Archive for the ‘Lovable Lobbyists’ Category

Association TRENDS is seeking YOUR Help!

Friday, August 24th, 2012 by Vbhotla

Association TRENDS seeks nominations for its annual Leading Association Lobbyists list.

The criteria is simple: Someone you believe is doing his or her association well on Capitol Hill. Success on issues? Sure, but this GR professional also is a formidable relationship builder and communicates well. The person is well-regarded by peers, legislators and staff members. This professional can be on-staff at an association or in a hired firm representing an association.

This nomination is for the accomplished, effective lobbying professional of any age, however, if you know of someone who might be considered an up-and-comer, please name that lobbyist as well.

Please, no self-nominations.

Deadline is Sept. 12. To nominate or for questions, contact managing editor Ed Dalere at 202 464 1662 x116, or

Lovable Lobbyist Profile: Jocelyn Bissonnette

Tuesday, February 14th, 2012 by Vbhotla

Jocelyn Bissonnette speaks at a NAFIS conference.

It’s been more than a year, but Lovable Lobbyist is back with a special Valentine’s Day Lovable Lobbyist edition!

With education reauthorization being worked on this year, we wanted to introduce you to one of the people that will be helping to make a difference in the lives of students across the country. Meet Jocelyn Bissonnette, the Director of Government Affairs with the National Association of Federally Impacted Schools, a non-profit that works to ensure that students across the country get the education they deserve, particularly those from military families.

Do you have a personal connection to the nonprofit you work for?

Education has long been a passion of mine. I studied economics and political science in college, but my interest in federal education policy was piqued by a course on social mobility and social change and reinforced through my participation in a literacy-focused tutoring program. I spent a summer teaching middle school in Providence, RI and while that was an incredible experience, I realized that although I wanted to pursue my interests in education, teaching was not for me. I’m fortunate to work for an organization that advocates for and protects the interests of school districts.

What positive things Online Casino would you like people to know about lobbying and advocacy?

My organization lobbies on Impact Aid – an education program that reimburses school districts for the lost local tax revenue associated with the federal presence in their district (anything from military installations to Native American reservations to national parks). I see myself as an advocate: the voice of these school districts on Capitol Hill, protecting their interests and ensuring their voices are represented. NAFIS provides district-specific analysis and legislative expertise vital to the policy-making process. Our members are busy running school districts, and my organization exists to monitor congressional activities on their behalf.

What can people do to get involved in advocacy activities with Impact Aid schools?

NAFIS has a website ( and a Facebook page where we post advocacy activities and action alerts. You can donate to the Federally Impacted Schools Educational Foundation, which provides workshops and training to school personnel. NAFIS also works with the Committee for Education Funding, a broad coalition of educational groups (

What else makes you lovable outside of your regular work?

I love cooking, cheering on New England sports teams, and seeing shows at local theatres in DC and Northern Virginia. Because of my Armenian heritage, I also enjoy discussing Armenian history and culture.

Hoops for Hope Honors Late ALL Executive Director

Thursday, September 15th, 2011 by Vbhotla

For the first time in several years, the lobbyists roundly defeated the members of Congress team in the Monday’s Hoops for Hope Foundation All-Star Classic basketball game.  The lobbyists handled the Members team, 48-35, for their first victory in several years, putting a stop to any talk of throwing this annual game.

But the fun charity event had a somber note this year, as the late executive director of the American League of Lobbyists was memorialized.  Patti Jo Baber (r) died of cancer in December. As the longtime ALL executive director, Baber “helped set [ALL] on the successful path that it’s on today,” and “she played a large role in helping so many kids the Foundation supports,” read a tribute poster displayed at the game in Baber’s honor.

The Classic raises money for underprivileged children in DC. At this year’s event, winners of the Kids Cover Contest for The Original US Congress Handbook were recognized, including overall winner Sasini Wiekramatunga, an eighth-grader from the DC area. Click here to see the winning entries. To preorder The Original Congress Handbook with the winning cover, go to; 15% of the profits from those preorders will go to the Hoops for Hope Foundation. Details:


Young Lobbyists Give Back by Building Home in Northeast D.C.

Tuesday, July 26th, 2011 by Brittany

WASHINGTON, D.C. – On Saturday, July 23, 20 members of the Young Lobbyists Network (YLN), a subgroup of the American League of Lobbyists (ALL), grabbed hammers and nails and helped to build homes in Northeast Washington, D.C.  In addition to giving their time, these energetic volunteers also raised more than $1,880 for Habitat for Humanity.

YLN is committed not only to providing networking opportunities and professional development for government relations professionals, but it is also dedicated to bettering the community in which we live.

“Saturday’s YLN Day of Service was an amazing experience,” noted Dakotah Smith, Government Affairs Representative for Bayer MaterialScience LLC and a Habitat for Humanity participant. “Habitat for Humanity is a great organization, and it was very rewarding to have the opportunity to contribute to the hard work that they are doing every day here in the District. As young lobbyists, we are all invested in our community, and this was a great way for us to give back.”

This YLN Day of Service is another example of ALL’s commitment to community involvement.  Since professional lobbyists represent the unusual pokies and puffies galleries full spectrum of interests within every town and city in the nation, ALL will continue to be involved with those in need of a home, clothing, tutoring help, and mentoring that shows young men and women that they have real options in choosing a productive career over a life with little future.  “The future of our profession is in great hands with this kind of attitude,” said ALL President Howard Marlowe.  “Our Young Lobbyists Network is more active this year than ever before, and really raised the bar with this event.  It is encouraging to see the enthusiasm and commitment they have for ethical advocacy as well as for their community.”


The Young Lobbyists Network is a group of lobbyists and government relations professionals who are dedicated to professional development, peer-to-peer networking opportunities, and charitable activities throughout the National Capital Region. The YLN is part of the American League of Lobbyists, which has represented the lobbying profession for over 30 years.

On the web:

Photos of the YLN Habitat for Humanity project are available upon request.

Lovable Lobbyist Profile: Christine Sequenzia

Wednesday, December 1st, 2010 by Brittany

A photo of my dog, Mali, and I at the capitol lobbying for animal welfare.

Think “lovable,” and very likely, puppies and kittens come to mind.  Think “lobbyist,” and for one reason or another, those puppy-kitten images disappear, revealing a cloud of skepticism and distrust.  Why the bad rep?  We’re challenging the not-so-sunny perceptions of the lobbying community, one face at a time.  Meet Christine Sequenzia, a Texas A&M graduate who has dedicated her career to animal welfare and public policy.  Ms. Sequenzia currently serves as Federal Policy Advisor of the Animal Welfare Institute in Washington, D.C. and has worked on Capitol Hill and in the private sector

Do you have a personal connection to the nonprofit you work for?

Yes, most definitely.  As a young girl, I dreamed of becoming a veterinarian.  This dream lead to my first job as a horse stable hand cleaning horse stalls, and then on to the Animal Medical Center of Plano, where I worked as a veterinary technician for 7 years.  After completing a Bachelor’s degree in Animal Science from Texas A&M University, I realized my impact would be greater lobbying for animal welfare measures on Capitol Hill.  Today, my efforts include ending horse slaughter, increasing humane living conditions for farm animals, marine mammal conservation and others.

For a full list, visit:

What positive things would you like people to know about lobbying and advocacy?

Good Question!  First, not all lobbyists are “bad people.”  Many nonprofit and NGO lobbyists make less than Capitol Hill staffers, lobbying for causes in which they believe.  Advocating for stronger laws protecting girls against sex-trafficking, rights of domestic violence victims and solid animal protection policies are valiant and honorable causes.  Remember to look beyond the title and instead toward the goal.

What can people do to get involved in lovable advocacy activities with the Animal Welfare Institute?

To assist AWI in our lobby efforts visit the Compassion Index (CI) at  There you will be able to communicate directly with your elected representatives, view each member’s score on animal protective policies and write in support of AWI endorsed legislation by simply entering your zip code.

What else makes you lovable outside of your regular work?

Thank you for asking.  Currently, I am very busy volunteering at Doorways women’s shelter, answering hotline calls and assisting women seeking shelter, while coordinating our Susan G. Komen Race for the Cure team.  Most recently, the leaders of McLean Bible Church and I are planning a new praise event on Capitol Hill, called Capitol Praise!  Capitol Praise will be held weekly on the national mall during warmer months and will feature praise music from rock to gospel.  Please follow me on twitter  @CSequenzia or visit my website,, for details.

To nominate a lovable lobbyist, email

Lobbying Gets Lovable: An interview with Matthew de Ferranti

Monday, August 16th, 2010 by Brittany

Matthew de Ferranti speaking with advocates from Habitat for Humanity

Welcome to our first-ever lovable lobbyist interview.

This whole idea came about as a result of the reaction I inevitably get when I tell people where I work. It’s normally a frown, followed by some rant about how lobbyists are all criminals working for big oil and tobacco (the director of “Thank You For Smoking” should be commended for his film’s staying power).

Over the 4 years I’ve been working at, I’ve honed my response to this criticism. It goes a little something like this…

“You like puppies, public education and nurses, right? Well, guess what, they all have lobbyists representing them!”

So, as you can see, I’m on a bit of a personal mission to make people realize that there are, in fact, lovable lobbyists out there.  They are not the unicorns of Washington… I swear they actually exist! Here is one of them, our first-ever lovable lobbyist, Matthew de Ferranti of Habitat for Humanity.

Do you have a personal connection to the nonprofits you’ve worked for?
Yes, I absolutely have a personal connection to Feeding America, Teach for America and Habitat for Humanity.  Each is fundamentally about strengthening the American Dream by working with low- and moderate-income individuals, children and families to expand economic opportunity.  I deeply believe in the missions of each organization and believe that we are all connected.

What would you like people to know about lobbying and advocacy that is positive?
The future of our country and the world are often in part resolved through public policies and public discourse.  As Teddy Roosevelt said, “The credit belongs to the man [or woman] in the arena.”  And as Lyndon Baines Johnson said, “You will find meaning only in the issues of your time.”

What can people do to get involved in lovable advocacy activities with Habitat?
You can take action on issues important to Habitat by visiting You can build with one of Habitat’s 1,500 U.S. affiliates or donate to Habitat’s affordable housing program.  It’ll change your perspective on life forever.

What else makes you lovable outside of your regular work?
I love to travel and learn about people: India, Vietnam and China have been my choices over the past two years, but I also love to travel in the United States and have lived in Oakland, California; Iowa and Texas over the past decade.  Exploring D.C. by foot and doing all of the Duck Tours in the United States over the next decade are two of my current interests.

To nominate a lovable lobbyist you know, email me at

We think lobbyists are lovable…

Tuesday, June 15th, 2010 by Brittany

With all the teasing, whispers and not-so-nice mentions in the press, with think lobbyists have been having a pretty bad run of it so we’ve decided to do something about that.

Starting this month, Lobby Blog will feature our picks for “Lovable Lobbyist” of the month.

Have a lobbyist you think is lovable and out there fighting for a great cause? Send an email to to nominate them today! Each “Lovable Lobbyist” will be featured on the blog and receive a special gift from the team at Lobby Blog and

We’re sure many of the nominations will come for lobbyists working at nonprofits and charities but we are open to anyone you think is doing something lovable. We look forward to hearing from you!