De’Ana Dow has brought her regulatory expertise from Ogilvy Government Relations to Capitol Counsel, where she now serves as general counsel. Dow anticipates that her 22-year career at the Commodity Futures Trading Commission will give her new clients insight into the commission’s inner workings. “It was an ideal training ground for developing an expertise in a really esoteric part of the law,” she says.
Before serving as Ogilvy’s senior vice president, Dow was CME Group’s managing director for government affairs and worked on the Dodd-Frank legislation as it progressed through Congress. “Because I was actively engaged in the negotiations and the numerous versions of that bill as it was going through the process, I have a strong familiarity with it,” Dow says.
With such a long history in the field, she is confident of what she can bring to her clients, including a broad understanding of Dodd-Frank. Dow says she is certain that the financial-reform law will be amended. “Whenever you regulate in response to a problem or a market failure, you tend to overstep,” she says. “And oftentimes what you see is, it gets pulled back when people realize it did go too far.” Dow, 56, also served as senior vice president and chief legislative counsel at the New York Mercantile Exchange and was associate vice president and counsel at what is now the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority. She started with Capitol Counsel in August.
Mike Hogan, a former deputy chief of staff for Sen. Ben Nelson, D-Neb., has joined Blank Rome Government Relations. Most recently a senior vice president at Ogilvy Government Relations, he brings with him a number of clients, including Assurant, the Advanced Medical Technology Association, and the Consumer Healthcare Products Association.
Hogan’s departure from Ogilvy comes on the heels of a major reorganization at the lobby shop, which earned just under $20 million in lobbying fees last year. Over the course of two days in June, CEO Drew Maloney, Chairman Wayne Berman, and Senior Vice Presidents John O’Neill and Elena Tompkins all left Ogilvy.
Hogan was born and raised in Washington, the son of a lawyer for NASA. (His father, who considers himself “retired,” is now a state legislator in Nevada.) He went on to major in political science and Russian at James Madison University, during which time he studied abroad in Moscow. His fascination with the Soviet menace was “really a function of the times,” he says. “The Cold War was in full swing.”
As an upperclassman, Hogan toured the East Coast with the Shuffle, a rock/reggae/folk fusion band. Among the group’s partisans was Mike Lynch, one of the saxophonist’s roommates and now chief of staff for Sen. Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y. The Shuffle was not a lucrative enterprise. “We had a horn section in the band, which brought the number of people to seven,” Hogan recalls. “And when you’ve got a bar tab and only get paid a hundred dollars a night “… we were very poor.”
Apart from plucking a bass guitar, Hogan settled disputes between credit-card holders and merchants for a local bank — his first job. “So often I found myself saying, “˜Well, the Fair Credit Billing Act of 1974 says so-and-so.’”… I kind of realized that it all comes back to law and legislation.”
Hogan then spent six years running the American Chiropractic Association’s political and legislative shop, after which he was hired by then-Rep. Peter Deutsch, D-Fla., as his legislative director. At one point, Hogan ran one of the lawmaker’s reelection campaigns out of his own apartment — “which was interesting,” he says, coyly.
After a stop at the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee, Hogan spent eight years at the American Health Care Association. From there, he was recruited by the Society of Thoracic Surgeons to open the group’s Washington office. At that stage in his career, Hogan had been “pigeonholed as a health care person,” he says, and he gladly accepted an offer from Nelson to run the lawmaker’s Washington office. The year was 2008, and gas prices were inching toward $5 a gallon, prompting presidential hopeful Hillary Rodham Clinton to propose a gas-tax holiday. “I thought gas prices were going to be the big issue,” marvels Hogan. “And then the financial collapse happened, and gas prices didn’t seem like such a big deal anymore!”
At one time, the 47-year-old trafficked in snickerpoodles and gingerbread mailmen. In 2000, he and his wife opened Dogma, a dog bakery in Arlington, Va. They were in the vanguard of canine patisserie. “Nobody had heard of a dog bakery then, and we were laughed at by many loan officers,” Hogan says.
Christopher Snow Hopkins
Like Mike Hogan, Jonathan Adelstein is a clandestine rock musician. A few years ago, the former commissioner at the Federal Communications Commission was performing alongside Steve Cropper, of Booker T. & the M.G.’s, when, “Boom! The whole amp blew!” Adelstein recalls. From behind a curtain of smoke, Adelstein bought time with an impromptu harmonica solo while Cropper hooked up a new amp.
On Sept. 17 — exactly 25 years after his first day on Capitol Hill — Adelstein succeeded Michael T.N. Fitch as president and CEO of the Wireless Infrastructure Association. The United States is hurtling toward a “wireless-data crunch,” Adelstein cautions, thanks to the gluttony of smartphone users. “The data demand will surpass the existing capacity in the near future — the only question is where and when.”
A native of Rapid City, S.D., Adelstein is descended from builders. His grandfather started a construction company in 1925, and, along with Adelstein’s father, he helped build the interstate-highway system. Adelstein regards himself as “down to earth,” which made for a rude transition when he enrolled at Phillips Academy in Andover, Mass. “I was the only kid from South Dakota,” he says, “and it was very much a culture shock. It opened my eyes to the world around me.”
As an undergraduate at Stanford University, Adelstein studied political science but found that “the most cogent analyses were always rooted in history,” he says. “I think “˜political science’ is a bit of a misnomer: How can it be a science when historians can’t even agree on events that have already occurred?”
After staying on in Palo Alto to earn a master’s degree in history, Adelstein enrolled in a joint master’s of public policy degree/law degree program at Harvard University. Shortly after arriving, however, he heard the siren song of Washington and dropped out to intern for Sen. Richard Shelby of Alabama, then a Democrat. (Shelby is now a Republican.) After that, he was well on his way, ascending the Capitol Hill hierarchy and serving as an FCC commissioner from 2002 to 2009. Adelstein, 50, was most recently administrator of the Agriculture Department’s Rural Utilities Service.
Ben Finzel, most recently a senior vice president at Widmeyer Communications, has been recruited to Waggener Edstrom Worldwide to lead the Seattle-based firm’s public-affairs practice. A global entity with 800 employees, Waggener Edstrom is vying for a greater market share in Washington. “I don’t think we are quite as well-known in this marketplace as I think we should be,” Finzel says, “but I see this as an opportunity to break through.”
Indigenous to the area, Finzel moved from Arlington, Va., to Houston when he was a freshman in high school. “I had the reverse of what a lot of folks have, where you come from [a remote area] to Washington”…. For me, it was coming from Washington to Houston and then Lubbock, Texas, that broadened my experience”…. It gave me a lot of useful perspective, which I’m recognizing as I get older.”
Finzel attended Texas Tech University, but in the fall of 1988 he stepped out to work at the National Archives, a move designed to “make sure that I really did want to come back to D.C. after college,” he says. Sure enough, Finzel returned to Washington in 1990, going door-to-door on Capitol Hill. “I devised a whole system on yellow legal pads, grouping members of Congress [according to] which states I had lived in, which committees I was interested in, et cetera”…. I marched through the list, and believe it or not, that’s how I got interviews.”
After three years as press secretary for then-Rep. Tim Valentine, D-N.C., Finzel served under then-Rep. Bill Richardson, D-N.M., as his legislative director. In 1995, Finzel left Capitol Hill to be an account supervisor at Edelman but promptly returned to public service as a presidential appointee under then-Secretary Richardson at the Energy Department. From 2000 to 2009, he worked in the public-affairs group at Fleishman-Hillard.
The 45-year-old has two vices: music and travel.
Most people don’t contemplate the needs of the equipment leasing and financing market. Most people have never even considered that such a market exists. As the new vice president of federal-government relations for the Equipment Leasing and Finance Association, it’s Andy Fishburn’s job to not only consider the needs of the sector but to also bring those needs to the attention of Congress and the executive branch.
What exactly is ELFA? The association works with companies that lease equipment to businesses or provides the financing. “Most businesses lease or finance something that they are using to make their product, whether it be a telephone system or a pizza oven for a restaurant,” he says. “It allows companies to focus on their core business rather than being in the business of buying equipment.”
Fishburn, 37, got his start in D.C. at the U.S. Mint after graduating with a master’s of public affairs from Indiana University. He served as a presidential management intern, now a fellowship program, from 1998 to 2000. “You got to work on something where you could see the finished product at the end of the day and you didn’t just feel like you were running on the treadmill,” he says. Fishburn enjoyed working on legislation that resulted in a product that could be touched and spent. For him, the finished product that resulted from his work, and that he could hold in his hand, was the dollar coin imprinted with Sacagawea’s face.
He joined the Treasury Department in 2000, where he rose to the post of deputy assistant secretary for appropriations and management. After working on the terrorism finance and intelligence portfolio with Treasury, he moved to the Financial Crimes Enforcement Network in 2007 as chief of staff. He spent two and a half years there and was then assigned to work on the tax staff for the Senate Finance Committee under Max Baucus, D-Mont. Fishburn returned to the Mint in 2011 as director of legislative and intergovernmental affairs.
Now he’s going to fight for the association’s clients’ interests during tax reform and the approaching fiscal cliff. Although the industry is not well-known, several of the association’s members are better recognized. ELFA works with the captive finance arms of manufacturing companies, including John Deere; financial institutions that provide leasing and financing, such as Bank of America; and independent individuals, such as those who buy products like backhoes to lease. From oil rigs to bulldozers, Fishburn is prepared to help the association’s members continue their role of providing products to businesses. “We’re an enabler of businesses to manage their cash flow, to manage their balance sheet in a way that allows them to make decisions that make the best sense from a financial standpoint so they can succeed every day,” Fishburn says. “If they can’t acquire the equipment they need, they can’t make their products, they can’t service their customers, and they can’t succeed.”
As the new vice president for communications and marketing of the National Alliance for Public Charter Schools, David Hoff will work to shape public opinion about the schools.
“People think of them as private schools, but they are truly public schools,” he says. “Like public schools, they take public money and they are accountable for results.”
Hoff, 48, entered the education field after a 20-year career in journalism. He wrote for community newspapers before spending five years working on the newsletter Education Daily. From there, he moved to Education Week, where he reported for 12 years. Hoff doesn’t envision returning to journalism, but he says he enjoyed having journalists as colleagues. “Not only are they good storytellers but they like to hear good stories too,” he says. “There’s some camaraderie about journalism that I miss.”
Most recently, Hoff comes from the Education Department, where he gained more than three years of experience as deputy assistant secretary for communication development. “It was a great time. I really couldn’t imagine a better job to have left journalism for,” he says. “It was a chance to do really big things and be a part of great team.” Hoff says it was an honor to be a part of the group that worked on college affordability and preventing teacher layoffs. While at the Education Department, he strove to connect the department to the public via social media. Through Facebook, Twitter, and blogging, Hoff was able to bring the department to the people to allow for direction communication and engagement. He says that introducing the Education Department to the social-media world was one of his favorite tasks to tackle.
These social-media skills likely will carry over to the alliance, where he will work to not only serve as a voice to the government but to also educate the public on charter schools. Hoff’s two sons, 15 and 12, attend traditional public school in Arlington County, Va. He notes that charter schools have met with a lot of resistance in that state. It is his job to help places such as Arlington understand that charter schools are grassroots-based, administered by people who are outside of the traditional system. “These are great innovative schools that are accountable to the public,” he says. Charter schools are similar to public schools in that they use public funds but they can be shut down if they aren’t working.
Hoff will be focusing on improving state laws to allow for growth and accountability of charter schools, as well as working at the federal level to support the schools’ growth. “The purpose of education is getting every child ready for college and/or a career. That’s something that I think charters have done a great job of, both expressing the value and finding ways to do it,” he says.
Hoff started at the alliance on Oct. 9.
This article originally appeared in print as “People.”