HAVE YOU EVER WONDERED HOW A LOBBYIST FITS INTO YOUR BROADER BUSINESS DEVELOPMENT STRATEGY? Join a group of seasoned professionals for an in-depth discussion on effective strategies for incorporating lobbyist activities into your HHS market approach!
Facilitated by Carole Hussey, Evolv Strategy Group
Jason Unger, Gray-Robinson, Florida
Jennifer Saha, Golden Bridge Strategies, California
Don Seidel, Evolv Strategy Group
READ ABOUT THE RECOGNITION HERE
As CEO of Golden Bridge Strategies, Jennifer Saha focuses on business development, association management and lobbying services. She says starting her own company is her biggest professional achievement.
"It’s not so much that I started a company (people do that every day) but that I had a 6-month-old baby and a couple days after giving notice at my job, I found out I was pregnant again ... meaning I would be launching this company and having a second baby all within a couple months. Add in a pandemic that started the day my second baby was born, and I was definitely questioning my decisions," she wrote in her 40 Under 40 application.
Education: Bachelor's degree in managerial economics, University of California Davis; master's in public administration from University of Southern California
What’s the biggest mistake you’ve made during your career?
"I’ve been fortunate to not have too many major missteps in my career and I look at each mistake as a chance to learn and grow. That being said, everyone makes mistakes and the one that stands out to me shifted the focus of my career. I once had a job that I absolutely adored. I loved the policies I was working on, it allowed for some spectacular travel, and my colleagues were amazing. However, I did not get along well with my direct supervisor. We had conflicting ways of handling projects, didn’t align on our organization’s priorities, and butted heads daily. This supervisor drove me to loathe going to the office every day because I dreaded interacting with them. What I should have done is seek help, work through problems, engage our organization’s leadership and my colleagues to turn this into a coaching moment for me and potentially for my supervisor. Instead, I took another job."
What’s the biggest challenge you’ve faced during your career and how did you respond to it?
"I was fortunate to achieve high-ranking positions within government fairly early in my career. The downside of this is that I ran into ageism where I was thought to be 'too young' to have achieved so much. ... I overcame the ageism by working closely with some of my biggest skeptics. Once these people got to know me and saw my capabilities, I was able to earn the respect and support of those that might have initially doubted me."
What motivates you?
"I started working for the government practically immediately out of college. I had public servants for parents (my mom retired last year after 25 years with the state and my dad was a police officer). My entire career has been working for or with government and I consistently continue to be motivated by improving government. There is no wider impact that one can have on the daily lives of so many citizens than when government works more efficiently and effectively."
As devastating wildfires rage across the state, the California state legislature is racing the clock to meet the August 31st deadline. With less than one week remaining of the 2019-2020 legislative session, many debates remain on issues from unemployment insurance and economic recovery to law enforcement reform and environmental regulations. All of these debates are happening under the context of massive budget constraints and two state emergency declarations.
Few aspects of life have remained untouched by COVID-19, and the legislature is no exception to that. An abrupt departure from Sacramento in March and then again in July when multiple members tested positive for Coronavirus has made for an extremely truncated session.
Earlier in the year, leadership of both houses called for members to reduce their bill packages and stick to priority bills around COVID-19, homelessness, and wildfires. Despite this directive, external pressures have led to attention on other topics besides these three key priorities. Beyond proposals addressing the massive public health crisis, the legislature is considering significant and sometimes controversial proposals that aren’t directly related to COVID-19 or the associated economic downturn.
Governor Newsom’s State of the State address, just six months ago, was solely focused on homelessness, highlighting the imperative need to address the issue. Many predicted continued legislative focus on independent contracting, a spillover issue from last year. Economic stimulus, eviction moratoriums, and alternatives to increase state revenue are all slated. Some lawmakers have pointed out the increased need for their pre-COVID priorities, saying the changes are needed now more than ever in regard to proposals on prescription drugs, tax increases on the wealthiest Californians, and policing practices. Power outages, lightning storms, wildfires and continuing coronavirus numbers are all piling on to the growing external pressure as the legislature has very little time to act.
The possibility of the Governor calling a special session is still alive. The high risk of in-person legislating, the looming November election and other forces make that possibility less likely. It remains to be seen if the legislature will be granted more time. For more information on what happens in this pivotal last week, contact Madeline Cline at firstname.lastname@example.org.