Kelly Klass brings years of grassroots, policy, and communications experience to Locust Street Group’s communications team, where she works to create and implement media strategies to position clients as industry leaders in Washington and across the country.
Prior to joining Locust Street Group, Kelly served as the Media Manager for the National Federation of Independent Business (NFIB), the nation’s leading small business advocacy group. In this role, Kelly managed media relations with numerous national and state reporters, especially those focused on business. She was instrumental in communicating the small business community’s biggest legislative victories and priorities through the media.
Additionally, Kelly worked for New Jersey Governor Christopher J. Christie, where she developed and maintained the Governor’s relationship with state elected officials and influential community leaders. Kelly played a key role in planning, managing, and executing hundreds of successful town hall meetings across the state. These events served as the Governor’s flagship grassroots outreach where he was able to interact with thousands of constituents.
Kelly is a New Jersey native. She holds a Bachelor’s degree from Rutgers University and is pursuing a Master’s in Strategic Communications from American University. Kelly loves the beach and football, especially the New York Giants. She is holding out hope that Rutgers Football will someday become relevant in the Big Ten.
Rebecca Schieber is an integral part of Locust Street Group’s advocacy team where she works to increase clients’ grassroots presence through local earned media campaigns, issue advocacy, and community activism.
Rebecca’s grassroots and field experience comes from local, statewide, and national political campaigns. Prior to joining Locust Street, Rebecca served as Central Pennsylvania Field Director for Senator Pat Toomey’s 2016 successful reelection campaign. In this role, Rebecca directed the regional efforts of 20 Pennsylvania counties to build coalitions, activate volunteers, and coordinate events. Previously, Rebecca served as Carly Fiorina’s personal assistant during her 2016 presidential bid. Rebecca traveled with Carly to over 30 states coordinating daily press interviews, fundraisers, and nearly 400 events for the campaign.
Rebecca is a Chicagoland native, actively cheering for the White Sox’s return to relevance. She graduated Magna Cum Laude from Northwestern University and can be seen on Twitter obnoxiously rooting for the ‘Cats in all sports.
Amanda Austin Moorhead is a former Vice President of Government Relations and Media for the National Federation of Independent Business (NFIB), where she served for 14 years. NFIB is the country’s leading small business advocacy group, whose membership represents every sector of the economy.
Amanda, who ranks consistently among the top lobbyists in Washington, D.C., led a government relations team that monitored congressional and administration activity affecting American small businesses, particularly in the areas of healthcare, taxes, labor policy, and financial oversight.
In addition to the government relations team, Amanda oversaw the national and state media programs, integrating strong public relations with legislative affairs to maximize the organization’s influence. Under her leadership, NFIB rose to become one of the top news producing business groups in America.
Prior to her promotion to Vice President, Amanda served as the Director of Federal Public Policy for NFIB. Most notably, she founded and chaired the Small Business Health Insurance Tax (HIT) coalition. Amanda also directed the effort to repeal Section 1099 of the tax code, a major imposition on small business owners. Her efforts resulted in President Obama signing the repeal into law on April 14, 2011. As co-chair of the Small Business Coalition for Affordable Healthcare, she worked with lawmakers on Capitol Hill to introduce numerous pieces of health care legislation supported by small business.
CEO Update named Amanda a top lobbyist in 2011. Notably, she was the organization’s lead lobbyist on the Affordable Care Act during the landmark legal challenge, NFIB vs. Sebelius.
Hayley has more than a dozen years of political experience with a portfolio that includes non-profit issue advocacy, organizing and communications strategy, coalition development and management, and electoral campaigns at all levels from state legislative races to presidential campaigns.
Before joining Locust Street, Hayley spent seven years working with Congresswoman Gabby Giffords, including on her last re-election campaign, the special election in her congressional district, and the U.S. Senate race in Arizona in 2012. Most recently, Hayley was the Executive Director of Americans for Responsible Solutions, a bipartisan gun safety organization that she founded with Congresswoman Giffords and retired NASA Astronaut Capt. Mark Kelly. In this role, Zachary grew Americans for Responsible Solutions into a powerful coalition with over 1 million supporters and tremendous success outside-the-beltway passing legislation in more than a dozen states.
Zachary also previously managed coalitions and advocacy efforts at the Energy Action Coalition, Americans United to Protect Social Security, and the Democracy Alliance. Zachary started her career working on Capitol Hill for Rep. Nita Lowey and Sen. Chuck Schumer of New York. She also has worked on multiple presidential campaigns, including a notable stint on the firm’s namesake, Locust Street, in Des Moines, IA.
Hayley received her BA in Politics and Anthropology at Mount Holyoke College, and her JD at American University, Washington College of Law. She is originally from New York, and lives in Washington, DC.
David Barnhart is the founding partner of Locust Street Group. A veteran field operations manager with experience in national, state and local campaigns, Barnhart combines tested political strategies with seasoned grassroots management to deliver successful results for the Locust Street Group’s corporate clients.
Upon founding Locust Street Group in 2008, Barnhart quickly designed and ran one of the largest grassroots campaigns in history during the spirited and hotly debated healthcare reform campaign. Since then, Barnhart has grown Locust Street into one of the fastest growing and most respected grassroots communications firms in Washington, DC, managing numerous multi-million dollar campaigns that have achieved results for clients in Washington and in state capitols across the U.S.
Barnhart’s political resume also includes leadership roles on the campaigns of winning candidates and elected officials across the country, such as Former Governor and now U.S. Senator Tim Kaine, Former Senator and Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, and current Secretary of State John Kerry. In 2006, he was part of the DCCC campaign team that swept the Democrats back into the majority.
Barnhart is a proud Virginia Tech graduate, and enjoys spending his spring and summer (and hopefully fall) evenings rooting hard for the Washington Nationals.
For over a decade, Maloney has worked with national trade associations and Fortune 100 companies in managing state and federal policy initiatives and communications campaigns, having successfully created and built multi-million dollar public affairs operations in the telecommunications, healthcare, manufacturing and high tech industries.
Arriving to Washington in 2001, Joe began his career in Congress, working as a legislative aide to a member on the House Energy and Commerce Committee. From there, Joe embraced advocacy roles on campaigns at all levels of government, including repeated stops in Iowa for presidential caucus campaigns, and stints working in Washington, DC and across the country for the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee on political and GOTV operations. He joined Locust Street Group as Partner in 2010, leading to LSG’s entry into new sectors such as the energy, technology, and manufacturing industries. Prior to LSG, Joe was a Principal at the Dewey Square Group.
A native of Holyoke, MA, Joe graduated Phi Beta Kappa from Dickinson College, where he also played football. Joe also holds a Master’s degree from The Johns Hopkins University. He is an avid fan of the Washington Nationals and remains hopelessly obsessed with someday becoming a single digit handicap golfer. Joe and his family reside in Maryland, just outside Washington, DC.
Nina Verghese is an accomplished veteran of national and local field campaign and serves as Locust Street Group’s national field director. Verghese manages a vast network of field and press operative designing unique, winning strategies for our clients.
Prior to joining Locust Street, she worked at Cor Strategies in Chicago and Direct Impact in Chicago and Washington DC, where she designed, implemented and carried out prominent issue advocacy campaigns on behalf of Fortune 100 companies, non-profits, national and local coalitions.
Verghese’s experience also includes a variety of political and campaign related positions, including serving as the national coalitions director for the Jon Huntsman for President Campaign, as well as a Deputy Regional Political Director at the Republican National Committee. In addition, she has worked at both the well-known polling firm The Tarrance Group and at the White House under President George W. Bush.
Originally from Maryland, she graduated from St. Mary’s College of Maryland where she double-majored in history and political science, played on the college tennis team and was member of the honors program. Her charitable activities and interests include serving as a member of the board of the ApareciÃ³ Foundation, a non-profit dedicated to mentoring high-potential, low-income women in public high schools across Chicago.
In her free time Verghese can be found on the tennis court, cheering on her beloved Washington Redskins, pursuing her MBA, or planning her next trip abroad.
Dave Herrero is a partner at Locust Street where he manages a nationwide network of field operatives and designs unique, winning grassroots advocacy campaigns in the states. He has run numerous campaigns for Locust Street specializing on health care, including for corporate, trade association, and non-profit clients.
Prior to Locust Street, Dave worked for several years on Capitol Hill as a legislative aide to a senior member of the U.S. Senate Judiciary Committee, where his portfolio included immigration, homeland security, civil rights, as well as oversight of the Department of Justice, Department of Homeland Security, and FBI. Dave also previously worked for the Council on Foreign Relations as a research associate on Latin America, focusing on Cuba, Brazil, and emerging market economies. In recent presidential elections, he volunteered in several battleground states, including Ohio, Nevada, and Virginia.
Dave was born and raised in Northern California and graduated Phi Beta Kappa from Kenyon College in Ohio. He maintains proficient Spanish language skills. An outdoors enthusiast, Dave regularly bikes and kayaks in the Washington area.
As writer and creative director for Locust Street Group, Amy Lorenzo applies her experience in public policy and grassroots communications to the firm’s local media and field programs. Her versatile writing style and issue understanding have made her a resource in campaigns for Fortune 100 companies, leading trade associations, and advocacy groups for more than 15 years.
Amy has ghostwritten for sitting U.S. senators and retired governors, innovated online advocacy campaigns, and developed web and print materials on issues as diverse as health care, energy, defense, technology, intellectual property, international trade, and immigration. Her background spans legislative and regulatory affairs on the federal, state, and local levels.
Beginning her career with the Direct Impact, Amy led that grassroots firm’s writing department through the company’s integration with Burson-Marsteller. She then launched the creative services function at what is now DDC Public Affairs. Amy’s writing and communications experience currently includes serving public affairs, marketing, and technology companies.
Amy graduated Phi Beta Kappa from Duke University with degrees in philosophy and literature. She is an avid sailor who has put more than 50,000 nautical miles under the keels of her catamaran, all in search of the best islands on which to hang a hammock and read a good book.
Ben leads the communications practice at Locust Street Group (LSG). A veteran Washington communicator, Ben oversees LSG’s strategic communications and media relations efforts, providing direct communications counsel and support on behalf of all clients.
Prior to joining LSG, Ben led communications for America’s Health Insurance Plans (AHIP) as Vice President of Communications, managing earned media and message development for the health insurance industry’s main trade body.
Before joining AHIP, Ben was Vice President of State Government Communications for the Distilled Spirits Council of the United States (DISCUS), the national trade association representing spirits products sold in America. In that capacity, Ben managed high-profile public affairs campaigns to defeat tax threats and improve market access for the spirits industry, working closely with state capitol media around the country. Ben’s successful tenure at DISCUS saw victories in 200 out of 214 different state tax threats, saving the industry over $6B in revenue. He also managed high-profile media campaigns that helped win priority market access initiatives for spirits retail channels, including Sunday sales victories in Colorado (2008), Arkansas (2009), Georgia (2011) and Connecticut (2012), generating over $200M in new revenue annually for the industry.
Ben’s deep political experience includes working to elect Republican governors around the country as spokesperson for the Republican Governors Association (RGA), a national political organization based in Washington, DC. Ben served a full 4-year cycle of gubernatorial elections for the RGA, giving him campaign experience in all 50 states.
Ben holds an M.B.A. from Johns Hopkins Carey Business School, an M.A. in Communications from Johns Hopkins University, and a B.A. from the College of William and Mary in Virginia where he ran Track and Cross Country for the Tribe. A Tennessee native, Ben is a die-hard University of Memphis basketball fan and supports the Tennessee Titans on Sundays. He and his wife Emily have two sons, Whit and Will, and live in Falls Church, VA with their chocolate lab Coco.
Matt Simeon leads new business development at Locust Street Group, driving the firm’s entry into new sectors and industries while working with existing clients to identify opportunities where LSG can provide solutions to key policy issue campaigns.
Prior to joining LSG, Matt cultivated and managed relationships with leading center-right donors as the Donor Relations Advisor for both Allegiance Strategies & the American Unity Fund (AUF). Matt’s keen political giving insights and strategic vision assisted these donors, collectively representing more than $2,500,000, on maximizing their impact at all levels during the 2014 election cycle.
Matt’s career in Washington also includes time in the Federal Government Relations office of the United Services Automobile Association (USAA) focusing his efforts on recruiting new members and overseeing political strategy for the USAA Employee PAC. Before USAA, Matt launched the Coalitions Department at the Republican National Committee (RNC) under Chairman Michael Steele’s leadership, which has been widely credited with increasing Party outreach to the small business community, millennials, and LGBT voters during the 2010 midterms. Through targeted outreach in key congressional districts around the country, the RNC Coalitions Department paved the way for Republicans to regain control of the U.S. House of Representatives. He also oversaw several RNC initiatives at both the state and federal level aimed at engaging voters on specific issues that broadened the base of the Republican Party.
A North Carolina native turned Washingtonian, Matt is an avid fan of the Carolina Panthers and Washington Nationals. He is a graduate of the College of Charleston, where he was a member of the tennis team and Sigma Nu fraternity.
Brian Parks is a top grassroots advocacy professional, responsible for leading advocacy campaigns and working to identify and empower key activists throughout the country on behalf of Locust Street Group clients.
Prior to Locust Street, Brian coordinated multi-million dollar corporate and non-profit engagement campaigns, targeting influential public officials, such as cabinet secretaries, and elected officials at all levels of government.
Brian gained considerable advocacy experience leading national events and campaigns for preeminent advocacy groups such as the National Coalition for the Homeless (NCH). While directing the advocacy efforts of NCH, Brian focused on mobilizing its membership on issues of civil rights, housing, and employment policy advocacy through community organizing and online action. He was instrumental in organizing over 50 lobby days and helped train over 2,500 people nationwide in effective direct citizen lobbying. Through this experience, Brian tripled the reach of a nationwide field team operation and mobilized members throughout the U.S. into action to cross the finish line on statewide legislation, U.S. Senate confirmations, and national philanthropic events.
Brian is a proud Southern California native turned Washingtonian who escapes to the beach whenever he can. He graduated Magna Cum Laude from Loyola University New Orleans and in his free time enjoys perfecting his seafood gumbo.
Allison Schneider is a top member of Locust Street Group’s Communications Practice, serving as Director of Communications, where she focuses on creating and implementing communications strategies for clients to reach target audiences in Washington and throughout the country.
Allison combines nearly 10 years of experience on Capitol Hill and political campaigns, most recently serving as Communications Director for a Member of Congress on the House Ways and Means Committee. In this role, she developed and executed a comprehensive communications plan with an emphasis on social and earned media and consistently secured front-page coverage in leading state and local newspapers.
Allison has also led grassroots communications and field organizing for political and issues-based campaigns at the local, state, and national levels. As press secretary for National School Choice Week, she generated millions of dollars in earned media coverage, sharing the message that all students should have quality education options regardless of zip code. Prior to that, she consulted on outreach campaigns targeted to women, youth, and minority voters on behalf of the Republican National Committee.
Allison actively supports military service members and their families as a member of Daughters of the American Revolution and serves on the host committee of the annual Sweethearts and Patriots gala. A Michigan native, Allison attended the University of Michigan for her undergraduate studies and tries to get back for a football game every year. She earned her master’s degree in Public Relations from Georgetown University.
Melissa Albright-Krothe brings nearly a decade of public affairs and strategic communications experience to Locust Street Group. Serving as the Deputy Director of Advocacy & Digital Content, Melissa specializes in grassroots communications, stakeholder outreach, coalition building and event management.
Prior to joining Locust Street, Melissa was a project manager at Direct Impact, a wholly-owned subsidiary of Burson-Marstellar. Working closely with the firm’s national field network, she designed and implemented advocacy campaigns at the federal and state level.
Previously, Melissa supported the Deputy Chief of Public Affairs and Regimental Sergeant Major, respectively, at the U.S. Army Office of the Chief of Public Affairs – Pentagon, where the primary objective was to tell the Soldier’s story.
A native of Virginia, Melissa graduated from Bridgewater College with a B.A. in communication studies.
Angy Dixon is the Director of Operations for the Locust Street Group. She handles the day-to-day operations of the firm to include human resources, finance, information technology, and risk management. Together, with the senior partners, she leverages business performance data to affect improvements and innovations in the firm’s operations.
Angy comes to Locust Street with more than 25 years of operations management experience in the banking, healthcare and telecommunications industries with the last 14 years in various leadership positions at public affairs firm, the Dewey Square Group, where working with the management team, contributed to the development and implementation of organizational strategies, policies and practices. A specialist in budget development and oversight, contract administration and logistics, Angy increased the effectiveness and efficiency of support services through improvements to each function as well as coordination and communications between support and business functions. As executive director of several nonprofit coalitions, Angy ensured sound bookkeeping and accounting procedures were followed and provided leadership to their boards.
Angy is from Pittsburgh, PA and lives in Beltsville, MD with her husband and loves spending time with her adultson, David and very energetic Boxer dog.