Washington, DC – S-3 Group today announced that Howard Opinsky, a seasoned corporate, reputational, and political strategist will join the firm as Managing Director and leader of the firm’s rapidly growing public affairs business.
S-3 takes a holistic approach to public affairs, bringing together the best bi-partisan policy, media, political, and digital minds to stay ahead of the curve and deliver measurable wins for its clients. Opinsky’s addition will strengthen the firm’s offering and expand its work deeper into the rapidly evolving strategic communication opportunities. He will be expanding the operation and hiring additional team members to meet increasing client demand.
“We’re excited to welcome Howard to our team,” said firm partner Rob Collins. “He’s a stand-up guy with a great reputation guiding C-Suite executives through complicated communications challenges, and I know his insights will be a great add for our clients. Howard’s extensive background with large scale, corporate clients will bring a unique perspective to our boutique shop. He is well-suited to guide and grow our public affairs business and will bring immediate value to our clients.”
Opinsky is a veteran communication strategist who has spent his career at the intersection of reputation, regulation, and public opinion. Throughout his career he has worked on many types of political and policy campaigns, corporate and personal reputation matters, and special situations including activist campaigns, regulatory investigations, corporate litigation, and cyber breaches.
Opinsky has decades of experience as a senior consultant and agency leader at Hill+Knowlton Strategies and Powell Tate, where he worked with clients to create, build and defend their reputations and public policy priorities. Opinsky was previously a Managing Director of Corporate Communications at JPMorgan Chase and President of Five Blocks, a digital reputation management firm.
Opinsky spent over a decade in politics, serving as a presidential campaign aid and strategic advisor to the late U.S. Senator John McCain, and he continues to advise The McCain Institute for International Leadership.
About S-3 Group
S-3 Group brings together the best in government and public relations to develop and execute comprehensive and cohesive strategies for our clients. Recognizing the changing landscape and playbook in DC, the firm is anchored by the best policy, media, and political minds. Working as an integrated team, we stay ahead of the game in a quickly moving environment, delivering the best insights, strategies, and ultimately wins for our clients.
Firm adds former Bernie Sanders Chief of Staff
Washington, DC – S-3 Public Affairs today announced the addition of Michaeleen Earle Crowell. She most recently served as Chief of Staff to US Senator Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.).
S-3 Public Affairs takes a holistic approach to public affairs. Recognizing the changing landscape and playbook in DC, the firm is anchored by the best policy, media and political minds. Working as an integrated team, we stay ahead of the game in a quickly moving environment, delivering the best insights, strategy and ultimately wins for clients.
“Michaeleen brings with her decades of experience in House, Senate and from the Presidential campaign trail,” said John Scofield, Managing Partner at S-3 Public Affairs. “She is a unique talent and will provide immediate value to our clients. We couldn’t be more excited that she is joining our team.”
Michaeleen served as Chief of Staff to US Senator Bernie Sanders from Vermont, for 5 years after serving as his Legislative Director. She also served as Senior Advisor to Sanders’ 2016 presidential campaign. Michaeleen was Sanders’ principal advisor on all policy, political, communications, administrative and strategic initiatives. She led the 50-person staff in developing a policy, legislative, and communications agenda which focused on economic equality and fairness, strong safety nets, democracy preservation, solutions for global warming and renewable energy, expanded care for our Veterans, and health care for all Americans. She has led the development of a full-scale media center that has set the standard for Congressional member use of social media and video to educate the American people. Senator Sanders’ social media communications reach over 25 million people each week and the large-scale, town-hall-style webcast productions of the office have reached as many as 1.7 million live viewers at one time.
She previously served as legal counsel for a successful mayoral and a successful congressional campaign in Georgia before going to Washington as Legislative Director for Congresswoman Denise Majette (GA-4) for two years, and then as Legislative Director for civil rights leader, Congressman John Lewis (GA-5) for 8 years. During her time with Congressman Lewis, Michaeleen worked on civil rights and voting rights legislation, and on health policy with a primary focus on the Affordable Care Act, Medicare, Medicaid, health disparities, kidney disease and community health centers.
Crowell is a graduate of Boston University with a BA in Political Science and received her J.D. from Boston University School of Law in 1999. She lives in Washington, DC with her husband James and her two children.
About S-3 Public Affairs
Anchored by John Scofield, Mike Ference, Rob Collins, and Amos Snead, S-3 Public Affairs brings together the best in government and public relations to develop and execute a comprehensive and cohesive strategy for our clients.
Senate is expected to consider: nominations; appropriations (Defense & Labor-HHS); FAA reauthorization; potentially WRDA and legislation relating to opioids.
House is in recess: Conference committees will be ongoing on appropriations covering at least seven bills; Farm Bill conference.
July 31-August 1: Federal Reserve Federal Open Market Committee meeting
August 1: Senate Intelligence Committee open hearing on the use of social media platforms in foreign influence operations; Senate Environment and Public Works Committee hearing on the EPA’s agenda, with testimony from Acting Administrator Andrew Wheeler
August 2: Tennessee primaries; President Trump holds a rally in Wilkes-Barre, PA; Federal Communications Commission open meeting; Securities and Exchange Commission closed meeting; Senate Foreign Relations Committee to examine NATO; Senate Banking Committee meeting to consider nominations, including nominations to lead the CFPB and Export-Import Bank
August 3: Bureau of Labor Statistics releases monthly jobs report
Week of August 6: Senate recesses for one week; the House is in recess through September 4
August 7: Ohio 12th congressional district special election; Primaries in Kansas, Michigan, Missouri, and Washington
August 11: Hawaii primaries
August 13: Public comment period closes on proposed EPA rule on considering costs and benefits in the rulemaking process
August 14: Primaries in Minnesota, Wisconsin, Connecticut, Vermont and runoffs in South Dakota
August 15: Senate Commerce Committee hearing to examine the Federal Communications Commission
August 21: Primaries in Alaska and Wyoming
August 23-25: Democratic National Committee summer meeting in Chicago, IL
August 27: World Trade Organization dispute settlement body meeting
August 28: Primaries in Arizona and Florida and runoffs in Oklahoma; Energy Information Administration publishes monthly energy review
FROM POLITICO INFLUENCE — NFL DRAFTS WOOTEN: Todd Wooten, a principal at S-3 Public Affairs, will take a three-month leave of absence to manage temporarily the NFL‘s federal government relations division, as the group searches for a permanent replacement for Jocelyn Moore. Moore was recently promoted to executive vice president of communications and public affairs.
*** PRESS RELEASE***
Wooten to Take Temporary Leave to Manage NFL’s Washington Office
July 9, 2018– S-3 Public Affairs principal Todd Wooten will take a three-month leave of absence from the firm to manage the National Football League’s (NFL) Washington office while a search is conducted to replace Jocelyn Moore, who was promoted to the position of Executive Vice President of Communications and Public Affairs last week. Wooten joined S-3 Public Affairs in February of 2017. Prior to joining S-3, he served as Senior Counsel for Energy and Tax on the Senate Finance Committee and coordinated the Committee’s outreach to businesses and organizations. Wooten will manage the NFL’s federal and state government relations efforts and assist in the search for a permanent replacement for Moore.
“We will miss Wooten around the office but look forward to him rejoining us in October. The NFL will be well served in the interim by his intellect, professionalism and keen instincts,” said John Scofield, Managing Partner at S-3 Public Affairs.
“We are pleased to have Todd join us during this time of transition,” said Jocelyn Moore, the NFL’s Executive Vice President of Communications and Public Affairs. “He is the ideal person to lead our DC office while we search for a full-time executive. We are grateful to the S-3 Group for accommodating this assignment.”
About S-3 Public Affairs
Anchored by John Scofield, Mike Ference, Rob Collins and Amos Snead, S-3 Public Affairs brings together the best in government and public relations to develop and execute a comprehensive and cohesive strategy to clients.
The Senate is expected to consider: nominations; America’s Water Infrastructure Act (WRDA); FAA Reauthorization; and potentially the 2019 National Defense Authorization Act which would carry with it CFIUS reform (FIRRMA).
The House is expected to consider: WRDA, Appropriations bills, Opioid related legislation, and potentially revisit the Farm bill.
June 1: Waiver on steel and aluminum tariffs for U.S. allies, including the European Union, Canada, and Mexico, set to expire – the President has indicated the tariffs will go into effect; Bureau of Labor Statistics releases monthly jobs report; Atlantic hurricane season starts
June 2-4: Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross expected to visit China for the next round of trade talks
June 4: Congress returns from recess
June 5: Primaries in California, New Jersey, Alabama, Iowa, Mississippi, Montana, New Mexico and South Dakota
June 11: Net neutrality rules set to expire
June 12: U.S. ceremony to open the American Institute in Taiwan; Primaries in Nevada, Maine, North Dakota, South Carolina, and Virginia; Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar to testify before the Senate HELP Committee on the President’s blueprint to lower drug prices; Ruling expected in the AT&T-Time Warner antitrust trial; POLITICO Playbook interview with House Majority Whip Steve Scalise (R-LA)
June 12-13: Federal Open Market Committee meeting and press conference
June 15: Trump administration expected to outline Chinese goods that will be subject to new tariffs
June 19: Arkansas primary runoff elections
June 26: Primaries in New York, Maryland, Utah, Colorado, and Oklahoma and primary runoffs in Mississippi and South Carolina
June 30: Trump administration expected to outline Chinese technology that will be subject to new tariffs; Special election for Texas’ 27th Congressional District
The Senate is expected to consider: judicial nominations – the Majority Leader filed cloture on six circuit court nominations; CFIUS reform; and the 2019 National Defense Authorization Act.
The House is expected to consider: Farm bill, the 2019 National Defense Authorization Act, and several Veterans Affairs bills.
May 1: Deadline for temporary steel and aluminum tariff exemptions for U.S. allies [extended through June 1]; Federal Reserve Federal Open Market Committee meeting (through May 2)
May 2: Meeting of Consumer Financial Protection Bureau’s Academic Research Council to discuss methodology and direction for consumer finance research
May 3: U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission closed meeting
May 4: Bureau of Labor Statistics releases monthly jobs report
May 5: Berkshire Hathaway annual shareholders meeting
May 8: Indiana, North Carolina, Ohio, and West Virginia primaries; POLITICO Playbook interview with House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-CA); Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee hearing to examine Puerto Rico’s electric grid
May 9: Senate Intelligence Committee hearing on the nomination of Gina Haspel to be director of the CIA; House Armed Services Committee markup of the FY2019 National Defense Authorization Act; The Hill event on small business and entrepreneurship with speakers including Small Business Administration Administrator Linda McMahon and Sen. Ben Cardin (D-MD)
May 10: Federal Communications Commission monthly open meeting; The Washington Post event on energy with speakers including Sens. John Hoeven (R-ND) and Martin Heinrich (D-NM) and Federal Energy Regulatory Commission Chairman Kevin McIntyre; The Atlantic Council event on the role and responsibility of a global company, with Starbucks Executive Chairman Howard Schultz
May 12: Next deadline for President Trump to extend sanction waivers to Iran for compliance with the nuclear deal
May 14: Ceremony to open the U.S. Embassy in Jerusalem
May 15: Idaho, Nebraska, Oregon, and Pennsylvania primaries
May 21-23: 2018 FINRA Annual Conference in Washington, DC
May 22: Arkansas, Georgia, and Kentucky primaries and Texas primary runoffs
May 28: Memorial Day
Senate is expected to consider: nominations including judges, and national security nominations (Secretary of State, Director of Central Intelligence); before the recess, the Majority Leader added to the Senate calendar (Rule 14) S.2629, Postal Service reform and S.5247, Right to Try.
House is expected to consider: legislation regarding the Internal Revenue Service and related issues, and transportation issues.
April 1: Sen. Thad Cochran (R-MS), chairman of the Appropriations Committee, will resign for health reasons, and will be succeeded by Cindy Hyde-Smith; Deadline for the EPA to determine average fuel economy standards for cars and light trucks for model years 2022-2025
April 2: Larry Kudlow succeeds Gary Cohn as Director of the National Economic Council
April 4: Securities and Exchange Commission closed meeting
April 6: Labor Department releases monthly jobs report
April 9: John Bolton succeeds H.R. McMaster as National Security Advisor; Securities and Exchange Commission Fixed Income Market Structure Advisory Committee meeting
April 11: Federal Reserve releases the minutes from the March 20-21 FOMC meeting; National Institutes of Health Director Dr. Francis Collins is scheduled to testify before a House Appropriations Subcommittee budget oversight hearing; House Energy and Commerce Subcommittee on Health hearing on the opioid crisis
April 12: Senate Armed Services Committee hearing on the posture of the Department of the Army; Energy Secretary Rick Perry is scheduled to testify before a House Energy and Commerce Subcommittee on Energy hearing; FCC Technological Advisory Council meeting
April 17: Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) commissioners are scheduled to testify before a House Energy and Commerce Subcommittee on Energy hearing; FCC monthly open commission meeting; Former FBI Director James Comey’s memoir, A Higher Loyalty, will be released
April 19: Senate Armed Services Committee hearing on the posture of the Department of the Navy
April 24: Arizona 8th Congressional District special election; Senate Armed Services Committee hearing on the posture of the Department of the Air Force
April 26: Senate Armed Services Committee hearing on the Department of Defense budget posture; EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt scheduled to testify before a House Energy and Commerce Subcommittee on Environment hearing
April 27: North and South Korea scheduled to hold a summit in the border village of Panmunjom
The Bipartisan Budget Act Congress passed last month provides funding through March 23.
Senate is expected to consider: nominations; funding the federal government, gun control legislation, S.2155, the bipartisan Dodd/Frank reform legislation, and S.1693, the Stop Enabling Sex Traffickers Act. Also on the agenda is FAA extension/reauthorization and flood insurance.
House is expected to consider: funding the federal government; FAA extension/authorization.
February 28-March 1: Rev. Billy Graham to lie in honor in the U.S. Capitol Rotunda
March 1: Federal Reserve Chairman Powell testifies before the Senate Banking Committee; Securities and Exchange Commission closed meeting; U.S. Chamber of Commerce 2018 Aviation Summit
March 4-6: America Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC) Policy Conference in Washington, DC
March 6: Texas primaries; House Appropriations Committee hearings on the FY19 budget for the Departments of Labor and Treasury; seventh round of NAFTA renegotiations in Mexico City conclude; Roll Call Live/CQ News event on healthcare.
March 7: House Appropriations Committee hearings on the FY19 budget for the Commodity Futures Trading Commission and Navy and Marine Corps; Council of Economic Advisers Chairman Kevin Hassett testifies before the Joint Economic Committee
March 7-8: America’s Health Insurance Plans (AHIP) National Health Policy Conference in Washington, DC
March 8: SEC Investor Advisory Committee quarterly meeting
March 9: Bureau of Labor Statistics releases monthly jobs report
March 9-18: South by Southwest (SXSW) Conference & Festivals in Austin, TX
March 13: Pennsylvania 18th Congressional District special election
March 14: House Ways and Means Tax Policy Subcommittee hearing to evaluate recently expired tax provisions; Federal Innovation Summit in Washington, DC
March 18: Russian presidential election
March 20-21: Federal Open Market Committee meeting
March 20: Illinois primaries
March 22: Federal Communications Commission’s monthly open meeting
March 23: Government funding expires
March 26-April 6: House and Senate in recess
By Marianne LeVine and Theodoric Meyer
With David Beavers and Garrett Ross
STATE OF THE UNION OFFERS FEW POLICY SPECIFICS ON INFRASTRUCTURE: Although many on K Street were watching the State of the Union address to see whether President Donald Trump would offer more specifics on his plan to rebuild the nation’s infrastructure, the speech did not expand much on the president’s 2017 joint address to Congress. “The president set high expectations but was light on details,” said Stephen Martinko, government affairs counselor at K&L Gates. He added that while “the State of the Union was a strong signal that after more than a year of waiting, it’s now time for real work to begin on infrastructure,” much of that will depend on Congress. Jim Tymon, director of policy and management at the American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials, told PI that he was mostly satisfied with the speech and did not expect much more information, but said that he was concerned that the president did not talk about addressing the long-term insolvency of the Highway Trust Fund as part of his infrastructure plan.
– The (trillion-dollar) question that remains for lobbyists (and Congress) is how the infrastructure project gets funded. In Tuesday night’s speech, Trump called for $1.5 trillion in funding, up from a previous request for $1 trillion. “I’m not sure if that increase … means that there’s additional federal dollars or that means that they’re counting on additional state, local or private sector dollars to make up that difference,” Tymon said.
– Reception to the speech was positive. Mike Ference, partner at S-3 Public Affairs, said in an email statement that Trump recognized that “the path forward on legislation this year must be bipartisan” by “outlining his framework for an infrastructure package.” Lisa Kountoupes, president of Kountoupes Denham Carr & Reid, said that “this was a strong speech that was well received by the President’s supporters.” She added that the big question that remains is whether “the White House will be able to compromise and work with Democrats to get the votes they need to enact the legislation everyone is interested in.” Steve Elmendorf, a founder of and partner at Subject Matter, said that the speech “was different than past State of the Unions in that there was not a long forward-looking agenda, which is always disappointing for K Street.”