WGR Leadership Institute: Evolution of State Relations
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Join us for educational sessions focused on best practices for state and local government affairs professionals.

When: Thursday, September 19, 2019
12:00 pm to 6:00 pm
Where: Bloomberg Government
1101 K Street, NW
5th Floor
Washington, District of Columbia  20005
United States
Contact: WGR

Online registration is closed.
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Event Description

Schedule of events:
12:00 - 12: 30 pm - Lunch (provided) 
12:30 - 1:30 pm - Session 1: States of Action!
1:30 - 1:45 pm - Break
1:45– 2:45 pm - Session 2: Stop, Collaborate & Listen!
2:45 - 3:00 pm - Break
3:00 - 4:00 pm - Panel 3: Speak Up
4:00 - 4:15 pm - Break
4:15 - 6:00 pm - Networking Reception 

This is a free event. 

Sponsorship opportunities available! Contact Caroline Hegeman

Session 1: States of Action
How Federal Action (or Inaction) is Changing the GR Landscape in the States
12:30 p.m. – 1:30 p.m
Agility is often the key to success in the field of government relations. And in today’s challenging environment, where state and local governments are increasingly acting in response to or in the absence of action in Washington, agility is more important than ever. For government relations professionals, keeping pace with these shifting dynamics can be exhilarating, exhausting and, for some, career-changing. This panel of seasoned professionals that work within the federal and state domains will dive into the forces at play and will share their tactics for managing change.


  • Stephanie Groen, State-Federal Director, State of Iowa
  • Mona Mohib, Senior VP of National Multistate Strategies, McGuireWoods Consulting
  • Patty Readinger, Federal Director, State of Michigan
  • Elise Shutzer, Project Director for Field Operations, Pew Charitable Trusts

Moderator: Katherine Rizzo, Editor, Bloomberg

Session 2: Stop, Collaborate & Listen
Best practices for building & leading coalitions with an emphasis on tools
1:45 p.m. – 2:45 p.m.
When done right, coalitions can be an important tool for advancing an organization’s policy agenda. These alliances made up of businesses, trade groups, non-profits and individuals partnering together can sometimes be the only way to move the needle on an issue. But building a successful coalition is no easy feat and can sometimes be years in the making. In this session, our panelists will share stories from the trenches about their experiences building and managing coalitions. They will also share their tips for:

  • Leveraging tools to drive success, including social media
  • How to ensure all participants have “skin in the game” and contribute equally
  • Managing differences and disagreements among coalition members and avoiding mission creep
  • How or whether to rally the troops when the coalition seems to be losing steam


  • Allison Fleming, Vice President Government Affairs, 1-800 Contacts
  • Krysta Jones, Founder & CEO, Vote Lead Impact, Inc.
  • Morgan Scarboro, Senior Policy Analyst & Economist, MultiState Associates

Moderator: Renee Gibson, Director State Affairs, Alliance of Automobile Manufacturers

Session 3: Speak Up
Strategies for preparing for testimony and public speaking
3:00 p.m. – 4:00 p.m.
As a Government Relations professional, whether you love it or loathe it, public speaking is part of the job. From testifying in front of legislative committees to engaging with the media, public speaking is a critical tool that, when done well, can lead to major success for your organization. But for some, public speaking can be a source of major stress. In this session, our expert speakers will share their tips and strategies for preparing for testimony and public speaking. They will cover such topics as:

  • Keeping messaging clear, concise and tailored to the audience
  • How to stay cool and on message when your organization is in the hot seat
  • Responding to unexpected questions, comments and other curve balls
  • Tactics for developing confidence in public speaking


  • Liz Reilly Clark, Vice President Government Affairs, National Confectioners Association
  • Monisha Smith, Regional Director – Northeast, Everytown for Gun Safety
  • Nicola Whiteman, Senior Vice President of Government Affairs, Apartment & Office Building Association

Moderator: Stephanie Reich, Vice President State & Local Issues, Stateside Associates 

Networking Reception
4:15 p.m. – 6:00 p.m.
Following the final panel, please join us for a networking reception with fellow state relations professionals. 

Thank you to our sponsors





The Leadership Institute sponsored by Bloomberg Government expands WGR’s programming with a focus on training and education for the mid-level professional. Bloomberg Government and WGR are dedicated to advancing and empowering women and this partnership provides an even greater impact for women in our field, personally and professionally.

WGR has partnered with Bloomberg Government to bring you the WGR Leadership Institute. By registering to attend, you are giving WGR permission to share your employer information with Bloomberg including name, title, organization and email.

This is event is off the record and not for press purposes.

Payment, Replacement & Refund Policy
WGR event registration fees must be paid in advance. If you are unable to attend, you may send a substitute, however you are responsible for the difference in fees if the individual is a non-member. The deadline to receive a refund is three (3) business days prior to the event. The request must be received in writing, prior to the deadline.

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Event Updates
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