Annual SBAC Reception Event is April 25, 2013 print
Tue 9. Apr 13 11:11

You are invited to our annual alumni reception & forum.
This year’s forum is on "The BUSINESS of Politics!"

3292013_114056_0.pngPolitics is often an element in business decisions.  Politics is also big business!  Politics and Business are at the intersection in everyday life and surround us.

Come hear our panelists talk about this interesting relationship, ask questions, and meet other alum, students, and faculty!

Our panel will cover a variety of topics including:  the influence of money, the impact of demographic/data driven message targeting, technology, how all of this has and is changing out political landscape and what the future looks like for the Business of Politics.  
We expect this will be a lively and informative event.

Date:  Thursday, April 25, 2012
Time:  5:30 - 7:30 p.m.
Place:  USM Events Room, 7th Floor Glickman Library
Cost:  Free


We hope you will choose to attend and encourage you to share this invitation.  Perhaps someone you know is a USM School of Business Alum, current student, graduate student, or current/retired faculty member, or just someone interested in Politics and The Business of Politics.

We look forward to seeing you on April 25th and Thank You for your support of the School of Business and The University of Southern Maine.


Our Panelists:

Dan Demeritt
3292013_112901_4.jpgDan is an entrepreneur and graduate of the MBA program, is among Maine's most successful political and communications tacticians.  Dan was the Communications Director for Maine Governor Paul LePage, credited by many observers, including the governor himself, with righting the struggling LePage for Governor campaign in the Fall of 2010.  In 2012 Dan was the first Republican approached by the coordinator of the Republicans for Marriage Fairness Coalition and was a leading voice in the historic campaign that established Marriage Equality for all Mainers.
     Dan got his start in politics in 1996 as the political director of the Collins for Senator campaign.  Following that successful effort Dan worked as a State Office Representative and a Policy Advisor to Senator Collins in both Maine and Washington.  He returned to Maine and directed communications for the House Republicans at the Legislature.
    After leaving the governor's office in 2011 Dan founded Winning Initiatives, a public relations and initiative management firm that helps candidates, companies and causes achieve their political objectives.   He writes a regular political column for the Maine Sunday Telegram and frequently provides analysis for reporters covering political developments in Maine.
    Dan and his wife Martha live in Sidney with their three boys.  


Jess Knox
3292013_112850_3.jpgJess founded Olympico Strategies in July of 2012. Olympico helps companies and organizations manage growth and change by taking a system-wide relational approach to growth, change and performance. Prior to that Jess served as the Vice President and Partner in the Washington D.C. consulting firm Growth Squared in July 2011. He served as the firm’s Vice-President, servicing client companies and providing insight on growth, workforce relationships and other business strategies. For 2.5 years beginning in early 2009, Jess served as a member of the Obama Administration where he was appointed to the Small Business Administration to serve as the Associate Administrator for Field Operations. In this role, Jess served as one of the five Associate Administrators who reported directly to the Administrator of the U.S. Small Business Administration. He managed more than 1000 employees in 119 locations, in every state and US territory, or about half all of the Agency’s employees. In 2009, he served as the Director of Credentials and Tickets for the Presidential Inaugural Committee. In 2008, he served as the Deputy National Political Director for the John Edwards for President Campaign. Prior to that, Jess worked as a consultant for various campaigns and organizations with a focus on rural public policy issues and grassroots advocacy.
    In 2004 Jess received a Juris Doctorate from the University Maine School of Law. Jess was also the recipient of the University of Maine Law School Outstanding Public Service Award, was the President of the University of Maine Student Bar Association. Prior to law school, Jess pursued a Masters Degree in Public Policy and Public Organization Management from the Edmund S. Muskie School of Public Service, and received a Bachelors Degree in Politics and Government from Ohio Wesleyan University.
    Jess grew up in York, Maine, but he now resides in Portland, Maine with his wife Kate and son Edson.


Ted O'Meara
3292013_112933_5.jpgTed is the Managing Principal/Public Affairs at Garand.  Garrand is a Portland based full-service communications agency that serves companies large and small, far and wide, across many industries.
    With more than three decades of experience in government, politics, and business, Ted O’Meara provides clients with strategic advice and direct assistance on a wide range of complex communications, community relations, and public policy issues. He has worked throughout Maine with leading companies and organizations in fields such as energy, health care, manufacturing, tourism, education, real estate development and banking.
     Ted’s work often involves communications challenges related to high profile public policy issues, and he is a trusted advisor to CEOs and senior management on sensitive issues where the highest levels of discretion and professionalism are a must.
    Just prior to joining Garrand in 2010, Ted served as chief strategist, campaign manager and spokesperson for Independent candidate for Governor Eliot Cutler, who went from single-digit awareness and support to a near-win in closely decided contest. Long active in Maine politics, over the years Ted has managed campaigns, been a candidate for Congress and state party chair, and has played a key leadership role in local and statewide referendum campaigns. Earlier this year he was named one of the ten most influential consultants in Maine by Campaigns & Elections magazine.
    From 2001 to 2009, Ted was managing director of Pierce Atwood Consulting, LLC, the former public affairs consulting affiliate of Maine’s largest law firm, Pierce Atwood LLP.  Before joining Pierce Atwood, he served as the director of corporate communications for Guy Gannett Communications, a Maine-based media holding company that owned three daily newspapers in Maine and television stations in six states.
    After Guy Gannett was sold in 1999, he became director of marketing and communications and served on the senior management team for Blethen Maine Newspapers, which purchased Guy Gannett's newspapers in Maine, including the Portland Press Herald/Maine Sunday Telegram. He acted as the principal spokesperson for both media companies and led their overall marketing, branding, internal and external communications, and community relations activities.
Ted also was a co-founder and principal of the former McDonald/O'Meara Communications, a highly successful advertising and public relations firm in the 1990s, and was an independent public affairs consultant with clients in Maine and Washington, D.C.
     Ted’s political background and media experience enables him to bring a highly strategic and tightly focused approach to his work with corporate and non-profit clients. He is known for providing objective analysis of situations and issues and developing communications strategies that are thoughtfully integrated into an organization’s overall business goals and strategies, as well as for his skill at message development and discipline.
     He has an extensive track record of successfully executing communications strategies using earned media, print and broadcast advertising, online content, electronic communications, survey research, special events, annual reports and other publications, employee communications, grassroots and grass tops outreach, and presentations to stakeholder groups.
    Equally comfortable working behind the scenes as a strategist or out in the public eye as the principal spokesperson for an organization or an issue, Ted is frequently interviewed on business and political issues in local as well as national media, including USA Today and CNN.com.
    Ted is a Maine native, a graduate of the University of Maine, an active member of the community, and the father of four sons. He and his wife, Mandy Schumaker, live in Yarmouth


Panelist Facilitator:
Barbara Raths
3292013_112826_2.jpgBarbara Raths recently joined WEX Inc. as Team Leader, Treasury Americas.  Prior to working at WEX Inc., Raths served as the Deputy Treasurer for the State of Maine for 8 years, where she oversaw cash and debt management.  She also represented the State Treasurer on authority and retirement system boards and received the 2007 Maine State Manager of the Year Award for her outstanding leadership in public finance.  
     Raths received an M.B.A. from the University of Southern Maine, has a B.A. with Highest Honors in Rhetoric from Bates College and is a member of Phi Beta Kappa.  At Bates, she was President of the debate team and competed in National and World Debate Championships.  Raths currently serves as a member of the Bates College Board of Trustees.
     After graduating from Bates, Raths learned firsthand about leadership, management, strategic planning and finance while managing political campaigns in Maine.  Realizing that she was more interested in business than politics, she decided to pursue an MBA and a career in finance.  





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