Ms. Heritage served as deputy to the Director of Polling and Planning in the 1980 and 1984 Reagan/Bush campaigns where she oversaw a $2.1 million budget and was responsible for all staffing and operations in the office. In 1981, she served in the Reagan White House as a Special Assistant to Edwin Meese, Counselor to the President. In 1986, she was appointed as Special Assistant in the San Francisco office of the Department of Housing and Urban Development. Prior to her service in the administration, Ms. Heritage served as Executive Assistant to the Chairman of Wirthlin Worldwide where she worked with key members of Congress and senior campaign staff interpreting sensitive matters and conducting research on behalf of the Reagan/Bush Presidential campaign.
Ms. Heritage is a graduate of Kent State University. She is very active with many community endeavors, and currently sits on the Board of Directors for the Child Abuse Prevention Council of Placer County. In 1997 Advocation was awarded a contract to administer a quasi-government program that had been administered by the California Department of Consumer Affairs. The California Tax Education Council (CTEC) was established to monitor the education and bonding requirements of over 38,000 tax preparers in the State of California. CTEC was also tasked with monitoring the schools that provide education to these tax preparers. The state mandated Tax Preparer Act is a multi-million dollar program that Ms. Heritage has overseen since its inception in January 1997.
Senior Legislative Advocate
Joanne Bettencourt, senior legislative advocate, has extensive knowledge in the California legislative and regulatory process. Her experience includes advocacy, analysis and political research, with an emphasis on financial issues. Her practice focuses on securities, investments, credit cards and consumer affairs. She testifies regularly before California State Assembly and Senate Committees.
Before joining Advocation, Ms. Bettencourt was a legislative advocate at Orrick, Herrington and Sutcliffe, LLP. She managed a wide variety of issues simultaneously for multiple lobbying clients, including several Fortune 500 Companies and national associations. Ms. Bettencourt also served as an advisor to Orrick's Public Finance Department providing legislative and political advice to attorneys.
Ms. Bettencourt worked as a legislative analyst at the Bank of America, where she analyzed legislative measures to develop and implement lobbying strategies for the bank. She informed and updated the bank’s business line and public relations unit as well as the legal department on legislation. Ms. Bettencourt acted as a liaison to elected officials and state agencies to resolve constituent issues on behalf of the bank.
Prior to her time with the Bank of America, Ms. Bettencourt was a legislative aide at the Hunter/Ruiz lobbying firm. While there, she monitored legislation for clients, provided background research on legislation and regulations.
Ms. Bettencourt is President Emeritus of Capitol Network, a non-partisan organization of public and private professionals who work in and around California's state capitol. Capitol Network, established in 1983, raises funds for charitable organizations that serve the needs of women and children in California. Ms. Bettencourt holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in Political Science from California State University, Chico.
Director, Membership & Conference Services
Tabitha Bolkish came to Advocation Strategies from Phoenix Arizona, where she worked for the Arizona Attorney General, Office of Victim Services as an Office Administrator for over five years, supervising the support staff in the Phoenix office including scheduling, quality assurance, evaluations, and also provided support to the Tucson office. Her responsibility was to ensure organization management and maintain of multiple and varied official documents and records related to the Victims’ Rights Program. She also was responsible to interpret guidelines, rules and policies and procedures of programs to serve a variety purposes, including research, planning, and preparation of activity and operation reports. Tabitha rendered a full-range of professional support to the Office of Victim Services (OVS); including casework, coordinated administrative matters between offices and, ensuring that public contact with the OVS is professional and responsive. A couple of the special projects were to generate the annual report to Legislature support, Victim Rights Week administrative support, Intern Program support, Distinguished Service Awards.
Director of Technology