Charlie McBride is the founder and President of CMG. McBride worked for 12 years on personal and committee staffs in the U.S. Senate and House of Representatives before leaving to start his own firm. As a government relations and business consultant, he has represented hundreds of companies, consortia, trade associations, universities and nonprofit organizations in virtually every policy field. He has focused principally on energy and environmental issues and on technology–based economic development, helping to forge partnerships between public agencies and private and nonprofit entities. He has worked with clients to identify solutions, create legislative strategies, and influence both domestic and international government decisions.
McBride has fostered relationships between agencies of the Department of Defense and companies offering a wide range of innovative technologies with weapon systems applications. His trusted relationships with various agencies within the Department of Defense have been instrumental in identifying the needs and requirements of particular agencies. McBride’s expertise in identifying potential markets and partners and devising a business plan that marries the resources of the client and those partners has enabled clients to compete successfully for hundreds of millions of dollars in contract funding.
Michael Babin founded the Neighborhood Restaurant Group in 1997, and since that time, he has opened and owns more than 20 unique, distinctive and exceptional restaurants and food-related businesses, including cafes, wine shops, catering companies, bars and bakeries. His award-winning establishments have been featured in a host of publications ranging from The Washington Post and Washingtonian magazine locally, to the The New York Times, Bon Appetit, Food & Wine, Saveur and many other publications nationally and locally.
Before entering the restaurant business, Mr. Babin worked in the political arena, first as a legislative aide, handling budget and finance issues for U.S. Senator J. Bennett Johnston, and then as a lobbyist and business consultant. His consulting experience includes business and strategic planning, creating strategic partnerships and raising capital.
In addition to his role as a Director of CMG, Mr. Babin founded and serves as Chairman of the Board of Directors for the Arcadia Center for Sustainable Food & Agriculture, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit entity dedicated to making postive changes to the food system in Washington, DC, and the surrounding region. In addition, he is a board member of the Restaurant Association of Metropolitan Washington.
Mr. Babin received a Bachelor degree from Yale University, his commission as an officer in the U.S. Army Signal Corps, and a Juris Doctor degree from Georgetown University Law Center.
John F. (Jack) Bagley is President of The Bagley Group, a government relations consulting firm specializing in energy, science and higher-education issues. The Bagley Group, located in Alexandria, VA, assists clients with strategic advice to better understand their relationships in Washington with respect to Congress and the Administration.
Prior to establishing The Bagley Group, Dr. Bagley served as Vice President of External Relations at Battelle Memorial Institute for 25 years. Battelle is the world’s largest nonprofit independent research and development organization. At Battelle, he was integrally involved in implementing its government business strategy on behalf of Battelle’s Energy, National Security and Life Sciences’ Global Businesses, including the seven national laboratories that it manages or co-manages.
As its senior management official in Washington, DC, Bagley served as Battelle’s principal interface with the Congressional delegations and committees that deal with Battelle’s business sectors. He was responsible for Battelle’s interface with the White House, the Executive agencies, embassies and international and public-policy organizations. Bagley also was Battelle’s relationship manager with the National Governors Association.
A native of Pennsylvania, Dr. Bagley earned a Bachelor’s degree from the University of Scranton, a Master’s degree from Fordham University and a Ph.D. in International Relations from Georgetown University.
William C. Ellison, Esq. brings decades of entrepreneurial, operational, strategic-planning, business-development and legal experience to the CMG Board of Directors.
Mr. Ellison spent the early part of his career in the legal and corporate arenas, serving as General Counsel for several organizations, with a focus on corporate governance and compliance. Over the course of his career, Mr. Ellison has served as CEO of several technology companies, where he was responsible for overseeing company operations, including development of strategic business planning, fundraising, research and development, sales and marketing, human resources, legal, and all corporate and compliance issues.
These experiences honed Mr. Ellison’s interest and skills in investing and venture-capital financing. Currently, Mr. Ellison is CEO of Innovation Catalyst, Inc., in Baton Rouge, LA, a nonprofit organization whose mission is to accelerate the growth of early-stage innovative businesses into venture-ready companies. The fund has invested $3 million in 19 Louisiana-based portfolio companies, leading to more than $40 million in follow-up funding.
Mr. Ellison holds a Bachelor of Arts degree from the University of Mississippi, and a Juris Doctor degree from the University of Mississippi School of Law. He lives in New Orleans, LA.
E. Wayne Thevenot has compiled a distinguished career in government service, trade association management and public affairs representation for industry. Much of his work in the U.S. Senate focused on government procurement policy aimed at broadening small-business access to the Federal marketplace.
A native of Louisiana, Mr. Thevenot began his career as Staff Director of the Subcommittee on Government Procurement of the U.S. Senate Select Committee on Small Business. In that role, he managed the Subcommittee’s mandate to provide oversight of the Department of Defense and other Federal agencies to assure maximum opportunity for small businesses to provide goods and services under contract to the Government. Mr. Thevenot served for almost a decade as Executive Assistant and Legislative Director for U.S. Senator Russell Long of Louisiana, covering a broad range of activities dealing with legislation, interactions with other Members of the Senate and House, and serving as the Senator’s chief liaison to all Federal departments and agencies.
In his post-government service, he served as President and as a Board Member of the National Realty Committee, the principal government-relations voice for the U.S. commercial real-estate industry. He also served as President of The Electronic Commerce Association and was a partner in two prominent public affairs consulting firms – Concord Associates and Thevenot, Murray and Scheer.
Mr. Thevenot holds a Bachelor of Arts in Government and Political Science from Louisiana State University and a Master of Arts in Public Administration from American University.
Monica Vachher is an experienced senior executive with a background as an investment banker, securities lawyer and key Board member of leading institutions. In recent years, she co-founded a college advisory firm, Higher Education Advisors LLC and also had her own financial consulting firm, The Astor Group Ltd.
Ms. Vachher has built and managed businesses and has expertise in complex financial transactions. She spent the earlier part of her career in structured finance at Wall Street firms, including Bear Stearns and UBS, where she founded and managed the structured finance group. She was a founding member of Financial Security Assurance, a financial guarantee firm in NY, and a securities lawyer at Kutak, Rock & Campbell in Washington, DC.
Ms. Vachher also has extensive experience as a board member of substantial and global institutions. She served for 12 years on the Board of CARE, the international NGO, where she was a member of the Executive Committee and chaired the Board’s Management Committee and Executive Compensation Committee. She also served as Chair of the Board’s Nominations and Governance and Audit Committees. For the past decade, Ms. Vachher has served on the Board of IES, a premier international college study organization whose membership includes the nation’s leading colleges and universities. Ms. Vachher was a long-standing Trustee of Vassar College, serving on the Board’s Executive Committee and Presidential Search Committee, and as Chair of the Budget and Finance, Academic Affairs and Investor Relations Committees. She has recently joined the Board of The Cooper Union in New York; is a Director and member of the Executive Committee of Nest, an NGO working with artisans in the developing world; and is a Director of the Free Library Foundation of Philadelphia. Additionally, she has served as a Trustee of the Latin School of Chicago and the International House at the University of Chicago, and as a Director of Literacy Chicago, an adult literacy organization.
Ms. Vachher served on President Clinton’s first transition team, and was appointed by President Clinton to the Board of a USAID investment fund for Central Asia, one of a series of funds established to promote democracy and economic stability in formerly Communist countries.
Ms. Vachher was born and raised in New Delhi, India, and moved to the U.S. prior to attending college. She lives in Philadelphia, PA.