Jessica Blazina joins firm as Senior Government Affairs Executive;
Patrick J. Cunningham transitions to Senior Advisor on Water Management Issues
Contact: Douglas Cole, 602-686-9712
PHOENIX (December 14, 2020) – HighGround, Inc., the oldest public affairs firm in the State of Arizona, kicked off its 25th year of operation with a new addition the team and a change in roles for one of its leading team members. Today, the firm was pleased to announce the addition of Jessica Blazina as its new Senior Government Affairs Executive and the evolution of Patrick J. Cunningham’s role to Senior Advisor on Water Management Issues.
The addition of Ms. Blazina strengthens HighGround’s lobbying capacity and will help the firm in developing deeper relationships and improving client services for new and existing clients. She will officially start with the firm on 12/28/20 and will principally work with Douglas Cole, Scott A. Smith and Jeffrey Kros in representing the firm’s deep roster of government relations and lobbying clients.
“With her fourteen plus years of government relations work at the local and state level, Jessica Blazina will complement our team’s existing skills and permit HighGround to continue to grow our diverse portfolio of clients,” said Douglas Cole, the Chief Operating Officer of HighGround. Inc., “We are incredibly excited to have her join the firm and bring even greater expertise to the service of our clients.”
“Through her years of experience, Jessica has developed confidence and trust wherever she has worked. In our practice, our clients depend upon our deep historical knowledge of state and local government and the wisdom that we can provide to accomplish our client’s goals. Jessica is a fantastic addition to our team,” said Scott A. Smith, Senior Vice President of Government Relations.
Jeffrey Kros, General Counsel to HighGround said, “I have worked with Jessica on many difficult projects during the past 15 years and found her to be a reliable source of accurate information and a trustworthy advocate for her clients. She will be a great asset to our team here at HighGround.”
“I’m delighted to be joining HighGround and look forward to utilizing my local and state government experience to further enhance the team,” said Ms. Blazina.
“I am thrilled to have someone of Jessica’s character, knowledge, and experience join our team. I know she will make us all better,” explained J. Charles “Chuck” Coughlin, President & CEO.
In addition, HighGround also announced the next iteration of Patrick J. Cunningham’s extended career at the firm with his transition from his role in “Public Affairs Consulting – General Counsel Emeritus” to a more policy focused role as “Senior Advisor on Water Management Issues.”
Coughlin explained, “Mr. Cunningham joined our firm eight years ago as a public affairs professional and our general counsel. In June of 2019, our colleague began his first steps toward retirement when the firm added Jeff Kros as our new general counsel. Mr. Cunningham stepped into a consulting and advisory role that has been extremely beneficial to the firm as Mr. Kros has picked up more of the general counsel duties and worked together with Mr. Cunningham on client services.”
“Patrick is continuing to evolve his role at HighGround as he steps into a new advisory position on water management and policy issues. Mr. Cunningham will continue to work with the firm and its clients to provide his expertise in developing policy options for Arizona’s growing need for water and water conservation,” continued Coughlin.
“In this transition, he will work closely with all of the client service personnel at HighGround so the firm can benefit from his deep source of knowledge and relationships throughout the state. We are extremely fortunate to have someone of Patrick’s caliber on our team and grateful for his continued work with the firm,” concluded Coughlin.
About HighGround, Inc.
HighGround, Inc. is the oldest public affairs firm in the State of Arizona. In 2021, the firm is celebrating its 25th year of providing clients with superior advocacy through lobbying, campaign management, public affairs, public relations, polling, grassroots development and strategic planning. HighGround’s principals have been direct lobbying participants and tactical legislative strategists in most major political and policy decisions at the Arizona State Capitol during the past three decades.
The team specializes in dealing with complex issues on behalf of clients that face challenges or seek opportunities on a variety of governmental and public affairs levels. Many of these issues involve interfacing with local, county, state, and federal government entities, strengthening business relationships, developing diverse coalitions, and crafting thoughtful media strategies. The HighGround team includes:
• J. Charles Coughlin, President and CEO
• Douglas Cole, Chief Operating Officer
• Paul Bentz, Senior Vice President – Research and Strategy
• Scott A. Smith, Senior Vice President – Governmental Affairs
• Jeffrey Kros, General Counsel and Public Affairs Consultant
• Jessica Blazina, Senior Government Affairs Executive
• Patrick J. Cunningham, Senior Advisor on Water Management Issues
• Barrett Coughlin, Account Executive – Social Media & Public Relations
• Patrick Barrett, Account Executive
• Robyne Richards, Office Manager