Lobbying World

• Marketing communications firm The Arnold Agency — which has offices in West Virginia, Montana and Washington, D.C. — has been acquired by the Asher Agency, becoming part of a group of companies owned by Eastport Holdings. Together, the firms will be able to expand their geographic reach. Mike Fulton, a former associate counsel to the House Appropriations Committee, will lead the Washington office of the combined companies. 

• The National Rural Electric Cooperative Association has hired Stephen Bell, who worked communications for Rep. Steve Scalise (R-La.) and the Republican Study Committee. Bell worked for Scalise for five years and began his new job on Monday.

Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld named Suzanne Kane as an associate in the international trade practice of the firm’s Washington office. Before that, she served as the senior attorney adviser at the Office of International Trade, Regulations and Rulings of U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP). She worked in several branches of the CBP, including intellectual property rights and the penalties, trade and commercial regulations divisions.

Laura Maristany has become the director of policy and legislative affairs for the National Association of Latino Elected and Appointed Officials Educational Fund. She comes from the Hispanic Association of Colleges and Universities, where she served as the executive director of legislative affairs. She worked on policies such as immigration reform and legislative efforts such as the farm bill, the Higher Education Act, and the Workforce Investment Act. 

• The American Cleaning Institute (ACI) promoted three members of its staff: Paul DeLeoJacob Cassady and Melissa Bernardo. DeLeo has become the associate vice president of environmental safety for the trade group. He joined the ACI in 2007 and, before that, worked at the Food and Drug Administration as a consumer safety officer. Cassady has become the associate director of government affairs. Prior coming to the ACI in 2010, he was at the National Active and Retired Federal Employees Association and worked as an aide to former Sen. Mark Dayton (D-Minn.). Bernardo, who joined the group in 2012, has been named the senior manager of sustainability initiatives.