|2016 Steering Committee|
Michael Sullivan, PresidentMichael Sullivan is currently serving his fourth six-year term as Director of the Massachusetts Office of Campaign and Political Finance. Appointed unanimously by a bi-partisan commission to his first term in 1994, he is the only Director to be reappointed in the 42-year history of the office. Prior to his appointment in 1994, Mike served as City Clerk in Newburyport, Mass., and was the President of the Massachusetts City Clerk’s Association. In 2008, he served as the President of the Council on Governmental Ethics Laws (COGEL). A graduate of Tufts University, Mike is also a member of the Association of New England Football Officials and the North Short Baseball Umpires Association. He received the COGEL Outstanding Service Award in 2011 and was inducted into the Lynn English High School Hall of Fame in 2013.
Term of office expires December 2017
Paul M. Nick, President-Elect
Paul M. Nick serves as the Executive Director of the Ohio Ethics Commission where he oversees the state-wide responsibilities of the Commission. Mr. Nick joined the Ethics Commission in 1995 as its Investigative Counsel, was promoted to Chief Investigative Attorney in 2000 and then appointed as the Executive Director since 2011. Before joining the Ethics Commission staff, Mr. Nick served with the Columbus City Attorney’s Office as an assistant city prosecutor and then assistant city attorney in the civil division. Mr. Nick received his Bachelor of Arts degree in Economics from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, and his Juris Doctor from the Moritz College of Law at The Ohio State University.
Jeff Sigurdson joined the Minnesota Campaign Finance and Public Disclosure Board as Assistant Executive Director in 2000. The Board regulates and discloses the financial activity on state level committees, registers lobbyists and provides disclosure of lobbyist disbursements, and collects and discloses economic interest statements of public officials. Prior to joining the Board Mr. Sigurdson worked for twelve years in the Election Division of the Minnesota Secretary of State. At the Secretary of State he worked in a number of positions administering elections, voter registration, and redistricting for the state. Mr. Sigurdson was appointed as acting Direction of Elections in 1999. He received his Masters in Public Administration from the University of Wyoming in 1986.
Natalia Luna Ashley
Natalia Luna Ashley is the Executive Director of the Texas Ethics
Commission and has served in that role since May 2014. Prior to that, she
served as Interim Executive Director and Special Counsel. Natalia has
also served the Commission as General Counsel for seven years, and prior to
that as Assistant General Counsel and Assistant Director of Enforcement.
In her current role, Natalia directs all operations of the Texas Ethics
Commission and reports to an eight member board, and serves as counsel to the
board on complex laws relating to campaign finance, lobby, personal financial
statements, conflict of interest, and gifts. Natalia advises public
officials and employees at all levels of state government, serves as
legislative liaison between the Commission and the Texas Legislature, and
testifies before legislative committees. Natalia provides training to
appointed officeholders, candidates and elected officials at all levels of
state government, public servants at all levels of state government, and Texas
lobbyists. Natalia has worked on or overseen the processing of thousands
of complaints, and her responsibilities have included writing advisory
opinions and rules. Natalia graduated from St. Edward's University
with a degree in Finance and Marketing. She earned a Juris Doctorate degree
from Southern Methodist University School of Law.
François Casgrain was appointed as Québec Lobbyists Commissioner by the National Assembly on June 11 2010. He had already served as Acting Lobbyists Commissioner since July 6 2009. Until his appointment he had been Assistant to the Chief Electoral Officer of Québec and to the Chair of the Commission de la représentation électorale. He was legislative adviser to the Secrétariat à la législation of the Ministère du Conseil executive from 2001 to 2007. He has vast experience in the municipal field, particularly as Chair of the Commission municipale du Québec from 1998 to 2001. Before that, from 1987 to 1990 he worked for the Ministère des Affaires municipales as legal adviser to the Office of the Minister and the Office of the Deputy Ministers, and to the directors and department heads, interpreting various laws, regulations and legal documents related to the department’s activities. Mr. Casgrain also has expertise in the electoral field, acting as Chief Electoral Officer of Québec and as Chairman of the Commission de la représentation électorale from 1997 to 1998, among other capacities. Previously, from 1992 to 1997, he held the positions of Director of Legal Affairs and Assistant to the Chief Electoral Officer of Québec and, from 1978 to 1987, served as legal counsel in this institution. At that time he represented the Chief Electoral Officer of Québec at different international seminars held on electoral consultations and democracy in general. He also acted as Head of Mission for the preparatory mission of Programme de formation des formateurs électoraux (FORMEL). Mr. Casgrain is a law graduate of Université Laval in Quebec City and has been a member of the Barreau du Québec since 1979.
Jared DeMarinis is the Director of Candidacy and Campaign Finance for the Maryland State Board of Elections, where he is responsible for the implementation and enforcement of State candidacy and campaign finance laws. In 2013, he helped draft House Bill 1499, the Campaign Finance Reform Act of 2013, which completely overhauled pay-to-play and campaign finance laws in Maryland. The bill closed the controversial contribution "LLC loophole” and slate transfers, increased civil penalties and provided greater disclosure of political activity of 501(c) and 527 organizations.
In addition, Mr. DeMarinis is a leader in field regarding the use of new technologies in campaigns. He was one of the first in the nation to draft and pass regulations regarding the use of social media, Internet advertisements by campaign accounts, and political contributions by text message.
Additionally, he has served as an international election monitor for the parliamentary elections in Armenia (2007) and the presidential election in Azerbaijan (2013).
Mr. DeMarinis is a graduate of Villanova University and Rutgers University - School of Law - Newark.
Ms. Fulhorst is the Executive Director of the City of San Diego Ethics Commission, which administers the City’s campaign, lobbying, and ethics laws. She is responsible for overseeing all aspects of the Commission’s educational, auditing, enforcement, and legislative activities. Ms. Fulhorst started with the Commission as its first investigator in 2002, and has served as the Commission’s Executive Director since 2003. Prior to joining the Commission, she was an Investigator with the Office of the City Attorney, where she conducted investigations concerning a wide variety of civil and administrative matters. Before coming to work for the City, Ms. Fulhorst was the Managing Investigator for a private investigative firm specializing in complex litigation and employment investigations. Ms. Fulhorst is a San Diego native and a graduate of the University of California, Los Angeles.
Guy Giorno practices public law with an emphasis on accountability and ethics laws at the firm of Fasken Martineau in Ontario. He is Chair of the "Law of Lobbying and Ethics” committee of the Canadian Bar Association, is co-author of the book Lobbying in Canada and routinely speaks, writes and advises clients on this emerging, complex field of law. He originally joined Fasken Martineau in June 2002. He served two and one-half years as Chief of Staff to the Prime Minister of Canada. He has been appointed a Fellow of the University of Toronto School of Public Policy & Governance, and a Fellow of Carleton University's Clayton H. Riddell Graduate Program in Political Management where he also teaches a Master's level course. He also is an Executive Member of the National Administrative Law Section of the Canadian Bar Association. Before joining the Fasken Martineau, Mr. Giorno served as chief of staff and legal counsel to the 22nd Premier of the Province of Ontario. He is a law graduate of the University of Toronto.
Kristin E. Izumi-Nitao
Kristin E. Izumi-Nitao was selected as the sixth Executive Director for the Hawaii Campaign Spending Commission which was established in 1973 to ensure the integrity and transparency of the campaign finance process. In November 2013, the Commission received the State of Hawaii Office of Information Management and Technology, "Transparency and Accountability: Open Government” award as a result of implementing real-time data visualization charts created from the contribution and expenditure reports filed by candidate and noncandidate committees.
She was formerly with the Department of the Attorney General serving as the administrator for the Internet and Technology Crimes Unit in Hawaii and the territory of Guam. During her tenure, her unit received the Judge C. Nils Tavares Award in 2007, Team of the Year at the Department of the Attorney General in 2008 and 2009, and was recognized by the Hawaii Joint Police Association, Salute to Women in Security and Law Enforcement, in May 2006. Prior to supervising this unit, she served as the legal advisor to the Board of Trustees of the Hawaii Employees’ Retirement System, was a deputy prosecutor, and served as a law clerk for the Chief Justice of the Hawaii Supreme Court and for a circuit court judge.
She received a B.A. in Political Science and Art History from Wellesley College, and her J.D. from Santa Clara University School of Law.
He is a graduate of the University of Southern California and the University of the Pacific, McGeorge School of Law.
Term of office expires December 2019
John Schaaf joined the Kentucky Legislative Ethics Commission as its Counsel in 2004. At the Commission, he issues ethics opinions, conducts ethics training, and publishes the Ethics Reporter, a monthly summary of developments in ethics law in Kentucky and around the nation. For 16 years, beginning in 1988, Mr. Schaaf was the General Counsel for the Legislative Research Commission, the administrative and staff agency for the Kentucky General Assembly. He provided legal counsel to legislative leaders and committees, and was Staff Director for the Task Force on Governmental Ethics, which developed Kentucky’s Code of Legislative Ethics, and analyst for the Task Force on Education Reform, which drafted the Kentucky Education Reform Act. Prior to his work with the Legislature, Mr. Schaaf served as Director of Legal and Legislative Services for Kentucky’s Auditor of Public Accounts, worked several years with a Louisville law firm, and as editor of a weekly newspaper. He earned a journalism degree from the University of Kentucky and a J.D. from the University of Louisville’s Brandeis School of Law.
Ms. Shipra Verma is the Chief Electoral Officer (CEO) of Manitoba. Ms. Verma joined Elections Manitoba in 2004 and in 2009, she was appointed to the position of Deputy Chief Electoral Officer. In 2010, she took on the additional role of Acting Chief Electoral Officer and in July 2013, she was appointed Chief Electoral Officer. As an independent officer of the Legislative Assembly, the CEO conducts provincial general elections and by-elections under The Elections Act and The Election Financing Act. The CEO also provides compliance assistance to political entities and ensures public disclosure of their expenditures and contributions. Through the public education mandate of the office, the CEO also delivers public education and information programs to foster democratic participation.
Ms. Verma has electoral experience in all areas of electoral management including operations, campaign finance, education and communication and information technology. She has worked extensively on legislative amendments, including the rewrite of The Election Financing Act in plain language in 2013. She has also served as an international election observer for the presidential election in Ukraine in 2014.
A Certified Public Accountant with credentials in Canada, the United States and India, Ms. Verma has several years of experience in public accounting and professional services.
Term of office expires December 2019
Gill & Gill, LLC
Association Management Group
L. Diane Gill, CAE
Larry M. Gill, CPA