It takes a special kind of political operative to know the waters and measure the sky when it comes to monitoring, killing, and passing legislation. If these people in the room, you know something is about to go down.
by Andy Arnold
When I first met Jeffrey Altman, I was struck by his go-getter gregarious attitude, the ease at which he meets people and cultivates friendships and his total naiveté about the legislative process. As someone who spent nearly 10-years working as a House/Senate staffer before transitioning into consulting and lobbying, I was astonished at the size of this kids’
However, having gotten to know Jeff over the last 2-years, it’s that force of character, drive and purpose, the ability to make friends feel at ease that will ultimately make Jeff successful in the lobbying business. Jeff is quickly learning the process and always has a question to affirm a belief or to form an opinion on legislative action.
Jeff’s client portfolio is diverse and like any good salesman, Jeff understands his client’s business interests, knows how to articulate those interests and advocate for legislation change. Like many of us in this business, he doesn’t always agree with the outcomes, but respects the process and is determined to make a positive impact.
I once told Jeff that he reminded me of “Freddy Bauer”, the John Candy character from the movie “Splash” that was in theaters before Jeff was born. Having never watched the movie, he went home and watched it over the weekend and when we talked again the next week said, “I watched Splash and I can see how you could see me as Freddy. His methods may have been unconventional, but he was a hell of a salesman”. And that my friend’s is my colleague Jeffrey Altman.
by TREVOR CRIST
My friend and once mentee Jeffrey Altmann is funny, clever, charming, creative, and effective. He also has the ability and more importantly desire to learn and adapt. This may be most evident by his accomplishment of bravely overcoming the curious Australian accent he sported during our initial encounters.
Jefferson City and Missouri politics have seen interesting and exciting developments over recent years. None may be as swift and disrupting as Jeffrey’s rise in the world of Government Relations. He once told me, “I need to find a way to spend more time in Jefferson City.” An ideal companion for his entrepreneurial spirit and ability to establish relationships. From that point, his purpose was established and its realization in his crosshairs.
In short order he has acquired a portfolio of impressive clients, represented both specific and statewide issues, collaborated with colleagues, and established relationships with legislators and Leadership. The result is a respected firm with presence in St. Louis, Jefferson City, and Springfield. The latter motivated by his connection to 417 land as an Alumnus of Missouri State University and his desire to leave his mark on the area by helping to positively shape legislation for Springfield and Greene County.
I’m eager to see what this “mate” accomplishes next…
Phil Arnzen by Hannah Beers
So much of what makes us good at our jobs is the ability to connect with people. Those that can connect in a genuine way are few and far between. Philip Arnzen is one of those people.
I met Phil as a college sophomore, intimidated by his political knowledge and wondering how I’d ever keep up. We served together in a political organization, feeling much more important than we were, but dedicated to the cause regardless. Fast forward to today, Phil now serves the people of Missouri as the legislative liaison to the Department of Insurance and Professional Registration, a title as vital as it is lengthy. I was impressed by his commitment to now Speaker Elijah Haahr’s constituency and continue to appreciate his steadfast protection of his department’s interests.
In this small world of public service, we all know each other in one way or another. For me, I’m lucky to have called Phil a friend throughout our college years and now as young professionals. His service to the state will be remembered well, and I’m quite certain he’ll be a presence in the Missouri Capitol for years to come.
Bob Baker by Tommy Robbins
He once infiltrated the Oyotunki Village to expose animal and child abuse, he is a former stockbroker, the author of “The Misuse of Drugs in Horse Racing” and the executive director for the Missouri Alliance for Animal Legislation. Bob Baker is a nationally recognized authority on animal welfare and cruelty and has been advocating for our pets and farm animals for over four decades.
Baker brings extensive experience to the Alliance, having worked for both national and local humane organizations during his career. His investigations, legislative initiatives, and his advocacy efforts on behalf of animals have been widely reported.
He spearheaded an extensive investigation into Missouri’s commercial dog breeding industry and has personally inspected and help shutdown shut down hundreds of abusive puppy mills. These efforts generated a tremendous amount of national publicity, the closing of numerous puppy mills, probes by the federal government’s General Accounting Office and the Office of Inspector General, and the closing of the nation’s largest pet store chain, “Docktors Pet Center”. Baker’s investigations into animal fighting ventures have led to more than 1,000 arrests.
In 2019, the Alliance is fighting efforts to weaken animal welfare laws and eliminate the authority of counties and local municipalities to regulate the care and welfare of animals.
Melissa Boyd by Zach Brunnert
Melissa Boyd specializes in economic development, tax, and employment policy for Cerner where they have large employee populations (MO and PA state and local) as well as health policy across the upper Midwest. She enjoys working with folks (even those who prefer pork steak and Cardinals to ribeyes and Royals) to make her home state the best place to work or run a business. She’s also pretty cool to hang out with too.
Andy Briscoe by Pat Thomas
Andy Briscoe was a legislative liaison for a democrat governor when I first met him. He introduced himself and kept asking questions about my life. We realized that he had attended high school with my sister. From there, as they say, the rest is history, and we’ve been fast friends.
From one riverboat town to another, Andy was raised in Hannibal but his engaging personality and wit, brought him to the Capitol city after an election; or perhaps he wanted a new audience for clothing style.
Left, right or middle, political leanings doesn’t matter to Andy, he works squarely with everyone, while searching for a positive outcome. He’s a hard worker who managed to balance getting his master’s degree while being a fulltime liaison. He keeps his sense of humor around him when others are maybe losing their cool. He keeps a great perspective on what goes on in the building.
Andy is organized, knows the history on many issues (or at least where to find it) and just how to balance the want of perfect legislation with the need to move an issue forward.
Quoting Mark Twain, “There are basically two types of people. People who accomplish things, and people who claim to have accomplished things. The first group is less crowded.” Andy is definitely someone you want to know who is a member of the first group.
Scott Charton by Jon Ratliff
In todays world of “fake news” and “biased gotcha reporters” it is nice to reminisce about days gone by. Back when an Arkansas boy with a little southern twang, a big cigar, and a great story would roam the halls of the Capitol or travel the then less pot-hole filled roads and back roads of our state in search of fair and honest reporting.
As an Arkansas newsman turned Show-Me State AP reporter he can bend your ear about the Clintons, the Carnahans, the Ashcrofts and the Blunts.
He’s a modern day political historian and communications maestro for both Missourah and Missouri. He’s a consummate professional and an invaluable part of any political team either side of the aisle. He can teach you more about political communications and the press over a glass of scotch than a semesters worth of lectures at one of our state’s finer institutions.
More than anything though, Scott Charton is loyal friend and the communications professional I want in my war-room when scandal breaks.
KIT CRANCER by TODD SCOTT
If Jefferson City had a list of the most politically astute and interesting people, Christopher “Kit” Crancer would surely be on it. In fact, during a brief survey of colleagues from around the capitol city I collected the following tributes and adulations (many of them offered in a respectful, barely audible whisper):
His passport requires no photograph
He can speak Russian . . . in French
He once brought a knife to a gunfight. . . just to even the odds.
He has never waited 15 minutes after finishing a meal before returning to the pool
He bowls overhand
His shadow has been on the ‘best dressed’ list twice
His shirts never wrinkle
His business card simply says “I’ll call you”
OK, I’ll admit that I may have borrowed the quotes above from a popular ad campaign but if Dos Equis hadn’t already coined them, I’m sure they would’ve eventually been spoken about Kit.
Kit possesses a rare blend of charm and charisma backed up by real deal political savvy. No matter what political current may be coursing through the capitol, Kit is always “in the know” with a quick assessment of the players, the pitfalls and the potential opportunities.
During the time I have known and worked with Kit I’ve observed him in all sorts of situations and in each of them he has excelled. He’s has been a key advisor to some of Jeff City’s most influential leaders and shares much of the credit for their accomplishments. As I’ve observed Kit across the years, I’ve noticed something else. He’s not only a really good guy to have on your side but he’s just a really good guy. We’ve endured some late night senate filibusters, plotted and planned and picked our way through a few political minefields and have lived to tell about it. I guess if I had to sum it all up I’d say that if you ever expect to find yourself hunkered down in some sort of political skirmish, Kit’s the kind of guy you’d want in your foxhole.
Ryan DeBoef by Jay Hahn
When I first met Ryan, he was a novice – new to representing Missouri State University in the halls of the State Capitol, and new to the culture of Jefferson City. However, it was only a few minutes into our first conversation that I began to realize that he had an expert grasp on both the political landscape and the inner workings of the State Capitol. His insights and understanding of Missouri’s political process made it seem like he had been doing this his entire career.
As Ryan and I began working together more often, I have been incredibly impressed with his ability to be a workhorse for Missouri State University. And yet, despite all of his abilities, Ryan is one of the most humble people I have ever met during my time working in state government. So humble, it’s almost to a fault. While it would be easy for someone in Ryan’s shoes to boast of his legislative accomplishments, Ryan realizes that it more than just winning and losing. His successes are built off of hard work, dedication and intellectual integrity. When MSU succeeds, it means success for Missouri.
In his role as chief of staff to President Cliff Smart, Ryan not only ensures that the University is running smoothly, but he also works to maintain MSU’s legislative presence in Jefferson City. Many universities have several individuals on their payroll that perform all of the duties and functions that Ryan accomplishes on a daily basis. I am fortunate to call Ryan a client and a friend, and MSU is fortunate to have Ryan on their team. Our University and our state both benefit from Ryan’s hard work and his selfless dedication to the Show-Me State.
Fred Dreiling by Noel Torpey
Fred Dreiling has been a staple in the capital for over 25 years prior to becoming a leading voice for Kansas City. He was a chief of staff for over 10 years in the Senate. Fred is a man of his word and is loyal to a fault he represents his clients as well as anyone in the building. He continues to be a strong voice for all his clients across the state of Missouri, especially the Kansas City area. His institutional knowledge is impressive and his ability to adapt on the fly is just one of the reasons that make him a top lobbyist in the building.
Brent Hemphill by Steve Ahrens
Brent Hemphill and Associates provides professional, comprehensive advocacy for the Missouri Propane Gas Association. Our members are represented by a legislative liaison who understands our industry, uses our product and can anticipate our interests as bills move through the process. His presence in the halls and relationships with both leadership and rank-and-file has made the difference for our members, both in passing important legislation and voicing our concerns on other bills.
An unappreciated part of our partnership is that we were on opposite sides at one point, when our bosses both ran for the same office in 1992. Yet 10 years later, when Brent began his lobby firm and we were looking for representation, none of that mattered. Brent’s credibility with elected officials and his knowledge of the process have been an immense benefit in crafting our future. It also reminds us that there is more to be gained by working together than by nursing old grudges.
In our business, as in so many others, the future means change—and change requires a nimble and responsive professional who understands the needs of our industry. Brent and his staff remain committed to helping our members remain productive and successful, today and in the foreseeable future. I have only one hesitation in endorsing Hemphill and Associates to others, and that is I don’t want to have to share his skill ad insights with others.
Enterprise Holdings by Mike Gibbons
Enterprise Holdings is a great Missouri success story. It was founded by Jack Taylor, a decorated Navy pilot who flew off the deck of the aircraft carrier USS Enterprise during World War II. He followed his dream and established Executive Leasing in St. Louis in 1957 with a fleet of seven cars to lease. In 1969 he changed the name to Enterprise Leasing in honor of the service of the USS Enterprise. Today, it is a global company operating in more than 90 countries with over 100,000 employees and 2 million vehicles, is the largest car rental provider in the world, and is ranked by Forbes as one of America’s largest privately held companies.
Enterprise’ long history of success is built upon a foundation of excellence in all aspects of its business, especially their customer service, dedication to their employees, maintaining a great place to work, and their positive impact on their community both through its civic involvement and philanthropic efforts. Enterprise is a great corporate citizen.
Enterprise is a philanthropic leader globally, but nowhere more so than their home city, St. Louis. Enterprise amd the Taylor Family in recent years has made the Arch grounds renovations possible and the restoration of the Soldiers Memorial to name just two, and there are many more. The effort to bring Major League Soccer to St. Louis is the Taylor Family’s latest effort to improve life in St. Louis.
As a family-owned and operated company, Enterprise takes care of its employees, its customers, and its communities. This simple formula makes Enterprise a top company to know in the Capitol.
Susan Flanigan by Cyndi Gamble
Susan Flanigan has spent her life working to end the stigma of mental health and advocating for people with disabilities. She has been all over the country, serving people in when they are in the most dire circumstances and time of need.
Today, Missouri is fortunate that she has chosen to serve us, as legislative liaison for the Dept. of Mental Health. Susan is a master at building relationships with legislators and their staff. Her charm and acute sense of humor will disarm you. But, you quickly realize the depth of her passion for helping others. She is totally dedicated and driven to help others. Most, if not all, legislators receive constituent calls regarding mental health issues. Susan has made a deliberate effort to make sure they know to call her when these families and individuals reach out of help. Five years ago, she even created the Director’s Mental Health Ambassador’s Academy. Held in the fall, The Academy brings together legislators, their staff, DH leadership and other colleagues to share information about basic mental health services and provide a broader understanding of how to handle constituent calls. Legislators and staff have to opportunity to ask questions and discuss mental health issues that are specific to their district. This one on one time helps builds relationships that legislators will need and definitely appreciate. Susan’s vast experience and knowledge are as asset to Missouri’s General Assembly, and she is absolutely a person you should know!
Ellie Glenn by Casey Millburg
There is no shortage of posturing, grandstanding, and “right at all costs” mentality in Jefferson City. Ellie Glenn bucks the trend and stands out in the crowd as someone whose career has succeeded because of, not in spite of, her relentless commitment to the kind of person she wants to be. Where others wield the idea of authenticity as a take-it-or-leave-it political bludgeon, Ellie’s innate authenticity is unpretentious. Hers serves as a bridge rather than a barrier, grounded in caissons of curiosity, fierce intelligence, and critical assessment. The hallmark of her authenticity is that anyone who engages her, regardless of stature, is always well-advised by her. Ellie has held multiple roles in Missouri politics: campaign worker, legislative staff, departmental liaison, lobbyist. She knows a great deal about what it takes to succeed and how things and people work. It would be easy for someone with her resume to dispense knowledge only to the extent it overtly furthers her career. However, her priority is providing savvy guidance rather than promoting her personal stature, and she provides consistently good counsel to interns and seasoned politicos alike. The end result of this equitable approach is an ironclad reputation as someone who is as trustworthy and sincere as they are impressive.
If you are fortunate enough to know Ellie, you should be smart enough to learn from her, and if you do not yet know her you will find her to be an invaluable contact once you do. She knows programs and people, what issues you’re likely to run into and who can help. She is transparent about when she is offering advice and when she is offering opinion. She eschews sugarcoating and glossing-over in favor of doing the hard work of persuading. Her career is a blueprint for how to succeed in politics while remaining authentic, and a reminder that there is a meaningful difference between authenticity and the idea of it.
Cara Hoover by Jason Klindt
Cara has strong relationships on all sides of the aisle and from the first floor to the fourth. She is one of the few people in the building who is genuinely interested in you. She loves people and people love her. That was apparent to me early on when a few years ago on our first joint trip to the Capitol. Our plan was to visit with several House and Senate members but she never made it out of the rotunda as a stream of lawmakers, staffers and lobbyists stopped by to catch up.Its those deep relationships that allow Cara to be the eyes and ears of her clients. She does more than just hear the information. She’s sharp and strategic. She understands the building and its flow which has allowed her to pass landmark legislation in a body that is not easy to get complicated ideas through. But she is also adept at helping mitigate or end threats for her clients.
She does it all with that trademark smile. You might be fooled by it. Don’t be.
KYNA IMAN by MICHAEL SEAN KELLY
Kyna Iman is a master in Missouri politics. I have known Kyna for many years both professionally and personally and I cannot think of a fighter that I would rather have on my side of an issue and in the Missouri capital. Kyna’s determination on behalf of her clients sets her apart from others. She has a unique mix of both honestly and humor that aids her in providing real results.
Kyna knows her way around both policy and politics. She is well-versed in not only her client’s issues but those of all the bills in the capital. Kyna always knows where to turn and which legislator to go to in order to get something done on behalf of her client. Her knowledge and experience gives her the edge in the Missouri capital. Regardless of party affiliation, Kyna can get things done. She gets results. It evident to most that women rule the world and Kyna is on the forefront of that being a fact. Proud to call Kyna a friend and a colleague.
Dana Miller by Bob Priddy
The first item of business for the Missouri House of Representatives, meeting in St. Louis for the first session of the General Assembly of the State of Missouri was the first roll call. The second item of business was the election of a clerk. John McArthur was chosen over two other candidates on September 20, 1820, with twenty of the thirty-four votes cast. Only after the election of the person who would keep a true and faithful record of the proceedings of the House was the state’s first Speaker of the House chosen.
When the 100th General Assembly of the State of Missouri next year observes the bicentennial of its first meeting, Dana Rademan Miller will be the 64th Clerk of the House, the latest person to make sure the records are truly and faithfully kept, that parliamentary inquiries are handled properly, that procedures are followed for the advancement of legislation, and the behind-the-scenes day-to-day operations of the House go smoothly. Being chosen the Chief Clerk meant a vote of confidence from both sides of the aisle after her nomination by a bipartisan committee.
Miller, who has a master’s degree in public affairs, brings nineteen years of experience to the job, starting her career as the chief legislative specialist in the House Procedures Office. She has been the Director of Procedures for seven years in her previous job as assistant clerk.
Unlike the proceedings of the first session of the House of Representatives of the State of Missouri (about eleven months before Missouri actually was admitted to the union), when the election of the clerk was the first order of business after the first quorum was established, the election of Dana Rademan Miller as Chief Clerk on January 9, 2019 was not the first formal action of the House after an adequate number of members were certified to make a quorum. Her appointment does not show up until the eighteenth page of the House Journal, after three speeches, the election of the Speaker and the Speaker Pro Tem, and adoption of rules. Only after her election was the governor told that the House, indeed, was in properly organized and in session.
And Dana Rademan Miller is the new person who will make sure the House does its work within the Missouri Constitution and the House rules.
Her undergraduate degree in history has made her a leader in efforts to preserve the state capitol as a working historical building. As chairman of the Capitol Commission she has headed an organization with growing responsibilities not only in preserving the capitol as a structure but as the state’s most important symbol and as one of its foremost historic sites. Her leadership has energized the commission and developed it into an organization that fixes leaks, replaces stone, preserves the priceless art that distinguishes this building from all other state capitols, and more. The House clerkship is her occupation. The Capitol is her passion. Both are in capable hands.
Missouri Bankers Association by Heath Clarkston
The Missouri Bankers Association (MBA) remains an outspoken voice for the state banking industry and continues to successfully promote their membership in the ever-changing world of term-limits. The Missouri Bankers legislative team guided by the steady hand of Craig Overfelt has been very successful for several decades in moving complicated and transformational legislation through the process and onto the Governors desk.
The MBA team also includes David Kent and Emily Lewis who both have a deep understanding of the legislative process as they insure their legislation remains on track and at the forefront of debate. On a weekly basis, you will see the MBA team providing visiting bankers with tours and full access visits to the state Capitol to advocate on issues. The relationships between MBA members and their state lawmakers run deep and their association has mastered the utilization of grassroots for advocacy.
Other trade associations will find no better partner than the MBA as they maintain a global view of working with other interested parties in finding solutions. MBA President Max Cook and their Board have continued to not only provide time and funding, but also have taken a leading role on finding solutions to issues important not only to their industry, but to the state of Missouri.
Dawn Nicklas by M’evie Mead
Dawn Nicklas has all the qualities you want in a lobbyist. She knows everyone, more importantly she’s liked and respected by all who know her. Dawn understands how things work under the dome and can produce an accurate vote count – even if it’s not the vote count you want to hear. I like working with Dawn because I never have to doubt the accuracy of the information she shares.
Dawn has impeccable taste and even better judgement. She’s generous with her convenient and stylish office space hosting meetings and fundraisers. She’s also generous with her time and expertise serving as a mentor to many in the building.
Dawn is deeply committed to maintaining professionalism as a lobbyist and is not afraid to call attention to unfair or unprofessional practices in Jefferson City.
Missouri Insurance Coalition by Guy Black
I believe Brandon and the Missouri Insurance Coalition do a terrific job representing the insurance industry in Missouri. Brandon has done a great job building on a longstanding public policy organization which fights hard to protect an important economic engine for the state. Congratulations to Brandon and MIC for being named to the 2019 Missouri Times 100 List.
Jessica Pabst by Christine Page
When you picture a successful corporate lobbyist, you probably think of someone who can adeptly explain complex issues, build strong relationships, navigate the policymaking process, and adapt to the ever-changing power dynamics in the Capitol. However, you may not have immediately pictured a woman who is personable, funny, wears four-inch heels and juggles life as a mother of two in addition to her successful day-job advocating for SSM Health Care. But Jessica Pabst is all of these things and so much more.
Jessica’s years as a contract lobbyist and Senate staffer have given her great insights into the policymaking process and power structures of the Capitol. But perhaps more important is her innate ability to connect with people from different backgrounds, forging key relationships across the state. And while she can go toe to toe with adversaries in a heated debate, she can also break tension when needed and put people at ease in uncomfortable situations.
She is fierce, loyal, and very hard-working. Her friends and colleagues say that there’s no one they’d rather have in their corner. I couldn’t agree more.
Christine Page by Jessica Pabst
When I think of Christine Page, I think of the ultimate professional. She is always polished, poised, and knowledgeable all while having a smile on her face.
Speak to Christine for just a few moments and there is no denying she knows what she is talking about and willing to put in the work. Christine is not one to shy away from doing her homework. You can tell she has read every detail of a bill because she has a way to take an extremely difficult issue and break it down so anyone can understand, ultimately leading to passage of significant legislation.
Christine also truly cares about her colleagues, legislators, staff, interns, and future folks who have an interest in politics. This became apparent when she became the brains behind the Women’s Policy Network. This is a true passion for Christine and it clearly shines through with the success of the program. I feel lucky to call this ultimate professional my friend.
Guy Black & Bryan Cave Leighton Paisner by Scott Faughn
The Bryan Cave Leighton Paisner law firm is one of the largest in the world with offices spanning the globe. However there is no office held in higher esteem by their peers than their Jefferson City office. Their legislative team does an outstanding job representing and supporting its clients in Missouri. Between Guy Black and Frank Plescia, the team has been a leader and championed causes across the spectrum including Utility, Healthcare, Transportation, Insurance, Economic Development, Environmental and Agricultural issues. Their team stands out because they have the resources and support staff of a leading global law firm with the attention to detail and client relationships of a family shop.
They can easily walk into any Capitol office, rural or urban and strike up a conversation. Black started in the Missouri State Senate and has nearly two decades of experience lobbying legislators in Missouri. Plescia has successfully made the transition from corporate government affairs work taking him to every capitol in the nation to lobbying for multiple clients in Missouri. When clients turn to this team, their interests will be defended and advocated by seasoned professionals with a reputation for being loyal, dependable and successful.
Melissa Panettiere by Angela Nelson
Millions of people float through our daily lives over the course of a lifetime. We will remember a special few of them as we walk through the autumn of our lives. But an even smaller number of people, the truly remarkable ones, leave an indelible mark on us. They touch our hearts and even our souls, and a part of them remains a part of us.
I could fill an entire page by just simply listing all the words in the Merriam-Webster Dictionary that describe Melissa Panettiere. But that would make this fairly unreadable and rather long. So here are a just a few: wicked smart, honest, dependable, compassionate, loyal, strategic. And, oh, yes, she’s also that friend who is drop dead model gorgeous (seriously). But none of those words can even come close to capturing who Melissa really is as a person.
Melissa is a fighter, in the truest, most sincere sense of the word. She is as tough as nails. In life, one’s mettle is tested when we face adversity. My friend has looked into the eyes of some of the toughest adversity life can deal; faced it head on and never blinked. Melissa is not only still standing, she is taking the hands of others, standing beside them as they make their own journeys. Some days, she is an inspiration. On other days, she gives strength as she leans in to help others stand tall.
Melissa Panettiere is one of those truly remarkable people who touches the lives of everyone she meets. I know this because she has left an indelible mark on mine.
The Penman Group by Shanon Hawk
It starts with a passion for their clients’ issues and often ends with a silent, personal victory for them. Kaycee and Scott have a classic lobbying style that ensures everyone has a voice while trying to achieve a win for all involved. You can be assured that they have always done their research in advance and their list of people to talk with is usually quite long. They never underestimate an opponent and strive to find consensus on issues rather than trying to steamroll their legislation.
If you have spent any time in the capitol, you likely know that there has been an effort to update the 911 system across the state for at least 20 years. Scott became involved in working on the legislation six years ago and Kaycee has worked on it with him for the last three years. Their persistence paid off in 2018 when the bill was “truly agreed to and finally passed.” Thanks to them, our entire state stands to benefit from a quality 911 system. In recognition of their work on this legislation, they received special recognition in MoScout for being the best lobbyists on a single bill. More recently, they received the Public Safety 9-1-1 Communications President’s Leadership Award for their support and commitment to 911 across the state.
Dusty Schneiders by Jeff Brooks
Effective, competitive, and loyal best describe Dusty Schneiders and his work in the Missouri capitol. From his years of dedicated service to Senator Ron Richard, to his tenacious advocacy protecting and promoting the University of Missouri, Dusty is the leader you want on your lobbying team.
Dusty knows the process, he knows the decision makers, and he wins. Growing up around the business, he learned Missouri lobbying from the best, his father Phil and many, many close family friends in the profession. His knowledge of the legislative process and well established relationships in the capitol made Dusty ideal to serve as Chief of Staff to Senator Ron Richard during some of his most demanding years as Majority Floor Leader and then President Pro Tem. The challenges faced and successes achieved by Dusty as Chief of Staff further honed his skills as a talented Jefferson City advocate, today diligently serving the University of Missouri, one of our state’s truly critical institutions.
Although driven and competitive, Dusty conducts his business in Jefferson City professionally and ethically. His relationships are sincere and his word is true. Pairing character with ability, Dusty has quickly vaulted into the top tier of Jefferson City’s most influential lobbyists.
Lynne Schlosser by Fred Dreiling
Effective, intelligent and hard-working is how I would describe Lynne Schlosser. When I first met Lynne, she came into the bar I owned and introduced herself. I was the Chief of Staff for a Senator and she had just been promoted to the Director of Government Relations for the American Cancer Society. Six years later, she went out on her own and this year marks her 19th session in the Capitol. Many may not know how successful she is in the building because with Lynne, it’s about getting the job done not about getting recognition for it. She works incredibly hard, is not afraid of a challenge and is experienced in a variety of industries. She has a knack for absorbing new issues quickly. Her tenacity is evident in her work and she is a master at building relationships and remembering names. She is professional and respectful and I’m telling you, if you have a question about cannabis, she knows more about the industry than most people in this state. After becoming a lobbyist myself, I hired Lynne to help me because I know the value she brings to the table. She is a friend; a colleague and I think she is one of the best kept secrets in the Capitol!
Tina Shannon by Nancy Giddens
She’s diligent. She’s thorough. She’s targeted. She’s kind. She’s compassionate.
Tina Shannon is the perfect balance of quiet tenacity and ease. As Ameren’s government affairs team leader, she has mastered knowledge and understanding of the environment in which she works. She is well versed in all things energy and works well with those opposing her. The integrity she brings to her job and the Capitol building is unsurpassed. Knowing Tina is to know the standard of professionalism.
So much could be said about Tina’s work ethic and job performance, but Tina’s best attributes are personal. Despite working in an environment that thrives on conflict and dividedness, Tina remains a truly genuine, lovely, and charming soul. She doesn’t take herself too seriously and rocks gorgeously colored suits.
I am fortunate to know Tina, but I’m most grateful to call her my friend.
Jeff Smith by Jeffrey Altmann
A wise man once told me it takes three things to be a great lobbyist.
1. Relationships within the building to articulate your issues.
2. The moxie or fearlessness required to get in and talk about your issues.
3. Knowing the actual issues.
While many have mastered one or two of these skillsets, Jeff Smith possesses all three. If he doesn’t have a relationship that began back during his time as a Senator, he sets out to forge a new one, based on mutual interest and genuine rapport. Moxie is never in short supply, but then it takes moxie to serve as Executive Director of Missouri Workforce Housing Association, comprised of over 190 organizations dedicated to developing safe, quality affordable housing throughout the state. Finally, his knowledge on issues is unmatched by most who walk the halls. Time and time again I have seen Jeff articulate and explain in depth and great detail the complex nature of the LIHTC program. When followed up by questions he always has the answers. Armed with facts, figures, truth, and knowledge he has become a valuable resource and subject matter expert who shares his knowledge with all who seek it.
He has written more published books then most people recreationally read, his TED talk has had more than a million views, and his commitment to our great state has never been stronger, his poker game might be weak, but I have a feeling Missouri will continue to see amazing things from Jeff Smith.
Stateline Strategies by Ryan Silvey
Two different backgrounds, one common goal. In some ways, Salvatore (Sammy) Panettiere and Jeremy LaFaver are the odd couple of Missouri lobbying teams. Sammy is the impeccably dressed, organized, Republican Felix to Jeremy’s college professor, laid back, Democratic Oscar. Together, however, they make a formidable team on any issue.
Sammy comes from the political family tree of Kit Bond, having once served as his KC District Office Director. His reputation in KC was so strong that the Democrat Mayor, Sly James, hired him to be his liaison to the Republican controlled legislature in Jefferson City. Over the years, he worked to navigate numerous sticky issues for the City through the rural dominated body. For a few of those years he had a trusted ally; and that’s where Jeremy comes in.
Jeremy went from children’s advocate to legislator and back to lobbyist. During his time representing a KC district in the House, he demonstrated a thoughtful approach to issues and built relationships on both sides of the aisle. His sense of humor and easy going style make him hard to dislike, even if you don’t agree with his position. As we all know, likability, many times, will at least get you through the door.
The partnership is still young, but don’t sleep on these two. They’ve already accumulated a diversified list of both business and non-profit clients, including some specifically focused on appropriations. Each is capable enough to make it on his own, but when their Wonder Twin powers activate, they become a Jeff City Juggernaut.
Mike Talboy by Ryan Silvey
Mike doesn’t come to town as often as he used to, but make no mistake, he is a force in Missouri business policy.
Mike has always been a powerhouse of pragmatism. During his time as Minority Leader in the Missouri House, which seems ages ago in the era of term limits, Mike eschewed the bomb throwing tactics of his predecessors. Embodying the role of worthy adversary, he would resist the Majority when necessary, but didn’t allow that to cloud his judgment of working with the Majority when it made sense. It’s that discernment that has made him so successful in his current role.
As Director of Government Affairs for Burns & McDonnell, Mike has created and an in-house lobbying shop from nothing and grown it into a respected voice in both State and Federal affairs. As a former member of the legislature, he knows precisely how to communicate with them, but was never so abrasive or blindly partisan as to burn bridges and have his message immediately dismissed. An unlikely rise from lowly Minority House member, to Minority Leader to business policy advocate.
Oh, and if you ever wanna see Mike when he’s not around, just walk up to the Thai place on High St. He’s on the Wall of Flame, having finished a 150.
Casey Wasser by Gary Wheeler
A standout golfer in his younger days, Casey Wasser hasn’t lost his swing.
Now a high-energy advocate in the Capitol, Wasser channels his passion and competitive nature into moving the needle for Missouri’s soybean farmers, along with his other clients.
He learns from what’s been done in the past, without being bound by it. Working with him means there’s no question of where you stand or the end goal, and you’re going to move quickly. Wasser brings the proactive approach of a well-trained athlete, presenting challenges in the same breath as possible solutions. And perhaps most importantly, he brings a level of commitment and discipline that regardless of the task upon his shoulders, it’s accomplished.
Wasser is truly a student of the game, and his handicap continues to make him a guy you want on your team – from the first hole to the 19th.
Jason Zamkus by Chris Pieper
From his humble beginnings in the bowels of Senate Research to the highest levels of the executive branch, Jason Zamkus gained an unparalleled breadth of public policy expertise and a keen insight into the process and the players who make it. That’s why it’s no surprise that Jason has become one of the most effective and well-respected lobbyists working in the Capitol today, with a growing number of clients and litany of outstanding results.
To paraphrase one former Senator, the deep end of the pool is where Jason likes to swim. Over his career, Jason has thrived in deep waters—at the epicenter of some of the most significant and contentious public policy issues facing our state. His easy-going demeanor may make it seem as though even the toughest of battles is just a day on the river or the golf course, but it conceals an intensity and competitiveness that his clients are fortunate to have working for them rather than against them.
But one Jason’s greatest assets is his integrity. He is a man of his word—he says what he does and does what he says. With his combination of experience, intensity and integrity it’s no wonder that Jason has an outstanding reputation and is well-respected by legislators, colleagues and friends on both sides of the aisle and in all the branches of government.
Every odd year, the Missouri Times releases the 100 people who are most influential, the most effective, and the most relied on in the building. Narrowing it down to 100 is always painful, but this year, we asked 100 people – from current and past governors, company presidents, clients, friends, past and present (and future) legislators, and more – to write about those nominated and chosen for the 100 List.
For 2019, here are the 100 people you must know in the Capitol. This is one of five groups of this year’s list.
The list does not include those currently elected.
READ THE FULL EDITION ONLINE, or pick up at the Capitol’s Chez Monet, J. Pfenny’s, Tolson’s, or the Missouri Times offices on Madison St.
Rachael Herndon was the editor at The Missouri Times and also produced This Week in Missouri Politics, published Missouri Times Magazine, and co-hosted the #MoLeg podcast. She joined The Missouri Times in 2014, returning to political reporting after working as a campaign and legislative staffer.
Rachael studied at the University of Missouri – Columbia. She lives in Jefferson City with her husband, Brandon, and their two children.