The Evolution of State Relations – Half-Day Seminar

Jun 12, 2018 02:00pm -
Jun 12, 2018 07:00pm

Event Description

Educational sessions focused on best practices for state and local government affairs professionals.

Schedule of events:
2:00 - 2:15 pm - Welcome
2:15 - 3:45 pm - Panel 1: Hiring & Leveraging State Consultants
3:45– 4:00 pm - Break
4:00 - 5:30 pm - Panel 2: State Advocacy in the Age of Disruption
5:30 - 7:00 pm - Networking Reception with NGA

Session 1: Hiring & Leveraging State Consultants
Best practices for identifying, hiring and managing state lobbyists and consultants

2:15  – 3:45 p.m.Government Relations managers must weigh a number of factors when considering bringing on outside help and when evaluating their performance. With 2018 elections looming large, government relations consultants can be a valuable tool for navigating a potentially shifting landscape. This panel will share a number of best practices, including:

  • On the hiring side: building a business case for hiring outside help, how to find the best match for your needs, what to look for in the interviews, how to negotiate fees, and what to put in the contract (and what not to put in the contract)
  • On the management side: evaluating performance/ROI, how to be a good client, strategies for integrating consultants into your GR team and overall strategy, and how to cut ties when it’s time


  • Heather Reams, Managing Director, Citizens for Responsible Energy Solutions (Moderator)
  • Amy Brink, Vice President of State Affairs, the Alliance of Automobile Manufacturers
  • Larissa Martin, Chief Operating Officer, 50 State
  • Janene Jackson, Partner, Holland & Knight

Session 2: State Advocacy in the Age of Disruption
Strategies for advancing and pivoting a SGR strategy in an era of uncertainty and grassroots activism

4:00 – 5:30 p.m.
With today’s constantly-changing news cycle and unprecedented policy and political “disruption,” state government relations professionals are facing unprecedented obstacles (and opportunities) in advancing their agenda. The panel will include professionals representing “disruptors,” the “disrupted,” as well as an industry that is (for the time being) neither. They will explore the impact of disruption on the state government relations industry as well as tactics for navigating around and through the noise. Speakers will discuss:

  • How to continue demonstrating value to your leadership when wins can be hard to come by; 
  • Leveraging disruption to advance your agenda and other strategies for handling events that shut down the legislature (or take their full attention); 
  • Maintaining relationships and building new ones in an unpredictable political environment;
  • Staying ahead of potential curveballs – value of leveraging polling and data; and
  • Partnering (or not) with grassroots organizations & coalitions (how to make the decision to engage or not and what that engagement might look like)


  • Tina Phillips, Vice President, MultiState Associates (Moderator)
  • Rebecca McPhail, President, WV Manufacturers Association
  • Stephanie Pizzoferrato, Deputy Director US Government Affairs, Covestro
  • Mary Best, President, Oklahoma American Federation of Teachers
  • Atima Omara, President & Founder, Omara Strategy Group, LLC

Networking Reception with National Governors Association
5:30 p.m. – 7:00 p.m.
Following the final panel, please join us for a networking reception with the National Governors Association, governors DC staff and fellow state relations professionals.

Thank you to our sponsor: 

Location: Amazon
601 New Jersey Ave NW
​Washington DC, 20001

Metro: Union Station

Event Fees:
Member: $40
Non Member: $80
Event Registration with purchase of a NEW Membership (a $90 savings!): $235

Payment & Refund Policy
WGR Registration Fees must be paid in advance and are non-refundable. You may substitute someone else at your membership level for your registration without penalty; however, membership benefits are non-transferable. If your replacement is not in your membership sector, you will be responsible for the difference in fees.

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Event Updates
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Event Type:Conference
Category:State Relations
Early registration ends on Apr 14, 2018.
Regular registration starts on Apr 15, 2018 and ends on Jun 12, 2018.
Late registration starts on Jun 13, 2018.