Tech group poaches lobbyists from rival

The Information Technology Industry Council (ITI) announced Tuesday that it has hired a team of lobbyists from rival trade group TechAmerica.

The announcement is a major blow to TechAmerica, which has been hemorrhaging clients and money in recent months. 

Veteran TechAmerica lobbyist Trey Hodgkins will lead a new ITI initiative focused on government purchases of technology, called the Information Technology Alliance for Public Sector.

He is bringing along his team from TechAmerica — Erica McCann will handle procurement, Pam Walker will deal with homeland security issues and Carol Henton will be based in Silicon Valley focusing on state policies.

ITI CEO Dean Garfield said his group's member companies urged him to focus on public sector issues. 

"Trey and his entire team bring a depth of expertise in an area that is of increasing import to the technology sector," Garfield said on a conference call with reporters. 

Hodgkins said working on public sector issues at TechAmerica was a "great opportunity" but that it was time to take his work "to the next level." 

TechAmerica did not respond to a request to comment.

ITI also announced a second initiative on Tuesday focusing on influencing public policy in India. That project will work on trade, privacy, cybersecurity and other issues. 

“Given the strong technology footprint in India, ITI's engagement there is essential to advance US-India bilateral relations and public policies important to ITI members' ability to compete and innovate in global markets,” said John Neuffer, ITI senior vice president for global public policy, said. 

ITI lobbies for companies including Apple, Google, Facebook, Microsoft and IBM.