The Honorable Ron Packard, Senior Partner
The Honorable Ron Packard has a very distinguished career in public service, extending back over more than three decades and culminating with 18 years as a Member of the United States House of Representatives. Due largely to his many years of experience in local government (as a Mayor and City Council member and school board trustee) upon his election to Congress in 1982, he dedicated himself to public works and natural resources issues that would favorably impact the quality of life for his Southern California constituents. Those issues would include mass transit, highway, flood control and water conservation projects.
Mr. Packard spent his first decade in Congress as an influential member of the House Public Works & Transportation Committee (now known as the Transportation and Infrastructure Committee) which was responsible for authorizing national highway and mass transit projects. The pinnacle of his service on this committee was his leadership role in the design, drafting and ultimate passage of the original Intermodal Surface Transportation Efficiency Act, which was signed into law in 1991. That historic legislation continues to shape national transportation policy today.
Following his tenure on the Public Works Committee, Mr. Packard was appointed to serve on the prestigious House Committee on Appropriations. Due to his reputation as an expert and leader on resource issues, he was selected to serve on the Committee on Appropriations and two terms later became the Chairman of the Appropriations subcommittee on Energy and Water Development.
As one of only 13 senior subcommittee chairman (colloquially know as the Cardinals), he was responsible for the approval of hundreds of billions of dollars in annual funding for various projects. Consequently, Mr. Packard has developed exceptional insight into the complex process to which local projects are subjected when federal funding or regulatory approvals are sought.
Donald J. Polese, Managing Partner
Don Polese has accumulated an impressive regulatory track record, with over a decade of proven results for PGA clients in their issues with Federal regulatory agencies including the Army Corps of Engineers, Bureau of Reclamation, Fish and Wildlife Service and EPA. He also specializes in identifying programmatic and grant opportunities for PGA’s clients. He serves as the Managing Partner of PGA, handling all contractual, personnel, and day-to-day firm management.
Mr. Polese has extensive knowledge of federal government legislative and regulatory policy having served as Congressman Packard’s District Director/Representative for eight years. With specific oversight for operations in San Diego and Riverside counties, Mr. Polese was responsible for establishing the Congressional district offices in North San Diego County and the Inland Empire and subsequently managed them for eight years.
In his district role, Mr. Polese was Congressman Packard’s primary contact with local governments, special districts, and transit agencies for projects and funding requests before the federal government.
Prior to his service with Mr. Packard, Mr. Polese was the Legislative Director in Washington D.C. from 1985 to 1991 for Honberger & Associates (now Walters & Associates) and lobbied for several Southern California local government agencies, including the Counties of San Diego, Riverside and Ventura as well as the San Diego Metropolitan Transit Development Board and the North San Diego County Transit District. He is a graduate of Georgetown University and has completed graduate study at George Washington and Catholic Universities.
Scott D. Packard, Partner
Scott Packard joined his father Ron Packard and Don Polese as a partner at Packard Government Affairs after his own distinguished career in municipal politics. With PGA, Scott heads up the firm’s local government relations work and is its primary liaison with Southern California and Nevada cities, counties and special districts.
Born and raised in Carlsbad, Scott has closely followed the sterling example of community service set by former Congressman Packard. As a young business owner and family man, Scott ran for and served a distinguished tenure on the Vista City Council.
During his service on the Council, Scott took a particular role of influence on issues essential to the economic development and residential build out of his growing city. He served as the City’s representative to the San Diego Association of Governments (SANDAG), the Encina Waste Water Authority, Buena Vista Lagoon Foundation, and on the City’s Traffic and Parks and Recreation Committees.
Scott also took a very keen interest in public safety issues and was one of the City’s principal links with the County of San Diego Sheriff’s Department. He took extra time each month to ride along with Sheriff patrol units, and frequently accompanied paramedics during their work shifts. Additionally, under former long-term Mayor Gloria McClellan, Scott was named Mayor Pro Tempore.
In 2006, Scott ran for the Republican nomination in California’s 74th Assembly District. While he was unsuccessful in a close primary race, he accumulated a great deal of knowledge of State legislative issues and became deeply familiar with the needs of the communities within the large North San Diego County district.
In addition to his lifelong calling to public service, Scott has also had a successful private sector career in construction and real estate, both in North San Diego County and Southern Nevada. He and his wife Yvette have raised five children, and currently are the proud grandparents of five.
Caroline A. Thompson, Senior Associate & Director of Grants
In 2006, Caroline Thompson joined Packard Government Affairs specializing in federal appropriations and intergovernmental affairs. In her nearly two decade career, she has helped secure more than $800 million in federal, state and local funding and grants for transportation, economic development, energy, homeland security and non-profits.
Previously, Ms. Thompson served as Director of Public Policy for San Diego County Supervisor Ron Roberts where she was responsible for issues including land-use, transportation, environmental, energy, water, public works, parks and the California Air Resources Board.
Prior to that Ms. Thompson was responsible for the federal, state and local government relations for North County Transit District. There she facilitated a multi-million dollar grant program–including securing major funding for a new rail line, launched the San Diego region’s first transit coalition, advised the 9 member board of directors on policy, developed legislative initiatives and advocated the transit agency’s interests before governmental bodies, businesses and citizens.
Ms. Thompson has also worked for non-profits including a think tank, United States Senator Connie Mack (now retired), the United States Congressional Joint Economic Committee and the Republican National Committee. She received two Bachelors degrees from Flagler College and also completed specialized program studies at Georgetown University and California State University San Marcos.
Packard Government Affairs works with an impressive stable of experts in specific policy and geographic regions to supplement our team when necessary. We have individuals with extensive experience and contacts in Los Angeles, Orange County and the Inland Empire, as well as others with technical expertise in municipal government, water and defense. Our Senior Advisors help us in our initial review of a client’s needs and scope of services, and assist us in achieving maximum results for our clients.
Jane Cocking Polese
A former Reagan White House aide, Heritage Foundation analyst, and state and local grants liaison with the Federal Department of Education under Secretary William Bennett. She is available to handle PGA clients’ education issues as well as assisting Packard Grant Advisors on grants preparation and management.
Founder of Defense Connections LLC in San Diego, Tom has 25 years experience in defense and aerospace and advises PGA’s team on issues involving defense and military construction. He has expertise in business and market development nationwide, particularly within the Southern California defense industry.
Founder of Maleman Ink Public Relations in Los Angeles, Geoff has 16 years experience in community and government affairs and advises PGA’s team on issues involving real estate entitlement, community outreach and messaging. He is a keen strategist who is adept at generating support for clients and their projects throughout Los Angeles.
Founder of the Pacific Gateway Group in San Diego, Doug frequently advises PGA with its clients needing advocacy with municipalities and public agencies in the South and East County regions of San Diego. Doug served as the lead economic development advocate for South County EDC for nearly 15 years and has been recognized for his expertise in both workforce and economic development. Doug also specializes in community outreach and grants management for nonprofit and environmental organizations.