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Virginia Wine Industry Lobbying Team:
James Turpin has a long record of advocacy for trade and professional associations at the state, federal, and international levels. His current and past clients include the Virginia Wine Council, OneVirginia2021, the Virginia Waste Industries Association, National Solid Waste Management Association, American NuKem, Horsehead Industries, American Correctional Association, and the American Subcontractors Association. He has been involved in various capacities with the Virginia General Assembly since 1976.
He was designated as a Certified Association Executive by the American Society of Association Executives. Previously, he was Executive Director of a legislative caucus in both Virginia and North Carolina. He was also the Vice Chair of Finance for a state political party.
James currently serves as immediate past Chair of the Virginia Wine Council, Vice President of the Virginia Wineries Association and a Director of the Virginia Winery Distribution Company. He also is a member of the Virginia Agribusiness Council and the Nelson County Chamber of Commerce. Of note, James was a NASCAR licensed crew member in the late 1980’s and early 1990’s.
James and his wife Susan owned Democracy Vineyards in Lovingston, Virginia. He is a graduate with Honors and Distinction from the Virginia Military Institute. He also did graduate work in Public Administration at the University of Virginia and holds post graduate certificates in government relations from George Washington University. He has completed the viticulture and enology certificate program at Piedmont Virginia Community College.
Anne Leigh Kerr founded Kerr Government Strategies in 2014 after serving as an attorney and senior legislative principal with a Richmond area law firm for 17 years. Ms. Kerr has over twenty-five years of political and government relations experience representing clients before the Virginia General Assembly and state agencies. Ms. Kerr offers her clients extensive understanding and expertise from her career in state government working for legislators and state agencies as well as a distinctive family history in Virginia politics.
Ms. Kerr served as Policy Advisor to Lieutenant Governor Don Beyer advocating the Lieutenant Governor’s legislative initiatives before the General Assembly. She also worked as Special Assistant to the Director of the Virginia Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ), serving as a liaison with members of the General Assembly and working on regulatory and policy matters. Ms. Kerr started her career in state government as a Governor’s Fellow followed by two years as a Legislative Assistant in the Virginia House of Delegates.
Ms. Kerr’s practice encompasses a number of industries and their trade associations including insurance, financial services, health care, pharmaceuticals, technology and local governments. Ms. Kerr has significant experience crafting comprehensive legislative strategy, including grass roots campaigns for clients. She has a wide array of relationships with Virginia’s policy leaders, committee chairs and key legislative leaders. One of Ms. Kerr’s key skills is negotiating Virginia’s budget process. In addition to legislative advocacy, Ms. Kerr represents clients before administrative agencies in Virginia’s regulatory process.
In the political arena, Ms. Kerr learned politics at a young age from her grandfather, Watt Abbitt, who served in the United States Congress for 24 years and from her uncle, Watkins Abbitt Jr. who served in the Virginia House of Delegates for 26 years. Ms. Kerr continues the family tradition advising statewide candidates and General Assembly members on policy issues and fundraising strategy.
Served as Policy Staff for Governor-elect Ralph Northam Transition
Served on the Gubernatorial Transition Teams for Terry McAuliffe and Tim Kaine
Served on the Transition Team of Richmond Mayor Dwight Jones and chaired the Transition’s Transportation Committee
Publications & Seminars
American Insurance Association – Regulatory and Legislative Highlights
Virginia Continuing Legal Education Seminar: “Highlights of the Virginia General Assembly”
Virginia Land Title Association Continuing Education Seminar: “Introduction to the General Assembly and Proposed Legislation Affecting the Title Industry” and “Recent Developments in Virginia Since 1607”
Novartis Pharmaceuticals and the Geriatric Medical Society: “Pharmaceutical Trends in the Virginia General Assembly”