The Advocacy Conference

27 Sep, 2020

Save the date for the 2024 conference:

 January 28-31, 2024
Hilton Austin,
Austin Texas

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

2023 Advocacy Conference Advisory Committee

Melinda Barham, Western Governors University

William Bertles, DDC Public Affairs

Alfred Campos, AARP

Rosie Connor, Western Governors University

Anne Crews, Mary Kay Inc.

Megan Cusick, American Library Association (ALA)

Bethany Dame, American Property Casualty Insurance Association

Caitlin Demchuk, Walgreens Boots Alliance

Kevin Donnelly, National Multifamily Housing Council

Chip Felkel, RAP Index

Emily Festa, Toyota Motor North America

Andrew Fimka, Narrative Strategies

Bradford Fitch, Congressional Management Foundation

Randy Ford, Advocacy Associates, L.L.C.

Evelyn Fornes, The Home Depot

Bryan Fratkin, Whistle Stop Digital

Allyson Frazier, American Heart Association

Lindsay Gill, The ALS Association

Davon Gray, The American Institute of Architects

Peter Greenberger, Project Applecart

Jared Hess, DraftKings

Dan Huber, NextEra Energy, Inc.

Tyler Irwin, Aristotle International

Rebecca Jami, ACCESS Marketing Services

Cliff Johnson, Bloomberg Government

Renaldo Juanso, Kaiser Permanente

Alex Kolb, AT&T

Leean Kravitz, Fidelity Investments

Mike Lord, The Washington Campus

Cody Lyon, American Farm Bureau Federation

Dan Meyers, APCO Worldwide

Jeff Michaud, eBay, Inc.

Katelyn Moga Gesing, Amazon

Phoebe E. Neseth, Esq., Community Associations Institute

David Pryor, Microsoft Corporation

Joe Quinn, The SAFE Foundation

John Randall, BCW Global

David Reiner, Quest Diagnostics

Charles Rogers, Crestview Strategy

Paul Rohde, Waterways Council, Inc

Lindsay Rosen, U.S. Chamber of Commerce

Darlene Rosenkoetter, S&P Global Inc.

Allison Schneider, American Council of Engineering Companies (ACEC)

Jonathan Simons, NCTA – The Internet & Television Association

Steve Sisneros, American Petroleum Institute

Michael Sokoloski, BAYADA Home Health Care

Austin Spindler, PricewaterhouseCoopers

Jonathan Spontarelli, State and Federal Communications, Inc.

Christopher Stolte, i-360, LLC

Ruthanne Sudderth, Michigan Health & Hospital Association

Kandi Terry, NRG Energy, Inc.

Glenn Thibeault,

Barbara Thompson, NextEra Energy, Inc.

Sherry Whitworth, FiscalNote

Kirk Willison, Arch Mortgage Insurance Company

Sarah Yi, CTIA – The Wireless Association

Kate Zaykowski, McGuireWoods Consulting, LLC.

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

Charitable Partner

Every year, the Council partners with a local charity to make a difference in our host city during our Advocacy Conference. This year, we are working with HANDY, an organization in Broward County dedicated to serving children and youth ages nine to 25 years old, who have been removed from their homes due to domestic violence, substance abuse, physical and/or sexual abuse, and abandonment.

Please consider making a monetary donation or purchasing needed school supplies for the communities and youth they serve. A table will also be set up on the last two days of the conference for in-person donations.

Amazon Wishlist

Donation Portal


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.