Our Team

With expertise in both the political process and scientific areas of interest to funding entities, we are able to clearly and effectively communicate the language of science to public officials and key decision-makers. Our team has over 150 years of combined experience in government relations and the life sciences and biotech industry.

Our team consists of:

  • Scientists
  • Pharmaceutical executives
  • Attorneys
  • Biotech entrepreneurs
  • Former Department of Defense program managers
  • Public health policy experts
  • Federal Congressional staffers

Our team has diverse educational backgrounds:

  • (PhD): Molecular Biology, Biochemistry, Microbiology
  • Juris Doctors (JD)
  • Masters of Business Administration (MBA)
  • Masters of Public Affairs (MPA)
  • Masters of Arts (MA)
  • Public health policy experts
  • Certified Professional Healthcare Management

Our people… your advocates.
We are your advocate in Washington. We know the issues and know how to effectively target them to set your company apart from the competition.

In addition to our core team, we retain various consultants, such as former high-ranking government officials and industry executives, for assistance with client needs and projects. We are here to help you navigate the labyrinth of the federal government and other funding entities. With our low client-to-specialist ratio and scientific expertise, we truly become an extension of your team.

Stephen
Conafay

Principal


Marily H.
Rhudy

Executive Vice President


Brian
Pfister, PhD, MBA

Senior Vice President


Gregory J.
Davenport, PhD

Vice President


William A.
Franco

Vice President


Jessica
Kenyon

Vice President


Julie P.
Pawelczyk

Vice President


Erica L.
Woodward

Director of Operations and Client Relations


Evangeline
Smith

Project Manager


Emily
Wheeler

Project Manager


Hannah
Baer

Research
Associate

Dana
Marston

Director of Operations

Gaylon
Morris

Consultant, MorSolutions

Amanda
Vitale

Research
Associate

Janelle
Cruz, MPH

Project
Manager

 
 
 

Stephen Conafay

Principal

Steve Conafay has 35 years of leadership and management experience in government relations, public policy and communications. As the sole principal at The Conafay Group, he oversees all client servicing. While leader of the bio-life science practice at Fabiani & Company, he oversaw more than $810 million in non-dilutive financing awarded to the team’s clients.

For 12 years, Mr. Conafay was vice president of government relations for Pfizer, where he was elected as a corporate officer in 1984. He served as senior vice president of corporate affairs for Glaxo Inc., where he was also a member of the Board of Directors. After heading the legislative practice for Jones, Day, Reavis and Pogue, the world’s second largest law firm, he was tapped by the Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America (PhRMA) to assume the No. 2 position of executive vice president of strategic and legislative affairs. He also served as an executive fellow at the American Enterprise Institute, the leading free market think tank in the U.S. After moving to the New York area, Mr. Conafay joined Shandwick, where he assumed several positions of increasing responsibility, culminating with his appointment as chief executive officer for The Americas-East in 2000.

Mr. Conafay is a lawyer and a decorated Vietnam veteran. He served as an infantry platoon leader and was awarded the Silver Star, Bronze Star with Oak Leaf Cluster, the Air Medal and the Army Commendation Medal, among others. He is also an avid golfer and has been a member of Congressional Country Club for more than 30 years. Mr. Conafay is a lifelong fan of the New York and San Francisco Giants. In his 60s, he ran and completed four Army 10-miler races, and plans to continue competing in his 70s.

Overview


Experience

Stephen Conafay has 35 years of leadership and management experience in government relations, public policy and communications.


Education

BA, Kenyon College, Gambier, OH
JD, American University, Washington, D.C.


Contact

Stephen Conafay
202.803.4214
conafay@conafaygroup.com

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Marily H. Rhudy

Executive Vice President

Marily H. Rhudy has more than 25 years of professional experience in the pharmaceutical industry, managing high impact public affairs initiatives and corporate communications activities for a Fortune 200 Company.

For fifteen years, Ms. Rhudy led the corporate public affairs function at then-Wyeth in Madison, N.J. She served as senior vice president of public affairs for Wyeth with responsibility for state, federal and international government affairs; corporate communications, including brand management, crisis and media relations; community relations; and strategic philanthropy. She established a record of developing integrated communications programs that enhanced company reputation, focused corporate giving on strategic company goals and measurably improved media coverage. Her responsibilities also included leading the company’s advocacy with trade associations like the Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America (PhRMA) and the Biotechnology Industry Organization (BIO). She served on the Wyeth Management and Operations Committee, the senior governing body for the company, reporting to the company’s chairman and CEO. Her public affairs staff included 100 professionals.

After retiring from Wyeth in 2008, Ms. Rhudy launched a public affairs consulting practice. Her clients included Talecris Biotherapeutics, headquartered in Research Triangle Park, N.C., and Becton, Dickinson and Company of Franklin Lakes, N.J. For Talecris, Ms. Rhudy established the corporate public affairs function, leading its communications, public policy and state and federal government affairs efforts.

Over a ten-year period, Ms. Rhudy served as chairman of the board, president, treasurer and trustee of the American Pharmaceutical Association, a Washington, D.C.-based professional membership organization representing 60,000 pharmacists and pharmaceutical scientists. Prior to her position at Wyeth, Ms. Rhudy was appointed by the President to serve on the White House Task Force on Health Care Reform in 1993.

Ms. Rhudy graduated from the University of Kansas with a bachelor’s degree in pharmacy, and was named a distinguished alumna in 1998. She was subsequently inducted into the University of Kansas Women’s Hall of Fame in 2014.

Overview


Experience

Marily H. Rhudy has more than 25 years of professional experience in the pharmaceutical industry, managing high impact public affairs initiatives and corporate communications activities for a Fortune 200 Company.


Education

BS, University of Kansas, Lawrence, KS
Member, Women’s Hall of Fame, University of Kansas


Contact

Marily H. Rhudy
908.337.2343
mrhudy@conafaygroup.com

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Brian Pfister, PhD, MBA

Senior Vice President

Dr. Brian Pfister has more than 15 years of experience in leading early-stage corporate strategy and non-dilutive funding efforts in various life science sectors. He provides expertise in federal research programs and corporate funding strategy to the Conafay Group.

For more than four and a half years, Dr. Pfister managed the future strategy and programming of federal funding in regenerative medicine for the Department of Defense within the Clinical and Rehabilitative Medicine Research Program (CRMRP) at the U.S. Army Medical Research and Materiel Command (MRMC). His federal research portfolio included the Armed Forces Institute of Regenerative Medicine (AFIRM) and congressionally directed research programs such as the Peer Reviewed Restorative Transplantation Research (RTR) Program.

Before working with the U.S. Army, Dr. Pfister was the chief executive officer of Articular Engineering, a private biotechnology company focused on the development of cellular therapeutics for the orthopedic market. In this capacity, he led the development of program success metrics, resource-based analysis, business plan and business case development, market research, budgets, valuation model development and capital-raising efforts. He established a service-based business unit that partnered with pharmaceutical and biotech clients during preclinical research and development efforts. He has also served as the technical director for a quality and safety testing laboratory serving the food and nutraceutical industry.

Dr. Pfister ran track and cross country throughout college and remains an avid ultra-distance runner, competing in numerous events each year up to 100 miles in distance. He received a doctorate in biochemistry from Rush University Medical Center in Chicago and a Master of Business Administration from The University of Notre Dame.

Overview


Experience

Dr. Brian Pfister has more than 15 years of experience in leading early-stage corporate strategy and non-dilutive funding efforts in various life science sectors.


Education

PhD, Biochemistry, Rush University Medical Center, Chicago, IL
MBA, University of Notre Dame, Notre Dame, IN


Contact

Brian Pfister, PhD, MBA
202.803.4208
bpfister@conafaygroup.com

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Gregory J. Davenport, PhD

Vice President

Dr. Gregory J. Davenport has more than 22 years of experience in medical product development and government contracting. At The Conafay Group, he assists clients with strategic planning, corporate development, and securing non-dilutive funding from various federal agencies.

Prior to joining The Conafay Group, Dr. Davenport was the executive vice president and chief operating officer of Logical Technical Services (LTS) and chairman and co-founder of Dport and Associates, LLC (DPA), a broad-based professional management firm that provides value-added business solutions to various clients in the life sciences and biotechnology industries. He assisted clients with corporate and business development, including fundraising, negotiating licensing agreements, establishing strategic partnerships, and interfacing with third parties in identifying business opportunities. His efforts resulted in several rounds of funding and business totaling more than $160 million for various clients including Nanovec, Inc., a Philadelphia-based biotechnology company he co-founded to develop nanoparticulate-based delivery platforms for next-generation vaccines and immunotherapeutics.

Throughout his career, Dr. Davenport has held various C-level executive positions with both private and publicly traded life science companies, including Tunnell Consulting, an employee-owned company providing scientific consulting to federal and life science clients; DOR BioPharma, Inc., a publicly traded biotech company; and Dynport Vaccine Company, a subsidiary of Computer Sciences Corporation (CSC) with annual sales of $16.2 billion where he secured more than $350 million in non-dilutive funding.

Dr. Davenport earned a bachelor’s degree in biology from Dillard University in New Orleans, received his doctorate in molecular biology from Howard University in Washington, D.C., and performed post-doctoral studies at the University of Maryland Medical Center and George Washington University Medical Center. Dr. Davenport currently serves on the board of LouisianaBio (LA state affiliate of Biotechnology Industry Association); on the advisory board of the Mount Saint Mary’s University Biotechnology and Management Program; and serves on the advisory council for the Mount Opportunities for Success in Science (MOSS), a National Science Foundation S-STEM funded program.  Dr. Davenport is an avid golfer, jazz fanatic, and loves a good cigar and scotch.

Overview


Experience

Dr. Gregory Davenport has more than 22 years of experience building organizations and managing scientific programs.


Education

BS, Biology, Dillard University, New Orleans, LA
PhD, Molecular Biology, Howard University, Washington, D.C.


Contact

Gregory J. Davenport, PhD
202.803.4210
gdavenport@conafaygroup.com

Download Bio PDF

William A. Franco

Vice President

William A. Franco has more than 30 years of experience working with the federal government, national trade associations and corporate government affairs programs in both state and federal relations. Mr. Franco currently serves as a government affairs advisor to The Conafay Group, focusing primarily on healthcare and biopharmaceutical policy issues.

Mr. Franco began his career in Washington, D.C. as a legislative assistant to Congressman Daniel E. Lungren (R-Calif.). He received a presidential appointment from the Reagan Administration in 1986 as a special assistant and congressional liaison for the United States Information Agency, and continued this role with the George H.W. Bush Administration. Mr. Franco continued his career in government affairs with the Pharmaceutical Care Management Association (PCMA), American’s Health Insurance Plans (AHIP) and Merck & Co. Inc. Prior to his current work with The Conafay Group, he was head of Washington operations and government affairs for Amylin Pharmaceuticals and head of policy for Mallinckrodt Pharmaceuticals, Inc.

Mr. Franco holds a bachelor’s degree in political science from California State University, Long Beach and is certified as a Professional, Healthcare Management from the Academy for Healthcare Management. He is an avid runner, having completed 21 marathons in the U.S. and Europe since 1993, as well as the 2010 Lake Placid and 2016 France Iron Man triathlons.

Overview


Experience

William A. Franco has more than 30 years of experience working with the federal government, national trade associations and corporate government affairs programs in both state and federal relations.


Education

BA, Political Science, California State University Long Beach, Long Beach, CA


Download Bio PDF

Jessica Kenyon

Vice President

Jessica Kenyon has 17 years of experience with the development of advanced medical technology, with special expertise in the federal research and acquisition.  For the Conafay Group, she leads our efforts with academic and other multi-investigator organizations, providing expertise in federal R&D programs as well as in partnerships across government, academia, and industry.

For more than four and a half years, Jessica served as Vice President for Health and Life Science Programs at American Defense International, Inc., where she advised numerous corporate, academic, and non-profit clients, both domestic and international, on their federal engagement strategy, particularly with the Department of Defense (DoD).

Jessica came to the private sector with more than 10 years of experience in the oversight, planning, and management of DoD medical research and development (R&D) programs in multiple technical domains.  From 2001 to 2011, she served in several capacities at the U.S. Army Telemedicine and Advanced Technology Research Center (TATRC), where she played a central role in developing a portfolio of medical research to deliver critical medical technologies to the warfighter.  Jessica served as the Director of TATRC’s West Coast Satellite Office in Marina del Rey, California, where she worked to build strategic partnerships among government, academia, and industry in order to foster successful military medical R&D.  While at TATRC West, Jessica served as TATRC’s liaison with congressional staff and research award recipients in the Western U.S, and oversaw TATRC’s research portfolio in human performance optimization.  In addition, she established and funded competitive research programs to promote, support, and accelerate university-based, military-relevant medical research and entrepreneurship in Southern California.  Before taking the reins of TATRC West, Jessica served as Congressional Liaison at TATRC’s headquarters office, a role that required her to understand and communicate all aspects of proposal selection, funding, and product development processes within the Army as well as the tri-service realm. Jessica also served as a liaison between TATRC and the Joint Medical Information Systems Office, creating a partnership between the two entities that would facilitate the transition of new and innovative health information technologies from the bench to the bedside.

Since 2003, Jessica has been an avid endurance athlete, having completed numerous marathons and many other running events, as well as more than 20 triathlons, including Ironman Cozumel in 2009.  Born and raised in Frederick, Maryland, Jessica graduated Phi Beta Kappa from Johns Hopkins University, and earned her Master of Arts from Bryn Mawr College.

Overview


Experience

Jessica Kenyon has 17 years of experience with the development of advanced medical technology, with special expertise in the federal research and acquisition.  For the Conafay Group, she provides expertise in federal R&D programs as well as in partnerships across government, academia, and industry.


Education

BA, Johns Hopkins University, Baltimore, MD

MA, Bryn Mawr College, Bryn Mawr, PA


Contact

Jessica Kenyon
202.803.4213
jkenyon@conafaygroup.com

Download Bio PDF

Julie P. Pawelczyk

Vice President

With more than 20 years experience in Washington, D.C., Julie Pawelczyk serves as a legislative advocate on behalf of multiple nonprofit and corporate clients.  She has extensive experience working with companies developing medical technology, as well as organizations focused on health and education programs, such as patient advocacy groups, child protection programs, medical research, and elementary and secondary education.

Ms. Pawelczyk began her Washington career as staff to Rep. Jack Davis (R-IL), before joining several different lobbying firms where she represented nonprofit clients with interests in higher education, elementary education, health services, and scientific research – including biomedical and behavioral research. For the last 15 years, her advocacy efforts have focused on federal budget and appropriations.

Ms. Pawelczyk received her bachelor’s degree in journalism from the University of Illinois.  She also holds a Master of Arts in Liberal Studies with a concentration in social and public policy from Georgetown University.

Overview


Experience

With more than 20 years experience in Washington, D.C., Julie Pawelczyk serves as a legislative advocate on behalf of multiple nonprofit and corporate clients.


Education

Bachelor’s degree, Journalism, University of Illinois, Champaign-Urbana, IL

MA, Liberal Studies, Georgetown University, Washington, D.C.


Contact

Julie Pawelczyk
202.803.42111
jpawelczyk@conafaygroup.com

Download Bio PDF

Erica L. Woodward

Director of Operations and Client Relations

Providing more than a decade’s experience supporting Members of Congress and heads of practice at a national law firm, Erica Woodward handles all aspects of The Conafay Group’s client management and administrative operations.

Trusted, discrete, and detail-focused, Ms. Woodward coordinates client fly-ins and outreach to Capitol Hill, along with planning and executing internal and external events. Interfacing directly with clients, she often acts as a liaison with federal contacts. In addition, Ms. Woodward oversees The Conafay Group’s federal lobbying disclosures and compliance.

Prior to joining The Conafay Group, Ms. Woodward was a member of the federal government affairs and public policy practice for Manatt, Phelps, and Phillips, LLP. Prior to Manatt, she served for nearly a decade on Capitol Hill, where she maintains strong bipartisan congressional relationships. During her tenure as senior aide to two dynamic Congressmen in the California delegation, Ms. Woodward worked with the House Agriculture, Rules, Natural Resources, and Foreign Affairs Committees as well as with the Blue Dog and Congressional Hispanic Caucuses.

Ms. Woodward is a graduate of Centre College in Kentucky, with a Bachelors of Arts degree in International Relations focused on Latin American and African studies.

Overview


Experience

Providing more than a decade’s experience supporting Members of Congress and heads of practice at a national law firm, Erica Woodward handles all aspects of The Conafay Group’s client management and administrative operations.


Education

BA, International Relations, Center College, Danville, Kentucky


Contact

Erica L. Woodward
ewoodward@conafaygroup.com

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EVANGELINE SMITH

Project Manager

Evie Smith is a project manager with The Conafay Group, focusing on client servicing, marketing, and conducting research for the firm’s funding team. She previously held a year-long internship position with the company, during which she participated in client meetings, attended relevant conferences in the DC area, and performed extensive research on health policy topics related to client needs.

During her undergraduate years, Ms. Smith gained experience with medical financials through a fiscally-focused internship with the City of San Antonio Metropolitan Health District, as well as international affairs through an internship with the City of San Antonio International Relations Office. She participated in the GW School of Medicine and Health Sciences’ Interdisciplinary Student Community-Oriented Prevention Enhancement Service (ISCOPES), a service-learning volunteering initiative that connects GW undergraduate, MPH, and MD students with underserved communities in the D.C. area. Through this program, Ms. Smith worked with a small team to create and implement a year-long curriculum focused on adult health literacy at two local sites. She gained skills in leadership and planning as well as a better understanding of the varying degrees of health literacy. She later served as Education Chair for the GW chapter of Delta Epsilon Mu, a co-ed professional fraternity for students with interest in the pre-health field. In this role, she supported students by creating opportunities for peer-to-peer tutoring.

Ms. Smith earned a bachelor’s degree in Public Health from The George Washington University’s Milken Institute School of Public Health, where she graduated summa cum laude and is a member of Phi Beta Kappa. Originally born in the UK, she is fluent in both English and American.

Overview


Experience

Evie Smith is a project manager with The Conafay Group, focusing on client servicing, marketing, and conducting research for the firm’s funding team.


Education

BS, Public Health, The George Washington University’s Milken Institute School of Public Health, Washington, D.C.


Contact

Evangeline Smith

202.844.2366
esmith@conafaygroup.com

Download Bio PDF

Emily Wheeler

Project Manager

Emily Wheeler is a Project Manager with The Conafay Group, providing support for the firm’s policy team. Bridging experience on Capitol Hill with skills developed in public health and analytics, Ms. Wheeler works to ensure efficient, thorough and effective client servicing.

Throughout her undergraduate career, Ms. Wheeler gained experience in health care policy and provision both domestically and internationally. She conducted fieldwork in Senegal, Rwanda and the Philippines focused on health care in several capacities: maternal and child health, nutrition, emergency relief for refugee populations, and monitoring and evaluation for a variety of programs. Additionally, she developed skills in project management and overall programmatic analysis through collaboration with local and international health and development experts. Working with non-profit organizations abroad in the health sector strengthened her ability to think critically regarding scope and impact of health care access. Ms. Wheeler also gained knowledge of the federal landscape through a long-term internship with a Congressman who represents her home district in Oregon. She worked closely with Hill staffers in a host of different areas, developing a keen interest in issues related to health and medicine. Ms. Wheeler’s strengths in research, data and analysis were identified by university faculty in her undergraduate years, during which she was invited to present an original analysis on overall performance of health care systems to upper-level political science students.

Ms. Wheeler was a Presidential Academic Scholar at the George Washington University, and earned a bachelor’s degree in International Affairs with dual concentrations in Global Public Health and International Development, graduating magna cum laude. She also gained Spanish fluency through coursework in Spain.

Overview


Experience

Emily Wheeler has widespread health care policy experience both domestically and internationally along with extensive time spent with public health analytics.


Education

BA, magna cum laude, George Washington University, Washington, DC


Contact

Emily Wheeler
ewheeler@conafaygroup.com

Download Bio PDF

Hannah Baer

Research Associate

Hannah Baer is a Research Associate with The Conafay Group providing a wide range of support for the firm, from monitoring and analyzing policy to researching funding opportunities and ensuring effective client servicing.

During her undergraduate career Ms. Baer spent over two years working for The Optical Society, a leading scientific society, conducting cutting edge market research in the photonics industry. She utilized her research and data analysis skills to support a variety of teams at OSA, including policy and new business development. Prior to this, she interned for an Anthem Inc. contractor, working with subject matter experts to develop healthcare management trainings. Additionally, she researched the impact of artificial technology on labor market trends in her university’s physics department. Ms. Baer also worked all four years in GW’s alumni relations office gaining extensive knowledge of non-profit fundraising and program management.

Ms. Baer earned her B.S. in Economics and minor in Public Health from The George Washington University as a Presidential Academic Scholar. She also studied international business and management abroad in Vienna Austria at one of Europe’s top business schools.

Overview


Experience

Hannah has strong credentialing in research and analytical skills. She supports both policy and funding clients.


Education

BS, George Washington University, Washington, DC


Contact

Hannah Baer
hbaer@conafaygroup.com

Download Bio PDF

Dana Marston

Director of Operations

Dana Marston brings an exceptional understanding of the intersection between business and government to The Conafay Group, regularly leveraging her experience in operations, logistics, advocacy and relationship development for clients.

An expert in project and campaign operations, Ms. Marston is noted for her work leading national non-profit organizations in their pursuit of forward-thinking reform aimed at lifting people out of poverty. In this capacity, she managed key elements of a partnership between a non-profit and top-20 national university focused on driving 21st century academic research and social innovation to create scalable solutions to domestic poverty. As part of Manatt, Phelps & Phillips’ government affairs and public policy practice, she also assisted clientele in developing and implementing strategic advocacy, grassroots and grasstops campaigns. Prior to joining Manatt, she served as director of strategic initiatives for Capitol Management Initiatives (CMI), a leading Washington, D.C.-based strategy and public affairs firm.

Ms. Marston joined CMI after more than nine years with Anheuser-Busch Companies, where she served as chief of staff for the vice president of government affairs and manager of the company’s influential Washington, D.C., office. In this role, she managed a $4.8 million budget while coordinating both federal and internal reporting of government, lobbying and charitable activities and ensured compliance at all levels. She also coordinated the company’s promotional and political engagement for two presidential campaign cycles. She played a key role in the transformation and growth of the company’s government affairs operation before, during and after its 2008 merger with InBev. Throughout her tenure with the company, she was successful in coordinating with all levels of management as well as corporate partners, such as lobbying groups, charitable organizations and government entities.

A native of Homedale, Idaho, Ms. Marston holds a bachelor’s degree in visual communication from the University of Idaho and a Master of Business Administration from The George Washington University.

Overview


Experience

Dana Marston brings an exceptional understanding of the intersection between business and government to The Conafay Group, regularly leveraging her experience in operations, logistics, advocacy and relationship development for clients.


Education

BS, Visual Communication, University of Idaho, Moscow, ID
MBA, George Washington University, Washington, D.C.


Contact

Dana Marston
dmarston@conafaygroup.com

Download Bio PDF

Gaylon Morris

Consultant, MorSolutions

Gaylon Morris has more than 20 years’ experience working across public health, public policy and alliance development in both the public and private sectors. He currently serves as a policy and advocacy advisor to The Conafay Group, focusing primarily on alliance development.

Mr. Morris began his career with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) where he spent more than 13 years working in a variety of public policy and public health positions. In his final position with CDC, Mr. Morris served as a senior advisor to the CDC director on policy and communication strategy, and led a team that provided leadership and guidance in policy development and analysis for the agency. He continued his career with a move to Wyeth, a major research-based pharmaceutical company, where he strengthened the company’s partnership base by forging strategic alliances with major national and international health policy associations, professional societies and patient advocacy groups, as well as building new relationships with non-traditional partners, such as Federal government agencies. In 2010, Mr. Morris launched MorSolutions, a public affairs firm specializing in advocacy and alliance development. In this capacity, he works with his clients to develop and advance policy solutions through strategic partnerships and alliances.

Mr. Morris holds a bachelor’s degree in economics from Southwestern University, a master’s degree in public affairs from the University of Texas at Austin, and a master’s degree in literature from Georgia State University. He is an avid Crossfitter, but still hates every single burpee and wall ball that he has to complete.

Overview


Experience

Gaylon Morris has more than 20 years’ experience working across public health, public policy and alliance development in both the public and private sectors.


Education

BBA, Economics, Southwestern University, Georgetown, TX
MA, Literature, Georgia State University, Atlanta, GA
MPA, Public Affairs, University of Texas at Austin, Austin, TX


Download Bio PDF

Amanda Vitale

Research Associate

Amanda Vitale is a Research Associate with The Conafay Group where she supports the policy team. She comes to The Conafay Group after working at the United States Senate.

Ms. Vitale previously served healthcare clients in lobbying and consulting fields where she drafted memos, conducted legislative analysis, and corresponded with clients. Amanda also worked for a year at a state government affairs shop, giving her experience at different levels of government.

As an undergraduate, Ms. Vitale worked as a production/desk assistant and a journalist at an NBC affiliate where she fine-tuned her writing and time management skills. As a deputy field organizer for a gubernatorial campaign, she was responsible for managing a team of interns and putting on canvassing events.

Ms. Vitale graduated from the University of Missouri with degrees in Journalism and Political Science. Originally from Arizona, Ms. Vitale spends her free-time in Washington, D.C. volunteering for Honor Flight, a veterans’ organization.

Overview


Experience

Amanda Vitale is a Research Associate that handles client servicing and legislative research. She supports the firm’s policy team.


Education

BA, Political Science and BJ, Account Management, University of Missouri-Columbia, Columbia, Missouri


Download Bio PDF

Janelle Cruz, MPH

Project Manager

Janelle Cruz brings 10 years of experience of working in various sectors of the healthcare industry, including health information management, clinical pharmacy, community health, occupational health, and global health. Ms. Cruz currently serves as a Project Manager for The Conafay Group. She provides support for the firm’s funding team in assisting life science clients who seek non-dilutive government funding, advocacy outreach, and alliance formation to develop pharmaceutical and biological products, diagnostics, and devices.

Ms. Cruz began her healthcare career in physician billing and medical records at Providence Health and Services, and then worked as a pharmacy assistant with The Everett Clinic. She continued her career and solely created a successful pilot diabetes education training curriculum for a Hispanic community health worker program, Promotoras de Salud, which provides health education and resources to low-income Hispanic families in the state of Washington. This curriculum has been translated from English to Spanish and is currently being used by the program for training purposes. Promotoras de Salud is a program of Familias Unidas, one of eight family centers operated by Lutheran Community Services Northwest, a non-profit human services agency that assists refugee and immigrant communities throughout Washington, Oregon, and Idaho.

Prior to joining The Conafay Group, Ms. Cruz worked as a Program Manager within the Office of Performance, Analysis, and Quality at Federal Occupational Health, a non-appropriated agency within the Program Support Center of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. In this capacity, Ms. Cruz led the development and implementation of a comprehensive, large-scale, nationwide lactation support program, which aimed to provide formal support for nursing mothers employed by U.S. federal agencies. She played a central role in the strategic planning, facilitation, and management of the operational and tactical aspects of the program.

Born and raised in a military family, Ms. Cruz has spent much of her childhood living overseas. Ms. Cruz received her Bachelor of Arts in Health Studies from University of Washington. She also holds a Master of Public Health in Global Health, with a concentration in Program Design, Monitoring, and Evaluation from the Milken Institute School of Public Health at The George Washington University.

Overview


Experience

Janelle Cruz brings 10 years of experience of working in various sectors of the healthcare industry, including health information management, clinical pharmacy, community health, occupational health, and global health.


Education

BA, University of Washington
MPH, George Washington University


Contact

Janelle Cruz
jcruz@conafaygroup.com