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

S-3 Group | May Look-Ahead

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 7: NAFTA talks to resume in Washington; House Appropriations Subcommittee markup of the FY2019 energy and water appropriations bill

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

S-3 Group | April Look-Ahead

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