Cassidy & Associates News

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Cassidy Senior Vice President Nicole Di Resta recently participated in the annual meeting and partnership conference of the Hawaii Military Affairs Council (MAC) at the Hawaii State Capitol. Nicole joined Lt. Gen Dan “Fig” Leaf (Ret.) and ADM Tom Fargo (Ret.) as a featured panelist for the breakout session, Gardenside Chat – A View from Washington D.C.

The panel discussed national security, the Pentagon’s budget and cyber security.

Who are Washington’s best lobbyists? The Hill newspaper has the answer this morning as its reporters have compiled the paper’s annual list of the top advocates.

At the top of the lineup… Cassidy CEO Kai Anderson, Chairman Barry Rhoads and COO Jordan Bernstein who the paper says are the among the best in the business “on the front-lines of the capital’s policy battles, laboring to shape the decisions made by Congress and the administration.” See the list here >>>

Cassidy Senior Vice President Nicole DiResta was a featured panelist at the second annual Government Empowered conference in Washington. Nicole joined other policy and industry experts to discuss cyber defense and resiliency.

How does a Stanford graduate with a PhD in geology in hand wind up becoming the CEO of one of Washington’s most notable lobbying firms? Stanford Earth Magazine has the answer as it profiles alumnus Kai Anderson.

Kai told the magazine, “I’m still an educator, I’m still a translator, just around different kinds of issues and with a decidedly different audience than my PhD committee.”

Here’s more…

What non-academic job involves teaching, research, political savvy, scientific rigor, and corporate competence? The rarely illuminated, often underestimated role of a lobbyist.

For Kai Anderson, lobbying was the perfect match for his education in geological sciences and experience working on Capitol Hill. As the founder of the energy and environment practice with the advocacy firm Cassidy & Associates, he works with clients who depend on the scientific perspective he gained as a student with the School of Earth, Energy & Environmental Sciences (Stanford Earth).

Read the full profile here…

Secretary of Defense James Mattis is making what could be the Trump Administration’s first move towards authorization of a 2021 BRAC round with the delivery of an updated Department of Defense Infrastructure Capacity Report. The report, requested in the FY 2016 National Defense Authorization Act, highlights an overall excess capacity of 19% within the Department of Defense, including 29% in the Army, and 28% in the Air Force.

The release of this report follows recent legislative attempts by Senators John McCain (R-AZ) and Jack Reed (D-RI), and Rep. Adam Smith (D-WA) to legislate base closure activities. This Congressional groundswell, along with the pressures of sequestration, and combined with President Trump’s commitment to bring business efficiencies to the federal government may make for the perfect political storm where BRAC is authorized.

Cassidy’s Chairman Barry Rhoads, former Deputy General Counsel of the BRAC Commission, believes many military communities would welcome a BRAC. “For the past decades, the Department of Defense has been making basing decisions using existing authorities and behind closed doors, with little opportunity for communities to be involved. Many of our military community clients welcome the opportunities to tell their stories, promote their military value, and look at opportunities to obtain new missions and efficiencies through the transparent and open BRAC process.”

Congratulations are in order for Cassidy & Associates Senior Vice President Charles Brittingham as he was recently elected to the Board of Directors of the National Waterways Conference.

The National Waterways Conference, established in 1960, is the leading national organization to advocate for funding and common sense policies and laws that recognize the widespread public benefits of our nation’s water resources infrastructure.

As the Administration and Congress consider a long-term plan to address our nation’s aging infrastructure, the National Waterways Conference, in addition to other key organizations, will actively advocate for critical regulatory and policy reforms with key agency and Congressional decision makers to ensure challenges affecting efficient and effective project delivery are addressed.

Charles said he’s honored to take on this role and “excited to work with industry leaders, legal experts, and advocates on the many water resource challenges facing our nation.”

Some good news from the Texas Gulf Coast… Cassidy & Associates client The Port of Corpus Christi Authority along with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers approved a project partnership agreement that will deepen the ship channel from 45 feet deep and 400 feet wide to 54 feet deep and 520 feet wide.

The jointly-funded $326 million project will allow two-way traffic and supertankers with a draft of 50 feet or more to travel through the ship channel. Once complete, the project will allow supertankers capable of passing through the recently expanded Panama Canal to travel into and out of the port fully loaded.

Cassidy Senior Vice President Charles Brittingham, a former senior policy advisor to the U.S. Senate Environment and Public Works Committee, noted, “Great teamwork by the Port and the Corps made this agreement possible and will go a long way in strengthening America’s position in the global marketplace.”

Read more about the project at the San Antonio Business Journal.

Cassidy & Associates CEO Kai Anderson sat down with The Hill newspaper Editor in Chief Bob Cusack at the 2017 AGORA Advocacy Marketplace in Washington to discuss the elements of successful lobbying.

Cassidy Vice President Jesse Barba is today’s featured profile of the daily digital newsletter of TheBridge. TheBridge is a network of tech & political professionals connecting the Bay Area & DC and shaping the future course for how politics and tech collaborate.

Jesse shared his secret to a successful advocacy strategy…

“The importance of coalition building cannot be understated. This is a basic skill that is often done wrong or overlooked, yet can be the linchpin of a successful campaign. When organizations or Members of Congress are pulled together, you build expertise, power, resources and credibility. One of the things I am most passionate about is finding where common ground exists and bringing varied stakeholders together to push an issue. Having the ability to listen intently for the common thread running between all parties is critical.”

Read more of the profile here.

The Hill newspaper today features Cassidy’s newest vice president Chad Sydnor in its Tuesday Profile series that spotlights some of Washington’s top influencers.

Here’s an excerpt…

Chad SydnorSydnor this month was hired as a vice president at Cassidy & Associates, one of the most succesful lobbying firms in the city and a decidedly D.C. establishment.

The company counts among its clients defense and technology powerhouses Palantir, BAE Systems, Airbus and Cerner. The last was just named the creator of the Department of Veterans Affairs’ new electronic health records system, a multibillion-dollar undertaking.

Sydnor, 37, cut his own teeth on defense policy on Capitol Hill, serving most recently as military legislative aide (MLA) to Sen. Richard Burr (R-N.C.). He held similar roles under Sen. John Boozman (R-Ark.) and Rep. Joe Wilson (R-S.C.).

His experience is sure to be helpful in his new lobbying role amid a particularly decisive time on Capitol Hill. Congressional defense hawks are pushing back at a young administration, saying its proposed budget falls woefully short on military and homeland security spending.

Sydnor’s new portfolio largely deals with his bread and butter from Capitol Hill: defense, intelligence, cybersecurity and veterans’ healthcare issues.

He says he has his eye on the top lines for defense spending in the fiscal 2018 National Defense Authorization Act.

“I’m very interested to see — we’ve had two bipartisan budget agreements — what does that look like? Is that going to be in the realm of the politically possible?”

Read the complete Tuesday Profile here.

Cassidy & Associates is returning to its entrepreneurial roots and focus on client service as it announces a management buyout from The Interpublic Group (IPG) today.

Cassidy CEO Kai Anderson shares news of the management buyout from IPG with staff members.

Cassidy CEO Kai Anderson shares news of the management buyout from IPG with staff members.

“We are excited to make this strategic investment in our team and our future success. There is purpose in ownership and this investment positions us to deliver even stronger service to our clients,” Cassidy CEO Kai Anderson said.

Anderson leads the investor team along with Barry Rhoads, chairman, and Jordan Bernstein, chief operating officer.

Anderson noted the firm today has seen steady growth from 2013 when the three took the helm of Cassidy, a seven-percent increase in revenue reported under the Lobbying Disclosure Act (LDA).

“Nearly four years ago we re-doubled our efforts to focus on Cassidy’s core competencies. Our action today puts us on a course to empower our people and focus on our founding charge of providing experienced advocacy to deliver exceptional client service and results,” Anderson said.

Founded in 1975, Cassidy helped build modern advocacy in Washington and was bought by IPG in 2000.

The leadership team of Anderson, Rhoads and Bernstein continue to build the Cassidy team by adding top Hill staff and attracting new clients like Patagonia, DroneShield, Thyssenkrupp, Port of San Antonio and South Coast Air Quality Management District.


Chad Sydnor, a senior defense policy aide to U.S. Sen. Richard Burr (R-NC), joins Cassidy & Associates today as a Vice President. Chad has served as Sen. Burr’s military legislative assistant and counsel since 2015.

“Chad is a first-rate addition to our team who strengthens our defense and infrastructure capabilities,” said Cassidy CEO Kai Anderson.

“His legal background and expertise in defense policy combined with his experience serving in the Army and National Guard will help develop effective strategies and deliver real results for our clients.”
Chad has served on Capitol Hill since 2011, most recently as military legislative aide to Sen. Burr and prior to that in similar roles to Sen. John Boozman (R-AR) and Congressman Joe Wilson (R-SC).

He holds the rank of Captain in the U.S. Army, earlier serving as a battalion intelligence officer and company commander and continues to serve as a reservist as an aviation officer rated in the AH-6
4 Apache helicopter.

Prior to his active duty service in the Army, Chad was an Assistant District Attorney in Raleigh, NC.

Chad is a graduate of North Carolina State University earning a Bachelor of Arts in Political Science and holds a Juris Doctor from Campbell University. He remains a member in good standing of the North Carolina State Bar.

Today’s news signals continued growth of the bipartisan Cassidy team that added Charles Brittingham, Majority Senior Water Resources Policy Advisor for the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee, in January; Ryan Mulvenon, Energy and Environmental Policy Advisor to Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid, in December and earlier other top Hill staff including Russ Thomasson, fmr COS to Senate Majority Whip John Cornyn; Amelia Jenkins, fmr Deputy Staff Director and Senior Policy Advisor to the House Natural Resources Committee; and Kaleb Froehlich, fmr Senior Counsel to the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee.

Fort JacksonThe Greater Columbia Chamber of Commerce, a Cassidy client for more than a decade, is marking a special partnership with the U.S. Army as Fort Jackson kicks off its month long centennial celebration.

The partnership started in 1917 when the Chamber raised $50,000 to purchase the Hampton Estate, contributing one thousand acres to what the federal government had already purchased for the fort. Last week, the five millionth soldier graduated basic training in its Centennial Battalion.

Cassidy’s BRAC practice has represented the Chamber since 2004, assisting it in building and strengthening key partnerships on the federal, state and local levels that support Fort Jackson and its community. As a part of this representation during the 2005 BRAC round, Fort Jackson gained over 600 new jobs and significant new missions. Columbia’s mayor at the time Bob Coble called the 2005 BRAC campaign, “The largest economic development win in the history of the Midlands.”

CQ/Roll Call recently surveyed some of the best in government relations, nonprofit, advocacy, public policy about their best advocacy planning, strategy, skills and training tips.

Cassidy Vice President Jesse Barba was among those surveyed and shared his tip on what makes a winning strategy… “Constant follow-up and maintained touch points. Congressional staffers typically have five-to-six meetings per day, and are constantly strategizing their boss’ priorities. One-off meetings are more likely to be forgotten or dismissed as priorities without follow-up and updates.”

Read more of the survey at CQ/Roll Call.

The Pew Charitable TrustsPew panel recently hosted mayors and federal policy experts in Washington to discuss strategies to safeguard the nation’s roads, bridges, buildings, and facilities from the impacts of flooding.

Cassidy’s Senior Vice President Charles Brittingham was a featured panelist at the event and spoke about how states and municipalities must work across sectors and political aisles when it comes to resilient infrastructure.

Read more about the event at Pew…

extreme weather infrastructureAs Washington looks to shore up our nation’s outdated infrastructure, there’s one challenge taking priority… severe weather.

Modernizing infrastructure will be the topic this afternoon as Cassidy Senior Vice President Charles Brittingham will be a featured panelist at a Pew Trust event on investing in sustainable solutions.

Despite the deep partisanship in Washington, last year Charles helped play an integral role as the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee tackled bipartisan legislation for the nation’s water infrastructure, including some progress on resilience, by passing WRDA 2016. Charles will discuss lessons learned that could help a future congressional infrastructure package.

Just last week Cassidy was a featured sponsor of Infrastructure Week, hosting its closing reception with U.S. Reps. Rosa DeLauro (D-CT) and Garret Graves (R-LA).

You can watch a live stream of the event today at 3:00pm EDT here

Hundreds of sportsmen, sportswomen, elected officials, policymakers, and business leaders gathered in Washington for the ninth annual Capital Conservation Awards Dinner of the Theodore Roosevelt Conservation Partnership and Cassidy was proud to sponsor the event again this year.

The night’s main focus was honoring three individuals whose work made a lasting difference for conservation. TRCP CEO Whit Fosburgh noted, “There are a lot of things that divide people in this town, but hunting and fishing should not be one of those things.”

Inspired by the legacy of Theodore Roosevelt, TRCP’s mission is to guarantee all Americans quality places to hunt and fish.

TRCP 2017

The Cassidy team was on hand at the annual Bryce Harlow Foundation awards dinner. We are a proud sponsor of the event that singles out the best in public advocacy and government. Proceeds from the event help fund fellowships and educational programs throughout Washington.

Bryce Harlow

Policymakers, industry leaders, stakeholders, and leading experts from the science, technology, maritime, and energy sectors are gathering in Seattle this week for the Fourth Annual Arctic Encounter Symposium (AES) and Cassidy & Associates is proud to once again serve as a sponsor of the event.

The AES is the largest annual Arctic policy event in the United States, debating the shared interests and concerns of the United States and the global community in the last emerging frontier.

Cassidy Vice President Kaleb Froehlich serves as a senior advisor to the event and will be a featured speaker and moderator. Kaleb was born and raised in Alaska’s capital city, Juneau, and before joining Cassidy served for nearly six years as Senior Counsel to the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee for now Chairman, Sen. Lisa Murkowski (R-Alaska).

Arctic Encounter Cassidy

14520314_10154104015992637_6758969544495349143_nCassidy & Associates is proud to help sponsor Oregon State Society’s annual charity banquet tonight in Washington. The Oregon State Society of Washington, D.C. is a non-profit, non-partisan philanthropic organization made up of Oregonians, both actual and honorary, living in or frequently visiting the greater D.C. area. This year’s event benefits the Oregon Energy Fund.

The Oregon Energy Fund is a 27-year-old statewide organization providing energy assistance to thousands of Oregonians in times of unexpected crisis.

Successfully capturing military contracts can be an intimidating process unless you know what you’re doing. Cassidy Vice pentagonPresident Vern Simmons served in a variety of leadership and financial positions across all levels of the U.S. Air Force before joining Cassidy and today specializes in working on behalf of defense policy and procurement stakeholders, helping them secure federal funding and promoting their issue-specific needs in Washington.

Vern is sharing his experience and advice on opportunities with the Pentagon and managing the process as a featured panelist at an event today in Tampa, FL, Government Contracting – Strategies & Trends For Winning Today.

DC cherry blossomsCassidy is proud to sponsor this year’s Cherry Blossom Reception hosted by the Alaska State Society. The Alaska State Society is a non-profit, non-partisan organization with a social, civic, and support mission, serving an active membership of more than 300 Alaskans and friends of Alaska living in the Washington, DC area.

Cassidy Vice President Kaleb Froehlich hails from Alaska’s capital city, Juneau, and before joining Cassidy served for nearly six years as Senior Counsel to the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee for now Chairman, Sen. Lisa Murkowski (R-Alaska).

It’s an intimidating term, but it could be the high-tech solution to reversing the worst effects of climate change. earth on turfGeoengineering proposes to combat warming by reflecting a fraction of incoming sunlight back to space.

It’s the topic today at The Forum on U.S. Solar Geoengineering Research, hosted by Harvard’s Solar Geoengineering Research Program and Cassidy Vice President Janie Wise Thompson is a featured panelist.

Janie will be discussing the policy realities in Washington of expanding U.S. federal research into the technology options, potential environmental effects, and future governance needs. She served at the Department of Energy before joining Cassidy and earlier served on the staff of the House Committee on Science and Technology.

You can watch a live streaming of Janie’s panel at 12:45pm EDT below…

Charles BrittinghamCassidy Senior Vice President Charles Brittingham is in Austin today giving the afternoon keynote address for the annual convention of the Texas Water Conservation Association.

Change in Washington is the hot topic at this year’s event and Charles is sharing his insight on expectations for the water resources sector as well as the challenges and potential solutions.

Charles was a lead Senate Republican staff author on the last two modern water resources bills — WRRDA 2014 and the WIIN Act. In his twelve years of Congressional experience, Charles helped solve water resource issues throughout the nation – from water supply to flood protection to navigation and many other issues.

Charles noted in his remarks, “It’s pretty evident that regulatory and environmental reform is high on this administration’s infrastructure agenda, given the recent executive orders creating regulatory reform task forces at agencies and instructing the Corps and EPA to reevaluate the WOTUS rule, as well as repealing the Stream Protection Rule.”

Cassidy’s Donna Jo Denison is on site today at the United States Department of Agriculture’s 93rd Agricultural Outlook Forum in Washington. USDA’s outlook forum is attended by thousands of agricultural stakeholders—producers, policymakers, and agricultural officials—from around the world. The theme for this year’s forum is “A New Horizon: The Future of Agriculture.” The annual event is a platform for facilitating conversation on the many challenges and opportunities facing the US agricultural industry as well as the consumers around the globe that the industry serves.


From Greenwire

US Capitol
Vitter aide heads to K Street

Kevin Bogardus, E&E News reporter

Published: Wednesday, January 4, 2017

Charles Brittingham, once an aide to former Sen. David Vitter (R-La.), is going to K Street.

Cassidy & Associates will bring on Brittingham as a senior vice president, according to an announcement from the firm. He will be part of the lobby shop’s energy and natural resources team.

Brittingham spent more than a decade on Capitol Hill, including serving as a senior adviser to Vitter when he was ranking member on the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee.

Brittingham helped lead negotiations for GOP senators on the Water Resources Reform and Development Act of 2014 and also worked on the WRDA bill in 2016 for then-EPW Chairman Jim Inhofe (R-Okla.). He has also worked on highway bills and has a bachelor’s degree in political science, history and philosophy from Louisiana State University.

In a statement, Kai Anderson, CEO of Cassidy & Associates, said Brittingham “knows the process, he knows the players, and he knows how to get things done — that will deliver results for our clients.”

Brittingham said he was eager to get started.

“I’ve seen the Cassidy team at work, with its stellar reputation and its success with creative and flexible policy solutions at all levels of government,” he said.

Brittingham joins the firm as it continues to expand its energy and environmental practice. Ryan Mulvenon, an environmental and energy policy adviser to former Senate Democratic Leader Harry Reid of Nevada, joined the firm last month (E&E Daily, Dec. 5, 2016).

Cassidy is one of the influence industry’s highest earners, having taken in $9.07 million in lobbying fees for the first three quarters of 2016.

Admiral Paul GrosklagsCassidy & Associates hosted Vice Admiral Paul Grosklags, Commander Naval Air Systems Command (NAVAIR), in our office in downtown Washington this week. The Admiral spoke to a gathering of retired flag officers from the D.C. area outlining his priorities and progress since assuming command in October of last year. He also shared his thoughts on a number of other NAVAIR issues as he answered questions from attendees.


From Environment and Energy Daily

Cassidy AssociatesReid aide heads to lobbying firm
Kevin Bogardus, E&E News reporter
Published: Monday, December 5, 2016

Ryan Mulvenon, a longtime aide to Senate Democratic Leader Harry Reid of Nevada, is joining Cassidy & Associates, a prominent lobbying firm.

Mulvenon, who spent 11 years working for Reid, including as his environmental and energy policy adviser, will be a vice president at the firm.

In a farewell email sent Friday and obtained by E&E News, Mulvenon said he was “excited about this new opportunity” at Cassidy, where he starts today.

“My time working for Senator Reid has availed me with so many opportunities to meet, work, and learn from so many of you. Thank you for helping to make the time so rewarding,” Mulvenon wrote.

Kai Anderson, Cassidy’s CEO and a former deputy chief of staff for Reid, has known Mulvenon for years. Anderson said in an interview with E&E News that Mulvenon was “a detail-oriented staffer” and would be a vital asset for the firm.

“He is on the policy circuit, which is pretty valuable for clients in a time of uncertainty with a new administration. He can help put together pieces of legislation that can work,” Anderson said about Mulvenon.

Before serving as a policy adviser for Reid, Mulvenon worked on energy and environment, as well as agriculture and natural resources legislation for the Senate Democratic Policy Committee. He also has been a legislative aide in Reid’s personal office.

Mulvenon earned bachelor’s degrees in history and political science from Xavier University and a master’s degree in legislative affairs from George Washington University.

Cassidy is one of the top-earning firms on K Street. The lobby shop has brought in $9.07 million in fees so far this year and represents the biofuels group Fuels America, Intel Corp. and Microsoft Corp., according to the Center for Responsive Politics, a campaign finance watchdog.

Cassidy has sought to bolster its energy and environmental practice over the years, and Mulvenon’s hire fits in with that goal. The firm also includes Amelia Jenkins, former deputy staff director and senior policy adviser to House Natural Resources Committee ranking member Raúl Grijalva (D-Ariz.), and Kaleb Froehlich, former senior counsel to Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee Republicans.

Reid is retiring after the current Congress wraps up. Sen. Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) will replace him as Senate Democratic leader.

senate-energy-575pxBloomberg BNA talks to Cassidy Vice President Kaleb Froehlich as it takes an exclusive look at the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee and what’s ahead next year when a new Congress starts its work.

The major energy bill currently in conference remains a priority on all sides to get to the president’s desk in the lame duck, former and current Senate energy committee aides and observers told Bloomberg BNA.

But under a Murkowski chairmanship, some issues from the bill could be revisited in another energy bill in 2017.

“Sen. Murkowski feels like this was certainly a good step forward,” Kaleb Froehlich, former senior counsel to Murkowski on the Senate energy committee and now vice president at Cassidy & Associates in Washington, told Bloomberg BNA, referring to the energy bill (S. 2012). “This shouldn’t be a once-in-a-decade exercise.”

Froelich said areas where Murkowski sees room for improvement or some major issues such as permitting reform in the energy bill, could be revisited in 2017.

Murkowski may also look to focus on additional priorities more intensely in 2017. Western water issues, oil development in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge and a funding fix for firefighting are all also possibilities for her agenda, Froelich said.

Sen Chuck SchumerThe Washington Post is taking note of Cassidy Senior Vice President Nicole DiResta as one of only a handful of “high-profile former Schumer aides-turned-lobbyists.”

The paper reports “it is a good time to be a (Sen. Chuck) Schumer aide downtown, as companies and lobby firms are hungry for any insight into the senator’s thinking and legislative agenda come January.”

Read the full article here >>>