SLGR – Agenda

01 Sep, 2021


Due to Delta, SLGR is currently being transition to virtual. This agenda is subject to change.

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Day One - Sept. 28, 2021

Noon - 1:00 p.m. - Opening Session: In the Spotlight: Responding to Crises and Social Issues

Employees and the public increasingly expect companies, associations, and nonprofits to join the conversation on social issues, such as controversial voting laws, lack of public trust, anti-corporate sentiments, climate change and anti-PAC sentiments. How should organizations respond? How can state government relations teams contribute to internal decisions around external communications and commitments? This session will explore these questions and the current landscape, providing insights and strategies to help you protect your organization’s mission and reputation.


Douglas G. Pinkham
Public Affairs Council


Breanna Schafer
Senior Director, Government Affairs

Session Moderated By:

Kelly Memphis

Kelly Memphis
Senior Manager, Government Relations
& Stakeholder Engagement Practice
Public Affairs Council
@kelly_memphis  @PACouncil

1:00 - 1:15 p.m. - Break

1:15 p.m. - 2:15 p.m.- Concurrent Sessions

COVID-19: What SGR Changes Will Remain?

Vaccination rates are rising and COVID restrictions are lifting – but what changes to the field of state government relations from the past months are here to stay? What lessons and tactics should remain part of the portfolio?

Join us for a dynamic discussion addressing these questions and more:

  • Is virtual lobbying here to stay? How can it compete with in-person lobbying?
  • How can SGR professionals navigate impacts to budgets and structure?
  • What state dynamics will remain as the new norm?
Kelly Memphis

Kelly Memphis
Senior Manager, Government Relations
& Stakeholder Engagement Practice
Public Affairs Council
@kelly_memphis  @PACouncil


Kaylyn Tinsley
Director, State Government Relations
Global Payments Inc.


Marvin Yates
Director, Strategic Government Relations
MultiState Associates

Launching a State Advocacy Campaign from Scratch

As organizations continue to expand their investment in state government relations, SGR professionals are often faced with advocating in states or regions where their organizations have little or no footprint. How do you get started building a successful new campaign? We’ll cover ways to get to know a new state or region, build coalitions, meet stakeholders and otherwise lay the groundwork to become influential.

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Thomas J. DiGangi, Jr.
Executive Vice President
National Strategies


Jacob Johnson
Vice President, Government and Regulatory Affairs


Erika Scheffer
Associate Director, Government Relations

2:15 - 2:30 p.m. - Break

2:30 - 3:30 p.m. - Closing Keynote Session: Executive Branches in Review

Governors, mayors and attorneys general have played new roles in shaping policy and influencing business and community outcomes since COVID-19 started. We’ll review this trend and explore what we can expect to see going forward. We’ll also dive into the federal and state/local dynamic, and ways to incorporate these high-level offices into your advocacy plans.


David Beaudoin
Marquee Team Staff Writer

Stacey Brayboy, Deputy Secretary of Agriculture and Forestry

Stacey Brayboy
Senior Vice President of Public Policy and Government Affairs
March of Dimes
Formerly Virginia Office of Intergovernmental Affairs

June 13, 2017.   Western Governors' Association head shots.  Photo by Ellen Jaskol.

James Ogsbury
Executive Director
Western Governors’ Association

5:45 - 7:45 p.m. - In-Person Outdoor Reception!

Join fellow attendees for a chance to network and connect in real life while enjoying drinks, food, and remarks. This reception will take place in an outdoor courtyard adjacent to many dynamic restaurants should attendees wish to attend dinners together afterward.

Reception Location:
The Outdoor Coutyard at the Hilton Alexandria Old Town
1767 King Street, Alexandria, VA 22314

Day Two- Sept. 29, 2021

Noon - 1:00 p.m. - Keynote: Bipartisan Advocacy in Polarized Times

How can a bipartisan or nonpartisan organization navigate the tense partisan politics across many state legislatures? These difficult dynamics are even finding a way into nonpartisan legislative groups. We’ll take a look at the forces behind this trend, as well as solutions that empower SGR teams to run successful bipartisan campaigns despite increased polarization.


Keith Allred
Executive Director
National Institute for Civil Discourse

1:00 - 1:15 p.m. - Break

1:15 - 2:15 p.m. - Concurrent Sessions

Deep Dive: Case Studies of Legislative and Regulatory Wins

Achieving or preventing policy change is often a long, drawn-out process, which makes legislative victories stand out even more. In this session, we’ll hear a step-by-step guide outlining the path to success for two state legislative wins. You’ll walk away with practical ideas and tactics to apply to your own efforts, accelerating your policy wins. One of our case studies will focus on a legislative win, and one will highlight a regulatory win.

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Cornelius Fletcher II
Associate Regional Director, State Legislative Affairs
Everytown For Gun Safety Action Fund


Joshua Phair
Director, Public Affairs & Government Relations
Walmart Inc.

Pitching, Presenting and Testifying for SGR

Whether you’re trying to impact a policy outcome or an internal budget decision, your public speaking skills can make or break your success. We’ll help you brush up on delivering compelling testimony (in-person or virtually), perfecting your elevator pitch and giving strong presentations to internal and external stakeholders.


John Brandt
Vice President
ROKK Solutions


Renee Gibson
Director, State Government Relations
American Traffic Safety Services Association

2:15 - 2:30 p.m. - Break

2:30 - 3:30 p.m. Closing Keynote: Tips for Thriving in Today’s Work Environment

It’s been well-documented that the pandemic has resulted in mental and emotional burnout. This session will share ways to overcome burnout and give your professional creativity and drive a boost – whether you’re working from home, the office, or in a hybrid setting. Plus, as travel resumes, our experts will share tips for staying motivated to follow healthy practices both at home and on the road.

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Terri Broussard Williams
Find Your Fire

3:30 p.m. - 4:15 p.m. - Virtual Reception

Spend a few minutes enjoying small group discussions with peers as you move among themed tables in our virtual lounge!

Day Three - Sept. 30, 2021

Noon - 1:00 p.m. - Opening Keynote: State of the States: Major Economic, Policy, and Regulatory Trends to Know

As everyone in the SGR space knows, state policies are contagious. This closing session will set the stage for 2022 by breaking down the economic, legislative and regulatory trends we expect to dominate the coming year. Examples of trends we will cover include COVID-19 recovery efforts, infrastructure, budgets and taxes, privacy, healthcare, broadband, police reform and more.


Scott Greenberger
Executive Editor, Stateline
The Pew Charitable Trusts


Christine Vestal
Senior Writer, Stateline
The Pew Charitable Trusts

1:00 - 1:15 p.m. - Break

1:15 - 2:15 p.m. - Concurrent Sessions

Creating a City or County Advocacy Plan

Cities and counties wield significant influence and funds, and having a local advocacy strategy in place is an increasingly essential component of SGR. However, with so many influential and unique localities across the country, developing a strategic local plan can be intimidating. In this session, we’ll share both the basics and next-level strategies for monitoring local policies and incorporating local campaigns into your SGR plans.

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Michael Ambrose
Manager, State and Local Public Affairs
National Restaurant Association

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Mark Ritacco
Director, Government Affairs
National Association of Counties

Supporting Diversity, Equity and Inclusion in the SGR Field

Recent studies confirm that diversity in public affairs is lacking, and a movement toward equity is essential for progress. This session will provide insights into the state of DEI in SGR and ways to advance DEI throughout public affairs, as well as answer questions from Council members. Whether you’re in a supervisory role or working to become more intentional, this session will also cover ways we can all promote DEI in our everyday work.


Jill Birnbaum
Senior Vice President, Field Advocacy Operations
American Heart Association


Roi L. Ewell
Ewell & Associates, LLC


Laura Horsley
Senior Director, Marketing and Communications
Public Affairs Council

2:15- 2:30 p.m. - Break

2:30 p.m. - 3:15 p.m. - Roundtable Discussions

Join a roundtable to workshop ideas and find key takeaways in a small group of your peers. You won’t want to miss the chance to network with the community, crowd source ideas and find solutions to today’s most essential topics. This roundtable session will include icebreakers as well as a list of substantive questions to guide discussions.

3:15- 3:30 p.m. - Break

3:30 p.m. - 4:30 p.m. - Closing Keynote: Midterms 2022 and Redistricting Overview

Could the new census data lead to a Republican landslide in the 2022 midterms? What can we expect from state legislatures and commissioners as redistricting occurs across the country? What impact will redistricting have on minorities, blue versus red states and midterm election results? In this session, we’ll cover what to expect from now until the midterms and how to prep your advocacy plan accordingly. We’ll also touch on factors such as trends at the federal level and how former President Trump might influence races.

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Ron Eidshaug
Vice President & Chief of Staff, Government Affairs
U.S. Chamber of Commerce

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

Bonus Pre-Recorded Sessions

Available Sept. 29 - Oct. 29

Influential State Deep Dives (3 states)

Gain insights from the states that are setting the biggest policy trends and priorities. Our panel of experts will share on-the-ground intel and walk you through the ABCs of running successful state government relations programs in three highly influential states: California, New York and Texas.

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Lauren Aguilar
Government Affairs Associate
Serlin Haley LLP

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Wayne Lair, Jr.
Statewide Public Affairs


David Mintz
Vice President, Government Affairs
Texas Apartment Association

Managing Your Career During and Post COVID

Whether you’re happy in your current role and want to boost your internal relationships or salary, or you are ready for your next opportunity, this session will provide tips for advancing your career. Through the lens of COVID recovery, our experts will share insights into networking, connecting with remote teammates and continuing your professional development, as well as job hunting and salary negotiation. You’ll walk away with both big picture ideas and tactical steps to move your career forward.


Tracy Lampert
Head of Employee Experience and Culture
Zurich North America


Chatrane Birbal
Vice President, Government Relations
HR Policy Association
@ChatraneBirbal    @HRPolicy

This program is eligible for 2 credits towards the Certificate in PAC & Grassroots Management , 2 credits toward the Certificate in Public Affairs Management and 4 credits toward the Certificate in Government Relations and Lobbying.