Western Advocacy Symposium

Join the Grassroots Professional Network for the 1st Western Advocacy Symposium on May 12th from 2pm-5pm at NationBuilder's Headquarters (520 S Grand Ave, Los Angeles, CA 90071) in downtown LA to discuss advocacy issues related to entertainment and technology. Immediately following the symposium will be a larger networking reception for the California advocacy community at the LA Athletic Club. The Grassroots Professional Network is an official CAE Approved Provider and the Symposium is worth 3 CAE Credits. 

Panel 1: Entertainment in Motion- driverless cars, music, movies, VR etc.... Tech companies are investing in entertainment capabilities with vehicles and elsewhere, which has caused a new set of public policy issues and advocacy challenges.

Panel Moderator: Grayson Brulte Co-Founder / President of Brulte & Company

Grayson is the Co-Founder / President of Brulte & Company, a consulting firm that specializes in designing innovation and technology strategies for a global marketplace. Grayson is also the Co-Founder of Autonomous Tomorrow, a collection of thoughtful insights into the world of tomorrow.

Influential in Beverly Hills, he serves as the Co-Chair of the City of Beverly Hills Mayor's Autonomous Vehicle Task Force. He is also an active member of the city’s Smart City / Technology Committee which advises the Beverly Hills City Council on technology. In 2015, the City of Beverly Hills was chosen by Google as one of America’s digital capitals.

Along with his Beverly Hills guidance, Grayson was appointed a Global Health Economics Fellow at The University of Vermont College of Medicine.

From Autonomous Vehicles, to politics, to the future of entertainment and more, Grayson has written articles about innovation, technology, and strategy for Continental’s 2025AD, General Electric Reports, the MIT Sloan Executive Education innovation@work Blog, RealClear Future, Futurism, VentureBeat and The Washington Times among others.

His written opinions and insights have been used by organizations such as the Consumer Electronics Association in presentations to the Federal Trade Commission.

Grayson has spoken in front of numerous audiences, including the FLDOT’s Florida Automated Vehicles Summit, Consumer Telematics Show and Autonomous Vehicles Silicon Valley. His comments have appeared across numerous publications, including The Financial Times, The Los Angeles Times, Chicago Tribune, The Telegraph, The International Business Times and The Hollywood Reporter.

Panelists: 

Heather Wilson Executive Vice President and Managing Director of MWW’s National Crisis & Issues Management Practice

Heather Wilson is an Executive Vice President and Managing Director of MWW’s National Crisis & Issues Management Practice.  She also leads the firm’s Strategic Communications group which encompasses financial communications, financial services and investor relations. She has counseled companies on highly complex and sensitive matters including: product and food recalls; high-profile litigation, including IP disputes; major disasters and airline crashes; cybersecurity attacks; government investigations, and hostile M&A.

She has worked with a number of companies including Mattel, HP, Symantec, Reddit, PepsiCo and Unilever and has led crisis assignments and trainings across the globe. Additionally, she led crisis communications around the crash landing of US Air flight 1549 “The Miracle on the Hudson.”

Before beginning her career in crisis management and communications, she was a journalist for a number of news outlets, most recently with CBS MarketWatch. Heather began her career on Capitol Hill as a congressional staffer.

Heather has a B.A. in Political Science from Southern Methodist University and a master’s degree in journalism from the University of Southern California.

Jesse Barba Associate Cassidy and Associates

Jesse is an Associate at Cassidy and Associates where he helps clients successfully navigate the legislative and regulatory landscape across the federal government. Jesse strives to build strategic relationships for stakeholders and clients so they may secure critical investments and help educate decision makers in Washington.

Jesse recently served as a Legislative Assistant to U.S. Rep. Marcia Fudge (D-OH) where he managed a public policy portfolio that included energy, financial services, transportation and labor issues. He was responsible for monitoring federal policy, interacting with state and local government stakeholders and briefing lawmakers and their staff on Congressional and Administration initiatives and priorities. He also served as the Congresswoman’s liaison to the Congressional Progressive Caucus and Congressional Alaskan Pacific Asian Caucus, and has strong connections to the Congressional Black Caucus. Jesse earlier served a similar role to U.S. Rep. Edolphus Towns (D-NY).

A Native of New York, Jesse earned a bachelor’s degree in political science from American University and is currently pursuing a master’s degree in legislative affairs at The George Washington University.

Research Presentation:
A Look Into the Future: Real People’s Perspective of Where Entertainment and Tech are Going

Adam Probolsky CEO of Probolsky Research

Mr. Probolsky is CEO of Probolsky Research, a full service opinion research firm specializing in public policy and elections, working on behalf of business, government, special interest and media clients.

Mr. Probolsky has acted as pollster and strategic advisor on hundreds of successful local, county and statewide initiatives and candidate campaigns as well as citizen outreach and education efforts. Additionally, Mr. Probolsky has been a key advisor to his firm’s clients on matters of public policy, legislation and business strategy.

Mr. Probolsky was a planning commissioner and finance commissioner in the city of Irvine. Mr. Probolsky was also a member of the Orange County Waste & Recycling Commission overseeing landfills, recycling programs, waste hauling companies and power generating facilities. He was also a member of the Orange County Transportation Authority’s Environmental Mitigation and Oversight Committee.  Mr. Probolsky formerly served as a member of the Policy Committee on Energy and the Environment of the United States Chamber of Commerce.

Mr. Probolsky’s research and commentary has been published in numerous media outlets including The New York Times, Riverside Press Enterprise, The Chicago Sun Times, the Orange County Register and Politico and the San Francisco Chronicle.

Panel 2: Guerrilla Marketing of Music Festivals & Demonstrations- building massive live audiences to promote social change and harnessing the power of millennial activism through multimedia and entertainment.

Moderator: TBA

Panelists: 

Andy Bernstein Executive Director HeadCount

Andy Bernstein helped found HeadCount in 2004, and became its executive director in the Spring of 2008. He spearheads the organization’s fundraising, marketing, artist relations and strategic planning, under the guidance of HeadCount’s board of directors.

Prior to creating HeadCount, Andy was best known in the music community as an author of “The Pharmer’s Almanac”, a guide to the band Phish that sold over 70,000 copies. He also was a full-time journalist for over a decade, primarily as media editor of Street & Smith’s SportsBusiness Journal. He later was Vice President of U.S. Corporate Development at Kangaroo TV, a sports technology company based near Montreal, Quebec.