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:
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
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
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
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
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!
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
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
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
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
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.
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:
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.
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.
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.
In the face of a crisis, is your organization prepared to deal with the issue before it grows? In this age of technology, it’s impossible to bury a scandal. The best thing to do in a bad situation is to have a solid crisis management plan to fall back on.
A crisis management plan is simply a document that outlines the processes an organization will use to respond to a critical situation that would negatively affect its reputation, ability to operate, or profitability. Creating a new document or optimizing a previous plan is beneficial for every organization. There are a few key pieces to a crisis management plan that organizations should have in order to be successful in handling a crisis or media nightmare.
Get your team together to brainstorm any potential issues that could cause a stir. Write down all of these ideas and create steps to take for each scenario. Perhaps a small change in your procedures could prevent a crisis.
When a crisis occurs, tensions and nerves are running high. Instead of panicking and assigning roles on a whim, preset roles ahead of time. This will allow those assigned people to prepare themselves completely for any situation. Common roles to assign:
In the heat of the moment, a detailed section of your plan with resources your employees can easily refer to will be extremely beneficial. These resources can be anything that is helpful to your business. For example, timelines, log in credentials, and specific processes.
Frantically searching for contact information in a time of need is not a good look for an organization. Having a thorough list of contacts in your plan will erase the stress of finding the correct contact in a timely manner. At a minimum, your contacts should include:
Communication is key in the midst of a crisis. Keeping your team, employees, and stakeholders in the loop is extremely important to prevent loss of revenue and reputation. The difficult part of communicating is getting that material approved quickly. You should have strategies in place beforehand, so creating communications materials is simple and can go through the process of getting approved as fast as possible.
During a crisis, your team should not be wondering what the next step is going to be. From your scenario brainstorming session, create checklists for everything. It’s impossible to predict the future, so make these checklists as flexible as possible to ensure you’re hitting every possible point. Each task in a checklist should be assigned to a person so they know exactly what they must do.
Putting out the fire before it grows is the goal of a detailed crisis management plan. You may not think your organization is vulnerable to crises, but if it were to happen one day it is best to be prepared. Need help creating a plan? Public Strategies Impact offers crisis management services to develop a crisis plan and train your team for the media. We can also be the correspondent on your behalf. Find out more about PSI’s crisis management services here.
As a firm who has been around for more than 30 years, we have gained team members from a wide-range of industries, backgrounds, and areas of government. That is why we are lucky to be able to say PSI specializes in so many different areas. Even though most of our partners specialize in more than one industry, here are their top areas of expertise:
While Managing Partner Roger Bodman is an expert in many different areas, transportation is his specialty. He served as the chairman of New Jersey Transit and the State Commissioner of Transportation under former Governor Tom Kean, meaning he was the chief advisor to the governor on all transportation matters in the state.
With a career spanning more than 25 years, Senior Partner Bill Maer has developed expertise in the areas of law and justice, gaming, and pharmaceuticals. He is chief spokesperson for the Passaic County Sheriff’s Office and served on Governor Phil Murphy’s 2018 Law and Justice Transition Team.
Joseph Simonetta has many decades of experience in association management and political advocacy. He served as chair of the Advocacy Committee of the American Institute of Architects IgCC Task Force and currently chairs the Advocacy Subcommittee, creating strategy for the AIA’s state and local chapters. He also specializes in healthcare, professional services, arts, hospitality, and tourism.
PSI Partner Joe DeSanctis has more than 25 years advocating for a diverse client base, but his specialties lie in energy, environment, utilities, and local government outreach. He has experience siting natural gas pipelines and other energy-related projects throughout the state and acquiring state and local permits in a timely manner.
A member of our team for more than 25 years, Tracie DeSarno specializes in healthcare, banking, entertainment, and telecommunications. She has represented clients in these industries and beyond on major legislative initiatives and served on Governor Phil Murphy’s 2018 Healthcare Transition Committee.
In addition to serving as an executive in our association management division, Matt Halpin specializes in finance, real estate, energy, and more. Having previously worked with the NJ Chamber, he is well-versed in broad-based issues, including economic development, international trade, and corporate taxation. Matt also serves corporate clients in managing the public affairs components of projects.
Josh Hodes, partner, is an expert in education, energy, entertainment, sports, and redevelopment. He was appointed to the New Jersey Educational Facilities Authority, where he currently serves as chair, and serves as an advisory board member to the New Leaders Council of New Jersey.
With over 30 years of service in the public sector, Ed Mount has extensive experience and expertise in IT, procurement, and state government purchasing. He was on the New Jersey Information Resources Management Commission, the Office of Information Technology Governing Board, and the New Jersey Information Technology Leadership team.
Joining our team last year, John Holub brings specialties in retail, pharmacy, chain restaurants, and more. He serves as president and CEO of the New Jersey Retail Merchants Association, executive director of the Pennsylvania Retailers’ Association, and executive director of the New Jersey Council of Chain Drug Stores. He represents more than 3,900 stores as the retail chief lobbyist.
PSI Associate Patrick Stewart worked for the Assembly Republican Majority office staffing assembly committees, including the budget, consumer affairs, regulated professions, and labor committees. He has developed an expertise in regulated professions, healthcare, association management, and insurance and labor.
For a more complete overview of each of our team members, including their experiences and PSI specialties, please visit our team page.
You probably have heard of lobbying, and you may even have heard about it in your industry. Chances are highly likely that some form of lobbying has been affecting you, your business, and your industry. Here, we lay out what you need to know and how a New Jersey lobbyist can help your business.
Each state defines lobbyists in different ways but simply put, a lobbyist is a person who receives compensation to educate, advocate, influence, and promote or oppose an interest group’s opinions or ideas in front of executive branch officials, legislators, and the public.
Everyone is affected by lobbying, positively or negatively. Both sides to any argument can and do hire lobbyists. This is protected by the First Amendment of the U.S. Constitution that guarantees the right to free speech, assembly, and petition.
Having a lobbyist in your corner can help your business grow, gain clients, win public approval, and acquire government contracts or benefits.
Nearly every interest group, institution, or business works with lobbyists in some capacity.
The above chart was provided by the New Jersey Election Law Enforcement Commision (ELEC) in their annual report of lobbying spending in New Jersey. This chart highlights the strength of spending within each industry.
Whether you are the head of an energy company or part of a citizens group looking to make change, hiring a New Jersey lobbyist is the best method to bring your interests to the forefront of public and government awareness.
If you work with PSI, we can develop comprehensive strategies for your interests, advocate on your behalf, voice your opinions in front of key decision makers, and help grow your business. Contact us today.
If you are looking for the best association management company in New Jersey, you should start by finding companies with a certified association executive (CAE) on staff. These individuals have the credentials CAE after their name and will offer you the highest level of service.
A person with the CAE certification has spent hundreds of hours perfecting his or her association management skills. Armed with the most current high-level knowledge on managing an association, he or she will utilize those skills to enhance the image and membership retention of your association.
The CAE certification must be renewed every three years. To be eligible for renewal, he or she must complete a minimum of 40 credits of association management related professional development. There is also an option to complete a minimum of 30 credits of association management development and 10 credits of qualifying leadership, authorship, or teaching. Either way, if you’re working with a CAE, you know you’re working with someone who has the highest level of knowledge in the association management field.
Becoming a CAE is a long-term endeavour. Prior to sitting for the exam, an individual must have five years of experience at a nonprofit organization or association management company. He or she must also have obtained a bachelor’s degree or completed an additional eight years of work experience. Then, he or she must pass the 200 multiple-choice question test in four hours or less.
The head of our association management division, Joe Simonetta, is a certified association executive, which is one of the reasons why we are the best association management company in New Jersey. Learn more about our association management services here or reach out to one of our experts here.
By the end of the month, New Jersey could become the 11th state in the nation to legalize marijuana for recreational use among adults. Legislators just approved a bill that could result in the development of a cannabis industry estimated to generate close to a billion dollars. With the last voting session fast approaching before a three-month break, both New Jersey lobbyists and citizen’s alike are wondering if the bill will gain the votes it needs to officially pass.
Unfortunately, the bill has drawn a lot of controversy. Both supporters and opponents lined up to testify on behalf of the bill, but were met with a six-hour delay, causing many to leave before they could be heard. After the delay, only 25 minutes of testimony was heard and the measure was passed both through the Assembly and Senate Judiciary Committee.
The next four days will be crucial for New Jersey lobbyists and bill backers, including Governor Phil Murphy, Assembly Speaker Craig Coughlin, and Senate President Stephen Sweeney, to cobble together enough votes to successfully pass the bill. With many lawmakers stating they are still on the fence about the issue, the fate of the bill is far from certain. Along with the bill are two others that are designed to expand the state’s current medical marijuana program as well as the expunging of records for offenders convicted of marijuana charges.
Lawmakers are creating what they believe will be the gold standard of cannabis policy. It will also mark them as the first state to actually organize the reform through the legislature instead of using a ballot initiative. What is also impressive is the fact that this has occurred in less than two years. Just short of 10 years ago, they had a governor who was staunchly anti-cannabis. The bill was designed to not only address patients and adult recreational users but also concerns related to stock-holders, local government, and community needs.
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.
Every year, New Jersey lobbying firms send their annual reports to the New Jersey Election Law Enforcement Commission (ELEC) to be publicly disclosed. The commission just released its annual analysis today. The ELEC gathers total expenditures and total receipts from lobbying efforts and their represented entities to provide oversight and ensure accountability in campaign and legislative finances. Public Strategies Impact is, once again, the second top multi-client lobbyist firm in New Jersey. PSI increased our lobbying receivables by $1.02 million (from $6.17 million to $7.18 million) and continues to prove effective for our clients. This growth has placed us even more strongly among the best lobbying firms in New Jersey. This honor only occurs because of loyal clients, friends, and hardworking and dedicated lobbyists and staff.
Overall, the total spending by lobbyists in New Jersey dropped 2.5 percent to $89.4 million. Even with the dip in spending, three sectors greatly increased their spending due to new legislation introduced by Governor Phil Murphy: offshore wind production, cannabis, and nuclear plant subsidies. Offshore wind production lobbying spending increased $613,015, cannabis lobbying spending increased $1.03 million, nuclear plant subsidy support decreased $671,114, and nuclear plant subsidy opposition increased $817,997.
As the political landscape continues to change it is important to have a New Jersey lobbyist firm with a diverse portfolio, varied connections, and experience in government positions. At PSI, we have many years of experience in not only public service but in the political arena. We have a diverse portfolio of clients who are seeing the great importance of our work as the landscape changes. As new marijuana legislation appears on the horizon and sports gambling legislation has already taken effect, there has never been more of a need for lobbyists in the Garden State.
As these changes continue to affect industry, government, and the public sector it is best to work with a New Jersey lobbyist firm with experience in all areas. Our areas of expertise include:
If you’re looking for assistance with government relations, public affairs, or association management, please reach us via email at firstname.lastname@example.org or via phone at (609) 393-7799.
Yesterday at 2 p.m., Governor Phil Murphy delivered his first State of the State address just one day shy of his one-year anniversary of being in the statehouse. The state assembly chamber was packed with all key members of state government, including government officials, lawmakers, lobbyists, and other New Jersey leaders.
Before taking the traditional route of looking back at 2018 and discussing goals for 2019, Murphy spent a great deal of time discussing his findings from the recent corporate tax audit. Calling New Jersey’s corporate tax incentive program broken, he said the audit’s finding were alarming and displayed a stunning lack of controls and the workings of a rigged system to work for the favored few. Then, he discussed what could have been done with the billions of dollars the state handed out to corporations, including funding public schools, funding NJ Transit, meeting pension obligations, and providing property tax relief. Moving forward, Murphy wants to implement a new corporate tax incentive program that includes a cap on handouts, clear eligibility criteria, and will focus on investing in high wage and high growth sectors. He said it will take some time, but together we can fix it.
When looking back on his first year in office, Governor Murphy said the state of the state is stronger and fairer than it was a year ago, which is an homage to his campaign slogan. He said he’s seen New Jerseyans struggle and has made, and will continue to make, a commitment to helping everyone succeed, ensuring our state’s families have better, brighter days. In the administration’s first year, they passed a total of 169 bills, which is more than any other administration in decades, and passed four dozen executive orders on job creation, environment, equal rights, and fair pay. Murphy listed off what he considered the administration’s greatest wins:
After discussing the broken tax incentives program and the successes of 2018, Governor Murphy wasted no time jumping into what he plans to accomplish in the coming year. He has ambitious goals that he promises to accomplish with the help of his administration, including:
In closing, Governor Murphy announced the administration did what they said they were going to do in their first year. He promised to make New Jersey a state of innovation where young people want to start their careers, an affordable state where seniors want to grow old, and a state with top-notch education where families want to live and grow. Murphy’s next big public speech will be the budget address in six weeks.
This year’s midterm elections were some of the most expensive and highly publicized in history. Many attribute this as a reaction to President Donald Trump’s policies throughout the first two years of his term, particularly in the areas of healthcare and immigration. So how did the elections play out in New Jersey as well as the rest of the United States? Here are breakdowns of each election, including flips, flops, and everything in between:
There were 35 races in the senate election, and at this time this article was written, 32 of them have been called. All the seats projected to go democrat, including Michigan, New Jersey, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Wisconsin, Minnesota, and West Virginia, did just that. Tennessee and Texas both remain republican. Indiana, Missouri, and North Dakota flipped to republican while Nevada flipped to democrat. Overall, even without all the senate races being called, Republicans will continue to hold majority, currently sitting at 51 republicans to 46 democrats.
A total of 26 house seats flipped democrat so far, with 417 of 435 races being called. All of the districts expected to vote democrat and republican for the most part did, but there were a few surprises along the way. Oklahoma’s fifth district, which many thought would likely remain republican, flipped to democrat. The same situation happened in New York’s 11th district and South Carolina’s first district – both expected to lean republican but flipped to democrat. Even without all the elections being called, the house majority has flipped to democrat with 219 dems to 193 republicans.
There were 36 governor races in this year’s midterm elections. For the most part, everything went as expected, with the exception of Kansas, which many thought would stay red. Illinois, Michigan, New Mexico, Maine, Nevada, and Wisconsin flipped from republican to democrat. However, many democrats were hoping to secure Florida and Georgia, but Florida was called red and Georgia looks like it will be the same. With 34 of 36 races being called, there are 23 democratic governors and 25 republican governors.
The blue wave definitely hit in New Jersey’s midterm elections. In the Senate vote, incumbent Democrat Bob Menendez, who was projected to win reelection, defeated Republican pharmaceutical executive Bob Hugin. Menendez held nearly a 10 percent lead against Hugin, and the race was called by several news organizations less than an hour after the polls closed.
In New Jersey’s House of Representatives, the races were either huge landslides or very tight – no in between.
Whether you’re a democrat or republican, you have to be happy that regardless of how bad the weather was yesterday, New Jersey saw one of the largest turnouts for a midterm election in our state’s history. That says a lot for the future of the Garden State.