July 5, 2022 •
July 1, 2022 is the 29th anniversary of State and Federal Communications, Inc. Yes, 29 years! I wanted to see the percentage of small businesses who are still around for 29 years. What is the average age of small business […]
July 1, 2022 is the 29th anniversary of State and Federal Communications, Inc. Yes, 29 years!
I wanted to see the percentage of small businesses who are still around for 29 years. What is the average age of small business CEOs? What percentage of businesses succeed?
Let me just say we have outlasted the percentages. Most research talks about businesses around for only five years. I am far older than the average 44-year-old small business owner. Do you know 70% of small businesses fail after 10 years.
Enough of all that bad news.
The team at State and Federal Communications works together for our clients. That is the most important part of the work we do. We understand each of our clients have different needs and we work with them to help with compliance. Our website has grown and grown because we listen when our clients want additional reference information, want additional municipalities included, and adding additional countries to our growing International Guidebook.
There is a lot we need to do for the future. I am not getting any younger and I want to protect our work and our staff. So, what are we doing?
We are working together to find a new home in Akron when our lease expires in 2024 to be more efficient for the way we operate.
Our senior team will begin the EOS—Entrepreneurial Operating System—which integrates a complete set of simple tools and process to produce powerful business results.
And the largest is to plan to integrate an ESOP—employer stock ownership plan—which gives the staff ownership interest in the company.
There is a lot we need to do even before we start these programs…And we are up to the challenge. If there is something you would like to see us do, please reach out. We are open to your ideas.
Stay tuned…We will have a lot to share.
In the meantime, enjoy your summer. Please continue to be safe and protect yourself from COVID. #MaskUp
June 6, 2022 •
Do you know my friend Governor Tom Ridge? Of course, you do. He was this country’s first Secretary of Homeland Security after the September 11th attacks. He was appointed by President George W Bush days after the attacks to head […]
Do you know my friend Governor Tom Ridge? Of course, you do. He was this country’s first Secretary of Homeland Security after the September 11th attacks.
He was appointed by President George W Bush days after the attacks to head up the new department. This required Governor Ridge to step down as Pennsylvania’s governor. He was not a cabinet-level official until 2003…and he went right to work. Ridge developed a program of antiterrorist training, preventive technologies, and emergency responses. In addition, he was tasked with coordinating activities of some 46 different state and federal agencies related to his chain of command. In 2002 he unveiled a new color-coded system for assessing the risk of a terrorist attack.
We met him about 10 years ago when Ridge Policy Group started and we were retained to assist his team with lobbying compliance. We have worked close with his staff in ensure all state and federal reports are accurate for their clients.
On May 14, 2022, Governor Ridge was the 37th recipient of the William Oliver Baker Medal of Achievement in recognition of his extraordinary contributions to the national and homeland security of the United States. John Chames and I attended this beautiful event where he was recognized for his strong and resolute leadership in providing us all safer skies, ports and points of entry to the United States, more secure critical infrastructure, and enhanced cooperation between public and private sectors.
In 2020, State and Federal Communications moved its DC office and now we share our space with Ridge Global and Ridge Policy Group and the fine people Governor Ridge has on his staff. He is a great suitemate and we are honored he trusted us to be in his space.
We all have great friends in this industry…Take the time to let them know.
April 4, 2022 •
Every week we discuss the articles from lobbycomply.com and see which ones are opened the most often. No question about it, Ask the Experts—Employee Personal Political Contributions is the #1 blog post…Every single week. The question is easy—”Before I can […]
Every week we discuss the articles from lobbycomply.com and see which ones are opened the most often. No question about it, Ask the Experts—Employee Personal Political Contributions is the #1 blog post…Every single week.
The question is easy—”Before I can make a political contribution using my own funds, my employer requires that I obtain permission first. Can my employer legally do this?”
As is the answer—Yes.
Employers may require employees to seek preapproval before making personal political contributions. Not only can your employer require this, but it’s also smart business to do so. Employers may even require preapproval from family members of employees.
This preapproval requirement has evolved because of the increased number of jurisdictions enacting pay-to-play laws. A seemingly innocuous contribution by an employee could result in the loss of government contracts, fines, and a ban on future contracting. Criminal sanctions may apply when repeated violations occur. By requiring pre-approval, your employer can properly vet the contribution for compliance with a jurisdiction’s pay-to-play law, including disclosure requirements.
In most jurisdictions, employees covered by pay-to-play laws include officers, partners, directors, senior management, salespersons, and their spouses and dependent children. In Pennsylvania and Kentucky, all employees are covered in the instance of a no-bid contract.
Requiring preclearance of employee personal political contributions is certainly preferable than imposing a ban on employee contributions, which could result in a violation of applicable labor laws. Various jurisdictions bar employers from retaliating against employees for engaging in political activities, which can include everything from participating in a political rally to making campaign contributions. Even though an employer can require preapproval, an employer cannot directly or indirectly affect an individual’s employment by means of discrimination or threat of discrimination based on the individual’s personal political contributions.
We have a busy election year ahead of us…and it continues until November 2024. Protect the company and ask before making political contributions. As I always say, this is not an issue where you can ask for forgiveness first…Obtain permission before proceeding. I suggest you always plan your contributions before saying YES to the candidates calling and sending invitations. Make sure you do not exceed the limitation in the jurisdiction.
If you have questions about this, give me a call. I have a detailed Excel chart detailing my contributions so I know how much I have given per election. In fact, Nola Werren on my staff has that spreadsheet because she will let me know if I am exceeding the limit…I think my husband, John Chames, would do the same, but definitely in a louder tone!!!!!
March 2, 2022 •
Attention all political science nerds and government relations geeks. State and Federal Communications has posted the State of the State Addresses from the Governors of the United States on its website. It is available to all of our clients on […]
Attention all political science nerds and government relations geeks. State and Federal Communications has posted the State of the State Addresses from the Governors of the United States on its website. It is available to all of our clients on your dashboard.
This was a great idea from our new Senior Advisor Jean Cantrell at a department meeting. With Vice President Ren Koozer’s IT skills and Associate Director for Research, Michael Beckett, Esq. and his amazing team, the whole project was put together in no time and on our website.
Not every governor has given his/her State of the State Address and we will continue to update the site by providing a link to either the distributed Address or a link to the video of the Address being given.
I like having something interesting to do and this is perfect. [Truth be told, I have also spent time in the evening looking at candidate campaign finance reports and seeing if I notice irregularities.] This is a great opportunity when I am at the Public Affairs Council PAC Conference to catch up on what is going on in our country.
I would love to hear from you about this new addition. Please note this is only available to subscribers to our Guidebooks and to all our consulting clients. If that piques your interest, give me a call to discuss our services.
Next month I will discuss the #1 blog post at the company!! Stay tuned.
December 20, 2021 •
June 11, 2021 •
Elizabeth Bartz, president and CEO of State and Federal Communications, decided to increase her support for the Girl Scouts in 2021. In this Great Cookie Caper, Bartz bought 650 boxes of assorted Girl Scout cookies. She helped 65 Girl […]
Elizabeth Bartz, president and CEO of State and Federal Communications, decided to increase her support for the Girl Scouts in 2021. In this Great Cookie Caper, Bartz bought 650 boxes of assorted Girl Scout cookies. She helped 65 Girl Scouts in the process! “I love helping the Girl Scouts and I didn’t eat a single cookie!” said Bartz.
So, what do you do with 650 boxes of cookies? Always thinking about corporate social responsibility, Bartz decided to give them to Stewart’s Caring Place and the Akron-Canton Regional Foodbank. Stewart’s Caring Place helps cancer patients and their families. These treats will go a long way to spread some happiness.
The Foodbank is the heroic organization aiming to stamp out hunger in our community. Dan Flowers of the Foodbank said we often do not realize just how much having a little sweet treat can make someone’s day.
Elizabeth Bartz and staff from State and Federal Communications had fun delivering this mountain of cookies. Bon appétit, everyone!
February 2, 2021 •
Last week, State and Federal Communications received the bronze award from the Healthy Business Council of Ohio (HBCO). In fact, it is the second year we have won this award. This is great since we have only had a formal […]
Last week, State and Federal Communications received the bronze award from the Healthy Business Council of Ohio (HBCO). In fact, it is the second year we have won this award. This is great since we have only had a formal wellness program for two years. The HBCO requested a photo of us with our plaque so I joined HR Generalist Anastasia Drescher and Director of HR Beth Mullen for our “Charlie’s Angels” photo.
Why is this important? Because I finally got it stuck in my head, I had to do something. I have been around for a long time and many might remember when I weighed 52 pounds more than I do today. In fact, I am finally down to my 1997 wedding weight, which is great, and NO I have not pulled out the dress to try it on!!
This did not happen easily. It is something I have worked hard to do. It did help when we were told we were going to be grandparents.
I knew I wanted to be an active grandparent.
So, I did three things:
- Went back to WW,
- Hired personal trainer and started yoga, and
WW—Let me make this clear: I have been a WW member for a long time, but I took it more seriously in the last year and have lost almost 25 pounds since the pandemic. The program is easy to use with my iPhone and there are a variety of program choices.
Personal Training and Yoga—When we received the baby news in December 2018, it came with a yoga mat as my Christmas gift. I had just started Yoga Nidra and was using the studio’s mats. Even before COVID it was not a great idea. I attend a weekly program, Relax and Restore, to prepare for my busy weeks. This is a program that deals with stretching and breathing. My legs and back stay on the floor. I also have personal trainer and meet with her twice a week for 45 minutes training with weights along with rowing, using the tread mill, and stretching so I can easily pick up my 25-pound grandson.
Self-Care—Last but not least, self-care is important. Though I do keep track daily of my weight, my sugar levels, oral care, flossing with my new Waterpik sonic-fusion flossing toothbrush (my Christmas gift to myself). I also listen to the Calm App and read for 20 minutes. I am reminding you how important it is to have a PCP—primary care physician—and see the physician at least once a year. Now, at my age, my physician wants to see me twice a year. I also make sure I see my dentist twice a year—which is free with our dental insurance. There are other parts of our bodies we need to take care of, and I make sure those are done, too. At my age, I have had two colonoscopies, as caring for all parts of the body and preventative care is important. My suggestion is to schedule it for a Monday morning so you can drink the pre-procedure fluids on Sunday when you are home. You will know what I am talking about the first time you schedule it. Plus, as we learned in our 2020 Wellness Program, sleep is important. Where I used to settle for five hours a sleep, I have increased it to seven or eight hours a night.
I know I am not a model wellness person, but I am not done. As I persevere, I urge you to take the time to fit in planning for meal preparation in your house. We organize our plan every Friday night. What else are we doing these days? Many people have treadmills in their home. Recently, John Chames put our treadmill in front of the family room television. This is a great decision because we can be on it while watching the news or watching John’s favorite show, American Pickers.
Remember, you only have one body, take care of it.
November 10, 2020 •
The staff of State and Federal Communications was recognized by the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of America for their donation to the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese COVID-19 Relief Fund in the name of President and CEO Elizabeth Z. Bartz. The relief fund […]
The staff of State and Federal Communications was recognized by the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of America for their donation to the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese COVID-19 Relief Fund in the name of President and CEO Elizabeth Z. Bartz.
The relief fund was established to “support those around the country who have been impacted by the current pandemic,” per the Archdiocese. “One-time grants of up to $2,500 will be made available to those who are facing extreme financial hardship as a result of COVID-19.”
Every July the staff celebrates the company’s anniversary. In light of the pandemic, they felt it was appropriate to honor Elizabeth with this donation in her name.
June 10, 2020 •
Elizabeth Bartz, president and CEO of State and Federal Communications, decided 2020 was the year she would buy Girl Scout Cookies from anyone who asked. Yes, anyone who asked! The result was Bartz bought 400 boxes of assorted Girl Scout […]
Elizabeth Bartz, president and CEO of State and Federal Communications, decided 2020 was the year she would buy Girl Scout Cookies from anyone who asked. Yes, anyone who asked!
The result was Bartz bought 400 boxes of assorted Girl Scout Cookies. She bought from scouts in Ohio, Virginia, and Arizona. “I bought way too many cookies!” said Bartz.
So, what do you do with 400 boxes of cookies? Always thinking about corporate social responsibility, Bartz decided to give them to an organization. She posted on Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn that she was giving away cookies to a worthy group.
Kara O’Neill (wife to WKDD’s Keith Kennedy) contacted Jaclyn Flossie from Red Oak Behavioral Health in Akron and said this was a perfect fit for them. The Red Oak team was the first to respond. They are a non-profit mental health agency serving the greater Akron community since 1963. They provide professional therapeutic and community support services for children, youth, families, and older adults.
Elizabeth Bartz and staff from State and Federal Communications had fun delivering them today. Bon appétit, everyone!
June 4, 2018 •
You can consider this Silver Anniversary—Part One. On July 1st, State and Federal Communications, Inc. will celebrate its 25th anniversary. WOW! That is a long, long time and I have been here every minute of it. We are going to […]
You can consider this Silver Anniversary—Part One. On July 1st, State and Federal Communications, Inc. will celebrate its 25th anniversary. WOW! That is a long, long time and I have been here every minute of it.
We are going to take the opportunity to celebrate this event in Akron, Ohio and in Washington, DC and I hope you can all join us.
Feel free to respond to this email and I will make sure you receive an invitation. We are looking forward to opening our doors to all of our clients and friends around the country.
Thank you…Thank you for always relying on our quality services and knowing we are here to make sure government affairs world a lot easier.
Looking forward to seeing you soon.
May 1, 2018 •
You have probably read our blogs, columns, press releases, and digital media posts about our new publication, European Compliance Laws. As they say, it has opened up the world to the staff and to our clients. We have only tiptoed into […]
You have probably read our blogs, columns, press releases, and digital media posts about our new publication, European Compliance Laws. As they say, it has opened up the world to the staff and to our clients.
We have only tiptoed into Europe and include compliance resources for Great Britain, Ireland, Scotland, and the European Union. We are adding more countries in 2018 and the cost for this year is nominal—only $1,000* more for all of these additional references.
I have also started a discussion with Interel Global Public Affairs and have been invited to speak about compliance at its 5th annual summit, Advancing Interests in a New Era, in Brussels, Belgium.
Recently I sat with Fredrik Lofthagen, Interel’s CEO, and his goal for this year’s program is to look to the future and provide thought-provoking topics on how innovation and technology is bringing in a new era of public affairs and the relationship between people, ideas, and organizations.
Many of you remember Jason Jarrell when he was at the Public Affairs Council. He has been instrumental in connecting me with Fredrik and I am very appreciative of these efforts.
Now, please understand, when I am at a table with Fredrik Lofthagen; Florence Maisel, managing partner in France; Grégoire Poisson, managing partner from the EU, and Jason Jarrell, managing partner of the global practice…well, all I can say is I felt a lot like Rodney Dangerfield in Caddyshack.
In all honesty, learning all about European countries has been eye opening and we look forward to working with the global practice departments of our clients.
Before next month’s issue, I will have also gone on my first cruise on the Mediterranean with my husband, John Chames, as we celebrate our 21st wedding anniversary. It is the first time we will be on a two-week vacation together…Truly concerned one of us will go overboard!
April 3, 2018 •
Last month I went into detail on what was done in 2017 for our website. Today I am going to list out what we are doing in 2018 to make our website even more valuable. My conversation a couple of […]
Last month I went into detail on what was done in 2017 for our website. Today I am going to list out what we are doing in 2018 to make our website even more valuable.
My conversation a couple of months ago with Research Manager Michael Beckett continued with what he said would be added to our site. Our #1 goal is to continue support to our clients when there are questions and special projects.
Our work with our European Compliance is growing. Scotland will be completed and on our site in April. Other countries for 2018 include France, Germany, Austria, and Greece. We are giving our clients a great introductory offer to add European Compliance to the guides you are currently receiving.
We like to produce Tip Sheets—one pagers that help you answer quick questions. This year we will publish three of them:
Social media lobbying (we weren’t talking about that 25 years ago);
Gift splitting and reimbursement; and
Restrictions on lobbyist contributions.
In addition, we are going to clarify the following in all our jurisdictions:
Placement agents in our Procurement Lobbying Publication;
Grass tops lobbying in our Lobbying Laws Publication;
Procurement lobbying (contracts) vs. executive branch lobbying (rules and regulations) in our Procurement Lobbying Publication;
Timing of contributions for purposes of aggregation in our Political Contributions Publication; Q&A regarding state contribution limits applicability to local candidates in our Political Contributions Publication;
PAC contribution match by corporate employer rules in our Political Contributions Publication.
You will also see our familiar Executive’s Checklists in our Municipal Lobbying entries and we are always ready to add more municipalities.
Our team works all year long to make sure the State and Federal Communications website is always up-to-date on the work you need. This isn’t a side business for the company… it is the foundation of our overall business.
If you have any questions about our website, please do not hesitate to give me a call. It has been part of my DNA for a long, long time.
March 14, 2018 •
SXSW has been an event I have wanted to attend but I didn’t understand it…And, after being here five days, I don’t know if I understand it because it is huge. Yes, there is music. There are films. But these […]
SXSW has been an event I have wanted to attend but I didn’t understand it…And, after being here five days, I don’t know if I understand it because it is huge.
Yes, there is music. There are films. But these are not just walk in opportunities. You need to have the right badge or wristband to attend.
I signed up with the City of Akron as a partner, which meant I had a table in the exhibit booth with the City…And, that is all I could do. I did speak with Libby Wuller and Joshua Hone from Quorum Analytics who gave me advice about signing up for events; but having only 48 hours between the PAC conference and SXSW, I had enough time to pack black slacks. I do thank them for the advice and will put it to better use next year. Also, a special thanks to Apple’s Steve Kester, who sent me a full list of night events. Yeah, after eight hours in the exhibit hall, there was little appetite for night events.
The exhibit booth is huge, and SXSW provides a lot of time for people to walk through. On Sunday, Monday, and Tuesday the booths are open from 10 am to 6 pm and on Wednesday it is open from 10 am to 2 pm. And, similar to NCSL, if you close up early, you are fined.
I did miss Melinda Gates, Elon Musk, the cast of This is Us and Roseanne because I only had the trade show badge. I could buy another one, which I will do for 2019. The big badge is the Platinum badge, which you can buy now for 2019 for $1,100, which is about $700 more than the regular price and you get in everything.
Everything? Impossible to staff the booth, attend events, see movies, get in line to hear Elon Musk, stay hydrated, eat, and do it for five days, at a minimum. The Interactive badge does allow you to attend sessions and the trade show, but not the films and concerts…you just don’t get a deal on that badge price.
So, if you are interested in SXSW, spend the rest of the year reading from the website about the programs and opportunities. If you have something technologically innovative, you should exhibit it.
Two pieces of advice:
- It is a no tie zone. You won’t look more professional in your professional business attire. You will look out of place. Lots of jeans, boots, and leggings here.
- Rest before flying into Austin…There is very little time to do so here.
I am available to answer questions if you have any about SXSW. I am hoping the City of Akron does this again because I did learn a lot and want to see more of the programs.
And, of course, it is the hippest place to be and I want to be hip!!
Check out some more of my photos from SXSW:
March 1, 2018 •
When we ended our three-ring, three volume publication—about 10 years ago—we had paper everywhere and Kinko’s was our best friend. Trust me, the Kinko’s in Fairlawn, Ohio had to have been the highest ranked store in the country with the […]
When we ended our three-ring, three volume publication—about 10 years ago—we had paper everywhere and Kinko’s was our best friend. Trust me, the Kinko’s in Fairlawn, Ohio had to have been the highest ranked store in the country with the amount of work we sent to the 24/7 shop.
Now, everything is on our website, www.stateandfed.com, and though we have far less paper and FedEx (formerly Kinko’s) is still in business but not really printing our updates; we have info…a lot of it.
I met with Research Manager Michael Beckett—as I do every year—to review what we included on our website and what is planned for the next year. Here is a brief list of items included to improve your ability to search for information:
- Added question regarding gifts from lobbyist employers in both our Executive Source Guide on Lobbying and Procurement Lobbying;
- Clarified whether federal PACs can contribute to state and local candidates in our Executive Source Guide on Political Contributions;
- You will see additional information regarding a corporate PAC using payroll deductions to collect contributions;
- We are now capturing social media regulations in the Grassroots section of both our Executive Source Guide on Lobbying and Procurement Lobbying; and
- You will see we make sure we have indicated when the date the page was last modified.
And, there is more. The Research Department also:
- Prepared the 2018 Guidebook so you were able to have it at the beginning of the year;
- Prepared our Tip Sheet Ethics Implications for Expenditures at National Conferences and a second Tip Sheet on Grassroots Lobbying;
- Published 549 blog posts on lobbycomply.com;
- Transitioned to a new web-based database;
- Prepared a guide on Inauguration activities in the states after the November 2017 elections;
- Added the following new municipalities to the website: Bronx County, New York; Will County, Illinois; Laredo, Texas; Columbia Missouri; Dorchester County, Maryland; Irvine, California; and Coral Gables, Florida; and
- Created from a blank piece of paper, the inaugural countries to European Compliance—Republic of Ireland; European Union; and United Kingdom.
What will they do in 2018? Stay tuned for the April edition of Compliance Now.
In the meantime, let us know if you need assistance driving around our website. We would be happy to give you a tour.
State and Federal Communications, Inc. provides research and consulting services for government relations professionals on lobbying laws, procurement lobbying laws, political contribution laws in the United States and Canada. Learn more by visiting stateandfed.com.