PAC Conference – Agenda

10 Oct, 2020

Four days of content focused around our core themes:



Navigate and recognize top legal and compliance concerns for PAC professionals.


Fundraising & Political Engagement

Hear top trends and strategies for increasing receipts and maximizing political involvement.


PAC Management

Come away with best practices for managing internal operations and program management.


Professional Growth

Continue your personal growth, leadership development and career advancement.

Check out the full agenda below or download our agenda snapshot.

Sort the Agenda

All times are in Eastern Standard Time.

* Attendees will have access to the session recordings up to 21 days after the event

Day 1 - February 23

12:00pm Kick-off Wellness Session: Yoga

COVID-19 and social distancing have changed our wellness routines, yet our personal health and well-being must remain a priority.  Please join us to kick off the conference on a positive note with a virtual yoga class led by a professional instructor.  No experience necessary! This class is suitable for beginners and will focus on strength and flexibility.  Take this time to move your body before expanding your mind with PAC knowledge the next few days.  All you need is a mat or towel, and some comfortable clothes.  Namaste.

12:45 - 1 p.m. Break

Participate in the Opening Session to win! During today’s Opening Keynote, we will have a Grand Prize Drawing for a $100 Amazon gift card.
Winners will be randomly selected and you must participate in the opening keynote session to be entered to win.

Grand Prize Drawing Sponsored By:   @nationaljournal

1 p.m. Opening Keynote: Unlocking the Behavioral Science of Influence and Persuasion

No matter the cause you are working on, fundraising and persuasion go hand in hand. PAC practitioners can increase success by understanding the principles of behavioral science. In this session you’ll learn about tools to influence and persuade others, sell products or ideas, and build loyalty. Increase your program’s effectiveness and boost your own confidence based on expert strategies for influence and persuasion rooted in behavioral psychology.


Christopher Graves
Ogilvy Center for Behavioral Science

2 - 2:15 p.m. Break

2:15 p.m. Breakout Workshops

Solicitation Strategies in a Virtual Environment

Our professional lives have shifted due to the global COVID-19 crisis, and the PAC community has faced its own unique challenges navigating a virtual environment. Learn what new solicitation and engagement opportunities PAC professionals have discovered, including managing expectations and re-evaluating goals. Panelists will also discuss maintaining momentum and creativity during uncertain times.


Sofia Fox
Manager, Government Affairs and Advocacy
Otsuka America Pharmaceutical, Inc.


Trey Hawkins
Dep. Chief Advocacy Officer, Political Action
Credit Union National Association, Inc.

Disbursement Planning for a New Election Cycle

2020 was an unpredictable year, but ready-or-not, now is the time to lay the foundation for success in the 2022 election cycle. Our speakers will cover strategies for developing your contribution criteria and disbursement budget, identifying key targets, adding diversity and inclusion into your criteria, building relationships with newly elected members and navigating potential obstacles such as the anti-corporate PAC pledge. This session will also explore opportunities to engage your stakeholders through virtual political activities.


Ted Burnes
Senior Director, Political Affairs
American College of Radiology
@RADPAC   @PhllyPhan


Jennifer Frost
President and Founder
The Frost Group, LLC

3 - 3:15 p.m. Break

3:15 p.m. Breakout Workshops

Messaging and Communicating Pre and Post COVID

We’ve been working through COVID-19 for several months and can now take stock of lessons learned, how organizations have adapted and what approaches have helped PACs continue to make progress toward their goals. Join us for a panel discussion covering the messages and communication tactics that have – and haven’t – worked as we continue to adapt to a new world.


Jessica Hamilton
Manager, Government Relations
Airbus Americas, Inc.


Nicole Porter
Senior Director, Advocacy & Political Affairs
National Retail Federation


Betsy Tower
Senior Manager, GEPAC & Legislative Engagement
General Electric

PAC Match in a Pandemic: Structure and Strategy

A PAC charitable match program consistently ranks as the most effective incentive to encourage PAC membership. It has become an even more enticing benefit in a year with no shortage of charitable causes to support. Whether you are looking to improve an existing match program or launch PAC match as a new benefit, hear from experts with direct experience both managing and launching PAC match programs.


Cassandra Harper
Lead Manager, Corporate Communications
Reynolds American Inc.


Meaghan Joyce
Senior Manager, Political & Advocacy Strategy
International Paper Company

4 p.m. Adjourn

Day 2 - February 24

1 p.m. Keynote: Corporate Engagement: Social Activism and Political Involvement

Corporations are no longer being assessed purely on their bottom line or mission. Organizations are now asked to respond to social issues and play a role in activism, civic empowerment of employees and other ethics indicators.  As a result, many organizations have shifted their perspectives and worked hard to navigate these new expectations. This session will explore the intense scrutiny corporations have faced in 2020, their response and what changes in corporate culture will look like moving forward.  Strategies for how best to prepare for and lead during these increasingly public corporate social inflection points will also be covered.

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Dr. Leslie Gaines-Ross
Reputation Advisor & Expert

2 - 2:15 p.m. Break

2:15 p.m. Roundtable Discussions: PAC Pressure

These breakout roundtable discussions will give attendees the opportunity to candidly discuss the pressures PACs are up against.  A series of questions will guide the conversation and allow you to describe your experiences, ask questions of others, brainstorm and learn from your peers. Groups will focus on the following PAC pressures:

Giving Criteria

Many PACs are being pressured to expand their giving criteria to cover issues outside of business. Have you received this critique or do you expect to in the future?  How would changing your criteria impact your overall PAC strategy?

Earmarking Contributions

Allowing PAC donors to designate the party their contribution will support is a growing and successful strategy. Do you currently earmark or are you considering it?  How would you  manage this PAC benefit and what are some of the associated pros and cons?

Responding to Inquiries and Controversy

Many PACs have come under fire for their giving history due to increased attention to corporate political involvement. What types of inquiries have you received and how did you process these types of questions and determine an appropriate response?

Anti-PAC Rhetoric

Members of Congress not accepting PAC funds and a growing mistrust regarding money and politics have led to the spread of anti-PAC rhetoric. How is your organization working to combat this type of speech and communicate the purpose and importance of the PAC?

3 - 3:15 p.m. Break

3:15 p.m. Breakout Workshops

Lessons from Crisis Communications

The past year has been a lesson in expecting the unexpected and being prepared. Hear from a crisis communications expert on how to build a communications strategy in case of a crisis or controversy as it relates to your PAC program. This session will review common mistakes to avoid as well as lessons from 2020, and how to apply them to your strategy moving forward.


Arik Ben-Zvi
Breakwater Strategy

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Adam Croglia
Managing Director
Trysail Strategies

PAC Retention and Recognition: Appreciating your Donors

Retention is critical to setting your PAC on a path toward continuous growth. It is important to show appreciation to your current donors as you also strive to appeal to new ones and incentivize higher levels of PAC participation. Although the absence of in-person gatherings might have hindered your donor appreciation plans last year, this session will dive into creative and engaging ways to recognize and applaud PAC participation in the virtual environment.


Ethan Easterwood
PAC Manager, Government Affairs
Northrop Grumman Corporation


Mica Evans Hider
Senior Director, Coalitions and PAC
American Chemistry Council


Ellen Locke
PAC Manager

4 p.m. Networking Reception

Whether you are a veteran PAC Conference attendee or a first-timer, take advantage of this much needed opportunity to virtually catch up with old friends or meet new peers. The PAC community is welcoming and active, so enjoy this time to network and connect with one another.

4:45 p.m. Adjourn

Day 3 - February 25

12:15 Mid-day Wellness Session: Healthy Meal Prep

Finding the motivation to cook healthy meals can be tough.  For this session, a certified nutritionist and fitness trainer will walk us through some healthy meal prep recipes.  The recipes are designed to keep you satisfied, focused and feeling good while also saving time.  Make them in the beginning of the week and enjoy!

1 p.m. Keynote: Outstanding PAC Awards Showcase

Join us as we announce and honor the recipients of the 2021 Outstanding Association and Corporate PAC Awards. You’ll be inspired by the creative and innovative approaches to PAC engagement in a year unlike any other. You’ll hear directly from the winners on the strategies and tactics they implemented to achieve success in a challenging year.

2 - 2:15 p.m. Break

2:15 p.m. Breakout Workshops

Politics of the 117th Congress: Looking Ahead to 2022

Join Council Senior Political Analyst and Inside Elections Publisher, Nathan Gonzales, as he provides an early read on the politics of the 117th Congress and what to watch for in the months ahead. He’ll also describe the foundation of the 2022 midterm elections and discuss redistricting as states re-draw boundaries of congressional districts across the country following the census.

UNITED STATES - FEBRUARY 29: Nathan Gonzales of CQ Roll Call is photographed, February 29, 2016. (Photo By Meredith Dake-O'Connor/CQ Roll Call)

Nathan Gonzales
Editor & Publisher
Inside Elections

Compliance Essentials in a Virtual World

Whether PACs are looking to implement virtual activities or make political contributions electronically, there are a myriad of compliance considerations to be mindful of.  An election law expert will provide a detailed overview of implementing virtual activities, tips for hosting fundraising events, electronic payments and more.


Melissa Miles
Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom


Charles Ricciardelli
Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom

3 - 3:15 p.m. Break

3:15 p.m. Breakout Workshops

Professional Development: Parlaying PAC Expertise into Your Next-Level Job

Regardless of your career level, it’s always important to think ahead, accept new challenges and push yourself to continue evolving as a professional. Whether you are looking to leverage your PAC skills for greater impact within your organization or apply your experience to a new career path, our discussion will help you translate your expertise into growth. This session will focus on short- and long-term career planning, including how to communicate your value and PAC expertise to get the job and take control of your career.


Julian Ha
Heidrick and Struggles International, Inc.


Angel L. Riley
LPAC Director
Leidos Holdings, Inc.

Political Compliance Overview

Ensuring your PAC operations, communications and activities are compliant is the foundation of a successful program. An election law expert will provide a comprehensive legal overview for corporate and association PACs. This session will cover basic campaign finance rules for operating a PAC, defining and soliciting your eligible class and other topics specific to PAC compliance.

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Kenneth A. Gross
Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom

4 p.m. Adjourn

Day 4 - February 26

Stay until the end to win! During today’s Opening Keynote, we will have a Grand Prize Drawing for a $200 Amazon gift card.
Winners will be randomly selected and you must participate in the opening keynote session to be entered to win.

Grand Prize Drawing Sponsored By:

1 p.m. Keynote: Responding to Controversy and Moving Your PAC Forward in 2021

PACs are one of the most transparent ways to engage in the political process and are an important part of our democracy. Corporate and association PACs have been thrust into the national spotlight as organizations determine how they will address future PAC support in light of the assault on the Capitol and the decision by some lawmakers to vote against the Electoral College certification. Join us for a discussion of strategies for evaluating PAC giving criteria, determining future support to objecting lawmakers, responding to increased scrutiny and navigating the path forward to achieve a stronger and more transparent political involvement program.


Doug Pinkham
Public Affairs Council

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Matthew T. Sanderson
Caplin & Drysdale, Chtd.

2 - 2:15 p.m. Break

2:15 p.m. Roundtable Discussions: 2020 Recap

Let’s face it, 2020 was off the charts formidable. But it also forced many of us to think creatively and adapt to new routines.  In review, what would you take or leave from 2020? This roundtable setting will give you the opportunity to openly share lessons learned and your thoughts on the changes 2020 ushered in. Topics will include:

Virtual fundraisers

The elimination of in-person events during an election year ushered in the era of the virtual fundraiser. What were some of the logistical challenges and should these events continue in some capacity?

Working from home

Despite the convenience, working from home also comes with a bevy of distractions and difficulties. What has your experience working from home been like?  How has your organization managed the shift  thus far and what do you think the future may look like?

Love it or leave it

Many of us have discovered new hobbies, spent more time with families or fully embraced communicating via Zoom with old friends. What would you take with you personally and professionally from 2020 into the years to come, and what would you prefer to leave behind?

Virtual fly-Ins

The pandemic hit at one of the busiest times of year for Capitol Hill fly-ins, forcing organizations  to quickly make plans to host one of their biggest advocacy events of the year virtually. Did you or are you planning to host a virtual fly-in? What are some of the struggles you have faced or anticipate in both the preparation and execution of this type of event?

3 p.m. Adjourn