Who Was Tom Pugh?

In 2014, the Government Affairs Academy was renamed the Tom Pugh Government Affairs Academy to honor the memory of the man who was responsible for turning a simple lobbying class into a successful advocacy training program. Tom was able to blend his love for the hearth industry and passion for advocacy into a robust and much-anticipated program for his friends and colleagues. Tom put unprecedented energy into defending the industry that he loved, and he wanted other members of the industry to be just as passionate as he was. 

Tom believed that to truly train members to confidently defend the industry, they needed to experience a dedicated, focused program. This environment helps attendees forge lasting relationships and allows them to take time away from work to digest the bounty of information they need to become successful advocates. He wanted each attendee to be “ready for anything” once they finished the program. 

In Tom’s eyes, realizing the importance of having industry members be active constituents and deal with legislators at all levels of government, each Government Affairs Academy graduate needed to return from the program ready to be a spokesperson for the hearth industry in their home state. Tom’s goal was to empower industry members to be active constituents and successfully influence legislators at all levels of government.