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December 19, 2016Press Release

Michael Best Strategies Adds Senate Minority Leader’s Former Chief of Staff to Madison Office

MADISON (Dec. 19, 2016) – Michael Best Strategies LLC has added Nathan Houdek, former chief of staff to the minority leader in the Wisconsin State Senate, to its Madison office as senior advisor. He will support its regional office government affairs initiatives and the Shared Value Consulting Team. Michael Best Strategies is the lobbying and regulatory-consulting arm of law firm Michael Best & Friedrich LLP.

Houdek will apply his government and public policy background, which includes more than a decade in politics and legislative support roles to provide political and strategic communications counsel, issues management, and a spectrum of campaign-related work in the Wisconsin and Midwest region.

“Nathan is a self-starter and experienced public policy strategist,” said Ted Kanavas, President of Michael Best Strategies. “As a member of our Shared Value Consulting Team, he will play an important part in helping companies leverage their resources and networks to enhance community development and drive economic success for all local stakeholders.”

Houdek began his career in politics working as a legislative aide in the Wisconsin State Assembly assisting in policy development and constituent services. He progressed from there to be the Director of Legislation & Advocacy at the Wisconsin Association of Health Plans, where he was responsible for managing public policy issues impacting member health plans, and providing tactical counsel on several legislative and regulatory matters.

Eventually earning a position as Legislative Director and then Chief of Staff for Wisconsin State Senator and Minority Leader Jennifer Shilling, Houdek developed and oversaw legislative planning and strategy for the senate Democratic caucus, managed the senator’s policy agenda, supervised state senate administrative functions, and successfully worked with disability advocates to secure $18 million to increase worker training opportunities for people with disabilities.

“Nathan’s arrival to our Madison office will be a huge advantage to our regional clients,” said Amy Bruchs, Michael Best’s Madison Office Managing Partner. “He is ideally suited to help current and prospective regionally-based clients find long-term sustainable funding solutions for several, including higher education and workforce programs, and investments in infrastructure like transportation.”

“I am very excited to be joining Michael Best Strategies and look forward to helping the group expand,” said Houdek. “My background in public affairs and extensive knowledge of the political landscape provides me a broad understanding of how the public and private sectors interact. I anticipate a very collaborative environment and approach to business, with an aim to create stronger communities that benefit society.”

Houdek earned his M.B.A. and B.A. in Political Science and Philosophy from the University of Wisconsin-Madison. Additionally, he is also a former executive board member and mentorship co-chair of the New Leaders Council in the Madison Chapter, and past advisory board member for Wisconsin Health News.

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