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OUR TEAM

MARK R SMITH

FOUNDER

Mr. Smith has over twenty-nine years of experience in government relations and in the private sector. He has extensive experience in telecommunications, information technology, law enforcement, intellectual property, health care, and privatization issues. Mr. Smith also specializes in areas of congressional relations, appropriations, and policy development.

Over the past three decades, Mr. Smith has owned and managed The Da Vinci Group, Inc. a government relations and public affairs firm in Washington, DC. He enjoys relationships with several members of Congress, who seek his advice on an array of legislative and political issues. Mr. Smith's close relationships with key staffers on both sides of the aisle also give Mr. Smith an advantage to understand all sides of important issues facing the congress and his client's interests. Mr. Smith has had enormous success in legislative affairs, general consulting and campaign fundraising on congressional campaigns with an 83% success record over the past decade.

Mr. Smith lives in Purcellville, Virginia with his wife and children. In addition to his interest in politics on the national level, Mr. Smith spends much of his free time actively helping his community, working with candidates for elective office and advocating issues at the local and state levels.

Mark R. Smith
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Mark Boesen, Pharm.D.

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Kate Blair

Melissa Sellers Stone

Mark Boesen, Pharm.D. is of counsel to The Da Vinci Group and President and CEO of Health Policy Associates, LLC located in Gilbert, AZ. He is a practicing pharmacist with over 17 years of service to his patients.

Dr. Boesen also works for The University of Arizona College of Pharmacy's Medication Therapy Management Center and the Health Law Group at the law firm of Quarles & Brady, LLP. Prior to these roles, he served as the Vice President of Regulatory and Government Affairs for Avella Specialty Pharmacies, bridging all of the various departments and team members to successfully implement and manage the organization.s quality control and government affairs initiatives. He has also held positions at the American Association of Colleges of Pharmacy, the Maine Association of Substance Abuse Programs, and the American Health Quality Association

His professional background also includes special knowledge and experience with political advocacy, specialty pharmacy operations, quality improvement, patient safety, and managed care services.

Professional Recognition

Named by The Arizona Pharmacy Association/Pfizer Pharmaceuticals as Pharmacist of the Year (2008).

Dr. Boesen is an active in the development of health policy at the state, local, federal level and an engaged leader in pharmacy related professional societies including:

American Society of Pharmacy Law (Member).

American Pharmacists Association (Government Affairs Committee).

Arizona Pharmacy Association (Past-President).

Selected Presentations/Publications

Dr. Boesen is a noted author in trade journals as well as a public speaker at pharmacy industry symposiums throughout the nation.

Kate Blair has spent the past decade in government relations, specifically in outreach and education to key legislative and political decision makers. Mrs. Blair started her career working in the energy industry in Salt Lake City, Utah.

In 2011, Mrs. Blair moved her practice to Washington D.C. and began her representation on a wider range of issues including: Natural Resources, Energy, Transit, Education, Public Lands, Defense, Biotech and municipal issues including water resources, public safety, housing, and workforce development. Mrs. Blair is an associate of the Da Vinci Group where she focuses her subject matter expertise on a variety of issues.

Melissa is “Of Counsel” to The Da Vinci Group and is the CEO of Cavalry Strategies, a company she founded in 2016. Melissa served as a senior advisor for the New Republican Super PAC supporting Governor Rick Scott in his 2018 U.S. Senate race and a general consultant for Florida Chief Financial Officer Jimmy Patronis during his 2018 winning election. Melissa is former Chief of Staff to Florida Governor Rick Scott as well as the Campaign Manager for his gubernatorial campaign (won by less than one percentage point). She was also Scott’s Communications Director in the Governor’s Office before that. 

Previously, Melissa was the Director of Regional Media for the 2012 Republican National Convention in Tampa, and a former Communications Director for Governor Bobby Jindal in Louisiana during his first term in office (2008-2011) after serving as the communications director for his 2007 campaign for Governor of Louisiana. Before that, Melissa served as a Regional Media Coordinator for the Bush-Cheney 2004 presidential campaign, Press Secretary for Congressman Jim Nussle (IA) in 2005, and Press Secretary for Michael Steele for U.S. Senate in Maryland in 2006. Melissa is a native of Texas and received her Bachelor of Journalism from the University of Texas at Austin. She lives in Tallahassee, Florida with her husband and two sons.  

Public Affairs

Cavalry Strategies guides organizations in winning the

daily news cycle by driving proactive messages that

keep an organization achieving its objectives. We are

experienced in delivering national and state-based

earned media.

 

Crisis Management

Times of crisis can often be paralyzing to an

organization. Cavalry Strategies specializes in crisis

management strategies to protect or restore an

organization's brand. Through years of experience

responding to hurricanes, the H1N1 pandemic, the

Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill and more, Cavalry

Strategies' experience in disaster situations can

stabilize and strengthen an organization during

vulnerable times.

 

Brand Strength

Sometimes finding an organization's voice or message

can be most difficult for the people who are the

closest to it. Cavalry Strategies guides organizations in

building their brands and/or achieving a messaging

objective - whether it is for a legislative session, a

crisis situation or simply a new initiative.

 

Melissa Sellers Stone

melissa@cavalrystrategies.com

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Erin Axson

Erin Axson is of counsel to The Da Vinci Group. Erin is a veteran of corporate and non - profit sales, marketing, and communications. With more than a decade of experience in these fields, Erin has developed a unique approach to working in corporate production with companies like Disney and Nickelodeon to name a few. In her non - profit capacity Erin served as Executive Director for the The Signing Time Foundation a non - profit organization connecting college students with Ghana’s deaf orphanages. Erin currently spends her time between her home in Salt Lake City and Washington, D.C