March 29, 2022 •
Tell me about Torchbearers. What is the organization? Torchbearers is a volunteer-run organization founded in 2003 to strengthen the connection between Akron-area nonprofits and emerging leaders as well as to further efforts to attract and retain emerging leaders in Greater […]
Tell me about Torchbearers. What is the organization? Torchbearers is a volunteer-run organization founded in 2003 to strengthen the connection between Akron-area nonprofits and emerging leaders as well as to further efforts to attract and retain emerging leaders in Greater Akron. The organization is a bridge between established leadership of the community and leaders of the future. Torchbearers works with more than 150 local organizations, including the Akron-Canton Regional Foodbank, the Akron Snow Angels, Downtown Akron Partnership, and the International Institute of Akron.
Tell me a little bit about your membership and involvement. I was selected to join the Torchbearers Class of 2021 beginning January 1. In February, I joined the Leadership & Development Committee of Torchbearers facilitated by Executive Director Jeremy Lile of Heart to Heart Communications. The Leadership & Development Committee provides Torchbearers with a year-long curriculum devoted to personal and professional development, board leadership, and community exposure.
When does this group meet? The Leadership & Development Committee of Torchbearers meets virtually on the fourth Thursday of every month in the evenings. Additionally, our committee plans and executes bimonthly Leadership & Development sessions for first-year members on the topics of strengths and personal awareness, communications, collaboration, and leading change.
How do you see Torchbearers as a way to develop your leadership in the community? As a member of the Leadership & Development Committee, I am shaping my individual and collective leadership styles while increasing my engagement in the community. On June 2, I co-planned and hosted a Leadership & Development session on the theme of collaboration. I invited guest panelists from Community Legal Aid Services and the International Institute of Akron to share with first-year members the collaborative work being done to support immigrant and refugee communities in Akron.
What is your favorite part of being a member of Torchbearers? The social interaction at in-person events! Torchbearers hosted its first in-person member event on the evening of June 22 at the Akron Art Museum, and it was a great way to finally meet my fellow members I had been engaging with virtually.
Thank you very much, Joanna. I am inspired by your leadership in the community. All the best to you and your Torchbearers experience!
March 29, 2022 •
How long have you been associated with the Akron Rotary Camp? I have been associated with Rotary Camp for four years now. I started my first summer in 2017 and worked two summers and two off-seasons. This summer, I am […]
How long have you been associated with the Akron Rotary Camp? I have been associated with Rotary Camp for four years now. I started my first summer in 2017 and worked two summers and two off-seasons. This summer, I am trying to get out and help and see the staff and campers whenever I can.
Who are they and what do they do? Akron Rotary Camp offers a full summer camp experience to children and adults with special needs. They offer eight weeks of overnight and day camp for all ages and ability levels with trained staff to handle every situation. The mission statement of camp is to live in a world where there are only abilities.
Why is this important to you? Camp is a special place for me because stigma and ability level does not exist at Akron Rotary Camp. When you are at camp, you do not see limitations or barriers, but rather, children enjoying the pure joy of the summer camp experience. This is so important to me because I personally believe camp is a truly unique place where people can get out of their comfort zone, make friends, and learn things about themselves in different ways than they would in a typical day. Our campers are only seen as campers and that is a profound and powerful view of how I want to see the world around me.
How have you been volunteering with them? After I worked my summers at camp, I worked a lot of off-season weekend respites and still try to take a weekend here and there to get out there at least once or twice a year. In the past months, volunteering has been tougher, as activities were limited to staff and a short list of campers, but this summer I intend on going down on some weeknights when I am free and help in whatever capacity I can.
Am I remembering correctly that you did a Polar Bear Jump into freezing water? You are remembering correctly! I did a Polar Bear Jump to raise money to send kiddos to camp. The jump is an annual event but proceeds go to Rotary Camp every other year, so you can bet that if it is one of those years, I will be jumping in that frozen water.
How can people get involved with Akron Rotary Camp? People can get involved with camp in any capacity that they want. A good start is by following their social media accounts and seeing what events are coming up. They are always having fundraisers, volunteer opportunities, and community outreach to get involved with. Secondly, if you know any young adults who needs a seasonal job and could excel in a role at camp, please let them know about camp!
Thank you very much, Ben!
March 24, 2022 •
What made you decide to try mentoring in the iCARE Mentoring program? It all started when Community Outreach at Kent State encouraged students to become a mentor for the iPromise program, to help high school students prepare for success in […]
What made you decide to try mentoring in the iCARE Mentoring program?
It all started when Community Outreach at Kent State encouraged students to become a mentor for the iPromise program, to help high school students prepare for success in college and discover their interests. I volunteered because I thought it was an important role that would have a positive impact on Akron youth.
How would you describe your role as a mentor?
Since joining, iCARE mentoring has shifted its focus from primarily college readiness, and now puts more emphasis on helping students build constructive relationships with adults and providing overall support for students from the community. My role as a mentor varies over time, but so far has included serving as a motivator, a tutor, and a friend.
What is your favorite thing about this program?
My favorite thing about being a mentor is being able to host a safe space for the mentee to be open and talk about whatever is on their mind. Even though it’s only for an hour a week, I think it’s very beneficial for the student to have a mini escape from the day-to-day pressures of being in school and being surrounded by teachers and other students.
If someone is interested in trying mentoring next year, what one piece of advice would you give?
To anyone considering becoming a mentor, I would highly encourage it. Being a consistent listener in a student’s life can make all the difference, and it is an easy way to be a positive influence. My advice for new mentors would be to try and let the child lead the session so they can figure out what they want to get out of it, then you will be able to accommodate their needs in the best way possible.
Thank you so much, Zoe for sharing with us all you do for iCARE Mentoring!
March 15, 2022 •
Meet Jim Warner, Esq., Assistant Director, Compliance Services! What are your areas of expertise? U.S. state and local lobbying compliance; Canadian federal, provincial, and local lobbying compliance How many years of experience do you have at State and Federal […]
Meet Jim Warner, Esq., Assistant Director, Compliance Services!
What are your areas of expertise?
U.S. state and local lobbying compliance; Canadian federal, provincial, and local lobbying compliance
How many years of experience do you have at State and Federal Communications?
I have been with the company for 13 years.
How do you help our clients?
I assist with the administration of the Compliance Department for all of our ALERTS clients. I work on lobbying disclosures on a monthly basis for U.S. and Canadian jurisdictions. I also work on a wide variety of projects, including those related to gifts and hospitality, political contributions, and shareholder disclosures.
March 11, 2022 •
Question: Our company is in the process of hiring a former public official. Are there any issues we should be aware of during this process? Answer: There are some jurisdictions with revolving door policies restricting what former officials or employees […]
Question: Our company is in the process of hiring a former public official. Are there any issues we should be aware of during this process?
Answer: There are some jurisdictions with revolving door policies restricting what former officials or employees can do once they have entered the private sector. These restrictions are in place to avoid the appearance of impropriety.
Many states require a cooling-off period when officials leave office and transition to the private sector. In South Carolina, a former public official is prohibited, for one year after terminating public service or employment, from serving as a lobbyist or representing clients before the agency or department on which the individual formerly served in a matter the individual directly and substantially participated during public service or employment. The restriction also prohibits a former public official from accepting employment if the employment is from a person who is regulated by the agency or department on which the individual served or was employed and involves a matter in which the individual directly and substantially participated during public service or public employment. A public official who participates directly in procurement may not resign and accept employment with a person contracting with the governmental body if the contract falls or would fall under the individual’s official responsibility.
New York law includes a similar restriction but requires a two-year cooling-off period. A former state officer or employee is prohibited, within two years after termination of employment, from appearing or practicing before such state agency or receiving compensation for any services rendered by such former officer or employee on behalf of any person, firm, corporation, or association in relation to any case, proceeding, or application or other matter before such agency. In New York, a former state officer or employee is prohibited, after the termination of employment, from appearing, practicing, communicating, or otherwise rendering services before any state agency or receive compensation for any such services rendered by such former officer or employee on behalf of any person, firm, corporation, or other entity in relation to any case, proceeding, application, or transaction with respect to which such person was directly concerned and in which the individual personally participated during the period of service or employment or which was under the individual’s active consideration.
These are just a few examples of revolving door restrictions. We advise you follow best practices to verify the rules in your jurisdiction.
Here is your chance to “Ask the Experts” at State and Federal Communications, Inc. Send your questions to firstname.lastname@example.org. (Of course, we have always been available to answer from clients that are specific to your needs, and we encourage you to continue to call or email us with questions about your particular company or organization. As always, we will confidentially and directly provide answers or information you need.) Our replies are not legal advice, just our analysis of laws, rules, and regulations.
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.
February 17, 2022 •
Meet Nola Werren, esq., Assistant Director, Compliance Services! What are your areas of expertise? Corporate Contribution Compliance, Employee Preclearance of personal contributions, Pay-to-Play Reporting, and State Audits. How long have you been with State and Federal Communications? In May, I […]
Meet Nola Werren, esq., Assistant Director, Compliance Services!
What are your areas of expertise?
Corporate Contribution Compliance, Employee Preclearance of personal contributions, Pay-to-Play Reporting, and State Audits.
How long have you been with State and Federal Communications?
In May, I will have been with the company for 25 years.
How do you help our clients?
I make sure that if a client makes direct state corporate contributions, they are abiding by the state corporate reporting requirements. For some of our clients, I vet their corporate contributions for compliance with the states’ contribution limits, reporting requirements, restrictions on contributions during legislative session, pay-to-play restrictions and reporting requirements, and restrictions on contributions from lobbyists. For other clients, I pre-clear their employees’ personal political contributions. I ensure that clients file the required pay-to-play reports. If one of our clients is selected for a state audit of its lobbying reports, I draft the response and submit it to the auditor.
February 2, 2022 •
I am so happy to report we have a new staff person on board. Jean Cantrell has joined us, in a part time capacity, as a Senior Advisor. Jean has served in many senior government relations roles and brings more […]
I am so happy to report we have a new staff person on board. Jean Cantrell has joined us, in a part time capacity, as a Senior Advisor. Jean has served in many senior government relations roles and brings more than 38 years of experience to State and Federal Communications, Inc.
Jean brings a wealth of experience and expertise in government affairs and building relationships. We are so excited she is joining our team.
She will work directly with me to explore business development and new growth opportunities. Opportunities include thought leadership, new stakeholder engagement, market assessment, and new and emerging industry potential.
At a recent meeting with the staff Jean said, “I’m looking forward to working with Elizabeth and the great staff at State and Federal Communications. I know we can build upon the great work that has already been done as the company continues to grow.”
Previously with Dun & Bradstreet, Circuit City, EDS, and Phillips/Signify, Jean most recently completed a two-year assignment with the Commission on Presidential Debates, the nonprofit organization who sponsors and produces the quadrennial general election presidential debates.
Jean is a past president of The Washington Area State Relations Group (WASRG) and the State Government Affairs Council (SGAC). Other leadership positions include National Conference of State Legislatures Foundation Vice President, US Conference of Mayors Business Council co-chair, and Public Affairs Council board member. As an Issue expert on leadership and mentoring, Jean is a sought-after speaker at trade association and industry forums.
Originally from Oklahoma, Jean graduated from Oklahoma City University with Bachelor of Music and Master of Performing Arts degrees. She earned a Washington Representative certificate from George Washington University, is a graduate of Rutgers University State Government Relations Institute and the Public Affairs Council Institute. In December 2019, Jean received a Graduate Certificate in Arts Administration from the University of Connecticut.
You will see Jean join me out and about to conferences and meetings. In the meantime, do not hesitate to reach out to her at email@example.com.
January 18, 2022 •
Meet George Ticoras, Esq., Manager, International Research Services! What are your areas of expertise? The daily focus of my work is covering the lobbying landscape throughout Canada, Europe, Latin America, and the rest of the world. How many years of […]
Meet George Ticoras, Esq., Manager, International Research Services!
What are your areas of expertise?
The daily focus of my work is covering the lobbying landscape throughout Canada, Europe, Latin America, and the rest of the world.
How many years of experience do you have in compliance research?
I have been with the company for over 11 years.
What do you do that helps our clients everyday?
I help our clients understand various international lobbying laws. Rules concerning lobbying are different in every country. Each of the various laws, regulations, and policies can be overwhelming for a client. I collect and synthesize this information, track and stay updated with any changes, and turn it into something comprehensible our clients can understand, use, and apply in pursuit of their objectives.
December 20, 2021 •
November 16, 2021 •
Hi Adrienne! Tell me about CASA. Why is this work important to you? CASA, or Court Appointed Special Advocates, are community volunteers who speak out and stand up for abused and neglected children within the court system. Quite simply, these […]
Hi Adrienne! Tell me about CASA. Why is this work important to you? CASA, or Court Appointed Special Advocates, are community volunteers who speak out and stand up for abused and neglected children within the court system. Quite simply, these children did not ask for the circumstances for which they were forced to deal with and CASA provides a neutral third party who will advocate for their best interests. As a board member, I help raise funds to support these volunteers, like gift cards so they can take a kid to get a meal. We fundraise to provide aid to the children, whether that be school supplies or Christmas gifts. Additionally, we raise funds to support CASA trainings to ensure our volunteers are well trained and supported.
This work is important to me because there is not a more vulnerable group than children. These kids don’t have security and often the people that are supposed to protect have failed them in the worst ways. A CASA can provide the support, security, and hope a child so desperately needs. I don’t think it matters what your creed or your politics are… everyone can agree this program is vital to help our community’s most defenseless population. To me, supporting CASA is a must, whether I am on the board or not.
How long have you been on the CASA Board? I have been on the board since Summer 2020.
A lot has happened in the last year. What was it like to be on a board during the pandemic? This is first time being on a board, so in some ways I have no idea how different it is than normal. It has been a struggle to plan fundraisers, but the community has shown up. I think the pandemic has forced us all to find new and creative ways to entice support from the community. Also, I think we should always have virtual options when it comes to fundraisers. It is a new world we are still navigating, but we are all going through it.
How do you see the CASA Board helping you to develop your leadership in the community? I have never wanted to be on any board. I like to show up and help out, but being on a board was not in my plans. However, Mr. Michael Beckett, Associate Director, Research Services and former CASA Board President, approached me about being on the board when he left because he knows how much I support CASA’s mission. This is definitely outside of my comfort zone. I know people think I am outgoing, but asking people for money has never been one of my strengths. So, being on the board has forced me to develop my community leadership skills. Growth can be uncomfortable, but there is not another organization that I would do this for. I am thankful to work for a company with a CEO who supports this type of work and allows me to develop skills I never thought I would need to use.
What is your favorite part of working with CASA? My favorite part is knowing I am doing something worthwhile. I am extremely passionate about what CASA does and think it is a vital service to help strengthen our community. No child should feel unsafe and every child should have someone looking out for their best interests.
If anyone has questions about CASA or how you can support this necessary organization, please feel free to reach out to me. I am always happy to discuss CASA!
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!
April 1, 2021 •
I am pleased to share the news State and Federal Communications has acquired the lobbying compliance reporting business of MER Consulting Services, LLC, from its owner and founder, Mary Roche. MER has been a fixture in Massachusetts lobbying compliance reporting […]
I am pleased to share the news State and Federal Communications has acquired the lobbying compliance reporting business of MER Consulting Services, LLC, from its owner and founder, Mary Roche.
MER has been a fixture in Massachusetts lobbying compliance reporting and consulting, having served local organizations and leading companies in the state since 2001. She has had a very successful career in this field.
This move allows Mary to wind down her career, while ensuring a solid transition for her clients to continue receiving professional and thorough political reporting and lobbying consulting services, plus additional support from our larger research and compliance staffs.
Mary will stay on with State and Federal Communications as a consultant in the year ahead as the transition takes place to ensure clients’ reporting needs are adequately served.
I personally am enthused about this development! It will allow State and Federal Communications to continue to grow our business by doing what we do best…providing top-tier and trusted political compliance services. It is a positive endorsement Mary has put her faith in our capabilities to take care of the lobbying compliance reporting needs of her Massachusetts clients.
For the full story, please read the media press release announcement.
March 1, 2021 •
One of the best things about having Gamble Hayden on our staff is she gets out there to learn. This year she is the chair of the Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) Committee for Women in Government Relations (WGR). And […]
One of the best things about having Gamble Hayden on our staff is she gets out there to learn. This year she is the chair of the Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) Committee for Women in Government Relations (WGR). And there is no better place to spread the word than with her employer, State and Federal Communications.
We made the decision to create a committee to address DEI, create a mission statement, and hire a consultant to create a culture of change, not just have a “one and done” event. Our committee developed the mission statement before and shared it with the entire staff.
State and Federal Communications, Inc. strongly supports and strives for greater diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) amongst its staff. We value different perspectives and strongly believe that these viewpoints not only greatly improve our client relationships, but also society at large.
The entire staff at State and Federal Communications, Inc. work to create, implement, and sustain a culture of DEI by incorporating DEI practices into the company’s leadership activity, dialogue, hiring, policies, and communications. State and Federal Communications, Inc. always strives to ensure its staff and clients are encouraged and supported regardless of race, color, religion, sex, national origin, age, disability, political affiliation, marital status, personal appearance, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, or family responsibilities.
We recognized the need to grow in this area and create a safe and honest space for DEI conversation and learning. WGR’s DEI 2020 Summit included books, articles, podcasts, movies, and documentaries, which helped us prepare a variety of options.
Then we connected with Jeremy Lile, executive director of Heart-to-Heart (H2H) Communications, who works with the Akron community to cultivate purpose-driven, values-based, and community-minded leadership. For more than 30 years H2H has inspired and developed the heart of leaders to lead and the capacity to build strong relationships.
H2H is helping us discover and develop our strengths and culture. It provides a leadership training pathway to discover and develop the characteristics and strengths, which enable individuals to follow a higher calling to include organizational and community life, bringing along the staff of State and Federal Communications to also experience greater impact.
Follow our program. We will blog about it regularly on www.lobbycomply.com and post it on our website. Our goal is not to just bring this to our staff but also to our State and Federal Communications Community.
I walk the walk and talk the talk. It starts at the top. People will not follow if the belief is not two ways. Join us.
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.