NMMA expands staff in Washington

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The National Marine Manufacturers Association said it expanded its Washington, D.C., presence with two new staff members and an expanded role for a relatively new member.

Michael Pasko will support the advancement of initiatives at the federal level as director for federal government affairs and Kelsi Morris will serve in a public relations and communications role supporting all NMMA government relations and advocacy as the NMMA’s D.C. communications manager.

Erica Crocker joined the NMMA in the latter half of 2016 to focus on the industry’s political action committee, BoatPAC, but will now also take on the NMMA’s growing federal policy portfolio.

All three are based in the NMMA’s Washington, D.C. office.

Pasko will help develop the NMMA’s policy initiatives on Capitol Hill and with the Trump administration, reporting to federal and legal affairs vice president Nicole Vasilaros.

Pasko previously worked at a government affairs firm founded by the late former Rep. Steve LaTourette. He worked with a broad range of clients and focused on matters pertaining to transportation, energy, the environment and taxes.

Before his work in the private sector, Pasko spent nearly five years working on Capitol Hill for a House Republican member of the Ways & Means Committee. Prior to his work on the Hill, Pasko served President George W. Bush in two offices in the White House: the Council on Environmental Quality and the Office of Presidential Advance.

Pasko is originally from Springfield, Ill., and has a bachelor’s degree in political science from American University in Washington, D.C.

Crocker, who became a part of the NMMA government affairs team in July 2016, is the director of political advocacy and engagement and reports to Vasilaros. Her expertise and performance advocating on behalf of the NMMA’s legislative endeavors to date bolstered her advancement to the next level, the NMMA said.

Crocker will continue with her existing responsibilities advancing BoatPAC, but is adding lobbying on NMMA’s federal policy issues to her role. She began her career in Washington D.C. at the White House under the George W. Bush administration, where she served in positions that included legislative correspondence director and presidential greetings director. She eventually joined the National Republican Congressional Committee to serve as the confidential assistant to chairman Pete Sessions.

Crocker also worked at CSX as a federal affairs specialist and at Susan G. Komen as major gift officer.

Morris is the public relations and communications manager in the D.C. office. She coordinates with all sides of the government relations team, including federal, state, advocacy and engagement initiatives, to keep NMMA members and the public abreast of key government issues and opportunities impacting recreational boating.

Morris reports to public relations vice president of marketing communications Ellen Hopkins and senior government relations vice president John McKnight.

Morris has a background in the public relations arena, having worked at several top-tier global communications and public relations agencies, such as Golin and Hill+Knowlton Strategies. She has experience providing strategic counsel and support to clients in the energy, corporate and non-profit sectors, having worked specifically on crisis, brand reputation and public awareness issues.

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