Ereli, left, is a new addition to the Mercury team. Rehberg, a former lawmaker who joined the firm earlier this year, said the work reminds him of his past in Congress.
While Ereli said he was proud of his time in public service, he was primed to move on from the State Department and wanted to avoid the clock striking midnight, something he told CQ Roll Call before the government ground to a halt thanks to the shutdown.
“You know, in federal service, everybody turns into a pumpkin after a certain time,” he said. “If you have a 30-year career, that’s a lot.” And while Ereli will be traveling often, he said he looks forward to being based in Washington, D.C.
“I think the District’s a great place to be,” he said. In no major capital city could a person with a median income own a home with a lawn as close to the seat of government as one can do in the District, he said. London, he noted, would be exponentially more costly.
“Washington’s the kind of place where (a) the world comes, and (b) you can go to the whole world,” he said. “And it’s a good place to live.”
Soliman joined the firm last month as a managing director and is based primarily in New Jersey.
Soliman has worked in a variety of positions with Democratic officials in New Jersey since earning his master’s degree in public affairs and politics from the Bloustein School at Rutgers University in 2006.
Mike DuHaime, a partner at Mercury, lauded Soliman’s political acumen.
Soliman is both an expert on the federal government and an experienced political operative respected by both Democrats and Republicans, DuHaime said.
While DuHaime worked as a Republican operative in New Jersey, he said, Soliman was working as a top Democratic operative in the Garden State, and the two often crossed paths. “I think the thing that’s most special about Mike is he can talk very well about the foreign affairs and talk equally as well about a local town council race,” DuHaime said.
While Ereli and Soliman are still getting their bearings at Mercury, Rehberg, who joined the firm earlier this year, is no longer the new kid in the office. Rehberg was Montana’s at-large representative from 2001 to 2013 and had served in the Montana Legislature before narrowly losing a U.S. Senate race to Democrat Jon Tester in 2012.
Rehberg said work at Mercury suits him just fine, explaining that he does so much more than simply represent clients. He gets to help people fully realize issues and better explain his clients’ stories.
“They’re very easy to work with,” he said of his new employer. “They’re full-service ... the full package.”
Rehberg added that his work at Mercury is reminiscent of his time in Congress, where he would often work on wide-ranging issues every day. Now at Mercury, Rehberg said each day is a surprise and one moment he could be working with a client regarding fracking and the next be focused on infant care.
All in all, Goncharenko said, these recent hires are part of the next step forward for Mercury.
“Success in our business is all about talent and culture,” he said. “We’re trying to build a global, best-in-class consultancy.”
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Rep. Elijah Cummings, D-Md., right, hugs Harold Schaitberger, General President of the International Association of Fire Fighters, after the Congressman spoke at the IAFF's Legislative Conference General Session at the Hyatt Regency on Capitol Hill, March 9, 2015. The day featured addresses by members of Congress and Vice President Joe Biden.