Working with clients to identify their pressing problems, we develop feasible and actionable policy solutions that can drive social impact and engage both Republicans and Democrats.
We directly advocate with Congressional and Regulatory Affairs on a bipartisan basis. Our model differs from traditional partisan government affairs firms in that we also work with client advocates and employees to amplify your issues while engaging your base.
Traditional government affairs firms often do not draft legislation in-house, adding months to the process. We are led by licensed attorneys who work with you every step of the way and ensure policy objectives are met with sound legislative text to expedite introduction.
We provide public affairs services directly connected to passing legislation. These services include: Partnership Development, Capitol Hill Advocacy Days, Congressional Briefings, Media Engagement (traditional and social), and Grassroots Mobilization.
Katrina Velasquez, Esq., M.A.
Katrina is the Founder and Managing Principal of Center Road Solutions. A nationally and internationally recognized advocate and attorney, she specializes in turning partisan social issues into noncontroversial, bipartisan issues, and driving them across the finish line. Katrina offers over a decade of experience in federal advocacy, grants, and law to guide clients through the federal process, including work with the U.S. Department of Justice, Health & Human Services Administration, Homeland Security, as well as political campaigns, law firms, and nonprofits such as Baker & McKenzie, LLP and International Organization for Migration.
Katrina’s legislative achievements include passing the first-ever eating disorders legislation entitled the Anna Westin Act of 2015 within 21st Century Cures Act (P.L. 114-225), securing $5 million within the FY 2017 and 2018 Appropriations Act in new research funding to help military members and their families, and expanding access to $50 million within the FY 2018 Appropriations Act for schools across the nation to research and pilot school threat assessment within federal grants.
Juris Doctorate from The Catholic University of America, Columbus School of Law
Masters of Arts in International Politics from American University
Dual Bachelors of Arts in Law & Society and Public Relations, Purdue University.
Allison Ivie, M.P.P./M.A.
Senior Director of Government Relations and Public Affairs
Allison is the Senior Director of Government Relations and Public Affairs at Center Road Solutions. With multiple years of experience working with innovative pharmaceutical and medical device companies, Allison has fostered strategic partnerships and legislative action to raise disease awareness and the need for novel drug therapies, devices and diagnostics. Allison’s career began in Washington, D.C. as a Women’s Congressional Policy Institute Fellow in Representative Mike Thompson’s office (D-CA). During her tenure in the Congressman’s office she drafted and introduced the bipartisan Medicare Telehealth Parity Act (H.R. 5380) and negotiated harsher penalties for illegal marijuana cultivation on federal lands that were adopted by the U.S. Sentencing Commission.
Masters in Public Policy and Masters of Arts in Women and Gender Studies, Brandeis University, Heller School for Social Policy and Management
Dual Bachelors of Arts in General English and Multicultural Gender Studies, California State University, Chico
Mark O'Neil, Esq.
Director of Government Relations and Public Affairs
Mark is the Director of Government Relations and Public Affairs at Center Road Solutions. Prior to his work with Center Road Solutions, Mark served as a Legislative Assistant in the office of Representative Jim Sensenbrenner (R-WI). During his time in the Congressman’s office, he worked on numerous legislative initiatives related to foreign affairs, defense, trade, and natural resource policy. In this role, he supported the Congressman’s work as a member of the House Foreign Affairs Committee.
Prior to his work in the Congressman’s office, Mark held positions with the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources, the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee, and the office of Senator Ron Johnson (R-WI).
Juris Doctorate from Marquette University Law School
Dual Bachelors of Arts in Political Science and Communication, Villanova University
Public Policy Intern
Annaliese is a Public Policy Intern at Center Road Solutions. She is entering her final year in the Public Policy graduate program at American University’s School of Public Affairs. Prior to joining Center Road Solutions, Annaliese worked as an Organizer for NARAL Pro-Choice Maryland and graduated from Rutgers University with a Bachelor’s degree in Cultural Anthropology and History. Upon completion of her Master’s program, she plans to continue working in policy and communications, driving forward positive change. In her free time, Annaliese is an avid runner, baker, and reader of non-fiction.
Masters in Public Policy, American University (Expected 2019)
Bachelors of Arts in Cultural Anthropology and History, Rutgers University
Tim Spotts, J.D.
Tim Spotts provides policy, legal, and legislative research consulting for Center Road Solutions clients. Tim is the founder of TSConsulting located in Buffalo, NY, specializing in legal, policy and reference research. Tim has over 20 years’ experience in policy and legislative research. He served as Chief Counsel to the New York State Senate Judiciary Committee and as Chief Counsel to the Ranking Minority Member of the New York State Senate Health Committee. During his tenure in the New York State Senate, he successfully passed over sixty pieces of legislation into law. Some highlights include: passing legislation that secured over $250 million in federal funds for New York State; allowed over 5,000 public housing units to remain in the Mitchell Lama Rent Stabilization Program for the next 30 years and worked with parent groups and government entities to revise and modernize the New York City Mayoral Control legislation.
J.D. from the University at Buffalo School of Law with a concentration in governmental law
B.S. in Political Science from SUNY Buffalo
Public Affairs Intern
Maryclare O’Meara is an intern at Center Road Solutions. She was raised in White Plains, NY and attended White Plains High School. She will be entering her senior year as a Marketing Major and Economics Minor at Providence College in the fall. At Providence, Maryclare is on the Dean’s List, Vice President of the volunteer organization Friar Food Rescue, and a member of the American Marketing Association and club tennis team. Maryclare is an outgoing, ambitious team-player who works hard to meet her goals.
“Center Road Solutions is more than a consulting firm. They are an exceptional partner that brings passion and dedication to every project and every client. They have helped our organization expand our relationships on both sides of the aisle and pass life-saving legislation including the STOP School Violence Act. We are so grateful to have them on our team and recommend them highly to advocates across fields.”
Issue: Formation of a key opinion leader roundtable to discuss barriers related to patient-provider interaction regarding women’s sexual health and devising solutions for better health outcomes.
Passing Historic Eating Disorders Legislation
>> This achievement represented the first time in history that Congress passed eating disorder specific legislation.
The Eating Disorders Coalition worked with Katrina Velasquez in early 2015 with the objective of advancing eating disorders specific legislation to help early identify eating disorders and increase access to treatment.
GCS drafted the Anna Westin Act of 2016 (H.R. 2515/S. 1865), secured bipartisan bill sponsorship, led grassroots activism and partnership development, and navigated the legislation from introduction to passage, being signed into law by President Obama on December 13, 2016 with the 21st Century Cures Act.
Passage of the STOP School Violence Act
> Passed the STOP School Violence Act within the FY 2018 Omnibus, which provides $1.075 billion in new Department of Justice school violence prevention grants.
Working with Sandy Hook Promise, we drafted, lobbied, and drove the passage of the bipartisan STOP School Violence Act through the 2018 Omnibus. The 2018 Omnibus appropriated $75 million in school violence prevention grants for FY 2018, and is currently authorized at $100 million in grants for each of the fiscal years 2019-2028.
Department of Defense’s Peer-Reviewed Medical Research Program
>> >>Eating disorders becomes new topic area for research funding to help our military members and their families, expected $5 million in funding.
For Fiscal Year 2017 and 2018, we led the charge for eating disorders to be eligible for research funding through the Department of Defense’s Congressionally Directed Medical Research Program’s (CDMRP) Peer-Reviewed Medical Research Program (PRMRP). Under the PRMRP funding stream, $5.4 million in FY 2017 and $5 million in FY 2018 will become available for eating disorders research specifically designed to help military members and their families affected by the illness.
Capitol Hill Days for Advocates and Executives
>> >>>>We organized numerous Capitol Hill Days for advocates and executives, resulting in over 60 bipartisan Congressional and Senate legislative co-sponsors per event
– Craft concise and calculated advocacy message
– Train Advocates and Executives on messaging and meeting strategy
– Schedule meetings with advocates/executives’ Congressional Staff/Members
– Secure no-to-low cost venues on Capitol Hill for Message Training
– Develop agendas and meeting-specific talking points
– Manage day-of logistics management, registration, and troubleshooting
– Follow-up with all offices after Hill Day