S-3 Group Promotes Gillan to VP of Public Affairs

WASHINGTON, DC – S-3 Group today announced the promotion of Zach Gillan to Vice President of Public Affairs. In his new role, Zach will lead client engagements with significant content and coalition management needs. He will also work to enhance the firm’s policy insights and analysis while continuing to play a central role on a wide range of accounts across a variety of industries. 

Zach joined S-3 Group in 2019 after managing political and issue advocacy research for the Congressional Leadership Fund and American Action Network. He helped develop messaging for paid media that was utilized in over $120 million in independent expenditures in the 2018 midterm elections. At American Action Network, Zach’s work supported the largest paid media campaign in the country urging passage of the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act. Zach has also held various positions at the National Republican Senatorial Committee in the 2012, 2014, and 2016 election cycles including deputy research director when Republicans obtained and held the majority in the U.S. Senate.  

S-3 Group’s public affairs team develops messages and strategies; creates written, visual, and multi-media materials; develops and places paid advertising; creates and runs coalitions and grassroots campaigns; engages media; and more. The team’s services are offered as integrated strategies in government relations programs or as stand-alone offerings. 

About S-3 Group

S-3 Group is an integrated legislative, regulatory, and communications consultancy that helps clients shape policy outcomes and brand reputations. The firm brings together the power of its access, reach, and knowledge with the latest stakeholder engagement methods to create unprecedented influence for its clients. S-3 Group’s bipartisan team of policy, media, digital, grassroots, and political experts work together using the latest data to develop insights and strategies that help clients achieve their objectives. 


K Street Awakens to the Possibilities of TikTok

Over the weekend, the Trump re-election campaign was hit with a sleeper TikTok campaign that bruised their Tulsa rally. S-3 Group’s Head of Digital, Hastie Afkhami, gives a breakdown of the rally hack and implications for brands.

As the S-3 Group wrote in a memo to clients on Monday, it’s not easy to run a stealth social media campaign. The TikTok effort “shows an important opening for anyone out there trying to still run these sorts of secret campaigns – find the messengers no one sees coming and use the tools in a different way than everyone else does,” the firm wrote. “We are already thinking of this for clients.”

Read the full article in POLITICO Influence.

S-3 Group Adds Digital and Communication Pros

Washington, DC (April 20, 2020) — S-3 Group today announced it has fortified its integrated government relations and public affairs consultancy with the addition of Jarad Geldner and Nicole Connolly. Geldner will provide communications, reputation, and public affairs counsel to clients and lead integrated campaigns and media relations for businesses, coalitions, and trade groups. Connolly will provide clients with digital analytics and communication strategies across earned, owned, and paid media.

“Clients rely on S-3 Group’s insightful policy knowledge and political know-how to help them win,” said John Scofield, Managing Partner of S-3 Group. “We are excited about our new team members and the innovative capabilities they will provide to our clients.”

“Innovation and insight will be even more critical for our clients as everyone adapts to the rapidly evolving business and political environment created by the COVID-19 pandemic,” said Howard Opinsky, Managing Director of S-3 Group. “The addition of Jarad and Nicole allows S-3 Group to offer clients more data-driven insights and senior-level communication counsel that will be critical to finding new ways to engage stakeholders and influence policymakers.”

Geldner has spent nearly two decades counseling clients facing the toughest corporate, regulatory and public affairs challenges in the world. He has worked with Fortune 500 companies, foreign governments, major grassroots organizations, and international nonprofits, helping them solve business challenges, shape policy and political outcomes, and recover from brand-threatening crises. Geldner previously worked at Hill & Knowlton Strategies, where he built the firm’s cannabis practice from scratch and worked on behalf of foreign governments, defense contractors and innovative tech and telecom clients. Prior to that, Geldner was with Glover Park Group and built his own boutique crisis communications and public affairs firm focused on foreign policy campaigns

Connolly works with clients to plan, develop, and implement effective communications and outreach strategies across earned, digital, and paid media that impact awareness, attitudes, and actions. Her background includes working with federal agencies, as well as corporate, nonprofit, and trade association clients within the ag, tech, finance, health, and pharmaceutical industries. Prior to joining S-3 Group, Connolly was a senior account executive at Porter Novelli, working on the Purpose practice and Paid Media team.

Geldner and Connolly join a bi-partisan team of senior-level consultants. Opinsky joined S-3 Group last fall to lead the firm’s public affairs business. Scofield, Rob Collins, and Mike Ference are S-3 Group’s founders and Partners.

About S-3 Group

S-3 Group is an integrated legislative, regulatory, and communications consultancy that helps clients shape policy outcomes and brand reputations. The firm brings together the power of its access, reach, and knowledge with the latest stakeholder engagement methods to create unprecedented influence for its clients. S-3 Group’s team of policy, media, digital, grassroots, and political experts work together using the latest data to develop insights and strategies that help clients achieve their objectives.


S-3 Group Named a Top-Performing Lobbying Firm in 2019

Congratulations to our team for being recognized as one of Bloomberg Government’s 2019 Top-Performing Lobbying Firms! We are proud to be recognized with this honor for the third time. Read their full report here.

Sanders’s Rise to K Street

The Vermont senator is in some ways a mystery to K Street. Sanders does not engage with lobbyists much and has few former top staffers on K Street. One, former chief of staff Michaeleen Crowell, is a principal at S-3 Group, a bipartisan public affairs and lobbying firm.

Read the full article in The Hill.

Rob Collins and Mike Ference Named Top Lobbyists in 2019

Congratulations to our colleagues Rob Collins and Mike Ference for being recognized as 2019’s Top Lobbyists by The Hill. Thank you for your hard work on behalf of our clients!

S-3 Continues Bipartisan Growth

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.


August Look-Ahead

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.


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.


S-3 Public Affairs | June Look-Ahead

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 7: President Trump to meet with Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe at the White House; Federal Communications Commission monthly open meeting

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 22: House expected to vote on the farm bill; OPEC meeting, in Vienna, Austria; Deadline for filing written comments on the Commerce Department’s Section 232 investigation into auto parts

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