Back in Session: A DMGS Podcast

by Duane Morris Government Strategies

Welcome to "Back in Session," a podcast focused on exploring various state-level policies and legislation shaping our nation, one state at a time. Join our hosts, Ryan Stevens and Ryan DeMara from Duane Morris Government Strategies, as they engage a diverse range of guests to bring you behind the scenes of the legislative process.

Whether you are a policy wonk looking to dive into recent legislative developments, or a  ... 

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Podcast episodes

  • Season 2

  • Bantering Business with the PA Chamber's Jon Anzur

    Bantering Business with the PA Chamber's Jon Anzur

    On this week's Back in Session episode, the Ryans are joined by special guest Jon Anzur, Vice President of Public Affairs for the Pennsylvania Chamber of Business and Industry. They discuss Jon's path to the Chamber, including his experience working campaigns and on the Hill in DC. They also discuss what issues the Chamber is working on and highlight some policy successes. And with March Madness coming up soon, they also touch on the Chamber's upcoming "Coolest Thing Made in PA" bracket challenge. About the PA Chamber of Business and Industry: The Pennsylvania Chamber of Business and Industry—the Statewide Voice of BusinessTM —was founded on Dec. 16, 1916 by a group of more than 100 influential business leaders from across the Commonwealth who recognized the need for a unified voice for business in the halls of the state Capitol. Our mission is to advocate for job creation and lead Pennsylvania to greater prosperity for its residents. Headquartered in Harrisburg, and with staff in Pittsburgh, Philadelphia, Lehigh Valley and Hazleton, today’s PA Chamber is the largest broad-based business association in Pennsylvania. Our membership comprises close to 10,000 member businesses of all sizes and industry sectors throughout the state—from sole proprietors to Fortune 100 companies—representing nearly 50 percent of the private workforce in the Commonwealth. Business advocacy is at the heart of our work. With a full-time staff of experienced business lobbyists, an active political action committee, legislative issue work groups and grassroots action network, the PA Chamber serves as the frontline advocate for business growth in the state Capitol. Learn more:

  • Ringing in the New Year with Charlotte Hickcox from the Toy Association

    Ringing in the New Year with Charlotte Hickcox from the Toy Association

    Happy New Year! To ring in the 2024 New Year, the Ryans bring on Charlotte Hickcox from the Toy Association to talk all things toys. They discuss Charlotte's background, what the Toy Association does, and reminisce over their favorite childhood toys! About the Toy Association: Founded on June 9, 1916 as Toy Manufacturers of America, Inc., The Toy Association®, Inc. is the business trade association representing hundreds of companies including manufacturers, retailers, licensors and others who are involved in the youth entertainment industry. Their manufacturing members account for 93% of US toy and game sales, which were approximately $40 billion in 2022. Learn more:

  • Season 1

  • Empire State of Mind: Discussion with New York State Assemblyman Anil Beephan, Jr.

    Empire State of Mind: Discussion with New York State Assemblyman Anil Beephan, Jr.

    This week, the Ryans bring New York State Assemblyman Anil Beephan Jr. onto the podcast - the first state lawmaker on the DMGS Back in Session Podcast! They discuss Asm. Beephan's experience in his first year in office, what it was like serving as a local elected official before being elected to the state Assembly, and some of the issues he's fighting for in Albany on behalf of his constituents in the 105th legislative district. About Assemblyman Anil Beephan: Anil Beephan Jr. was elected to the New York State Assembly on November 8, 2022. His district is comprised of parts of Dutchess County including the towns of Amenia, Beekman, Dover, East Fishkill, Fishkill, LaGrange, Pawling, Union Vale, and Wappinger. As an Assemblyman, Anil utilizes his experience as a town councilman to focus on the important issues facing the residents of Dutchess County including support for policies that seek to make New York State energy independent. He seeks increased domestic energy production while also holding public utility companies accountable to customers. Anil is ready to fight for our environmental needs and to protect our ecosystem for future generations. Further, he will push to reduce the wasteful spending habits of Albany and ease the heavy tax burden shouldered by New York’s small businesses and residents. Anil believes in smarter spending and greater resources for schools, infrastructure projects, and emergency services. Additionally, he will support the needs of law enforcement and changes to the state’s bail reform measures to directly address safety issues in our communities. Anil completed his undergraduate degree at Arcadia University and later earned his master’s degree in Management at Harvard University. He previously served in various legislative roles for state Sen. Sue Serino before embarking on a career as a client-driven public relations and marketing strategist. Prior to being elected Assemblyman, Anil served as a councilman for the Town of East Fishkill. Anil is a long-time resident of East Fishkill and served his community as a volunteer firefighter. He is also a private pilot. Learn more:

  • Fueling Change in the Garden State: a Discussion with the NJGCA

    Fueling Change in the Garden State: a Discussion with the NJGCA

    This week, the Ryans sit down with special guest Eric Blomgren, Chief Administrative Officer and Director of Government Affairs for the New Jersey Gasoline-Convenience-Automotive Association. They discuss what it's like lobbying in New Jersey and what's in store for the NJGCA in 2024, including issues such as NJ's EV mandate (Advanced Clean Cars II), a potential ban on menthol cigarettes, and whether or not New Jersey will continue to ban self-service gas pumping. They also look to settle the longstanding Jersey debate: Taylor Ham vs Pork Roll. About the NJGCA: Founded in 1937, and boasting a proud tradition of excellence that stretches back over 75 years, NJGCA represents over 1,500 small business owners who serve the motoring public in the gasoline service station, convenience store, and automotive repair industries. Their members also include car washes, tire vendors, car dealerships, automotive parts dealers, financial services companies, fuel distributors, lubricant vendors, business management companies and much more! NJGCA takes a multifaceted approach to serve their small business members, including: Advocating for effective public policies with legislators and state officials in Trenton Offering essential small business services to our members, often at a discounted price to help you reach maximum profitability Informing and educating members on industry matters Enhancing general awareness and projecting a positive image of our members to the general public, media, and Legislature Promoting the highest levels of ethical standards and professionalism among members Check out their website:

  • Sprucing Up the Holidays: a Discussion with the National Christmas Tree Association

    Sprucing Up the Holidays: a Discussion with the National Christmas Tree Association

    This week, the Ryans bring on special guest Tim O'Connor, the Executive Director of the National Christmas Tree Association. They discuss what the NCTA does, why REAL Christmas trees should be used over artificial trees, the origin of artificial trees, and the NCTA's role in the White House Christmas Tree. It was a tree-mendous discussion! The National Christmas Tree Association (NCTA) is the national trade association representing the Christmas tree industry. NCTA represents more than 700 active member farms, 29 state and regional associations, and more than 4,000 affiliated businesses that grow and sell Christmas trees or provide related supplies and services. Members are located throughout North America, as well as in South America and Europe. It is estimated that those affiliated with the NCTA produce roughly three-quarters of the farm-raised Christmas trees in the United States. Learn more: