Gary Smith has more than 30 years experience providing strategic communications and public affairs advice and services. He has concentrated on understanding and shaping public opinion on state and regional issues, including the repositioning of industries and companies and managing issues on a regional scale.
In 1990 Gary co-founded The Gallatin Group, a regional public affairs consulting firm, serving as president from 1993 through 2005 and chairman until his departure in 2007 to form Gary Smith Company, a Seattle-based international public affairs and strategic communications consulting firm.
Gary’s clients have included natural resource, utility, maritime, real estate, conservation, and sustainable development interests such as Premera Blue Cross, Plum Creek Timber, Albertsons, Toy Industry Association, and the Washington Citizens for World Trade. In addition to his consulting experience, Gary has managed government and public relations for a large corporation and worked in local and state government and the U.S. Senate.Aligned with his personal interests, Gary’s public service trends toward conservation issues, especially regarding salmon. He represents the United States on the North Pacific Anadromous Fish Commission and serves on the boards of Long Live The Kings and the Seattle Aquarium Society.
Don Stark was a founding partner of Gogerty Stark Marriott, one of the pioneering firms of Pacific Northwest public affairs. For 30 years, he has been an authority on public opinion and regional issues, leading major political/communications projects for the region’s most prominent companies, including Boeing, Weyerhaeuser, Puget Sound Energy, a number of major developers and business coalitions.
He has represented clients involved or impacted by nearly every major regional transportation project in the past decade. He has also been active in the leadership of the Greater Seattle Chamber of Commerce, where he sits on the executive committee of the board.
His ability to assemble “unlikely allies” to assist with his client’s public policy goals has been a hallmark of his work. He has also directed complex public opinion research and communications projects that have enabled clients to overcome seemingly overwhelming communications challenges.
Don’s focus for service to the community is directed toward increasing opportunity for the young. He served the Wallingford and King County Boys and Girls Clubs for over a decade and now serves on the board of the Foundation for Early Learning. He is the board chair of Leadership Tomorrow, the Seattle Chamber’s business leaders development program. A long-time advocate for civil and human rights, he serves on the Pacific Northwest Advisory Board for the Anti-Defamation League.