VTA Executive Director
firstname.lastname@example.org <> 312-498-6060
Tony is an attorney and government affairs expert. Tony left the international law firm of Greenberg Traurig and launched his own governmental affairs consulting firm Strategic Government Solutions, Inc. (SGS) in 2010. Tony has developed and implemented strategies for companies facing simultaneous multi-state legislative challenges in the vapor industry and in the tobacco industry. For example, in 2011, confronted with a bill in Illinois that would have defined (i.e., banned) a client’s legitimate tobacco product as drug paraphernalia, Tony crafted a unique strategy to stop the bill in one state, only to find it simultaneously filed in dozens of states around the country. Tony was hired to recruit, train, and lead a team of lobbyists in 25 states to defend the product and his team defeated the bill in every state.
Before taking on the role of VTA’s National Legislative Director, Tony went to bat for a national vapor technology company. Once again, Tony’s strategy and team were instrumental in defeating bills hostile to the industry in multiple states. Tony also played a large role in drafting comments on the FDA’s Deeming Regulation on vapor products, preparing testimony and public statements, as well as hiring and educating his client’s federal lobbyists on vapor issues and meeting with Members of Congress.
Over the years, Tony also generously volunteered his time with SFATA. Tony drafted SFATA’s model legislation for minor bans, provided insight and analysis on SFATA’s core issues, provided strategic guidance on state initiatives, was instrumental in launching SFATA’s Illinois Chapter and introduced that chapter to their lobbyist.
Tony has a unique blend of grassroots organizing, political campaign, governmental service, private sector representation, and legal experiences to draw on when crafting effective lobbying and communications strategies. Tony lives near Chicago with his wife, a former Cook County prosecutor, and their three children. Tony earned his B.A. in Political Science from Carleton College in 1988, and his J.D. with distinction from the University of Iowa College of Law in 1994.
VTA State Affairs Manager
email@example.com <> 217-820-1445
Jake is a practicing attorney and state lobbyist, and serves as VTA’s State Affairs Manager. After representing clients in a wide range of legal settings in private practice, Jake returned to public service and became Assistant Legal Counsel to Illinois Senate President John J. Cullerton and the Illinois Senate Democratic Caucus. In this position, Jake drafted and negotiated legislation on behalf of members of the Illinois Senate Democratic Caucus. In 2013, Jake returned to private practice and joined Leinenweber Baroni & Daffada Consulting LLC. In his role as a state lobbyist, Jake represents clients across several subject matter areas including banking, energy, healthcare, and higher education before the Illinois General Assembly. Jake also has represented the Smoke Free Coalition of Illinois for the past three years. During that time, Jake and his firm have developed innovative strategies to defend the vapor industry at the state level and he has helped the Illinois state vapor association achieve a 100% success rate in defeating bills hostile to the vapor industry in Springfield.