Government relations firms help connect big ideas from nonprofit organizations to the government officials who need them, driving funding and social change. This week, Momentum had the pleasure of welcoming someone with a wealth of experience at such a firm: Cathleen Collins, a Senior Vice President at Capalino + Company.

Here are a few key takeaways from Cathleen about what Capalino + Company does, and how they do it well:

  • A wide scope of work. The company has a wide scope of work, including these main pillars: social impact, legislative & political affairs, business strategy, energy & environmental solutions, land use/real estate, and permitting.
  • Tightly tailored strategy. The way Capalino + Company strategizes a campaign or plan ultimately depends on the client and the incumbent political administration. In most cases, Cathleen and her team will identify other organizations in the client’s space, identify natural champions of the client’s cause in local government, and organize rallies, petitions, and other ways of raising awareness to make sure that lawmakers are hearing their message and taking action.
  • Numbers make the gears turn. It’s incredibly important to show government agencies specific numbers! If you can flesh out, in detail, how many of their constituents will be affected by a proposal, what kinds of socioeconomic benefits a new policy can bring, and other ways the funding will directly impact residents, this will go the extra mile.

For Cathleen, one of the most rewarding parts of her job is being able to manage Capalino + Company’s internship program. The mentorship element is fulfilling for her and she thinks that giving younger people the work experience offered in robust intern programs is essential to developing stronger leaders for the future.

Cathleen also had some resonant advice for people in any stage of their career: always lead with your authentic skills. Embracing the ways in which you are strongest, in whatever skills those may be, will help to propel you into the right space at your company or to a role elsewhere that will fit you best. There are many ways to be impactful and respected in the workplace– you don’t need to be the loudest person in the room!