Chamber Issues Forum

Date October 6, 2020

Time 8:00 - 9:00 AM

Zoom Call

Topic: Views from Capitol Hill on the election cycle, SC military, and Covid-19 relief

Cassidy and Associates is a leading bipartisan government relations firm consistently ranked among Washington’s best. The team, both Republicans and Democrats, is comprised of former senior Congressional staff, Administration officials, retired military officers, scientists, and business executives.

The Columbia Chamber has a long standing relationship with Cassidy and Associates that began in 2003 when the Columbia Chamber led the effort to protect Fort Jackson from elimination with the first round of BRAC (Base Realignment and Closure) in 2005. Since that time, the Chamber has worked closely with Cassidy and the local business community to proactively support our military community, advance their mission, and continue to build the base. The efforts have been successful as we avoided the second round of BRAC, which would have considerably reduced the size of Fort Jackson, and rallied to “Save the Fort” during the 2015 round of base and headcount reduction efforts in Washington.

Cassidy and Associates is also instrumental in working with the South Carolina Delegation for military related funding, CARES Act Covid-19 Relief, and numerous business issues. This Issues Forum is a great opportunity to hear from a distinguished panel who work in the midst of Washington on a daily basis.

Guest Speakers:

Kai Anderson, Chief Executive Officer

Kai helps a broad range of corporate and nonprofit clients advocate for their interest in Washington, DC. In addition to general representation, he specializes in designing legislative strategies that balance the responsible development of natural resources and critical infrastructure with conservation.

Russ Thomasson, Executive Vice President

Russ develops and deploys legislative strategies that are specifically tailored to keep clients fully and successfully engaged in Washington at the highest levels of government. Russ joined Cassidy in August 2019 after serving three years as Chief of Staff to Senate Majority Whip John Comyn as part of a 15-year tenure on Capitol Hill that Senate Majority Leaders Mitch McConnell said was incredibly effective and Russ was “an invaluable member of (the Senate leadership) team.”

Susann Edwards, Vice President

Susann provides political and policy insight to clients and developing successful economic development strategies for military communities. Her experience in developing coalitions and grassroots campaigns have been instrumental to her work as communities and military bases across the nation adapt to the new restricted budget realities in Washington and at the Pentagon.

The Issues Forum exists to provide a place where Columbia Chamber Partners can gather to discuss and address local, regional and federal issues facing the business community. Meetings are currently being held on the first Tuesday of each month at 8:00 AM. Meetings are free and open to all who wish to attend.

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