SPECIALISTS & CONSULTANTS
Based in Houston, Texas, Danielle serves as TEPA’s Administrator and is responsible for the management of TEPA’s day-to-day operations. Among her many responsibilities, she supports the Executive Director’s planning, development and execution of TEPA meetings, conferences, and special events across the country. She also oversees membership initiatives including new member’s applications and onboarding, as well as annual renewal campaigns.
Under the direction of the Executive Direction, Danielle oversees the association’s financial operations including managing expenses and issuing payments.
Prior to joining TEPA in 2020, Danielle served as a public education professional for seven years. She holds a degree in Human Resources Development from Texas A&M University.
Kathy Grant is an Austin-based consultant with more than 30 years of experience in government and public affairs. She provides direct advocacy and strategic communications services, and advises clients on political, legislative, regulatory and public policy issues.
Kathy started her own government relations consulting practice in 2006 and represents clients ranging from small businesses to major corporations. Prior to 2006 Kathy served as Vice President of Government Relations for the Texas Cable & Telecommunications Association, where she organized the first comprehensive state government affairs operation for the cable industry in Texas and served as chief industry lobbyist, policy witness, and spokesperson.
Kathy built and led the legislative practices of two Austin law firms, and she has extensive experience representing trade associations and building and managing coalition efforts and third-party alliances. Kathy worked inside the Texas Legislature as staff for three different House members and for the Office of the Attorney General as a paralegal on a major class action lawsuit. She managed legislative relations and agency appropriations requests for the Texas Comptroller of Public Accounts and for the Office of Public Utility Counsel and was part of the original team that launched the Texas Lottery in the Comptroller’s Office.
Kathy is respected as an effective advocate with an extensive bipartisan network. She is known as a skilled strategist and negotiator for clients, with strong drafting, writing and communication skills. “Capitol Inside” has recognized her among the top lobbyists and among the top 10 private sector association lobbyists in Texas. Kathy is a fifth-generation Texan, born in Fort Worth and raised in a small town in Central Texas. She holds a Bachelor of Arts in Philosophy from the University of Texas at Austin.
Mr. Morrill is a principal in Morrill & Fiedler, LLC, which provides non-legal Illinois state and local government relations services; separately, he is a Chicago and Washington, D.C. “of counsel” attorney in the Barnes & Thornburg Government Services and Finance Department, where he concentrates on federal government relations and legal services (though independent from one another, Morrill & Fiedler and Barnes & Thornburg collaborate on a wide array of state and local government relations matters).
Morrill served as a lawyer, lobbyist and government official for more than 30 years. He graduated from Northwestern University with a B.A. in Economics. Immediately after college, Morrill was a Governor’s Fellow in Springfield, working for a year in various areas of the Illinois Governor’s Office. Following graduation cum laude from the Northwestern University School of Law, where he was an editor of the Law Review, Morrill served as Parliamentarian and legal counsel of the Illinois Senate and staffed the Senate Judiciary Committee during the tenure of Senate President Philip J. Rock.
Morrill practiced for six years in the governmental, administrative law and litigation departments of the Chicago law firm Winston & Strawn before founding M&A and its successor M&F.
As a lobbyist, Morrill has represented scores of clients before the Illinois General Assembly, Illinois Joint Committee on Administrative Rules, and Cook County Board. As a lawyer, Morrill has practiced before virtually every Illinois agency and executive branch office, as well as in the state and federal courts.
Mr. Fiedler is a principal at Morrill & Fiedler, LLC, directing the efforts regarding the legislative process, government relations, and legislative research for Morrill & Fiedler. Mr. Fiedler manages the legislative monitoring program of Morrill & Fiedler, and, with more than 20 years of experience, enjoys strong staff relationships within all four legislative caucuses and the Office of the Governor.
Since beginning his state government career in 2000, Fiedler has developed broad lobbying experience at the state and local levels of government – including serving five years as a Commissioner on the Economic & Commercial Commission (including two years as Chairman) and two years as a Commissioner on the Planning Commission for the Village of Tinley Park.
Prior to joining Morrill & Fiedler (and its predecessor Morrill & Associates), Fiedler spent five years working as a Legislative Analyst for House Republican Research Staff concentrating on state finance, economic development, state gaming, and taxation issues.
Fiedler graduated cum laude from Olivet Nazarene University in 2000, earning a B.A. in Political Science.
Ms. Smith serves as Office Manager and Government Relations for Morrill & Fiedler. Among other duties, she oversees the lobbyist registration and disclosure program for the firm and its clients, participates in legislative monitoring and client reporting programs of the firm, and assists with lobbying the members of the General Assembly.
Before joining M&F, Smith served as a deputy marshal for the Illinois Supreme Court, where she regularly interacted with judicial officials and staff as well as local, state and federal law enforcement officials. Prior to that, she served as a deputy clerk for the Illinois Supreme Court Clerk’s office, managing intra-court communication and coordinating various ceremonies and procedures.
Smith has also worked as a Committee Clerk and Transcript Editor at the Clerk’s Office for the Illinois House of Representatives. Ms. Smith has a strong knowledge of the legislative process and enjoys good relationships with many members of the Illinois General Assembly and legislative staff. She earned a B.A. in Sociology and Anthropology with honors from the University of Illinois Springfield, where she completed the Capitol Scholars Honors Program.
Abigail Benjamin is the Director of Public Affairs at SPP. She specializes in engaging the public and elected officials on behalf of SPP’s clients, sharing their messages in a variety of ways. Abigail has worked for years in public policy and state government.
Before her time at SPP, Abigail served as a Senior Legislative Aide to State Senator Terry Johnson. In that position, she worked to implement the Senator’s legislative priorities. Abigail communicated with constituents and state departments on a range of issues on the Senator’s behalf. Before joining Senator Johnson’s team, she served as the Deputy Finance Director for The Ohio House Republican Organizational Committee. There, she planned fundraisers and special events to raise millions of dollars in the 2018 election cycle.
Abigail graduated from The Ohio State University with a BA in Political Science. She resides in Columbus Ohio with her husband and two kids. She is an avid runner and volunteers regularly at her local church.
Aaron Cook is a partner at Dallas-based TimePiece PR & Marketing, where he combines his strengths in relationship-building and story development with his sharp business savvy. Aaron has planned and executed successful PR and digital marketing campaigns for a number of motorsports companies including Ford Performance, Barrett-Jackson Collector Car Auctions, Radford Racing School and Shelby American. Over the last decade he has also worked with numerous energy companies in the retail energy space.
Aaron has represented TEPA since 2011 and has supported the initiatives and leadership of each TEPA president and its board members. Today, he works under the direction of Shannon McGriff where he supports the association’s marketing efforts including public relations, content development, digital and web presence, design and event management.
Prior to joining TimePiece, Aaron was the Marketing Communications Manager at Alsbridge and Public Relations Manager at Garrett Metal Detectors.
Aaron is an avid runner and has finished a dozen 70.3 and 140.6 Ironman triathlons, as well as numerous marathons and ultra-marathons. His drive and persistence during his competitions is carried into all areas of his life.
THE ENERGY PROFESSIONALS ASSOCIATION
TEPA is a not-for-profit organization of professionals dedicated to advancing competitive energy markets across the country. A membership-based association, TEPA provides professional development, advocacy, certification program, and access to a network of respected industry leaders.