The Advocacy Conference

27 Sep, 2020

Save the date for the 2023 conference:

 February 6-9, 2023
Marriott Harbor Beach, Ft. Lauderdale, FL.

Hear From Past Participants

Event FAQs

Why Should You Attend?

In addition to a diverse agenda on innovative best practices and the best networking opportunities, you’ll get access to:

Senior-Level Content: Advanced sessions and topics for experienced and returning professionals

Unparalleled Networking: Meet the top leaders in grassroots, public affairs, communications and stakeholder engagement — and learn from them to advance your own program

Mentoring Program: Be paired with alumni for career and conference advice from people who really get it

Industry’s Only Resource Marketplace: Check out the best sources available for advocacy technology, products and services

Hear From Past Participants

“The Advocacy Conference is great at providing innovative and top-level speakers who give insights on the ever-changing advocacy landscape around the country. By the time you leave the conference you’ll have a great network to help you be more successful in your career. This is the conference to be at if you want practical tips and to learn from the best in the arena.”

— Jordan Craig, Manager, Government and Industry Affairs, American Forest and Paper Association

“The Advocacy Conference is quite simply the premier event for public affairs professionals. The program itself is outstanding with first class content and speakers; the networking opportunities and the friendships that are developed during the conference are priceless.”

— Michael Garrison, Director, Grassroots, International Council of Shopping Centers

“The Public Affairs Council’s Advocacy Conference is now the only advocacy conference I attend – it’s that valuable. If you are involved in the advocacy field, this is the event to attend for best practices and innovative ideas.”

— Jeff Michaud, Senior Manager, Digital Communications, Government Relations, eBay, Inc.

“I was a first-time attendee in 2018 and I walked away from the conference energized and full of new ideas. Each session gave me the opportunity to hear from experts and interact with my peers. The lessons I learned paid immediate dividends by giving me actionable ways to improve the public relations and grassroots strategies at our association. The conference is also the gift that keeps on giving. The numerous networking opportunities allowed me to make connections with folks from across the spectrum, connections that I reach out to on a regular basis for advice or new ideas.”

— Sean Brown, Vice President, Communications, Federation of American Hospitals

Want to hear from more? Contact us for more information.

Advisory Committee

2022 Advocacy Conference Advisory Committee

Amie Adams, Dunn Associates

Stephanie Armstrong-Helton, Trinity Health

Avelyn Austin, REQ

Chris Baggett, Bristol-Myers Squibb

Brian Banks, American Counseling Association

Amy Becker, Boys and Girls Club of America

Khelan Bhatia, AARP

Hadlea Bothe, National Electrical Contractors Association, Inc.

Alexa Branson, U.S. Chamber of Commerce

Andrew Brashier, Prison Fellowship

Laura Brigandi, Pancreatic Cancer Action Network

Bridget Callaghan, BlueCross  BlueShield of Minnesota

Vlad Cartwright, 720 Strategies

Laura Chaboya, Bayer Crop Science

Stephen Chang, American International Group, Inc.

Stacey Chappell, American Hospital Association

Angela Chiappetta, DDC Public Affairs

Robert Clark, St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital

Jessica Cooper, National Federation of Independent Business

Meghan Cruz, National Retail Federation

Trevin Dalton, Entergy Services

Bethany Dame, Property Casualty Insurers Assoc. of America

Megan Ekstrom, The Procter & Gamble Company

John Farina, AIDS Healthcare Foundation (AHF)

Randy Ford, NWYC

Jess Forrester, Quourm

Jennifer Fox, Finseca

Allyson Frazier, American Heart Association

Maria Gaulin, Thrivent Financial

Devon Goodall, LPL Financial

Brandon Graham, National Alliance on Mental Illness

Joseph Gregorich, Sutter Health

Joe  Hansen, Novavax

Sarah Heckman, American College of Emergency Physicians

Jared Hess, DraftKings

Rachel Hicks, McDonald’s Corporation

Shawnda Hines, American Library Association (ALA)

Cliff Johnson, Bloomberg Government

Courtney Johnson, American Chemistry Council

Rob Jordan, American Medical Association

Meaghan Joyce, International Paper Company

Melanie Kahn, American Kidney Fund

David Kalrushner, BlueCross and BlueShield Association

Vanessa Kermick, Air Line Pilots Association, International

Erica Klinger, Association for Accessible Medicines

Jessica Knutson, National Marrow Donor Program, Be The Match

Jill Kozeny, American Council of Life Insurers

Keith Krosinsky, Association of American Medical Colleges

Lisa Lamkins, AARP Wisconsin

Susan Leppke, American Association of Blood Banks

Ashley Lerner, General Motors Company

Adam Lotspike, BD

Jim (James) MacGregor, National Assoc. of Realtors

Blake Major, MassMutual

Megan Managan, Washington Bankers Association

Mia  Masten, Pfizer Inc.

Claire McDonough, Cision Government Relations

Amy  Meli, Aristotle International

Dan  Meyers, APCO Worldwide

Lindsey Miller, National Restaurant Association

Karen Morgan, AAA – The Auto Club Group

Bill Otto, Sourcewell

Gary Pickard, Pacific Dental Services

Kristen Prather, Credit Union National Assoc. Inc.

John Randall, Burson Cohn & Wolfe

Julia Richardson, National Association for Behavioral Healthcare

Frank Rizzo, FSB Public Affairs

Alicia Rockwell, Blue Diamond Growers

Paul Rohde, Waterways Council, Inc

Darlene Rosenkoetter, S&P Global Inc.

Claudia Salinas, DaVita HealthCare Partners Inc.

Kyle Sepe, Wakefern Food Corporation

Jonathan Simons, NCTA

Jonathan Spontarelli, State & Federal Communications, Inc.

Kristin St. John, National Association of Community Health Centers

Evelyn Stauffer, The Home Depot

Gill Stevens, NovoNordisk

Kandi Terry, NRG Energy, Inc.

AnnMarie Treglia, Dart Container Corporation

Tony Trenzeluk, Sentry Insurance Company

Lauren  Tyler, Adfero

Julie Vieburg, Land O’ Lakes, Inc.

Peter Vujovich, Everytown For Gun Safety

Lisa Wagor, Target Corporation

Dorian Wanzer, International Paper

Yvette Williams, Johnson & Johnson

Sarah Yi, CTIA – The Wireless Association

Matthew Zablud, Beekeeper Group

Sue  Zoldak, The Zoldak Agency

Contact Nick DeSarno to learn more about joining the conference advisory committee.

Read the Full FAQs

1. Is this the same conference as the National Grassroots Conference? Yes…and no. The Advocacy Conference is the evolution of the National Grassroots Conference. As grassroots and advocacy practitioners find that the scope of their work — and the challenges they face — are changing, so is the conference. Grassroots will be one featured track at the conference, paired with communications tactics and strategies and engagement solutions for working with partners, senior management and stakeholders.

2. Where will the conference be? The 2023 conference will be held in Ft. Lauderdale, FL.

3. How much does it cost? Please visit our Registration page for details.

4. How do I register? Registration is available online. In order to take advantage of the online discounted rates for Council members, you’ll need a website user name and password. If you cannot remember your username and password, please click this link where you can retrieve the information. If you are new to the site, click here to create a new profile. If you have questions, please call us at 202.787.5950.

5. How can I receive mailings for future conferences? If you would like to be added to our conference brochure distribution list, please contact us at

6. Who should I call if I have more questions?

The Advocacy Conference
Nick DeSarno
202.787.5971 | email

Sponsorship Opportunities and Consultant Expo/Resource Marketplace
Kristin Hanley
202.787.5968 | email

Caryn Seligman
202.787.5966 | email


Sponsoring The Advocacy Conference allows you to advertise your firm and services to our attendees. Your name and brand is present in marketing and throughout the conference itself, giving you repeated exposure to this unique, high-level community.