JACK GULLAHORN, PRESIDENT/COUNSEL
Since graduating from the University of Texas School of Law in 1973, Jack Wallace Gullahorn has been involved in some facet of public policy development for both the public and private sectors. His areas of professional activity have increasingly focused on the application of and compliance with Texas ethics and campaign laws, and the process of the creation and implementation of public policy initiatives and campaigns.
In 2001, Gullahorn initiated a consulting practice for clients interested in complicated public policy issues that benefit from a merger of the legal, political, media, third party and constituent education elements. As an outgrowth of his legal representation for registrants at the Texas Ethics Commission, Gullahorn founded the Professional Advocacy Association of Texas (PAAT) as a professional association for registered lobbyists in Texas. He serves as President and General Counsel of that entity and is a recognized leader on issues dealing with individual and corporate ethics, lobby and political compliance. He is recognized in the 2007 – 2010 Editions of The Best Lawyers in America in the specialty of Government Relations Law.
From February of 1996 until June of 2001, Gullahorn served in various senior capacities at Public Strategies, Inc. (PSI), an Austin-based national public affairs and policy development firm. His primary responsibilities at PSI ranged from supervising and being the primary mentor for young professionals in PSI’s state policy group, to simultaneously managing several major legislative and governmental policy initiatives for Fortune 500 corporations. Gullahorn was the senior Managing Director in charge of the development of strategic policy planning for accounts such as the Association of Electric Companies of Texas (broad issue: electric competition); Southwestern Bell (broad issue: telecom regulatory reform); the Alliance for Responsible Information Practices (broad issue: Internet privacy); and EDS (broad issues: Medicaid policy and crisis communications). Other clients have ranged from health care (Seton Healthcare Network, Texas Hospital Association, Schering Plough, Texas Health Resources), to tax policy (Intel, US Smokeless Tobacco Company, San Antonio Spurs, Texas Instruments), to proprietary market issues (Licensed Beverage Distributors, Texas Automobile Dealers Association).
In the decade prior to his work at PSI, Gullahorn was a partner serving on the management committee of the international law firm of Akin, Gump, Strauss, Hauer and Feld (Akin Gump). For the duration of his tenure there, Gullahorn was in charge of the firm’s State Public Law and Policy Section and managed the legislative efforts for non-federal client initiatives. Clients included AT&T, Champion International, Ross Perot, Boone Pickens, Texaco, the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA), Court TV and West Publishing Company. It was during this time that Gullahorn began the management and coordination of large legislative policy initiatives before the Texas Legislature, often involving multiple issues and dozens of lobbyists.
Gullahorn’s career in the policy arena actually began prior to his graduation from law school, when he accepted a position in January 1973 as a legislative aide to then State Representative Billy Clayton. In a campaign of strategy and determination, Billy Clayton became Speaker of the Texas House in 1975, and Gullahorn served as his Executive Assistant from January 1975 until November 1978. Gullahorn left that post to form the law firm of Roan and Gullahorn, P.C. and became one of the pioneers in the development of the profession of contract lobbying. Until leaving his own firm to join Akin Gump in 1986, Gullahorn enjoyed a public affairs and administrative legal practice, specializing in legislative advocacy.
Gullahorn earned a B.A. in Political Science from Trinity University; serves as Vice Chair of the Board of Trustees and as a member of the Executive Committee for the Seton Family of Hospitals in Austin; is past Chair and current Board member of St. Louise House of Austin, a not for profit providing housing and support services for homeless mothers with children; and has been a member of the St. Vincent de Paul Society of St. Austin Parish since 1991, serving as President, and later Vice President of that organization. He has been certified in dispute resolution, is licensed to practice law in Texas and Colorado, is the father of four children ages 27-36, has seven very cute grandchildren, and has been married to Patti Hogan Gullahorn since 1971. Both he and Patti are honored to have been named as Affiliates of the Daughters of Charity of the West Central Province. Jack is a state licensed pyrotechnician, served as chairman of the Fireworks Advisory Council for the State Department of Insurance, and was appointed by the Speaker of the House to serve on the 2001-2002 State Privacy Task Force. He is an ISTJ and likes good coffee.
LAURIE FENSTEMAKER PAIR, EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR
Laurie Fenstemaker Pair offers over 25 years of experience in Texas’ political, legal and lobbying arenas. During the past two decades, Pair has developed extensive expertise in Texas ethics, including Chapter 305, Government Code (Registration of Lobbyists) and Title 15, Texas Election Code (Regulating Political Funds and Campaigns).
An independent government ethics specialist since 1992, Pair helps Texas lobbyists, political action committees, candidates and officeholders prepare, maintain and administer state-required ethics reports.
Prior to launching her own consulting business, Pair was a legislative affairs manager and paralegal for Akin, Gump Strauss, Hauer & Feld’s Austin offices. During her tenure there, Pair was responsible for required Chapter 305 reports for section attorneys, and reports required under Title 15 for the firm and client PACs. Additionally, she monitored and analyzed legislative action for potential client impact, and drafted documents and prepared witnesses for legislative hearings.
Previously, Pair helped establish and organize the new office of a statewide association, and worked as a legislative researcher for Roan & Gullahorn, P.C. Early on in her career, Pair served as a legislative staffer for the Texas House Sergeant-at-Arms, as well as for two state representatives.
An accounting graduate of the University of Texas at Austin, Pair has team-taught a Fundraising and Campaign Finance course at Austin’s St. Edward’s University. She is a former certified emergency medical technician, a tournament bass-fishing enthusiast and a devoted “sweepstaker.” Pair is an accounting graduate of the University of Texas at Austin and is married with four grown step-daughters and one adorable grandchild.
ALLISON MCCOMBE SMALL, COMMUNICATIONS DIRECTOR
Allison Small has more than eleven years of experience developing and implementing strategic communications and public affairs campaigns for a diverse client base on issues ranging from telecommunications and electric to insurance, education and ethics.
Before going out on her own as a public affairs and grassroots consultant in December 2004, Small was a consultant at Public Strategies, Inc. During her time at PSI, Small worked with several Fortune 500 companies on issues including telecommunications and insurance reform. Among her accomplishments, Small oversaw a nationwide grassroots campaign with over 150,000 members and fourteen websites. Small has extensive experience managing website development, maintenance and e-mail communications as well as general grassroots campaign strategy and implementation.
Prior to joining Public Strategies, Small worked at the Children’s Hospital Foundation in Washington, D.C.. During her tenure there, she served as grants manager, responsible for preparing funding proposals, and as director of corporate and foundation relations.
Small began her career in the political/governmental arena, working within Elizabeth Dole’s office during the 1996 Dole/Kemp presidential campaign and with U.S. House Budget Committee Chairman John Kasich during budget proceedings.
A graduate of Denison University in Granville, Ohio, Small earned her B.A. in Political Science. Her tenure at Denison included four years on the women’s basketball team where she was an All-American and left as the school’s all-time leading scorer. She was inducted in the Denison Athletic Hall of Fame in October 2010. Allison lives in Austin with her husband Clint and their two children, daughter Annie (8) and son Ed (6).