The Ridge Policy Group is the result of a nearly 30-year friendship and professional association between Governor Tom Ridge, Mark Holman, and Mark Campbell. Together, the three partners of Ridge Policy Group have developed unmatched experience at the local, state, and federal levels, overseeing every aspect of government programs, policies, and budgets. The Ridge Policy Group team offers a unique bipartisan understanding of how government works at every level and is personally committed to their clients. With the Ridge Policy Group, you get the whole team working on your issues and priorities.
Born August 26, 1945, in Pittsburgh’s Steel Valley and raised in Erie, Governor Tom Ridge is well known as one of our nation’s most respected public servants. From his decorated service in Vietnam, to Congress, from the Governor’s Office to serving as our nation’s first Homeland Security Secretary, he is well respected across the nation and overseas. A strong and visionary leader he has gained a deserved reputation as an innovator, not an ideologue.Following the tragic events of September 11th, 2001, Tom Ridge became the first Assistant to the President for Homeland Security and, on January 24, 2003, became the first Secretary of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security. The creation of the country’s 15th Cabinet Department marked the largest reorganization of government since the Truman administration and another call to service for the former soldier, congressman and governor of Pennsylvania. Before the events of September 11th, Tom Ridge was twice elected Governor of Pennsylvania. He served as the state’s 43rd governor from 1995 to 2001. Known for his commitment to high standards and results, Governor Ridge delivered on his promise to make Pennsylvania “a leader among states and a competitor among nations.” Governor Ridge’s aggressive technology strategy helped fuel the state’s advances in economic development, education, health care and the environment. Tom Ridge was elected to Congress in 1982. He was one of the first Vietnam combat veterans elected to the U.S. House of Representatives and was overwhelmingly re-elected by Pennsylvania voters five times. Governor Ridge serves on the boards of the Institute for Defense Analyses, the Center for the Study of the Presidency and Congress and other private and public entities, and since 2005, has served as chairman of the National Organization on Disability. Secretary Ridge continues to contribute to matters concerning our nation’s veterans and, along with Gen. Tommy Franks (Ret.), serves as national co-chairman of the Flight 93 Memorial Fundraising Campaign.
Mark Holman’s 30-year career has given him an understanding of government and politics that few of his peers enjoy.Mark served President George W. Bush and Governor Ridge as Deputy Assistant to the President for the Office of Homeland Security immediately following the September 11th terrorist attacks. He also served as Governor Ridge’s Chief of Staff from 1995-2000. Working in the White House during a time of war, and helping to lead a successful gubernatorial administration in Pennsylvania, are experiences that help shape his world view and greatly enhance his ability to represent clients before senior federal and state officials. Mark has also worked in both branches of Congress. He started his public career with the late Senator John Heinz, (1980-1982), and later served as Chief of Staff for Congressman Tom Ridge, (1983-1992). Mark’s first-hand knowledge of the challenges facing legislators, the competition between the House and the Senate, and the differing perspectives of legislators help formulate his representation strategies. Understanding politics is essential to a successful public advocacy strategy. Over the course of his career, Mark has developed extensive campaign experience. Mark managed Governor Ridge’s first campaign for Congress in 1982 and later managed his first gubernatorial campaign (1993-94). He served on President George H.W. Bush’s campaign committee in 1980 and 1988. He also served on President Reagan’s 1980 campaign. He has worked on eight full time campaign efforts at all levels, including his first as a full-time college intern on the Heinz for Senate campaign in 1976. Prior to helping found the Ridge Policy Group, Mark had eight years of experience with Blank Rome Government Relations, LLC. During his time with Blank Rome, he served as Practice Group Leader and also became a full equity principal in the firm. While at Blank Rome, Mark matched his experience in government and politics with a broad-based federal and state client base. His approach to client matters has always been on a bipartisan basis. Mark is active in the community, serving on the Board of Trustees of his alma mater, Indiana University of Pennsylvania, the Board of the Tom Ridge Environmental Center at Presque Isle, and the Advisory Board for the Federal Enforcement Homeland Security Foundation. Download the vCard for Mark Holman here and add to your contacts.
Since 1982, Mark Campbell has developed extensive experience for how politics and public policy merge into government decision making. As a Chief of Staff for two Pennsylvania governors, Mark has overseen every aspect of state government programs, policies and budgets.Mark has served in Washington and Harrisburg. All along the way, he learned the importance of bipartisan perspective and open-minded collaboration. He served as a congressional chief of staff (1992-1994), a gubernatorial deputy chief of staff (1995-2001) and chief of staff to Governors Tom Ridge and Mark Schweiker (2001-2002). Since leaving the Governor’s Office, Mark successfully served as a senior-level lobbyist with Harrisburg-based Greenlee Partners as well with The Swarthmore Group, a Philadelphia-based institutional asset management firm. Both opportunities provided Mark with an appreciation for the importance of first-rate client service and success. Mark serves as a trustee at his alma mater, Allegheny College as well as on the board of the Tom Ridge Environmental Center at Presque Isle. Download the vCard for Mark Campbell here and add to your contacts.
Prior to joining Ridge Policy Group, Pam spent five years at Blank Rome Government Relations, LLC, assisting the Managing Partner and Practice Group Leader, and managing the day-to-day operations of the bipartisan lobbying practice. She worked closely with top democratic and republican lobbyists in the areas of transportation, state and local government, healthcare, education, the private sector and the DC representatives for the Governor of Pennsylvania. Client service is her top priority, and she delivers first-rate service to all clients.Pam also worked on Capitol Hill where she served as Executive Assistant of the U.S. Senate Committee on Small Business and Entrepreneurship serving under Ranking Member Christopher S. “Kit” Bond and former Chairwoman Olympia J. Snowe. Her time on the Hill proved to be valuable for the hands on experience in government and politics, as she continued her journey for the rights of main street Americans. Before going to the Hill, Pam managed the DC office of the National Federation of Independent Business (NFIB). A non-profit, nonpartisan small business advocacy organization with over 600,000 members. During her tenure at NFIB, Pam assisted in the planning and management of their National Small-Business Summit in Washington, D.C., one of the largest lobbying efforts on Capitol Hill. Her time at NFIB gave her an understanding of small business America and their need to affect public policy at the state and federal level. Prior to joining NFIB, Pam spent fifteen years working at Northern Essex Community College in Massachusetts, where she served many years as the College’s campus events coordinator. Download the vCard for Pam Curtis here and add to your contacts.
Prior to joining Ridge Policy Group, Rebeccah worked on Capitol Hill for over six years where she served as Legislative Director to Congressman Todd R. Platts. Managing the Congressman’s legislative agenda, she learned how to effectively navigate the lawmaking process and develop successful strategies.Rebeccah has experience working in all policy areas and has worked most extensively in the health care, education, energy, and national security fields. During her tenure on the Hill, Rebeccah became keenly aware of the importance of bipartisanship and developed strong Congressional relationships with Republicans and Democrats alike. She often bridged partisan gaps and facilitated communication between contrasting view points. In addition to her extensive policy experience, Rebeccah has actively participated in several campaigns at varying levels. As Finance Chair of the Arlington County Republican Committee, she organized a number of fundraisers for state-wide candidates in Virginia. Additionally, she is well-versed in grassroots campaign strategies. Rebeccah received a Bachelor of Arts (BA) from Dickinson College in Carlisle, Pennsylvania and a Master of Public Policy (MPP) degree from George Mason University in Arlington, Virginia. Download the vCard for Reccak Wolfkiel here and add to your contacts.
Working with traditional industry, non-profits, and in partnership with government agencies, Ned Rauch-Mannino’s experience includes extensive advocacy in community and economic development and urban renewal, higher education, tax policy, transportation, land use, and sustainability issues. Prior to joining Ridge Policy Group, Ned represented Philadelphia’s industrial constituency—more than 1,500 firms and 90,000 employees—as the Director of Policy and Research with the Urban Industry Initiative, a City of Philadelphia Department of Commerce community and economic development agency. Providing government relations for both Fortune 500 companies and small businesses, as well as aligned trade associations, development authorities, and non-profit institutions, he collaborated with democratic and republican leadership in Philadelphia and Harrisburg to achieve solutions in policy-making and development.Ned led significant economic analysis projects for the Urban Industry Initiative and with municipal authorities. He is also a successful fundraiser, securing more than $11.9 million in grants, loans and other financing since 2007. His role as a connector has served clients by introducing new relationships, and understanding the relationship between policy and development Ned has provided professional lectures and other presentations to Drexel University’s School of Public Policy, The University of Pennsylvania’s School of Urban Design, The Sustainable Business Network, The Philadelphia Regional Port Authority, and City of Philadelphia Zoning Code Commission, among others. Ned is also a Senior Advisor to Econsult Solutions and a faculty member at Temple University, lecturing courses in government economics and development and growth studies. Other past experience includes private consulting and non-profit roles, leadership positions with the Southeastern Public Transportation Authority (SEPTA), Next Great City, Society and Nature International, and Young Involved Philadelphia (YIP), and completing research in East Africa and Central America. Additionally, he is a published journalist and author. Download the vCard for Ned Rauch-Mannino here and add to your contacts.
Working as Ridge Policy Group’s Research Analyst, Fran brings his economic research and analysis background to the team. Within this role, he specializes in directing clients towards federal funding opportunities, aids in the composition of RPG documents targeted towards Congress, and highlights points of market entry for clients through market analysis reports.Before joining the RPG team, Fran worked in the governmental, university and maritime security field. Fran has firsthand experience in the construction and implementation of port security plans in adherence with the federal regulations constructed by Department of Homeland Security. In addition to his maritime security knowledge, Fran has over two years of experience working for State Representative Brendan F. Boyle at the district level. During this time he regularly assisted Representative Boyle with the analysis of current and prospective policies. At the university level Fran worked for the Temple University Dean of Engineering Office, assisting in the admission process of all graduate engineering students. Download the vCard for Fran Nelms here and add to your contacts.
Laura Jan Kuller was the Chief of Staff to the Pennsylvania House Majority Leader throughout the 2009/2010 legislative session ending November 30, 2010. In this capacity she managed the House floor, including running the calendar and overseeing the legislative process, for the Leader. Her responsibilities also included overseeing more than 900 caucus staffers whose responsibilities included legal, legislative, policy, political appointments, human resources, information technology, administrative, press, publications and district work. She worked closely with legislators, both Democrats and Republicans, on key legislation, including budget, gaming, jobs and economic development, health care, environment and education. She also worked closely with the Senate and Governor’s office to devise strategies for enacting bills and on other policy and administrative matters. During a previous stint with the Pennsylvania House of Representatives, Laura was the Director and Chief Policy Counsel for the House Democratic Leader and assisted in the management of the House impeachment of a Pennsylvania Supreme Court Justice.Prior to returning to the House, Laura was a shareholder at Buchanan Ingersoll and Rooney where she represented Fortune 500 clients, statewide trade associations, non-profits and small businesses on legislative, administrative and regulatory matters with an emphasis on legislative solutions to complex client matters. During her eight years with the firm, she also conducted Continuing Legal Education seminars on the Lobby Disclosure Act and Managing Trade Associations. As well, she served on the Pennsylvania Tuition Account Program Advisory Board, the Harrisburg area’s Jewish Home Board and a United Way committee. Laura’s legal career in Harrisburg began as an Assistant Consumer Advocate in the Pennsylvania Attorney General’s office where she worked on utility matters before the PUC. Laura was honored by Harrisburg Magazine as one of the ‘Top Lawyers in Central PA’ in 2006. In 2006, 2007, 2008 and 2009, Laura was selected by her peers for inclusion in The Best Lawyers in America. Laura also has experience in the political arena. She served on the 2008 Obama Presidential Campaign Legal Steering Committee for Pennsylvania and served as the Central Pennsylvania Legal Counsel to the 2004 Kerry Presidential Campaign. She also served as the Central Pennsylvania Lawyers Coordinator for the Rendell Gubernatorial Campaign’s Election Day efforts in 2002 and 2006 and was a member of Governor Ed Rendell’s Management and Productivity Transition Committee and its IT Subcommittee. Laura worked for the Democratic National Committee, for a New York City Comptroller, on a Congressional race in Westchester, New York and on then Senator Al Gore’s first presidential campaign. Laura also has a Tennessee connection from her service as a legislative staffer to former Congressman Bart Gordon. In 2008, Laura was identified as one of Pennsylvania’s 50 most politically influential personalities by PolitickerPA.com’s Power List. During law school, Laura clerked for the Honorable Gerard L. Goettel, U.S. District Judge for the Southern District of New York. She also was a legal intern for the Federal Election Commission. Download the vCard for Laura Kuller here and add to your contacts.
Stephanie Watkins comes to Ridge Policy Group with over 5 years of experience with the Pennsylvania House of Representatives. During that time, Stephanie served state representatives through the House Majority Policy Committee by developing public policy proposals that bridged the gap between the public, private, and non-profit sectors. In this capacity, Stephanie advised individual members on policies unique to their districts and served as a resource of information on legislative issues including, but not limited to, job creation, economic development, the environment, transportation, and education. As a result, Stephanie has a strong understanding of the commonwealth’s diverse political landscape and an appreciation for the power of bipartisanship.In addition to Stephanie’s extensive legislative experience she has a strong background in social media and media relations. Stephanie was responsible for writing press releases, developing media relationships, and organizing public events. During her time with the Pennsylvania House of Representatives, Stephanie became familiar with all aspects of the legislative process and developed relationships with key decision makers in Harrisburg. Stephanie received her Bachelor of Arts degree from St. Vincent College in Latrobe, PA and her Master of Public International Law degree (LLM) from the University of Kent, United Kingdom. Download the vCard for Stephanie Watkins here and add to your contacts.
Jodi Ford Firestone brings close to 25 years of state government and public relations experience to Ridge Policy Group. She previously served as Legislative Analyst with the Pennsylvania State Senate Committee on Banking and Insurance, developing policy strategies for comprehensive insurance reform and for the regulation of responsible banking practices. Jodi began her career in state government as Executive Assistant to the Senate Floor Leader and Chief of Staff. Prior to joining Ridge Policy Group, Jodi spent fourteen years in the leadership role of successful fundraising development efforts and event planning for a leading academic hospital, as well as various non-profit organizations supporting quality education and the arts. She has a proven history of identifying and maintaining major client/donor relationships and communication strategies, and surpassing considerable philanthropic and financial goals in a challenging economy. As Executive Assistant with Ridge Policy Group, Jodi is responsible for managing the firm’s client relationships.Download the vCard for Jodi Ford Firestone here and add to your contacts.
As a Senior Government Relations Specialist for the Ridge Policy Group, Kendra works proactively to identify and analyze public policy issues with potential interest to our clients. She designs strategies addressing advantageous policy changes and negative policy trends, working side-by-side with our clients to develop focused messaging that turns high-level concepts into palpable solutions for decision makers in Harrisburg. Kendra also focuses on resource acquisition for our clients through grant, contractual, and procurement opportunities with the Commonwealth and its agencies. Prior to joining the Ridge Policy Group, Kendra served as Chief of Staff within the House of Representatives. As Chief of Staff Kendra implemented several new policies to streamline productivity. As the chief Harrisburg manager she researched state legislative and policy issues working closely with legislators and administrative officials to understand how they would affect the constituents that she served. Download the vCard for Kendra Snuffer here and add to your contacts.