Lobbying World

• Christin Fernandez, a former vice president at the public relations firm HDMK, will now be handling external relations for the National Restaurant Association as manager of media relations and public affairs. Prior to her time at HDMK, she worked on Fox News Channel’s foreign, national and political breaking news desks. The restaurant group also promoted Annika Stensson to senior manager of research communications.

• The law firm Dykema has named Haydn J. Richards as director of its financial industry group. Prior to that, he served as a member within the firm’s regulatory and compliance practice in Washington, advising clients on regulations from the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, among other policy matters.

• Alden Street Consulting added Gary Loew to the firm’s water resource division, where he will serve as the senior water policy adviser. Before that, he worked for more than four decades at the Army Corps of Engineers, most recently working as the chief of the programs management division for the civil works directorate that designs, constructs and maintains the nation’s water resources infrastructure. 

• Former Sen. Blanche Lincoln (D-Ark.) is leaving Alston & Bird to start her own K Street firm called Lincoln Policy Group. A former staffer from her Senate office, Robert Holifield, is also leaving Alston & Bird to join the new endeavor. The two joined Alston & Bird after Lincoln left the Senate in 2011. 

• Mike Bober left his spot at the National Republican Congressional Committee (NRCC) to be the top lobbyist for the Pet Industry Joint Advisory Council, working as the group’s vice president of government affairs. Previously, Bober worked as the NRCC’s coalitions director and as the executive director of the House Conservatives Fund, a political action committee affiliated with Rep. Patrick McHenry (R-N.C.). 

• Microsoft has hired longtime Democratic operative Jennifer Crider as director of public relations. She most recently served as the political director for House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) and as the deputy executive director of the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee. Crider will be moving to the tech giant’s Seattle headquarters for the position.