Ballard Partners brings decades of public policy, advocacy and governmental affairs expertise to the Bay State region.
Distinguished Care & Advocacy
Our newly established Veterans Practice Group, chaired by former Congressman Jeff Miller, is dedicated to serving those who have served our country. Miller brings years of experience serving on the House Veterans Affairs Committee and the House Armed Services Committee. With their distinguished public service experience, Miller and other partners in the firm are committed to advocating for veterans rights and needs.
- Health Care
- Mental Health
- Suicide Prevention
Congressman Jeff Miller represented the 1st Congressional District from 2001-2017 in the U.S. House of Representatives. In Congress, Jeff chaired the House Veterans Affairs Committee for three terms and also served as a senior member of the House Armed Services Committee and the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence.
During his tenure, he championed numerous pieces of legislation to support veterans and provide tax relief to American citizens. In the House, Jeff was known for his conservative principles and voting record, as well as his bipartisan ability to get things done.
Before entering Congress, Jeff served in the Florida House of Representatives where he chaired the Utilities & Telecommunications Committee. Jeff received his Bachelor’s Degree in Broadcast News from the University of Florida in 1984.
He and his wife Vicki have two children, four grandchildren and two great-grandchildren.
Tola is a seasoned governmental relations professional with over 18 years of experience at the state and federal levels. A 14-year veteran of Capitol Hill, Tola most recently served as Chief of Staff to U.S. Rep. Al Lawson, a member of the House Financial Services Committee.
Over the years, Tola has developed relationships with key members of Leadership and members of the Congressional Black Caucus and the New Democrat Coalition. In addition to his service with Rep. Lawson, Thompson also worked for ten years with former US Rep. Carrie Meek, a senior member of the House Appropriations Committee, where he managed a broad legislative portfolio that included telecommunications, education, labor, health, and agricultural appropriations.
Tola previously served as Assistant Vice President and Director of Governmental Relations at Florida A&M University where he worked across almost every facet of government to develop and ensure execution of the university’s legislative agenda. He has also worked to successfully pass new legislation to provide high quality educational options for low-income K-12 students in Pennsylvania, Ohio, Louisiana, and Florida. He received his bachelor’s in journalism from Florida A & M University.
Dan McFaul has been involved with more than 30 federal, state, and local campaigns in the last two decades, including races for Congress, U.S. Senate, and Governor, as well as Presidential campaigns. He served as campaign manager to Congressman Joe Scarborough in 1996 and 2000. In 1998, he worked as a Senior Field Analyst for the National Republican Congressional Committee (NRCC) and consulted on eight Congressional campaigns in the Southeast and Ohio River Valley.
Dan served on the staff of U.S. Rep. Joe Scarborough of Florida from 1997-2001, rising to the position of Legislative Director. He became the Chief of Staff and Communications Director for Congressman Jeff Miller on Oct. 16th 2001, when Miller was sworn into office. Prior to Miller’s election, Dan was Miller’s campaign manager during the 2001 special election cycle.
Dan was a member of the Presidential Transition Team for then President-elect Donald J. Trump. 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.
A native of Pensacola, Dan graduated from the University of Florida with a bachelor’s degree in Political Science and Public Relations. He later completed a Master’s Degree in Public Administration at the University of West Florida. Dan lives in Washington, D.C. with his wife, Jessica, and their three children.
Dane Eagle established himself as a fixture in Florida politics at a relatively young age and boasts nearly two decades of extensive experience in the state’s executive and legislative branches.
Prior to joining Ballard Partners, Dane was appointed by Governor Ron DeSantis to serve as Florida’s Secretary of Economic Opportunity – now considered Florida’s Secretary of Commerce – where he assisted the Governor in advancing Florida’s economy by championing the state’s economic development vision and by administering state and federal programs and initiatives to help citizens, businesses, communities, and visitors thrive. In this role, he managed a $3.3 billion budget and over 2,200 employees while deploying billions of dollars in grants throughout the state of Florida.
Previously, Dane represented parts of Southwest Florida in the Florida House of Representatives from 2012 to 2020 and rose to the rank of Majority Leader, where he was responsible for leading the Republican Caucus and ushering legislation to the Governor’s desk. Dane focused on supporting Florida’s families and small businesses by reducing taxes and regulations to further establish Florida’s business-friendly environment and further diversify Florida’s economy. During his tenure in the House, Dane also served as the Majority Whip and the Chairman of the Energy and Utilities Subcommittee.
Before being elected to the Florida House of Representatives, Dane served as a Deputy Chief of Staff in the Executive Office of the Governor and as the Chief Special Assistant to the Governor. He has also worked on several statewide campaigns.
In the private sector, Dane has over two decade’s experience in real estate, most recently as a commercial real estate broker providing investment strategy, consulting, and sales and leasing services in the Southwest Florida market. Dane was born and raised in Southwest Florida and earned his bachelor’s degree in Economics with a minor in Business Administration at the University of Florida.
PARTNER & CO-CHAIR
CANNABIS PRACTICE GROUP
Courtney has spent her career implementing new government programs, managing emergent priorities, and providing guidance and policy direction to executives at the highest levels of government.
Prior to joining Ballard Partners, Courtney served as Deputy Chief of Staff to Governor Ron DeSantis. Under the Governor’s leadership, Courtney oversaw the following agencies, offices, and initiatives: the Department of Health; the Agency for Health Care Administration; the Department of Children and Families; the Division of Emergency Management; the Department of Military Affairs; the Department of Elder Affairs; the Agency for Persons with Disabilities; the Department of Veterans Affairs; the Guardian ad Litem program; and the Office of Adoption and Child Protection.
Courtney previously served as the Chief of Staff at the Department of Health. In her role she directed day-to-day operations and planning for the department and county health departments statewide, and directly supervised the Offices of Communications, Legislative Planning, and Executive Appointments. Courtney also led the department’s actions as part of Florida’s Unified Command Executive Team in response to COVID-19.
Prior to her appointment as Chief of Staff, Courtney served as the Director of Florida’s medical marijuana program. Courtney joined the Office of Medical Marijuana Use in its infancy and quickly rose through the ranks taking the helm as director in 2018. During her tenure, the Office licensed Florida’s first regulated marijuana companies, registered more than half a million patients and enrolled thousands of certifying physicians quickly transforming Florida into one of the largest marijuana markets in the country.
Courtney began her career in state government at the Executive Office of the Governor under Governor Rick Scott in the Office of Fiscal Accountability and Regulatory Reform where she served as the policy analyst and was responsible for reviewing executive agency regulations to determine whether they adversely impacted job creation, imposed burdensome regulations or costs on businesses, or unreasonably restricted the ability of individual citizens to find employment.
Originally from Destin, Courtney earned a Bachelor of Science in Political Science, and Master of Science in Applied American Politics and Policy from Florida State University. She also serves on the Florida Gubernatorial Fellows Alumni Board and remains involved in recruitment and mentoring for the program.
The Hon. Joe Buscaino is the former President Pro Tempore of the Los Angeles City Council. He has represented the Council’s 15th District which includes the communities of Harbor City, Harbor Gateway, San Pedro, Watts, and Wilmington as well as the Port of Los Angeles from 2012-2022. Councilmember Buscaino served as the Chair of the City’s Trade, Travel and Tourism Committee from 2017-2022.
The committee oversaw the Port of Los Angeles – the busiest container port in the United States; LAX – the second busiest airport in the United States; and the LA Tourism and Convention Board. Councilmember Buscaino also served as Vice-Chair of the Rules, Elections, and Intergovernmental Relations Committee and as a member of the Public Safety Committee, Transportation Committee and Homelessness & Poverty Committee. He helped secure the 2028 Olympic & Paralympic Games for the City of Los Angeles as a member of the Ad Hoc Committee on the 2028 Olympics and Paralympic Games.
In 2019, Councilmember Buscaino was elected as President of the National League of Cities (NLC) which represents more than 2,000 cities, towns, and villages across the country and is the country’s largest municipal advocacy organization. Since November 2020, he has served as NLC’s Past President. During his tenure as president of the NLC, Joe was instrumental in advancing billions of federal COVID relief dollars to cities, towns and villages throughout the country.
Councilmember Buscaino served as the Mayor’s appointment on the board for the South Coast Air Quality Management District from 2013-2022 where as chair of the Technology Committee approved over $1B of clean technologies throughout the District. He also served as a board member for the Los Angeles County Sanitation Districts, Alameda Corridor Transportation Authority, and currently sits on the Sister Cities International Board of Directors. He was a past member of the Democratic National Committee and served as president of the National Democratic Municipal Officials organization. Valuing the role cities play in the state of California, Joe served as a board member for the League of California Cities from 2013-2022.
Councilman Buscaino has lived in the 15th District his entire life and is a first-generation Italian-American whose parents emigrated from Italy over 40 years ago, in pursuit of the American dream. Prior to his election to the City Council, Buscaino served for 15 years as a police officer in the Los Angeles Police Department and currently serves as a Police Reserve Officer for the LAPD. Buscaino graduated Cum Laude, with a BA in Communication from California State University – Dominguez Hills.
He has previously served on the Board of Directors of the Boys and Girls Clubs of the LA Harbor Area, the San Pedro YWCA’s Racial Justice Committee, and the Advisory Council for the Los Angeles Watts Summer Games and is active with Mary Star of the Sea Catholic Church and various Italian-American organizations. Joe and his wife, Geralyn, an educator with the Los Angeles Unified School District, are proud parents of two children.