MICHAEL ALEXANDER OF-COUNSEL
As a Partner of Alexander, Borovicka & O'Shea (ABO), and previously as President of Michael Alexander & Associates LLC, Mike has an extensive list of clients that rely on him to develop and execute their government affairs and legislative priorities at all levels of government.
With over twenty years of experience working in Washington, Mike advocates tirelessly on behalf of his clients to successfully navigate Capital Hill and the federal bureaucracy. He has developed a reputation of building broad
bi-partisan coalitions, helping clients gather intelligence and stay informed of current and pending policy trends, identifying advocacy groups to support their efforts, and passing critical legislation in D.C. Over his career,
he has worked to secure hundreds of millions of dollars in government funding, including in 2012, when he spearheaded the successful effort to help a manufacturing client win a $352 million contract. The following year he led the effort to help secure $60 million in funds for a transportation project that was critical to his client’s business. He has also mounted aggressive grassroots efforts to prevent damaging legislation from being passed into law by Congress.
In Springfield, Mike is regarded as one of the most trusted advisors to both public official and corporate clients. Mike's unique relationships with Republican and Democratic members of the Illiinois General Assembly are vast, and his ability to secure support on behalf of his clients is unparalleled because of his deep understanding of the inner working of state government, close contacts at the agency level, and his bi-partisan approach to creating consensus around an issue. In 2016, Mike crafted a strategy and successfully passed a potentially contentious bill in both the House and Senate on behalf of a client in the midst of a severely complicated, divisive, and politically charged budget process.
In the City of Chicago, Mike advises clients on the best approached to navigating City Hall. He works closely with the City's Aldermen, as well as with community leaders and the Mayor's office, to build robust grassroots campaigns and garner public support to ensure success for his clients. His clients at City Hall range from Fortune 500 companies to family-owned businesses that have operated in Chicago for generations.
Mike began his career in public service in 1995, when he went to work for then-Congressman, and now Assistant Democratic Leader in the United States Senate, Richard Durbin from Illinois. Mike worked for the Senator at the
senior staff level in both Washington and Illinois. He served as a top advisor on a variety of issues and was responsible for identifying and vetting appropriation requests; critical programs and projects that brought millions of dollars back to Illinois.
In 2003, Mike accepted a position with the State of Illinois, becoming the Director of Local Government for the Illinois Department of Economic Opportunity (DCEO). At DCEO Mike worked driectly with mayors and other elected
officials around the state, as well as businesses and small looking to relocate or expand in Illinois, to identify various state incentives and to expand economic activity in the state.
In 2004 Mike transitioned to the private sector when he became the Director of Government Affairs for Simmons Hanley Conroy (formerly The Simmons Law Firm), one of the nation’s top law firms. In addition to his role as a founding partner at ABO, Mike continues to work directly with the Simmons Hanly Conroy partners to navigate the political and government landscape on behalf of the clients they serve.
Through his tenure, Mike has developed close relationships that have helped him create powerful networks and advanced strategies for his clients. Today, Mike utilizes these contacts and broad understanding of the issues to work hand in hand with his clients and to advance their legislative and business objectives. His work as a political consultant continues, as he is often called upon to work with and advise local, state and federal candidates and campaigns during election cycles.
Mike was born in Springfield, Illinois and raised in nearby Virden. He is a 1996 graduate of Illinois Wesleyan University in Bloomington, where he majored in Political Science and graduated with honors. Mike resides with his family in the Chicago neighborhood of Uptown.
JOHN BOROVICKA OF-COUNSEL
John Borovicka, is a Partner of government relations firm Alexander, Borovicka and O'Shea. Through his work in both the public and private sector, John Borovicka has developed one of the most unique networks of experiences, relationships, and substantive acumen in the advocacy community today. John utilizes this background on behalf of his clients as a founding partner of Alexander, Borovicka & O'Shea Government Solutions. With a diverse roster of clients ranging from Fortune 500 companies to small local businesses, John has earned the trust of leaders in areas such as education, manufacturing, and technology to represent their governmental interests. Recent highlights of his work include assisting a major international company in defeating a piece of legislation in Springfield that would have stifled technology and innovation, and helping another major company secure a multi-million dollar governmental contract, the most lucrative of its kind ever awarded.
John’s extensive career in public service includes over a dozen years working at the federal, state, and city levels of government. These include senior positions with then-U.S. Congressman and current Mayor of Chicago Rahm Emanuel, current U.S. Congressman Mike Quigley, and current Illinois State Senate President John Cullerton. John’s governmental and campaign experience began in 1996 on the Democratic National Convention and President Clinton’s reelection campaign. His initial government work came in running the Chicago office of State Senator Cullerton. From 1997-1998, John served as field director on the first successful campaign of Mike Quigley, now a member of the U.S. House of Representatives’ Appropriations Committee. John then spent four years working for the Chicago City Council as a legislative aide to Alderman Bernie Hansen of Lakeview.
In 2001, John joined Rahm Emanuel’s campaign for United States Congress, serving as his campaign manager when he was first elected in 2002. For the next five years, John was Congressman Emanuel’s District Director, where he served as his liaison to all local officials, governmental agencies and non-profit organizations, while running the Congressman’s Chicago office. During his tenure, he helped bring together state, local and city officials to provide millions of dollars in funding to local projects. John also continued as Congressman Emanuel’s political director throughout his tenure in Congress.
John’s lengthy campaign work also includes serving as Deputy Campaign Manager for Chicago Mayor Richard M. Daley’s final reelection campaign in 2007. John has also worked on behalf of many other successful campaigns for executive, legislative, and judicial positions. He continues to be a close counselor and trusted advisor to many other candidates and elected officials at the federal, state and local levels.
Immediately prior to forming Alexander, Borovicka & O'Shea, John spent five years in public finance at an international investment firm, where he was a Senior Vice President in infrastructure investment banking. John specialized in financings for a wide range of large governmental entities across the United States, including the Chicago Transit Authority, the Metropolitan Water Reclamation District of Greater Chicago, and the State of Ohio. Serving as a financial advisor and bond underwriter, John gained a bird’s eye view of the governmental purchasing world from the inside out, while shepherding his clients through all facets of the procurement process. In addition to broadening his network of local elected officials, John was also able to create new relationships with members of Congress and their staffs representing different areas of the country.
John holds a B.S in Communications from Northwestern University, which he attended on a baseball scholarship. He also holds a J.D. from the Loyola University of Chicago School of Law, and is licensed to practice law in the State of Illinois. John has been a guest lecturer in political science and communication at Northwestern, DePaul and Loyola Universities. He is the immediate Past President and current member of the Board of Directors of Chicago Lights, a community organization aimed at combating poverty. John recently completed a three-year term as an Elder of the Fourth Presbyterian Church of Chicago. He is also a member of the Board of Directors of The N Club, for former letter-winning varsity athletes at Northwestern University. He is a past board member of the Chicago Summer Business Institute and the John Merlo Sports Program, and has been an active member of the Government Finance Officers Association, the National Association of Bond Lawyers, the Chicago Bar Association, and the Lakeview Citizens Council.
JEFFREY GOFF OF-COUNSEL
Jeffrey Goff is Senior Associate at the Oldaker Law Group and serves in an Of-Counsel capacity to The National Group.
Jeffrey served as Deputy Chief of Staff and Legislative Director to a senior Republican Member of the House Appropriations Committee. Jeffrey served as the Congressman’s associate staff to the Appropriations Committee and the Subcommittee on Transportation, Housing and Urban Development and Related Agencies, of which the Congressman was Ranking Member. Jeffrey shaped and oversaw the Member’s legislative agenda and assisted in press operations and political affairs.
During his ten years on the Hill, Jeffrey had an expansive issues portfolio including, but not limited to, health care, education, and financial services. He has drafted and managed legislation introduced in Congress including bills to improve health and wellness programs, expand higher education opportunities, and create jobs in the manufacturing sector.
Jeffrey maintains excellent personal and working relationships with Members and staff on Capitol Hill, primarily on the Republican side of the aisle.
In addition, Jeffrey has considerable experience in coalition building and managing diverse groups toward a common goal. Jeffrey also has extensive campaign management and grassroots experience at the local level.
Jeffrey Goff is a graduate of the University of Michigan with a Bachelor of Arts in Political Science.
DAVID SCHMIDLY OF-COUNSEL
David J. Schmidly was born and raised on a cotton farm near Levelland in west Texas. Dr. Schmidly was a first generation college student and the first member of his family to attend and graduate from college. He received his B.A. and M.S. degrees from Texas Tech (1962-1968) and his Ph.D. degree from the University of Illinois (1968-1971), all in Biology and Zoology. Dr. Schmidly has been recognized as a distinguished alumnus at both of these institutions.
Dr. Schmidly served as President of the University of New Mexico from 2007-2012. Previously he had served as President and CEO of Oklahoma State University (2003-2007) and Vice President of Research, Dean of the Graduate School, and President at Texas Tech (1996-2003). Dr. Schmidly started his academic career at Texas A&M University in 1971 where he served as head of the Department of Wildlife and Fisheries Sciences (1986-1992) and Chief Executive Officer and Campus Dean at Texas A&M University at Galveston (1992-1996).
Dr. Schmidly has served on many higher education boards, including the Executive Committee of the International Association of University Presidents (IAUP); the Council of Presidents, Association of University and Colleges (AGB); the Board of Directors, Hispanic Association of Colleges and Universities (HACU); and the Board of Directors, American College and University President’s Climate Commitment (ACUPCC).
Dr. Schmidly is a strong advocate and supporter of college athletics and its importance in the American way of life. He served for several years as a Director and member of the Executive Committee of the NCAA, and for two years he was Chairman of the Board of the Big 12 Athletic Program during a time of unprecedented growth and achievement. At Texas Tech, he hired Bob Knight as the men’s basketball coach – a move that proved to be tremendously successful.
Dr. Schmidly is an internationally respected researcher and scientific author and has been inducted into the Texas Hall of Fame for Science, Mathematics, and Technology, which recognizes Texans who have played a major role in significant scientific accomplishments. As a noted scientific naturalist, he has authored nine natural history and conservation books and more than 100 scientific articles. In addition, Dr. Schmidly received a very prestigious honor when a new species of mouse was named after him – Peromyscus schmidlyi. Quite possibly, he is the only university president with this distinction! Recently, Dr. Schmidly was selected as an honorary member of the American Society of Mammalogists (ASM) which is the most prestigious recognition awarded by that scientific society.
Dr. Schmidly and his wife of 47 years, Janet Knox Schmidly, live in Placitas, New Mexico, and are the parents of two grown children.
JENNICE FUENTES OF-COUNSEL
Jennice Fuentes is a recently retired (2013) U.S. House of Representatives Chief of Staff with 25 years of legislative and political experience. She has a demonstrated track record advocating and advancing legislative issues to Congressional leaders and directly impacting the passage of legislation. As Chief of Staff to Representative Luis Gutierrez (D-IL) she served as the Congressman’s principal advisor, political strategist and top manager. She was responsible for all legislative and political decisions, as well as management of a 22 member staff across Chicago and Washington, D.C. and a $1.4 million annual budget. She advised the Congressman on all issues before the House Financial Services committee, including securities, insurance, banking, housing and the $700 billion Emergency Economic Stabilization Act of 2008, as well as immigration and issues related to the community.
Jennice is a proven strategist on political and legislative issues and has spent her career developing relationships with key internal and external stakeholders, building coalitions with Congressional leaders and motivating Democrat and Republican officials to act on legislation. After 25 years in Congress, she has founded Fuentes Strategies, LLC with collaborators who share her dedication for government relations to help businesses advocate and promote legislative issues that are relevant to the Latino/Latina community. Ms. Fuentes' public service work has been recognized by The Imagen Foundation, The Congressional Hispanic Leadership Institute, The Fundacion Azteca, The John C. Stennis Center for Public Service, The Puerto Rico Convention Bureau, the Embassy of Spain and the Fundacion Carolina.
Ms. Fuentes is also a cultural commentator, movie reviewer and frequent guest on various local and national radio and television programs, including CNN en Español, Voice of America, WUSA's News 9, and National Public Radio. A native of Guaynabo, Puerto Rico, Ms. Fuentes earned her B.A. from Clark University in Worcester, Massachusetts and her M.A. from New York University. She is fluent in Spanish, French and Italian and has knowledge of Russian and German.
ELLIOTT FIEDLER OF-COUNSEL
Mr. Fiedler served as Legislative Director to Congressman David Obey, former Chairman of the House Appropriations Committee. Mr. Fiedler was also a senior executive at the lobbying firm of Cassidy & Associates for 10 years, represented a number of major corporations and non-profit institutions, and was one of the leaders of that firm's university representation practice.
Mr. Fiedler has expertise in the federal budget and appropriations processes, and in issue areas including health care, energy, defense, education and economic development. Before his work as a Congressional aide, Mr. Fiedler served as a budget analyst in the Department of Health, Education and Welfare. Mr. Fiedler is an independent consultant to The National Group and other entities.
FRANK LAZARUS OF-COUNSEL
Francis M. Lazarus is currently President Emeritus and Professor of Classics at the University of Dallas, in Irving, Texas. Dr. Lazarus was seventh President of the University of Dallas from 2004-2009, having assumed that office after serving for eight years as Vice President and Provost of the University of San Diego. Prior to his position at San Diego, Dr. Lazarus was Vice President for Academic Affairs at Marquette University from 1988-1996, Dean of the College of Arts and Sciences at the University of Dayton from 1980-1988, and Associate Dean of Salem College in Winston-Salem, North Carolina from 1979-1980.
Prior to serving in these administrative posts, Dr. Lazarus was a member of the faculty of Classics of Salem College (1973-1980) and the faculty of English at the United States Military Academy at West Point (1970-1973). In 1978-1979 Dr. Lazarus held an American Council of Education Fellowship in Academic Administration at Memphis State University in Tennessee. He is a member of Phi Beta Kappa and Alpha Sigma Nu, the national Jesuit honor society.
Dr. Lazarus was educated at Canisius College in Buffalo (A.B. Summa Cum Laude, 1966) and at Cornell University (M.A., 1968; Ph.D. 1972). His areas of specialty are Latin and Greek Literature of the Classical period and Greek archaeology. His publications include an edited book on the character of Jesuit education, a book chapter on community service learning, and articles on the nature of Fortuna, the goddess of chance, in Latin Literature.
Dr. Lazarus currently serves on the Executive Committee of the Texas Independent Colleges Foundation. In addition, he is also a member of the Board of Regents of Seton Hall University, and the Board of Directors of the United Way of Metropolitan Dallas. Dr. Lazarus was born in Buffalo, New York and is married to the former Carol Scheminger, whom he met in third grade. They have three children and three grandchildren.
ARTHUR WU OF-COUNSEL
Art Wu retired from the United States House of Representatives Committee on Veterans Affairs in January 2011 after having served for 16 years as the Deputy Staff Director of the Full Committee and Staff Director of the Subcommittee on Oversight and Investigations.
He played a key role in oversight functions related to the re-engineering of the Department of Veterans Affairs, especially in electronic medical records, information security, technology modernization, consolidation and integration, infrastructure reorganization, procurement reform, quality assurance, prohibitive personnel practices, patient safety, quality assurance, practitioner credentialing, research and human subjects protections, third party collections, bioterrorism, VA/DOD sharing, interoperability and seamless transition and waste, fraud and abuse activities.
He is actively engaged with various veterans' organizations and the military services to maintain awareness of quality of life issues vital to all veterans, active, retired or former military service personnel and their families or survivors.
He was commissioned in the U.S. Army Medical Service Corps in 1970. He served in various assignments and duties in hospital administration, medical evacuation, POW return team and health care policy. During his Army career he was variously stationed at Fort Myer, VA; Okinawa, Japan; Fort Knox, KY; Fort Lee, VA; Army Surgeon General's Representative to the Office of Civilian Health and Medical Programs of the Uniformed Services, Office of the Assistant Secretary of Defense (Health Affairs), Denver, CO; Medical Operations and Personnel Officer, VII U.S. Army Corps Surgeon, Stuttgart, Germany; and Chief, Health Care and Physical Standards, Army Surgeon General's Office, National Guard Bureau, Pentagon. He retired from the Army in 1990.
Mr. Wu is a professional consultant on health care reform, managed care programs, veterans issues and base closure and realignment among many others.