WASHINGTON – The National Association of Manufacturers announced a fifth wave of staff hires.

This wave of new hires includes another addition to the communications and brand strategy division as well as a significant expansion of the public affairs and mobilization division, which is rapidly growing the NAM’s footprint in communities across the country with a team of regionally-based public affairs operatives and issue advocacy experts.

These additions follow six months of growth at the NAM, which has invested in its advocacy and media relations teams.

“We are focused on building the most powerful, innovative and respected advocacy program in Washington and nationwide to advance the values that make America exceptional and empower manufacturers to lift up everyone: free enterprise, competitiveness, individual liberty and equal opportunity,” said NAM President and CEO Jay Timmons. “These new team members bring with them the talent, training and track record of success to help the NAM sustain an unrelenting ability to impact those issues most important to manufacturers across the country.”

The NAM Public Affairs and Mobilization division has hired:

Michael O’Brien, senior director of advocacy initiatives. Prior to joining the NAM, O’Brien spent the past four years as director of public affairs at the Association of Equipment Manufacturers (AEM). Before joining the AEM, O’Brien spent the previous six years as a reporter, working in Washington for NBC News and The Hill.

Kris Koenen, senior director of public advocacy. Kris spent the previous five years managing the development and execution of the NRA-ILA Grassroots Division’s national operations, including its FrontLines activist program, get out the vote (GOTV) campaign and legislative advocacy efforts at the federal, state and local levels. Prior to the NRA, Koenen worked on a number of campaigns. In his new role, Koenen will be building out our own state program and overseeing our GOTV, voter education and fly-in programming.

Todd Shelton, regional public affairs director for Ohio and Pennsylvania. Before joining the NAM, Shelton served for the past six years as Southeast district director for Sen. Rob Portman, overseeing 18 counties where he represented the senator to all government, community, constituent and regional leaders. On a day-to-day basis, he worked with public- and private-sector leaders on federal concerns with a strong focus on economic development issues. Prior to that, Shelton held positions at an economic development council and in former Sen. George Voinovich’s office. Shelton will be based out of Columbus, OH.

Elizabeth Van Holt, regional public affairs director for Illinois, Michigan and Wisconsin. Elizabeth joins the NAM from Illinois Gov. Bruce Rauner’s office, where she was the architect of a statewide grassroots field program, which organized an average of 5–10 events in each of Illinois’ 102 counties. Prior to joining Gov. Rauner’s office, Van Holt held senior positions in a number of public affairs firms and was the U.S. Chamber of Commerce’s regional field director for the Midwest. Van Holt will be based out of Chicago.

Josh Ward, regional public affairs director for North Carolina, South Carolina and Virginia. Prior to joining the NAM, Ward served as Southwest Field Representative for Sen. Richard Burr since 2013. Prior to joining Sen. Burr’s office, Ward worked for State Farm. Ward will be based out of Charlotte, N.C.

The NAM Communications and Brand Strategy division has hired:

Michael Shapiro, director of strategic communications. Shapiro most recently served as communications advisor to House Speaker Paul Ryan before joining the NAM team. Prior to joining the Speaker’s office, Michael was press secretary and policy adviser to then-House Chief Deputy Whip Peter Roskam. In his new role at the NAM, Shapiro will bolster the association’s growing media relations team currently led by Senior Director of Strategic Communications Michael Short and will manage a media portfolio that includes tax and trade policy as well as the NAM’s Manufacturing Institute, which focuses on workforce development issues.

For more information, visit www.nam.org.