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Father’s Day Filled with Lobbying, Hot Peppers, Fishing, & Family

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Note: ACCA President & CEO Barton James visited Galveston, Texas, in June of this year to join one of “ACCA’s own,” Congressman Randy Weber (TX-14), for his “Reel ’em in with Randy Weber!” event. The Congressman was one of ACCA’s contractor members in his prior life.

At ACCA, we know our strength comes from our members and the essential work you do, and we all depend on you to keep us safe and comfortable. We are a big believer that when we can get our member companies engaged with their elected officials, eventually, the political system responds. Despite the other side’s money and army of lobbyists, it still responds.

In keeping with this belief, we leverage our hard-earned ACCA-PAC funds by delivering contributions through our PAC Champions in the district and states where possible. Bart has known Congressman Weber since he came into office in 2013, and ACCA knew him even before then and made the wise decision to invest PAC funds in helping him get to DC. This past Father’s Day, we had one of those opportunities to engage, but unfortunately, family obligations for Father’s Day and the need to manage the impact of the latest heat wave wreaking havoc on customers got in the way of a weekend of lobbying and a bit of fishing with one of ACCA’s champions in Capitol Hill for ACCA member leaders.

Not to fear, Bart’s two sons, Palmer and Preston, stepped in and accompanied him on the trip instead, which turned out to be the secret sauce and very fitting for the Father’s Day weekend. Congressman Weber was joined by his wife, Brenda, and his son and grandson, who turned out to be the same age as Bart’s boys. With most of the supporters on the trip being older, Bart saw firsthand the power of getting the family involved and what two ten-year-old boys can do to help advance ACCA’s political agenda.

Bart said, “During the event, we had the chance to fish the warm muddy waters of the Gulf of Mexico. My hard head, Preston, even caught himself a hardhead (catfish). My boys and I had a good time fishing and spending time with the Congressman, learning about the Congressional District he is so proud of, and getting to know his family and other lobbyists.”

Over the hot weekend, they enjoyed a couple of great meals with the Congressman and his family and learned more about the challenges and opportunities that each of the industries attending the event faced. Bart has always known Congressman Weber to carry his homegrown peppers with him when he breaks bread and said, “Now, I don’t have much of a tolerance for heat, but one of my boys, Palmer, thinks he does. So, when the Congressman broke them out at dinner, Palmer wanted to know more, and they started talking. The next thing I know, Palmer’s trying one of them. The Congressman was then able to talk him into trying the other variety he had in his little ziplock arsenal. Palmer chewed that one up and he was on fire from there! We all couldn’t stop laughing to give him enough water or anything else we thought might help. A lesson learned was that a 10-year-old from Virgina can’t keep up with a man from South Texas that carries to his own peppers and has them with every meal. Needless to say, Palmer had everyone’s attention and was a big hit!”

As they were heading back from the fishing dock to a closing late lunch before departing beautiful Galveston, they had the chance to stop by one of Bart’s favorite ACCA member businesses to leave a note.

Like many of ACCA’s member businesses, family support is a key to success! When it comes to lobbying and advancing ACCA’s agenda, it’s important for family members to participate. This was only the second event Bart’s boys have joined him for, but it won’t be the last. They both reported they had a great time fishing and learning more about lobbying and government relations with their old man.

Posted In: Government, Just for Fun, Opinion, Strategic Planning

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