Meet the MHSA Lobbyists
Pat Harrington, President, co-founder and partner in MHSA, has led Michigan’s “Number 1” multi-client lobbying organization for the past several years.. Pat’s values-based leadership, creative problem solving skills and strategic counsel has earned him a Top 10 ranking as an individual lobbyist and has contributed to many significant policy and economic development successes in recent Michigan history. As a lobbyist, Pat was instrumental in the planning, development and passage of five historic pieces of legislation: the financing of the $400 million Cobo Hall Exhibition Center expansion project in Detroit; the $225 million Wayne County Solvency Act, which averted the bankruptcy of Michigan’s most populous county and established the state’s largest indigent healthcare program; creation of the Wayne County Stadium Act, which established a financing vehicle for the Detroit Tigers’ Comerica Park professional sports facility; the enactment of the comprehensive water withdrawal statute for Michigan; and recently secured state-approval of the largest public and private partnership for a 45 block redevelopment in Detroit, including a world class event center, hosting the Detroit Red Wings, and mixed use development, valued at $650 million.
Pat also quarterbacked MHSA’s strategic partnership with Nestle Waters North America Holdings Inc. to site a $150 million Ice Mountain spring water bottling facility in West Central Michigan. In addition, Pat helped negotiate a creative incentive package on behalf of a large international IT company with the State of Michigan. This brought about a unique global software development center to the campus of Michigan State University, creating nearly 500 jobs to date. Further, Pat recently negotiated an economic development deal with the Michigan Economic Development Corporation to allow for a $100 million expansion, creating 1,000 new jobs for a mid-Michigan based financial services client.
Pat holds a bachelor’s degree with high honors from Michigan State University and a law degree from the Thomas M. Cooley Law School. He has been a licensed attorney in Michigan since 1983, and is a member of the State Bar of Michigan. At age 24, Pat was one of the youngest persons to be elected to the Michigan Legislature, representing with distinction, Monroe County’s 39th district. Pat was a successful lobbyist for ten years prior to forming MHSA. Pat is a member of the Michigan Fraternal Order of Police and the Michigan Society of Association Executives. He is also a longtime member of the Advisory Board and Finance Committee of the Michigan Political Leadership Program, the largest multi-partisan leadership-training program in the nation.
Pat and his wife Cindy have two grown sons, two daughter-in-laws and two grandsons, and reside in Okemos.
Jon Smalley has worked at MHSA since 1991, became a partner in the firm in 1995, and a co-owner of MHSA in 2001. Jon has spent his entire career working in “the process,” specializing in appropriations and legislative matters.
Prior to working at MHSA, Jon worked for then Senate Majority Leader, John Engler (1984); served as Chief of Staff to the Senate Chair of the Appropriations Subcommittees overseeing Medicaid, Mental Health and Human Services (1985-1990); and has worked on a number of political campaigns.
With expertise in the annual appropriations process, Jon has been instrumental in the successful implementation of many significant policy reforms, initiatives, and numerous landmark pieces of legislation, including: the implementation of managed care in Michigan; the re-write of the Mental Health Code; the Juvenile Justice Block Grant; establishment of charter schools; repeal of the residency requirements for police officers and firefighters; and Business Tax Reform. In addition, he was actively involved in two significant construction projects funded in part through state resources: Comerica Park and the Northwest Airlines World Gateway Center (Midfield Terminal).
Jon’s many areas of expertise include: the full continuum of health care policy and funding (physical, long term care and behavioral); regulatory issues; education reform; employment issues; child welfare reform; local government issues; Information Technology solutions; tribal issues; gaming issues and procurement.
Jon is consistently ranked as a ‘Top Ten’ lobbyist by Inside Michigan Politics, a trusted publication of political and policy issues in Michigan. This honor is voted on bi-annually by key members of the Governor’s staff policy makers within State departments and the Legislature.
Jon holds a bachelor’s degree in Political Science and Public Administration from Central Michigan University. He has been a long time board member at the Greater Lansing Amateur Hockey Association (GLAHA) and has been active with many local charities, including St. Vincent De Paul Home, the American Heart Association, the Lansing Youth & Recreation Fund, the YMCA, the Boys and Girls Club of Lansing and Food Shelters in Lansing and Detroit. Jon has also served as a coach in youth hockey and baseball programs for over ten years. Jon and his family are active in their local parish.
A Lansing area native, Jon and his wife Cathy reside with their seven children in East Lansing.
Sandi Jones joined MHSA in 1996 and became a member in 2003. She adds over 20 years of governmental and community relations experience to the MHSA team and is considered one of Lansing’s top ten lobbyists and one of the most powerful female lobbyists in Michigan.
Specializing in appropriations, judiciary, mental health, long term care, law enforcement, criminal justice, and education issues, Sandi enjoys influencing change in the legislative and regulatory processes.
Sandi holds a bachelor’s degree in Communications with a minor in Marketing and a Master’s in Public Administration, both from Western Michigan University (WMU). She holds the distinction of being the first female to have served as the president of the student body at WMU. Sandi is a member of the Honor Society of Phi Kappa Phi, Pi Alpha Alpha National Honor Society for Public Affairs and Administration, the Michigan Political History Society, the American Society for Public Administrators and is a founding member of In Forum and The White House Project.
In addition to her education-related organizations and associations, Sandi is a member of the March of Dimes Board of Directors, the Michigan Society of Association Executives, the Michigan Fraternal Order of Police, and the Children’s Trust Fund. She is currently Chair of the Public Affairs Committee for the Michigan Chapter of the March of Dimes. She has helped build homes for Habitat for Humanity and facilitates mock law-making sessions with the Michigan Youth Leadership Forum, a program to introduce high school students with disabilities to state government. She also sits on the Board of Directors of Montessori Children’s House of Lansing and volunteers for various other youth initiatives, including her favorite, Impact Lansing.
Sandi and her husband John reside in Lansing with their five children.
Adrian joined MHSA in 2002, and became a member of Muchmore Harrington Smalley & Associates, LLC in 2015. Prior to that, he served as the Assistant Vice President of Legislative Relations for the Michigan Economic Development Corporation (MEDC). Adrian collaborated with key stakeholders to improve Michigan’s business climate with high profile legislation such as Next Energy and the establishment of the Broadband Authority. Adrian was also influential during the passage of legislation to create the Metropolitan Airport Authority Act, which was responsible for the building and modernization of the McNamara Terminal at Detroit Metropolitan Airport.
Respected as one of Lansing’s top lobbyists, Adrian specializes in economic development, energy and technology, environmental, insurance, banking and tax policy issues. Recent accomplishments include the passage of legislation that gave Jackson National the ability to expand their business. Adrian secured state investment for the Farmers Insurance expansion and the JW Marriott Hotel, both in Grand Rapids. He has been instrumental in the last three business tax code rewrites and worked on legislation to standardize college entrance testing.
Prior to his work at the MEDC, Adrian was the Legislative Liaison for the Department of Management and Budget where he was responsible for securing funding to build the Hall of Justice, Constitution Hall and the Vietnam War Memorial. Adrian began his career working as a legislative aide for three state Senators, later serving as director of public affairs. Adrian also worked as the public events coordinator for the Senate Majority Leader.
Adrian holds a bachelor’s degree in Communications and Sociology from Western Michigan University (WMU), where he graduated with honors. While at WMU, Adrian served on the Board to Review the President’s Address on Racial and Ethnic Harmony.
Adrian and his wife Erin live in East Lansing with their four girls.
Bret Marr joined MHSA in 2003, and became a member of Muchmore Harrington Smalley & Associates, LLC in 2015. Prior to that, he successfully served as Director of Legislative Affairs for former Governor John Engler. Bret served as the primary contact between the Michigan Legislature and Governor Engler on legislative and appropriations issues. Bret coordinated Michigan’s electric restructuring plan in the Legislature as well as the rewrite of Michigan’s Telecommunications Act. He also shepherded numerous changes to Michigan’s tax structure, including a rewrite of the Brownfield program and streamlining of the tax reverted property process.
Consistently voted one of Lansing’s top lobbyists, Bret’s focus is now on hospitality, healthcare, transportation and general business issues. He also manages several appropriations issues for MHSA’s clients. In recent years, he has successfully secured funding for the Detroit Super Bowl XL Host Committee, state approval of a new events center in the City of Detroit and directed the efforts of a coalition moving Michigan’s school start date to after Labor Day.
Prior to serving Governor Engler, Bret was Director of Government Affairs for the Michigan Restaurant Association (MRA). He served as the MRA’s Lansing and Washington, D.C. lobbyist and coordinated a strong grass roots program. Bret began his career in the Michigan Senate as Communications Director for the Chair of the Education Committee. While a Senate staff member, he served as policy advisor to the Appropriations Committee and advisor to the Economic Development and Financial Services Committees.
Bret graduated with a bachelor of science in Public Affairs Management from Michigan State University and received his Master’s of Public Administration, also from MSU, where he graduated with honors. He served on the Michigan Travel Commission and is a member of the Michigan Political History Society. He also coaches youth soccer and hockey.
Bret is married to Jenna and resides in Okemos with their three children.
Evelyn (Evie) Zois Sweeney joined MHSA in 2011. Evie previously lobbied on behalf of a multitude of corporate, non-profit and municipal clients at Dykema Gossett, PLLC. She has extensive experience with state procurement, local government and the appropriations process, specifically higher education, capital outlay, corrections and general government.
Prior to joining Dykema, Evie served as a legislative assistant to the Senate Appropriations Chair and Clerk for the Senate Appropriations Committee and Joint Capital Outlay Subcommittee. In addition to shepherding legislative agendas through the process, she was responsible for monitoring several departmental budgets, including corrections, community health and general government.
Evie is a 2004 graduate fellow of Michigan State University’s Michigan Political Leadership Program, a multi-partisan leadership training program. Evie also serves as co-chair of the gift acquisition committee for the Children’s Trust Fund, is involved with Habitat for Humanity and serves on the Michigan Political Leadership Program’s Finance Committee. Evie also had the privilege of working on Governor Rick Snyder’s 2011 Inaugural Executive Committee.
Evie graduated from Michigan State University’s James Madison College with honors and earned a bachelor of arts degree. She was a double major in International Relations and Sociology. Evie also served as a research assistant at St. Peter’s College, University of Oxford, Oxford England.
Evie and her husband Matt reside in DeWitt with their daughter and son.