The 2024 Who’s Who in Government Relations

Meet some of the commonwealth’s most influential difference-makers.

David Kralle, Amal Mahrouki & Douglas I. Oliver

David Kralle, Amal Mahrouki & Douglas I. Oliver Essential Utilities; Jette Nicole Photography; PECO

People notice when a chain expands into new territory, hospital systems merge and tall buildings sprout on campus and downtown. And they certainly notice when a politician wins. But for the most part, the people who grease the wheels of change across the commonwealth – lobbyists, legislative experts and industry advocates – do so in relative obscurity. 

They aren't nearly as famous as the brands and people they represent – but their clients and constituents wouldn't be nearly as successful without them. The government relations professionals on this list span the gamut of industries, from trade associations and health systems to lobbying outfits, multinational corporations and labor organizers.  

Below, you’ll find City & State’s 2024 take on the people who move legislation and energize industry in Harrisburg and across the state.

This list was researched and written by Hilary Danailova.

Jeremy Allen & Kate McAuliffe

Head of Government Affairs; Federal Government Affairs Lead, Spark Therapeutics

Spark Therapeutics, one of the marquee names in Pennsylvania‘s life sciences sector, relies on Jeremy Allen and Kate McAuliffe to keep the momentum going.

Allen joined Spark in 2017 as a vice president and head of government affairs. He began his policy career at the U.S. House of Representatives, holds a master‘s degree in public administration from Cornell, and previously led government affairs for Johnson & Johnson and America‘s Health Insurance Plans.

McAuliffe is an attorney by training who previously served as counsel at Hogan Lovells. She joined Spark in 2021 as its federal government affairs lead, advancing the gene therapy company‘s interests in Washington, D.C.

Eileen Anderson

Director, Government Relations, Manufacturer & Business Association
Eileen Anderson / Anders Anderson, Red Clay Tile Works

After 20 years working alongside her husband in the couple‘s design studio, Eileen Anderson turned her community activism into a second career. The former small business owner now oversees government relations for the Manufacturer & Business Association, where she has lobbied on behalf of local manufacturers, explored the workforce potential of robotics and been named one of 2023‘s “20 People to Know in Manufacturing” by the Pittsburgh Business Times. Anderson is also a key player in the Western Pennsylvania Legislative Reception‘s Business Issues Forum.

Sheila Ballen

Founder and Principal, Sheila Ballen Communications
Sheila Ballen / Provided

Nonprofit specialist Sheila Ballen helms her own firm, Sheila Ballen Communications, where she takes on causes that are mission-driven and in the public interest. Recently, she‘s engaged state officials on the importance of school-based health centers and helped regional cultural and civic programs secure state grants. Ballen‘s decades of experience include communications leadership roles with the University of Pennsylvania, Mastery Charter Schools and the state Department of Education. She currently volunteers with the nutrition nonprofit Philly Food Rescue.

John Bane

Director of Government Affairs, EQT Corp.
John Bane / Carol Montoya, MSC

Seasoned lobbyist John Bane leads government affairs across Pennsylvania, Ohio and West Virginia with EQT Corp., the nation‘s largest producer of natural gas. His recent advocacy focuses on new technologies – like carbon capture storage and hydrogen energy – that require state-level policy change to succeed. He is the immediate past chair and serves on the executive board of the Marcellus Shale Coalition, and previously worked in the administration of then-Gov. Ed Rendell.

Michael Barley

Chief Public Affairs Officer, Pace-O-Matic
Michael Barley / Pace-O-Matic

Since 2019, Chief Public Affairs Officer Michael Barley has played a key role in ensuring that Pace-O-Matic is the nation‘s leading developer of skill games. Having successfully blocked measures to ban skill games in the commonwealth, Barley and his national team of 70 consultants hope to pass legislation regulating and taxing skill games in Pennsylvania and beyond. A veteran of Long Nyquist & Associates, Barley has also been a senior adviser to former Gov. Tom Corbett and executive director of the Pennsylvania GOP.

Kara Beem

President, Keystone Ingenuity
Kara Beem / Bevrore

Even before launching her own firm, Kara Beem was well-known as an effective Harrisburg lobbyist. Her two-decade career includes stints at the firms of Greenlee Partners and Capital Associates, where she specialized in public affairs campaigns. Beem currently serves as vice chair of the Harrisburg Regional Chamber and cultivates the next generation of political leaders as an adviser to Camp Hill High School‘s Youth and Government Club.

Michael Bolen

Director, Government Affairs, Medtronic

Navigating the fast-changing landscape of health care technology, Michael Bolen serves as the political liaison and legislative strategist for Medtronic, where he is director of government affairs. In this role, which he has held since 2012, Bolen oversees corporate health care, tax, environmental and other state public policy issues for the global medical device and technology firm. He began his career as a policy adviser in the New Jersey State Assembly and has led state government relations for pharmaceutical companies including Pfizer, AmerisourceBergen and Celgene.

Sheilah Borne

Associate Vice President, Government Health Relations, Penn State Health
Sheilah Borne / Jillian Biehl Morrison, Bevrore

For two decades, Sheilah Borne has presided over the flourishing of Penn State‘s health system. As the university‘s vice president for government health relations, she recently lobbied to secure $7 million in funding for capital projects at Penn State‘s Children‘s Hospital and its College of Medicine; she also muscled support for two new acute-care facilities and its acquisition of the Holy Spirit Health System. Borne, who recently stepped down as mayor of Paxtang Borough, worked in a legislative role in the Ridge administration.

Charles Boruchowitz

Government Relations Manager, Bentley Systems
Charles Boruchowitz / Provided

Campaign veteran Charles Boruchowitz now manages government relations for Bentley Systems, a global infrastructure engineering software company headquartered in Chester County. His work focuses on advancing Bentley‘s digital solutions in the design, construction and maintenance of infrastructure assets nationally and around the globe. Boruchowitz was previously a fundraiser and campaign manager for U.S. Rep. Chrissy Houlahan; he currently chairs the Government Affairs Committee for the Chester County Chamber of Commerce.

Amy Brinton

Government Affairs Manager, Duquesne Light Company
Amy Brinton / Gordon Brinton Jr.

As government affairs manager for the Duquesne Light Company, Amy Brinton is at the forefront of state energy policy and corporate sustainability efforts. She recently lobbied for a solar bill that was the first renewable energy legislation to pass out of the state House of Representatives in nearly 20 years and was part of Gov. Josh Shapiro‘s transition team. Brinton, who has long been active in York County politics, previously worked at the Pennsylvania state House as an analyst for the House Democratic Policy Committee.

David Brown

Vice Chancellor for Government Relations and Advocacy, University of Pittsburgh
David Brown / Official Pitt Photo

With two decades of experience in higher education government relations, David Brown serves as the University of Pittsburgh‘s chief advocate on all legislative and regulatory matters at the local, state and federal levels. Brown, who is currently Pitt‘s vice chancellor for government relations and advocacy, previously led federal advocacy efforts in Washington, D.C., for both the University of Southern California and the University of California health system. His time in health policy includes work on issues related to health professions, medical education training and biomedical research.

Mike Brunelle

Managing Director, GSL Public Strategies Group
Mike Brunelle / The Stevens & Lee Companies

Having managed national political affairs for Amazon, directed the New Hampshire Democratic Party and served as chief of staff to then-Gov. Tom Wolf, Mike Brunelle brings a wealth of political savvy to GSL Public Strategies Group, where he is managing director. He developed and leads GSL Government Consulting‘s state and local government consulting practice, where he most recently negotiated state pension reform; he also serves on the Pennsylvania Judicial Conduct Board. Brunelle previously served two terms in the New Hampshire House of Representatives.

Todd Brysiak

Vice President of Government Affairs, Triad Strategies
Todd Brysiak / Source Creative House

With two decades of experience in state government relations and communications, Todd Brysiak is currently a vice president at Triad Strategies, which he joined in 2018. His state policy victories include a new grant program to support the education of ill, homebound children and funding for specialty-care facilities that support patients on ventilators. He also helped secure one of Lycoming County‘s largest-ever state grants, to redevelop a local mall. Brysiak previously served as chief of staff to the state House majority leader.

Peter Calcara

Vice President of Government Relations, Pennsylvania Institute of Certified Public Accountants
Peter Calcara / Pennsylvania Institute of Certified Public Accountants

Representing 22,000 commonwealth professionals, Peter Calcara serves as vice president of government relations for the Pennsylvania Institute of Certified Public Accountants. He is also an active presence in the professional lobbying community: Calcara has led the board of the Pennsylvania Association for Government Relations and serves on the government relations section council for the American Society of Association Executives. He began his career as executive director of the state Senate Local Government Committee.

William Carter

Vice President, Local Government Affairs, The Chamber of Commerce for Greater Philadelphia

William Carter helps Southeastern Pennsylvania‘s economy thrive as chief of local government affairs for the Chamber of Commerce for Greater Philadelphia. He draws on the political relationships and legislative insights gleaned during nearly two decades working for Philadelphia City Council, where he served as general counsel, legislative director and chief operating officer. Carter, a Temple University law graduate, now lobbies for pro-business policy, investment in local companies and partnerships that promote public safety and workforce development.

Ted Christian & Ryan DeMara

Philadelphia Director; Deputy Director of Public Affairs, Duane Morris Government Strategies

Ted Christian and Ryan DeMara keep Pennsylvania clients and policy front and center at Duane Morris Government Strategies, the national lobbying and tracking firm.

Christian oversees DMGS‘ activities in Philadelphia, New Jersey, and Washington, D.C. He has held leadership roles in the public and private sectors and worked on numerous high-profile national and Pennsylvania state campaigns – mostly notably as Pennsylvania director for Donald Trump’s 2016 presidential campaign.

Ryan DeMara joined Duane Morris in 2022 as deputy director of public affairs. His career includes work on several campaigns and roles with the Pennsylvania Young Republicans, the RNC and the Pennsylvania GOP. At Villanova University, he interned at the U.S. Congress and was co-chair of the Pennsylvania Federation of College Republicans.

Steve Cobb & Andrew Sharp

Government Relations Director; Director of State Government Relations, Penn Medicine
Andrew Sharp / Penn Medicine

Penn Medicine‘s local and state government relations are managed by Steve Cobb and Andrew Sharp, respectively, who together lead the public policy agenda for an $11 billion enterprise comprised of the Perelman School of Medicine and the University of Pennsylvania Health System.

Sharp‘s Harrisburg ties run deep: Last year, he served on Gov. Josh Shapiro‘s transition team, and he previously worked as a deputy secretary for then-Gov. Tom Wolf. Sharp has also been a deputy director in the Philadelphia Mayor‘s Office of Sustainability and led outreach for PennFuture.

Cobb, an attorney by training, previously served as a legislative director in Philadelphia City Council. At Penn Medicine, he works closely with local officials and government agencies throughout Pennsylvania and New Jersey.

Joe Conti

President, Pennsylvania Association of Broadcasters
Joe Conti / Bill Zeiders

Over his quarter-century in advocacy, Joe Conti has celebrated success in 19 local and state legislature elections – including as head of the Pennsylvania Liquor Control Board, which he led until 2013, and now at the Pennsylvania Association of Broadcasters. As president, Conti has orchestrated an increase in member station benefits, implemented social media and marketing strategies, and stepped up federal and state advocacy efforts. He is active with the National Alliance of State Broadcast Associations and the National Association of Broadcasters.

Jeffrey Cooper & Michael Smith

Vice President for Government and Community Affairs; Senior Director of Commonwealth Relations, University of Pennsylvania
Jeffrey Cooper & Michael Smith / Eric Sucar, University of Pennsylvania; Provided

Through good years and less-good ones – for the University of Pennsylvania, the past few months fall into the latter category – Jeffrey Cooper and Michael Smith cultivate the Philadelphia institution‘s strong relationships with commonwealth legislators as well as its urban community. Cooper heads government and community affairs and Smith directs commonwealth relationships at the Ivy League school, whose president recently resigned following months of antisemitism scandals.

Cooper, who holds a law degree from Penn, steers engagement with the university‘s School District of Philadelphia partner schools and oversees the university‘s economic inclusion initiatives. Smith, who joined Penn in 2018 and holds a doctorate in public administration, previously held leadership positions at the state treasury, the governor‘s office and other state departments.

Stephen Cozzo

Vice President, Government Relations and External Affairs/Public Policy, AmeriHealth Caritas

Stephen Cozzo has helped steer the growth of AmeriHealth Caritas over a 12-year career at the Philadelphia-based health company. He leads government relations, external affairs and public policy for one of America‘s largest Medicaid managed care providers, cultivating relationships with policymakers and community stakeholders to support AmeriHealth Caritas‘ East Coast expansion as well as the growth of its pharmacy benefits and behavioral health programs. Cozzo, a Penn State graduate, previously worked with at-risk youth at the First Judicial District of Philadelphia.

Robert J. Clark

Partner, Ballard Spahr
Robert J. Clark / Ballard Spahr

Fortune 500 companies and high-profile candidates alike turn to the legal and political expertise of Robert J. Clark, the practice leader of Ballard Spahr‘s government affairs and public policy group. He advises clients on infrastructure and energy projects, licensing industries and political and ethics law. Clark, who was a senior staffer for then-Gov. Ed Rendell, served in 2020 as local counsel to the Biden campaign and the Democratic National Committee.

Will Dando

Senior Associate, Allegheny Strategy Partners
Will Dando / Araujo Photography

As a senior associate for the statewide public affairs firm Allegheny Strategy Partners, Will Dando manages Harrisburg operations on behalf of 70-plus clients in health and human services, information technology, utilities and transportation. His recent focus is legislation fostering the local tourism and hospitality industries, as well as a regulatory structure for Pennsylvania‘s carbon sequestration program. Dando‘s 20 years of political experience include a dozen years with the state Senate and directing government relations for the Pennsylvania Coal Alliance.

Darrell Davis

Senior Manager, Public Engagement, DoorDash
Darrell Davis / Chamber of Commerce for Greater Philadelphia

How‘s your lunch? Darrell Davis‘ job is to make sure it‘s good for customers of DoorDash, where he is the senior public engagement manager for the food delivery service‘s mid-Atlantic and South regions. Prior to joining DoorDash, Davis managed local government and civic affairs for the Chamber of Commerce for Greater Philadelphia. He was Pennsylvania African American Outreach Director for Hillary Clinton‘s 2016 presidential campaign and worked at the City of Philadelphia Office of Civic Engagement.

Mark Dombrowski

Vice President, Government Relations, Erie Insurance Group
Mark Dombrowski / Ed Bernik, Erie Insurance

Over three decades at Erie Insurance, Mark Dombrowski has worked in various capacities, most recently as chief of government relations. In addition to tracking legislation affecting his industry, he also coordinates employee and agent involvement in government affairs, helps manage the company‘s political action committees and represents it with federal and state insurance and business trade associations. Dombrowski recently served on the finance and insurance committee for the Shapiro transition team, and previously managed public relations as a vice president for PNC Financial Services Group.

William Dunbar

Founder and Managing Partner, Dunbar Public Affairs & Associates
William Dunbar / Richard Wah, Wah Photography

Philadelphia native William Dunbar was recently on Mayor Cherelle Parker‘s senior advisory team and, before that, on Gov. Josh Shapiro‘s transition and inaugural team, which he co-chaired. Since 2014, he has helmed Dunbar Public Affairs & Associates, where he is a trusted adviser to many of the region‘s elected officials and key decision-makers. Dunbar, a graduate of the University of Pennsylvania‘s Fels School of Government, began his career as deputy chief of staff to U.S. Rep. Chaka Fattah.

Todd Eachus

President, Broadband Communications Association of Pennsylvania
Todd Eachus / Georga Potter, BCAP

With a quarter-century of government affairs experience in the cable and broadband industry, Todd Eachus has led the Broadband Communications Association of Pennsylvania since 2021. Under his leadership, the association initiated the Pennsylvania Broadband Summit and was named the CableFax State Association of the Year in 2022. Eachus also led a rebranding of the association to be Pennsylvania‘s “voice of broadband.” He began his political career working in the U.S. House of Representatives and spent 10 years in the U.S. Navy.

Danielle Eckert

Director of Government Affairs, International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers

Effective lobbying requires discipline, and that‘s something Danielle Eckert has in spades: She served 13 years as a sergeant in the U.S. Army. Eckert currently leads government affairs for the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers, representing 775,000 members across fields from utilities and construction to telecommunications and manufacturing. She began her labor involvement as a locomotive electrician in Altoona and now leads political affairs for the nation‘s largest electrical workers‘ union as it positions its members for success in a fast-changing technological landscape.

Alexandra Fetzko

Director of Legislative Affairs, Pennsylvania Association for Justice
Alexandra Fetzko / Gary Brunner

Trial lawyers need their own advocates – and in the commonwealth, that‘s Alexandra Fetzko. As director of legislative affairs for the Pennsylvania Association for Justice, Fetzko recently oversaw the state House‘s bipartisan passage of two workers‘ compensation bills. She also helps identify new coalition partners for PAJ and manages its political action committee, consulting on election trends and spending to produce electoral outcomes protecting civil justice in Pennsylvania.

Jason Fitzgerald

President, Penn Strategies
Jason Fitzgerald / Penn Strategies

As president and a partner with Penn Strategies, Jason M. Fitzgerald has presided over the Harrisburg firm‘s dramatic recent increases in clients, employees and revenue – securing $100 million in grants within the past year, including some that set commonwealth records. Overall, Fitzgerald‘s efforts have led to $1 billion in funding for projects on behalf of municipalities, manufacturers, schools and developers. Fitzgerald is a former township supervisor and member of the Williamsport Parking Authority.

Brandon Flood

Deputy Director for Government Affairs, CeaseFirePA
Brandon Flood / Pennsylvania Senate Caucus Photography Department

A gun owner as well as a gun violence survivor, Brandon Flood leverages both his personal experiences and his extensive government expertise on behalf of common-sense gun policy. As deputy director for government affairs at CeaseFirePA, he has recently championed legislation around universal background checks and extreme risk protection orders. Flood, who advised Philadelphia Mayor Cherelle Parker‘s transition team on public safety, has also worked as the legislative director for SEIU PA State Council and as a policy specialist for the state Department of General Services.

Justin Frank

Senior Specialist and Area Sales Manager, Pennsylvania, L3Harris
Justin Frank / Provided

A longtime former Philadelphia Police Department detective and sergeant, Justin Frank is currently the senior specialist and Pennsylvania sales manager for L3Harris. Under Frank‘s guidance, L3Harris has partnered with AT&T FirstNet to bring its technology to Pennsylvania public safety networks ­– recently securing a $16 million Lehigh County communications improvement project and working with several counties on system overhauls. Frank was previously instrumental in upgrading technology during his decades with the PPD and still works on databases used by his former department.

Richard Gmerek

President and CEO, Gmerek Government Relations
Richard Gmerek / Provided

Harrisburg government lawyer and lobbyist Dick Gmerek is the CEO of Gmerek Government Relations. His successes include the first-of-its-kind state human services block grant program, millions of dollars in state funding for low-income health care services, and funding for major transportation and infrastructure projects. Gmerek previously served as counsel to the Pennsylvania Senate Republican majority leader and to its president pro tempore, as well as to the Senate Republican Caucus; he also ran Wolf Block Government Relations prior to launching his current venture.

Jennifer Halaszynski

Director, Government Affairs and Strategic Initiatives, Comcast
Jennifer Halaszynski / Theresa Glenn Photography

Jennifer Halaszynski directs government affairs and strategic initiatives at Comcast, the Philadelphia-based global telecommunications giant, where she is a liaison to lawmakers and community stakeholders. She joined the company in 2019, bringing state government insights honed during more than a dozen years working at the Pennsylvania House of Representatives, where she served as a legislative assistant and chief of staff. Halaszynski holds a master‘s in public administration from the University of Pittsburgh.

Alex Halper

Vice President of Government Affairs, Pennsylvania Chamber of Business and Industry
Alex Halper / Kris Nieves

A tireless booster of the commonwealth, Alex Halper leads advocacy for the Pennsylvania Chamber of Business and Industry. His lobbying on behalf of the 10,000-member organization – Pennsylvania‘s largest business coalition – helped secure the state legislature‘s landmark 2022 business tax reform package. More recently, Halper advised Gov. Josh Shapiro‘s transition team on workforce development, a policy priority for the chamber going into 2024. The Allentown native studied political science at George Washington University and began his career as an aide to then-U.S. Sen. Arlen Specter.

Abbey Haslam

Director of Government Affairs, Commonwealth Foundation
Abbey Haslam / Commonwealth Foundation

At the Commonwealth Foundation, Government Affairs Director Abbey Haslam leads a policy and communications team dedicated to translating free-market ideas into public policies. During the COVID-19 pandemic, she spearheaded a statewide marketing campaign to pass referenda amending the state constitution to rein in executive overreach; more recently, she helped secure the state‘s largest-ever school choice expansion in the 2023-24 state budget. She previously spent a decade at the state Capitol, where she managed communications for the state House of Representatives.

Chris Havener

Senior Vice President and Deputy General Counsel, Aramark

A company that serves lunch in 15 countries around the world needs a multitasker – and for Aramark, that‘s Chris Havener, its Philadelphia-based senior vice president and deputy general counsel. Havener, a Penn Carey Law graduate, oversees government affairs as well as litigation, employment law and legal support for the multinational foodservice outfit. He also serves on the board of the Chamber of Commerce for Greater Philadelphia. Prior to joining Aramark in 2015, he was an attorney at Morgan Lewis.

Patrick Henderson

Director of Government Affairs, Marcellus Shale Coalition
Patrick Henderson / Henderson Consulting Service LLC

Since 2015, Patrick Henderson has helmed government affairs for the Marcellus Shale Coalition, helping stakeholders in one of the nation‘s largest energy basins navigate policy issues around the development of shale gas resources. Henderson previously served as then-Gov. Tom Corbett‘s chief energy adviser, authoring Pennsylvania‘s first-ever State Energy Plan. Prior to that, he helped craft the Alternative Energy Portfolio Standards Act, the Alternative Energy Investment Act and other major legislation as executive director of the state Senate Environmental Resources and Energy Committee.

Joe Hill

Managing Director, Public Strategies, Cozen O‘Connor Public Strategies
Joe Hill / Cozen O‘Connor

After studying at Georgetown University, serving with Teach for America and working on Capitol Hill for U.S. Sen. Bob Casey, Joe Hill returned to his native Philadelphia. Now at Cozen O‘Connor Public Strategies, Hill leads the firm‘s government relations and public advocacy throughout the commonwealth, with a focus on Southeastern Pennsylvania. He has also held state leadership roles in campaigns for then-Gov. Tom Wolf and Hillary Clinton, as well as for the 2016 Democratic National Convention Committee in Philadelphia. 

Jennifer Hoover

Director of Governmental Relations, Pennsylvania State System of Higher Education

After 20 years in policy roles – half of that as director of governmental relations for Pennsylvania‘s State System of Higher Education – Jennifer Hoover became a politician herself, winning a seat on the Camp Hill Borough Council in 2021. She now serves as president pro tempore while continuing her advocacy on behalf of the state‘s universities, recently helping to secure a historic increase of $75 million in state funding. Hoover began her career as a research analyst at the Pennsylvania House of Representatives.

Jonathan Humma

Vice President of Government Relations, Pennsylvania Bankers Association
Jonathan Humma / Amanda Humma

Jonathan Humma, a former executive director of the influential state Senate Banking and Insurance Committee, joined the Pennsylvania Bankers Association last year as its vice president of government relations. He previously served as the legislative director to State Sen. John DiSanto and played a key role in numerous high-profile bills – including this year‘s measure supporting breast cancer screening and testing, last year‘s landmark prior authorization reform law and legislation providing safe harbors for financial institutions servicing Pennsylvania‘s growing medical cannabis industry.

David Hyman

Partner, Government Relations, Kleinbard
David Hyman / Laurie Beck Photography

At Kleinbard, David Hyman has helped University Place Associates obtain public funding, advised the Philadelphia Phillies on legislation around stadium facial recognition technology and guided the rapid growth of Volunteers of America Delaware Valley‘s housing and reentry services. Hyman is currently chair of Kleinbard‘s government relations group, having previously served as a managing partner of the firm. He recently served on Philadelphia Mayor Cherelle Parker‘s transition team and is vice chair for the Philadelphia Authority for Industrial Development Board and a founding board member of Visit Philadelphia.

Noah Karn

Vice President, Insurance Federation of Pennsylvania
Noah Karn / Provided

Working at the intersection of business and politics, Insurance Federation of Pennsylvania Vice President Noah Karn collaborates with public officials to foster a robust and competitive insurance landscape in the nation‘s fifth-largest market. He also spearheads the industry‘s political advocacy efforts through his work with the Pennsylvania Insurance Political Action Committee. Prior to joining the federation, Karn served as chief of staff in the Pennsylvania Senate and as a top aide to the speaker of the state House.

Lisa Katterman

President, Pennsylvania Association of Mutual Insurance Companies

As president of the Pennsylvania Association of Mutual Insurance Companies, Lisa Katterman leads a trade organization with roots dating to 1907 and members throughout eight mid-Atlantic states. Katterman‘s previous involvement with PAMIC includes chairing its government affairs and PAC trustee committees as a longtime board member and serving on the federal affairs committee for its national organization. She previously worked at Penn National Insurance, most recently as senior corporate counsel, and is a founding member of the Women‘s Law Caucus at Widener University, her alma mater.

Chris Kovolski

Assistant Vice President, Government Relations and External Affairs, Villanova University
Chris Kovolski / Provided

For nearly a quarter-century, Chris Kovolski has supported Villanova University – first as communications director, and more recently as assistant vice president of government relations and external affairs. He is responsible for advocacy on behalf of an institution with nearly $100 million in annual economic impact in the Philadelphia region and ambitious capital expansion plans. Kovolski, who earned his political science degree from Villanova, began his career in public relations with the American Red Cross.

Dave Kralle

Chief of Staff and Director of Government and Community Affairs, Essential Utilities
Dave Kralle / Essential Utilities

Dave Kralle joined Essential Utilities‘ Aqua Pennsylvania subsidiary in 2015 and is now Essential‘s chief of staff and director of government and community affairs. He has led efforts to pass groundbreaking legislation around water and wastewater systems and helped secure millions of dollars for PFAS treatment.

Kralle currently directs the Main Line Chamber of Commerce and serves on the Ambler Borough Planning Commission. Earlier in his career, he held roles at the Pennsylvania House of Representatives and the Philadelphia City Council.

Laura Stevens Kent

Senior Vice President, Advocacy and External Affairs, The Hospital and Healthsystem Association of Pennsylvania
Laura Stevens Kent / HAP

On behalf of the commonwealth‘s patient and health care communities, Laura Stevens Kent leads state and federal advocacy, communications, and political engagement for The Hospital and Healthsystem Association of Pennsylvania. As senior vice president of advocacy and external affairs, Kent is the leading voice for 235 member hospitals, health systems and other stakeholders. Her recent successes have included legislation addressing health care shortages and reinforcing emergency medical services, skilled nursing and rural health services, as well as increased state investments in Medicaid and behavioral health.

Seth Kohr

Director, Government Relations and Safety, Keystone Contractors Association
Seth Kohr / Melody O'Brien

As government relations and safety chief for the Keystone Contractors Association, Seth Kohr advances the agenda of 400-plus commercial construction outfits throughout the commonwealth. He also oversees safety, training and labor relations for the General Contractors Association of Pennsylvania. A former longtime lead building coordinator for the Kraft Heinz Company, Kohr is the two-time committee chair for the annual Pennsylvania Governor‘s Occupational Safety and Health Conference, and recently helped launch the South Central Construction Industry Partnership.

Tracy Lawless

Government Affairs Counselor, K&L Gates
Tracy Lawless / Becky Thurner

Contrary to her surname, Tracy Lawless is an expert in laws. Lawless is a government affairs counselor at the firm of K&L Gates, where she is a member of the public policy and law practice group. Working out of the Pittsburgh and Harrisburg offices, she focuses on health care and advises corporations on policy and government strategy. Lawless previously served as legislative director for Gateway Health Plan and headed public affairs for the American Society for Pharmacology and Experimental Therapeutics. 

Hugh J. Lavery

Senior Vice President for Government and External Affairs, Thomas Jefferson University and Jefferson Health

As Jefferson Health negotiates its latest merger – with Lehigh Valley Health Network – Hugh Lavery will be making the case for regulatory approval in Harrisburg, Trenton and Washington, D.C. He is the senior vice president for government and external affairs for Thomas Jefferson University and Jefferson Health, the Philadelphia-based university and health system that hopes to expand from 17 to 30 hospitals and increase its footprint across central Pennsylvania and South Jersey. Lavery also serves on the board executive committee for the Economy League of Greater Philadelphia.

Katherine Levins

Vice President, Public Policy and Government Affairs, Temple University Health System
Katherine Levins / Temple Health

Katherine Levins is the longtime chief advocate for Temple University Health System, where she is vice president for public policy and government affairs. Levins, who holds both law and business degrees from Temple, has spent two decades ensuring state funding for her alma mater – some $160 million annually. Her efforts sustain a robust network of hospitals and research centers, 1,550 physicians and scientists and a regional economic impact estimated at $9 billion each year.

Michael Long

Partner, Long Nyquist & Associates
Michael Long / Barry Kidd

From chief of staff in the state Senate to government relations for Fortune 500 companies, Mike Long has earned a reputation as a heavyweight lobbyist and a secret weapon for GOP candidates. Since 2007, Long has served as a founding partner at Long Nyquist & Associates, the Harrisburg firm that, through a series of mergers and acquisitions, has grown into the commonwealth‘s largest stand-alone lobbying outfit. Long recently announced the acquisition of Pugliese Associates, further expanding his client base and influence.

Michael Maguire

Legislative Director, AFSCME Council 13
Michael Maguire / Heather Shelley

Michael Maguire grew up in a Philadelphia labor household and now serves as legislative director for AFSCME Council 13, the Harrisburg union where he has worked on policy since 2011. He recently celebrated the 2023 passage of state legislation concerning workplace safety standards and workers‘ benefits. A 24-year AFSCME member, Maguire currently serves as board chair of the Keystone Research Center and is active with the Pennsylvania Association for Government Relations.

Amal Mahrouki

Director of Legislative Affairs, AIA Pennsylvania
Amal Mahrouki / Jette Nicole Photography

Pennsylvania‘s architects have a champion in Amal Mahrouki, who heads legislative affairs for the Pennsylvania state chapter of the American Institute of Architects. On behalf of its nearly 3,000 architects and design professionals, Mahrouki recently worked with lawmakers to update legislation around the scope of practice and professional licensure. She also recently launched Demystified Advocacy, a coaching and consulting company. Mahrouki serves on the American Society of Association Executives‘ Government Relations and Advocacy Professionals Advisory Council and the Pennsylvania Association for Government Relations board.

Brittany Mako

President, Pennsylvania Association for Government Relations
Brittany Mako / Katherine Mako

Young and ambitious, Brittany Mako is one of the best-known lobbyists of her generation. She heads the Pennsylvania Association for Government Relations and recently joined the board of the Lehigh Valley Chamber‘s Young Professionals Council. Mako‘s day job is with Capital Blue Cross, where she is the senior government affairs representative. A longtime leader with Pennsylvania Young Republicans, the Lehigh Valley native has worked with the Pennsylvania House Republican Campaign Committee and is married to state Rep. Zach Mako.

John Malady

Founder and Partner, Malady & Wooten
John Malady / Sharp Innovations

Over more than 40 years, John Malady has established himself as one of the commonwealth‘s preeminent lobbyists. He has helmed Malady Government Affairs since 1997, representing clients ranging from major financial outfits to local small businesses to the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra. The Pittsburgh native and longtime Harrisburg denizen holds an MBA from Penn State and spent nearly two decades at Wojdak Government Relations. Malady began his career working for the Pennsylvania Senate and the state lieutenant governor‘s office.

Michael McGee

CEO, Pennsylvania Association of Realtors
Michael McGee / Samantha Gatesman

The commonwealth‘s real estate professionals are represented by Michael McGee, a career association leader who joined the Pennsylvania Association of Realtors in 2017. He leads a 40,000-strong organization in an industry experiencing great volatility, making the case in Harrisburg for policy favorable to the real estate landscape and organizing training, legal counsel and other resources for members. McGee has also led the Riverfront Alliance of Delaware County and the Pennsylvania Developers‘ Council.

Lauren Mishoe

Director of Government Affairs, Pursuit Advocacy
Lauren Mishoe / Laura Feeser Photography

After heading up government affairs for the Pennsylvania Homecare Association, lobbyist Lauren Mishoe joined Pursuit Advocacy in a similar role. She recently helped secure funding to hold down university tuition and enact staffing-level legislation for inpatient substance abuse treatment centers. Mishoe previously worked on the first State Plan on Alzheimer‘s Disease and Related Disorders at the Pennsylvania Department of Health and Aging; she is also a veteran of the Pennsylvania eHealth Authority, where she advocated for security improvements in the exchange of health information.

Beth Mitchell

Vice President, U.S. Public Policy and Advocacy, Cencora

After starting her career as an assistant to then-U.S. Sen. Elizabeth Dole, Beth Mitchell has built a career in advocacy for pharmaceutical and life sciences outfits. She is currently vice president for U.S. public policy and advocacy at Cencora, a $230 billion powerhouse currently ranked 11th on the Fortune 500. Until 2022, Mitchell oversaw government affairs for Cencora‘s previous iteration, AmerisourceBergen, helping steer the pharmaceutical firm through major litigation around the opioid crisis. Prior to that, she held sales roles for Sanofi and Daiichi Sankyo. 

Gregory Moreland & Melissa Wilbur Morgan

State Director; Assistant State Director, National Federation of Independent Business
Gregory Moreland & Melissa Wilbur Morgan / Jeremy Hess, Wakeen & Company; Wakeen & Company

Greg Moreland and Melissa Wilbur Morgan, who together lead the Pennsylvania chapter of the National Federation of Independent Business, ensure commonwealth companies stay competitive. Their advocacy recently helped secure new small-business tax strategy and played a role in the state‘s recent comprehensive corporate tax reform. Currently, Moreland and Morgan are championing the reintroduced Main Street Tax Certainty Act, a priority for their 13,000 small-business constituents. Moreland, a decorated combat veteran who served in Iraq and Afghanistan, sits on the United Way of Pennsylvania‘s board of directors. Morgan is a seasoned policy advocate who, prior to joining the NFIB, worked for the Pennsylvania Association of Township Supervisors.

Patrick Morgan

Legislative Director, Pennsylvania Auctioneers Association
Patrick Morgan / Provided

Few people are better equipped to make the case for the commonwealth‘s auctioneers than Patrick Morgan, a fourth-generation auctioneer who grew up working at auctions led by his great-grandfather, grandfather and uncles, and who now leads a family auction business alongside his sons. Morgan also leads political advocacy and chairs a PAC for the Pennsylvania Auctioneers Association, the 75-year-old trade group where he is a past president. Last year, Morgan was inducted into the association‘s Hall of Fame for his contributions to the industry statewide.

Jeannie Morris

Vice President of Government Affairs, Vicinity Energy
Jeannie Morris / Kevin Peragine Photography

As Vicinity Energy pursues its net-zero carbon goal, Jeannie Morris, the firm‘s vice president of government affairs, leads the firm‘s government and industry relations strategy, advancing policies that promote sustainability and environmental responsibility. She previously gained industry experience managing state government affairs at Constellation, another energy outfit, after beginning her career in the office of then-state Sen. Connie Williams. Morris currently serves on the board of directors of the Partnership for the Delaware Estuary.

Ted Mowatt

Vice President, Wanner Associates

Drawing on four decades of experience in government affairs and advocacy, Ted Mowatt has helped pass nearly two dozen pieces of legislation on behalf of clients over 25 years at Wanner Associates, where he is vice president. A certified association executive, he also recently assumed leadership of the Pennsylvania Association of Home and Community Based Service Providers. Mowatt, who is treasurer and a past president of the Pennsylvania Association for Government Relations, began his lobbying career with the Pennsylvania Optometric Association.

Douglas I. Oliver

Senior Vice President for Governmental, Regulatory and External Affairs, PECO, an Exelon Company
Douglas I. Oliver / PECO

Last fall, Douglas Oliver was promoted to senior vice president for governmental, regulatory and external affairs at PECO, the commonwealth‘s largest electric and natural gas utility. Oliver, who came to the Exelon subsidiary in 2016 as its communications director, has worked in government and external affairs for the past several years. The onetime Philadelphia mayoral candidate previously oversaw external affairs for Philadelphia Gas Works; he has also been a press secretary for the City of Philadelphia and handled communications for the Pennsylvania Department of Public Welfare.

Teresa Osborne

Director of State Advocacy, AARP Pennsylvania

Teresa Osborne, AARP Pennsylvania‘s state advocacy director, brings her longtime commitment to health and human services to the organization‘s legislative and policy efforts. She recently helped enact “Peggy‘s Law,” a state initiative responding to elder abuse; in addition, Osborne spearheaded the state‘s inaugural LGBTQ Aging Summit and worked to bring the National Adult Protective Services Association conference to Philadelphia. A former state Secretary of Aging, Osborne was appointed by Gov. Tom Wolf as a consumer advocate on the Pennsylvania Long-Term Care Council.

Johnny J. Patterson II

Senior Vice President and Vice President of Government Relations, Genesis Healthcare
Johnny J. Patterson II / Genesis Healthcare

Johnny J. Patterson II leads advocacy for Genesis Healthcare, one of the country‘s largest skilled nursing and assisted living multi-state providers in the country. As Genesis‘ senior vice president and vice president of government relations, Patterson works on issues from public health and long-term care to Medicaid, Medicare and managed care. He honed his skills in policy roles for the cities of New York, Mount Vernon and Baltimore, helping pass initiatives around medical liability reform and hospital payment reform for incarcerated individuals.

Morgan Plant

Government Relations Consultant, Morgan Plant & Associates
Morgan Plant / Provided

Over more than three decades as a sole proprietor contract lobbyist, Morgan Plant has successfully advocated on behalf of everyone from domestic violence victims and marriage counselors to nurses, cemeteries and dental hygienists. Plant, who heads her eponymous government relations firm, is a founding member and past president of the Pennsylvania Association for Government Relations. She began her career with Planned Parenthood Pennsylvania Affiliates and has earned a reputation as a champion of women and children, victims, people with disabilities, and other vulnerable populations.

Zak Pyzik

Senior Director of Public Affairs, Pennsylvania Restaurant & Lodging Association
Zak Pyzik / PRLA

Philadelphia‘s popular streeteries owe a debt to the efforts of Zak Pyzik, who helped establish the city‘s outdoor dining program as a senior director of public affairs for the Pennsylvania Restaurant & Lodging Association since 2021. This year, Pyzik also helped enact a state measure expanding catered events and served on Philadelphia Mayor Cherelle Parker‘s transition team. The Poconos native previously spent seven years in the Pennsylvania State Senate, including overseeing communications for then-Sen. Daylin Leach.

Chuck Quinnan

Senior Vice President & Chief Government Affairs Officer, LeadingAge PA
Chuck Quinnan / James T. Giffen Photography

A longtime advocate for the commonwealth‘s seniors, Chuck Quinnan joined LeadingAge PA in 2022 as chief government affairs officer, helping secure historic state funding increases for long-term care. Quinnan previously was the associate state director for advocacy and outreach at AARP Pennsylvania and, prior to that, directed the Pennsylvania Long-Term Care Council, where he spearheaded a 2019 industry workforce development blueprint. He has also served as executive director of the Finance and Aging & Older Adult Services committees at the Pennsylvania House of Representatives.

Bob Reilly

Vice President and Government Relations Officer, WellSpan Health
Bob Reilly / WellSpan Health

At WellSpan Health, Robert Reilly works with government officials to expand regional access to services including mental health and the innovative Hospital at Home program. The veteran lobbyist, who honed his skills as a congressional chief of staff, is vice president and government relations officer for WellSpan, an integrated health system serving central Pennsylvania and northern Maryland. Reilly also sits on the Pennsylvania Chamber of Business and Industry‘s Health Care Council and on legislative committees within the Greater Chambersburg and Lancaster chambers of commerce. 

Leah Sailhamer

Director of Government Affairs, Nationwide Energy Partners
Leah Sailhamer / Pennsylvania Apartment Association

Leah Sailhamer joined Nationwide Energy Partners as director of government affairs in 2022, after previously managing advocacy as a vice president with the Pennsylvania Apartment Association. She began her career as a research analyst with the Pennsylvania House of Representatives and later translated that knowledge into effective government relations for several organizations, including the Alzheimer‘s Association, and she served as coordinator of the Pennsylvania Public Policy Coalition. She has also worked as an associate with the Bravo Group.

Mungu Sanchez

Deputy Political Director, Eastern Atlantic States Council of Carpenters
Mungu Sanchez / Zaim Feelings

As he advocates on behalf of the Eastern Atlantic States Council of Carpenters, Mungu Sanchez has some powerful allies – beginning with Philadelphia‘s newly elected mayor, Cherelle Parker, who appointed Sanchez as a senior adviser to her transition team. Sanchez got his start working at the Pennsylvania House of Representatives, where he developed a passion for social issues. Now a respected community organizer, he is active with numerous Philadelphia-area groups – including the North Star Convention, a coalition of Pennsylvania‘s Black government, labor and business leaders.

Melissa Shafer

Associate Vice President, Government and Community Relations, St. Luke‘s University Health Network
Melissa Shafer / St. Luke‘s

Since 2018, Melissa Shafer has represented St. Luke‘s University Health Network before local, county, state, and federal policymakers. Her recent priorities have included adequate reimbursement for services like telehealth, behavioral health, and substance use disorder treatment, as well as public-private partnerships for health care workforce development. Prior to joining St. Luke‘s, Shafer spent 15 years working in municipal management in Montgomery, Bucks, and Northampton counties. She currently serves on the Team Pennsylvania Foundation Board and the United Way Lehigh Valley Public Policy Advisory Committee.

Kevin Shivers

President and CEO, PA Association of Community Bankers
Kevin Shivers / Roger That Photography

As the president and CEO of the Pennsylvania Association of Community Bankers, Kevin Shivers has raised the association‘s visibility and influence, leading him to be named to the Titan 100‘s 2023 list of top CEOs in Eastern Pennsylvania. Most recently, he championed measures codifying protections for state banking funds and protecting banks doing business with lawful cannabis businesses. Shivers, who chairs the board of directors for the Foundation for Free Enterprise Education, previously worked for former Pennsylvania Govs. Tom Ridge and Mark Schweiker.

Michael Strazzella

Government Relations Section Co-Chair, Senior Principal, Buchanan Ingersoll & Rooney
Michael Strazzella / Moshe Zusman

At Buchanan Ingersoll & Rooney, Michael Strazzella was recently named co-chair of Buchanan‘s government relations section, a growing team of bipartisan professionals. Strazzella also co-leads the firm‘s Washington, D.C. office and co-chairs its health care industry group. His own practice focuses on the health sector across various industries; he recently coordinated with the firm‘s legal team to lead a successful appeal of an FDA program. Strazzella also mentors students and serves on the President‘s Advisory Circle at his alma mater, Gettysburg College.

Matt Szigety

Senior Vice President and Government Affairs Director, PNC
Matt Szigety / Provided

Matt Szigety brings nearly two decades of banking and business experience to his role directing state and local government affairs for PNC, the Pittsburgh-based financial services corporation. Szigety, who holds an MBA, joined PNC in 2009 in risk management; as a senior vice president, he is now responsible for legislative and regulatory matters and partnerships with the company‘s external stakeholders. A U.S. Coast Guard veteran, Szigety began his political career with the Coast Guard Congressional Affairs staff at the U.S. House of Representatives.

David N. Taylor

President and CEO, Pennsylvania Manufacturers‘ Association
David N. Taylor / Roger That Photography

David Taylor has led the Pennsylvania Manufacturers‘ Association for nearly 30 years – and his influence shows: Last year, his advocacy was crucial to the state legislature‘s passage of historic business tax reform. The Central Pennsylvania native, who previously held legislative roles at the state Senate, currently talks politics and policy on his radio show, “Capitol Watch,” a radio show he hosts, and “PMA Perspective,” an industry-focused program on the Pennsylvania Cable Network. He also currently chairs the Pennsylvania Leadership Council.

Edward C. Troxell

Director of Government Affairs, Pennsylvania State Association of Boroughs

At the Pennsylvania State Association of Boroughs, government affairs chief Ed Troxell recently helped enact a renewed borough code for the municipalities that are home to 20% of the commonwealth. He has also crusaded for measures aimed at remediating blight through land banks and sought relief for unfunded mandates on behalf of the association‘s 956 borough governments. In the upcoming legislative session, Troxell is leading state legislative lobbying efforts to increase public safety, fund local infrastructure improvements and expand broadband technology access.

Pete Trufahnestock

Director of Governmental Affairs, Columbia Gas of Pennsylvania and Maryland

Pete Trufahnestock is responsible for governmental affairs for Columbia Gas of Pennsylvania and Maryland – the local utilities of NiSource, which serves 4 million people throughout the Midwest and mid-Atlantic. In this role, Trufahnestock serves as the primary lobbyist for Columbia Gas in both states. Trufahnestock began his career in the Pennsylvania Attorney General‘s Office and also served as a vice president for PA Legislative Services. Prior to joining NiSource, he was the principal lobbyist for Philadelphia Gas Works.

Robert Vescio

Partner, C&G Strategies

Thanks to Robert Vescio, there are new state regulations protecting construction workers in work zones, new state funding for child care and workforce development, and new legislation to establish an advanced manufacturing program. It‘s the most recent evidence of Vescio‘s two decades of effectiveness as a lobbyist – currently with C&G Strategies, and formerly with Dentons Cohen & Grigsby. A Harrisburg fixture, he has advanced the priorities of industries including heavy highway and vertical construction, childcare, horse racing, health care, technology and the movies.

Mitch Vidovich

Vice President of Government Affairs, Independence Blue Cross
Mitch Vidovich / Jessica Ford Neale

Mitch Vidovich serves as a critical link between policymakers and civic and business leaders for the region‘s largest health insurer and one of the largest Blues in the nation. As vice president of government affairs for Independence Blue Cross, Vidovich leads the company‘s award-winning political action committee – one of the commonwealth‘s largest – and forges partnerships between community stakeholders and the $140 million Independence Blue Cross Foundation. He draws on years of experience working on Capitol Hill and on national political campaigns.

Dennis Walsh & Lauren Barr

President, Bravo Group Government Relations; Energy and Regulatory Practice Lead, Bravo Group
Dennis Walsh & Lauren Barr / Bravo Group

Between Dennis Walsh and Lauren Barr, the Bravo Group has more than a half-century of deep industry expertise, experience and state government savvy – which they‘ve translated into helping pass new laws, securing budget funding and blocking unfavorable policy for clients.

Walsh joined Bravo Group in 2005 to grow its lobbying practice and now serves as president of Bravo Group Government Relations. He previously lobbied for the insurance industry and worked for then-Gov. Tom Ridge.

Barr heads Bravo Group‘s advocacy around energy policy. She has worked at the state Department of Labor and Industry, the Public Utility Commission and the Duquesne Light Company.

Tim Ward

Director of Advocacy and Government Relations, Pennsylvania Health Care Association
Tim Ward / Eric Heisler, PHCA

For three years, Tim Ward has headed advocacy and government relations at the Pennsylvania Health Care Association, lobbying in both Harrisburg and Washington, D.C. The Montgomery County native is currently championing workforce development initiatives to address the staffing crisis in long-term care, and was also recently appointed by Gov. Josh Shapiro to the Pennsylvania Long-Term Care Council. Before joining PHCA, Ward focused on health care labor policy and economic development projects as government relations chief for a Philadelphia-based lobbying firm.

Shawn Whitman & Darryl Blakey

Vice President of Government Affairs; Associate Director, State Government Affairs, FMC Corporation
Darryl Blakey / Matthew Lester

Drawing on extensive Washington experience, Shawn Whitman and Darryl Blakey oversee global and state government affairs, respectively, for FMC Corporation, the Philadelphia-based agricultural products company. 

Whitman, FMC‘s vice president for government affairs, leads global political strategy for the multinational corporation. He spent over a decade as a policy adviser and chief of staff at the U.S. Senate, and is currently a board member of the Business Government Relations Council and the Public Affairs Council.

As FMC‘s associate director for state government affairs, Blakey brings deep industry knowledge from policy roles with the U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission, the National Cattlemen‘s Beef Association and the U.S. House Agriculture Committee. He holds a degree from Penn State‘s College of Agricultural Sciences.

Dan Wiedemer, Erika Brunelle & Kelli Thompson

Assistant Executive Director; Assistant Directors of Government Relations, Pennsylvania State Education Association
Dan Wiedemer, Erika Brunelle & Kelli Thompson / Jenny Wert; Jennifer Statler; Dan Wiedemer

At the Pennsylvania State Education Association, Dan Wiedemer leads a powerhouse government relations team that racks up major legislative victories. Last year, as chair of Project Keystone, Wiedemer leveraged the might of PSEA‘s nearly 180,000 members to help secure a pro-public education majority on the state Supreme Court and in the state House of Representatives.

In these efforts, Wiedemer is aided by Erika Brunelle and Kelli Thompson, PSEA‘s assistant directors of government relations. The trio‘s advocacy helped yield a record school funding increase and gave momentum to innovative programs to address Pennsylvania‘s teacher shortage while blocking efforts to censor teachers and impose book bans. Thompson and Brunelle also led coalitions fighting for a cost-of-living pension adjustment and to defeat school vouchers in the recent state budget.

Jim Willshier

Director of Government Affairs, Associated Builders and Contractors, Keystone Chapter
Jim Willshier / Heather Powers Photography

At the Associated Builders and Contractors, Keystone Chapter, Jim Willshier crusades for state and local policy promoting safety and accountability in construction, as well as quality apprenticeship programs in the skilled trades. He has also lobbied for reentry legislation that gives Pennsylvanians a second chance by lowering barriers to work and bolsters the construction workforce. Willshier previously advocated on behalf of the Pennsylvania Chamber and the Pennsylvania Association of Community Health Centers. He sits on the board of the Pennsylvania Association of Government Relations.

Rich Wood

Director of Government Relations and Sustainability, Wawa

Rich Wood has built his career at two iconic companies – Coca-Cola, where he spent five years in sales, and Wawa, the family business, where he has logged 25 years. He currently heads government relations and sustainability for the iconic convenience store chain, whose growth – to more than 1,000 locations and 40,000 employees – he has helped nurture through oversight of the political and regulatory landscape. Wood, who began as a store operations area manager in 1999, also manages Wawa’s corporate sustainability program.

Peter Yaffe

President, Capitol Strategies Group
Peter Yaffe / Eric Harris Photography

At Capitol Strategies Group, founder and President Peter Yaffe has secured grants and legislation for a wide variety of clients and projects – including reconstruction of a critical transportation artery, establishment of an alternative-fuel grant program, resources for affordable housing and behavioral health, and funding for public facilities. Yaffe previously managed legislative affairs at one of Pennsylvania‘s leading lobbying firms and worked for several multinational corporations. A Public Affairs Council Institute Fellow, he has also held government leadership positions in Philadelphia and Harrisburg.

Malcolm Yates

Director of Government Relations, PHMC
Malcolm Yates / Darnell A. Barnes, DSQPhotography LLC.

This past year, Malcolm Yates helped Public Health Management Corporation secure $3 million in funding for its Public Health Campus on Cedar, an innovative health hub serving West and Southwest Philadelphia. It was a triumph for Yates, PHMC‘s inaugural director of government relations, who was appointed in 2021. Last year, he led PHMC to host the nonprofit‘s Public Health Mayoral Forum in advance of the city‘s primary elections; a few months later, he served on the transition team for Philadelphia Mayor Cherelle Parker.

Ray Zaborney

Founder, One+ Strategies, Red Maverick Media, GP3 Partners
Ray Zaborney / Joel Thomas, Red Maverick Media

With his trio of political consulting, public affairs and lobbying firms – Red Maverick Media, One+ Strategies and GP3 Partners – Ray Zaborney has established himself as a power player in Harrisburg and beyond. Zaborney, who has helped win races for state Sen. Frank Farry and former state Sen. President Pro Tempore Jake Corman, among others, combines electoral and lobbying muscle in ways that have attracted no shortage of attention. With thousands of clients eager for his savvy, Zaborney leads an empire unlikely to set soon.

Andrew Zalenski

Executive Vice President, Government Affairs, Frank DiCicco Associates

Name a high-profile issue in Philadelphia – paid sick leave, the beverage tax, cable franchises – and Andrew Zalenski has probably worked on it. He‘s the executive vice president for government affairs at Frank DiCicco Associates and has brought his expertise on Philadelphia City Council and city agencies to such clients as Verizon, GrubHub, Aramark, building trade unions and the Pennsylvania Restaurant & Lodging Association – for whom he championed a bill capping third-party delivery fees. Zalenski recently served on Philadelphia Mayor Cherelle Parker‘s transition team.

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