Familiar Faces: Meet the Client-Facing Team.
We are political, technology, communications, and campaign experts. In today’s volatile political climate, you need professionals with deep backgrounds across many disciplines.
We approach complex problems by offering creative and data-driven solutions derived from our wide experience. Combining our unique backgrounds gives us the leverage to move the needle and shape political and legislative landscapes.
With team members in Richmond, D.C., Atlanta, and Kansas City, we’re ready to find a solution to your organization’s problem no matter where you are located.
A founding partner at LINK, Travis Smith helps to oversee the firm’s operations, while also guiding clients as they navigate the political landscape.
Travis has worked with small businesses and Fortune 500 companies in the fields of technology, finance, real estate, energy, healthcare, gaming and engineering. He has nearly two decades of experience in government, campaigns, as well as corporate and political messaging. At LINK, Travis leads issue advocacy campaigns as chief strategist and guides the research and development of messaging all the way through implementation. Working closely with our clients, Travis takes complex problems and devises outside-the-box solutions.
He has successfully managed some of the most difficult and expensive U.S. House and Senate races in the country. After a hard-fought victory in 2010, Travis served as Chief of Staff to Rep. Kevin Yoder in Congress. From there he went back into the private sector to apply his knowledge and expertise helping corporate communication teams distill and convey complex messages to their target audiences.
Travis owns and operates a number of businesses in the corporate and political space, including the political research and polling firm co/efficient he co-founded in 2019. This nationally-recognized firm was chosen as the research partner for a joint effort between the U.S. Food and Drug Administration and the Department of Health and Human Services to assess attitudes around the COVID-19 pandemic.
A San Francisco Bay Area native, Travis now lives in Richmond, Virginia with his wife Kristin and their four children.
Matt Moran is a 10-year veteran of Virginia politics and public affairs. He has worked on multiple statewide political campaigns, served as a top advisor to two House Speakers, and represented clients across multiple industries in front of the General Assembly. He is currently the senior political advisor to Governor Glenn Youngkin.
At LINK, Matt develops comprehensive public affairs strategies using his political, public policy, and communications experience to solve problems for clients. He oversees research, strategy, message development, and campaign planning, and works with clients to execute their plans based on quantitative metrics and tangible results.
After managing several successful campaigns, Matt joined the office of Virginia House Speaker Bill Howell as a top advisor for communications and policy in 2012. Matt went on to work for 2017 Republican Gubernatorial nominee Ed Gillespie and served as Chief of Staff to Speaker Kirk Cox. He currently advises federal and state candidates across the country on policy and communications strategy.
Matt has also represented numerous corporate clients, including Fortune 500 companies, national, regional, and state-level trade associations, and non-profits across multiple industries. He has experience running policy and public affairs campaigns related to business, health care, energy, transportation, insurance and financial regulation, construction and real estate development, gaming, cannabis, criminal justice, and technology.
A native of Southwest Virginia, Matt graduated from the University of Virginia and now resides in Richmond with his wife Brooke and their three kids Bennett, Graham, and Merritt.
Justin Roth is a seasoned political and policy professional with expertise in legislative strategies, critical domestic policy matters, and foreign affairs. He has more than two decades of experience in government affairs and lobbying for multiple trade organizations. Most recently, he served as Chief of Staff for three prominent United States Congressmen and a U.S. Senator, including former Senator Martha McSally, and former Congressman Ron DeSantis.
Throughout his tenure, Justin has leveraged his experience in public policy and communications to advise representatives and shepherd major legislative victories. He has overseen virtually every aspect of the legislative and policy process, with expertise in the areas of financial services, foreign affairs, and press and legislative operations. During his time as a Chief of Staff, he also oversaw the political operations of each Member he served.
Justin has also utilized his legislative and policy background to advance the mutual interests of organizational partners such as the National Association of Mutual Insurance Companies (NAMIC) and the Independent Insurance Agents and Brokers of America. During this time, he served as a leading government affairs professional, running federal lobbying efforts, providing strategic planning, and representing members on all federal legislative and regulatory issues.
Justin graduated with his Master of Science in History of International Relations from The London School of Economics. He also holds his Bachelor of Science degree from Florida State University, where he currently serves as a University Trustee, with a double major in Political Science and History. He splits his time between Northern Virginia and Florida with his wife Jill and their two boys.
Jay Walker is a 20-year veterans of Georgia politics and public affairs. Jay most recently served as Senior Political Advisor to Governor Brian Kemp’s successful 2022 re-election campaign. Throughout his career, Jay has worked to elect Congressmen Drew Ferguson, Barry Loudermilk, and Rick Allen and served as an advisor to Georgia Governor Sonny Perdue. Jay was the Chief of Staff to Speaker of the Georgia House Glenn Richardson and Executive Director of the Georgia House Republican Caucus from 2019 to 2020.
At LINK, Jay will develop and oversee comprehensive public affairs strategies and provide strategic advice to corporate clients on public affairs matters with a heavy focus on Georgia companies. Jay will continue his political practice, including advising Georgia Governor Brian Kemp, with Creative Direct, a LINK-affiliated company.
A proud graduate of the University of Georgia, Jay currently resides in Perry, GA with his three daughters. Jay services LINK clients out of the Atlanta office.
Rob Simms, founder of St. James Strategies and Senior Advisor at Link Public Affairs, brings a wealth of experience from his 25 years of advising a diverse range of clients, from candidates and campaign committees to corporations and public affairs clients across the U.S.
Before establishing St. James Strategies, Rob co-founded the highly successful Convergence Media, a leading name in advertising, digital and consulting services. His work spans across U.S. Senate, Governor, and Congress campaigns, Super PACs, political party committees, and more.
Notably, in 2017, Rob played a key role as the general consultant and media strategist for Karen Handel’s historic special election campaign, the most expensive congressional race in U.S. history. His roster of high-profile clients includes Governor Ron DeSantis, Governor Mike Parson, Congressman Carlos Gimenez, the NRCC, the NRSC, and the RGA. His award-winning consulting and creative work have earned him accolades such as “Best Bare-knuckled Street Fight,” “Most Original Ad,” “Best Use of Humor,” and “Best Republican Ad.”
In addition to his campaign work, Rob offers strategic advice to Fortune 500 companies, trade associations, public affairs organizations, and non-profits, guiding them through the complexities of political, public affairs, and regulatory landscapes.
Before his current roles, Rob served as Chief of Staff to Congressman Bill Shuster and Deputy Secretary of State under Karen Handel in Georgia. Here, he handled the administration of the 2008 presidential elections and later testified on voter fraud and Photo ID issues before the U.S Senate. Rob, also an Adjunct Professor at George Mason University, enjoys sharing his insights as a featured speaker at conferences, panels, and roundtables.
Outside of his professional pursuits, Rob is a passionate sports fan, supporting the Redskins, Bullets, Nationals, Capitals, Newcastle United, and DC United. He lives in Alexandria, Virginia with his wife Cindy, their son Jack, and their mini-golden-doodle, Dutch.
Parker Slaybaugh has nearly 15 years combined experience in Virginia government and broadcast journalism. Parker served as Chief Deputy Secretary of Agriculture and Forestry for Governor Glenn Youngkin. During his tenure in the Youngkin Administration, he played a vital role in key policy initiatives while assisting with business development and regulatory reduction efforts in Virginia.
Parker also has extensive experience advocating for clients and helping them to accomplish their goals. Prior to his time in Virginia Government, Parker worked as a television news reporter and anchor in Virginia where he earned an Emmy award, an Edward R. Murrow award and numerous Associated Press awards.
Jason leads political and grassroots efforts for a wide range of clients. He designs and executes political, public affairs, and multi-channel media strategies that rally support for causes, persuade target audiences to take action or move public opinion to help our clients succeed.
A 20 plus year veteran of political campaigns, consulting and Capitol Hill, Jason has worked on the staff of a Speaker of the House, a United State Senator and advised hundreds of candidates up-and-down the ballot. Jason works directly with corporations, trade associations, non-profits, as well as political clients on a range of issues.
Jason’s work has scored numerous awards, including a Pollie Award for Best Direct Mail and the Pollie Award for Campaign Excellence. He’s also a recipient of DMAW’s MAXI Award for Best Direct Mail Package.
Jason Mashburn is a graduate of Liberty University with a degree in Political Science. He Co-Founded and serves on the Board of Directors of Cancer Kicks, an Atlanta-based non-profit organization, which raises funds for rare cancer research.
Scott Weldon joins the team as a veteran of campaigns, policy, and public affairs. Starting his political career at a local public relations firm in Virginia Beach, VA, Scott has managed some of the toughest races around, including defeating a senior incumbent Congressman while being outspent 10 to 1.
Scott’s focus on poignant messaging and ability to adapt to the data and emotion of the environment make him a great addition to our team. He has served as a legislative aide in Virginia and went to Capitol hill as Communications Director for several members of Congress. Scott finished his career on Capitol Hill as Deputy Chief of Staff to Congressman Jeff Van Drew(R-NJ) where he helped the member switch political parties from Democrat to Republican and oversaw the policy and communications operations in the office.
Scott has worked with a broad range of clients helping them build the most effective strategies to achieve their desired outcomes. Scott currently resides in Arlington, VA with his wife Laura and two children.
Dean Goodson has over 12 years of Virginia government and political experience. He has worked on two statewide campaigns, served as senior staff for three members of House leadership, including two Virginia House Speakers, and represented homebuilders and developers before local governments and the General Assembly.
Dean was responsible for overseeing the House Republican Campaign Committee’s operation in 2021 and 2023. His efforts helped Republicans successfully reclaim the House Majority in 2021. In 2022, he joined Speaker C. Todd Gilbert’s office where he served as Chief of Staff. Dean brings extensive legislative experience that allows him to assist those looking to navigate the Legislative and Executive branches.
A Charlottesville native, Dean now lives in Richmond, Virginia with his wife Jesica and their two daughters.
Ron Butler has over 30 years of experience in political and public affairs campaigns. At LINK, Ron develops and oversees comprehensive public affairs strategies.
Ron is the co-founder of Creative Direct, a LINK-affiliated company. Since forming Creative Direct in 1997, Ron Butler has grown the business from a small regional player to one of the largest and most successful voter contact firms in the nation, with clients from Maine to Hawaii. Under Ron’s leadership, Creative Direct played a pivotal role in U.S. Senate, Gubernatorial, and Congressional races across the country. Prior to forming Creative Direct, Ron managed many successful campaigns for local and statewide office.
Ron resides in the greater Ft. Lauderdale area with his wife, Elizabeth, and their two children.
Eloise brings a wide range of expertise to LINK’s clients. In addition to working directly with clients to develop overall strategy and content, Eloise works closely with LINK’s in-house design team to ensure our creative aligns with our client’s overall goals.
Eloise has developed and overseen numerous public affairs campaigns, including a successful campaign for a company that wanted to build a $615 million solar facility — one of the largest in the country — in rural Virginia. Most recently, Eloise worked closely with Caesars Entertainment to lead social media, digital, texting, and direct mail efforts to successfully pass a ballot referendum to bring a world-class casino and resort to Virginia.
Prior to joining LINK, Eloise has worked with a variety of political campaigns, including managing a statewide race and leading direct mail efforts for nonprofit, congressional, statewide, and national political clients.
Eloise has a Bachelor and Master Degree in Political Science from Appalachian State University. She resides in Richmond.
CJ Grover joins LINK with more than a decade of experience in communications and campaigns. In addition to managing statewide and Congressional campaigns, CJ served as Congressman Kevin Yoder’s Communications and as the Public Information Officer for Kansas Attorney General Derek Schmidt. CJ began his career working on Capitol Hill as a legislative aide to U.S. Senator Pat Roberts.
CJ resides in Overland Park, Kansas with his wife and their three children. He has a Bachelor’s Degree in Finance and Juris Doctor from the University of Kansas.
Robert brings legislative and campaign experience to the LINK team, working closely with clients to achieve their goals. While a full-time student at Virginia Commonwealth University, Robert managed a field program, a volunteer program, and social media for a Virginia Congressional Race, going on to work as a Regional Field Director for the RNC’s Victory Program, overseeing some of New York’s most competitive Congressional Districts while securing victories when many incumbents were losing their seats.
Before joining LINK, he worked with various campaigns and nonprofits, helping them manage their digital, fundraising, direct mail, and texting efforts. A lifelong native of Virginia, Robert graduated from Virginia Commonwealth University in 2021 and currently resides in Richmond.
Meaghan Mobbs, PhD, is an experienced policy and political leader. As Vice President for Client Strategies, she provides strategic advice to LINK clients on public affairs matters. Mobbs is a graduate of West Point, George Washington University, and holds a Doctorate in Psychology from Columbia University. She is a George W. Bush fellow and Tillman Military Scholar. A former advisor to Trump-Pence on defense, veteran, and military family issues, she most recently served as a senior policy advisor to Governor Glenn Youngkin’s successful 2021 gubernatorial campaign. She’s a fellow with the Independent Women’s Forum and often provides commentary on defense policy, military transition, civilian-military relations, and culture.
Mobbs will serve clients from Northern Virginia, where she lives with her husband and two daughters. She will also continue her work with Save Our Allies, a nonprofit that emerged during the fall of Afghanistan and continue work on additional projects in the Commonwealth.
Brandon Moody has over two decades of campaign management, public policy, and advertising wins at every level of government.
He has consulted on high-profile U.S. Senate, gubernatorial and congressional races, served as strategist and messaging consultant for statewide ballot initiatives, and consulted on national public affairs fights.
Brandon worked on the senior staff at the National Republican Congressional Committee where he oversaw the spending of tens of millions in advertising for targeted races. As Patriot Program Director at the NRCC, he worked directly with 50 Congressional incumbents to build strong campaigns, and prepare for reelection.
Prior to the NRCC, Brandon worked on Capitol Hill, serving as Chief of Staff to Rep. Sean Duffy from Wisconsin’s 7th congressional district.
In 2008, Brandon worked on international communications and polling roles in Northern Iraq helping support the political efforts of the Prime Minister of Kurdistan.
Brandon and his wife Angie currently reside in Charleston, SC with their two daughters.
A recent graduate of Virginia Commonwealth University, Olivia joined LINK in 2023 where she creates and executes strategic public affairs plans and campaigns. Throughout her time at VCU, Olivia worked for a major Virginia lobbying firm and served as a Governor’s Fellow for the Secretary of the Commonwealth’s office where she specialized in advisory boards and the board appointment process. In 2023, Olivia was appointed by Governor Youngkin to Virginia’s Advisory Committee for Juvenile Justice and Prevention.
As Project Manager, Elisabeth Martin supports LINK’s senior partners and executes strategic public affairs campaigns with a focus on LINK’s Georgia clients. A graduate from the University of West Georgia, Elisabeth holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Mass Communications with a concentration in Public Relations. Elisabeth has served in multiple executive board positions within the university’s Public Relations Student Society of America chapter, to which she credits her skills of professionalism and leadership. She also was an active member of Bluestone: a student-led public relations firm through which she would lead on creativity and client engagement.
A proud Georgia native, Elisabeth currently resides in Smyrna with her husband.