Quantcast Meet RGA Staff « Republican Governors Association

Mike Adams – General Counsel and Deputy Executive Director

madams (at) rga.org

A graduate of the University of Louisville and Harvard Law School, Mike has served the RGA as General Counsel since January 2007. In addition to law firm practice, Mike has served in a number of political and governmental positions, including Deputy General Counsel to a Republican governor, and Counsel to the U.S. Deputy Attorney General.

Jane Batson - Director of Events, Executive Roundtable

jbatson (at) rga.org

Prior to joining RGA, Jane was Executive Meetings Manager, at the Direct Marketing Association (DMA).  At the DMA Jane managed all C-level and Board of Directors Events throughout the United States.    Prior to the DMA, she was Conference Services Manager at the Four Seasons where she oversaw State visits and delegations, including visits by the King of Jordan and Dali Lama.  Jane began her career at the US Chamber of Commerce working for the National Chamber Foundation, followed by becoming the Manager of Corporate Programs.  Jane is a graduate of Randolph-Macon College in Ashland, VA.

Scott Binkley – Director of Board and Council Membership

sbinkley (at) rga.org

Scott serves as the Director of Council Membership Program. Prior to joining the RGA in 2013, Scott served as the deputy finance director for a U.S. Senate campaign during the 2012 election cycle and has also served as the finance director for a Congressional campaign. Before leaving DC to work in campaign finance, Scott worked on Capitol Hill as legislative staff. Scott is a native of Atlanta, Georgia.

Monica Block – Governors Liaison and Director of Fundraising Operations

mblock (at)  rga.org

Monica is the Governors’ Liaison and Director of Fundraising Operations at the RGA.  Previously, she was the Scheduler for Virginia Governor Bob McDonnell.  Monica is originally from Yorktown, Virginia and earned a B.A. in Communication and a B.A. in Government and International Politics from George Mason University.

Lauren Bryan – Deputy Director of Recruitment

lbryan (at) rga.org

Lauren currently serves as the RGA’s Deputy Director of Recruitment.  Lauren joins us from the Republican National Committee. Over the last three years at the RNC Lauren served as Chairman Priebus’ Finance Liaison and most recently served as Regional Director in Emerging Markets. In 2012 Lauren served as the Mid-Atlantic Surrogate Director for Romney Victory. A native of Vienna, Virginia, she received a Bachelor of Arts in International Studies from the University of South Carolina.

Danielle Cleveland – Executive Roundtable Coordinator

dcleveland (at) rga.org

Danielle is the RGA’s Executive Roundtable Coordinator. Prior to joining the RGA, she worked on the Mitt Romney for President Campaign as the Wisconsin State Office Manager and served as an intern in the office of Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker. Danielle graduated with a Bachelor of Arts in Political Science from Carthage College and is a native of Madison, Wisconsin.

Jodi Comunale – Director of Events

jcomunale (at) rga.org

Prior to joining RGA, Jodi was Manager, Programs & Events at the State Government Affairs Council (SGAC).  At SGAC, Jodi programmed and executed two Annual Conferences along with numerous other networking and educational events throughout the year.  Prior to SGAC, Jodi was Senior Conference Manager at the Direct Marketing Association where she oversaw a portfolio of conferences.  Jodi began her career at the US Chamber of Commerce working in the fundraising department. Jodi is a 2004 graduate of Clemson University in South Carolina where she majored in Marketing with a concentration in Communications.

Phil Cox – Executive Director

Phil Cox has fifteen years of experience directing political campaigns, grassroots, communications and public affairs efforts. He is currently serving as the Executive Director at the Republican Governors Association, the political committee which serves the nation’s 30 Republican Governors.  In 2012, Phil directed RGA’s successful effort in Wisconsin, directing a $10 million independent expenditure which helped Scott Walker become the first governor in history to defeat a recall. Despite a disappointing election year in 2012, RGA’s efforts were critical in defending all of its incumbent Governors, while at the same time adding a Republican governor in North Carolina for the first time in more than two decades. In 2010, Phil directed political operations for the RGA in 8 states across the country, including hard-fought victories in Florida and Pennsylvania.  Prior to joining RGA, in 2009 Phil served as campaign manager for Virginia Governor Bob McDonnell, helping to engineer an historic 18-point landslide victory in a state which had voted overwhelmingly for President Obama in 2008. Following that victory, he served as Governor McDonnell’s Transition Director and Senior Political Adviser. Over the last decade and half, Phil has served as campaign manager or general consultant to more than one hundred campaigns at every level — from state legislature to Congress, to Attorney General, Lt. Governor, U.S. Senate, and Governor. He is a native of Hingham, MA, a graduate of the University of Virginia, and currently resides in McLean, VA with his wife, Kim, and their daughter, Scarlett.

Stacy Day – Deputy Press Secretary

Twitter: @StacyJDay


Stacy serves as Deputy Press Secretary for the Republican Governors Association. A Wisconsin native, Stacy’s previous experience includes time as an intern in Governor Scott Walker’s office and as a staff member for former Governor Tommy Thompson’s 2012 U.S. Senate campaign. Stacy earned degrees in journalism and political science from the University of Wisconsin.

Amy Allman Dean – Southern Regional Director for Executive Roundtable

adean (at) rga.org

Prior to joining RGA, Amy was Vice President of Marketing at Ogilvy Government Relations.  Previously, Dean spent six years working in various positions in The White House for the George W. Bush Administration, including Director of The White House Visitors Office, Associate Director of Legislative Affairs and Staff Assistant in the Office of the Vice President.  Amy also worked for the U.S. Department of Homeland Security as Director of Legislative Affairs and as Special Assistant, Legislative Affairs for the U.S. Department of Treasury.  A native of Dallas, Texas, Dean received a Bachelor of Arts degree from Emory University.

Cara Edmundowicz – Executive Roundtable Midwest and West Membership Director and Conference Director

carae (at) rga.org

Cara is the RGA’s Executive Roundtable Conference Director, as well as Regional Director for the Midwest and West. Originally from St. Louis, Missouri, Cara graduated from The George Washington University’s School of Media and Public Affairs with a Bachelor’s in Political Communication and Journalism & Mass Communication, cum laude. She then went on to obtain a Master’s in Political Management with a focus in Electoral Politics from The George Washington University’s Graduate School of Political Management.  Prior to joining the RGA, Cara worked at a polling firm in DC, and has also worked on a handful of state-based and federal campaigns in both a fundraising and communications capacity. Cara has been with the RGA since the beginning of 2010.

Ed Frank – Director of Films and Visual Media

efrank (at) rga.org

Prior to joining the RGA, Ed served as the Vice President of Public Affairs for the free-market grassroots group Americans for Prosperity.  He has also served as the spokesman for former U.S. Labor Secretary Elaine L. Chao, as press secretary for the small-business group NFIB, communications director for former U.S. Rep. Van Hilleary and legislative assistant for U.S. Rep. John J. Duncan, Jr.  He also runs his own consulting business, Frank Strategies LLC, specializing in film and video production for clients across America.  Ed graduated from the University of Tennessee in 1994 with a double major in journalism and political science.

Matthew Gagnon – Director of Digital Strategy

Twitter: @MatthewGagnon

mgagnon (at) rga.org

Matt Gagnon serves as the RGA’s Director of Digital Strategy.  He is responsible for coordinating and executing all digital campaigns, including online advertising, web development, online fundraising, email engagement, and social media outreach.  Prior to joining RGA, Matt was a Senior Project Manager in the Public Affairs practice of New Media Strategies.  In the 2010 election cycle, he was Deputy Director of Digital Strategy at the National Republican Senatorial Committee, and later spent time on Capitol Hill, serving as Director of New Media Communications for Senator Susan Collins (R-ME).  A Maine native, Matt now lives in Kingstowne, Virginia with his wife and son.

Gail Gitcho – Communications Director

Twitter: @ggitcho

ggitcho (at) rga.org

Gitcho previously served as Communications Director for Governor Mitt Romney’s 2012 Presidential campaign. She has also served in the roles of Communications Director for U.S. Senator Scott Brown of Massachusetts in 2010-2011, Press Secretary at the Republican National Committee in 2009-2010, Mid-Atlantic Communications Director for U.S Senator John McCain’s 2008 Presidential campaign, and as a Regional Press Secretary on Governor Mitt Romney’s 2008 Presidential campaign. Gitcho also served as Florida Congressman Clay Shaw’s Communications Director from 2004 to 2007.

Paige Hahn – Finance Director

phahn (at) rga.org

Paige is the RGA’s Finance Director and leads its fundraising department. Prior to joining the RGA, Paige oversaw the fundraising operations for Virginia Governor Bob McDonnell’s 2009 gubernatorial campaign, helping to raise a record-setting $24 million, and in 2010, she helped launch the Governor’s Opportunity Virginia PAC. Before her work with Governor McDonnell, Paige raised more than $75 million for issue advocacy and voter education projects at the US Chamber of Commerce, increasing the Chamber’s voter education program from $8 million to more than $50 million. In addition, Paige has served as Finance Director for American Solutions, Deputy Director for the RNC’s Team 100, and Southern Regional Director for the RNC Republican Eagles program.

Kelly Holdway – Political Assistant

kholdway (at) rga.org

Kelly serves as the Political Assistant at the RGA.  Previously she was the Scheduler to Senator Ron Johnson (WI).  Additionally, Kelly has spent more than a decade working in campaigns, including two national campaign committees.  Originally from the Carolinas, she is a graduate of Mars Hill College.

Mary Ann Laconte – Deputy Finance Director

mlaconte (at) rga.org

Mary Ann currently serves as the RGA’s deputy finance director after previously working as the director of RGA’s Statesmen and Cabinet membership programs.  Prior to joining the RGA, she was the Major Donor Director at the National Republican Congressional Committee. She previously worked with the major donor programs at the National Republican Senatorial Committee, the 55thPresidential Inaugural Committee, and the Republican National Committee. She is a native Houstonian and received a Bachelor of Arts in Economics from Duke University.

Amy Lunde – Deputy Political Director

Twitter: @AmyLunde

alunde (at) rga.org

Prior to joining RGA, Amy managed North Dakota Governor Jack Dalrymple’s successful 2012 campaign, where she also served as Victory Director in 2010.  Previously, Amy worked in Wisconsin on several statewide contests including presidential, gubernatorial and judicial campaigns with a focus on ground game development and voter mobilization.  A native of Arlington, VA, Amy is a proud Badger from the University of Wisconsin.

Ken McKay – Political Director

Twitter: @KenKMcKay

kmckay (at) rga.org

Ken served as campaign manager for both of former Rhode Island Governor Don Carcieri’s successful campaigns as well as his chief of staff. He was also chief of staff at the Republican National Committee for one year, helping secure the elections of Virginia Governor Bob McDonnell and New Jersey Governor Chris Christie, and a chief strategist on Florida Governor Rick Scott’s 2010 campaign. Most recently, McKay served as a senior advisor for Wisconsin Senator Ron Johnson. Prior to beginning his political career, McKay served 3 years in the United States Army.

Joanne Parker – Chief Financial Officer

jparker (at) rga.org

Joanne currently serves as the RGA’s Chief Financial Officer.  This is Joanne’s second time working for the Republican Governors Association, as she served as Director of Compliance from 2008-2009. In between her roles at the RGA, Joanne worked for an accounting firm in Virginia Beach and for State Policy Network, an organization focused on building a network of free-market focused think tanks throughout the United States.  Joanne is originally from Upstate New York and graduated from SUNY Geneseo with a B.A. in Political Science.  She currently lives in Springfield, VA with her husband Brian and their English Springer-Spaniel, Ollie.

Justina Rusch – Events Coordinator

jrusch (at) rga.org

Justina serves as the RGA’s Events Coordinator.  Prior to joining the RGA, she was an intern with Dutko Worldwide in DC and in Gulfport, Mississippi.  She graduated from LSU in Baton Rouge with a bachelor’s degree in Mass Communication with emphasis in Public Relations.  She is a native of Gulfport, Mississippi.

Marie Sanderson – RGA Policy Director

Twitter: @MarieTSanderson

msanderson (at) rga.org

Marie currently serves as Policy Director for the RGA facilitating best practices and good policy at the state and federal levels. She works closely with governors, their staff, Congress, and the Administration. She previously served as a legislative assistant for U.S. Senator Thad Cochran and director of federal policy/policy advisor for Mississippi Governor Haley Barbour.  Marie graduated from Mississippi State University with a major in Marketing and a minor in Public Relations and obtained her MBA from the University of Queensland in Brisbane, Australia.

Caitlin Schroder – Director of Recruitment

cschroder (at) rga.org

Caitlin Mackintosh Schroder, part of the RGA team since 1999, currently serves as Director of Recruitment in the Finance Department.  Before assuming this role, Caitlin served as RGA Finance Director from 2002-2008 and RGA Deputy Finance Director from 1999-2002.  Prior to her time at the RGA, she worked on the National Republican Senatorial Committee (NRSC) and National Republican Congressional Committee (NRCC) joint fundraising dinners as well as in the Finance Department of the Republican National Committee (RNC).  Caitlin attended the Catholic University of America, where she earned a Bachelor of Arts in Politics.

Jay Shelly – Director of Roundtable Membership Program

jshelly (at) rga.org

Jay currently serves as the RGA’s Director of Roundtable Membership Program. Prior to joining the RGA, Jay worked as a clerk’s assistant at the DC District Court and as an intern  in the Finance Department at the RGA before getting hired full-time. Jay was born in Philadelphia, PA but has lived in Maryland, Virginia, Florida, and New York. He graduated from Hampden-Sydney College in May 2011 with a Bachelor of Arts in History.

Jon Thompson – Press Secretary

Twitter: @JonThompsonDC

jthompson (at) rga.org

Jon serves as the RGA’s Press Secretary, a position in which he focuses primarily on raising the national profiles of Republican governors and the RGA. Prior to joining the RGA, Jon served as Director of Radio and Television for the National Republican Congressional Committee during the 2010 election cycle. In that position, Jon booked GOP Congressman, Congressional candidates, surrogates and spokesman on national and regional radio and television interviews. He also served in the press office at the Republican National Committee during the 2008 election cycle. Jon is a graduate of UNC Wilmington and a native of North Carolina.

Alden Wood – Regional Recruitment Director and Executive Roundtable Regional Director, Northeast

awood (at) rga.org

Alden is the RGA’s Regional Recruitment Director and Executive Roundtable Regional Director for the Northeast.  In the 2012 cycle, she served as Finance Director for Tommy Thompson’s U.S. Senate campaign.  This is Alden’s second time working for the Republican Governors Association as she served as Executive Roundtable Coordinator from 2010-2011.  She began her work in politics at the Republican National Committee in the Member Services division.   A native of Austin, Texas, she received a Bachelor of Arts in Economics and Government from the University of Virginia.

Kevin Wright – Research Director

Twitter: @KWrightResearch

kwright (at) rga.org

Kevin is the RGA’s Research Director, assuming responsibility for the RGA’s research strategy in the 36 gubernatorial races of the 2014 cycle. Wright, founder of Old Dominion Research Group, began his research career in the office of former Vice President Dan Quayle’s leadership committee, Campaign America. Wright later joined the National Republican Senatorial Committee’s research team, in which he helped Republicans regain the Senate majority in 2002 and grow the majority in 2004, while knocking off Minority Leader Tom Daschle that same year.

Larissa Ziemann – Director of Operations

lziemann (at) rga.org

Larissa currently serves as the RGA’s Director of Operations, working directly with the Executive Director along with coordinating the Internship Program and managing the office’s daily activities. She joined the RGA in March 2010 as a Political Assistant. Prior to joining the RGA, Larissa worked at the Republican Party of Florida. She graduated from Florida State University with a Bachelor’s in Political Science and Criminology and received a Master’s in Applied American Politics & Policy.