Nikolas Pascual, Former Chief of Staff to Miami Mayor Francis Suarez, Joins Ballard Partners

Nikolas Pascual, former Chief of Staff to Miami Mayor Francis Suarez, is joining Ballard Partners, one of the top government relations firms in the United States, as a partner in its Miami office. 

“Miami is the most dynamic city in America and Nik has helped make it so during his public service with Mayor Suarez,” said Brian Ballard, the firm’s President and Founder. “Our firm’s clients will be uniquely served by Nik’s rare insights and exceptional relationships.”  

As Chief of Staff to Mayor Francis Suarez, Pascual managed the Office of the Mayor and oversaw the mayor’s Legislative and Policy Agenda. Under Nikolas’s leadership, the city achieved record-breaking results, including the lowest tax rate in Miami’s history, the lowest homicide rate in over 60 years, and the largest tech migration in history.

“Nik has been an exceptional leader on my team at City Hall, and I am grateful for his service to our city and wish him the best in his professional endeavors at Ballard Partners,” said Mayor Francis Suarez

Prior to his role as Chief of Staff, Nikolas served as a Senior Advisor to the City Manager, where he led the city’s government relations team and secured record-breaking funding for Miami in Tallahassee and Washington D.C. He also helped create the city’s first Economic Development Agency, Venture Miami.

“I am excited to be joining the great team of professionals at Ballard Partners and look forward to helping the Miami office build on its remarkable success,” said Pascual. 

Nikolas began his career as a Legislative Aide in the Florida House of Representatives for Representative Jose Felix Diaz and later joined Speaker Jose Oliva’s office. During his tenure in Tallahassee, Miami-Dade County and South Florida achieved some of their most successful legislative sessions.

Outside of work, Nikolas volunteers his time with several non-profit organizations, including the Children’s Home Society and Camillus House. He earned his Bachelor’s in Public Administration from Florida International University, where he continues to mentor students.

Nikolas is a Miami native and resides there with his wife Blislainey and their three children.

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.

Dane Eagle, Former Senior DeSantis Official and House Majority Leader, Joins Ballard Partners

– Eagle Will Also Open Firm’s New Office in Fort Myers to Serve Southwest Florida –

Dane Eagle, former Secretary of the Florida Department of Economic Opportunity for Gov. Ron DeSantis,is joining Ballard Partners, one of the top government relations firms in the United States. 

“Dane’s experience as a state legislator and as Governor DeSantis’ top economic development official will make him an invaluable member of our firm,” said Brian Ballard, the firm’s President and Founder. “We are delighted to have Dane bring his extensive experience to serve the firm’s clients in Tallahassee and also open our new office in Fort Myers to serve Southwest Florida.”

Eagle was appointed by Governor Ron DeSantis to serve as Florida’s Secretary of Economic Opportunity in September 2020. In that role, Eagle assisted the Governor in advancing Florida’s economy by championing the state’s economic development vision. 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.  

“I am honored to become a part of the exceptional team of professionals at Ballard Partners,” said Eagle. “I look forward to establishing a strong presence in Tallahassee and am particularly excited to help the firm expand into the fast-growing Southwest Florida area.” 

In the private sector, Dane has two decades of 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.

Former Los Angeles City Council Member Joe Buscaino Joins Ballard Partners

– Buscaino, Former National League of Cities President, Named 

Managing Partner of Firm’s Los Angeles Office –

Joe Buscaino, former President Pro Tempore of the Los Angeles City Council, has joined Ballard Partners, one of the top government relations firms in the United States. Buscaino joins the firm as the Managing Partner of the firm’s recently established office in Los Angeles.

“Joe has had a distinguished career on the Los Angeles City Council for more than a decade and we are honored to have him lead our Los Angeles office,” said Brian Ballard, the firm’s President and Founder. “His expertise on issues across Los Angeles, his relationships throughout the Southern California region and his role as national municipal leader will be invaluable to our firm’s clients.”  

Buscaino has represented the Council’s 15th District since 2012. He served as the Chair of the City’s Trade, Travel and Tourism Committee. In that role he was responsible for oversight of 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. 

In 2019, 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. Since November 2020, he has served as NLC’s Past President. He is the President Emeritus of the Democratic Municipal Officials organization and served as a member of the Democratic National Committee from 2015 – 2018. 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 an LAPD Reserve Officer. 

“With my public service now concluded, I couldn’t be happier to join Ballard Partners and lead its Los Angeles office,” said Buscaino. “The firm’s professionals are exceptional and its reach from Tel Aviv to Washington to Miami and places between is unparalleled.”

Buscaino graduated Cum Laude, with a BA in Communication from California State University – Dominguez Hills. Joe and his wife, Geralyn, an educator in the Los Angeles Unified School District, are raising their two children in San Pedro. Their children attend Los Angeles Unified schools.

Former Congressman Jeff Miller Joins Ballard Partners

Former United States Congressman Jeff Miller is joining Ballard Partners, one of the top government relations firms in the United States, as a partner in its Washington office.  

“As the 118th Congress prepares to convene with new House leadership in a few weeks, we are delighted to have such a respected former member of the House Republican Leadership join our Washington office,” said Brian Ballard, the firm’s President and Founder. “Our firm’s clients will be uniquely served by Jeff’s special insights, experience and relationships in Congress.”

Miller served as a member of Congress from 2001 through 2017. During his tenure, he served as the Chairman of the Committee on Veterans’ Affairs for three terms, was a senior member of the Armed Services Committee and a member of the Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence. Prior to his service in Congress, he served as a member of the Florida Legislature from 1998 to 2001, where he Chaired the Utilities and Telecommunications Committee. 

“I am excited to be joining Brian and the exceptional team of professionals at Ballard Partners,” said Miller. “As the new Congress convenes and begins its important work, I look forward to assisting the firm’s clients in the new political environment in Washington.” 

Miller received his Bachelor’s Degree from the University of Florida. He and his wife Vicki have two children, four grandchildren and two great-grandchildren.

Dan McFaul Named Managing Partner of the Ballard Partners’ Washington, D.C. Office

Dan McFaul has been named the Managing Partner of Ballard Partners’ Washington, D.C. office. McFaul has been a partner in the firm’s Washington office since 2017.

“Dan’s extraordinary reputation in D.C. makes him the ideal choice to lead our firm in Washington and continue our growth in the coming years,” said Brian Ballard, the firm’s President and Founder. “Our firm and its clients will be well-served by Dan’s vast experience in government affairs and on Capitol Hill.”

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.

“I want to thank Brian for this opportunity. It has been an honor to work with him and the exceptionally talented professionals at Ballard Partners. I am humbled by this new responsibility,” said McFaul.

Ballard Partners Opens Los Angeles Office

Ballard Partners’ Releases Four New Podcast Episodes

Guests include U.S. Rep. Maria Salazar, former FEMA Director Craig Fugate, N.Y. Times Reporter Mike Bender and former U.S. Rep. Robert Wexler

Ballard Partners, one of the top government relations firms in the United States, has launched four new episodes of 13th and Park today, featuring timely discussions on today’s most pressing topics.

  •  Former FEMA Director Craig Fugateprovides lessons learned from Hurricane Ian and discusses the path forward for the US in emergency response to devastating storms.
  • Ballard Partners’ own Robert Wexler gives insight into the new dynamics affecting peace in the Middle East, the war in Ukraine, a newly aggressive China, and a likely nuclear Iran.
  •  New York Times reporter and author Mike Bender dives into midterm elections in key states across the US.
  • U.S. Representative Maria Salazar explains why Latin voters in the U.S. are having a profound impact on American politics.

The podcast is co-hosted by Ballard Partners’ Adam Goodman and Justin Sayfie. The episodes are now live and streaming on all major platforms including Apple, Spotify and Amazon.

Michael LaRosa Joins Ballard Partners as a Partner in the Washington Office

Stephen Klopp, former Deputy Assistant Sergeant at Arms for the U.S. Senate, is joining Ballard Partners, one of the top government relations firms in the United States, as a partner of the firm’s Washington, D.C. office. 

“As our D.C. office continues to grow, Stephen’s extensive experience on Capitol Hill brings a unique, invaluable perspective that will greatly benefit our clients,” said Brian Ballard, the firm’s President and Founder. “We are honored to have him on our team.” 

Klopp served nearly two decades on Capitol Hill in various capacities, most recently as the Deputy Assistant Sergeant at Arms for the U.S. Senate, where he worked in close partnership with all Senators, Senate leadership, chiefs of staff and Senate committees. Klopp is the President and Founder of Sagacity Global Services (SGS). 

“I am thrilled to join Brian and his exceptional team in Washington,” said Klopp. 

Klopp joined the U.S. Capitol Police in 2003 and graduated top of his class at the Federal Law Enforcement Training Center. Soon after joining the U.S. Capitol police, he served as a Special Agent in Charge and Detail Leader for the United States Capitol Police (USCP) Dignitary Protection Division, where he was responsible for leading protective security details assigned to Congressional Leadership.

Ballard Partners launches ‘13th and Park’ podcast