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Government Affairs Academy

The Government Affairs Academy (GAA) is a biennial conference created and taught by our Government Affairs Department staff. Commencing in 2006, GAA attendees include HPBA members and Affiliate staff who seek to learn how to effectively lobby their elected officials and become agents of change.

The GAA has become one of HPBA's most anticipated events, as well as the largest event organized by the Government Affairs Department. Attendees participate in rigorous courses focused on lobbying, initiating grassroots advocacy campaigns, communicating with Congress, learning how to become spokespeople for the hearth industry, and promoting HPBA's legislative and regulatory priorities.


GAA 2014 Group Photo

GAA 2014 attendees spend their final day in D.C lobbying their Representatives and Senators.

RandyNickersonandCongressmanKind.jpg BenHoltatSherrodBrownoffice.jpg

Pictured left is Congressman Ron Kind (left) of Wisconsin with Randy Nickerson (right) of North Central HPBA. Pictured right is Ben Holt of Mid States HPBA preparing to meet with Ohio Senator Sherrod Brown's office.


Steve Goldstein (left) of HPBA Pacific with Congressman Jeff Denham of California and HPBA staff member Crystal Gitchell.


Click Here for an Updated Graduates List

GAA 2016

The 2016 GAA will be held in Washington D.C. July 11 to July 14. Registration for the class of 2016 is now open!  Please contact Crystal Gitchell if you have any program questions.

Key Courses

  • Media Training
  • Negotiation and Testimony Training
  • Introduction to Federal Lobbying
  • Lobby State Legislatures
  • Industry Issues
  • Codes and Regulations


To register, contact your HPBA Affiliate Executive Director.

GAA Registration


GAA Graduates in the Media


Utah Clean Air Rally

Randy Toupin, class of 2014: Clean Air Rally at the Utah State Capitol

Stove Burn Trailer

Randy Toupin: Residents Decry, Praise Proposed Wood Burning Ban at Salt Lake City Hearing


"They clearly know their stuff!" -- Guy Hanson

"Bob Guyer is clearly one of the best communicators, very energetic, very clear and tremendously articulate." -- John Frankel

"Now I have the knowledge and tools to be more effective." -- Leah Hauer

"Took the 'nervousness' out of the process!" -- Diane Rossi

"The things I learned are invaluable." -- Norma Bourque


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