September/October 2021LEARN MORE
United Postmasters and Managers of America Legislative Team:
UPMA continues to build on our legislative and political success by partnering with a team of government relations strategists in Washington, DC.
UPMA counts as its partners two firms, GrayRobinson and Imperium Global Advisors, to help UPMA and its members navigate the fast-moving legislative and political landscape on Capitol Hill and within the Executive Branch.
GrayRobinson is the DC office of Florida’s second largest law firm. GrayRobinson acquired the bipartisan boutique government relations firm of Eris Group in 2019. The Washington office is led by Eris’s founder Doyle Bartlett, a former chief of staff to Republican Congressman Bill McCollum.
Imperium Advisors is a bipartisan government relations and political strategy firm with deep experience in working with federal employees on issues important to UPMA members.
UPMA team members who will be interacting with our leadership and members day-to-day will be:
Chris McCannell, Senior Director, GrayRobinson
Chris has over 20 years of experience on and off Capitol Hill. He started in Washington working for Senator Frank R. Lautenberg (D-NJ), was regional field director for the National Association of Letter Carriers, worked for House Government Reform Committee member Paul E. Kanjorski (D-PA) and federal employee advocate Rep. Steny H. Hoyer (D-MD), and led Rep. Joseph Crowley’s (D-NY) office as his chief of staff and leadership assistant. Chris joined GrayRobinson’s DC predecessor, the Eris Group. six years ago. He works with a number of clients including Angel Capital Association, Center for American Entrepreneurship, US Travel, and is known for helping clients navigate Capitol Hill in a bipartisan way. He has been annually recognized by the newspaper The Hill as one of Washington, DC’s top lobbyists. The grandson of a letter carrier, Chris is originally from Portland, Maine.
Blair Hancock, Government Relations Advisor
Blair started with GrayRobinson in 2021. Before starting her career in advocacy, she worked in Congressional Affairs at the United States Department of Housing and Urban Development with Secretary Ben Carson. At HUD, Blair managed congressional relations for more than three hundred Congressional offices. Prior to working at HUD, Blair worked in the University of Florida’s government relations office where she focused on congressional affairs. Blair is a proud Florida Gator and is president of the UF Association in Washington.
Joel Riethmiller, Founding Partner, Imperium Global Advisors
Joel started his career on Capitol Hill as Deputy Chief of Staff to Representative Baron P. Hill (D-IN). Representative Hill, a Chief Deputy Whip and Co-Chairman of the House Blue Dog Coalition, played a pivotal role in advancing many important legislative initiatives during his time in Congress. While serving in Hill’s Washington office, Joel also served as an adviser on many policy areas including those pertaining to the House Energy and Commerce Committee, the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee, the House Financial Services Committee and the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform. Some of Joel’s clients have included the world’s second largest professional membership association, the world’s fastest growing airline, and the world’s largest private medical device manufacturer. Joel is originally from Fort Wayne, Indiana.
Brian McLaughlin, Founding Partner, Imperium Global Advisors.
Brian advises companies, individuals and organizations at the highest levels. Brian is an expert in management policy, technology policy and foreign policy. His career highlights include work establishing the Department of Homeland Security, major acquisition management reform legislation, and major federal program management reforms. Throughout his career, Brian has helped employee groups build relationships with Congress, the Executive Branch and the influencer community in DC. Brian began his career working for Senator Richard Durbin (D-IL), where he focused on federal workforce, appropriations and homeland security, serving on the staff of the Senate Homeland Security and Government Affairs Committee.
The United Postmasters and Managers of America (UPMA) Government Relations Department employs a multi-faceted strategy to advance Postmaster and Postal Manager interests within the halls of Congress, at the White House, in the Postal Regulatory Commission and throughout the nation. Aggressive lobbying combined with grass roots legislative action and vigorous support of the Postmasters and Managers Political Fund (UPMA PAC) further the interests of our nation’s actively employed and retired Postmasters and Postal Managers.