade association for tech companies in the U.S.
  • Prior to his role in ADSO, he also worked at Daiichi Sanko, a Japanese pharmaceutical company.

“Working at a trade association, you have to listen to a lot of voices, knowing they are competitors. You have to be able to dance that dance, and that is what makes trade associations fun.”

The DSO business model in the dental industry allows dentists to focus on patients and clinical aspects, while contracting the back of house functions of the practice to the member companies of ADSO.

Apr 29, 2019
Working for Speaker Pelosi, Spotify, and More with Tom Manatos
43:50

Tom Manatos is the Vice President of Government Relations at Spotify. Spotify is the world’s most popular music streaming subscription service with a community of 207 million users, including 96 million subscribers, across 79 markets. They are the largest driver of revenue to the music business today.

Tom is also the founder of Tom Manatos Jobs - one of the top jobs lists on Capitol Hill and in Washington D.C. In this episode, Tom shares his extensive experiences in politics, such as working for the Speaker of the House and the DNC.

  • Tom Manatos is from Montgomery County, Maryland
  • Tom graduated from Cornell University with a B.A. in Communications, and received an M.A. in Government from Johns Hopkins University.
  • He was a Senate Page at 16, waking up Senator Ted Kennedy from naps to go vote.
  • Tom worked for Nancy Pelosi from 2002-2011, starting as an intern in her office when she was the House Whip, and ending as Senior Advisor for Member Services when she was Speaker of the House.
  • Tom served as Senior Advisor to the Democratic National Committee Chair.
  • He served as the Deputy Director of Protocol on the Presidential Inaugural Committee for Barack Obama in 2012.
  • Tom then worked as the Vice President, Federal Government Affairs at the Internet Association.

On working for Speaker Nancy Pelosi: “From a historical perspective, I got to see members of congress reacting to a woman telling them what to do, and encouraging them what to do for the first time, and that was incredible.”

Tom created an email-based jobs list while working on the Hill, whereby he would forward job postings to folks looking for jobs in the D.C. area. After leaving the Hill, he created Tom Manatos Jobs one of the go-to job sites in D.C. The site now has over 14,000 subscribers, sharing bipartisan job openings. We encourage listeners and anyone looking for jobs or internships to check it out! You can receive daily emails with new jobs openings every day.

At Spotify, Tom manages the federal government affairs operations in D.C. Spotify offers music and tech internships with applications opening in the fall for the following summer.

Apr 22, 2019
From the RGA to the Largest Law Firm in the World
35:03

Paul Hatch is the CEO at Nextlaw Public Affairs Network. Hatch is also a Senior Advisor at Dentons, the largest law firm in the world, with offices in over 80 countries, and over 10,000 lawyers.

  • Paul Hatch was raised in Salt Lake City, Utah.
  • Hatch has an undergraduate background in finance in economics and attended University of Utah College of Law.
  • Hatch’s first role in government was working on the Senate race for his cousin Orrin Hatch in 1976.
  • Hatch served as the Executive Director of the Republican Governors Association, and worked in the political division of the Republican National Committee.
  • While at the RGA, Hatch served as the organization’s liaison to the White House.
  • He worked at the law firm McDermott Will & Emery as the Director of Government Relations.
  • Hatch served as an adviser to Pakistani Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto, and the National Coalition Government of the Union of Burma.
  • He became a Partner at 101 Strategy Partners, a government affairs and communications firm.

Dentons hires law students as interns every year, and encourages those interested to apply.

Nextlaw hires interns, and Paul is looking for interns for the Summer of 2019! He encourages you to reach out and apply on the website.

Apr 15, 2019
In-house vs. Contract Lobbying: Understanding the Pros & Cons
31:09

Today’s show features Ben Pearlman, Head of State Government Affairs, Northern Region for Lowe’s Companies, Inc., where he manages operations in over 25 states. Lowe’s started as a small local store, growing to a Fortune 40 company and national retailer of hardware and home appliances, with 2,200 stores across North America and 300,000 employees.

  • Ben grew up in West Lafayette, Indiana.
  • Ben attended American University for his B.A. and obtained his J.D. at Indiana University School of Law-Indianapolis.
  • Growing up in a political family, he became involved very early, attending monthly gatherings of local and county elected officials where he jokes, he was the youngest person attending by 40 years.
  • During college he interned on the Hill in the Senate, before returning to Indiana to work for the Indiana House Democratic Caucus.
  • He returned to D.C. working in the U.S. House of Representatives before spending time working as a Federal Relations Assistant for Indiana University.
  • He then moved to Massachusetts where he worked as a Legislative Attorney at the state capitol, and later as an Attorney/ Contract Lobbyist for Serlin Haley LLP.
  • Prior to his current role, Ben served as the Senior Manager of Government and Regulatory Affairs at Comcast.

  “Especially when looking for jobs and internships in government affairs, any opportunity where you get to meet a lot of people very quickly, that is where I point people to go.”  

 “This is the most challenging role I have been in because there is no shortage of things to do and there is no shortage of things to learn.”

Ben breaks down some of the seemingly complicated jargon that lobbyist often use, and offers insight into some of the common trade associations in the retail industry. Working in government affairs for such a large company, Ben works on a range of issues from labor issues, consumer privacy regulation, to tariffs.

Ben recommends, “Before you go into government affairs, I suggest learning the business. If you have an interest in politics and you can learn the business, you will be better off.” With that being said, Ben suggests looking into the internships Lowe’s offers out of their corporate office, here.

Apr 08, 2019
Microsoft, Yahoo, & Alibaba - Meet Bill Ashworth, Mr. Tech
43:38

Bill Ashworth is the Director of State and Local Government Affairs at Alibaba Group, a multinational e-commerce company, headquartered in China. 

  • Bill Ashworth was raised in Wayne, New Jersey.
  • Ashworth obtained his B.A. in Public Communications from American University.
  • He obtained his J.D. from Syracuse University College of Law.
  • His first foray into politics began with student government and door knocking for a local city council campaign.
  • While in law school at Syracuse University, he learned the nuts and bolts of prosecutorial work at the New Jersey Attorney General’s Office.
  • He worked as Policy Counsel at TechAmerica, then at Microsoft, and Google.
  • He served as Senior Director of State Government Affairs, and later as Senior Legal Director of Public Policy at Yahoo.

“Companies are recognizing the importance of state and government affairs and they are building out those functions accordingly and proportionately.”

 

Apr 01, 2019
A Look Inside the Booming E-Scooter Industry with Casey Whittington
35:15

Casey Whittington is the National Director of Government Relations at Blue Duck Scooters, a company offering an innovative transportation alternative through a scooter ridesharing app. They describe themselves as “a tech company that traded their computers for scooters.”

  • Casey Whittington was raised in San Antonio, Texas.
  • He attended the University of Texas at San Antonio and earned a BS in Political Science and Government.
  • While in school he worked as an intern at The DeBerry Group, a public relations firm, and also worked full-time as a bartender.
  • He also served for six years as the Senior Account Executive at The Whittington Group, a strategic communications firm based in Texas that he founded with his father.
  • Casey serves as the Vice Chairman of the San Antonio Planning Commission.

“Pick something you are passionate about and go volunteer your time for free. Everyone has a couple of hours a week. Go sit on a city board or commission. Go volunteer and see how you can influence public policy.”

In Casey Whittington’s role at Blue Duck, he leverages his experience in public relations and government affairs. Blue Duck's scooters are similar to razor scooters, but have a small motor, providing an alternative to rideshare bikes and traditional forms of transportation.  

Blue Duck takes an innovative approach to the scooter industry- they ask for permission before dropping scooters in a city, as opposed to asking for forgiveness later. For Casey, collaboration with city officials is key to success.

Blue Duck is developing an internship program where you will gain "on the ground" experience, getting involved in real issues. 

Casey discusses two wonderful programs, Morgan’s Wonderland, and Kinetic Kids, where he volunteers his time. Check them out if you are in the San Antonio area!

Mar 25, 2019
Launching a Firm and Lobbying in the Lone Star State
21:20

A.J. Bingham is the Founder and CEO of The Bingham Group LLC, a full-service lobbying firm working on municipal, legislative and regulatory matters throughout Texas. Bingham talks about state politics and the challenges for part-time legislators and lobbyists in the vast geography of Texas during the 140-day legislative session every other year.  

  • A.J. is from Austin, Texas - he's a proud Austinite.
  • Bingham attended Wake Forest University for a B.A. in Political Science and obtained his J.D. from Washburn University School of Law.
  • A.J.’s first job in government was in HIGH SCHOOL, working at the Texas Department of Transportation.
  • His first professional government job was with the Texas State Senate, with the non-partisan, Senate Research Center.
  • After law school A.J. worked at a contract lobbying firm, McWilliams Government Affairs Consulting.
  • He transitioned to a trade association, Real Estate Council of Austin, a municipal firm focused on land development in the booming city of Austin.  

“We are lobbyists, but in starting your own firm and business, you are also an entrepreneur.”

The Bingham Group is in a unique position in Austin, the capital of Texas, where they can work on both State legislation and municipal lobbying. A.J. pulls on his deep ties to the Austin community, having a greater lay of the land to deliver to clients.

The Bingham Group offers associate internships that interested individuals can find on the company website.

A.J.’s firm produces their own weekly podcast titled “The BG Podcast ” where they interview Austin’s leaders and influencers. “A conversation at the intersection of business, policy and community.” You can find the podcast on sound cloud, Google play or iTunes.   

To continue the conversation with AJ you can connect him via the following platforms

Instagram: @binghamgroup

Twitter: @binghamgp

Facebook

LinkedIn 

BG Podcast

Email: aj@binghamgp.com

www.binghamgp.com

 

Mar 18, 2019
Building a Career in PR and Public Affairs: From Canvassing to Crisis Communications
30:14

Jason Levin is the Public Affairs Director at Cerrell Associates, working in public relations and crisis communications. Levin shares his experience in communications, campaigns, and government affairs.

  • Jason Levin is a native of Los Angeles, California.
  • He attended George Washington University and obtained a B.A. in History.
  • Levin interned for Congressman Howard L. Berman during college.
  • He gravitated towards the communications roles on campaigns, after working as a staffer on a municipal election.
  • Levin then Served as a communications director in the Los Angeles City Council.

“You learn more working on the losing campaigns than on the winning ones.”

Cerrell Associates takes a comprehensive approach to public affairs that combines the disciplines of government affairs, public relations, land use, and campaigns.

For more information on the California Ballot measure process and a brief history of ballot initiatives in the United States, see the following link.

Jason Levin recommends Rage for Justice, as a must read to understanding California politics.

Mar 11, 2019
Jim Conroy: Campaign Manager for the Country's Most Popular Governor
29:23

Jim Conroy was the campaign manager for Charlie Baker's 2018 reelection campaign. Baker currently serves as Governor of Massachusetts, and has the highest approval rating of any sitting governor in the United States. Conroy is a seasoned political operative, with campaign experience working at local, state, and national levels of government.

  • Jim Conroy was raised in Old Saybrook, Connecticut.
  • He earned his undergraduate degree from Syracuse University.
  • His first campaign experience was working for Chairman of the Connecticut Republican Party, serving as his "jack of all trades," before moving on to work as a legislative aide in the Connecticut State Senate.
  • Conroy then served as the Executive Director for the Connecticut Republican Party.
  • From there, he moved on to the Republican National Committee during John McCain’s presidential run.

“It’s about solving problems, not gaining political points. It’s about spending your political capital on moving the ball forward, not arguing with your adversary.”

Jim Conroy has experience working on all aspects of campaigns from door knocking to serving as chief of staff for a successful gubernatorial candidate’s transition team. He shares his stories from the fast-paced environment of campaign work and provides insight into what makes a successful campaign. 

Mar 04, 2019
Building The Triangle: Creating Partnerships Between Government, Business, and Community
19:19

Alex Tourk is the Founder and Principal of Ground Floor, a San Francisco based public affairs firm, with a diverse portfolio of clients, including Amazon, Lyft, Airbnb, and Square.

  • Alex is from New York and was raised in Los Angeles
  • He received a B.A. in History from Boston University
  • His first government job was an unpaid internship for Senator Boxer, while waiting tables at night.
  • Worked as a district director for Assemblyman Lou Papan in the California State Assembly.
  • Alex worked for 3 years in constituent affairs in the Office of the Mayor of San Francisco, for Willie Brown
  • He also served as the Director of Government Relations for the San Francisco 49ers.
  • He returned to the public sector to serve as the Deputy Chief of Staff to then Mayor Gavin Newsom of San Francisco before taking his current role as principal of Ground Floor.

“Being Involved in a campaign was a lot like being in a play. You rehearse and rehearse. Then it’s showtime, the curtain comes up and its election day, and you either get the New York times review or you are a flop.”

With extensive experience in San Francisco Bay area politics, Alex Tourk and his team at Ground Floor represent private sector and non-profit clients. They help their clients navigate the government process and build strong partnerships in the community. Alex shares his experience leading a successful company and how he got to where he is today.

Alex Tourk helped create Project Homelessness Connect, a civic initiative that brings together resources to fight homelessness, now found in over 200 cities worldwide.

Ground Floor proudly offers paid internships, and Summer Fellowships that you can find on their site!

Feb 25, 2019
Adobe: Transforming the Digital Experience with Government
23:53

Anne Perkins is the Senior Manager of Government Relations at Adobe, based out of San Francisco, California. In addition to photoshop and PDF, Adobe offers services and marketing software to both private and public institutions. Perkins manages government relations in all 50 states, working on state and local issues as governments are making the push to make their services digital. 

“We enable governments to have those same tools, so they are operating like a commercial business. It is all about a ‘citizen-centric’ government.”

For Adobe, their work is all about about transforming the digital experience through content creation and measuring the experience. At Adobe, Ann works with local governments to create ‘citizen-centric’ digital content that accompanies the push to put government services online.

Adobe offers government relations internship opportunities in DC, follow the link for more info.

Feb 18, 2019
Disruptive Technologies: Scooters, Flying Cars, and more with Phil Recht of Mayer Brown
48:06

Phil Recht is a Managing Partner at Mayer Brown LLC in Los Angeles, California, a global law firm with offices in the Americas, Asia, Europe and the Middle East. Recht specializes in government relations and public law. Phil shares his extensive experience working in a presidential administration on highway safety and regulation, and how that has shaped policy around autonomous vehicles.   

  • Recht was raised in Pittsburgh, PA.
  • Went to Yale University for his B.A. and obtained his J.D. from the University of Pennsylvania.
  • Recht’s first government job was working as an intern for U.S. Rep. John Moakley (MA-9) and he was then hired as a legislative assistant.
  • Worked on Bill Clinton’s Presidential campaign as legal counsel in California.
  • Served as Chief Counsel and later Deputy Administrator at the National Highway Safety Traffic Administration (NHTSA).

“We love policy issues, we love how government functions, we love politics, and how it all just fits together in the end”

Phil Recht’s practice at Mayer Brown’s Los Angeles office focuses on regulatory law for emerging industries, like rideshare applications and autonomous vehicles.

Mayer Brown’s L.A. office offers summer clerkship opportunities for second year law students.

Quick Links-

   For more information on How Autonomous Vehicles will Shape the Future of Cities see the following TedxCollegePark Talk

  For more information on the relationship between regulators and the Scooter start-ups, see the following New York Times Article by Kate Conger

Feb 11, 2019
From Bio Major to Lobbying for Blockchain
32:26

From Bio Major to Lobbying for Blockchain

Kristin Smith is the Director of External Affairs at The Blockchain Association, a trade association for the blockchain industry.

  • Raised in California.
  • Earned her B.A in Biology and an M.A. in Legislative Affairs from George Washington University.
  • Earned her 2nd M.A. in Communications, Culture and Technology from Georgetown University, and her 3rd graduate degree from NYU where she earned an MBA
  • Smith’s first government job was interning for Sen. Conrad Burns.
  • She worked as a legislative assistant in the U.S. Senate, before working as a Deputy Chief of Staff in the U.S. House of Representatives, where she worked on technology policy.
  • Smith has worked at several lobbying firms, The Alpine Group, VogelHood Group and Thompson Coburn, LLC.

“After looking at other jobs, you realize lobbying is amazing. It’s a wonderful job where you get to interact with interesting people.”

Voatz is a Boston based company that creates electronic voting systems for mobile devices using Blockchain technology, currently used in local elections and most recently in WV for military service members. With the potential to revolutionize elections in the United States, Voatz plans to roll out in more states on a larger scale.

 

Quick Links about Blockchain Technology

How Does a Blockchain Work? - Simply Explained Video

Blockchain Explained by Luke Fortney via Investopedia

For Policy Wonks, check out Coincenter.org for issues facing Blockchain.

Quotes

“Blockchain is a return to the promise of internet in the early days. The internet was a collection of individual actors that were contributing to it. Today when we look at the internet, we see a handful of large companies who control everything.”

“With public blockchain technology you can restructure and rebuild the internet, so individuals have more control over their personal information.”

What is Blockchain? CNBC Explains Video

Feb 04, 2019
Understanding Data Security and Privacy Policy with Alison Pepper
36:24

Alison Pepper is the Senior Vice President of Government Relations at the American Association of Advertising Agencies, a trade association that represents a portfolio of over 700 clients. Pepper handles issues on the state and federal level related to data security and privacy.

  • Born in Atlanta, Georgia.
  • She studied Journalism at the University of Georgia.
  • Received her J.D. from Georgia State University College of Law.
  • Pepper’s first government job was working with the Georgia Senate
  • While in Law school, she worked as a legal intern for Georgia's Secretary of the State and as a Legislative Affairs Intern for the Georgia Beverage Association
  • Days after graduating law school, Pepper packed up and moved to D.C., landing a job working at the Public Affairs Council and Experian as a Legislative Affairs Analyst
  • She also worked for the Interactive Advertising Bureau as Assistant General Counsel and as Senior Director of Public Policy.

“My favorite thing about this industry is that no day is the same as the day before.”

The New York Times article referenced in the show by Miriam Pawel about California Ballot measures, can be found here.

Jan 28, 2019
The Energy Gang's Katherine Hamilton on the Future of Renewable Energy
36:19

Katherine Hamilton is the Chair and cofounder of 38 North Solutions, a public policy firm focused on clean energy solutions. Hamilton is also a host of the podcast The Energy Gang, a weekly show about energy, green tech and the environment. Hamilton talks about the future of green technology, and current trends in environmental and energy legislation.

  • Hamilton was born in Richmond, and raised in Lynchburg, VA.
  • She studied English at Cornell University, and French Civilization at Paris-Sorbonne University.
  • Hamilton worked as an engineer, then as a commercial energy auditor for Dominion Virginia Power.
  • She then Served as President of GridWise Alliance, a non-profit business coalition.
  • She is a former Policy Director for the Energy Storage Association.
  • She cofounded 38 North Solutions in 2012.

“Don’t try to just be a lobbyist right away. Go and learn something; learn how things work.”

38 North Solutions is a public affairs firm that works for clients ranging from multi-national companies, to start-ups and trade associations, providing them with business development and government relations services.

Check out The Energy Gang for their weekly show to hear more from host Katherine Hamilton, and follow them on twitter @TheEnergyGang

Jan 21, 2019
From Fundraising to Fintech with PJ Hoffman
22:48

PJ Hoffman is the Director of Regulatory Affairs at Electronic Transactions Associations (ETA), a trade association composed of over 500 organizations from the FinTech space, such as PayPal, Square, and Amazon.

  • Raised in Downers Grove, Illinois
  • B.S. in Political Science from Illinois Wesleyan University
  • J.D., University of Miami School of Law
  • First job in politics: interned for Sen. Dick Durbin during college.  Drove 1.5 hours each way to the office, 3 times a week.
  • Extensive campaign experience for former Sen. Majority Leader Tom Daschle, Sen. Bill Nelson, and Senator Joe Donnelly.
  • Worked in advocacy and regulatory affairs for the National Association of Federal Credit Unions (NAFCU)

“If I am going to make a move, it is going to be taking a chance to work for the best.” - PJ Hoffman

Hoffman’s position at the Electronic Transactions Association includes wearing both a state government and federal affairs hat. Hoffman oversees the State regulatory affairs campaigns in all 50 states and U.S. territories. This includes providing education to policymakers about the industry and providing the industry members with on the ground information. The members of the ETA lead the market of financial technology, used daily by almost everyone in the U.S.  

There is no formal internship program offered by ETA but according to PJ - “If you are in D.C. and want to grab a cup of coffee, reach out. I will give you your 5 minutes and for sure help you in any way I can.”

Jan 14, 2019
Joshua Habursky - The Hardest Working Professional in Grassroots
46:30

Joshua Habursky is the Assistant Vice President of Advocacy at the Independent Community Bankers of America (ICBA), whose mission is to promote an environment for local banks to flourish. Habursky, a national leader in grassroots advocacy, is also the founder and chairman of the Grassroots Professional Network (GPN), an educational professional development organization with over 27,000 members. 

Habursky:

  • Was raised in Erie, Pennsylvania.
  • Obtained his BA in Political Science at Washington and Jefferson College.
  • Received his MA from Georgetown University in American Government and Politics.
  • Received a graduate certificate from the London School of Economics in International Business and Political Economy, and a certificate in Nonprofit Leadership from Harvard University.
  • While an undergraduate student, co-founded Founder’s Strategies, a political consulting firm making $300,000 in two cycles.
  • Hasrevious grassroots management experience with American Diabetes Association and American Motorcyclist Association, and Adjunct Professor at West Virginia University.

Independent Community Bankers of America is a federal advocacy organization for local banks. Habursky, as an Assistant Vice President of Advocacy, works on creative campaigning, discussing a few of those techniques with Jim. 

Habursky created the Grassroots Professional Network in 2015, while working at the American Motorcyclist Association, after recognizing a lack of free professional development opportunities for grassroots advocacates. Grassroots Professional Network hosts educational webinars, conferences, and working groups about new tools and techniques for effective advocacy.

For more information about organizations mentioned in podcast:

            Beekeeper Group

            American Motorcyclist Association

            Founder’s Strategies

Jan 07, 2019
Lucy Gettman on the 2018 Election and the Growing Number of Women Serving in Government
28:31

Lucy Gettman is the Executive Director of Women in Government , a non-partisan, non-profit organization that advocates for women state legislators. Women in Government offers training for women who are planning to run for office, and support for women in office. They also hold professional development workshops.

  • Gettman was raised in Syracuse, New York.
  • Gettman holds a BA in English from SUNY Cortland, and a dual MA in Public Administration and MA in Social Work from Ohio State University. She also holds a graduate certificate in Women, Politics, and Political Leadership from American University.
  • Lucy's first government experience was working in the Ohio State House during graduate school.
  • She then spent 3 years working in the Ohio Attorney General’s Office.
  • Lucy had a long career lobbying in the education space at the  National School Boards Association, representing 90,000 local school boards.
  • Currently, she is also an Adjunct Professor at American University's Department of Public Affairs.
  • She has spent the past two years as Executive Director for Women in Government.

“Every job we ever have, all of us, can create opportunity for the future, and maybe when we least expect them because it happens 20 years later!”

Women in Government hosts an annual Future Women in Government conference where emerging leaders from colleges and communities gain mentorship from current women political leaders.  

Women in Government offers several Internship/Career opportunities.

Find Women in Government on Facebook and Twitter @WomenInGovt to learn more about upcoming events!

Follow #connectlegislativeleaders to see more of the work of Women in Government

Dec 31, 2018
The Keys to Lobbying Success: Know your Facts, your Arguments, and Act with Integrity
42:08

Eric Ellman is the Senior Vice President of Public Policy & Legal Affairs for CDIA. The Consumer Data Industry Association is a trade association of consumer reporting agencies, composed of over 100 members, ranging from Nationwide Credit Bureaus to background screening companies.

  • Ellman was born in the Bronx, New York, and had always been a “political junkie.”
  • Ellman earned a BS in Political Science from American University and a JD from University of Baltimore School of Law.
  • As a student, Ellman spent 2 years interning for the late Congressman Bob Edgar.
  • Also as a student, he ran the successful campaign of a friend who ran for the Maryland House of Delegates, and later became his office manager.
  • He spent five years working as a government relations professional for direct selling companies such as Avon and World Encyclopedia
  • Ellman has been working at CDIA for 21 years, with some of that time as Interim President and CEO of the association.

The important part of working as a government affairs professional is that you need to come prepared with facts, come prepared with arguments and come prepared with integrity. If you have all of those, you have the making of a successful process

For more information about the Fair Credit Reporting Act, see the following link. https://www.thebalance.com/what-you-should-know-about-the-fcra-960639

To see more work of the illustrator credited in the show, Kathryn Rathke, see the following link https://www.kathrynrathke.com/ .  

Dec 24, 2018
Meet Bryan Jacobs - BMW's Head of Government and External Affairs
52:25
Bryan Jacobs is the Vice President, Government and External Affairs at BMW. Founded in 1916, BMW is an iconic automobile and motorcycle manufacturer headquartered in Munich, Germany. 
  • Bryan was born in North Dakota, and attended the University of Wyoming, where he earned a bachelor's degree in political science.
  • His first foray into politics was interning for Wyoming Senator Malcolm Wallop
  • He then took an entry level position with Congresswoman Barbara Cubin.
  • He eventually worked his way up from Legislative Assistant to Legislative Director, Press Secretary, and then Liaison to House Leadership
  • Bryan left Rep. Cubin's office after almost a decade to work for Duke Energy
  • Following a short stint at Duke Energy, he began working at Home Depot - first in federal government affairs, and then extending to state and Canadian government affairs
  • After several years working at Home Depot, Bryan was recruited by executive search firm Korn Ferry to take over as VP of Government and External Affairs at BMW
Dec 17, 2018
SGAC- Where Lobbyists go to Network, and Hone Their Skills
25:17

Beth Loudy is the Executive Director of the State Government Affairs Council - the premier national association for multi-state government affairs professionals for major U.S. corporations, trade associations and service providers.

  • Beth was raised in a small town in Virginia, working at her parents' radio station growing up
  • She attended the College of William & Mary
  • After college, Beth's first position was with the National Oilseed Processors Association.
  • She then moved on to the National Association of Video Distributors, and the National Healthcare Anti-fraud association
  • She has served as Executive Director of the State Government Affairs Council (SGAC) since 2000

State Government Affairs Professional Certificate: ​SGAC's State Government Affairs Professional Certificate is the only program designed specifically for state government affairs professionals. Trainings are designed to strengthen and engage SGR professionals with core curriculum which exposes them to key competencies for state government affairs professionals. The program includes elements that will provide both a successful foundation for new employees and necessary tools for seasoned leaders.

In order to complete the program, enrollees must earn credit in 6 mandatory competencies and 6 elective competencies.

​​SGAC offers a variety of forms to earn credit for the certificate program. Enrollees can take advantage of the flexible program schedule by earning credit with SGAC's webinars (live or on-demand), at National Summit and Leaders' Policy Conference, and with regional training sessions throughout the year.

Graduates of the Certificate Program are awarded their framed certificate at SGAC's Annual Business Meeting. Graduates are also announced in the SGAC Annual Report and newsletter.

Dec 10, 2018
From Oscar Campaigns to Political Campaigns and Government Affairs
46:00

Sarah Sheehy is the Senior Director, Government and Public Affairs at the Hollywood Burbank Airport.

  • Sarah attended undergrad at Santa Clara University
  • Sarah's first internship was at the White House in the Office of Public Liaison
  • She then interned at the Tonight Show with Jay Leno
  • After the Tonight Show, she had a Fellowship with the Panetta Institute, and then worked for Congressman Brad Sherman
  • After graduating from college, Sarah shifted to the entertainment industry, and got her first job at Artisan Entertainment, which later became Lions Gate 
  • She then moved to Miramax helping to run Oscar campaigns
  • After that, she moved on to get her Masters in Public Policy at UCLA, and took classes with Michael Dukakis
  • Her first political job was with the Los Angeles Unified School District, and she then moved on to a campaign consulting firm, followed by Cerrell and Associates
  • After a stint with Mattel, Inc., she ended up in her current position with the Hollywood Burbank Airport 
Dec 03, 2018
From Pittsburgh, to Brandeis, to Harvard Law, to D.C., and on to L.A. with Allen Erenbaum
38:24

Allen Erenbaum is the President of the Consumer Health Alliance, and Principal of Erenbaum Legal Strategies. 

Allen has an extensive background in legislation, regulation, and government enforcement, including frequent work on business immigration, ballot measures, and trade association issues.

He served as Director of Congressional Relations and Counselor to the Commissioner for the Immigration & Naturalization Service (INS) in Washington, D.C., where he represented President Clinton’s positions before Congress. He previously worked as Counsel to the US House Judiciary Committee, where he drafted, analyzed and negotiated legislation regarding civil and constitutional rights, immigration, and federal courts.

Since leaving government more than a decade ago, Allen has continued to work directly with all levels of government on behalf of his clients. He counsels corporations and individuals in business immigration matters ranging from U.S. companies hiring non-citizens to foreign companies looking to establish a U.S. presence.

Allen has frequently drafted ballot measures and has been involved in numerous successful state and local initiative campaigns. In addition, Allen provides strategic legal support to trade associations and other companies regarding regulatory, compliance, and corporate issues.

Nov 26, 2018
Bradley Tusk - Political Advisor to Uber and Other Tech Startups
01:05:53
Bradley Tusk is a venture capitalist, political strategist and writer.
 
Bradley is the Founder and CEO of Tusk Holdings, which includes Tusk VenturesTusk StrategiesKronos ArchivesIvory Gaming and Tusk Montgomery Philanthropies. Tusk Ventures is the world’s first venture capital fund to work with and invest solely in high growth startups facing political and regulatory challenges. Previously, Bradley served as campaign manager for Mike Bloomberg, as Deputy Governor of Illinois and as Communications Director for Senator Charles Schumer
 
Tusk Montgomery Philanthropies, Bradley’s family foundation, funds and runs campaigns in states across the U.S. to increase funding for anti-hunger programs like school breakfast and food stamp enrollment. They are also working to create mobile voting so people can vote in elections on their phones. 
 
Bradley writes a regular column for The Observer, hosts a podcast called Firewall, and has a book - The Fixer - about his adventures in protecting disruptors from the bad guys. Bradley is a graduate of the University of Pennsylvania where he received his BA and has a JD from the University of Chicago Law School.  He lives in Manhattan with his wife and two children.
 
Nov 19, 2018
Ron Kaufman's Master Class on Campaigns and the Executive Branch
59:52

Ron Kaufman is a Senior Advisor in the Public Policy and Regulation practice at Dentons. He focuses on providing government affairs services to public and private sector clients nationwide.

Mr. Kaufman is a highly experienced political strategist who has served as a senior advisor to US Presidents, Governors, Members of Congress, and a host of elected and appointed officials at every level of government. After having helped lay the political foundation for his successful 1988 presidential campaign, Mr. Kaufman served in the Administration of President George H.W. Bush, initially as White House Personnel Director and then as Assistant to the President and the White House Political Director. Previously, Mr. Kaufman served President Ronald Reagan as Regional and then National Political Director of the Republican National Committee.

Most recently, Mr. Kaufman served as a senior advisor to Governor Mitt Romney during his 2012 presidential campaign. In addition to his distinguished public service career, Mr. Kaufman has served as chairman of a leading multidisciplinary government affairs firm in Washington, DC.

Nov 12, 2018
Hal Dash on the Story Behind L.A.'s Most Legendary Lobbying Firm
28:03

Founded in 1966 by legendary political consultant Joe Cerrell, Cerrell Associates is ranked as one of the nation’s largest independent public relations firms, providing its diverse client base with a full range of public affairs, political consulting, issues management, land-use and advocacy services. Cerrell Associates works with many of the country’s most high-profile corporate, non-profit, political, environmental and trade associations.

  • Cerrell Associates was founded in 1966 by Joe & Lee Cerrell
  • Currently, there are 22 people on staff
  • Hal was born and raised in Springfield, MA, and graduated from UMass Amherst with an undergraduate degree and a masters degree in communications
  • He started his career in radio, and moved to California in 1972
  • Hal met Joe Cerrell when Hal was a radio host in California, and eventually went to work for him in 1977
  • Hal has been with the company ever since, and now owns it 
  • Cerrell Associates is a full service firm - besides lobbying, they handle communications and stakeholder outreach

Interning at Cerrell Associates:

Cerrell Associates offers internship opportunities for undergraduate and graduate students who are interested in public policy and public relations. They are looking for candidates with communications, public and media relations, political and/or government work experience. Please click here for an attachment with more information on how to apply, and for additional questions about the program please email Cerrell's intern coordination team at internships@cerrell.com.

 
Nov 05, 2018
The Importance of Mentors, & How to Greet the President
38:18
Omar Vargas is the Global Head of Government Affairs at 3M.
 
3M is a global science company with $32 billion in sales, operations in 71 countries, and 91,000 employees connecting with customers all around the world.
  • Omar was born and raised in Patterson, New Jersey
  • He attended Seton Hall University for undergrad, then attended American University for his post graduate degrees in law and international economic development
  • His first position after law school was with Cooper & Kirk, PLLC
  • Omar then took a position with the Dept. of Justice, and served in numerous roles including Special Assistant and Counsel, Office on Violence Against Women, and Deputy Director, Office of Intergovernmental and Public Liaison
  • After his time with the DOJ, Omar took a position as Director, Global Policy & Government Affairs at PepsiCo, and then as Executive Director, Government Affairs at Praxair.
  • Today, as Global Head of Government Affairs at 3M, Omar is the chief public policy, legislative and political executive for the company's U.S. and international businesses.
Oct 29, 2018
From the Paramount Studio Lot to the Political Arena
32:05

 

Today we sit down with Jessica Duboff, the Vice President of the Center for Business Advocacy at the Los Angeles Area Chamber of Commerce
 
The Los Angeles Area Chamber of Commerce champions economic prosperity and quality of life for the Los Angeles region by being the voice of business, promoting collaboration, and helping members grow.
 
The Chamber represents the interests of more than 235,000 businesses in L.A. County, more than 1,650 members, more than 650,000 employees, small, medium and large-sized companies, and businesses from more than 35 industry sectors
  • Jessica was born and raised in Los Angeles, and attended Cal Berkeley for undergrad.
  • She then went on to earn a graduate degree at USC, and interned with Cerrell Associates while earning her degree, which was her first foray into politics.
  • After graduating from USC, she took a position with Congresswoman Jane Harman and rose to the position of Deputy District Director
  • Jessica then moved on to the Los Angeles Area Chamber of Commerce, where she served as Public Policy Manager 
  • Following her time at the Los Angeles Chamber of Commerce, Jessica spent two years as a Senior Advisor to Los Angeles City Councilman Mike Bonin
  • She then returned to the Los Angeles Chamber of Commerce as its VP of Public Policy
  • We discuss transportation, homelessness, internet privacy, Los Angeles City Government, and much more!
Links from our show:
The Los Angeles Area Chamber of Commerce recruits college interns every spring, summer and fall. You must receive college credit. 
 
An internship at the L.A. Area Chamber will provide you with real-world workplace experiences and exposure to career opportunities, a taste of the working world, and an understanding of how what you learn in school is connected to future economic success once you’ve entered the workforce. A critical aspect of the Chamber’s internship program is to engage you in a hands-on learning experience in a career field of interest. Click here to apply.
Oct 22, 2018
A Sit-down with Stateside's Two CEOs!
29:33

Today on the show, we have Mark Anderson and Michael Behm, the co-CEOs of Stateside Associates.

Stateside combines the core services of advocacy experience, strategy development, intelligence and execution.

They help their clients shape the state and local public policy environment by knowing what is happening, who is involved and what tools are needed to influence the process.

They also help their clients sell products and services to state and local governments, build key relationships and better understand the regulatory environment.

  • Mark Anderson was born and raised in Berlin, New Hampshire, and attended UNH for undergrad
  • He then attended George Washington University School of Law, and worked at the Dept. of Justice throughout law school
  • After law school, he worked for Congressman Richard Swett of New Hampshire for a brief period of time, before joining Stateside, where he has worked ever since
  • Michael Behm grew up in Marion, Ohio and attended Ohio State University
  • He worked at the Ohio state legislature throughout college as a Republican staffer
  • After a brief stint working as a staffer on the Hill and a few consulting firms, he began working at Stateside, where he has worked ever since
  • Stateside's primary business is state level consulting
  • Services that Stateside provides include: Issue management, legislative monitoring, regulatory monitoring, locality monitoring, groups, lobbyist referrals, utilities monitoring, and compliance and policy research
Oct 15, 2018
A Day in the Life of a Pollster - Strategy, Messaging, and Probability
42:30

Michael Bloomfield is the Executive Vice President and Managing Director of The Mellman Group, which has provided opinion research and strategic advice to political leaders, public interest groups, Fortune 500 companies, and government agencies for over twenty years.

  • Michael Bloomfield grew up in Cleveland, Ohio before attending the University of Michigan
  • He began his career in politics working as an unpaid Senate staffer, which he parlayed into a foreign policy position with Sen. Ted Kennedy
  • After running a few local campaigns in college, he went back to Capitol Hill and worked as a staffer to Sen. Howard Metzenbaum and Sen. Don Riegle
  • Following a brief stint with a family investment business, he joined AIPAC, and was with them for roughly 10 years, rising to the rank of Political Director
  • At the time he was with AIPAC, the organization had about 100 staffers - it has since almost tripled in size
  • He has been with his current firm, the Mellman Group, for almost 20 years
  • The Mellman Group is a polling and market research firm, which does work for political campaigns, industry groups, companies, and non-profits
  • The polling/surveying industry is rapidly changing, thanks in part to the advent of the internet and cell phones
  • Despite the changes, however, live-call polling is still the most effective form of polling 
  • Michael is an avid marathon runner
Oct 08, 2018
From Architect to Lobbyist: Noëlle Porter and the Fight to End Homelessness in the U.S.
42:54
  • According to the National Alliance to End Homelessness, Homelessness is a social ill that can be solved
  • The organization currently has a staff of about 20 professionals
  • It has three arms: a capacity building team; a homelessness research institute; and, the program and policy department
  • "Homelessness" is defined as "an individual living in a place not meant for human habitation."
  • The definition of homelessness also includes individuals living in shelters
  • Connecticut is close to ending chronic homelessness, and Virginia has ended veteran homelessness
  • Roughly 550,000 people experience homelessness every night in the U.S.; 185,000 are families, and 40,000 are veterans
  • Funding to address homelessness across the country is the number one issue that NAEH advocates for
  • They also promote policies to help the federal government to better serve individuals facing homelessness, and fight policies that do not
  • Noelle has been with NAEH for 3 years
  • She began as an analyst, and then transitioned to lobbying
  • Noelle earned her undergrad degree from Georgia Tech in architecture
  • After undergrad, she went into full-time ministry with Young Life, and then worked for a staffing firm.
  • She earned her masters degree in public health from the University of South Florida
Oct 01, 2018
Meet the Lobbyist with 50,000 LinkedIn Followers
54:32

Jeff Taylor is the managing partner of U.S. Government Relations Intl., LLC (USGRI), a government affairs firm based in Washington, DC. He is also a principal in Falcontree Capital, LLC, a financial development firm, and a contributing writer for POLITICO’s “The Arena” section, a cross-party forum where elected officials and opinion leaders discuss current political and policy issues.

  • Jeff Taylor was born and raised in Portsmouth, New Hampshire
  • Jeff's father was a local radio broadcaster at WHEB
  • He attended Assumption College in Worcester, Massachusetts
  • Jeff was a part-time disc jockey in high school and college before transitioning to politics
  • His first position in politics was working for U.S. Senator Gordon Humphrey, as his driver.
  • Jeff then worked on a number of campaigns, including the campaigns of Congressman George Wortley, then Vice President George H.W. Bush, and more.
  • After George H.W. Bush won his 1992 bid for the presidency, Jeff worked in the Bush administration for 8 months, before heading back to campaign work.
  • Jeff's next career move was working for Congressman David McIntosh as his chief of staff
  • After serving for six years as McIntosh's chief of staff, he transitioned to lobbying, first at a small Indiana firm, and then at a larger New York-based firm.
  • He started his own lobbying firm - USGRI.com - in 2008
  • Jeff's firm leverages LinkedIn to find new clients - at one time all of the firm's clients came from connections on LinkedIn 
Sep 24, 2018
What Really Matters as a Lobbyist? Your Integrity.
44:59

Diane Randall is the Executive Secretary of the Friends Committee on National Legislation. Diane leads FCNL’s staff to effectively educate and lobby for the policies and legislative priorities established by FCNL’s General Committee. A lifelong advocate for peace and social justice, Diane is a fierce proponent for citizen engagement that advances policies and practices to create a better society for all.

  • Diane joined the organization in 2010
  • FCNL is a Quaker organization that is over 75 years old, and was the first "faith-based lobby"
  • The organization has 501(c)3 and 501(c)4 arms, and employs 20 lobbyists
  • FCNL is working on nuclear disarmament and AUMF issues, as well as comprehensive immigration reform through the DREAM Act
  • The organization also works with the Climate Solutions Caucus in the House of Representatives on climate change issues
  • Diane grew up in Omaha, Nebraska, and attended the University of Nebraska, where she earned a degree in education
  • She taught high school english for four years
  • Her first foray into politics came after teaching, when she worked for the Omaha Nuclear Freeze campaign
  • She then moved to Connecticut, and slowly made her way into lobbying on a number of social justice issues
 
Sep 17, 2018
The Three P's of Lobbying: Policy, Politics, and Process
49:31
John Raffaelli is the founding partner of Capitol Counsel LLC. He has more than 30 years of experience in federal policy and policymaking, with an emphasis on taxation, finance, health care, international trade, and general business matters. In addition to being called a “big-name lobbyist” by the Washington Post, he has been nationally recognized as one of the most effective lobbyists in Washington and is respected by both Democratic and Republican lawmakers for his knowledge of the legislative process and his ability to develop public policy solutions to client problems. In 2007, he was named by Washingtonian Magazine as one of the top 25 lobbyists in the Nation’s Capital, and he has made every top lobbyist list in the magazine since it began publishing them.
  • John Raffaelli was born and raised in Texarkanas, Arkansas by his mother, who was a real estate agent
  • His first foray into politics was on Lyndon Johnson's 1964 presidential campaign, when he was 12
  •  In 1973, he started interning for his local congressman, and after earning his B.S. in accounting at American University, got a job in his office
  • After spending some time on Capitol Hill, John attended Arkansas Law School, earning a J.D., as well as an LLM in taxation
  • Upon graduation, John took a position in Senator Lloyd Bentsen as an advisor on tax and trade issues
  • After striking out on his own to start a lobbying firm, he took a position at a large law firm, which ultimately did not work out
  • He then started McAuliffe, Kelly & Raffaelli, which eventually became the Washington Group
  • After selling the Washington Group, he started a new firm - Capitol Counsel, LLC
  • Capitol Counsel makes sure that its employees focus on the "Three P's of lobbying" - policy, politics, and process. 
Sep 10, 2018
"We'll Zig When They Zag" - How State Lobbyists Can Work Better with Advocacy & Grassroots Firms
17:24

This week, we interviewed Vlad Cartwright of 720 Strategies. Vlad leads and develops national, regional and local campaigns and public awareness programs for some of America’s largest trade associations and political action committees.

SevenTwenty Strategies is a public relations and public affairs firm based in Washington, DC with an 18-year track record of service to its corporate and trade association clients. 

  • 720 Strategies was founded by Pam Fielding, and was originally named "E-Advocates"
  • Vlad started his career in 1989 working on Capitol Hill
  • He then moved on to a trade organization, working in the healthcare space on grassroots outreach.
  • Vlad attended American University. He originally began attending full time, but transitioned to part-time after getting a position as a scheduler/body man for a congressman.
  • Vlad went to Gonzaga College High School
  • 720 focuses roughly 70% of its time on healthcare issues
  • 720 has leveraged video in an increasing amount with the advent and popularity of social media and streaming services
  • Vlad has seen an increasing amount of work shifting to state capitols from Congress
  • 720 works closely with state lobbyists in each state that they're active, relying on them for guidance and advice
  • One suggestion for state-level lobbyists: Don't be afraid to try new things from an advocacy perspective - i.e. grassroots and proactive communications
  • Advice for young folks trying to get into the business: Work hard - happy hour can wait. Get an internship, and never think that any work is beneath you. 
 
Sep 03, 2018
It's a Murder Mystery - and the Butler did it!
37:33
Carl Szabo is the Vice President and General Counsel of NetChoice. NetChoice is a trade association of eCommerce businesses and online consumers all of whom share the goal of promoting convenience, choice, and commerce on the net. Carl is also an adjunct professor at George Mason University Antonin Scalia Law School.
  • Carl worked in sales for Red Bull for a year
  • He grew up in Washington, D.C., and attended Rice University
  • Carl went to law school at Catholic University, attending at night
  • He studied at CUA's Communications Law Institute
  • Initially, he worked at the U.S office of Government Ethics, and then went to work for the MPAA, before working as a law clerk at Arnold & Porter. 
  • After law school, Carl worked for the law firm Wildman, Harrold, Allen & Dixon, as well as for the Entertainment Software Association
  • Carl has been with NetChoice for over five years.
Aug 27, 2018
Overseeing Public Affairs at the World's Largest Law Firm
35:46

In this week's episode we speak with Eric Tanenblatt, who is the Global Chair of Public Policy and Regulation of Dentons, the world's largest law firm. 

In our conversation, we discuss Eric's career in politics at the state and federal levels, as well as the work Dentons does in the government affairs space for clients all over the world.

  • Eric grew up in New York, but has lived in Georgia most of his adult life, after attending Emory University in Atlanta
  • Eric got his start working in the 1988 presidential primary for then Vice President George H.W. Bush
  • He then went on to work for the U.S. Dept. of Health & Human Services, followed by a stint working for the Peace Corps
  • Eric left his position with the Peace Corps to serve as state director for former Peace Corps Director Paul Coverdell's run for the U.S. Senate in 1989
  • After Coverdell's election to the U.S. Senate, he served as Coverdell's state director 
  • After working for Sen. Coverdell for years, he joined a public affairs firm and then eventually transitioned to Long, Aldrich, & Norman, which at that time was a predominantly Democratic law firm
  • Eric served as the State Chair of the 2000 George W. Bush campaign, and then served as Georgia Governor Sonny Perdue's chief of staff during Perdue's first year in office
  • While serving as Perdue's chief of staff, he helped reorganize Georgia's state government
  • After leaving the Perdue administration, Eric returned to Long, Aldrich, & Norman, which was later renamed "Dentons," and has since become the largest law firm in the world
  • Eric is the head of the firm's global public policy practice, which includes the fifty state "Dentons 50" network
  • The Dentons 50 network allows clients to manage multi-state campaigns easily and efficiently 
  • Eric has become a thought leader in the electric and autonomous vehicle space in recent years
Aug 20, 2018
On Racing Motorcycles, Flying Planes, and Lobbying
34:05

Matthew Guilbault is Associate Director, State Government Affairs at Novartis. In this wide ranging interview, we discuss how he got into lobbying, the pros and cons of being a contract lobbyist, racing motorcycles, and more.

  • Matt studied to be a pilot before deciding to focus on pre-law studies at the College of St. Rose.
  • He got his first job in politics for a State Senator after networking at the restaurant he worked at in Albany.
  • After almost seven years working at the New York General Assembly, Matt transitioned to an in-house lobbying position.
  • After 10 years working in-house, he worked as a contract lobbyist.
  • Matt owns 7 motorcycles, and used to race them professionally.
  • Matt's current position is with Novartis, as Associate Director of Government Affairs
  • He now covers New York, Maine, and Vermont
Aug 13, 2018
The Trade Association for some of Tech's Biggest Companies
23:37

This week we were at NCSL in Los Angeles, and caught up with Kevin Callahan - Director, State Government Affairs - Northeast for CompTIA. CompTIA is the world's leading tech association. They also develop certification programs for the industry. 

Show Notes:

  • CompTIA represents large social media and internet companies, as well as small IT companies
  • CompTIA also certifies IT professionals for a number of different skill-sets. To date, they’ve certified 3 million+ individuals
  • Data privacy and security are two of the biggest issues they’ve seen pop up in the states recently
  • Because the internet is “borderless,” California’s recent data privacy legislation will become the de facto data “law of the land” that companies operating in the U.S. will abide by
  • Kevin covers 13 states for CompTIA
  • Kevin got his start working for a state senator, then transitioned to a contract lobbying firm before moving to in-house government affairs positions
Aug 06, 2018
Understanding Pre-Settlement Financing
24:10

Well everyone, we’re a couple of weeks into the show, and the feedback has been great. Thanks to everyone who has listened in so far. Amazingly, you helped us crack the top 20 for podcasts – IN THE WORLD – in the government & organizations category on iTunes. Incredible.

We’re still working out the kinks, and appreciate all the feedback we can get. If you have suggestions for improving the show, or have an idea for a great guest, shoot us an email at hello@thelobbyingshow.com, or tweet us at the lobbyingshow. We’d love to hear from you.

Finally, and most importantly, if you like what you’re hearing (and even if you don’t!) please subscribe to our podcast on Apple podcasts and give us a rating – it helps other podcast listeners find the show. 

Now that we’ve got our business out of the way, let’s get to today’s episode.

Eric Schuller is the Director of Government and Community Affairs at Oasis Financial, and serves as President of the Alliance of Responsible Consumer Legal Funding. He’s also a veteran, with 22 years of service in the U.S. Army and the National Guard.

Like many government affairs professionals, Eric got into the industry in a roundabout kind of way, beginning with the Lt. Governor’s office in Illinois. I enjoyed our conversation, and hope you will too.

Show Notes:

  • Eric Served 22 years in the U.S. Military – the Army and the National Guard
  • He was born in Minnesota, but moved to the Chicago area when he was 8, and has lived there ever since
  • He played basketball in high school, and was replaced due to injury by none other than Jeff Hornacek
  • His first foray into government affairs was working for then Lt. Governor Quinn in Illinois
  • He served as Quinn’s liaison to military families and families of fallen soldiers
  • He still stays in touch with many of the families he worked with during his time in Quinn’s office
  • After the Lt. Governor’s office, he moved to Operation Homefront, an organization that supports veterans
  • In 2008, he joined his current organization, Oasis Financial, which provides financial assistance to people who have been injured in accidents and are waiting for their cases to settle with insurers
  • Eric is active in all 50 states, and has lobbyists engaged in about 20% of the states at any given time
Jul 30, 2018
From EMT to Making Lobbyist Referrals for Stateside Associates
26:58

Our last show was with Stephanie Reich from Stateside Associates – today we continue our visit with Stateside with an interview with Bob Maurice.  Bob also works on state and local issues.  Note to lobbyists - Bob is the point person for lobbyists referrals. Bob began his career working in the Massachusetts state house.  One of Bob’s early jobs was perfect preparation for doing political work – he was an EMT!  

Show Notes:

What’s the typical starting point at Stateside?

○ A research assistant - they back up the associates.

○ The associates are a grade above research assistant.

What kind of experience do you look for when hiring a research assistant?

○ You have to have experience working in a state legislature.

Where do people end up after the associate level?

○They will move to management, or they will often head in-house with a client company.

Have you seen any changes in lobbying in the past few years? Trends?

○ With inertia at the federal level, people are paying a lot more

attention to the states.

○The state attorneys general have also become much more active.

 

Jul 23, 2018
Running Stateside Associates’ State & Local Issues Practice
16:59

We spent a morning at Stateside Associates in Washington, D.C.  Stateside is basically the firm that has any and ALL the state and local government policy information that any company may need.  They have contacts and people in every state – they do issue management, track legislation in all 50 states and local municipalities, and cover a whole range of issues.  When a company needs to track issues in the states – they turn to Stateside. 

Today we are speaking with Stephanie Reich, who heads up Stateside’s Local Government  practice.  Stephanie spent many years working in D.C., including stints for the Mayor and as Chief of Staff for the Chairperson of the D.C. Council. Stephanie not only has a Master’s in Public Policy, but a J.D. to boot. 

Show Notes:

  • About Stateside
    • Tracks legislation and regulations in every state and municipality in the country.
  • About Stephanie
    • She’s been at Stateside for 2.5 years.
    • Her first job was at the D.C. City Council in a part time role that transitioned to a full time position.
  • About Stephanie's work at Stateside
    • She oversees the monitoring of over 5,000 jurisdictions.
    • Clients are sent daily alerts about agenda items that could affect their business.
Jul 23, 2018
How to Outsource Your Compliance Department
21:38

On this episode of The Lobbying Show, host Jim O’Brien interviews Elizabeth Bartz of State and Federal Communications - helping companies and lobbyists comply with ethics rules in all fifty states and globally.

Show Notes:
●     About Elizabeth Bartz

○     Borrowed money and bought the compliance department of State and Federal Associates in 1993.

○     She moved the department to Akron, Ohio, and bought it over a series of year, ultimately spinning it off into "State & Federal Communications."

○     She can be seen at all of the major legislative conferences across the country.

○     She works with contract lobbyists and in-house government affairs professionals, giving her a unique perspective on the industry.

●     What are State and Federal Communications’ main services?

○     Compliance for lobbying and campaign finance.

○     They will start handling lobbying and compliance for European countries soon.

○    Many European political candidates are hiring American political consultants.

●     How many companies does State and Federal Communications work with?

○     100+.

○     Their compliance department has about 12 people.

○     Company-wide, it has about 12 attorneys on staff.

 

Resources Mentioned:


State and Federal Communications

NCSL

Council on Governmental Ethics Laws

CSG East

 

Jul 12, 2018
Get Hired Through Referrals
30:45

Today on the show we speak with Jenn Stowe of the Carpet & Rug Institute. Jenn spent her first year after college in Mexico working at an orphanage.  She eventually ended up as the VP of Government Relations at CRI and has been there over 10 years. She is fluent in Spanish, which was helpful, because we did the interview at a Spanish restaurant in Boston at the 2017 summer meeting of NCSL. She did all the ordering. She is fantastic person, which is obviously a view held by a lot of people because it seemed like everyone in Boston greeted her like a long lost friend. She also has a very unique wedding story to tell. 

 

Show Notes:

● Jennifer Stowe’s wedding was on The Today Show.

● National Conference of State Legislatures (NCSL) is the biggest conference that Jennifer attends.

● She is a member of State Government Affairs Council (SGAC).

● Jennifer is now a board member for the NCSL Foundation Board.

● Her summers are spent going to conferences and her winters are spent testifying.

● In 2017, there were three states that Jennifer was tracking—including New York State.

● Maine is the only state that has passed a framework EPR bill which gives the agency broad discretion regarding EPR programs.

● You can turn carpet into cushions, street signs, and artificial hay bales.  

● Jennifer majored in Spanish and Latin American studies at Penn State and then worked in an orphanage in Mexico.

● She worked for the Chemical Manufacturers Association for 10 years.

● Every contract lobbyist that she has hired has been through recommendations from her peers.

Jul 12, 2018
Welcome to the Lobbying Show!
55

Welcome to the Lobbying Show! We'll be posting episodes weekly on all things lobbying and government affairs related. 

Jun 29, 2018