Aronnax Public Strategies Team
With more than 20 years of legislative and political experience both at the federal and state level, Fred Starzyk brings an intelligent and innovative approach to lobbying and grassroots advocacy. An analytical and intuitive government relations professional, Fred has extensive experience in achieving organizational goals and developing and implementing successful legislative, political and fundraising programs.
As Principal at Aronnax Public Strategies LLC (“APS”), Fred specializes in Native American affairs, agriculture, business development, energy and environment, homeland security and transportation issues to help his clients understand and navigate around the challenges of today's political environment to achieve their goals. Fred leads APS’ robust Native American affairs practice and is Co-Director in Heartland Advocates, APS’ agricultural practice.
Fred has achieved numerous victories for his clients by securing both legislative language in bills and millions of dollars in appropriations.
As a veteran campaign manager, senior staffer for a United States Congressman, candidate for the Michigan State Legislature and federal contract lobbyist, Fred has a unique blend of experiences that makes him an integral member of APS.
A graduate of the University of Michigan with a degree in Political Science, Fred lives in Northern Virginia with his wife Jessica and their four sons.
As President and General Counsel of Aronnax Public Strategies LLC (“APS”), Bret brings a unique background to the government affairs team. Bret is a seasoned regulatory and transactional lawyer with more than 15 years of experience in consulting and in law firms. He has particular expertise in environmental, food and drug, and product liability issues. Bret’s experience includes being an integral part of two of the nation’s leading environmental law practices.
In his role, Bret is responsible for general operations and developing strategies for key clients. He utilizes his regulatory and technical knowledge to assist clients in obtaining legislative and business objectives with an emphasis on environmental and alternative energy issues.
Bret has represented a variety of parties including a State, Municipalities, Trade Associations, Fortune 50 public companies and over 100 private companies. He has successfully obtained regulatory revisions, commented on proposed rules, petitioned Federal agencies, worked with regulators on enforcement matters, and litigated and arbitrated disputes. In addition, Bret has worked on hundreds of transactions (some valued at over $1 billion) involving the sale, purchase, lease, and/or merger of companies, stock, assets and liabilities.
Bret is also a proficient risk manager with extensive experience in the evaluation and correction of regulatory compliance issues, liability allocation, claim and strategy management, and complex toxic tort litigation management. He is valued by clients for identifying practical solutions and for integrating business considerations into decision making.
Bret has a B.S. in Geology and History from the College of William & Mary and a J.D. from The George Washington University. Bret lives in Maryland with his wife Rebecca and their two sons.
APS Strategic Partner, Drew Setter is President and CEO of The Setter Group, a government affairs firm based in New Mexico. A veteran of nearly 15 years of experience in government affairs in both the public and private sectors, he was the lead lobbyist in the effort to secure gaming compacts for nine of New Mexico's gaming tribes, and continues to represent several tribes in that state. His major policy efforts have included tribal gaming, infrastructure development, renewable energy, education, tax policy, and cultural preservation. Drew previously served as a legislative assistant to U.S. Rep. Sander Levin of Michigan. He is a graduate of Michigan State University.
Dave Ladd is a Strategic Partner and Co-Director of Heartland Advocates, APS’ agriculture practice. Dave is President of RDL & Associates and has a broad range of contacts at the federal, regional and state levels of government. He has developed relationships with key leaders in production agriculture, the renewable energy sector, agribusiness, financial institutions, state and federal government and Capitol Hill. In addition, Dave is often looked to for his expertise regarding the current policy and political environments and has served as a consultant to numerous state and federal candidates.
Prior to forming RDL & Associates Dave served as Manager of Government Affairs for AgriBank, FCB where he was responsible for representing the interests of the bank and the AgriBank District Farm Credit Council before members of Congress and various Federal agencies. As AgriBank’s Chief Legislative Officer, Dave was tasked with monitoring Federal legislation that had a direct impact on the fifteen states that comprise the district – as well as working with Farm Credit associations and agricultural stakeholders.
In 2009 Dave was appointed by Minnesota Governor Tim Pawlenty to serve on the board of directors for the Center for Rural Policy and Development. He was subsequently reappointed to the board in 2011 by Minnesota Governor Mark Dayton. Dave is a Certified Professional Project Manager (CPPM), holds a Certificate in Public Affairs Management from Hamline University, was a 2010-2011 Policy Fellow at the Hubert H. Humphrey School of Public Affairs and is a graduate of the Minnesota Agriculture and Rural Leadership (MARL) program.
Dave is frequent guest commentator on the Linder Farm Network and a co-author of the book, LIKE: Seven Rules and 10 Simple Steps for Social Media in Your Campaign.
Dave received his Bachelor of Arts Degree in Political Science and History from Moorhead State University in Moorhead, Minnesota and his Masters in Public Administration from Hamline University in St. Paul.