Lobbying World

• Laura Abshire and Ryan Kearney have joined the National Restaurant Association. Abshire will serve as the director of sustainability policy and government affairs, while Kearney will be the organization’s labor and workforce policy manager. Previously, Abshire worked as the deputy chief of staff and legislative director to Rep. Mike Ross (D-Ark.). Kearney served as a senior legislative assistant for the House Committee on Education and the Workforce majority staff. Before that, he worked in the U.S. Chamber of Commerce’s Labor, Immigration and Employee Benefits Division.

• George Rogers has joined Wexler and Walker Public Policy Associates as the executive vice president and corporate secretary. He previously served in Speaker John Boehner’s (R-Ohio) office as a senior policy director and has experience working on the House Financial Services, Judiciary, Homeland Security and Government Reform committees. He will start on Dec. 10.

ADVERTISEMENT
• Justin LeBlanc launched a firm called LobbyWise that helps clients “choose the right lobbyist.” In a statement, LobbyWise said it does not receive money from lobbyists or government-relations firms, which “[ensures] that its bias is completely in the client’s favor.” LeBlanc has worked for Sen. Patty Murray (D-Wash.), the National Fisheries Institute and as a contract lobbyist for Strategies 360 and Petrizzo Strategic Group.

• Julie Vallese and Mark Fellin have joined the Juvenile Products Manufacturers Association as managing director of public and government affairs and the director of regulatory and legislative affairs, respectively. The two will serve in the new D.C. office. Vallese previously served as the director of public affairs for the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission. Fellin worked as a legislative director for Sen. Richard Burr (R-N.C.) and previously served at the Consumer Product Safety Commission.

• Tony Annan has been named the executive vice president of finance and operations for The Whitaker Group. Annan previously worked as the chief financial officer for a leading pan-African bank, Ecobank Transnational Inc., and as the deputy division chief for procurement, budgeting and strategic management for the International Monetary Fund. Before that, he worked as the vice president and manager of finance at Citigroup.