The Team

The Mount Vernon Group team possess the knowledge, expertise and judgment to effectively and efficiently execute a client work plan and is uniquely qualified to advance our clients' goals.

 

Sonia Holman, President
State and Federal Government Experience

Prior to the establishment of the Mount Vernon Group, Ms. Holman served as Partner of the American Continental Group (ACG) for five years, a government relations firm headquartered in Washington DC. Her work at ACG included both state and federal government relations for a wide variety of clients including associations, corporations and non-profit organizations. Over the previous two decades, Ms. Holman served as Manager for State Government Affairs for the Eastman Kodak Company,  as Vice President for Legislative Affairs at Associated Industries of Massachusetts, and served for nine years in various positions within the Health and Human Services Secretariat for the Commonwealth of Massachusetts.


Board of Advisors

Rich Galen
Includes work in and out of politics, both inside and outside of the US.

Rich did a tour of duty in Iraq where he went at the request of the White House to coordinate communtcations at the onset of the war. The assignment - which was to have lasted about eight weeks, stretched into six months. Rich has been press secretary to Dan Quayle, when the former Vice President was a Congressman and a U.S. Senator; and to Newt Gingrich when Gingrich was House Republican Whip and, in 1996 became the communications director of the political office of Speaker Gingrich.

Since, March 1998, Mr. Galen has written a three-day-a-week political column - Mullings - which reaches some 400,000 people per month and is considered required reading by senior reporters and political operatives on both sides of the aisle.

In Washington, DC, Mr. Galen is an often quoted source for many of the major American news outlets. He has maintained excellent contacts with all of the networks, major daily newspapers, major news weeklies as well as the Associated Press and Reuters wire services.

Mr. Galen is a frequent guest on television shows on FOX, CNN, CNBC, and MSNBC. He has also appeared on the "Today" show, on "Good Morning America," on "Nightline" and on "Larry King Live." He has also appeared with Geraldo Rivera, Chris Matthews, Brian Williams, and many others. He is also senior advisor to the world-wide public relations firm, Manning, Selvage & Lee in Washington, DC.
 


Beth Viola
White House, Congressional and Communications Experience

Beth A. Viola is managing director of Holland & Knight Strategic Communications Group. Ms. Viola's practice areas include environmental consulting, trade, appropriations and public relations.

Prior to joining Holland & Knight, Ms. Viola served as a senior advisor to the White House Council on Environmental Quality. In this capacity, she served as a senior member of a team responsible for advising the president and the vice president on environmental and energy issues. While in the White House, she concentrated on a number of policy issues including climate change, natural resources and smart growth. She served as the primary White House liaison on these issues to elected officials, industry, environmental, religious and labor leaders as well as the media. During the last year of her tenure, she was one of Vice President Gore's chief environmental advisors and served as a senior policy advisor to him during his presidential campaign. She also served as an advisor to John Kerry in the 2004 election.

Before joining the White House in 1994, Ms. Viola worked in government affairs for Matsushita Electric Corporation of America. She is also a former congressional staff member for U.S. Representatives John Edward Porter of Illinois and Claudine Schneider of Rhode Island.


Mark Holman, Chairman
Senior State & Federal Government Experience, Political Campaigns

Mark Holman’s extensive political career in public service provides a comprehensive understanding of our system of government and the political process. Mr. Holman currently serves as a Partner for Blank Rome Government Relations. Prior to his work at Blank Rome he served as Chief of Staff for the White House Office of Homeland Security beginning with its inception and until a separate Cabinet level Department of Homeland Security was formed. Holman served as both the Campaign Manager and Chief of Staff for Tom Ridge for the previous 18 years – when Mr. Ridge served in Congress and as Pennsylvania’s Governor. Prior to his work with Mr. Ridge, he served on the staff of the late United States Senator John Heinz.

In addition, Mr. Holman has significant campaign experience having served on President Reagan’s 1980 campaign staff as well as on President Bush’s campaign staff in 1980 and in 1988 and most recently serving as Senior Advisor to the Swann for Governor Campaign in Pennsylvania.

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Steve Colovas
White House, Congressional and Military Experience

Mr. Colovas's extensive public service career began in the Federal Energy Regulatory Agency (FERC), the government agency which oversees the utility power industry.  After FERC, Mr. Colovas moved to Capitol Hill to staff Congressman Bill Archer from Texas and then moved to the Reagan Administration as Special Assistant to the Director of Legislative Affairs at the Office of Management and Budget in the Executive Office of the President.

He later joined the Bush Administration as Deputy Assistant Secretary in the State Department for Legislative Affairs. He was reactivated in the US Naval reserves and was assigned to NATO’s Southern European Command where he served as an Intelligence Officer to the Commander of the Naval Striking Force – after his tour of duty, he was assigned to the U.S. Naval Strike Warfare School in Fallon Nevada where he assisted in training and evaluating Naval Intelligence Officers.

After his military service, Mr. Colovas joined the American Continental Group, a government and public affairs group. His practice included handling all federal appropriation matters for the firm for a wide variety of clients.


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