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Former Lobbyist With Md. Catholic Conference Hangs Her Own Shingle

A former lobbyist with the Maryland Catholic Conference and Maryland Right to Life is setting up her own Annapolis lobbying firm.

Therese M. Hessler announced this month the launch of Ashlar Government Relations, which she describes as a bipartisan firm “that specializes in every aspect of government affairs consulting related to advising entities, including not-for-profits and issue-based advocacy groups, at all levels of state and local government.”

Previously, Hessler served as associate director and leading lobbyist for the Maryland Catholic Conference, where she was an integral part of the fight to defeat a physician-assisted suicide bill from becoming law this year, and before that worked as director of legislation and administration for Maryland Right to Life.

Hessler has worked for several marketing firms and has over 15 years of strategic planning and client development experience in a variety of fields including health care, insurance, disability rights, women’s issues, nonprofit development, and issues affecting local businesses and trade associations.

“Ashlar” is a term in masonry. Hessler said she chose the name as part of her goal to “build a better foundation for Maryland.”

“I believe we can address the needs of individuals and groups within our community which may not otherwise have the means or bandwidth to navigate Annapolis politics,” she said.

Among the firm’s new clients is Environmental Behavioral Therapeutic Services, which works to combat bullying in the workplace, in schools and online.

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Former Lobbyist With Md. Catholic Conference Hangs Her Own Shingle