Meet the MHSA Administrative Staff
Business Manager & Executive Assistant
Rhonda Smith joined MHSA in 1994 and serves as Business Manager and Executive Assistant to MHSA's partners. She is responsible for coordination of client services, invoicing, accounts receivables, scheduling, overseeing of special events, all internal and external Lobby Law reporting requirements and assisting with campaign finance reporting. Rhonda's responsibilities also include being a liaison with the Executive and Legislative branches, as well as state agencies in Michigan. Her extensive experience with candidates and election activities enables her to maintain MHSA's continuing grass roots program.
She has held such positions as Executive Secretary for Blue Cross Blue Shield and Blue Care Network-Health Central and intern for the Mt. Pleasant Chamber of Commerce.
Rhonda holds a bachelor of science degree in Interpersonal and Public Communication from Central Michigan University.
Rhonda and her husband Dan reside in Grand Ledge with their two children.
Director of Client Services & Network Administrator
Jody Thornton joined MHSA in 1995 and serves as Director of Client Services as well as network administrator. She is responsible for legislative tracking, campaign finance reporting, compiling and maintaining candidate and election information, management of the firm's communications equipment, data transmissions and interfaces with key vendors. She maintains MHSA's website, information packet and mailing lists. Her previous positions include experience as a dental assistant in Owosso and receptionist with Old Kent Bank in St. Johns.
Jody is a graduate of Lansing Community College and is attending Northwood University. Her tremendous energy and ability make it possible for MHSA to provide timely information to clients and policy makers.
Jody and her husband Craig reside in Elsie with their three children.
Senior Administrator of Management Services
Keeli Baker joined MHSA in 2001 and serves as the Senior Administrator for MHSA's association management clients. Keeli also conducts general research, assists with corporate publications, and coordinates MHSA’s Comerica Park client hospitality suite.
She is a graduate of Michigan State University and Western Michigan University’s Cooley Law School. She is also a member of the State Bar of Michigan. Prior to joining MHSA, she served as a legislative assistant to the Senate Minority Leader.
Keeli resides in Lansing.
Administrator of Management Services
Joanna Coddington joined MHSA in 2018 and serves as Administrator of MHSA's association management services and serves as Appropriations' coordinator. She is also responsible for the coordination of MHSA's special events including client legislative receptions.
Joanna has over 15 years of political experience which includes her previous employment with two Lansing area lobbying firms and with the Michigan State Senate. Prior to working for MHSA, she worked at Jackson National Life Insurance Company managing the company’s Political Action Committee.
Joanna and her husband Tom reside in Charlotte.
Kate Barnes joined MHSA in 2010 and serves as Communications Specialist and Administrative Assistant providing both clients and business associates with prompt attention to their initial contact with the firm. She is responsible for scheduling for the lobbyists and serving an administrative role for association management services. Kate is also responsible for in office events such as client dinners or fundraisers. As a graduate of Central Michigan University with a bachelor’s degree in Journalism, Kate assists in newsletter production as well as editing and writing any written communications for the firm. Kate also manages all social media accounts for the firm.
While attending Central Michigan University, she also worked for the Department of Science and Technology Dean’s office as a student assistant, where she helped coordinate and manage department events. Kate also completed her internship at a public relations firm where she assisted in media calls, research for clients, social media updates and editing and writing press releases.
Kate resides in Bath.