David Barnhart is the founding partner of Locust Street Group. A veteran field operations manager with experience in national, state and local campaigns, Barnhart combines tested political strategies with seasoned grassroots management to deliver successful results for the Locust Street Group’s corporate clients.
Upon founding Locust Street Group in 2008, Barnhart quickly designed and ran one of the largest grassroots campaigns in history during the spirited and hotly debated healthcare reform campaign. Since then, Barnhart has grown Locust Street into one of the fastest growing and most respected grassroots communications firms in Washington, DC, managing numerous multi-million dollar campaigns that have achieved results for clients in Washington and in state capitols across the U.S.
Barnhart’s political resume also includes leadership roles on the campaigns of winning candidates and elected officials across the country, such as Former Governor and now U.S. Senator Tim Kaine, Former Senator and Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, and former Secretary of State John Kerry. In 2006, he was part of the DCCC campaign team that swept the Democrats back into the majority.
Barnhart is a proud Virginia Tech graduate, and enjoys spending his spring and summer (and hopefully fall) evenings rooting hard for the Washington Nationals.
Amanda Moorhead is a seasoned public affairs, policy, and communications strategist with nearly 20 years of experience at the highest levels of advocacy in Washington, D.C. As a partner at Locust Street Group, Amanda advises non-profits, national trade associations, and coalitions on raising brand awareness and increasing influence among policymakers and thought leaders across the country.
In her capacity at Locust Street Group, Amanda manages national advocacy campaigns, corporate responsibility initiatives, and “outside-in” strategic communication projects, leveraging successful reputation-building programs and smart messaging campaigns that set clients up as leading industry resources. Amanda has worked to help businesses and organizations develop strategic communications plans that have helped achieve positive public policy outcomes for businesses and industry stakeholders.
Most recently, Amanda was Vice President of Government Affairs and Media at the National Federation of Independent Business (NFIB), the nation’s leading small business advocacy group, whose membership represents every sector of the economy. In her role at NFIB, Amanda, who has been ranked consistently as one of Washington’s top lobbyists by CEO Update, led a government relations team that lobbied Congress and the administration on policy affecting American small businesses, particularly in the areas of healthcare, tax, labor, and financial oversight. In addition to the government relations team, Amanda oversaw the national and state media programs, integrating public relations with legislative affairs to maximize NFIB’s influence with policymakers.
Most notably, Amanda was NFIB’s top public affairs advocate during the Affordable Care Act (ACA) passage and implementation. She founded and chaired the Small Business Health Insurance Tax (HIT) coalition, seeking to repeal a significant tax on small business included in the legislation. Her efforts led to continued delays of the HIT, saving small businesses nationwide more than $12 billion and counting.
Prior to her time at NFIB, Amanda had extensive experience on Capitol Hill, working for former U.S. Senators Judd Gregg (NH), Tim Hutchinson (AR), and former U.S. House Speaker Bob Livingston (LA).
An Arkansas native, Amanda holds a B.A. from the University of Mississippi where she attended on a choir scholarship. Amanda and her husband, Hunter, live in Alexandria with their two sons and black English Labrador, Bear.
Dave Herrero is a partner at Locust Street where he manages a nationwide network of field operatives and designs unique, winning grassroots advocacy campaigns in the states. He has run numerous campaigns for Locust Street specializing on health care, including for corporate, trade association, and non-profit clients.
Prior to Locust Street, Dave worked for several years on Capitol Hill as a legislative aide to a senior member of the U.S. Senate Judiciary Committee, where his portfolio included immigration, homeland security, civil rights, as well as oversight of the Department of Justice, Department of Homeland Security, and FBI. Dave also previously worked for the Council on Foreign Relations as a research associate on Latin America, focusing on Cuba, Brazil, and emerging market economies. In recent presidential elections, he volunteered in several battleground states, including Ohio, Nevada, and Virginia.
Dave was born and raised in Northern California and graduated Phi Beta Kappa from Kenyon College in Ohio. He maintains proficient Spanish language skills. An outdoors enthusiast, Dave regularly bikes and kayaks in the Washington area.
A veteran Washington communicator, Ben is a partner at Locust Street Group, where he oversees the firm’s rapidly expanding communications practice, providing direct strategic communications counsel and support on behalf of all clients. With over 15 years of public affairs experience, Ben helps coalitions, corporations, and trade associations achieve industry and business objectives through national, state, and local earned media management.
In his role at Locust Street, Ben identifies, recruits, develops, and manages new communications opportunities and relationships for the firm. His strong record of designing and executing strategic communications plans for clients in Washington and around the country has helped lead to major policy successes for clients, including most recently in the debate over tax reform. Ben focuses on increasing client visibility among key stakeholders, including members of Congress, thought leaders, and media influencers, to ensure clients are seen as industry leaders and media resources. Ben maintains a robust network of relationships at every major media outlet inside-the-Beltway and in key media markets throughout the country. Ben also serves as a Senior Advisor to the National Governors Association in Washington, DC.
Prior to joining Locust Street, Ben was Vice President of State Government Communications for the Distilled Spirits Council, the national trade association representing distilled spirits products sold in America. In that capacity, Ben managed high-profile public affairs campaigns to defeat tax threats and improve market access for the spirits industry, working closely with state capitol media around the country, as well as regulatory reporters in Washington. Ben’s successful tenure at the Council saw victories in 200 out of 214 state tax threats, helping save the industry over $6B in revenue. He also managed high-profile media campaigns that helped win priority market access initiatives for spirits retail channels, generating over $200M in new revenue annually for the industry.
Ben’s deep political experience includes working to elect Republican governors around the country as spokesperson for the Republican Governors Association (RGA), a national political organization based in Washington, DC. Ben served a 4-year cycle of gubernatorial elections for the RGA, giving him campaign experience in all 50 states.
Ben holds an M.B.A. from Johns Hopkins Carey Business School, an M.A. in Communications from Johns Hopkins University, and a B.A. from the College of William and Mary in Virginia where he ran Track and Cross Country. He and his wife Emily have two sons and live in Falls Church City, Virginia.
Joe Maloney is a partner at Locust Street, leading campaigns for national trade associations and Fortune 100 companies addressing public affairs threats and opportunities. He has successfully created and built multi-million dollar public affairs operations in the telecommunications, healthcare, manufacturing and high tech industries.
Arriving to Washington in 2001, Joe began his career in Congress, working as a legislative aide to a member on the House Energy and Commerce Committee. From there, Joe embraced advocacy roles on campaigns at all levels of government, including repeated stops in Iowa for presidential caucus campaigns, and stints working in Washington, DC and across the country for the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee on political and GOTV operations. He joined Locust Street Group as Partner in 2010, leading to LSG’s entry into new sectors such as the energy, technology, and manufacturing industries. Prior to LSG, Joe was a Principal at the Dewey Square Group.
A native of Holyoke, MA, Joe graduated Phi Beta Kappa from Dickinson College, where he also played football. Joe also holds a Master’s degree from The Johns Hopkins University. He is an avid fan of the Washington Nationals and remains hopelessly obsessed with someday becoming a single digit handicap golfer. Joe and his family reside in Maryland, just outside Washington, DC.
Hayley is a partner at Locust Street Group. Hayley’s clients rely on her to use grassroots organizing tactics to deliver tangible results that help meet their business objectives, including but not limited to lead-generation, sales, retention, customer loyalty and brand identification. Hayley’s work is built on more than a dozen years of grassroots organizing experience with a portfolio that includes non-profit issue advocacy, community engagement and communications strategy, coalition development and management, and electoral campaigns at all levels from state legislative races to presidential campaigns.
Before joining Locust Street, Hayley was the Executive Director of Americans for Responsible Solutions, a bi-partisan gun safety organization that she founded with Congresswoman Giffords and retired NASA Astronaut Capt. Mark Kelly. In this role, Hayley grew Americans for Responsible Solutions into a powerful coalition with over 1 million supporters and tremendous success building coalitions and making policy change in more than a dozen states.
Hayley also previously managed coalitions and advocacy efforts at the Energy Action Coalition, Americans United to Protect Social Security, and the Democracy Alliance, worked on Capitol hill multiple presidential campaigns, including a notable stint on the firm’s namesake, Locust Street, in Des Moines, IA.
Hayley received her BA in Politics and Anthropology at Mount Holyoke College, and her JD at American University, Washington College of Law. She is originally from New York, and lives in Boston, MA.
Nina Verghese is an accomplished veteran of national and local field campaign and serves as Locust Street Group’s national field director. Verghese manages a vast network of field and press operative designing unique, winning strategies for our clients.
Prior to joining Locust Street, she worked at Cor Strategies in Chicago and Direct Impact in Chicago and Washington DC, where she designed, implemented and carried out prominent issue advocacy campaigns on behalf of Fortune 100 companies, non-profits, national and local coalitions.
Verghese’s experience also includes a variety of political and campaign related positions, including serving as the national coalitions director for the Jon Huntsman for President Campaign, as well as a Deputy Regional Political Director at the Republican National Committee. In addition, she has worked at both the well-known polling firm The Tarrance Group and at the White House under President George W. Bush.
Originally from Maryland, she graduated from St. Mary’s College of Maryland where she double-majored in history and political science, played on the college tennis team and was member of the honors program. Her charitable activities and interests include serving as a member of the board of the ApareciÃ³ Foundation, a non-profit dedicated to mentoring high-potential, low-income women in public high schools across Chicago.
In her free time Verghese can be found on the tennis court, cheering on her beloved Washington Redskins, pursuing her MBA, or planning her next trip abroad.
Leah Ferguson is the Senior Director of Communications at Locust Street, where she works to develop and implement strategic communications plans for the firm’s clients. Leah brings diverse corporate communications and reputation management experience to the team. Her background includes strategic communications advisory, CEO thought leadership development, media training, and event management.
Prior to joining Locust Street, Leah worked in the United Arab Emirates, most recently with Hanover, an international communications advisory firm. At Hanover, she helped develop and execute crisis communications and issues management programs and led stakeholder engagement projects for clients in the region. She was part of a team that established Hanover’s Middle East office, helping bridge the company’s work from its headquarters in London.
Leah also managed corporate communications accounts in the UAE at Edelman, an industry leading global communications marketing firm. Her clients included Fortune 500 energy and aerospace and defense companies, UAE government departments, and local startups. Not unfamiliar with Washington, she started her career at the lobbying firm Crossroad Strategies, where she performed policy research for a diverse, bipartisan client base.
Leah hails from the Gulf Coast of Mississippi. She holds a Bachelor’s degree from the University of Mississippi in International Studies and Spanish.
Sam Harper is a principal at Locust Street Group, where he leads the firm’s digital and analytics practice. He brings ten years of experience in public affairs and communications, helping clients better understand and connect with their target audiences through social and digital channels.
Prior to joining Locust Street Group, Sam led digital strategy for Burson-Marsteller’s public affairs and grassroots practices and provided senior counsel to the firm’s Fortune 500 telecom, energy, technology and apparel clients. He has helped these companies build support, manage emerging crises and improve their reputation.
Sam served as the lead digital strategist for America’s Natural Gas Alliance (ANGA), a Washington, D.C.-based trade association. While at ANGA, Sam worked with the organization’s executives to improve the perception of natural gas among U.S. opinion elites. Sam built the association’s digital presence from the ground up and helped develop a class-leading integrated advertising campaign.
He started his career working on Capitol Hill for Rep. Mark Schauer (D-MI) where he focused on energy policy and served as the lead advisor on the 2009 American Clean Energy and Security Act. Sam is a graduate of the University of Michigan.
Kelly Klass is the Communications Director for Locust Street Group, where she develops and implements media strategies for a variety of clients. She brings years of grassroots, policy, and communications experience, helping businesses, corporations, and organizations position themselves as industry leaders in Washington, D.C. and across the country
Prior to joining Locust Street Group, Kelly served as the Media Manager for the National Federation of Independent Business (NFIB), the nation’s leading small business advocacy group. In this role, Kelly managed media relations with numerous national and state reporters, especially those focused on business. She was instrumental in communicating the small business community’s biggest legislative victories and priorities through the media.
Additionally, Kelly worked for New Jersey Governor Christopher J. Christie, where she developed and maintained the Governor’s relationship with state elected officials and influential community leaders. Kelly played a key role in planning, managing, and executing hundreds of successful town hall meetings across the state. These events served as the Governor’s flagship grassroots outreach where he was able to interact with thousands of constituents.
Kelly is a New Jersey native. She holds a Master’s in Strategic Communications from American University and a Bachelor’s degree from Rutgers University. Kelly loves the beach and football, especially the New York Giants. She is holding out hope that Rutgers Football will someday become relevant in the Big Ten.
Brian Parks is a top grassroots advocacy professional, responsible for leading advocacy campaigns and working to identify and empower key activists throughout the country on behalf of Locust Street Group clients.
Prior to Locust Street, Brian coordinated multi-million dollar corporate and non-profit engagement campaigns, targeting influential public officials, such as cabinet secretaries, and elected officials at all levels of government.
Brian gained considerable advocacy experience leading national events and campaigns for preeminent advocacy groups such as the National Coalition for the Homeless (NCH). While directing the advocacy efforts of NCH, Brian focused on mobilizing its membership on issues of civil rights, housing, and employment policy advocacy through community organizing and online action. He was instrumental in organizing over 50 lobby days and helped train over 2,500 people nationwide in effective direct citizen lobbying. Through this experience, Brian tripled the reach of a nationwide field team operation and mobilized members throughout the U.S. into action to cross the finish line on statewide legislation, U.S. Senate confirmations, and national philanthropic events.
Brian is a proud Southern California native turned Washingtonian who escapes to the beach whenever he can. He graduated Magna Cum Laude from Loyola University New Orleans and in his free time enjoys perfecting his seafood gumbo.
Rebecca Schieber is a part of Locust Street’s grassroots and advocacy team where she works with clients to increase their visibility both in D.C. and outside-the-beltway, through community events, local earned media campaigns, and issue advocacy. With years of experience in local, statewide, and national campaigns, Rebecca specializes in creating and managing creative public affairs campaigns that engage stakeholders, drive media, and influence decision makers.
Rebecca’s grassroots and field experience comes from local, statewide, and national political campaigns. Prior to joining Locust Street, Rebecca served as Central Pennsylvania Field Director for Senator Pat Toomey’s 2016 successful reelection campaign. In this role, Rebecca directed the regional efforts of 20 Pennsylvania counties to build coalitions, activate volunteers, and coordinate events. Previously, Rebecca served as Carly Fiorina’s personal assistant during her 2016 presidential bid. Rebecca traveled with Carly to over 30 states coordinating daily press interviews, fundraisers, and nearly 400 events for the campaign.
Rebecca is a Chicagoland native, actively cheering for the White Sox’s return to relevance. She graduated Magna Cum Laude from Northwestern University and can be seen on Twitter obnoxiously rooting for the ‘Cats in all sports.
As writer and creative director for Locust Street Group, Amy Lorenzo applies her experience in public policy and grassroots communications to the firm’s local media and field programs. Her versatile writing style and issue understanding have made her a resource in campaigns for Fortune 100 companies, leading trade associations, and advocacy groups for more than 15 years.
Amy has ghostwritten for sitting U.S. senators and retired governors, innovated online advocacy campaigns, and developed web and print materials on issues as diverse as health care, energy, defense, technology, intellectual property, international trade, and immigration. Her background spans legislative and regulatory affairs on the federal, state, and local levels.
Beginning her career with the Direct Impact, Amy led that grassroots firm’s writing department through the company’s integration with Burson-Marsteller. She then launched the creative services function at what is now DDC Public Affairs. Amy’s writing and communications experience currently includes serving public affairs, marketing, and technology companies.
Amy graduated Phi Beta Kappa from Duke University with degrees in philosophy and literature. She is an avid sailor who has put more than 50,000 nautical miles under the keels of her catamaran, all in search of the best islands on which to hang a hammock and read a good book.
Angy Dixon is the Director of Operations for the Locust Street Group. She handles the day-to-day operations of the firm to include human resources, finance, information technology, and risk management. Together, with the senior partners, she leverages business performance data to affect improvements and innovations in the firm’s operations.
Angy comes to Locust Street with more than 25 years of operations management experience in the banking, healthcare and telecommunications industries with the last 14 years in various leadership positions at public affairs firm, the Dewey Square Group, where working with the management team, contributed to the development and implementation of organizational strategies, policies and practices. A specialist in budget development and oversight, contract administration and logistics, Angy increased the effectiveness and efficiency of support services through improvements to each function as well as coordination and communications between support and business functions. As executive director of several nonprofit coalitions, Angy ensured sound bookkeeping and accounting procedures were followed and provided leadership to their boards.
Angy is from Pittsburgh, PA and lives in Beltsville, MD with her husband and loves spending time with her adultson, David and very energetic Boxer dog.
Zack Schmaltz is an Associate at Locust Street, where he supports the firm’s communications and grassroots advocacy teams. Zack works on state-level and national advocacy campaigns, generating written content and developing strategic messaging for trade associations, nonprofits, and corporate clients.
Prior to joining Locust Street, Zack interned with the Podesta Group where he provided research and crisis communications support for the firm’s top clients as they navigated the Trump Administration’s developing trade policies. Zack also interned with the lobbying firm Brownstein Hyatt Farber Schreck where he kept clients informed on congressional hearings and events.
A native Kansan, Zack graduated from Duke University with a B.A. in Political Science.
Juan Mejia is an Associate at Locust Street, where he supports the firm’s communications and public affairs teams. Juan helps execute communications strategies for clients, drafting written communications and media relations materials, developing social media content, and helping manage client deliverables.
Prior to joining Locust Street Group, Juan worked in the strategic communications practice for the CGCN Group, a lobbying and public affairs firm. His main client was The American Made Coalition, a group of 20 corporate exporters invested in tax reform. The coalition’s communications strategy was crucial in mobilizing support for final passage of the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017.
Prior to CGCN, Juan worked for Politico Pro on their business development team, where he developed relationships with government affairs professionals, and served as a liaison between the editorial and new business team. Juan helped government affairs firms throughout the country remain informed throughout the 2016 election and into the first 100 days of the Trump Administration.
A native of Beaumont, Texas, Juan attended Lamar University and received a Bachelor’s in Business Administration with a Major in Economics and a Minor in Business Law. He’s currently pursuing a JD part-time at the David A. Clarke School of Law. He is fluent in Spanish.