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Michael L. Carpenter
Mr. Carpenter has served in a variety of corporate public and government affairs capacities, and specializes in developing and implementing integrated plans and strategies to achieve legislative and corporate reputation objectives. He has directed state and local government affairs for major consumer products companies in California and other Western states, managing complex and often controversial legislative and regulatory issues on behalf of beer, food and tobacco companies. In addition to state legislative and executive branch lobbying, he managed a team of seven lobbying and political consulting firms, and oversaw his clients’ ballot initiative and candidate election activities.
Mr. Carpenter also led a nationwide public affairs department, overseeing corporate public and external affairs activities throughout the United States. He launched major community relations programs in California, and has extensive experience with controversial issues in numerous corporate affairs disciplines, including coalition development, issue analysis and opinion research, communications, community outreach and philanthropy, and grass roots advocacy. He has also served as a corporate spokesperson.
He has been a lobbyist and political director for a statewide California trade association, where he analyzed legislation and testified before the state legislature. He raised the most money in the PAC’s history and established the organization’s first election program, targeting candidate races, drafting election mailers and providing creative input on radio spots.
He has been a speaker and panelist before national, state and local organizations, including the American Public Relations Association, National Association of Latino Elected Officials, U.S. Chamber of Commerce, National and State Conferences of the NAACP, State Policy Network, California Association of Realtors, California Chamber of Commerce, California Black Chamber of Commerce and California Hispanic Chamber of Commerce.
He has served on the boards of numerous statewide trade organizations and policy organizations.
Mr. Carpenter is a lawyer and a member of the State Bar of California. He was a litigation attorney with a large San Francisco law firm, representing clients in complex litigation, product liability, medical malpractice and securities litigation.
Mr. Carpenter received his bachelor’s degree in political science from UC Berkeley, and earned his law degree from the University of San Francisco. He lives in Sacramento with his wife, Phyllis, and their two daughters, Lauren and Paige.
J. Michael Hawkins
Mr. Hawkins is a veteran Sacramento government affairs professional with 20 years of state capitol lobbying experience. As senior counsel and lead lobbyist before the state legislature and state agencies for Kaiser Permanente, one of the largest managed health care plans in the United States, he compiled a virtually unblemished record of legislative accomplishment in an often hostile political environment on controversial managed care and other issues.
Mr. Hawkins is an expert at developing proactive and defensive political strategies on public policy issues, and has spearheaded the passage of numerous major health care laws. In addition to managed care, he has expertise on a variety of issues, including arbitration, auto insurance, clinical laboratories, confidentiality and privacy, environmental regulation, health facilities, seismic standards, tort liability, MediCal, legal and medical malpractice, medical peer review, mental health, optometry and pharmaceutical issues.
In addition to lobbying and testifying before the legislature, Mr. Hawkins has lobbied extensively before the Health and Human Services Agency, the Department of Health Services, the Office of Statewide Planning and Development, the Business Transportation and Housing Agency, the Medical Board of California, the Board of Pharmacy and the recently created Department of Managed Health Care.
Mr. Hawkins has extensive media relations, coalition building and grass roots activation experience. He has served as a corporate spokesperson with the media and editorial boards on legislative, regulatory and political issues. He has developed earned media messaging and positioning, including opinion editorials, letters to the editor and message training of physicians to interact with the media and public officials. In response to term limits, he has established highly effective legislator briefing programs and helped spearhead grass roots programs incorporating 9,000 California physicians into Kaiser's legislative affairs activities.
Mr. Hawkins has been responsible for creating and serving in countless legislative coalitions. He has served on the board and committees of many statewide trade associations and organizations, including the California Chamber of Commerce, Civil Justice Association of California, California Hospital Association, California Association of Health Plans and Californians Allied For Patient Protection (CAPP), among others.
Mr. Hawkins has served on staff of former Majority Floor Leader Thomas Hannigan in the State Assembly.
Mr. Hawkins is a lawyer and a member of the State Bar of California. In addition, he has been an Adjunct Professor at the McGeorge School of Law Center for Public Advocacy, where he taught courses on Legislative Advocacy and Political Law.
Mr. Hawkins received his bachelor’s degree in political science from UC Berkeley and earned his law degree from the University of the Pacific McGeorge School of Law. He lives in Sacramento with his wife, Julie, and their daughter Lauren. He is an avid cyclist and gourmet cook.
Jeffrey R. Sievers
Mr. Sievers is an experienced lobbyist and political campaign consultant. He specializes in managing legislative issues, political and issue advocacy campaigns, grassroots advocacy, and strategic communications.
Mr. Sievers previously served as Vice President of the Civil Justice Association of California (CJAC), where he was responsible for implementing CJAC’s ambitious legislative strategy, executing the organization’s political programs, developing statewide ballot initiatives, and expanding fundraising efforts. He directed the organization’s political action committee and independent expenditure committees, helping to transform CJAC from a relatively unknown organization into one of the most politically savvy, broad-based trade associations in California.
In the 2006 election cycle, Mr. Sievers dramatically expanded CJAC’s political efforts to finance and execute an ambitious independent expenditure program. Partnering with many of CJAC’s corporate and other members, as well as like-minded organizations, he directed the organization’s successful election efforts. The program helped elect and defeat candidates to the California Senate and Assembly.
As the organization’s principal lobbyist from 2000 to 2006, Mr. Sievers organized broad based coalitions and managed legislative activities on a wide range of civil liability and procedural issues, including securities fraud, arbitration, construction defect litigation, punitive damages, employment law, summary judgment, protective orders, anti-SLAPP, product liability, class action litigation, anti-trust issues, toxic torts, and the unfair competition law.
Between 2001 and 2004, Mr. Sievers worked extensively on the successful statewide ballot initiative campaign for Proposition 64, culminating in voter enactment of the state’s most significant liability reforms in more than two decades. Considered a long shot effort by many political observers, he helped draft the measure’s language and supporting campaign materials, which passed by a solid 59% to 41% margin on the November 2004 statewide ballot.
Before becoming a legislative and political consultant, Mr. Sievers managed small to medium sized businesses, focusing primarily on medical and dental professional corporations.
Mr. Sievers received his bachelor’s degree in Government with honors from California State University, Sacramento. He earned his Juris Doctorate from the University of Pacific, McGeorge School of Law, where he graduated with distinction. He served as editor of the Transnational Lawyer, the Law Review at McGeorge.He is a member of the Sacramento, Los Angeles, and California bar associations. He lives in Sacramento with his wife, Chrisan, and their two sons, Justin and Nicholas.
Sarah A. Takahama
Ms. Takahama joined CHS as a lobbyist in 2010 to represent the firm’s clients on healthcare, transportation and budgetary issues before the California Legislature, administration, and various regulatory agencies.
Ms. Takahama previously served as Director of Government Affairs for the California Association of Physician Groups (CAPG), a trade association comprised of over 150 medical groups throughout the state that provide health care services to over 15 million Californians. As Director of Government Affairs, she primarily focused on all state issues, with an emphasis on budgetary, legislative, and regulatory developments that impacted government sponsored programs, including, the Healthy Families Program, Medi-Cal, TANF, and the dual eligible population.
Prior to her role at CAPG, Ms. Takahama worked for two and half years as a policy consultant to then-Speaker of the Assembly Karen Bass. Her primary policy focuses were health and human services, transportation, and public safety. During her tenure with Speaker Emeritus Bass, Ms. Takahama worked on several campaigns on the local, state, and national level.
In 2005, Ms. Takahama was a Jesse M. Unruh fellow for the California State Assembly Fellowship Program, which was founded in 1957, and is one of the nation's oldest and most prestigious fellowship programs.
Ms. Takahama graduated from the University of San Francisco summa cum laude, and received her bachelor’s degree with a double major in Sociology and Political Science with honors. She has served as Vice President of the Asian Pacific Islander Capitol Association (APICA), and Alpha Sigma Nu, an honor society of Jesuit institutions of higher education.