“Oftentimes, there is disconnect between business and government in their respective approaches to solving problems. Several of us at PDG have worked in both the private and public sector which enables us to identify innovative solutions to complex problems.” - Ron Ober
As a founder of PDGi, Ron functions as both the chief strategic officer for our clients and yet still thrives on rolling up his sleeves as a jack-of-all-trades. Ron serves as lead lobbyist for several of the firm’s largest clients and brings his expert strategic and tactical thinking to many of PDGi’s efforts at the local, state, and federal levels. In fact, he finds himself at his best when solutions aren’t obvious and creativity is needed. Additionally, Ron plays a key role in the strategic public relations efforts at Critical Public Relations and still finds time to do business development and focus on client relations. Ron works closely with everyone at PDGi in an effort to provide the highest and best efforts for our clients whose interests come first.
Ron has successfully grown PDGi through the marriage of two very different cultures: private business and public service. As one of the youngest and most successful political minds in Arizona, Ron ran successful campaigns for retired US Senator Dennis DeConcini at the local and federal levels and then became his chief of staff. By combining his deep knowledge of politics, policy, and the way government operates with his extensive experience as a developer in the private sector, Ron brings unique and potent tools and perspectives to our clients.
While Ron has served on many boards and commissions over the years – including Central Arizona Shelter Services, American Israel Public Affairs Committee, Arizona Commission on Judicial Performance Review, and the Jewish Federation – he contributes significant personal time and effort into helping these and other organizations do their fundraising and friend-raising which are both crucial needs. A graduate of the University of Arizona, Ron and his wife, Gail, have two grown daughters.
“Limitation is just not a word we use around here. We encourage everyone on staff to utilize their talents and develop new skills. This makes us a highly adaptable company, and we are proud of it.” - Gail Gordon
Gail, a founding member of PDGi, fulfills the operational and financial functions within the company. She serves as the overall manager of corporate marketing and has helped develop, refine, and articulate the strategy and vision for our firm. Her efforts within PDGi allow other team members to focus solely on serving our clients with the knowledge that the business side of PDGi runs efficiently and effectively.
Drawing from an extensive background in budgeting, marketing, retailing, buying and upper management for such diverse entities as Federated Department Stores, the National Retail Dry Goods Association and St. Joseph’s Hospital and Medical Center, Gail has been able to not only manage the business aspects of PDGi, but also created a model of how to run a lean, non-partisan public affairs and public relations business that has endured economic and political cycles for over 19 years and has remained strong the entire time.
Gail has been a community leader through her efforts with the American Israel Public Affairs Committee, Junior League, and numerous boards, including her tenure as the Chairman of the Board of Phoenix Memorial Hospital. A graduate of the University of Arizona, Gail and her husband Ron have two grown daughters in whom they take great pride.
Paul rejoined Policy Development Group, Inc. in January 2011 after two years serving the State of Arizona as Deputy Chief of Staff for Communications under Governor Janice K. Brewer. He brings extensive strategic, political and managerial experience to our clients at the local, state and federal levels.
“The people in this firm have the unique ability to see things from a 30,000 foot level. We understand the big picture – how both government and business work. This allows us to find opportunities even in the most unusual circumstances.” - Jason Isaak
Jason began with PDGi in 1998 and has a broad range of responsibilities representing clients at all levels of government – local, state, and federal. His knowledge and understanding of the federal legislative process, especially in the areas of appropriations, law enforcement, and defense, has served our clients well. Additionally, Jason has shepherded multiple state legislative lobbying efforts from idea to law and successfully interacted between our clients and state agencies to deal with a host of issues including rulemaking, procurement, and guiding policy matters outside of the legislative process. He also advocates for clients with several Arizona counties and municipalities on a range of issues.
Prior to joining PDGi, Jason served as legislative director for Congressman Jim Kolbe. During his nearly eight year tenure on Capitol Hill in Congressman Kolbe’s office, Jason rose through the ranks to ultimately staff the Appropriations Subcommittee on Treasury and Postal Service which Kolbe chaired.
A Tucson native, Jason has served as an Honorary Commander for Luke Air Force Base and has served as an ordained deacon and teacher at his church. He graduated from Baylor University and holds a diploma for the completion of the US Naval War College’s College of Naval Command and Staff program.
“PDG has a mixture of talent that produces an enjoyable, friendly team-oriented atmosphere, promotes a high work ethic and develops effective political and communication strategies. All of which translates to incredible results for our clients.”
Kathy joined PDGi in 2009 and spearheads many of the firm’s legislative and regulatory efforts on behalf of our clients. Her start to finish knowledge of the legislative process coupled with her keen ability to navigate complex and dynamic situations have made her one of Arizona’s most effective and admired lobbyists. She advises and assists clients with regulatory matters at various agencies, municipalities, and at the Arizona Corporation Commission.
Prior to PDGi, Kathy spent several years in her home state of California working at their State Assembly as a policy staffer for a member of the Assembly and State Senate. In 1996, she shifted her focus from policy to politics when she became the campaign manager in a successful campaign for an incumbent Senator who had a high profile, targeted race.
Upon moving to Arizona, Kathy became the executive director of the Fiscal Accountability Reform Effort (FARE) which was an offshoot of the Arizona Chamber of Commerce and Greater Phoenix Leadership. From there she transitioned to the role of government affairs supervisor for Southwest Gas from 1998-2008 where Kathy led their local, legislative, and regulatory efforts in Arizona.
In addition to her involvement as the Chairman of the Board for the Challenger Space Center, she also serves on the board of the Arizona Community Action Association. A graduate of Pitzer College, Kathy lives in Peoria with her husband and two daughters.
“Understanding the media, how it works, what reporters need and being able to package information appropriately, are essential for successful communication.” - Troy Corder
As a founding member of PDG’s sister company, Critical Public Relations, Troy leads strategic internal and external communications efforts on behalf of clients and our firm. Under this model he consistently thinks two steps ahead of the public, the media, and policy makers.
Troy sets the standard for creative, proactive, and effective communications ensuring policy makers and the public understand our clients’ goals. Rather than simply issuing a press release that has limited impact and minimal value, Troy applies his considerable experience in video production, social and traditional media, and public involvement campaigns to develop public relations strategies that define and shape policy. He leverages Arizona and DC media relationships to effectively move public opinion and set the stage for advancing clients’ objectives.
After cutting his political teeth in US Senator John McCain’s office, Troy went on to work for former Arizona Governors Fife Symington and Jane Dee Hull. His role for both administrations included constituent relations, special projects, and advance work – all of which provided Troy with a broad knowledge of, and familiarity with leaders in all fields and areas of the State.
Troy next moved to Reister-Robb Public Relations where he managed the promotions department for a multi-million dollar outreach program and worked on several other projects with strong public policy components. Those combined experiences in politics, creative public relations, and public policy ultimately led to his involvement with CPR.
Troy attended ASU and graduated with a degree in political science. He and his wife live in Surprise, Arizona and spend their valuable free time participating in youth sports activities with their four children.
“Building great friendships is the foundation to long-term success. Being in the position to team up with the best people on any given project is a natural advantage, and allows for lasting friendships as well.” - Andy Jocobs
Since joining PDGi in 2008, Andy has focused his attention on public involvement efforts, grassroots campaigns, media outreach, development of new, social media content for clients, and a variety of projects dealing with local governments. He specializes in taking complex issues and identifying impacted stakeholders, building coalitions, and developing and executing organized strategies to help our clients achieve their goals. Andy brings particular expertise to efforts involving rural Arizona – reaching to all four corners of the state, and his ability to clearly communicate through a variety of modalities allows him to advance clients’ interests with creativity and agility.
Andy’s background in print media in college and then with a variety of local print media organizations forms the foundation of his expert ability to communicate by taking complex issues and distilling them in a way that resonates with the public. He spent six years serving US Senator Jon Kyl where he dealt with natural resource issues, coordinated extensive outreach to rural Arizona, provided constituent services, and offered legislative support on key issues to the staff in Washington, DC. Additionally, Andy spent time in 2006 providing support to Senator Kyl’s successful re-election campaign by serving as a liaison with the media and rural communities and stakeholder organizations.
Andy graduated with degrees in business and journalism from Baylor University and resides in Phoenix.
“We are unique because we help each other out. Everybody works from a level playing field; PDG employees are created equal." - Todd Baughman
Todd joined PDGi in 2007 and primarily serves as a lobbyist and strategist for our clients at the State level. He carries a genuine passion for the political process and the people involved. In addition to being the lead lobbyist for several clients, Todd assists with virtually every one of the firm’s legislative efforts and coordinates the day-to-day legislative agenda for our clients. Additionally, he actively participates in non-legislative efforts, predominately involving public involvement and campaign initiatives.
Originally educated and trained as an accountant, Todd worked in the financial services industry doing tax, audit, and public accounting for several years before entering the world of politics as US Senator Jon Kyl’s deputy campaign treasurer. There he managed the $15 million budget for the campaign and actively participated in the political efforts. Following the campaign, Todd worked with The Symington Group for a short time before joining PDGi.
Todd serves on the board of the Downtown Urban Community Kids and serves in leadership at Scottsdale Bible Church. He graduated from Masters College with a degree in business administration and accounting and lives in Phoenix.
“I cannot stress enough how important it is that our clients know they are a priority and that we are here to help them achieve their goals.” - Betsy Ware
Though PDGi relies on Betsy as the Administrative Assistant to keep our office running, she also plays an integral role in special event planning and implementation, client support, website management and numerous complex organizational objectives.
For over 30 years, Betsy has served in managerial and administrative roles for a variety of businesses and organizations. Upon moving to Arizona from her hometown of Baltimore, Maryland in 2006, she worked with the Arizona Automobile Dealers Association. Her keen interest in politics has kept her current on important issues facing Arizona.
A proud resident of downtown Phoenix, Betsy spends time with family and volunteers with organizations such as the Phoenix Rescue Mission.
“I cannot stress enough how important it is that our clients know they are a priority and that we are here to help them achieve their goals.”
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- Betsy's Biography
Karen “Betsy” Keary
“I cannot stress enough how important it is that our clients know they are a priority and that we are here to help them achieve their goals.”
Betsy has an impressive background in customer service and office management. She moved to Phoenix from Baltimore, Maryland where she managed a golf pro shop for five years. As Manager, she interacted with vendors, maintained inventory and coordinated event planning, fundraising and staff .
Before coming to Arizona, Betsy spent 12 years at Keary Advertising organizing and tracking orders, processing payroll and maintaining employee records. She also developed a cost analysis program to improve the business’ bottom line.
Betsy came to PDG from the Arizona Automobile Dealers Association, where she worked for nearly two years monitoring supplies, maintaining the company’s records and supplies and distributing newsletters.
Betsy provides integral support for the entire PDG operation. Her constant attention to detail helps keep the internal workings of PDG operating at the highest level.
Betsy utilizes her organizational skills for event planning, client conference coordination, scheduling and general staff support.
She is the first person clients meet when they come through the doors at PDG and Betsy ensures that everyone is a priority.