About DMA Advocacy
Meet DMA's Government Affairs Team
As your company focuses on its core business functions, DMA’s Government Affairs team is constantly focused on the wide range of policy and political issues that affect the direct marketing community. There are many ways for you to connect directly with the team:
Whenever Congress is in session, DMA’s Government Affairs team publishes Direct from Washington, a weekly e-newsletter including vital legislative updates that help you stay current with activity in Congress, at federal agencies, and in state governments.
Monthly conference calls with the DMA Government Affairs team enable Washington Representatives at member companies to hear what’s new across a broad range of federal and state policy issues.
DMA’s Government Affairs team leads coalitions of both member companies and other associations in coordinated industry action on important policy issues.
Read on to learn about and connect directly with each member of the team, or send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org to learn more about our publications, conference calls and coalitions.
Senior Vice President, Government Affairs
Jerry Cerasale is senior vice president of government affairs for the Direct Marketing Association (DMA). In this role, Cerasale represents the multichannel marketing community’s policymaking interests on Capitol Hill and before key federal agencies, including the US Postal Service (USPS) and the Federal Trade Commission (FTC).
Cerasale began his legal and government relations career in the USPS’s legal department. He served for 12 years at the Postal Regulatory Commission (PRC) in a number of advisory roles, including seven years as legal advisor to PRC Chairman Janet Steiger. He then became attorney/advisor to FTC Chairman Janet Steiger. Immediately before joining DMA in 1995, Cerasale was deputy general counsel for the US House of Representatives Committee on Post Office and Civil Service.
Currently, Cerasale is secretary/treasurer of The Mailers Council’s Board of Directors. He has also been a member of FTC’s Advisory Committee on Online Access, and vice chairman of the Postal Matters Subsection of the Administrative Law and Regulatory Practice Section of the American Bar Association.
Cerasale holds a juris doctorate from the University of Virginia School of Law, and a bachelor’s degree in government and economics from Wesleyan University. He served in the US Army from 1970 to 1972.
Vice President, State Affairs
Ron Barnes is vice president of state affairs for the Direct Marketing Association (DMA), where he represents the Association in issues of state advocacy. Barnes joined DMA in April 2007, as part of DMA’s ongoing efforts to expand the breadth of its advocacy capabilities.
Barnes came to DMA from CTIA–The Wireless Association, where he managed the organization’s state regulatory advocacy. Earlier at CTIA, he led the implementation of Section 225 (the disability access provision of the Telecommunication Act of 1996) and worked on CTIA’s industry and consumer education efforts on wireless phone and base station health effects. Prior to joining CTIA, Barnes was a legislative affairs specialist with Holland & Knight LLP, where he focused on legislative and regulatory activities in the telecommunications, environment, and health care sectors. Previously, he served on the staff of US Senator Lauch Faircloth (R-NC).
Barnes holds a bachelor’s degree in political science from the University of North Carolina.
Rachel Nyswander Thomas
Vice President, Government Affairs
Rachel Nyswander Thomas is vice president of government affairs for the Direct Marketing Association (DMA). In this role, Thomas represents the multichannel marketing community’s policymaking interests on Capitol Hill and before key federal agencies.
Prior to joining McGraw-Hill, Thomas served as director of programs and projects for the Women Faculty Forum (WFF) at Yale University, developing and expanding programs to promote gender equity and conducting policy research to advance WFF advocacy on issues of mentoring, diversity, faculty development and family-friendly workplace policies.
Thomas holds a BA degree in Humanities from Yale University and a Master of Policy Management degree from Georgetown University. She earned her Certified International Privacy Professional (CIPP) certification from the International Association of Privacy Professionals in 2008.
Director, Government Affairs
Adam Nelson is the Director of Government Affairs for the Direct Marketing Association (DMA). In this role, Nelson’s primary functions are to engage DMA’s key stakeholders on grassroots political activity and manage DMA’s Political Action Committee, Direct Voice PAC.
Nelson comes to DMA from Exelon Corporation where he developed grassroots campaigns in support of Exelon’s public policy goals at the national and state levels. In 2010, Nelson led Exelon’s grassroots campaign to engage more than 350,000 stakeholders to help pass legislation on expiring dividend tax cuts. For a similar campaign in 2006, Nelson received Edison Electric Institute’s Award for Innovation.
In addition to his stakeholder engagement responsibilities, Nelson managed all aspects of Exelon’s $1.8 million Political Action Committee, where he counseled the PAC’s Board of Directors and senior executives on strategic performance measures and fundraising efforts in support of the company’s policy objectives. In 2010, he launched Exelon’s largest fundraising campaign to date, grossing $200,000, and averaging $1,000 per person in annual giving.
Earlier in his career, Nelson worked at the American College of Cardiology (ACC), serving as the staff liaison to drive state political action on legislative and regulatory proposals affecting cardiovascular medicine.
Nelson has spoken for the Public Affairs Council on grassroots advocacy and PAC management, and sits on the PAC National Grassroots and National PAC Conference planning committees. He also has contributed to a number of publications including ASAE’s Associations Now magazine.
Adam received his B.A in Government from Franklin & Marshall College.