Turnover Causes Navigators to Chart New Course

Posted October 1, 2009 at 12:06pm

Lobbying and public relations firm Navigators Global is facing the departures of several senior Republican employees.Four senior members of Navigators’ operation have left recently, including Rhonda Bentz, Michelle Raines and Rob Stutzman, who were in the firm’s strategic communication’s practice. Lobbyist Frank Tillotson has also made his exit.Tillotson ended his tenure with the firm at the end of September and will continue to be a strategic partner with the firm on financial services clients, according to Navigators President Phil Anderson. Bentz left the firm at the end of August to form her own public relations firm, Bentz Strategies. Raines, who was a vice president at the firm, left in mid-September to become vice president of operations at the 2012 Indianapolis Super Bowl Host Committee.Stutzman, who was based in the firm’s Sacramento, Calif., office, is leaving to work on Republican candidate Meg Whitman’s bid to become governor of California. Stutzman has been working as a senior adviser to the campaign. Anderson said the exits were all “completely individually based— and not the result of a restructuring of the firm or financial pressures. “Our revenues and billings are up, and we’re very proud of that,— Anderson said. The firm reported $2.72 million in lobbying revenue during the first half of 2009, according to Senate lobbying reports. The firm reported $2.07 million in lobbying revenue during the first half of 2008. Formed in 2003, the formerly all-Republican firm merged with Roberti Associates in January in a move to become bipartisan. “We’re continuing our press to become a balanced bipartisan firm,— Anderson said. “Our focus is on lobbying and communications.—Tracy Sefl, a Democrat, remains head of the firm’s communications practice in Washington.