On May 1, Tom Sullivan opens a new chapter as general counsel of the Bipartisan Policy Center in Washington, D.C. NARI wishes Sullivan well in his new position and is appreciative of his work as NARI’s lobbyist the past two years. Sullivan was recognized by the Government Affairs Committee and the House of Delegates at NARI’s recent Spring Business meeting in Kansas City, Mo.
NARI is pleased to introduce members to its new lobbyist, Chris Spear, of Nelson Mullins Riley Scarborough, LLP, based in Washington, D.C.
Spear has a 20-year track record in government relations, working both domestically and internationally in the legislative and regulatory arenas.
He started his career on Capitol Hill as professional staff in the U.S. Senate, responsible for the Subcommittee on Employment and Workplace Safety, a role that included jurisdiction issues such as workplace education, training, safety, wages, hour laws and flexibility.
Spear put his experience from the subcommittee to good use, moving to the Department of Labor, as Assistant Secretary of Labor for Policy.
“I oversaw regulatory agencies such as the Wage & Hour Division of OSHA, learning the [process of] how rules promulgate under these agencies—insight beneficial to conveying NARI’s messages to these agencies,” Spear says.
Most recently, Spear spent time working as Vice President of Emerging Markets for Honeywell Process Solutions based in the U.K.
“If there was one mandate we should have, it would require everyone [legislators] to spend time in the private sector and learn what it takes to manage a business and make your numbers each month,” Spear says.
Spear’s broad-based professional experience will be an asset to NARI’s key legislative issues.
Spear begins his work with NARI on legislative actions to add the opt-out provision back into the EPA’s Lead Renovation, Repair and Painting Rule.
“When regulatory agencies move in a concerning direction—as the EPA has—it creates uncertainty among the affected populations,” he says. “This uncertainty is not good for those being regulated, and NARI members need clarity in order to follow the rule as intended.” He hopes reinstating the opt-out will give the industry clarity needed for widespread compliance.
Under Spear’s guidance, success in lobbying members of the House and Senate will come from messages hitting the right tone, with a clear explanation of NARI’s position and balanced solutions representing both the public and small business interests.
In addition, Spear will focus on these areas:
- Increasing NARI’s brand awareness. “I will continue to make NARI’s presence known [in Washington] and make them aware that we are not going away.”
- Strengthening NARI’s voice. Spear plans to grow member participation in NARI’s Calls to Actions and the Government Affairs Key Contact Network, with emphasis on quick response times for action on key issues.
- Pushing NARI’s Federal Advocacy Priorities. “I have no preconceived notion about how things should be done,” he says, “I want to build on what has been done successfully and strive for improvement in the future.”