How Association Management Companies can Help You

Whether your association is all volunteers or paid staff, association management companies supplement your internal efforts to ensure current and future members get the information they need to join your association and stick around. Hiring an association management company is great for associations who are looking to grow or looking for new ways to promote their association. You can hire a company long-term or on a project basis based on what your needs are. Here are the top five reasons you should consider working with an association management company:

Increase manpower 

Regardless of what size association you work with, it always seems like there’s a never ending list of things that need to get done. Association management companies provide you with an entire staff who can help you with whatever you need. From event planning to marketing to staffing events, you’ll have more hands on deck to tackle that to-do list faster than ever before.

Save money

A common misconception is that association management companies cost too much money. However, you can often negotiate your retainer to make sure it includes all services you need. By combining all of the services provide by association management companies, you will end up saving more money in the long-run compared to outsourcing these services individually.

Gain connections

Remember, association management companies are experts in the association space. Regardless of industry, these companies have built connections for all types of resources an association may need. And because they work with associations of all sizes, they will have vendor options at different price points to accommodate your needs.

Benefit from expertise

A well-rounded association management company has experience working with a huge portfolio of different association types, so they will already have experience working with an association of your size or industry. These companies often draw upon past experiences with other associations to navigate through your specific pain points and find creative solutions.

Latest technology

The newest technology available is often too expensive for smaller associations. One of the perks of working with an association management company is they often have multiple licenses or accounts for the platforms you need to run your association. These costs, whether as part of or separate from your retainer, will be much lower than if you purchased it yourself.

While you might be hesitant about outsourcing, Public Strategies Impact has the experience to help your association function at its very best. Learn more about our association management services here.

2019 New Jersey Election Results Breakdown

New Jersey’s 2019 election day featured a race for 80 state Assembly seats, one state Senate seat, a statewide public question pertaining to veterans, and a question for Jersey City voters about Airbnb regulations. 

What voters were most closely watching, though, was the state Assembly race in the 1st, 2nd, 8th, 11th, 16th, 21st and 25th legislative districts. Democrats held on to a majority of the seats here, defending the trifecta of governorship and state legislature. However, Republic candidates did end up taking seats in the 8th district, which had turned increasingly blue in the last few years. Among the other districts, there were many tight races, where calling was delayed due to a large surge in mail-in ballots. About 240,000 ballots were sent by mail, which is about 150% higher than it was in 2015. In the days leading up to the race, Governor Murphy and his wife visited those districts where Democrats would have a more difficult chance of winning. In the end, those visits did not cause any upset in the races, but did gain some traction for the candidates he was fighting for.

Only one seat in the state Senate was up for grabs this election day in the first legislative district (parts of Atlantic, Cape May, and Cumberland counties). Democrat Jeff Van Drew was elected last year to move up to the U.S. House of Representatives and Democratic Assemblyman Bob Andrzejczak was a temporary fill in, expecting to be elected for the final two years of the term. District 1 is a notoriously purple district and Republic Mike Testa came out on top 27,163 votes to 23,636. 

As for the statewide question about whether New Jersey should extend property tax deductions to military veterans who live continuing care retirement communities, the vote was 75.6% yes. This new extension will cost New Jersey taxpayers less than $1 million a year, which seems minimal compared to the $38.6 million state budget.

Overall, not too much has changed post-election day. The results features many close races and Republican victories over previously Democratic seats. However, Democrats continue to hold a majority in the state legislature. 

As we move toward our next election on June 2, 2020, stay informed on the important issues in New Jersey and candidates in the races. For more election and New Jersey political updates, stay up-to-date on our blog.

New Jersey Political Hot Topics

With less than a week until the general election day, New Jersey lawmakers are addressing key issues affecting the state. See the latest hot topics in New Jersey political news.

NJ election: Voters will decide to expand veterans property tax deduction
On this year’s ballot, New Jersey voters will notice a question about a property tax deduction for veterans. It’s up to the New Jersey voters to decide if the state’s existing $250 property tax deduction for some veterans should be extended to include those that live in retirement communities.

N.J. leaders to make another big push to legalize recreational weed. Odds are 50/50, top official says.
The push to legalize marijuana is back. The goal for Governor Murphy and his team is to get the bill passed in the Senate. According to state Senate President Stephen Sweeney, the odds are at a 50/50. Post-election day, the plan is to start convincing lawmakers to support the bill.

New Jersey bill would allow college athletes to earn endorsement money
New Jersey is now becoming a part of the national debate over whether college athletes should be allowed to earn endorsement money. The New Jersey Fair Play Act would allow collegiate athletes in New Jersey to earn compensation for use of their names, images, etc. Student athletes would also have the ability to hire professional representation, like lawyers and agents. 

Will N.J. consider banning menthol-flavored cigarettes? Murphy seems open to it.
In the wake of the push for the ban of flavored e-cigarettes, including those with menthol flavor, New Jersey may consider banning traditional menthol cigarettes as well. While most other flavored cigarettes have already been banned, menthol still remains. Before Governor Murphy can make any decision on this topic, both houses of the state Legislature will need to pass a bill. 

With a week Left, Murphy Jumps Feet First into LD21 and LD25
In the coming week, Governor Murphy may be seen campaigning up and down the state for Democratic Assembly candidates. In this article, Murphy hints he will probably be hitting the 20s. Meaning, he’ll most likely be campaigning in the legislative districts where the Democratic party needs the most help.

Don’t forget to vote on the upcoming election day! Let your voice be heard on November 5 and in the election days to come.

How Government Relations and Public Affairs Work Together

Government relations and public affairs are very similar. They have many overlapping characteristics but also offer some different services that could help your organization. These two services working together can create impactful results on your organization as a whole. 

Government Relations Overview

Government relations is the process of influencing public policy on a local, state, national, and even global scale. The goal of government relations is to persuade government officials to change or maintain a policy, usually one that fits the needs of your organization. An organization can hire government relations experts to use their relationships with key decision makers to push the organization’s agenda forward.

Public Affairs Overview

Public affairs involves more than just the government. It’s a service that helps an organization interact with legislators, interest groups, and the media. Public affairs is more external than government relations. It deals more broadly with public policy issues and works to find solutions to problems. Public affairs specialists act as a liaison between an organization and the media, community, and government. 

Government relations and public affairs working together

Government relations and public affairs services can often come from the same team. One of the core pillars in public affairs is government relations. A team of experts can craft an effective strategy, which defines your organization’s issues, identifies important legislation, and uses the relationships with decision makers and the community to achieve positive results for an organization. Think of government relations and public affairs like a two-step process. When legislation is impacting an organization, government relations may be a necessary aid and then public affairs would be needed to communicate with stakeholders, the media, and the public on the issue. On the reverse side, if a community presents an issue, a public affairs team must find a solution and may interact with government to persuade a decision in favor of the organization’s agenda.

The team of experts at Public Strategies Impact in Trenton, New Jersey can benefit your organization on all fronts. Government relations and public affairs are just a few of the ways that Public Strategies Impact can achieve results for your organization. If you could benefit from these services, we’d love to discuss the possibilities with you. Reach out to us via email at or by calling 609-393-7799.

What Happens During a Lame Duck Session in New Jersey?

If you’ve never heard of a lame duck when it comes to government, think of it this way. A politician or elected official is considered a lame duck when they are not considering reelection, or their successor is already elected, and they are waiting for their term to end. U.S. presidents in their second and final terms are considered lame ducks, as well as Congress members who announce they’re retiring. 

There are positives and negatives to being a lame duck. Many say that lame duck officials have less power because they don’t have the ability to negotiate and offer favors. They also do not have as much dealmaking power since other officials know they are not coming back. On the positive side, these lame duck officials no longer have to appease the voters. They have nothing to lose when it comes to voting on issues they’re passionate about. So lame ducks at the end of their term tend to vote for what they believe in on the more controversial issues.

What is a lame duck session?

The term “lame duck session” often gets thrown around. The official definition of a lame duck session in Congress is when Congress reconvenes in an even-numbered year following the November general elections to consider various items of business. Some of the law makers in this session will not be returning to the next Congress, so they are considered lame ducks participating in a lame duck session. When it comes to Congress, the lame duck session can be significant because they use this time to consider important votes that they may not have had time for before.

Lame duck sessions in New Jersey

Most recently, New Jersey has been planning on making moves toward marijuana legalization during the lame duck period that stretches from early November to early January. Right now, New Jersey lawmakers are faced with two options: vote on a proposed law to make recreational marijuana legal or place a referendum on the November 2020 ballot asking New Jersey voters to decide whether or not to legalize. In this case of a lame duck session, lawmakers are strategically waiting until this time to vote on controversial topics like marijuana legalization. 

Stay on top of all Public Strategies Impact news, press releases, and media coverage on our News page.

What a State-Based Healthcare Program Really Means

New Jersey is among four other states who are making the move to give the state full control over its individual health insurance market. Back in June, Governor Murphy signed legislation that would set up state-based healthcare in New Jersey for 2021. Murphy said this shift will make healthcare more accessible, accountable, and responsive to consumers. It will also provide protection against any repeal or replacement of the Affordable Care Act from the federal government.

What exactly is state-based healthcare?

By definition, state-based healthcare (often referred to as state-based marketplace) means the state is responsible for performing all marketplace functions for both the individual marketing and the Small Business Health Options Program (SHOP). Consumers, small employers, and their employees apply for and enroll in coverage through their state’s marketplace website. 

What does this mean for New Jersey?

Currently, New Jersey uses the federal marketplace. By transitioning to a state-based exchange, the state will be able to set enrollment periods, access data that can be used to better regulate the market, and New Jersey will be able to operate an exchange that is tailored and efficient for New Jersey residents. A plan like this would benefit the hundreds of thousands of New Jerseyans who earn too much to qualify for Medicaid but don’t have coverage through their jobs.

The new law will transfer the current federal exchange user fee (3.5 percent of premiums) to a 3.5 percent state-based exchange user fee. This added revenue for New Jersey will allow the state to dedicate funding toward outreach and enrollment efforts. Increased funding could improve healthcare accessibility and stability for New Jersey families. 

Looking at other states

Nevada, New Mexico, Oregon, and Pennsylvania have all been seeking to run their own systems, and they see it as an opportunity to save money. For example, Nevada, which began this process two years ago, expects to save upwards of $8 million in the first year of the program and nearly $19 million by 2023. 

Possible challenges

New Jersey may face challenges when getting this new system up and running, including from. the technology it takes to do so and the New Jersey law that requires the state to integrate Medicaid enrollment into the system. But the larger challenge that consumers care most about is the cost. Major changes must be made in the exchange to reduce the cost for insurance. It’s crucial that the system run smoothly right off the bat when enrollment opens to avoid glitches and conflict. 

Stay up-to-date on healthcare topics and more on Public Strategies Impact’s blog.

What’s the difference between public affairs and public relations?

Public affairs and public relations are often confused, and the terms are interchangeable among those outside of the industry. There are many overlapping characteristics of both, but the big difference between the two are the overall goals. On the outside, public affairs and public relations sound the same, so how do you determine which service you need? Let’s take a look.

Public affairs versus public relations

Both public affairs and public relations involve communicating with and building relationships with the public and implementing strategies and campaigns. When you look at the goals of each, this is where they’re very different. 


Public affairs

By definition, public affairs is a term used to describe an organization’s relationship with stakeholders. These stakeholders could be politicians, civil servants, local communities, business groups, unions, etc. Public affairs has to do with matters that affect the public directly and is usually more political in nature than public relations. Public affairs professionals  disseminate information to stakeholders to influence public policy and build support for the organization’s agenda. 

Services that public affairs covers includes:

  • Lobbying on specific legislation
  • Providing information to stakeholders
  • Monitoring political activity
  • Advocating for the organization
  • Strategizing and consulting for the organization

When to use a public affairs team?

If your organization has an agenda that could be affected by legislation or public policy or you have ideas for change in policy, a public affairs team would be a smart choice for you!


Public relations

Public relations focuses on the connection between an organization and the public. It’s more closely related to marketing. However, instead of advertisements, public relations relies on building a positive image for an organization to gain trust, build relationships, and, as a result, reach their client’s goals. Public relations focuses on a specific target audience to execute strategic communications tactics. 

Services that public relations covers include:

  • Creating campaigns around a client’s goal
  • Drafting press releases
  • Handling crises
  • Speech writing
  • Audience research
  • Media relations

When to use a public relations team?

From the smallest business to a large corporation, public relations can be very beneficial in the success of an organization. PR has the power to create awareness and change public opinion about an organization. An organization may want a public relations team when they want to build more brand recognition, stay relevant with the changing times and compete with competitors.

Both public affairs and public relations utilize strong relationships to boost organizations forward, whether that’s advocating for certain policy or crafting the reputation of an organization. Public Strategies Impact in Trenton, New Jersey offers a full range of public affairs services that include public and media relations, community relations, crisis management, and more. Learn more about how Public Strategies Impact can help.  

August Cannabis Update

Over the past six months, cannabis legislation in New Jersey has been a hotly debated topic. Since the promise of Murphy’s campaign to legalize, the debates and negotiations have not stopped among legislators. Since our March update, a lot has changed. 

As of May 2019, the hopes of recreational marijuana legalization in New Jersey went flat when Senate President Stephen Sweeney announced that he was ending efforts to pass the legal marijuana bill in the state legislature because there were not enough votes. Instead, it was proposed that lawmakers will ask the New Jersey voters in November 2020 to decide on marijuana legalization in the state. Sweeney also mentioned that lawmakers will be moving forward with bills to expand the medical marijuana program and expunge records of New Jersey residents with past convictions from possessing small amounts of marijuana. 

By July, Governor Murphy signed a bill that overhauls New Jersey’s medical marijuana program. The law will add dozens of medical marijuana providers and will take steps to make the process of obtaining a medical marijuana card easier for patients. The new law features relaxed rules on how much patients can buy and how many times they must see a doctor before qualifying for the medical marijuana program. Before this bill, there were only six medical marijuana providers in the state, and as more and more patients obtained their medical cards, marijuana was in short supply across the state. Since then, New Jersey has been accepting applications for new medical dispensaries.

As for the bill to expunge marijuana-related records, in June, both the state Senate and Assembly passed a bill that would make changes. This bill would make clearing criminal records easier and would allow people to clear their records immediately. Governor Murphy still has yet to sign this bill into law. The opposition of this bill has been that it allows people to clear their record but does not do anything to stop marijuana arrests. If the bill is signed, anyone who is arrested would have to wait 18 months to apply for expungement. 

Now in August, Murphy has announced that he’d like to take another shot this year at passing a legal marijuana bill. In response to that, Sweeney announced that he will not give up trying to pass the bill. The issue back in March was top lawmakers fell just a few votes short of what they needed to pass the bill. Top lawmakers believe that legalizing marijuana is important seeing as 34,500 New Jersey residents were arrested on marijuana-related charges in 2017 alone. 

Do you own a company trying to break into the possible billion dollar industry in the State of New Jersey? PSI can help. For more than 30 years, PSI has represented the interests of their clients before both the executive and legislative branches of state government. Use their experience and know-how to help successfully advocate your business’s position before those who are responsible for making it happen.

PSI Team Member Fun Facts

You may know PSI as a top lobbying firm in Trenton, but do you know anything about the people who make up our team? We asked each of our partners and associates to answer some fun questions, so you can get to know them better. Check it out below:

Roger Bodman, Managing Partner

Hometown: Bernardsville, N.J.

Fun-Fact: Appointed in 1982 by Governor Thomas Kean, I was the youngest New Jersey Department of Labor Commissioner at age 29

Awards: “Good Guy” Award, Women’s Political Caucus of New Jersey; PolitickerNJ Power List; NJBIZ Power List; Eagle Award, New Jersey Alliance for Action

Education: Ohio University, cum laude

Favorite Food: Cheeseburgers

Hobbies: Golf, boating, and restoring old vehicles


Bill Maer, Senior Partner

Hometown: Teaneck, but currently living in Manasquan, N.J.

Fun-Fact: During college, I had my first full-time campaign job as field organizer for Massachusetts Governor Mike Dukakis’s 1988 Presidential National Campaign. I covered six states, starting in the early primary of New Hampshire and ending on Election Day in Ohio.

Awards: PolitickerNJ Power List since its inception; appointed by two governors to the Brookdale Community College Board of Trustees and the New Jersey Building Authority

Education: Clark University, bachelor’s degree in government; Villanova University, master’s degree in political science

Favorite Food: Clifton’s famous Rut’s Hut’s “Ripper” Hot Dog

Hobbies: Politics, cooking, drinking coffee, traveling, swimming, and playing Skee Ball with my daughter


Joe Simonetta, Senior Partner

Hometown: New Hope, Pa.

Fun-Fact: I was the youngest Executive Director of the New Jersey Conference of Mayors at age 26

Awards: Association Executive of the Year, 1991 New Jersey Society of Association Executive

Education: Mount Saint Mary’s College, Bachelor of Arts, Bachelors of Science

Favorite Food: Pasta of any kind

Hobbies: Golf, boating, travel, and cooking


Joe DeSanctis, Partner

Hometown: Trenton, currently living in Newtown, Pa.

Fun-Fact: When I was 13 years old, I scored 51 points in a basketball game. I also enjoy playing golf and had two hole-in-ones.

Education: Trenton State College, bachelor’s degree in political science/public administration

Favorite Food: Most food items that begin with the letter “P”, such as pizza, pasta, and polenta

Hobbies: Golf, attending car shows, watching college football, and vacationing with the family


Tracie DeSarno, Partner

Hometown: Union, N.J.

Fun-Fact: I worked for the first elected County Executive in Essex County. During that time, I met my husband who was working for Senator Bill Bradley.

Awards: Dean A. Gallo Award for Distinguished Legislative Leadership, Hemophilia Association of New Jersey; New Jersey Women’s Power List; Vlunter Services Award, D.A.R.E New Jersey

Education: Douglass College, Rutgers University, magna cum laude

Favorite Food: Eggplant parmigiana

Hobbies: Reading anytime anywhere, but especially on the beach!


Matt Halpin, Partner

Hometown: Robbinsville, N.J.

Fun-Fact: I am an Eagles season ticket holder

Awards: Distinguished Service Award, New Jersey Society of Municipal Engineers; Golden Sneaker Award, Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation

Education: Rutgers University, MBA in finance; Rutgers University, bachelor’s degree in political science; Eagleton Institute of Politics, Associate

Favorite Food: Steak and potatoes

Hobbies: Coaching youth sports, golf, and Golden Dome softball league


Josh Hodes, Partner

Hometown: Sea Girt, N.J.

Fun-Fact: I served as a member of the Rules Committee at the Democratic National Convention

Interests: Serving on the Advisory Board of the New Jersey New Leaders Council and as Chairman of the New Jersey Educational Facilities Authority

Education: Rutgers University, Bachelor of Science; Rutgers University, master’s degree in labor and employment relations

Favorite Food: Chocolate chip cookies

Hobbies: Spending time with my family and jogging at the Jersey Shore


Ed Mount, Partner

Hometown: Syracuse, N.Y.

Fun-Fact: I love Hilton Head Island in South Carolina

Awards: Governor’s Proclamation for Excellence in Government, Governor’s Award for Management Improvement, Ellis Island Preservation Commission Award

Education: LeMoyne College, bachelor’s degree in labor relations; United States Air Force Electronics School

Favorite Food: Chocolate chip cookies

Hobbies: Travel, golf, and the gym


John Holub, Associate

Hometown: Robbinsville, N.J.

Fun-Fact: I was the off-stage announcer who introduced Governor Christie Whitman at countless events, including the Inauguration, Inaugural Ball, and Capital Dome Rededication

Awards: Winner in PolitickerNJ’s Winner & Losers Feature, noted to have “mastered the inside game”

Education: Syracuse University, bachelor’s degree in political science

Favorite Food: De Lorenzo’s tomato pies

Hobbies: Anything with my two children and following Syracuse basketball, football and lacrosse


Patrick Stewart, Associate

Hometown: Voorhees, N.J.

Fun Fact: My father, H. Donald Stewart, was elected to the New Jersey Assembly from 1972 to 1982. He represented the third legislative district of Cumberland, Salem, and Gloucester Counties.

Awards: Father of the Year, presented by my three children Emily, Ryan, and Alexandra

Education: Villanova University

Favorite Food: Cheesesteaks

Hobbies: Going to sporting events with my family and summers at the Jersey Shore

Do you have anything in common with any of our partners or associates? Let us know. Want to learn more about each of our team members? Check out our team page. If you’re interested in learning more about how we’ve become a top lobbying firm in Trenton, check out this page.

Top 5 Industries That Need Lobbying in New Jersey

In New Jersey, businesses across a wide variety of industries use lobbying services every year with the goal of influencing legislation, regulation, and the enforcement of government decisions. With vast connections, lobbyists have the ability to influence key decision-makers and push agenda forward on behalf of the business they’re working for.  Each year, more and more money is being spent on lobbying services. See the top five industries that need lobbying in New Jersey:

Pharmaceuticals/health products

The pharmaceutical and health products industry includes drug manufacturers and sellers of medical products and nutritional and dietary supplements. The main goals of this industry are to resist government-run health care and encourage a faster approval process for drugs and medical products.


This includes health, property, and car insurance companies as well as agents and brokers. In recent years, health insurance companies have become increasingly involved in the legislative process, hoping to influence new regulations.


Since Governor Phil Murphy was elected, the push for medical marijuana expansion and the legalization of recreational marijuana has become a hot topic. In fact, over the last year lobbying on the subject has increased by more than 300 percent. Over a million dollars was spent on lobbying efforts in 2018 with projections to see even more in 2019. 

Business associations

This includes small businesses, pro-business and international trade associations, and chambers of commerce. Business associations are mostly concerned about labor regulations, intellectual property, product safety and taxes, and civil justice system reform. 

Oil and gas

Energy companies make up a large chunk of the overall lobbying spending. They are mainly focused on promoting legislators with pro-energy ideas in fossil fuel production and commodity exploration and extraction. 

Lobbying serves an important purpose in influencing decisions and allowing many voices to be heard that may otherwise be overlooked. Public Strategies Impact in Trenton, New Jersey offers lobbying services that can help your business. As government relations experts, Public Strategies Impact consistently achieves positive results for clients.

Learn more about how Public Strategies Impact can help your business’s interests on the state and national level

Our Address:

414 River View Plaza
Trenton, New Jersey

Copyright © , Public Strategies Impact, LLC. All Rights Reserved.