PAC Success Panel
September 11th  | 12:00 p.m.–1:30 p.m.

National Journal members showcase their expertise and experience with developing effective PAC strategies to energize audiences as we prepare for an election year.

Managing Director Molly Broemmelsiek will be joined by Ellie Shaw, Director of Federal & Government Affairs at American Express, Gary Whidby, Manager of PAC & Government Affairs at Zurich, Kathleen Gamble, Political Affairs Director at the American Trucking Association, and Joe Joiner, Manager of Political Development and Fundraising at the National Restaurant Association, for a discussion about the tools and strategies they’ve utilized and implemented to drive PAC engagement and retention.

The discussion will be held in the Watergate Building, located at 600 New Hampshire Avenue NW. 

Ellie Shaw 

Ellie Shaw, director, federal government affairs, is responsible for the American Express Company’s political education and involvement programs including the company’s political action committee (PAC) and grassroots. During her time at American Express, she has doubled the annual receipts for AXP PAC; directed grassroots and grasstops strategy; developed internal communication updates on the company’s public policy issues; and created efficiencies while enhancing the company’s federal compliance policy, training and filing requirements.

Prior to joining American Express, Ellie worked at Exelon Corporation and the Nuclear Energy Institute. Active in the public affairs community as well as her local community, Ellie is immediate past chair of the board of directors for the Public Leadership Education Network (PLEN). She also co-chairs PAC PALS, a networking community for PAC professionals. In addition, she serves on the board of directors for the Public Affairs Council, and has gained significant experience leading all communications, social media and website activities for the church she attends. She is also a member of Women in Government Relations. Ellie is regarded as an advisor, speaker, facilitator and mentor on political involvement best practices.

Gary Whidby

Gary Whidby is a member of the Government & Industry Affairs team at Zurich North America with responsibility for managing all aspects of the PAC and expanding the company’s political brand to better advocate for customers nationwide. Before joining Zurich, Gary was the PAC Director for the Auto Care Association. Previously, Gary also served as PAC Manager at DaVita Inc. and the National Multifamily Housing Council. Prior to his PAC work, he was Finance Director for Congressman Bill Owens and Deputy National Finance Director for Senator Kirsten Gillibrand. Gary has a B.A. from Georgia State University and a Masters in Political Management from George Washington University.Gary currently serves on the Board of Directors for NABPAC, the National Association of Business PACs, and co-chairs the PAC Pals group, which is an informal networking group for PAC professionals.

Kathleen Gamble 

As the Director of Political Affairs, Kathleen Gamble is a strategic influencer for the trucking industry. Gamble joined the American Trucking Associations in June 2016 where she oversees Truck PAC and the ATA Grassroots Program, including their Call on Washington Program. Her focus has been strengthening the foundation of the programs to be more inclusive and engaging of the ATA membership.
Prior to joining ATA, Gamble was at the National Apartment Association for six years where she oversaw the growth and success of the Political Affairs Department, which included the growth of the PAC and implementing the grassroots advocacy program. She has also worked at a lobbying firm where she managed the political affairs for the firm as well as the clients.

Gamble started her career in politics working for Senator Kit Bond (R-MO) and like the Senator, is an avid St. Louis Cardinals fan. She currently resides in Alexandria with her husband, Brad and daughter Gigi, and their dog Duchess. In her “free time” she is an advocate for health and wellness and completed her first 5K in May 2019.