Newsom’s Former Legislative Affairs Secretary to Helm Firm’s New Sacramento Office
Anthony C. Williams, former Legislative Affairs Secretary for California Governor Gavin Newsom, is joining Ballard Partners, one of the top government relations firms in the United States. Williams will lead the firm’s new office in Sacramento as its Managing Partner.
“We are delighted to have Anthony join us and lead our new office in Sacramento,” said Brian Ballard, the firm’s President and Founder. “There are very few people who understand Sacramento as well as Anthony and who are as widely respected there as he is. Our office in Los Angeles has achieved remarkable success and now with Anthony’s presence in Sacramento, we intend to become one of the most effective government affairs firms in the state of California.”
Williams recently served as Director of Public Policy for Amazon, and from 2014 to 2019 he served as Director of National Strategy and Engagement at the Boeing Company. In addition to his role as Legislative Affairs Secretary for Governor Newsom for the 2019 and 2020 legislative sessions, his public service included working as the Policy Director and Special Counsel in
the California State Senate from 2010 to 2014. He also served as Director of Government Affairs for the State Bar of California from 2004 to 2007, and Legislative Advocate at the Judicial Council of California from 1994 to 1999. From 2007 to 2010, he was the Founding Partner at Wada Williams Law Group.
“Knowing of the firm’s exceptional national reputation and having seen first-hand the firm’s work in Southern California, I am delighted and honored to join Ballard Partners and open its new office in Sacramento,” said Williams. “Our strong presence in Los Angeles and Sacramento will allow us to provide exceptional service to the firm’s clients here in California.”
Williams currently is a member of the Board of Directors of the California High-Speed Rail Authority and was previously appointed by Governor Edmund G. “Jerry” Brown and Governor Newsom to terms on the California Fish and Game Commission.
Michael LaRosa, former Press Secretary to First Lady Jill Biden, is joining Ballard Partners, one of the top government relations firms in the United States, as a partner in its Washington, DC office.
“Given his exceptional experience and background, we are thrilled to have Michael join our firm,” said Brian Ballard, founder and president of the firm. “His unique insights will be invaluable to our firm’s clients and will expand our firm’s capabilities and reach in the nation’s capital and beyond.”
LaRosa previously served as a Managing Director at the global public affairs firm Penta Group. Prior to Penta, Michael served in the White House as Press Secretary to the First Lady and Special Assistant to the President. He was First Lady Jill Biden’s chief spokesperson, advising her on media relations and strategic communications. In his role as the primary traveling press secretary, he traveled to over seventy-five cities, thirty-five states, fifteen countries, and six continents with Dr. Biden. Michael was the first openly-LGBTQ commissioned Press Secretary to a U.S. First Lady.
During his time in the White House, LaRosa planned the media strategy for the First Lady’s events on multi-country tours of eastern Europe, South and Central America, Africa, the 2021 Summer Olympics in Tokyo, Japan, the G-7 summit in Cornwall, the G-20 Summit in Rome, the NATO conference in Madrid, and the Summit of the Americas in Los Angeles. He also led and executed the communications strategy for the First Lady’s secret and historic visit to Ukraine, the highest profile visit from a Biden Administration official at the time. It was the first visit by a U.S. First Lady to an active war zone without the security of a “green zone,” monitored and protected by U.S. troops. The First Lady’s successful trip marked a consequential moment in the war, drawing Ukraine’s First Lady, Olena Zelenska, into public view for the first time since the Russian invasion and celebrating a bilateral meeting between the spouses of our two countries.
Last year, when LaRosa left the White House, First Lady Jill Biden told CNN, “For nearly three years, from the campaign to the White House, Michael has brought an encyclopedic knowledge of politics and media to my team as my spokesperson and adviser. On a small team, loyalty and friendship are lifelong — we will miss Michael.”
Before joining the President and First Lady, LaRosa was Dr. Biden’s Chief Spokesperson for the Inauguration, the Biden-Harris Transition Team, the Biden-Harris Campaign, and Joe Biden’s successful campaign for the Presidential nomination during the 2020 Democratic Primaries.
LaRosa also led communications on Capitol Hill for the U.S. Senate Committee on Energy and Natural Resources for the Ranking Member, Senator Maria Cantwell (D-WA), and the House Democratic Policy Communications Committee in the Office of Speaker Nancy Pelosi. Prior to his time on Capitol Hill, Michael spent seven years as a television producer for one the original and longest running political talk shows on cable news, MSNBC’s Hardball with Chris Matthews.
“I have long admired Ballard Partners’ work in Washington, DC and around the country,” said LaRosa. “With its exceptional reputation as an effective firm with bipartisan reach, I am delighted to work with Brian and the entire Ballard team to serve the firm’s clients.”
LaRosa grew up in Easton, Pennsylvania and earned his undergraduate degree from Seton Hall University in South Orange, New Jersey and his master’s degree from American University in Washington, DC.
Former Jacksonville Mayor Lenny Curry is joining Ballard Partners, one of the top government relations firms in the United States, as a Partner in its Washington, Tallahassee and Jacksonville offices.
“Lenny’s exemplary stature as a leader in our state and nation is rare and we are especially honored to have him join our firm,” said Brian Ballard, the firm’s President and Founder. “Given his extraordinary relationships and experiences, Lenny will be an invaluable advocate for the firm’s clients in Washington, Tallahassee and Jacksonville.”
Winning both his first campaign in 2015 and his re-election campaign in 2019, Curry served as Mayor of the City of Jacksonville from 2015 to 2023. Prior to his service as Mayor, Curry was elected as Chairman and Vice-Chairman of the Republican Party of Florida. He also previously served as Jacksonville Housing Commission Board member, a Commissioner of the Florida State Boxing Commission, a Junior Achievement Board member and a Jacksonville Symphony Association Board member.
“I am delighted to be joining Brian and the outstanding team at Ballard Partners, and I am looking forward to contributing to the firm’s continued growth and success across the country,” said Curry.
From 1994 to 2002, Curry practiced as a Certified Public Accountant at PricewaterhouseCoopers, the world’s largest accounting firm, where he was a Senior Manager in the Jacksonville office. In 2002, he became a job creator when he co-founded a Jacksonville based professional services firm, ICX Group Inc. (ICX), providing finance and accounting consulting, executive recruiting and staffing services.
Curry is a Summa Cum Laude graduate of The University of Florida.
Terry Miller is joining Ballard Partners, one of the top government relations firms in the United States, as a Partner in its Fort Myers office. Elaine Sarlo Barraco is also joining the Fort Myers office as a Senior Associate.
“Terry’s success and reputation in Southwest Florida adds a significant new dimension of expertise to our Fort Myers team led by Managing Partner Dane Eagle,” said Brian Ballard, the firm’s President and Founder. “With Terry and Elaine joining Dane in Fort Myers, our presence and capability there is second to none.”
As founder of a Southwest Florida based political consulting and public affairs firm, Miller has assisted corporate clients in traversing the intricate web of government and public relations and has navigated dozens of political campaigns at all levels of government. These experiences have helped him build relationships with officials at the local, state, and federal levels and earned him the accolade of one of the most influential people in Florida politics in 2022. Miller also has extensive corporate experience in the private sector and previously worked in the Florida House of Representatives.
“I am honored to join Ballard Partners and I look forward to contributing to the firm’s continued success in Southwest Florida,” said Miller.
Sarlo Barraco is experienced in developing and executing community relations strategies for corporate clients and coordinating campaigns at the local, state, and federal levels. Previously, Elaine served as the Southwest Florida Regional Director for U.S. Senator Marco Rubio. She has served on the Lee County Conservation Land Acquisition and Stewardship Advisory Committee and the Metropolitan Planning Organization Citizens Advisory Board.
Jenny Busby, former Head of Government Affairs for Transportation Policy at Siemens, is joining Ballard Partners, one of the top government relations firms in the United States, as a partner in its Jacksonville and Washington, DC offices.
“We are delighted to have Jenny join our firm in Jacksonville and Washington,” said Brian Ballard, the firm’s President and Founder. “Her extensive experience in Congress and Jacksonville city government will be especially valuable to our firm and its clients in both offices.”
In her role as Director of Government Affairs for Transportation Policy at Siemens, Busby supported the Siemens Mobility business and contributed to state and local infrastructure implementation efforts. Prior to joining Siemens, Busby worked in the Public Policy & Regulation group at the law firm, Holland & Knight LLP, in Washington DC, where she was a Public Affairs Advisor supporting clients in the transportation, local government, and emerging technology space.
“I am honored to join Ballard Partners and I look forward to working with Brian and the outstanding team of professionals at the firm,” said Busby.
Before working at Holland & Knight, Busby served as Executive Council Assistant and Campaign Manager for Jacksonville City Councilman and former Mayor Tommy Hazouri. She also served as Legislative Assistant for United States Congressman Al Lawson, Director of Operations for Florida gubernatorial candidate Gwen Graham, Assistant to the Chair of the Florida Democratic Party Allison Tant and as Legislative Aide to Florida State Senator and Minority Leader Nan Rich.
Busby grew up in Jacksonville, Florida and graduated from Florida State University.