Lucas Public Affairs today announced the opening of its new office as well as the expansion to new practice areas and the addition of top talent to the firm’s team. Founded by Donna Lucas in 2006, LPA is widely regarded as a premiere strategic political communications firm in the state.

“In this challenging business and fiscal environment, businesses need the edge that smart strategy and top performance can deliver. With these additions, we have the talent, the resources and the networks needed to swiftly deliver results for our clients,” said Donna Lucas, president and CEO. “I am pleased to announce that Julie Marengo, Jessica Spitz Biller and Justin Knighten have joined the LPA team and that our new office is now open.”

LPA was founded in 2006 by Donna Lucas, nationally regarded as a leading political communications strategist. The firm specializes in high-level reputation and issues management, business and government relations, and press communications. The firm’s clients come from the myriad industries including energy, sports and entertainment, transportation, natural resources, health care, business and finance, tourism and education.

“Our value as a strategic partner is to help our clients find the smartest way to win in a complex environment,” Lucas continued.

Recently named one of Sacramento Magazine’s “100 Most Powerful and Influential” people in the Sacramento region and featured in this month’s C Magazine, Donna started the firm after serving as Governor Schwarzenegger’s deputy chief of staff for strategic planning and initiatives and chief of staff to First Lady Maria Shriver. Prior to that, she served as the global public affairs practice leader for Porter Novelli, an international public relations firm, after Porter Novelli acquired Nelson Communications Group, where she served as CEO and president for many years.

Donna previously was deputy press secretary for Governor George Deukmejian, deputy treasurer for Tom Hayes, and California press secretary for President George H.W. Bush’s successful 1988 campaign. She currently serves on the board of the Public Policy Institute of California, the Governor and First Lady’s Conference on Women and California Forward. She was the chairperson of the American Association of Political Consultants and a member of the California Chamber of Commerce board of directors.

Senior Vice President Julie Marengo, a seasoned public affairs and communications strategist, joins the firm after working independently and as a senior manager for a few of Sacramento’s most successful public affairs agencies, including Lucas Public Affairs.
She has scored results for dozens of clients in the legislative, regulatory and initiative campaign arenas and has conducted issue advocacy, crisis communications and public education campaigns on a variety of high-profile, high-stakes issues at the local, regional and statewide levels.  Her comprehensive strategic approach helps her clients manage an issue and their reputation on all fronts – internally and externally.   She has particular expertise in local government, having served as an in-house strategic consultant to the City of Sacramento and as Director of Communications for the League of California Cities.

Jessica Spitz Biller joins the firm as Vice President with over a decade of experience in legislative public affairs, media outreach, reputation management, coalition development, crisis communications, and initiative campaigns. She spent most of her career with Porter Novelli Sacramento where she managed strategic communications programs for large corporate clients, trade associations and non-profits in the areas of energy, agriculture, education, health care, land-use, and gaming.  In 2005 Jessica was selected as one of PR News “15 To Watch,” a list of national up-and-coming young professionals. She worked for several years in Monterey, California for Armanasco Public Relations advising clients on local regulatory, housing and land-use issues.

Justin Knighten, Account Coordinator, worked in the Legislative Unit at the California Environmental Protection Agency – Office of Secretary Linda Adams.  He was recruited to work in the Legislative Unit at the Department of Toxic Substances Control as part of the Green Chemistry Innovative logistical and communication teams.  Justin assisted with media relations for the California Democratic Party during the Democratic National Convention and for the California Governor and First Lady’s Conference on Women.

Lucas Public Affairs is located on the 11th floor of the Esquire Plaza in downtown Sacramento:
1215 K Street, Suite 1120
Sacramento, CA 95814
P: 916.492.2707  |  F: 916.492.2845
Donna Lucas –, ext. 204
Julie Marengo –, ext. 205
Jessica Spitz Biller –, ext. 202
Justin Knighten –, ext. 203