ATLANTA and SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (12/30/14)--Two credit union league lobbyists have been noted for their work at the state advocacy level.
James Magazine, a political and news magazine for Georgia governmental and civic leaders, ranked Georgia Credit Union Affiliates' (GCUA) Brandee Bickle as No. 11 on the list of the top 20 female lobbyists this year.
In last year's list, Bickle, GCUA's director of governmental affairs, was named one of nine Rising Stars.
"Brandee has that rare ability to listen first, then share her perspective," said GCUA President/CEO Mike Mercer. "That's an important ingredient to her effectiveness in the Statehouse. Brandee is genuinely interested in knowing the people who cross her path. Those in her midst can tell this, and they appreciate it."
In Illinois, the new speaker of the Third House hails from the Illinois Credit Union League (ICUL).
Third House is an organization of Illinois lobbyists, and Keith Sias, ICUL vice president of governmental affairs, is the new speaker.
Sias described the work of lobbyists to The State Journal-Register columnist Bernard Schoenburg (Dec. 27). "Our job is to really analyze those bills, determine how they impact the groups that we represent, and then present that to the legislators and the key policymakers," he said. "They can't possibly be experts in every area, and it's up to us to have credibility and provide meaningful input and really help them understand what these bills do and the effect they have on our members, but also the state as a whole."
He also cited a legislative win for credit unions that brought fairness and consistency to the state examination of credit unions.
The secretary of state's office, which oversees lobbyist registration, turns to Third House for policy input as well.
For Sias, the position is meaningful. "To me, it's just really like the highest professional honor that a lobbyist could get," he told The State Journal-Register.