Talking to lawmakers on Capitol Hill about the floral industry’s legislative priorities is the draw of the Society of American Florists’ Congressional Action Days, and hearing political commentary from a host of Washington insiders is another part of the experience, past CAD participants say.
“I always look forward to the information that the speakers provide prior to our Hill visits with our congressmen and senators,” said veteran CAD participant Marvin N. Miller, Ph.D., AAF, of the Ball Horticultural Company in West Chicago, Illinois, and chairman of the SAF Government Joint Council. “The speakers usually provide a personal perspective on what lawmakers are faced with and what they may be thinking. This often helps prepare us for the visits and certainly adds another dimension to what CAD is all about.”
During SAF’s 38th Annual Congressional Action Days, March 12-13, participants will hear a lively “point/counterpoint” discussion. Jim Richards and Todd Webster, two strategists on opposite ends of the political spectrum, will share “point/counterpoint” insights into how Washington works and how CAD participants can put the floral industry’s priorities “front and center” on Capitol Hill during the Kick-Off Breakfast on March 12.
Jim Richards is the principal and director of Cornerstone Government Affairs. He served as the appropriations staff for succeeding chairmen of the House Appropriations Subcommittee on Agriculture, Rural Development, FDA and related agencies, the Director of the Office of Intergovernmental Relations at the United States Department of Agriculture, and the chief of staff to Rep. Steve Pearce (R-N.M). Prior to government service, Richards was the general manager of a multi-million-dollar wholesale and retail business in New Mexico and a small business owner in Arizona. He also served as an interrogator, linguist and intelligence specialist on active duty in the U.S. Army.
Todd Webster is the senior vice president with Cornerstone Government Affairs, and has been named one of Roll Call’s “Fabulous 50: Movers and Shakers on Capitol Hill.” Prior to joining Cornerstone Government Affairs, Webster served as chief of staff to Senator Chris Coons (D-DE), communications director for both Senate Democratic Leader Tom Daschle and Senator Patty Murray (D-WA), and deputy communications director on the Gore-Lieberman campaign.
For more information about this year’s CAD speakers and program lineup, visit safnow.org/congressional-action-days. The cut-off date for guaranteeing the SAF room rate at the CAD hotel is Feb. 16. The early-bird registration fee is $295 for members and $395 for non-members by Feb. 23. Your registration includes an additional FREE registration for a second person from your company who has never attended CAD before.
SAF’s 38th Annual Congressional Action Days is underwritten by Platinum Partner CalFlowers and Gold Partners BloomNet, FTD and Teleflora.