Board members have significant experience in their respective fields and bring varied skill sets to Horton’s Kids. They secure resources and work with the Executive Director to implement the organization’s strategic plan. Many members are former or current volunteers, and two members are community representatives.
Dan Walsh, Chair
Dan Walsh joined Valente & Associates from the Washington office of a major global law firm. Dan provides strategic advice and direct advocacy to a range of clients, primarily in the entertainment space. Over his career, he has represented television networks, movie studios, satellite television providers, live entertainment companies and competitive telecommunications carriers among others. He has extensive experience in the areas of communications and copyright law, and strong relationships with policymakers in that area.
Dan worked on Capitol Hill from 1989-1998, first as Legislative Assistant to Rep. Jack Buechner (R-MO) and later Legislative Director to Rep. Wayne Gilchrest (R-MD). In the latter role, he was on the founding staff steering committee of the moderate House Republican organization, the Tuesday Group.
Peter Manos, Treasurer
Peter Manos is a Managing Partner of Arlington Capital Partners and has shared overall responsibility for all management and investment activities of the Firm. Peter has over 22 years of private equity, public equity, and merger and acquisition transactional experience and he has closed on over $2 billion of transactions. At Arlington, Peter has been active in all areas of the Firm’s investment activities and has primary responsibility for the Firm’s aerospace/defense investments and primary shared responsibility for Arlington’s healthcare services investments.
Prior to joining Arlington in 2001, Peter’s private equity track record included The Carlyle Group, a Washington, D.C.-based global private equity firm with over $39 billion of committed capital under management, and Capitol Partners, a Washington, DC-based private equity firm focused on technology, scale and infrastructure-intensive markets.
Peter has a Masters in Business Administration with an emphasis on finance, which he earned from the Harvard Business School. He is also a graduate of Stanford University.
Allison Remsen, Secretary
Allison Remsen is the Executive Director of Mobile Future. With nearly twenty years experience working on communications issues, she joined Mobile Future in 2008. Prior to the coalition, she served as Vice President – Media Relations for the United States Telecom Association.
Earlier in her career, Remsen worked for House Democratic Whip David Bonior serving as his Press Secretary as well as assisting Members of Congress on policy issues on the House floor, helping to coordinate legislative and messaging efforts for House Democrats and advising Congressman Bonior on telecom issues. She began her career working in the government relations shop for the National Cable Television Association where she closely monitored the progress and passage of the 1996 Telecommunications Act.
Remsen is a long-time Horton’s Kids’ volunteer.
Erik Olson, President
Erik Olson is a Principal at Venn Strategies, LLC a nationally recognized, full-service government affairs and public affairs firm. Prior to his private sector career, Erik worked for Representative Ron Kind (D-WI) for 14 years serving in a variety of campaign and policy roles, including overseeing his operation as Chief of Staff. As a seasoned campaign strategist and policy analyst for the Chair of the moderate pro-business New Democratic Coalition in the House of Representatives and senior member of the House Committee on Ways & Means, Mr. Olson brings years of political and policy expertise in the areas of tax, trade and health care.
Erik holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Political Science, Philosophy, and Public Administration from the University of Wisconsin-La Crosse. Erik was raised in La Crosse, Wisconsin. He is a long-time Horton’s Kids’ volunteer.
Missy Edwards, Vice President
Missy Edwards is currently President of Missy Edwards Strategies, LLC, a multi-disciplinary federal affairs firm. Prior to opening her own firm, she served as Senior Vice President at Clark & Weinstock.
Prior to Clark & Weinstock, Missy served as the Director of Development and Finance for the National Republican Senatorial Committee for the 1998 and 2000 cycles. In 1997, Missy was also chief Senate Republican lobbyist for the American Medical Association (AMA).
Missy began her career in Washington as a policy adviser to Senator Thad Cochran (R-MS) in the areas of heath care, energy/environment and appropriations.
David Catania, Board Member
David A. Catania focuses his practice on health care, government law and strategy, and public policy.
David is a former Member of the Council of the District of Columbia. While on the Council, he chaired numerous Committees, including Health, Education, Public Services, and Local and Regional Affairs. In addition, David served as a member of the Committees on Finance and Revenue, Judiciary, Human Services, and Consumer and Regulatory Affairs.
During the eight years he chaired the Council’s Health Committee, David was widely credited with leading the transformation of the District’s healthcare infrastructure. He is well versed on publicly funded health insurance programs. David championed historic expansions in the District’s Medicaid and other insurance programs, reducing the number of uninsured individuals in the city by half. He also authored the legislation creating the District’s state-run health exchange, which was one of the first and most successful in the nation.
David’s interest in public education led him to serve as the Chairperson of the Council’s Education Committee. In that role, David focused on narrowing the racial and gender achievement gaps in the District. He authored legislation that identified “at risk” students and successfully secured the largest appropriation in the District’s history to support them. In addition, David worked to end social promotion, create robust school-based nursing and mental health programs, and ensure integrity in standardized testing.
Amy Dean, Board Member
Liz Dougherty, Board Member
Liz Dougherty is a Shareholder in the Washington, DC office of Ogletree Deakins. Liz chairs the firm’s Airline and Railway Practice Group and is active in the Government Affairs Practice Group.
Prior to joining Ogletree Deakins, Liz served as Chairman and Board Member at the National Mediation Board, an independent agency that oversees airline and railroad labor relations and administers the Railway Labor Act. As one of three Senate-confirmed Presidential appointees on the Board, her responsibilities included oversight and mediation of collective bargaining, conducting and investigating representation elections, and oversight of the grievance arbitration program.
Previously in her career, Liz served as Special Assistant to President George W. Bush for Domestic Policy where she advised the President on labor and transportation policy issues, and as Chief Counsel to the United States Senate Subcommittee on Employment, Safety and Training. Before entering Government service, Liz practiced labor and employment law with a large national firm in Washington, DC and, earlier, general litigation with a large national firm in New York, NY.
Monique Frazier, Board Member
Matt Gelman, Board Member
Matt Gelman has close to 30 years of policy and political experience in Washington, DC. As General Manager of Congressional Affairs for Microsoft, Matt oversees the company’s federal lobbying activities with the U.S. Congress and works closely with internal and external stakeholders on legislative and political matters that impact the company. Matt first became involved with Horton’s Kids in 1991 while working on Capitol Hill. He has served on the Board of Directors for more than ten years, including one term as the chairman.
Tyrec Grooms, Board Member
Tyrec is a Horton’s Kids alumn. As a member of the legislative affairs team, he advances the Education Trust’s goal of closing gaps in opportunity and achievement through his work tracking federal policy and analyzing education-related federal legislative and regulatory proposals and bills.
Prior to joining the Education Trust, Tyrec served as program assistant at Charter Board Partners, where he managed data analyses, board assessments, and events in line with the organization’s mission to help charter school board members govern in ways that drive school success. Tyrec spent his undergraduate summers interning at the White House and on Capitol Hill for Congressman Ron Kind (D-WI). A first-generation college student, Tyrec holds a bachelor’s degree from the University of Virginia in Government.
Eric Hauser, Board Member
Since 2014, Eric Hauser has served the AFL-CIO as Strategic Advisor to the President and Director of Communications. There, Eric leads a team of 20 and oversees messaging, public positioning, and communications strategy for the federation. He also works with union affiliates and allies to advance labor’s organizing, policy, and political campaigns.
Throughout his career in strategic public communications, Eric has helped shape the agendas of national politicians, non-profits, foundations, labor unions, and advocacy organizations. Prior to joining the AFL-CIO, Eric was the Founder and President of the Hauser Group. For nearly two decades, the Hauser Group assisted more than 265 progressive clients and built a reputation for inventive, affordable public relations fueled by a passionate commitment to public values.
Eric also served as the press secretary for Bill Bradley’s 2000 presidential bid, where he managed the national press operation and played a major role in formulating political and communications strategy.
Eric graduated from Kenyon College in 1984 with degrees in Political Science and Philosophy.
Paul Kidwell, Board Member
Paul serves as FAH’s liaison to the Center for Medicare & Medicaid Services’ (CMS) Center for Medicaid and CHIP Services (CMCS) as well as the Medicaid and CHIP Payment and Access Commission (MACPAC). In addition, Paul supports FAH policy and legislative initiatives on Medicare, the Affordable Care Act, and managed care, and helps staff both FAH’s Medicaid and Managed Care, and Health Financing Committees.
Prior to joining the Federation, Mr. Kidwell served as Director of the Low Income Program Analysis Group in the Office of Legislation at CMS. In that role, Mr. Kidwell was CMS’ primary liaison to Congress for the Medicaid and CHIP programs and worked closely with CMS’ senior leadership on Medicaid and CHIP regulatory and policy matters; legislative strategy, technical analysis and drafting; and communications.
Kidwell gained extensive experience in his work on Capitol Hill, which spans more than a decade of work in policy and legislation. He served as Legislative Director to Congressman (now Senator) Christopher Murphy (D-CT) during consideration of the Affordable Care Act, and worked as a Legislative Assistant for Representatives Ellen Tauscher (D-CA) and Adam Schiff (D-CA).
Mr. Kidwell received a Bachelor of the Arts degree in Political Science from the University of California, Los Angeles. He lives in Washington, D.C. with his wife and daughter. He and his wife are former longtime volunteers for Horton’s Kids.
Marc Lampkin, Board Member
Marc serves as the managing partner of the Washington, DC office of Brownstein Hyatt Farber Schreck and is co-chair of the firm’s Government Relations Department. He is a highly respected advisor and veteran Republican House and Senate lobbyist, bringing years of political, legislative and campaign experience to bear for his clients.
On the Hill, Marc is well-respected for his role as a member of House Speaker John A. Boehner’s (R-OH) ‘Team Boehner’, a team of high-level strategic advisers that work closely with Speaker Boehner and other Republican members. His relationship with Speaker Boehner goes back to 1995 when Marc served as General Counsel for the House Republican Conference under then-Chairman Boehner for three years. In addition to his time on the Hill, Marc served in a variety of roles from 1999 to 2001 with the Bush for President Campaign.
Since entering the private sector in 2001, Marc has successfully put his political acumen to work navigating matters and proceedings before federal court and agencies, including mergers and acquisitions, and financial services, transportation, infrastructure and trade issues. In addition, he has been involved in several high profile and successful public advocacy campaigns. Most recently, he led the Strong American Schools (SAS) issue advocacy campaign (2006-2009), a joint project funded by the Bill & Melinda Gates and the Eli and Edythe Broad Foundations, which oversaw the organization’s “Education in ‘08” effort, pushing the issue of education reform to the forefront of the 2008 presidential campaign.
Rick Lane, Board Member
Rick Lane is the Senior Vice President, Government Affairs, of 21st Century Fox (formally known as “News Corporation”), the world’s premier portfolio of cable, broadcast, film, pay TV, and satellite assets spanning six continents. The company has a global portfolio of cable and broadcasting networks, 28 local television stations, film studio Twentieth Century Fox Film, and television production studios Twentieth Century Fox Television and Shine Group.
Before joining 21st Century Fox, Mr. Lane was the Director of Congressional Affairs focusing on e-commerce and internet public policy issues for the US Chamber of Commerce. Prior to working at the Chamber, he was employed by the international law firm of Weil, Gotshal & Manges LLP (WG&M) as the Director of Legislative Affairs. From 1988 to 1993, he worked for US Representative Joseph D Early (D-MA) as an Associate Staff member to the House Appropriations Committee, where his primary responsibilities involved technology, telecommunications, tax, education, and labor issues.
Mary Ellen Matheson, Board Member
Mary Ellen Matheson is Vice President of Business Development at edbacker, an online platform for fundraising, communications, and database management. Prior to edbacker, Mary Ellen was the Chief Development Officer at The Tragedy Assistance Program for Survivors (TAPS). Before joining TAPS, she was Vice President of Development at Meridian Intentional Center where she oversaw all aspects of annual fundraising, including programmatic support, unrestricted gifts, and gifts of capital. She was integral in launching Meridian’s Council on Women’s Leadership and the Corporate Council.
Prior to Meridian, Mary Ellen was the Director of Development at the DC offices of Starlight Children’s Foundation where she oversaw and executed foundation, corporate, and individual fundraising. Her career began at Tiffany & Co. in New York where she managed Tiffany’s international expansion in Europe, the Middle East, and Asia Pacific markets. Mary Ellen has also overseen marketing and communications efforts for firms in the technology industry.
Mary Ellen received a B.A. in International Relations from the University of Virginia and M.B.A. from New York University’s Stern School of Business focused on International Business and Marketing.
Ellen Palmer, Board Member
John Pappas, Board Member
John Pappas has been engaged in high-level policy and political consulting in Washington, DC for the last 16 years. Prior to becoming Executive Director for the Poker Players Alliance (PPA), he was a public affairs consultant for the PR firm Dittus Communications. During his four years at Dittus, Pappas served as a media and policy advisor for dozens of Fortune 500 companies, start-up firms, trade associations, and grassroots organizations like the PPA.
Pappas cut his teeth in Washington politics straight out of college. He worked for nearly six years with his hometown congressman, John Shadegg from Arizona. Pappas handled policy issues for the congressman, including e-commerce and homeland security. He also served as the congressman’s communications director and spokesperson, managing media strategy and press inquiries in Washington, DC and Arizona. In addition to his work on Capitol Hill, Pappas also worked on several congressional and state-wide political campaigns.
Pappas has traveled from coast to coast, advocating for regulated poker in state capitols and in the United States Congress. Pappas is a regular commentator for legal and legislative issues related to poker.
Rick Rome, Board Member
Rick Rome focuses on negotiating for non-profits, associations and law firms to secure efficient, affordable and flexible office space. Rick has been in real estate in Washington DC since 1982. He led his own firm, The Rome Group, from 1988 to 2006. He is now an Executive Vice President and Co-Regional Manager at Savills Studley in Washington DC.
Rick serves on the Corporate Advisory Board of the Washington Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights and Urban Affairs. Rick also serves on the Board of Directors of Gift of Adoption (Capital Region) and the Community Connections Foundation. He is also active as a volunteer coordinator at Hendley Elementary School in Washington DC.
Rick graduated from Wesleyan University in Middletown, Connecticut with a major in government. He is married to Joanne Kaplan Rome and father of three.
Hannah Simone, Board Member
Hannah Simone is the Senior Director of Political Affairs at the National Energy Institute. At NEI, Ms. Simone handles all political activities, including fundraisers and conventions, and lobbies on energy policy issues.
Prior to joining NEI, Ms. Simone was with the Edison Electric Institute for nine and a half years. From 1992 to 1996, she served in the Clinton administration in several capacities, including as the Deputy National Finance Director for the Democratic National Committee, where she coordinated fundraising events around the country with President Bill Clinton and Vice President Al Gore. Afterward, Ms. Simone worked as a political appointee at the United States Consumer Product Safety Commission as a Special Assistant to Chairman Ann Brown as well as in the office of Public Affairs.
A native of Beaumont, Texas, Ms. Simone began her career in the office of Congressman Jack Brooks (D-9-TX) in 1986. Ms. Simone serves on the Board of Directors of the National Association of Business Political Action Committees and is the DC Finance Co-Chair for the Creative Coalition.
Tim Trysla, Board Member
Timothy P. Trysla is a partner in the Health Care Group at Alston & Bird LLP. He has nearly twenty years of health care policy experience in the private sector, executive and legislative branches of government.
Mr. Trysla served as senior policy advisor to the administrator at the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS). In addition to advising the administrator on matters of Medicare and Medicaid policy, he worked as a liaison for CMS to the White House and Congress on Medicare reform and prescription drug coverage issues. He served as administrator-designee and speechmaker to large medical specialty and beneficiary groups and helps manage the development, passage and implementation the Medicare Part D program.
He is also a former Horton’s Kids’ volunteer.
Jeanne Wolak, Board Member
Jeanne Wolak was appointed Senior Director of Legislative and Regulatory Strategy at Southern Company in 2006, and prior to that served as Director, Federal Legislative Affairs for Southern Company since June 1998. Jeanne manages energy policy and electricity issues for Southern Company as well as coordinating strategy development for other key issues in the Washington office. She previously held the position of Washington Federal Affairs Representative for Central and South West Corporation, a Dallas-based electric utility.
Prior to Central and South West, Jeanne spent nine years on Capitol Hill. She was an aide to Rep. Rick Boucher where she advised him on matters pending before the Science, Space and Technology Committee. She then served as the legislative director and appropriations staff associate to Rep. Jim Chapman, where she managed energy, environmental and related appropriations issues for the Congressman.