McNees Acquires Lobbying Firm Capital Associates

Tuesday, March 6, 2018 - 14:19

McNees Wallace & Nurick LLC recently approved the acquisition of Capital Associates, Inc., a Harrisburg-based lobbying firm. While retaining the name and organizational structure, Capital Associates will operate under the umbrella of McNees Wallace & Nurick’s Community Networking Resources subsidiary. Capital Associates employees Jay Layman, Paula Vitz, Nick Kratz, Sara Callie and Marla Wasson started with McNees in February 2018.

“Adding Capital Associates elevates our state lobbying to a higher and deeper level,” said David M. Kleppinger, chairman of McNees. “Their strong mix of youth and experience enhances our ability to serve our clients and the community and their integrity and reputation is aligned with ours.”

Capital Associates provide clients with more than 100 years of political, business and nonprofit organization experiences and successes. They enjoy a well-earned reputation for preparedness, integrity, resourcefulness, political acumen and dedication. The “CA Way” defines how they operate - ethical, experienced, full-service, client-focused and outcome-oriented. They don’t just talk about the “CA Way” or flash it across a website, they implement it every day on behalf of their clients.

Jay Layman has nearly 50 years’ experience in the Pennsylvania public affairs arena. He became a lobbyist for the law firm of Killian & Gephart in 1972 while attending law school and gained proficiency in grassroots advocacy and environmental issues resulting in legislation involving clean air and clean water issues, floodplain control, pesticide use, land use and acquisition of public lands. In addition to developing proficiency in environmental law during this period, Jay successfully developed and managed numerous client issues resulting in new or amended laws in the areas of transportation, health, education, professional licensure and state appropriations.

After 22 years of working for Killian & Gephart in a variety of roles, including Managing Partner and head of the firm’s lobbying practice, Jay Layman founded Capital Associates in 1994. Jay envisioned a public affairs firm that would combine the expertise and experience of lobbying, government affairs, public relations, law and strategic consulting based upon a team model of delivering client services in a collaborative environment. A founding principle of the firm was assuring there would be no potential for, perception of or actual conflict of interest among all clients and their issues, thus enabling the synergy of the team to be applied fully on behalf of each client without reservation.

Paula Vitz joined Capital Associates in July 2001 bringing more than 20 years of extensive experience at senior levels in both the Executive and Legislative branches of state government. She served in the Office of the Governor, the Senate of Pennsylvania, and the PA Department of Agriculture. She was Deputy Director of the Governor’s Office of Public Liaison under Governor Tom Ridge and oversaw appointments to more than 800 Boards and Commissions. She advised the Governor on a regular basis and worked closely with the General Assembly, cabinet members and the Governor’s executive staff on all gubernatorial appointments.

Paula held a variety of executive positions while in the Senate, including terms as Executive Director of four committees: Public Health and Welfare, Local Government, Game and Fisheries, and Military and Veterans Affairs. She worked on over 250 sets of regulations, contributed significantly to legislation that created the Health Care Cost Containment Council and was integral to the passage of the state’s most comprehensive oil and gas legislation.

In addition to her public service, Paula has been involved extensively in Pennsylvania electoral activities, including managing or assisting in campaigns for President, U.S. Senator, Governor, members of the General Assembly and offices at the local level. She serves on: the York County Community Foundation Board – Ag Advisory Board and the Anne Anstine Excellence in Public Service Series-Board of Directors.

Nick Kratz joined Capital Associates in April 2014 after leaving his position as Director of Governmental Affairs for the Pennsylvania Retailers’ Association where he managed their legislative issues and served as a lobbyist on behalf of over 60 Pennsylvania retail outlets. During his tenure at the Retailers’, Nick focused on issues such as liquor privatization, minimum wage, sales and use taxes, business taxes, and other retail industry-related issues.

Prior to working with the Pennsylvania Retailers’ Association, Nick served Governor Tom Corbett’s Office of Legislative Affairs, where he assisted in all aspects of the Governor’s legislative agenda. 

Sara Callie joined Capital Associates in June of 2017 following her graduation from Millersville University. During the Spring semester of 2017 Sara was selected for a government affairs internship with Capital Associates.  Throughout Sara’s internship, she acted in a supportive role, performing a variety of tasks for CA’s clients and fellow team members which included attending committee hearings, research, writing and grassroots advocacy on a diverse range of projects.  Sara’s hard work, attentiveness and ambition lead to her becoming the first intern CA hired at the completion of an internship.

Marla Wasson joined Capital Associates in June 2014, and provides financial management, compliance reporting and administrative oversight for the team. Marla’s current and prior financial leadership roles have included internal audit, taxes, general accounting and business management for a variety of small business organizations.

Marla has been appointed to and served as a Public Member on the following Pennsylvania professional licensure boards: State Board of Landscape Architects, State Board of Physical Therapy and State Board of Chiropractic.  She is now serving on the State Board of Optometry.