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Public Affairs

Government building

Knowing how to achieve success in the world of public affairs means understanding how public and private groups can work together to achieve common goals. Our team of experienced public affairs professionals, in offices across the region, knows how to get your information into the right hands at the right time with the right message. We understand how government works – and how we can help make it work better for you.

We believe the best public affairs programs are formed based on listening – listening to our clients' needs, listening to the public conversation and listening to political chatter. Then, we use our combined years of experience to analyze what we hear. Next, we work in collaboration with our clients to develop a strategy and implement a communications program that will meet short- and long-term needs to achieve success.

Our public affairs team has vast experience dealing with elected officials at all levels and with local, state, regional and federal government agencies. We have worked with some of the largest private companies in the region, but have also assisted small- and medium-sized companies, organizations and associations. Our diverse backgrounds and expertise allow us to tailor a team to help you meet your goals.

Public Affairs Services

  • Communication strategy
  • Media relations
  • Media training
  • Coalition building
  • Research and writing
  • Executive policy briefs
  • Legislative testimony
  • Message frameworks
  • Advocacy toolkits
  • Digital and social advocacy
  • Opinion research
  • Influencer engagement

Public Affairs Expertise

We have extensive experience providing strategic communications on legislative initiatives and regulatory issues in areas such as:

  • Energy
  • Tax
  • Education
  • Workers' compensation
  • Environmental protection
  • Tort reform
  • Health care governance
  • Public works programs

Our Team

Bob Boltz

Bob Boltz | Executive Vice President

Columbus, OH

Bob's career includes more than 20 years as a public relations professional, a decade in the educational publishing industry and extensive experience in strategic communications, marketing, writing, editing and training. He has provided strategic counsel, project oversight and effective execution of communication tactics for a diverse mix of public- and private-sector clients, including corporations, trade organizations, state agencies, colleges and universities, and not-for-profit organizations. He also has served a variety of formal and informal coalition clients on a wide range of complex public policy issues, legislative initiatives and regulatory matters. His work in policy areas such as education, energy, healthcare, tax, workers' compensation and tort reform has included strategic messaging and positioning, as well as researching and writing a wide range of materials to educate public officials, opinion leaders and members of the media on these subjects. Bob has served as a consultant to several state-level education commissions and in 2010 coordinated day-to-day communications in support of the successful State Issue 1 ballot initiative to renew the Ohio Third Frontier funding mechanism.

Tim Miller

Tim Miller | Senior Vice President

Columbus, OH

Tim Miller is a 38-year veteran in the communications industry, including 13 years as Ohio Statehouse Bureau Chief for The Dayton Daily News, 10 years as a state editor and statehouse reporter for United Press International, and three years as news editor and political reporter/columnist for The Newark Ohio Advocate. During his career, Tim interviewed five U.S. Presidents – including an Ohio exclusive one-on-one interview with President Clinton in 1996 – and several foreign heads of state and Nobel Prize winners. He received a number of awards for political and investigative reporting, including a National Unity in Media award for "Juvenile Injustice," a look at the institutional treatment of troubled youngsters. Tim entered the public relations industry 12 years ago. In addition to assisting clients with media training, government relations and crisis communications, he has developed and helped implement strategic communications plans for a variety of clients. He has also worked closely with a number of public agencies to draft and implement Public Involvement Programs.

Beth Whelley

Beth Whelley | APR Senior Vice President

Dayton, OH

Beth Whelley has a 20-year background that combines experiences from public relations and marketing firms and includes public affairs, crisis communications, media training, environmental communications and community outreach and affairs. She has developed and led the community affairs and public affairs initiatives for several groups of manufacturing clients involved in environmental actions with USEPA and OEPA. Beth has provided counsel during pending or active litigation, for example assisting a major drug manufacturer under media scrutiny and pending class action litigation surrounding the misuse and abuse of Oxycontin. She is active in the greater Dayton community, serving on the Board of Trustees for Sinclair Community College, a member of the Board of Governor's for Leadership Dayton and is an Associate Board Member for the Dayton Art Institute. She is a 2013 Dayton Daily News Ten Top Woman; a Dayton YWCA 2011 Women of Influence and has been honored by the Dayton Business Journal in its 40-Under-40 Program.

Paul Vetter

Paul Vetter | Senior Vice President

Columbus, OH

Paul’s career includes more than 28 years in public relations and public affairs with expertise in strategic communications, complex writing projects, media relations and social media. Paul provides strategic counsel and tactical execution for both public- and private-sector clients including trade associations, coalitions, state agencies, corporations and technology startups. He draws on broad experience across diverse industries to create effective strategies and messaging platforms. He won a PRSA award for a national corporate positioning program focused on environmentally responsible electronics waste recycling.

Paul served for five years on the public affairs and media relations team for Kaiser Permanente’s Northern California region. In this role, he played a key role in crisis communications, labor relations and workplace safety. He also managed communications for the rollout of the largest electronics medical records deployment in the U.S., which included both internal and external outreach.

Paul earned his bachelor of arts from the University of California, Davis. He is former president of the Sacramento chapter of the Public Relations Society of America.

Matthew Sutton

Matthew Sutton | Account Director

Charleston, WV

Matthew Sutton has 10 years of experience in marketing and communications in areas such as, crisis communication, public issues, media relations, government relations, research and political campaigns. During his professional career, his principal duty has been to defining strategic direction for accounts, with a focus on public involvement, message development and media relations. An expert on audience behavior and perceptions, he has managed campaigns for school levies, nonprofits, regional transmission companies, health care providers, local voter referendums, public utilities, large corporations, the natural gas industry, the tourism industry and political figures. Matthew has worked for both branches of the West Virginia State Legislature, managed political campaigns for city, county and statewide office, lead multistate public issues campaigns for the energy industry and has handled crisis communication for some of West Virginia's largest companies and industries.

Wendy Schweiger

Wendy Schweiger | Vice President

Cleveland, OH

Wendy's capabilities span a wide range of disciplines, from public affairs and government relations to business-to-business and environmental communications, and from workplace communications to crisis and issues management. With 23 years at Fahlgren Mortine, her client roster has been concerned with numerous public policy issues across many industries. She has been on teams three times that were recognized for public relations excellence with a Silver Anvil from the Public Relations Society of America, including one in 2006 for the best government public affairs program, "Excellent People, Excellent Performance, Excellent Value: The Campaign to Save the 1,200 Jobs of the Cleveland Defense Finance and Accounting Service." Wendy previously managed a state government public information office and was also a reporter.

Allen Pfenninger

Allen Pfenninger | Vice President

Cleveland, OH

Allen Pfenninger Vice President, has served in a public affairs roles in both corporate and agency positions over a 30 year career. A graduate of Kent State University, Allen honed his public affairs and crisis management skills both on the job and through furthering his education with the MIT-Harvard Public Disputes Program “Dealing With an Angry Public” and at the Institute of Crisis Management in Louisville, Ky. Serving as Moen Incorporated's Director, Press Relations/Public Affairs from 1992 to 1999, he helped Moen and its parent company, Fortune Brands, deal with issues that included plant closings/job relocations, labor demonstrations, industry-specific lawsuits, environmental issues and consumer issues. As Director, Marketing Communications, Kinetico Incorporated, he helped to protect the company's good name when a rogue independent dealer was caught by a hidden NBC Dateline camera falsifying product claims to a consumer. The dealership was immediately suspended, and he directed a program that worked directly with the attorney general and governor's office of the state in which the sting took place. As a result, the state issued a statement on behalf of the company's efforts to ensure the professionalism of its dealers.More recently, he has worked to assist corporate clients with public affairs and communications for mergers and acquisitions, white collar crime and plant closures. He believes that a public affairs and communications program works best when all stakeholders have been addressed fairly from the outset, with the philosophy that even bad news can be eased when well-timed consideration is provided to those who will be affected by it.