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LEVICK Adds Lobbying to Integrated Communications

New Practice Led by Top Washington, D.C. Area Government Strategists

WASHINGTON, Jan. 13, 2014 /PRNewswire/ -- LEVICK announced the first of a set of new disciplines to be rolled out in early 2014 to build a comprehensive integrated communications agency. Today marks the first of several planned moves into lobbying and communications supported advocacy. The lobbying group will be led by Senior Vice President Rick Kessler, and based out of the firm's Washington, D.C. headquarters. Kessler is a senior public policy and political professional with over 20 years of experience in government and electoral politics at the federal, state and local levels. He served most recently as president of the government strategies division of a national legal and advocacy firm.

"The addition of lobbying advances our ability to orchestrate communication plans that deliver outcomes," said LEVICK President, Mark Irion, himself the former longtime CEO of one the largest national public policy firms. "Every discipline of the communications trade is necessarily evolving in the digital era, and lobbying is no exception. LEVICK 's vision is to marry the direct communications of lobbying with our expertise in informing and shaping public sentiment. Communications supported lobbying is what's next to effectively build public consensus and bolster political will."

Kessler is joined by his core team—Michael Scrivner, Jessica Lenard, and Pete Leon. Scrivner boasts an extensive and varied resume, having served 15 years as a staff member in the U.S. House of Representatives, and lobbied issues on behalf of several industries, including: energy, environment, telecommunications, healthcare and pharmaceutical. Lenard brings her experience as a senior policy advisor to the Senate Assistant Majority Leader as well as her substantive background in natural resources, green-edge leadership and Native American policy. Leon rounds out the team with two decades of government relations under his belt, including a leadership role at a major telecommunications trade organization where he specialized in coalition-building.

"LEVICK is taking an innovative and unique approach to government relations by merging our direct advocacy with its renowned digital and traditional communication campaigns that LEVICK executes on behalf of its many clients," said Kessler. "We'll be an integral part of a cutting edge approach to advocacy allowing LEVICK to frame campaigns so that our clients not only will be able to educate decision makers, but also help shape their constituents' understanding of public policy matters. There's nothing out there quite like this." 

"With the integration of lobbying, LEVICK's clients will have the benefit of working with a team whose combined years of government service and access to top industry players will offer distinctive insight on how best to navigate Washington," said Scrivner. "Something most traditional communications firms can't offer."

Rick Kessler, Senior Vice President of LEVICK will lead the lobbying team, and served previously as President of Dow Lohnes Government Strategies, a full-service government relations practice in Washington, D.C. Each year since 2010, Mr. Kessler has been named to The Hill's Top Lobbyists list of "the most well-regarded industry advocates, major players and rising stars." Mr. Kessler is best known as the Chief of Staff to former House Energy and Commerce Committee Chairman John D. Dingell (D, MI) and as professional staff for the Committee, where he was the primary advisor to the Democratic Committee Members on issues such as cogeneration, renewables, efficiency, hydro-power, public lands, oil, gas, coal, pipeline safety, and energy tax policy. Previously, Mr. Kessler also served as Director of the State of New Jersey's Washington, D.C. office; worked as a top aide to Energy and Commerce Health Subcommittee Ranking Member Frank Pallone, Jr. (D, NJ); held legislative positions with the late Senator Frank R. Lautenberg (D, NJ) and former Representative William J. Hughes (D, NJ); and was Associate Director of Government Affairs for Princeton University.

Michael Scrivner, Senior Vice President, provides LEVICK clients with the benefits of more than three decades of experience in government relations. He began his service in the Congress in 1978 when he joined the staff of the late Rep. John J. Duncan, Sr. (R-Tennessee) as legislative assistant and press secretary. Mr. Scrivner assisted Rep. Duncan, a senior member of the House Committee on Ways and Means, with tax and health care issues. Mr. Scrivner also served as Rep. Duncan's key staffer in the successful effort to exempt the Tennessee Valley Authority's Tellico Dam from coverage under the Endangered Species Act. This fight over the fate of the snail darter was the major environmental battle of the Carter Administration, and it ended in 1980 when the dam went into operation. Prior to LEVICK, Scrivner was a member of the DLGS team, with which the government relations firm Lent Scrivner & Roth, which he co-founded, had merged in 2008.

Jessica Lenard, Vice President of LEVICK, brings a keen and experienced eye to a range of legislative and regulatory issues. Her seven years of Capitol Hill experience provides LEVICK clients with extensive expertise in the area of energy and environmental policy. Prior to joining LEVICK, she was a key team member at DLGS, which she joined in 2007. There she led Dow Lohnes Green Solutions, a green-focused practice that combines Washington advocacy with business consulting expertise on behalf of clients committed to the social, reputational, and business benefits of green-edge leadership. Among multiple other accomplishments while at DLGS, Ms. Lenard amended language in pending legislation to allow for the qualification of advanced cellulosic biofuels, and helped secure funding to support U.S.-based manufacturing of advanced battery technology. Ms. Lenard served as a legislative assistant to senior Members in both the U.S. House and Senate, and most recently as the legislative assistant on energy and environment issues to Senate Assistant Majority Leader Richard Durbin (D-IL).

Pete Leon, Vice President of LEVICK, is a tech and telecom policy expert who spent more than a decade working for four Members of the U.S. House of Representatives. He served as Legislative Director for two Members of the New York delegation: former Rep. Mike Forbes (D-NY), who served on the Appropriations Committee, and Rep. Eliot Engel (D-NY), who currently serves on the powerful Energy and Commerce Committee and as the top Democrat on the House International Relations Committee. During his tenure on Capitol Hill, he focused on telecommunications, appropriations, energy, environment, housing, human rights, and tax issues. Most recently prior to LEVICK, Leon held the position of Vice President at DLGS, and formerly Vice President of Legislative Affairs at COMPTEL. He has also worked as a lobbyist for the American Association of Engineering Societies, advocating for greater federal R&D and better math and science education.

LEVICK orchestrates integrated communications campaigns in the highest-profile global matters for companies, financial institutions, and countries. The firm has received top honors in crisis, litigation, public affairs communications, as well as financial communications and online campaigns. LEVICK counselors have seen clients through the most intensely scrutinized events of our time, including the Gulf oil spill, the Wall Street financial crisis, the largest data breach in U.S. history, the Catholic Church crisis, hundreds of food and consumer product recalls, and litigation involving brand name personalities and companies. Learn more of how LEVICK integrates disciplines to communicate trust more broadly www.levick.com.


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