Abernathy MacGregor has opened a Washington office to provide government relations and advisory services to its roster of corporate and financial clients.
Sarah Knakmuhs, a 15-year veteran of Altria, leads the office. She joined AbMac in August after departing her VP-government affairs & public policy post at Altria, where she focused on regulations on tobacco/alcohol/cannabis and tax/employee benefits matters. Prior to Altria, Knakmuhs was tax counsel at the US Chamber of Commerce and manager of KPMG's national tax practice.
Liz Sidoti, who joins AbMac from her head of US communications position at BP, and Mike Hotra, most recently VP-public affairs at Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America, join Knakmuhs.
At the energy giant, Sidoti handled crisis response, external affairs and advocacy in the aftermath of the Deepwater Horizon disaster. Before BP, she spent 15 years at the Associated Press, rising to national political editor covering Congress and the White House.
Besides PhRMA, Hotra did a 13-year stint at APCO Worldwide, where he exited as executive VP. He also was VP-legislation & communications at American Tort Reform Assn. and task force director at ALEC (American Legislative Exchange Council).
Tom Johnson, CEO of Abmac, said the DC office will provide clients "new insights into government, policy and the media" to help them navigate the challenging environment where public and regulatory scrutiny is more intense than ever."