As the Democratic field narrows and President Trump promises four more years, floral professionals are wondering: How will the presidential election affect the industry? During the Society of American Florists’ 40th annual Congressional Action Days (CAD,) March 9-10, a veteran lobbyist will offer some answers.
Matt Paul, senior vice president of Cornerstone Government Affairs, will kick off CAD with a wide-ranging discussion on key issues in the race — and how the candidates will try to make their way to the White House. Paul has built a 20-year career in public affairs and his resume includes time working for national politicians such as former presidential candidate and Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, Sen. Tim Kaine (D-Va.) and former President Barack Obama.
“For most folks there’s still a lot to learn about the presidential candidates for 2020 — who are they? What do they stand for?” said SAF’s Senior Lobbyist Joe Bischoff, Ph.D. “Matt is one of the few people in the country who has seen these kinds of high-level candidates on the stump and behind the scenes.”
“His insights into who they really are as people, how they interact and their line of thought are going to be informative for those who want to know more about the 2020 election cycle,” added Bischoff. “Attendees will hear from someone who has an inside view of these candidates and what their potential is in the upcoming election.”
Bischoff said that Paul understands the challenges and opportunities that the floral industry faces in part because he comes from an agriculture background, having worked with former Secretary of Agriculture Thomas Vilsack (D) and as the Obama administration’s communications director at the U.S. Department of Agriculture.
At the USDA, Paul managed a staff of 75 and led message coordination efforts around the bipartisan 2014 Farm Bill and directed media relations involving USDA’s seven mission areas and 20 agencies. He has worked at every level of government: city, state and federal. Paul ALSO served as the state director in Iowa for the 2016 Clinton presidential campaign and chief of staff for Kaine. He joined Cornerstone in 2017.
The cut-off date for guaranteeing the SAF room rate at the CAD hotel is February 12. The early-bird registration is $295 for members and $395 for non-members by February 21. Your registration includes an additional FREE registration for a second person from your company who has never attended CAD before. This offer is not available online; please contact firstname.lastname@example.org
Renee Houston Zemanski is a contributing writer for SAF.