Strengthen Your Government Relations Strategy Online Seminar Series

Strengthen Your Government Relations Strategy Online Seminar Series

Event Information


Jan 15, 2019 - Jan 18, 2019



United States

CAE Hours:




Member Price:


NonMember Price:


Access Points:



CAE Credits: Registrants will earn a maximum of 4 CAE credits.

A robust government relations program is an essential element of association management. Regardless of organization size, a strong GR strategy will ensure that key policy issues are clearly articulated to your constituency and that your viewpoint is represented to local, state, and national government officials.

Whether you are new to association government relations or are an established association professional interested in building your GR knowledge, this seminar series will provide you with the essential information you need to develop a proactive and strategic GR program.

This four-part series explores how to align your strategy with proven tactics to advance your advocacy agenda. Topics include:

  • developing and implementing a cohesive strategy that maximizes budget resources
  • identifying, recruiting, educating, and activating member advocates on Capitol Hill and in legislative districts
  • ensuring that your advocacy efforts on the local, state, federal, and international levels are aligned
  • developing meaningful, value-based government relations metrics

This online seminar series consists of four 60-minute live online sessions that feature facilitated audio content and conversations. Before the first session, registrants will receive login information and links to test their computer and become acquainted with the platform. Participants will have access to recorded sessions, reference materials, and more for up to 30 days following the program.

Registration for this online seminar series will close Monday, January 14, 2019, at 12:00 p.m. ET.

Register here for the full series, or register for one or more individual sessions:

Session 1: Build a GR Strategy on Any Budget

Session 2: Maximize Member Engagement

Session 3: Create Synergies From City Hall to Capitol Hill

Session 4: Assess Your Success With Relevant Metrics

  • Agenda

    • Tuesday, January 15, 2019

      2:00 – 3:00 p.m.
      Session 1: Build a GR Strategy on Any Budget
      Successful government relations work requires a strategic approach aligned with affordable and relevant tactics. Regardless of your association’s size or budget, this means attaining senior-level buy-in, using internal and external resources to build a cohesive team, and ensuring member value. This session addresses the process for designing an effective, budget-conscious strategy, selecting tactics, and using volunteers and committees to support advocacy efforts. Discover the essential components of a clearly articulated government relations plan that maximizes your impact on the local, state, regional, or federal level.

      Wednesday, January 16, 2019

      2:00 – 3:00 p.m.
      Session 2: Maximize Member Engagement
      Take member engagement to the next level with carefully crafted approaches for identifying, recruiting, educating, and activating your member advocates. Inspire and galvanize your members’ passion for involvement—whether at home, in the workplace, on Capitol Hill, or elsewhere. Opportunities to make an impact abound when you demonstrate the value of members’ engagement with decision makers.

      Thursday, January 17, 2019

      2:00 – 3:00 p.m.
      Session 3: Create Synergies From City Hall to Capitol Hill
      Advocacy is not a one-size-fits-all activity. You need to develop strategy and tactics that connect with all levels of government: local, state, federal, and international. Arm your advocates with the resources they need to ensure that that your messages are aligned and clearly articulate your goals to all audiences.

      Friday, January 18, 2019

      2:00 – 3:00 p.m.
      Session 4: Assess Your Success With Relevant Metrics
      The performance of your government relations program can and should be measured. Demonstrating success is essential to motivate continued member engagement, secure long-term allocation of internal resources, and show ROI for your association’s bottom line. After participating in a guided, real-time exercise to develop meaningful, value-based GR metrics, you will leave with new, improved ways to measure your work and communicate the results you achieve.

  • Speakers

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      Thomas F. Goodwin, CAE

      Thomas F. (Tommy) Goodwin is the Government Relations Manager for the Project Management Institute (PMI), the world’s leading not-for-profit professional membership association for the project, program, and portfolio management profession. In this role, he leads federal and international efforts to encourage the adoption of project management best practices by elected officials and policymakers leading to consistent, successful completion of government projects and programs, which in turn reduces government waste and safeguards taxpayer dollars. Prior to joining PMI, he spent more than 15 years leading a wide range of federal government relations efforts, issue campaigns, and advocacy strategy work for several leading associations and corporations, including AARP and Oracle Corp. Additionally, he was a research fellow at Harvard Business School focused on the political and legal environment in which business operates. He has a B.B.A. from The George Washington University, an M.B.A. from Auburn University, and executive certificates from Stanford University, the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, and Georgetown University. He also holds a Public Policy Certificate from the National Institute for Lobbying & Ethics and a Certified Association Executive designation from the American Society of Association Executives.

      Ann Weber

      I am the government affairs director for the Society of Actuaries (SOA). In this role, I oversee all aspects of government affairs at both the federal and state levels for the SOA, which includes working closely with SOA leaders, volunteers, and other SOA departments in providing valuable actuarial knowledge to policymakers to assist them in developing sound financial public policy decisions. Before joining the SOA in June 2014, I served as a vice president for the Property Casualty Insurers Association of America (PCI). For over 12 years at PCI, I managed government affairs issues facing the U.S. property/casualty insurance industry in a number of states from the West Coast to the East Coast. I also have over 15 years of experience as both a direct litigator and manager of complex litigation for several large insurance companies. Additional responsibilities included acting as company liaison to state departments of insurance on filings and compliance matters. I have served as an arbitrator in Cook County Circuit Court, Chicago, Illinois, and an elected member of the board of trustees of the Villa Park Public Library, Villa Park, Illinois. I earned my juris doctorate from the John Marshall Law School and my bachelor of business administration from Loyola University Chicago.

      Sally Schaeffer

      Sally Schaeffer has nearly two decades of experience as a bipartisan federal government relations representative, with a specialization in appropriations, nonprofit tax, and women’s issues, particularly gender-based violence. Prior to starting Uncorked Advocates after the 2016 Presidential election, Sally represented more than 500 nonprofits, foundations, and charitable giving programs as the Government Relations Director at Independent Sector. She has served as the Washington advocate for Girl Scouts of the USA and Futures Without Violence. Sally started her career on Capitol Hill working for Congresswoman Louise Slaughter (D-NY), Ranking Member of the House Rules Committee, as her Legislative Director and Chief of Staff. During her seven-year tenure, she handled appropriation issues as well as education, women’s and children’s issues, and financial services.

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      Anne DeSeta DarConte, CAE

      Anne DeSeta DarConte serves as Senior Director of HillStaffer. Ms. DarConte has more than 30 years of federal, state, and local government relations experience and advises clients on strategic advocacy initiatives including messaging, grassroots and grass tops advocacy, Hill Days, advocacy training, and community outreach. Ms. DarConte’s successful programs have been recommended as models of best practices, and she is often called upon to speak at industry conferences and at universities. Prior to HillStaffer Ms. DarConte served as principal of Beyond K Street, LLC, a public affairs consultancy. She has also managed a 50-state coalition in the accounting profession, responsible for all advocacy efforts including legislative and regulatory matters, outreach priorities, stakeholder relationships with national and state-based organizations, and support for ad hoc state government relations initiatives. Previously Ms. DarConte served as the Director of Outreach for a 500-member energy trade association, where she created that association’s outreach program. She has also served as Director of Grassroots for a $125MM trade association, responsible for the organization’s grassroots inititaives and Get Out The Vote program which resulted in web traffic increases of 94.5% and 103.5%, respectively. Ms. DarConte began her career in the Florida House of Representatives, where she served as a Senior Legislative Analyst in the Committee on Commerce. Ms. DarConte is Vice Chair of the Government Relations Section Council for ASAE, and recently attained her CAE credential. An active leader with various women’s organizations, she is a Co-Founder of the Professional Women in Advocacy Conference and Excellence in Advocacy Awards (2013-2015), as well as a former Board Member of Women in Government Relations and PLEN, the Public Leadership Education Network. In March 2016, PLEN honored Ms. DarConte with the Mentor Award for her outstanding service to the organization as well as her impact on public policy and role in women’s leadership.

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      Amy R. Showalter

      Amy Showalter has elevated the government relations influence of her many organizational clients. Over 85 percent of Amy’s long-term consulting clients have experienced an increase in budget, staff, and senior management recognition. Over 500 media outlets have featured Amy’s insights, including “The Washington Times,” “Politico,” “,” “The Hill,” and “Roll Call.” She is the author of “The Underdog Edge: How Everyday People Change the Minds of the Powerful. . . and Live to Tell About It.” Amy’s blog, “Politicking the Bottom Line” was published by “,” and she writes for “Bloomberg Government.” Amy holds a B.A. in political science from Wright State University and an M.S.A. from Central Michigan University.

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      John Boling, MBA

      After graduating college with aplomb, Mr. Boling traveled to Washington, DC to serve as an intern on the Presidential Commission on the Assignment of Women in the Armed Forces (aka: Women in Combat). At the end of the internship, John realized DC was where he needed to be and stayed to pursue his dream of working for Congress. After working three years for the Direct Marketing Association, he found his way to Capitol Hill where, over the next seven and one-half years, he served five different Members of Congress, rising from intern to the level of legislative director. Having achieved his goal of working on Capitol Hill, Boling left to become the director of government relations for the newly formed National Stone, Sand & Gravel Association, created from the merger of two smaller associations. Seven years later he left to work in a small association where his talents would be further challenged. Over the next five years he worked as the director of congressional affairs at the Council of Producers & Distributors of Agrotechnology, where he was one of three executives and had to implement every good idea he had, forcing him to prioritize and work smart. During this time-frame, Boling earned a Masters of Business Administration degree with highest honors from the Jack Welch Management Institute at Strayer University. In the fall of 2015, John was offered the role of a lifetime as the director of government affairs at the Institute of Makers of Explosives. In 2017, John was rewarded for his hard work by being promoted to vice president of Government Affairs. He is reportedly, “having a blast.” John earned his undergraduate degree from the Minnesota State University at Mankato, and an Executive MBA from the Jack Welch Management Institute at Strayer University. Residing in Alexandria with his wife, three kids and a dog, John has a new appreciation for minivans.

      Kristen Prather

      Kristen Prather has been with the Credit Union National Association (CUNA) since 2008. She has served as a Grassroots Manager and is now the State Director of Grassroots Programs. In these roles, she oversees advocacy efforts for the organization, legislative and regulation tracking at the state level, issuing action alerts to Congress, the executive branch and states where such actions are needed, state fly-ins called Hike the Hill, and Project Zip Code. She has been intimately involved in several of CUNA’s most successful grassroots campaigns including Campaign for Common Sense Regulations, Don’t Tax My Credit Union, Stop the Data Breaches, and Ease the Burden. Prior to joining CUNA, Kristen was the Political Affairs Manager at the Independent Insurance Agents and Brokers of America where she handled the day to day fundraising for InsurPac. Kristen has also worked for National Environmental Strategies as a staff assistant. Her many internship experiences include the U.S. House of Representatives, a U.S. Senate campaign in North Carolina, and several local candidate elections and levy campaigns in Ohio. She is a 2004 graduate of Catawba College with a dual B.A. in American Politics and American History. In addition to her work at CUNA, she is also a lead dance teacher at The Ballet Studio in Del Ray and a Cleveland sports fan.

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