Our Team

Mike Gardner
Principal
John Kelly
Principal
Barbara Meaney
Principal
Julie Rees
Principal

  Anyone who doesn't take truth seriously in small matters cannot be trusted in large ones either. 
- Albert Einstein

Mike Gardner     |     Principal     |     602-761-2764     |     mike@triadvocates.com

At Triadvocates:

With his business background and experience as a former lawmaker, Mike plays a significant role in the firm’s policy and advocacy business line. Nominated multiple times as one of the top lobbyists in the state by the Arizona Capitol Times, Mike represents a wide variety of clients across multiple industries at the state, local and federal level where he has spearheaded major reform efforts on large-scale policy initiatives, including reforms to Arizona’s tax system, regulatory structure and public safety pension system. His tenure as an elected official and senior staff advisor, coupled with his business experience, give Mike a unique understanding of how to help clients tell their story as they navigate the maze of government.

Before Triadvocates:

Mike’s political career was launched nearly 20 years ago when he served as a Page in the Arizona State Legislature. One of the youngest legislators to be elected at the time, Mike served three terms in the Arizona House of Representatives. During his tenure, he chaired both the Government Operations and Judiciary Committees, and served on the Ways & Means and Education Committees. Highly regarded by his peers for his political acumen, reputation for fairness, effective leadership, and bipartisan respect, Mike was selected as the Chief of Staff to the Arizona Senate President during a historic period when the Arizona Senate was evenly divided between Republicans and Democrats. Mike led the e-commerce division of a major local retail corporation while serving in the Arizona House of Representatives. Additional private sector experience includes a tenure with The Phoenix Symphony as the Operations Director.

Outside Triadvocates:

Mike stays busy playing with his three cute kids and spending time with his beautiful wife. Passionate about Arizona’s education system, Mikes serves on the board of the Arizona Education Foundation. He enjoys traveling with his family to warm tropical beaches, scuba diving and taking pictures of exotic fish and other amazing sea creatures.

  Lord, give us the wisdom to utter words that are gentle and tender, for tomorrow we may have to eat them.  
- Morris K. Udall

John Kelly     |     Principal     |     602-761-2767     |     john@triadvocates.com

At Triadvocates:

John leads the firm’s government marketing efforts, where he brings more than 30 years of rich career experience in government leadership, policy, public affairs, media and business. He also contributes considerable expertise to state and federal policy and advocacy efforts across a wide range of policy areas, with a particular passion for education and workforce development. John is a skilled meeting facilitator, and has extensive experience in strategic planning, public outreach and communications. Clients appreciate John's creativity, depth of knowledge, and sterling reputation for effective, respectful representation when lobbying state, local or federal entities.

Before Triadvocates

John has been a thought leader in the technology community in Arizona since serving as the state’s first Chief Information Officer and as the government relations and community solutions manager for Intel Corporation in Arizona. Prior experience includes serving as the federal/intergovernmental coordinator for the Office of the Governor, and as senior appropriations staff and legislative director for an Arizona Congressman.

Outside Triadvocates

John and his wife, Mary Lynn, are parents to three sons, and reside in a horse and chicken friendly neighborhood in North Phoenix. John is an avid basketball player, and loves biking and hiking in the Arizona sunshine.

  A smooth sea never made a skillful sailor. 
- Anonymous

Barbara Meaney     |     Principal     |     602-761-2763     |     barbara@triadvocates.com

At Triadvocates:
One of the firm’s founders, Barbara’s focus is in state-level policy and advocacy where she represents the firm’s clients before the Arizona State Legislature, the Governor's Office and executive branch agencies. She was named an Outstanding Woman in Business by the Phoenix Business Journal and is consistently recognized as one of the top lobbyists in Arizona by the Arizona Capitol Times. She has established herself as a highly effective advocate for a variety of private-sector enterprises with a special concentration in healthcare, telecommunications and education policy, as well as technology and energy matters.

Before Triadvocates:
Barbara has more than 20 years of experience in the lobbying and legal fields, including a judicial clerkship in Washington, D.C., and with the U.S. District Court for the District of Arizona. A "recovering" litigation attorney, she made the move to government relations in 1997 to pursue her interests in public policy and politics. Immediately prior to founding Triadvocates, Barbara was an integral member of the government relations practice group of Quarles & Brady LLP.

Outside Triadvocates:

A member of the Board of Directors for the Brophy Community Foundation and Legacy Foundation Chris-Town YMCA, Barbara enjoys giving back to her community. Barbara delights (most days) in spending time with her four growing-too-fast kids. On rare occasions, she and her husband have been known to sneak out for cocktails and dinner at some of their favorite local venues. An avid exercise enthusiast, Barbara is always looking for her next challenge.

  You only live once, but if you do it right, once is enough. 
- Mae West

Julie Rees     |     Principal     |     602-761-2765     |     julie@triadvocates.com

At Triadvocates:

Building on her prior service in local government, Julie provides leadership to the firm’s economic development practice where she has successfully managed more than $1 billion dollars in Arizona projects over the last decade. Recognized as an adept dealmaker by the Arizona Capitol Times, Julie’s experience ranges from transportation, health care, energy and housing infrastructure to tribal investment. At Triadvocates, Julie guides client interaction with local, state and federal officials.

Before Triadvocates:

Immediately prior to joining Triadvocates, Julie served as the principal staff and policy advisor to the mayor of one of Arizona’s largest cities. In that capacity, she was responsible for strategic planning, policy development and outreach in subject areas such as transportation and infrastructure, land-use planning and finance.

Outside Triadvocates:

Julie serves on the board of the Maricopa Community Colleges Foundation, the Women in Transportation Seminar (WTS) and is a member of Congressmen Ruben Gallego’s Women’s Advisory Council. Her prior service includes participation on the City of Phoenix’s Future Transportation Commission and Citizen’s Transit Commission. She is an alumni of the Luke Airforce Base Honorary Commander Program.

Julie and her husband enjoy living in historic Downtown Phoenix where they volunteer with their neighborhood association and are enthusiastic supporters of the Phoenix Art Museum. In her free time, Julie enjoys art, adventure and travel, and can often be found stimulating the local tax base through her appreciation for restaurants and retailers.

Richard Travis
Principal
Lauren King
Public Affairs Advisor
Lourdes Pena
Public Affairs Advisor
Meghan McCabe
Public Affairs Advisor

  Apparently, there is nothing that cannot happen today. 
- Mark Twain

Richard Travis     |     Principal     |     602-761-2762     |     richard@triadvocates.com

At Triadvocates:

With more than 20 years of experience in Arizona state government and public affairs, Richard provides seasoned leadership and support for the firm’s efforts at the local, state and federal level. His areas of expertise include transportation and infrastructure, education, public safety and criminal justice, economic development and public financing and budgeting. Recognized for this thoughtful and mature approach to solving complex policy issues, Richard has extensive expertise in strategic planning, coalition building and message development. Clients appreciate his composed and calm manner in the face of political adversity, and value the successful outcomes he has achieved whether traversing Congress or navigating our State Capitol, county seats, city halls or tribal councils.

Before Triadvocates:

Richard’s extensive public-sector experience includes executive-level positions in all three branches of state government, where he has served as Staff Director in the Arizona House of Representatives, Director of Government Affairs for the Arizona Supreme Court, Special Assistant Attorney General for Government Affairs for the Arizona Attorney General’s Office, and as Deputy Director for the Arizona Department of Transportation. Immediately prior to joining Triadvocates, Richard was a founding partner of a successful consulting firm servicing clients in Arizona and Washington, D.C.

Outside Triadvocates:

Richard and his wife have four active sons that keep them busy outside the office. When not engaged in family activities, Richard enjoys hiking, old movies and playing golf. Richard has served on several boards in the community and is currently the Vice Chairman of the ARC of Arizona, a non-profit organization that advocates for people with developmental disabilities.

  Those who have the privilege to know have the duty to act. 
- Albert Einstein

Lauren King     |     Public Affairs Advisor     |     602-761-2771     |     lauren@triadvocates.com

At Triadvocates:
Lauren’s diverse background in media relations and public affairs, along with her expertise in issues involving private and public sector technology and real estate policy, make her a valuable asset to the Triadvocates team. Recognized by the Arizona Capitol Times as one of the top lobbyists in the state under the age of 40, Lauren represents the firm’s interests before the Arizona State Legislature, the Office of the Governor, state agencies and various municipalities.

Before Triadvocates:
Prior to joining Triadvocates, Lauren served as an account executive at a top marketing and public relations firm, where she was responsible for executing local and national media campaigns for clients ranging from nonprofit groups to Fortune 500 companies. Her background also includes having developed and implemented grassroots campaigns surrounding legislation for one of Arizona’s largest nonprofit organizations. With an academic focus in journalism, Lauren has been a contributing writer for one of Arizona’s largest newspapers and has extensive experience working with local, national and international reporters and news outlets.

Outside Triadvocates:
Lauren is a proud supporter of several local organizations, including St. Vincent de Paul and Child Crisis Arizona, and is currently the Chair-Elect of the Herberger Theater Center’s Young Leadership Board—a group of young professionals with the primary purpose of ensuring that kids in our community – regardless of income or zip code – have access to arts education. An avid runner and snowboarder, Lauren spends as much time as possible outdoors and in the mountains. She currently lives in downtown Phoenix, and can be found at a local dog-friendly watering hole with Phoebe – her 70-pound Goldendoodle – on the weekends.

  Ability is what you are capable of doing. Motivation determines what you do. Attitude determines how well you do it. 
- Lou Holtz

Lourdes Pena     |     Public Affairs Advisor     |     602-761-2769     |     lourdes@triadvocates.com

At Triadvocates

Lourdes supports the firm’s policy and advocacy, government marketing, and economic development efforts. As a former legislative policy adviser, Lourdes has a great understanding of state government and comes with a unique perspective on how to navigate its intricacies.

Before Triadvocates

Lourdes gained extensive experience in state government through her service as a policy adviser at the Arizona House of Representatives. Where she spent the last four years focusing on K-12 education, pensions, and insurance issues. This time allowed her to develop expertise on the issues and gave her great insight on the complexities of the legislative process. In this role, she was responsible for policy development, legislative research, strategic planning, and stakeholder engagement. Lourdes was recently nominated by the Arizona Capitol Times for the 2016 Best Capitol Staffer award.

Prior to the Arizona House of Representatives and immediately after graduating from Arizona State University, Lourdes worked on political campaigns and with workers in the hospitality industry as an organizer.

Outside Triadvocates

Lourdes loves spending time with her family and going on new adventures with her awesome dad. She is a proud resident of downtown Phoenix and a strong contributor to our local businesses. In her free time, you can spot her biking to one of many favorite restaurants, theater and shops.

 

  Whatever you are, be a good one.  
- Abraham Lincoln

Meghan McCabe     |     Public Affairs Advisor     |     602-761-2766     |     meghan@triadvocates.com

At Triadvocates

Meghan supports the firm’s policy and advocacy, government marketing, and economic development goals.

Before Triadvocates

Meghan spent four years working in Washington, D.C., lobbying at the federal level for a variety of organizations.  Most recently, she was with Lewis-Burke Associates, LLC, a boutique lobbying firm serving institutions of higher education and scientific organizations.  There, she engaged with Congress, as well as the executive branch agencies.  Prior to Lewis-Burke, Meghan worked for the Federation of American Societies for Experimental Biology, a DC-based nonprofit focused on federal advocacy for research and development.

Outside Triadvocates

A proud second-generation Arizonan, Meghan enjoys the year-round sunshine of her home state. A fan of all things science, she was a repeat speaker at Nerd Nite DC, and hopes to continue that tradition in Arizona. You can probably find her in Arcadia, where she is getting to know her new neighborhood and taking advantage of the wonderful local restaurant scene.

Patti Alderson
Director of Operations
Trudy Buel
Business Administrator

  A lie gets halfway around the world before the truth has a chance to get its pants on. 
- Sir Winston Churchill

Patti Alderson     |     Director of Operations     |     602-761-2772     |     patti@triadvocates.com

At Triadvocates:
A founding member of Triadvocates, Patti applies her unmatched experience built over 30 years in public affairs administration to implement and manage administrative systems and procedures for the firm. She is a widely acknowledged expert in regulatory and legislative processes and is responsible for the firm’s compliance with state and federal lobbyist and campaign finance laws.

Before Triadvocates:
Patti’s prior experience includes administrative and legal support for some of the state’s most prominent law firms and six years on Capitol Hill serving in multiple staff positions for former U.S. Senator Jon Kyl.

Outside Triadvocates:
Patti volunteers much of her spare time to the presidency of her homeowners association. Passionate about recycling, she also serves on the board of directors of Keep Arizona Beautiful. In the time that's left, she enjoys exercising, shopping and spoiling the dog and cat who own her.

  When all is said and done, success without happiness is the worst kind of failure. 
- Louis Binstock

Trudy Buel     |     Business Administrator     |     602-761-2761     |     trudy@triadvocates.com

At Triadvocates:
With more than 25 years of experience in the legal and accounting sectors, Trudy manages several areas of the firm’s administration with a key focus on budget and finance. She supports a wide range of enterprise functions including business operations, accounting and office administration. 

Before Triadvocates:
Prior to joining Triadvocates, Trudy served in a variety of capacities for some of the state’s most prominent law and accounting firms. She holds a degree in accounting and is pursuing an additional bachelor’s degree in business administration.

Outside Triadvocates:
As one of 15 children, Trudy appreciates the value of family. She enjoys spending time with her husband, two grown daughters and beautiful grandchildren whom Trudy has been known to spoil on an occasion or two. A talented artist, Trudy’s work has been featured at local markets and holiday festivals throughout the Valley. When she's not with family, you'll find her curled up with a good book or taking to the open road with her husband on the back of their Harley-Davidson.



We help more Fortune 100 companies navigate the maze of government than any other lobbying firm in Arizona - and we get results.