Ballard Partners Establishes Veterans Practice Group

– Former Congressman Jeff Miller to Chair New Group –

Ballard Partners, one of the top government relations firms in the United States, announces the formation of a Veterans Practice Group within the firm. The practice group will be chaired by former Congressman Jeff Miller, who previously served as Chairman of the House Veterans Affairs Committee and as a senior member of the House Armed Services Committee in the U.S. Congress. 

“Former Congressman Miller dedicated his public service career to serving veterans, and he will continue to do so in our firm’s new practice group,” said Brian Ballard, the firm’s President and Founder. “He will be joined by other partners in our firm who have distinguished public service experience addressing the needs of our nation’s veterans.” 

The firm’s new veteran affairs group will provide advocacy related to addressing veteran health care, housing, mental health and suicide prevention. 

“During my time in public service, I was dedicated to finding better ways to provide our veterans with the assistance and services they have earned,” said former Congressman Miller. “Our firm’s partners have extensive public sector experience serving veterans at both the state and federal level, and will bring that same dedication to assist veterans through our firm’s new veterans practice group.”   

Members of the firm’s new practice group include: 

Dan McFaul (Washington). McFaul spent more than 20 years on Capitol hill and worked on a broad scope of veteran affairs issues. McFaul was instrumental in the construction of a 230,00 square foot “VA Superclinic” in Florida that helped revolutionize veterans’ care and provided a blueprint for VA/DOD cooperation in health care. Dan also served as a member of the Presidential Transition Team for National Security. In this capacity, Dan worked on the Appointments Team responsible for recruiting and vetting potential appointees to the incoming Administration, specifically for the Department of Defense, the Department of Veterans Affairs, the Armed Services, and the Intelligence Community.

Courtney Coppola (Tallahassee). Coppola served as Deputy Chief of Staff to Governor Ron DeSantis, and assisted Governor DeSantis in oversight of veteran affairs. In this role, Coppola helped Governor DeSantis implement the “Governor’s Challenge” that used evidence-based practices to prevent suicide among service members. Part of this initiative included “The Fire Watch,” which mobilizes and trains community members to be vigilant to the concerns of veterans and to direct them to the support they need to prevent suicide. 

Dane Eagle (Tallahassee). As Secretary of the Department of Economic Opportunity, Eagle oversaw Employ Florida Vets and DEO’s Veterans Program, and administered the Florida Jobs for Veterans State Grant Program. Additionally, he facilitated the Florida Veterans Workforce Summit and the Veteran Incentives Awards. During his legislative tenure, he promoted and co-sponsored countless pro-veteran bills, further promoting Florida as the most veteran-friendly state in the nation.

Tola Thompson (Washington). Thompson served as Chief of Staff to Congressman Al Lawson, whose district included one of the nation’s largest veteran populations. During his time in that role, Thompson assisted Rep. Lawson in his successful effort to establish a Veterans Administration outpatient health clinic in Jacksonville. The outpatient clinic is currently under construction, and when completed, will include 185,000 square feet of space for providing health care services to our nation’s veterans.  

Joe Buscaino (Los Angeles). Buscaino served as a Councilmember on the Los Angeles City Council, and in that role he supported legislation that provided housing and mental health services to veterans, as well as incentives for veterans to be employed by the City of Los Angeles. Additionally, Buscaino successfully advocated for the construction of the first all-veteran housing project in City Council District 15. That project was done in partnership with Los Angeles County to provide wrap-around services to veterans living in those housing units.