Capitol Insight

January 2 | Jefferson City

Hit the ground running for the 2024 Legislative Session! Whether you’re new to the Missouri Capitol or an experienced advocacy professional, you won’t want to miss this gathering of your peers, industry experts and government officials. Equip yourself to achieve your advocacy goals with the latest legislative intel, updates and more to maximize your impact in Jefferson City.

Registration rates:

Members | $129

Non-members | $199


Join us at the Courtyard by Marriott located at 610 Bolivar Street, Jefferson City, MO 65101. Complimentary parking is available onsite. 

Room block extended!

Book a room at the Courtyard hotel at our discounted rate of $136/night. Deadline to book is Dec. 27.


2023 Highlights


Click below to see highlights from 2023!

2023 Highlight Reel


1pm | Welcome

1:10pm | Child care panel with Jamie Birch, Rep. Brenda Shields and Sen. Brian Williams

1:50pm | Ballot measures with Chuck Hatfield and Lowell Pearson

2:30pm | Break

2:40pm | Budget panel discussion with Sen. Karla Eslinger, Sen. Barbara Washington

3:20pm | Legislative leadership panel with Sen. Doug Beck, Sen. Cindy O’Laughlin, Rep. Jonathan Patterson, Rep. Crystal Quade

4:15pm | Closing

4:30-5:30pm | Reception


Senator Doug Beck was elected in 2020 to represent the residents of the 1st Senatorial District in the Missouri Senate. Prior to his election to the Senate, he served two terms in the House of Representatives from 2016-2020. During his time in the House, he was the ranking minority member of the Economic Development and Workforce Development Committees and also served on the Veterans and Children and Families Committees.

Senator Beck defends workers and their rights, promotes public education, encourages job creation and champions affordable health care for all. He is an adamant supporter of public safety and first responders.

Aside from his legislative duties, Sen. Beck enjoys a 34-year career as a proud pipefitter and member of UA Local 562. He served on the Affton School Board for nine years, including two years as president. During his tenure, he expanded early childhood education and increased opportunities for students pursuing STEM careers.

Born and raised in St. Louis County, Sen. Beck graduated from Lindbergh High School in 1983 and attended St. Louis Community College. He has been married for 35 years to his wife, Marilyn, has two children and three grandchildren.

Jamie Birch currently serves as Missouri Governor Michael Parson’s Policy Director. Prior to joining the Parson Administration in late 2020, she was with the Missouri Public Service Commission as their Legislative Director from 2018 – 2020. Originally from Arizona, Jamie served in Arizona Governor Janice Brewer’s administration from 2011-2014, and for a local government from 2014-2018 in a variety of roles.

Jamie holds an Associates in General Studies form Chandler-Gilbert Community College, a Bachelor of Arts in Political Science from Arizona State University, and a Master’s in Public Administration from the University of Missouri.

Senator Karla Eslinger is a lifelong educator with more than 30 years of experience in a variety of educational settings. She most recently served as a senior analyst for education services with the AEM Corporation and provided technical assistance to the U.S. Department of Education in Washington, D.C. Previously, she served as an assistant commissioner of education for the Missouri Department of Elementary and Secondary Education. She began her career as an elementary school teacher and went on to work as a building principal and a superintendent of schools in Ava and West Plains.

A graduate of Gainesville High School, Sen. Eslinger holds a bachelor degree in elementary education from The College of the Ozarks. She also earned a master’s degree in education administration and a specialist degree in superintendency and educational system administration from Missouri State University. Senator Eslinger received her doctorate in educational leadership and policy analysis from the University of Missouri-Columbia.
Prior to her election to the Missouri Senate in 2020, Sen. Eslinger represented District 155 in the Missouri House of Representatives from 2019 through 2020.

Senator Eslinger is a long-term resident of Wasola, where she and her husband David reside on the family farm. They have also owned and operated a small business for over 35 years. They have two daughters and three grandchildren.

Chuck Hatfield is recognized by Chambers USA as “the preeminent government relations litigator in Missouri.” He draws on 25 years’ experience litigating and negotiating very high-profile cases, primarily involving some sort of government action, to offer clients a broad and insightful perspective on Missouri’s judiciary and broader government relations. There is probably no attorney who knows more members of the judiciary and the executive branch in the state. He is also known for his quick wit on social media and willingness to take on tough cases.” He has personally handled numerous cases before the Missouri Supreme Court. Chuck regularly appears before administrative agencies, as well as trial and appellate courts at both the state and federal levels.

Official headshot of Senator Cindy O'Laughlin

Senator Cindy O’Laughlin was elected in 2018 and again in 2022 to represent Northeast Missouri in the Senate. In 2022, she was elected by her peers to serve as the Majority Floor Leader, the first female to hold this position in state history. She is credited with improving the efficiency of the Missouri Senate during her first year serving in that role.

In addition to her public service, Sen. O’Laughlin is the former co-owner of Leo O’Laughlin, Inc., a trucking company and ready-mix concrete business with locations in Shelbina, Macon, Marceline and LaBelle.

Prior to being elected to the Missouri Senate, Sen. O’Laughlin served as a school bus driver, an administrator at a local Christian school and as a member of her local school board. She previously served as chair of the Senate Education Committee and remains a strong advocate for school choice in Missouri.

Senator O’Laughlin has served on numerous statewide boards, such as the Associated Builders and Contractors, the Children’s Trust Fund and the Missouri Club for Growth. Senator O’Laughlin is currently a member of the National Rifle Association, Missouri Cattlemen’s Association, the Missouri Farm Bureau and Macon First Baptist Church.

Senator O’Laughlin grew up on a farm and spent much of her childhood around horses, livestock auctions and corn fields. Today, she’s the proud owner of several dogs, including Basset Hounds, as well as several rescue dogs.

A current resident of Shelbina, Sen. O’Laughlin has four sons, a foster daughter and seven grandchildren. She is a 1978 graduate of the University of Missouri.

Dr. Jon Patterson, a Republican, represents district 30, which includes parts of Lee’s Summit. He was elected to his first two-year term in November of 2018. Rep. Patterson currently serves as Majority Floor Leader.

Rep. Patterson is a 1998 graduate of Blue Springs High School. He then attended the University of Missouri – Columbia, where he earned both his bachelors and medical degree. After medical school, Dr. Patterson completed his surgical residency at Truman Medical Center in downtown Kansas City. Dr. Patterson practiced general surgery in eastern Jackson county from 2011-2022.

Rep. Patterson lives in Lee’s Summit with his wife, Jennifer. They have two children, Leah and Andrew. In his spare time Dr. Patterson enjoys family time, reading, and golf. Dr. Patterson is committed to public service through medical missions. He has completed surgical mission trips around the world, including to the Dominican Republic, Jamaica, and Jordan.

Lowell Pearson Headshot

A wide range of clients – including regulated businesses in manufacturing, aviation and healthcare; individual political candidates and political action committees (PACs); and political subdivisions – rely on Lowell’s extensive experience in administrative law; election law and political campaign finance law; as well as government contract and procurement matters. A trusted litigator, he has handled numerous cases in the federal and state courts challenging government action, and has made multiple appearances before the Missouri Supreme Court in employment and constitutional cases.

Clients appreciate Lowell’s deep background within and innate understanding of public policy. Lowell worked in Washington, DC, as a policy advisor to the Judicial Conference of the United States and as counsel to Bob Dole’s 1988 presidential election campaign. He also served as both Missouri’s Deputy Director of Revenue and general counsel to Missouri Governor Matt Blunt. Lowell has been a regular speaker on administrative law, tax and election law issues.

Rep. Crystal Quade, a Democrat, represents part of Greene County (District 132) in the Missouri House of Representatives. She was elected to her first term in office in November 2016. She was first elected by her caucus to serve as the House Minority Floor Leader for the 100th General Assembly and re-elected for the 101st General Assembly.

Quade earned her Bachelor of Social Work degree at Missouri State University and is the former director of chapter services at Care to Learn, a nonprofit organization that addresses the health, hunger and hygiene needs of economically disadvantaged children in several school districts across Missouri. She previously worked for Community Blood Center of the Ozarks, Organizing for America, and as a U.S. Senate constituent services representative.

Quade currently serves as a Board Member for Better Life in Recovery and is a member of the League of Women Voters of Southwest Missouri. She also works with the Springfield, MO Community Focus Report, Civic Engagement Team. In 2017, Quade was named one of Springfield Business Journal’s 12 People You Need to Know, in 2018 was awarded SBJ’s 40 under 40, and was honored as one of Springfield’s Most Influential Women.

Quade and her family live in Springfield, Missouri.

Woman in navy top with white accents and brown hair smiling.

Representative Brenda Shields, a Republican, represents St. Joseph and Buchanan County (District 11) in the Missouri House of Representatives.  She was elected to her first two-year term in November 2018.

Prior to serving in the legislature, Shields worked for the Quaker Oats Company in St. Joseph for more than 17 years, culminating in the role of logistics specialist.  After closure of the St. Joseph Quaker Oats facility, she followed her passion for service and entered Missouri’s Alternative Teacher Certification program teaching business education in the St. Joseph School District. In 2006, she was selected by the community board to serve as the president and CEO of the United Way of Greater St. Joseph.

Shields commitment to community and service shows through her service on several boards and commissions, including board chair for the United Cerebral Palsy, board member for the St. Joseph Chamber of Commerce, board member for the Allied Arts Council, board member of the Buchanan County Tourism Board and board member of the YMCA of Greater Kansas City.  She served as Mid-Buchanan PTA president, on the Commerce Bank CRA Advisory Board, Girl Schouts Leadership Circle and Boy Scouts Troop 216 committee. Her service to Missouri includes service on the Governor’s Complete County Committee and Missouri’s Coordinating Board for Early Childhood Education.

Shields has been recognized for her leadership in the General Assembly by many organizations including being named Missouri Chamber of Commerce Freshman Legislator of the year in 2019, Otto Bean Jr. Art Advocacy Award 2022, United Way Leadership St. Joseph 2022 Distinguish Leader, Farm Bureau Friends of Agriculture Award, Missouri Gifted Association Distinguished Legislator and Missouri Centers of Independent Living Legislative Champion.

Shields is a graduate of the University of Missouri-Columbia and lives in rural Buchanan County with her husband Charlie.  They have two married sons.

Senator Barbara Anne Washington, a Democrat, represents the 9th Senatorial District in the Missouri Senate. She was sworn into office on Jan. 6, 2021. Prior to being elected to the Senate, she served the residents of Jackson County in the House of Representatives for three years.

Senator Washington proudly supports increased economic development in her district – including preserving the notable “18th & Vine” district, increased funding for educational opportunities and universal health care for all. In her district, she regularly presents programs designed to bring attention to the importance of small business development, juvenile justice reform, minority mental health awareness, crime reduction and environmental preservation.

When she’s not advocating for her district, Sen. Washington volunteers with her beloved sorority, Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc. She is a member of the St. James United Methodist Church, the Metropolitan Community Colleges Board of Trustees, Urban Summit, Freedom, Inc., the Kansas City Boys/Girls Choir and the United Nations Association of Greater Kansas City.

In addition to her legislative duties, Sen. Washington is a practicing attorney who also possesses an MBA. She is a proud graduate of the University of Missouri-Columbia’s famed School of Journalism. She obtained her Master of Business Administration from Avila University and her Juris Doctorate from the University of Missouri-Kansas City.

Senator Washington is a lifelong Kansas City, Missouri, resident. She has one daughter and two grandsons.

Senator Brian Williams has proudly represented the 14th Senatorial District in St. Louis County since 2018. Senator Williams is the first Black male to serve in the Missouri Senate in two decades. He was drawn to public service after studying government and public health policy, a passion that eventually led him to the U.S. Congress. He worked as a congressional staffer for several years and oversaw Missouri’s rollout of the Affordable Care Act (ACA) Marketplace under President Obama’s administration.

In his time as a senator, Sen. Williams has created legislation allowing those with sickle cell anemia to access needed pain medication prescriptions; protected individuals’ MO ABLE funds for disability costs; and leads the Capitol’s annual human trafficking awareness day.

During the 2021 legislative session, Sen. Williams passed comprehensive police reforms, Senate Bills 53 & 60, into law. These sweeping criminal justice reforms established the strongest use of force database in the country; prohibit law enforcement from using a respiratory chokehold without deadly force authorization; ensure women offenders have access to free, adequate feminine hygiene products while in a correctional facility or jail; and shortened the delay to request an expungement for those who have paid their debt to society. Senator Williams also added a provision that helps set innocent people free from wrongful imprisonment. This provision allows prosecutors and circuit attorneys to file a motion to vacate convictions if they believe the convicted person is innocent, a change that was instrumental in the 2021 release of Kevin Strickland, who was wrongfully convicted and served time for over 40 years.

During the 2022 legislative session, Sen. Williams proudly secured $98 million for North St. Louis County projects, including $40 million for the University of Missouri-St. Louis to construct the “Campus of the Future;” $15 million to manufacture active pharmaceutical ingredients; $23 million to build a public safety training facility; $7 million for public transit assistance; $6 million to abate, demolish and repurpose the Jamestown Mall; $4 million to renovate the St. Louis Metro Employment and Training Center in Wellston; and $400,000 for Youth Build Works.

In addition to legislative duties, Sen. Williams serves as a board director for People’s Health Center, where he helped develop a behavioral health care center for underserved children. He is also a member of the advisory boards for St. Louis Crisis Nursery, Simmons Bank, iHeart Media, Nurses for Newborns, University City Children’s Center, Alzheimer’s Association and Refuge and Restoration.

Event Questions?

Contact Ashley Schwab, Director of Conference Development.

Ashley Schwab

Director of Conference Development



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