Cassidy & Associates News

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The Hill newspaper released its annual list of Washington’s best lobbyists today and Cassidy’s leadership team, Kai Anderson, Barry Rhoads and Jordan Bernstein, tops the list for another year. The paper says they are among the best in the business for “their ability to wield influence and deliver results.”

See the list here >>>


The 2018 Midterm Election not only flipped majority leadership in the House of Representatives it also reshuffled the power and influence of state delegations across the capitol. We illustrate the power play in a new infographic using information pulled from our larger post election recap that we’re shared exclusively with clients.

Click here to see the full infographic: Hill Power Play NOV 2018


Colonel (Ret.) Michael Johnson joins Cassidy & Associates today as a Senior Vice President. For the past decade he has helped lead the Pentagon’s congressional legislative and appropriations strategies and engagement, most recently advising the Under Secretary of Defense, Acquisition and Sustainment, as a Congressional Appropriations Liaison.

“Mike will be a real asset to our team by strengthening our national security and federal funding capabilities,” said Cassidy CEO Kai Anderson. “Those who’ve worked with him know him as a problem solver and his in-depth experience and understanding of both the legislative and executive branches will benefit our clients.”

As a Congressional Appropriations Liaison for the Under Secretary of Defense since 2015, Mike engaged the House and Senate Appropriations Committees and was responsible for a policy portfolio that included procurement, military construction; base realignment and closure; energy; environment; defense threat reduction activities; small business programs; industrial base policy and the office of economic adjustment.

Kai added, “Mike has a deep understanding of how Congress’ oversight responsibilities shape decisions inside the Pentagon and that’s the kind of first hand experience that will help us deliver real results for our clients.”

Mike has successfully built and facilitated key relationships between the DoD and congressional appropriations committees through his earlier positions as Executive Officer for the Director of the Army National Guard as well as Deputy Director of Legislative Affairs and Joint Programs Congressional Liaison for the National Guard Bureau.

Mike has 26 years of active duty service in the U.S. Army and retired this year as a Colonel. He earned a Bachelor’s Degree in Finance from Western Kentucky University; Masters of Public Administration from the University of Oklahoma; Master of Strategic Leadership from the United States Army War College and a Certificate in Legislative Studies from Georgetown.


It’s and Cassidy SVP Nicole DiResta participated as a featured speaker for the Women’s Cybersecurity Leadership Symposium on . The annual event is the nation’s largest cybersecurity festival.


Julie Eddy Rokala, chief of staff to Congresswoman Doris Matsui (CA-6), joins Cassidy & Associates today as Senior Vice President. Julie has led Congresswoman Matsui’s office in Washington and district office in Sacramento, CA since 2007 and has more than 20 years of experience in government, politics and the private sector.

“Julie is one of the hardest working, well-liked and most effective people on Capitol Hill,” Cassidy CEO Kai Anderson said. “Through her work in the California Congressional Delegation for the past decade, she has distinguished herself as a leading presence on a diverse suite of issues from energy to tech to healthcare. She is a top-notch addition to our team.”

Julie is widely respected by her colleagues and members of the California Congressional Delegation for getting things done at all levels of government. She has been responsible for a substantial portfolio of work for Congresswoman Matsui, who serves as a senior member of the House Energy and Commerce Committee. Matsui serves on the Health, Communications & Technology, Environment, and Digital Commerce & Consumer Protection subcommittees.

Julie has also gained key insight on how government can encourage clean energy and 21stCentury manufacturing through Congresswoman Matsui’s work as co-chair of the Sustainable Energy and Environment Coalition (SEEC).

Kai noted that Julie has demonstrated a first-hand understanding and impressive legislative skill in the priority issues of the California delegation that include renewable energy, smart grid, cyber security and autonomous vehicles.

She began her career in the Clinton Administration, working for Secretary Dan Glickman at the Department of Agriculture and then as special assistant to President Clinton at The White House. Following the Administration, she helped Terry McAuliffe navigate his successful run for Democratic National Committee Chairman and later served as his chief of staff.  Prior to becoming Congresswoman Matsui’s chief of staff, Julie was senior director for government affairs at the Mortgage Bankers Association.

Julie said she’s excited to join Cassidy, “With a stellar team, impressive work and uniquely positioned for growth, this is the time to be at Cassidy.”

Kai added, “Cassidy is investing in the best political and policy advocates In Washington, DC with a focus on professionals who have substantive expertise, leadership ability, geographic and political reach, and deep experience.  Julie is a best in draft selection who will benefit existing and future clients.”

Cassidy completed a management buyout from The Interpublic Group (IPG) in 2017.


We’re excited to be out in Seattle in two weeks for the largest policy event in the U.S. – our fourth year as a proud sponsor of the The Arctic Encounter Symposium (AES) .


Cassidy Chairman Barry Rhoads recently moderated a discussion featuring U.S. Coast Guard Commandant Admiral Paul Zukunft and Ingalls Shipbuilding President Brian Cuccias at the International Homeland Defense & Security Summit in Biloxi, Mississippi. Protection of America’s maritime borders was the topic and included both the challenges and available solutions to current and emerging threats. The summit brought together government and military officials, as well as aerospace and defense leaders, from the U.S. and Israel, India, South Korea, and Taiwan. The event was hosted by the Mississippi Development Authority in partnership with the Mississippi Office of Homeland Security.


We recently read a great article by a friend and former client of Cassidy & Associates Tim Solms who detailed essential elements that should be included in a government sales plan. Tim recognizes from his own experience that government affairs can be a key ally both for the corporate entity as well as the federal customer, adding value and a force multiplier to the business goals.

Here’s an excerpt from Tim’s article…

The rules of engaging with Congress or staffers are complex so having a trusted professional team to guide and mentor you through the engagements is critical. There are many great firms that do GR, I’ve partnered with a few in the past and lately I have had success with Cassidy and Associates. The key differentiator that I’ve found, is building a relationship with a firm that ‘gets government business’ and actively engages within your same business community. If you partner with a firm that is isolated to the world of Politicians and K Street Lobbyists, they can lose the critical view of your market. It is that view which allows them to guide you effectively on The Hill; think of your GR team as another go-to-market resource. Government Relations is not a ‘one & done’ kind of engagement so planning, preparation, and consistency are critical to your effectiveness. One recommendation I have is to share government relations information and activities in advance with the senior leaders within your customers – this may help mitigate potential backlash and can allow your efforts to more directly represent customer needs. When the DoD CIO was able to read and comment on the paper I was about to deliver to the HASC, it helped make sure that we were engaging together in a partnership, align priorities, offer a fully vetted recommendation, and eliminate any potential surprises.


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.

capitol
“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 http://www.pewtrusts.org/en/about/events/2017/shoring-up-communities-investing-in-resilient-infrastructure.


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).