TOM FORBES, PRESIDENT
Tom Forbes is a partner in the Public and Environmental Law Department in Austin, TX. His practice focuses on government affairs, regulatory matters and business transactions. He represents clients before Texas Legislature, state and federal regulatory agencies, U.S. Congress, Federal Executive Branch and other state governments.
He has represented corporations, professional societies, major league sports and both foreign and state governments. His practice includes advice, strategy development and advocacy.
Mr. Forbes has been selected for inclusion in Best Lawyers in America 2007-2017 and he has been named a Texas Super Lawyer. He was named 2017 Best Lawyers Austin - Government Relations Practice - Lawyer of the Year.
LAURIE FENSTEMAKER PAIR, EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR
Laurie Fenstemaker Pair offers over 25 years of experience in Texas’ political, legal and lobbying arenas. During the past two decades, Pair has developed extensive expertise in Texas ethics, including Chapter 305, Government Code (Registration of Lobbyists) and Title 15, Texas Election Code (Regulating Political Funds and Campaigns).
An independent government ethics specialist since 1992, Pair helps Texas lobbyists, political action committees, candidates and officeholders prepare, maintain and administer state-required ethics reports.
Prior to launching her own consulting business, Pair was a legislative affairs manager and paralegal for Akin, Gump Strauss, Hauer & Feld’s Austin offices. During her tenure there, Pair was responsible for required Chapter 305 reports for section attorneys, and reports required under Title 15 for the firm and client PACs. Additionally, she monitored and analyzed legislative action for potential client impact, and drafted documents and prepared witnesses for legislative hearings.
Previously, Pair helped establish and organize the new office of a statewide association, and worked as a legislative researcher for Roan & Gullahorn, P.C. Early on in her career, Pair served as a legislative staffer for the Texas House Sergeant-at-Arms, as well as for two state representatives.
An accounting graduate of the University of Texas at Austin, Pair has team-taught a Fundraising and Campaign Finance course at Austin’s St. Edward’s University. She is a former certified emergency medical technician, a tournament bass-fishing enthusiast and a devoted “sweepstaker.” Pair is an accounting graduate of the University of Texas at Austin and is married with four grown step-daughters and one adorable grandchild.
ALLISON MCCOMBE SMALL, COMMUNICATIONS DIRECTOR
Allison Small has more than fifteen years of experience developing and implementing strategic communications and public affairs campaigns for a diverse client base on issues ranging from telecommunications and electric to insurance, water, education and ethics.
Before going out on her own as a public affairs and grassroots consultant in December 2004, Small was a consultant at Public Strategies, Inc. During her time at PSI, Small worked with several Fortune 500 companies on issues including telecommunications and insurance reform. Among her accomplishments, Small oversaw a nationwide grassroots campaign with over 150,000 members and fourteen websites. Small has extensive experience managing website development, maintenance and e-mail communications as well as general grassroots campaign strategy and implementation.
Prior to joining Public Strategies, Small worked at the Children’s Hospital Foundation in Washington, D.C.. During her tenure there, she served as grants manager, responsible for preparing funding proposals, and as director of corporate and foundation relations.
Small began her career in the political/governmental arena, working within Elizabeth Dole’s office during the 1996 Dole/Kemp presidential campaign and with U.S. House Budget Committee Chairman John Kasich during budget proceedings.
A graduate of Denison University in Granville, Ohio, Small earned her B.A. in Political Science. Her tenure at Denison included four years on the women’s basketball team where she was an All-American and left as the school’s all-time leading scorer. She was inducted in the Denison Athletic Hall of Fame in October 2010.
Small currently serves on the Seton Development Board and the board of the Northwest Austin Youth Basketball Association and is Past President of the Elizabeth Ann Seton Board, which raises money for the Seton Community Health Centers. She lives in Austin with her husband Clint and their two children, daughter Annie (11) and son Ed (9).