B.R. McConnon is the founding partner, Chairman, and CEO of DDC, among the country’s most trusted public affairs firms.
As such, B.R. contributes long-term strategic direction and provides counsel to DDC clients. Under his leadership, the company has expanded from advocacy technology to broad-based programs across multiple markets, including international public affairs, labor relations, government, mergers and acquisitions, litigation support, and proxy communications, among others.
During his tenure, DDC has ranked 72nd on the Inc. “500 Fastest-Growing Private Companies” list, and twice received the Deloitte & Touche “Technology Fast 500” award for North America, including top 10 in Virginia. And, in 2014, DDC received four Pollie Awards for work on behalf of its more than 300 clients.
Prior to DDC, B.R. worked as a tax and trade policy analyst, editorial writer, and campaign finance director, where he became intimately familiar with the technological aspects of raising money, campaign organizing, compliance, and lobbying. Upon returning to Washington, D.C., he spent five years working with political software and database firms before founding DDC in 1996.
B.R. received his B.A. in Government and International Relations from Georgetown University, and is active in several outside business ventures and charities.
Mimi Simoneaux Kneuer is a Principal at Tauzin Consultants, LLC. She brings over 20 years of high-level government relations experience to the firm, in both government and public affairs. Her experience ranges from work in the U.S. House of Representatives, a trade association, a consulting firm and corporate government affairs.
Mimi served as Executive Vice President of External Affairs at the Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturing Association where she led the domestic policy, legislative and communication teams. During the five years, she coordinated advocacy and messaging within the association and handled outreach to member companies.
Mimi spent over eleven years working for the former Congressmen W. J. “Billy” Tauzin. She served as his Chief of Staff from 2000 – 2004 when he chaired the Energy & Commerce Committee. During her first stint on Capitol Hill (1991 – 1997), she held several positions culminating as Legislative Director in the last two years. Mimi focused primarily on issues dealing with energy, environment, telecommunications, and technology, and served as the leadership liaison.
Mimi worked as a Government & Public Affairs Consultant for Clark and Weinstock for three years representing Fortune 500 companies on legislative and crisis management matters. She was Director of Policy and Government Affairs at Verisign/Network Solutions.
In addition to lobbying work, Mimi is active in a variety of philanthropic activities supporting her church and her children’s schools. She lives in Washington DC with her husband, John M. R. Kneuer, and their two children. She received her B.A. from Tulane University.
Melissa (Missy) Cortese Foxman is a Senior Director of Federal Government Relations at the Entertainment Software Association. She is the former Executive Director of the Women’s High-Tech Coalition (WHTC), a non-profit serving women working on tech policy in the public and private sectors. Prior to working with the WHTC and managing her firm, Baseline Public Affairs, she served as a senior advisor at Blank Rome Government Relations and represented clients from the telecom, technology, homeland security, transportation, and financial service sectors.
Before Blank Rome, Missy helped establish and run the Washington office of a Colorado-based, mid-sized technology company. Her public sector background includes serving U.S. Sen. Connie Mack (R-FL) as Deputy Chief of Staff at the Senate Republican Conference and professional staff member of the Joint Economic Committee. She also served as a political appointee at the U.S. Small Business Administration under President George H.W. Bush. Missy graduated cum laude from Wake Forest University with a BA in politics and English.
Penny Lee manages Invariant’s public affairs practice, which includes strategic and crisis communications, brand management, coalition building, and CEO positioning. She brings more than 20 years of experience to this role from both the public and private sectors.
Penny was the chief strategy officer for 1776, the nation’s largest network of entrepreneurial incubators with a focus on regulated industries, where she remains on its board of directors. Additionally, her prior roles include serving as the top communications and political advisor to former Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV), executive director of the Democratic Governors Association, communications director for Pennsylvania Governor Ed Rendell, and as a member of the senior staff of the Democratic National Committee.
An active angel investor and past chair of Washington-based angel investment group K-Street Capital, Penny also serves on the advisory board of Black Girl Ventures and the Center for American Entrepreneurship. An avid golfer, Penny serves on the Board of Trustees at the Robert Trent Jones Golf Club.
Page C. Faulk is currently vice president, legal reform initiatives for the U.S. Chamber Institute for Legal Reform (ILR). In this capacity, she provides strategy, advocacy, and policy guidance on key state, federal, and international issues, including managing ILR’s state attorneys general and transnational litigation programs. Faulk joined ILR from the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission, where she served in various roles, most notably as general counsel. Faulk’s accomplishments included promulgation of the agency’s first major rule and implementation of the largest ever consumer product recall, as well as educating international counterparts on U.S. safety standards, and development of the inaugural Sino-U.S. Consumer Product Safety Summit. Faulk also spent several years on Capitol Hill, where she served as a senior adviser to U.S. Senator Ben Nighthorse Campbell, as a legislative aide to U.S. Senator Rick Santorum, and as an intern for the U.S. Senate Judiciary Committee. She also practiced law with the firm of Ungaretti & Harris. A graduate of Southern Methodist University, Faulk received her Juris Doctor from the Pennsylvania State University Dickinson School of Law. She also holds a certificate in international law from the Hague Academy of International Law.
Senior Vice President of Government and Political Affairs, ACI-NA
Annie Russo joined ACI-NA in April 2008 and currently serves as Senior Vice President of Government and Political Affairs. She develops and leads ACI-NA’s advocacy strategies on the many pressing legislative challenges facing the industry. She also oversees ACI-NA’s Beyond the Runway Coalition comprised of almost 100 organizations that support airport legislative priorities.
Prior to working at ACI-NA, Russo worked on Capitol Hill where she served as Legislative Director for Rep. Albio Sires (D-N.J.) directing legislative policy and handling the congressman’s Transportation and Infrastructure Committee and Financial Services Committee assignments.
Russo also served as Senior Legislative Assistant to Rep. Steven Rothman (D-N.J.), assisting with his work on the Transportation Subcommittee of Appropriations and working closely with local airports on issues surrounding safety, noise reduction and airspace redesign. Russo spent her first three years on Capitol Hill working for Rep. John Olver (D-Mass.), who represented her hometown of South Deerfield, Mass.
Russo is a graduate of Smith College, with a degree in government and public policy, and also holds a master’s degree in national security studies from the Naval War College. In 2017, Russo was named Top 40 Under 40 by Airport Business Magazine and in 2018, she was named to The Hill’s Top Lobbyist list for trade associations.
John Motley is a 45 year veteran of government and public affairs. With a reputation as one of the best legislative strategists and vote counters in Washington, Motley recently left the Food Marketing Institute, where he was Senior Vice President of Government and Public Affairs. Before FMI, he served in similar positions at the National Retail Federation and NFIB, the nation’s largest small business organization, which he built into one of the most effective lobbying operations in Washington. During his career, Motley was named by Washingtonian Magazine as one of the 25 most powerful lobbyists and by Roll Call as one of its “Fabulous Fifty.” He made The Hill’s “Rainmaker” list and was selected by Influence as a top trade association lobbyist. He has been featured in the Wall Street Journal, the Washington Post, the New York Times and other national newspapers and business magazines. He has appeared on Good Morning America, the Today Show, the MacNeil-Leher News Hour, and on CNN’s Money Line, Politics Today, Crossfire and Late Edition.
Head of Government Affairs, Illinois Tool Works Inc.
Kevin Washington joined Illinois Tool Works Inc. (ITW) as the company’s first executive to focus exclusively on Federal Government Affairs by launching a Washington, DC office in 2012. In 2014, his role expanded to include global government affairs responsibility across the ITW Enterprise. ITW is a Fortune 250, diversified manufacturing company with operations in 56 countries around the world. ITW businesses manufacture commercial and industrial products across a number of industry segments, including transportation, welding equipment and accessories, construction products, commercial-grade food equipment and medical products.
Mr. Washington came to ITW from the Association of Home Appliance Manufacturers (AHAM), where he conducted AHAM’s Congressional and state-level advocacy on a range of energy, environment, product safety and business issues of interest to the appliance manufacturing industry.
Preceding his private sector experience, Mr. Washington’s public service career included senior appointments for former President George W. Bush, and senior leadership staff positions for former House Majority Leader Richard Armey and former GOP Conference Chair and Speaker of the House John Boehner.
A fifth-generation Texas native, Mr. Washington resides in Washington, DC.
Kristin Bodenstedt brings over twenty-five years of government-related experience in diverse legislative and private sector roles to her position directing government relations for Bacardi North America. She oversees the Washington office for the largest privately-owned spirits company handling issues before international, federal and state governments. She joined Bacardi in December 2002.
Prior to Bacardi, Ms. Bodenstedt represented corporate, trade association and non-profit clients in positions at the MWW Group, Burson-Marsteller, Arent Fox, the National Association of Manufacturers and the Cato Institute. She employed her federal and state legislative and regulatory experience to craft creative solutions to clients’ issues.
Prior to lobbying, Ms. Bodenstedt served in several legislative governmental positions including as legislative counsel to Senator Arlen Specter (R-PA). She advised the Senator on a broad range of business issues including tax, trade, banking, commerce and judiciary issues. Beginning her career in Austin, Texas, Ms. Bodenstedt served as legislative assistant to Texas State Representative David Counts and later to Texas State Representative Keith Oakley. Ms. Bodenstedt also served as the national political budget director for the 1996 Dole/Kemp presidential campaign where she coordinated campaign spending and served as a policy analyst for the campaign.
Ms. Bodenstedt holds a law degree from the University of Texas Law School and a B.A. in government with high honors from the University of Texas at Austin. She is a member of the Texas and DC Bar.
Senior Vice President, Government & Institutional Affair at Ferrero
Chip Kunde brings over twenty years of experience in diverse legislative and private sector roles to his position leading government relations for Sysco Corporation. In this role, Chip leads the development and implementation of a comprehensive government relations strategy and organizational structure to promote and protect Sysco’s public policy interests at the local, state, federal and international levels. He works closely with subject matter experts from across the business and local commercial leaders to formulate and advance Sysco’s policy agenda. Chip collaborates with Operating Company leaders to build relationships with key government officials and increase awareness of Sysco’s business and economic impact in the communities where the company operates. Chip joined Sysco in April, 2015.
Prior to Sysco, Chip served as Senior Vice President of Government Relations at Darden Restaurants where he led Darden’s global government relations team responsible for setting strategic direction for legislative and political programs, building relationships with key stakeholders, managing a team of government relations professionals and consultants and engaging with senior management.
In addition to his corporate experience, Chip has held leadership position at several national and state trade associations. He served as the Senior Vice President of Legislative and Economic Affairs at the International Dairy Foods Association; Vice President of State Government Affairs at the Grocery Manufacturers Association; Executive Vice President at the Connecticut Association of Realtors; and Director of State and Municipal Affairs at the National Association of Realtors.
Chip is an active “servant leader” in his community and has served on several non-profit boards, community organizations and charities including Leadership Initiatives, College Summit – National Capital Region, Extraordinary Institute, and Bishop Denis J. O’Connell High School’s Advancement Committee and Athletic Boosters.
Chip holds a Master’s of Public Administration (Executive, Legislative & Regulatory Management) from The George Washington University in Washington, DC, and a Bachelor of Arts in Political Science and Government from the University of Florida in Gainesville, Florida.
Director of Government Relations, United Technologies
On August 1, 2012, Krister Holladay joined the United Technologies Corporation as a Director of Government Relations. Previously, Krister served as Director of Government Relations for Goodrich Corporation, a Fortune 500 global supplier of systems and services to aerospace and defense markets.
Krister began working on Capitol Hill as a Legislative Assistant to then-Congressman Newt Gingrich. In 1999, Krister moved to the office of then-Congressman Saxby Chambliss (R-GA) in the House of Representatives to be Deputy Chief of Staff principally responsible for working on military, international, and homeland security issues. When Cong. Chambliss was elected to the United States Senate, Krister served as Chief of Staff from 2003-2007.
Originally from Atlanta, Georgia, Krister has a Bachelor of Arts degree from Emory University and received a Master of Arts degree in National Security Policy from Georgetown University. Krister is also a graduate of the U.S. Naval War College.
With 20 successful years working in senior positions in the U.S. Congress behind her, Elizabeth Maier, a familiar and well-trusted policy and political advisor is now focusing her efforts and expertise on advising Brownstein’s clients about numerous legislative and regulatory issues and using her expertise to advance clients’ priorities.
Elizabeth worked more than 10 years as Legislative Director to U.S. Senator Jon Kyl (AZ-R), where she actively pursued the Senator’s many legislative priorities. Elizabeth managed Kyl’s legislative operation, including his work on the Senate Judiciary and Finance committees, and as a result she developed experience working on wide-ranging matters, including, but not limited to, work on trade, health, labor, and some tax bills. Elizabeth worked closely with all Senate Republican leadership and served as the primary legislative liaison between the Senator’s personal office and his Whip operation. Elizabeth is also widely known for her work on immigration and homeland security matters; she worked as Kyl’s chief staffer for numerous years on major immigration overhauls, including the last major immigration effort in 2007 when Senator Kyl, the Senate’s chief Republican negotiator, worked alongside chief Democrat negotiator Senator Ted Kennedy and President George W. Bush to try to pass reform.
Early in her career, Elizabeth worked for U.S. Representative Frank Wolf (VA-R) as a professional staff member on the House Select Committee on Children, Youth, and Families. There she developed work/family policy proposals and planned and managed hearings related to tax, health and work/family time management. She also handled issues before the House Education and Labor, Energy and Commerce, and Post Office and Civil Service committees.
Shannon Campagna has represented some of the most iconic brands in America in her 24 year government affairs career. She has represented Wal-Mart, the Home Depot and Target as a lobbyist for the Retail Industry Leaders Association, served as the head of the DC office for grocery chain Safeway, and in her current role as Director of Federal Government Affairs at Mars, Incorporated she is the lead congressional lobbyist for brands like Snickers ®, M&M’s ®, Pedigree ® and Uncle Ben’s ®. Although there is a little more to it, she does feel very fortunate to wake up every day and advocate for “puppies and chocolate.”
She has worked on a diverse range of legislative issues including healthcare, tax policy, agriculture and farm policy, and some financial services issues thrown in for good measure. Shannon is a graduate of the University of Alabama. She is a member of the Tax Coalition, the Business-Government Relations Council, and member of the board of the Government Relations Leadership Forum.
As much as she loves politics, her favorite job is mom to two daughters, whose diverse passions she encourages and facilitates. She and her husband, real estate entrepreneur Christopher Campagna, and their daughters live in Alexandria, Virginia.
Senior Vice President of Government Relations, CBS Corporation
Bryce Harlow is Senior Vice President of Government Relations for CBS Corporation, a role he has held since 2006. At CBS he lobbies the Congress and Administration on behalf of CBS Corporation and its varied media businesses.
Immediately prior to joining CBS he served as a Director of Government Relations for the National Association of Broadcasters. Preceding that Bryce held roles in the House Republican Cloakroom, Senate Judiciary Committee and in Legislative Affairs at the Federal Trade Commission.
Bryce is a graduate of James Madison University and currently resides in Vienna, Virginia with his wife and their two children.