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2014 NFDA Advocacy Summit Speaker Biographies

Steve_SoutherlandRepresenatative Steve Southerland


 David_WassermanDavid Wasserman


MargRamseyMargaret Ramsey


Krista_Drobac_6Krista Drobac

Representative Steve Southerland

Representative Steve Southerland has been a leader for North and Northwest Florida, owning and operating a local small business and taking an active role in his community long before his election to Congress.

First sworn into office on January 5, 2011, Rep. Southerland serves on the House Committee on Natural Resources and the House Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure, each of which plays a critical role in protecting jobs, promoting economic development, and preserving treasured resources across Florida's Second District.

Rep. Southerland believes the best way to keep America strong is to empower its people, not government bureaucrats. Expanding personal freedom by shrinking the size of government. Fueling the engine of free enterprise through lower taxes and fewer onerous D.C. regulations. Supporting a responsible pro-family agenda that strengthens homes and teaches our children how to succeed. These are the bedrock principles that secure the blessings of liberty for future generations.

In Congress, Rep. Southerland has stood up to both parties in an effort to cut spending and eliminate America's crushing debt burden. He was a leader in advancing the RESTORE Act through Congress, strengthening North and Northwest Florida's coastal economies following the Deepwater Horizon oil spill. Rep. Southerland also introduced legislation to provide our rural communities with the tools and technical assistance necessary to complete community enhancement projects, such as police and fire stations, courthouses, and community health centers – all at no additional cost to taxpayers.

Rep. Southerland has taken a leading role in ensuring a bright future for Florida's Second District. As chair of the Bay County Chamber of Commerce and a member of the Economic Development Alliance, Rep. Southerland spearheaded efforts to grow the local economy and create jobs. As chair of the Early Learning Coalition of Northwest Florida, Rep. Southerland promoted educational initiatives that unite families and prepare young children who are entering kindergarten. Through his work with the Covenant Hospice Foundation board, Rep. Southerland improved local health care services for our seniors and veterans.

Rep. Southerland has spent nearly his entire life as a resident of Panama City. As the owner and president of Southerland Family Funeral Homes, a third generation small business, he understands the challenges faced by local families and has helped provide jobs to dozens of hardworking Floridians. As a small business owner, Rep. Southerland believes that hard work and honest dealings are the ingredients for success.

Steve Southerland and Susan, his wife of 25 years, met in the first grade and have spent most of their formative years together. Steve and Susan are proudly instilling the values of faith, family, and freedom in the next generation of Southerlands – their daughters Samantha, Stephanie, Ally, and Abby.


Washington, DC

1229 Longworth HOB

Washington, DC 20515

Phone: (202) 225-5235

Fax: (202) 225-5615

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David Wasserman

David Wasserman is the House editor for the Cook Political Report, where he is responsible for handicapping and analyzing U.S. House races. Founded in 1984, The Cook Political Report provides analyses of presidential, Senate, House, and gubernatorial races. The New York Times called the Cook Political Report "a newsletter that both parties regard as authoritative."

Wasserman analyzes the current political environment in presentations that he can tailor to his audiences' specific interests or locales. His analysis looks at both national and local politics (if requested, he can even do a district-by-district analysis), the three critical trends that affect voting, and what the future holds for American politics.

Highly-Praised Expertise. Nate Silver of the New York Times' FiveThirtyEight blog wrote: "Wasserman's knowledge of the nooks and crannies of political geography can make him seem like a local," and the Los Angeles Times recently called Wasserman "whip smart" and a "scrupulously nonpartisan" analyst whose "numbers nerddom was foretold at a young age."

Wasserman served as an analyst for the NBC News Election Night Decision Desk in 2012, 2010, and 2008 and has appeared on NBC Nightly News, ABC World News, C-SPAN Washington Journal, CNN, and NPR. His commentary on House races has been cited in numerous print and online publications including POLITICO, the New York Times, the Washington Post, USA Today, the Wall Street Journal, the Economist, Pollster, RealClearPolitics, and FiveThirtyEight.

Political History. In 2011, Wasserman authored "Better Know a District," the Cook Political Report's comprehensive 2012 redistricting outlook. He also serves as an associate editor of National Journal magazine and a contributor to the Almanac of American Politics 2014. A frequent speaker and guest lecturer, he has shared insights into the latest political trends with audiences at Georgetown's Government Affairs Institute, the University of Chicago's Institute of Politics, and American University, among others.

Prior to joining the Cook Political Report in 2007, Wasserman served for three years as House editor of Sabato's Crystal Ball, a widely respected political analysis newsletter and website founded by renowned professor Larry Sabato, the director and founder of the University of Virginia's Center for Politics. In that role, Wasserman led the publication to correctly predict Democrats would score a gain of 29 House seats in November 2006. He also served as an off-air analyst for BBC America's election night coverage of the 2006 midterm races.

Wasserman has also worked on numerous political campaigns, including competitive races in Iowa, South Dakota, and Virginia. A native of New Jersey, he holds a BA in government with distinction from the University of Virginia and was awarded the 2006 Emmerich-Wright Outstanding Thesis prize for his study of congressional redistricting standards.

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Margaret Ramsey

Margaret Ramsay is a Foreign Service Officer who has worked for the Department of State since 2008. She has worked overseas as a Consular Officer at the U.S. Embassy in Warsaw, Poland, and the U.S. Consulate General in Mumbai, India.

Currently Margaret is a Citizens Services Specialist in the Department of State's Bureau of Consular Affairs, in the Directorate of Overseas Citizens Services and Crisis Management in Washington, D.C. The Directorate of Overseas Citizens Services (OCS) carries out a core mission of the Department of State: providing consular assistance and protection to U.S. citizens traveling and residing abroad. Working through and with American Citizens Services sections at U.S. Embassies and Consulates, OCS provides logistical, procedural, and policy support on a diverse range of citizens services – everything from the routine (notarial acts, voting assistance, federal benefits, and inter-country adoption) to individual emergencies (arrests, deaths, kidnappings, and international parental child abductions) to mass casualties and crises.

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Krista Drobac

Krista Drobac is a Policy Advisor in DLA Piper's Health Care Policy and Regulatory group, based in Washington, DC. She provides strategic advice on a broad range of state and federal legislative and regulatory issues around Medicaid, Medicare, delivery system reform, the Affordable Care Act, public health and other areas.

Ms. Drobac has extensive experience in health policy at all levels of government. Most recently, she was the director of the Health Division in the National Governors Association's Center for Best Practices, where she worked with governors' offices and other state health officials to share best and promising practices in the areas of Medicaid, insurance marketplaces, delivery system reform, health information technology and public health programs.

Prior to her work with the National Governors Association, Ms. Drobac was a Senior Advisor at the Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services, both within the Center for Consumer Information and Insurance Oversight (CCIIO) and the Center for Medicaid and CHIP Services (CMCS). Previously, she was Deputy Director of the Illinois Department of Healthcare and Family Services, where she advanced the governor's coverage and quality initiatives, including the electronic exchange of health information and pay for performance.

Ms. Drobac also spent five years on Capitol Hill, where she was a health advisor to the Majority Whip in the US Senate, Senator Dick Durbin, focusing on Medicare, Medicaid, health insurance, medical liability insurance, Social Security, FDA, prescription drugs, medical professions, patient safety and dietary supplements. She was also a John Heinz Fellow handling health care issues for Senator Debbie Stabenow.

Krista Drobac is not a lawyer.

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