A coalition formed by various ambulance providers gathered at the Indiana State House earlier this week for a legislative luncheon. Senators and representatives were given a unique chanceto speak with providers on the front lines of Senate Bill (SB) 135, authored by Senator Jon Ford.
After an individual rides in an ambulance for medical treatment, a bill is provided to their insurance plan to recoup the costs incurred by ambulance providers for providing service. Many times, insurance companies are not obligated to pay the full amount of the bill. When insurance fails to cover the medical charges, the burden of paying the remaining balance of the bill falls on the patient, which is known as “balance billing.”
SB 135 places the responsibility of negotiating fair compensation for the provision of ambulance services on the ambulance provider and insurance company, disallowing balance-bills for Hoosiers. The call to action for this bill is to put Hoosiers first and advocate for patients.
“As ambulance providers, we support bills like SB 135 that advocate for and positively impact our patients,” explained Tony Anteau, vice president of Seals Ambulance. “The reimbursement for the health care provided to our patients is dictated by each patient’s individual health plan. This bill will allow ambulance providers to work directly with the health plans on emergency ambulance reimbursement without inconvenience or risk of financial impact to the patient. We will be able to have a dispute resolution process, go directly to the insurance company and secure a fair reimbursement for each emergency ambulance transport.”
Trans-Care Ambulance President and CEO, Russell Ferrell discussed a trend in healthcare which places more financial burden on the patient, rather than the insurance company.
“The consumer used to get a bill that would have been 10 or 20 percent of the overall bill. Over the years while our prices may have changed a little bit to stay with inflation, insurance companies have changed dramatically to where they are paying 20 percent versus 80 percent,” Ferrell said. “Now, the consumer is getting 80 percent or more of the bill.”
Specific language in SB 135 will place emphasis on balance-billing, so as not to leave the patient with the brunt of the bill.
“I’m pleased to see Senator Ford taking this legislation on for his constituents. Through personal experience, my husband and I learned firsthand the financial battle between the ambulance provider and the insurance companies,” stated Ashley Delaunois. “Receiving a surprise bill after my son received transportation care was hard to accept, especially when we didn’t see it coming. It is time, for Indiana families to be protected, while not crippling the ambulance industry and creating fairness for the insurance providers. It’s time and I’m hopeful.”
Senator Jon Ford believes this bill will ultimately save Indiana residents a great amount of money.
“As a state senator, it is my job to champion public policy that lowers healthcare costs for Hoosier patients,” explained Ford. “SB 135 will completely eliminate balance-billing for emergency ground ambulance services, which will save Hoosiers millions of dollars in emergency healthcare expenses.”
The Senate has until January 27 to secure a hearing for SB 135. The coalition encourages Hoosiers to reach out to their local elected officials and request a hearing for this bill.
RJL Solutions, Indiana-based government affairs and communications firm, is starting off the New Year with new talent. Interns Andrew Ardizone and Victory Sampson will be joining the Indianapolis team.
“Andrew and Victory are both extremely impressive interns,” states Rose Adams, RJLU Program Director and RJL’s Digital Marketing Manager. “We are so excited to dive into this semester.”
Andrew, of Indianapolis, Indiana, is an alum of Indiana University with a bachelor's degree in Political Science. Andrew is currently pursuing his dream of becoming a lawyer as a Juris Doctor Candidate of Indiana University’s McKinney School of Law Indianapolis. Before his time at RJL Solutions, Andrew was an intern of Government Affairs for Canopy Growth Corporation. His interest in politics and law piqued early as he canvassed for Todd Young for Congress in 2016. His skillset in campaign management and multimedia presentations will aid the RJL Solutions team well during this session.
Victory, of Indianapolis, has joined the team as a high school intern. He is currently enrolled at Cathedral High School and will be graduating this spring. Victory has a servant’s heart and has worked as an Administrative Officer for Mother Mercy Global Missions, Inc., and as an Administrative Assistant for Mercy Hospitality Group, Inc. Victory will be working closely with the Community Development team to further his education in grant work.
“Our program provides a unique hands-on opportunity for Indianapolis interns due to our proximity to the Indiana Statehouse and our pulse on all things happening in the city,” states Adams. “Internships have the potential to shape the career paths of young people. We are honored to be on the ground floor of their success.”
For future internship opportunities with RJLU, visit www.rjlsolutions.com/internships.html.
It's 2022 which means the Indiana Legislative Session is here! As we gear up for a swift and turbulent session, we had the opportunity to sit down with Indiana House Speaker Todd Huston and Indiana Senate Pro Tempore Rodric Bray for an exclusive preview of this session. Tune in to hear what they believe the Indiana General Assembly's biggest accomplishments of 2021 were, as well as what hot topics they anticipate this session.
Indiana is sure to remain on the cutting edge of progress and greatness with the help of these two leaders.
a message from Rachel Leslie, Chief Executive Officer
Do you feel like Clark Griswold and sick of the bullshit? Yeah, me too. So, if you’re looking for a traditional RJL leadership blog, quit reading. This one is not your jam, or lime inspired Jello mold!
The COVID era. The Great Resignation. Inflation. And, the most overused word of 2020/2021, unprecedented. Oh, so much was unprecedented, including true exhaustion, increased mental health concerns, increased fear, and the unknown. It’s nearly 2022, and the fear of the unknown remains. No matter how many lights we put on it, yard ornaments we attempt to stand up, or gifts we purchase … the damn lights won’t turn on. By some miracle of the unknown, the lights glimmer from time-to-time. Why? I believe, perseverance and support.
However, if I’ve learned one thing from Mr. Griswold himself, in the moment his family stood by him to see the lights not turn on in a pivotal moment of the movie, you immediately feel bad for Clark. For me, it wasn’t about the lights not turning on, it was about the reaction from some of the people he considered close family – his mother-in-law, for one. In despair, he’s committed to fixing the lights, but he’s tired and somewhat irrational. Although he eventually enjoys lighted success, it wasn’t because he was smarter, it was because his wife, Ellen, figures out the electrical connection … it took someone other than him to help him figure out the finale. It made everyone happy. In that moment, you wanted to live there, too.
Yes, that’s how I see 2022. Of course you’re tired, who isn’t? Imagine the case studies from these last two years! We’re making history. One thing I know about history, it’s often told to describe what people overcame. Yes, my grandparents walked uphill both ways in the snow to get to school, didn’t yours? Well, maybe it was your parents, sorry. Take inventory of your goals and commit to persevering against the unknown. Write them down! Hang them on your refrigerator. Maybe it’s putting a swimming pool in the backyard, or buying a new RV, but I would guess they’re much more aspirational. Don’t be afraid of big and bold because you’re tired. Don’t be afraid to find your edge.
Surround yourself with support. Did you read our culture blog written by Lily Pesavento? She describes a positive work culture as supportive. Sounds simple, but take inventory here, too. Who do you have around you that shows YOU support? Who is going to help YOU make sure your lights come on? Surround yourself with Cousin Eddies (yes, I meant that plural). When Cousin Eddie showed up with the mean, bad boss, we laughed, and yet, secretly applauded. He was there for Clark when he needed him.
As you end 2021 and enter 2022, embrace your written goals and big and bold aspirations, making sure you have support around you, and push forward. Clark reminds us that it’s okay to make a spectacle and dream big. His wife, Ellen, reminds us to be there, be supportive, and to not give up on those we care about. Eddie, well, he reminds us to be yourself and be supportive however you can … always, against all odds. Who are the characters in your real live Christmas Vacation? I know mine.
Rachel founded RJL Solutions in 2017 when she recognized the importance and value of advocacy and representation. The business began as an advocacy firm and has since expanded to include community development and marketing and strategic communications.
The average American spends 2,080 hours a year surrounded by coworkers. Think about it, we work 9-5, five days out of the week. Sometimes we work well into the night and weekends. We do this with the same people, day in and day out. Coworkers are a huge part of our lives. When asked the question, “Who is most important in your life?” we are subject to say our family and friends. Consider this, we spend just as much time, if not more, with coworkers. So, shouldn’t they be included in our answers? Some would argue yes; some would argue no. Although, I guarantee the people with a well-balanced and successful work culture would be at the forefront of the yes argument.
What is a successful work culture? What does it mean for the present and future of your business? A successful culture brings with it a bountiful business. When your employees are happy, when your employees are winning, your business wins. The American office is an ecosystem all on its own. Every employee has a specific talent which contributes to the overall health of the office. How can management create a healthy environment for employees? It’s simple: support.
Support comes in many different forms, each one as unique as the employees in your office. Support could be lending a helping hand to an employee who may have a lot on their plate. Support could be encouraging an employee who may feel that their work has been subpar lately. Support could be having a one-on-one lunch with honest conversation and lots of laughs.
Support is taking the time to recognize the individual needs of your employees and working with them to form a productive and safe relationship. Your employee should feel comfortable coming to you with anything. And you should feel comfortable doing the same. Life is hard, and it doesn’t always go as planned. A concrete relationship between employees and management and the establishment of a healthy work-place culture can make a huge impact on the mental well-being of the entire office.
At RJL Solutions, our Executive Team has taken the time to learn everything there is to know about our employees. During bi-weekly team meetings each person relays their fears, their successes and maybe a few personal stories. By engaging in this open dialogue, this emphasis on fear and success pinpoints exactly where our strengths and weaknesses lie. If one person needs help, if one person has a question, there is always an answer. We thrive on our strengths, and we reflect on our weaknesses. We support each other, no matter what that support looks like. We strive to create a healthy and happy workplace culture for everyone. Because when our team is happy, when our team is winning, our clients are happy, our clients are winning. That is the RJL Solutions way.
Wabash River RDA presents to IEDC on West Central Indiana’s READI proposal for nearly $300 million in projects
West Central Indiana – The Wabash River Regional Development Authority (RDA) presented to the Indiana Economic Development Corporation (IEDC) on the region’s READI proposal. Earlier this fall, the Wabash River RDA submitted a comprehensive proposal for projects totaling nearly $300 million for West Central Indiana.
Through the Regional Economic Acceleration and Development Initiative (READI), the Indiana Economic Development Corporation (IEDC) tasked regions across the state to submit proposals with idea-ready and shovel-ready projects that address the overall quality of life for their region. The Wabash River RDA submitted projects spanning Clay, Knox, Parke, Sullivan, Vermillion, and Vigo Counties with over $73 million in matching READI asks. Over 40 unique projects spanning the six counties were included in the proposal.
West Central Indiana’s proposal is one of 17 regional proposals submitted. The IEDC plans to award $500 million in funding across the state. With the IEDC’s advice to utilize regional planning efforts and creative visions for the future, the Wabash River RDA submitted its $73 million proposal knowing it was bold and transformational.
The second phase of the funding process included a 30-minute presentation and 20-minute question-and-answer session to members of the IEDC selection committee.
“Today was an opportunity for us to further our region’s story. The region’s READI proposal is all centered around funding projects that enhance our quality of life, workforce, and entrepreneurship opportunities with the end goal of attracting and retaining talent throughout West Central Indiana,” states Greg Goode, President of the Wabash River RDA. “Our presentation showcased one student from each of the five higher education institutions in our region."
Following a video presented by the RDA, students Anne Bowen of Indiana State University, Katie Ginder of Saint Mary-of-the-Woods College, Dustan Jones of Vincennes University, Faith Petrowski of Ivy Tech Community College of Terre Haute, and Hannah Snider of Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology joined the presentation pitching that the region’s investment in the proposed projects will aid in retaining the 30,000 students throughout West Central Indiana.
“West Central Indiana is one of the only regions in the state with rich and diverse higher education opportunities like this. What better way to show this than with our students,” continues Goode.
A panel of regional leaders joined the stage following the presentation to answer questions from the selection committee. The panel included Greg Goode, Mayor Duke Bennett of the City of Terre Haute, Mayor Clint Lamb of the City of Sullivan, Ryan Keller of Thrive West Central, Kristin Craig of West Central 2025, Tony Hahn of Vincennes University, John Thompson of Thompson Thrift Construction, and Rachel Leslie of RJL Solutions.
The IEDC is expected to make decisions on funding by the end of the year.
As we head into the final days of 2021 and prepare for the upcoming legislative session, we find ourselves immensely proud of what we accomplished alongside our clients throughout the past year. With the holidays just around the corner, it’s time to sit back, enjoy good food amidst the company of your loved ones and fill your days with much-deserved rest and relaxation. And while you’re sitting back enjoying a nice cup of hot chocolate (or whatever drink makes your days “merry and bright”), the RJL Government Relations team will be reading EVERY. SINGLE. WORD. of the hundreds of legislative proposals drafted up by our legislators. That’s right, while you deck your halls with boughs of holly, we’re decking ours with bill drafts and Indiana State Code books.
Throughout the legislative session, our Government Relations team monitors all legislative activities and advocates on behalf of our clients at the Statehouse. Leading the charge will be:
Collectively, our team boasts a deep knowledge of state and federal policy, a vast network of established relationships and a fierce drive to tackle even the most daunting legislative endeavors on behalf of our clients.
As the 2022 legislative session nears, we reflect on the wins and losses, the highs and lows and the many challenges and blessings that the 2021 session brought us. Beginning in January, the General Assembly kicked off a legislative session marred by debates surrounding public health and budgetary proposals. Over the following months, the legislature debated and passed proposals limiting the executive branch’s authority in public health emergencies, tackled the redistricting process, and passed the biannual budget. The budget, especially, received ample attention due to the number of notable initiatives included in it, such as the $500 million Regional Economic Acceleration and Development Initiative (READI) grant program, the $1.9 billion increase in K-12 funding, $40 million to increase wages for direct support professionals (DSPs) and $250 million for expanding broadband in underserved areas. Shored up by money available through the Federal Government, Indiana was successful in retaining a balanced budget with a strong rainy-day fund.
Looking to the future, the 2022 legislative session is expected to be swift, busy and turbulent. The word on the street (or in the hallway) is that legislators are planning to address medical billing issues, the federal vaccine mandate, education issues (making schoolboards partisan), repealing/reducing certain tax liabilities (business personal property tax) and workforce issues. Since 2022 will be a short session (i.e. not a budget session), we expect these topics to be hotly debated and acted upon in a rather short period of time. If things pan out as expected, session could end early/mid March.
If we haven’t completely knocked your stockings off by now, you’re in luck! As with every legislative session, there will undoubtedly be other major items that the General Assembly will address in 2022. Both the House and Senate met on November 16th for Organization Day, the ceremonial first day of session, and began creating their agendas for the upcoming year. Over the next two months, legislators will file their bills (a maximum of five in the House and ten in the Senate per legislator) which will be posted to the General Assembly’s website. While our team will be reading through each of these bills and informing you of proposals relevant to your industry, please do not hesitate to contact us should you have any questions or special requests.
On behalf of our entire team at RJL Solutions, we wish you a happy and healthy holiday season and look forward to continuing our partnership with you over the next year.
RJL Solutions, Indiana-based government affairs and communications firm, welcomes Eric Perry to the team. As Associate Director of Government Relations, Perry is responsible for developing and implementing strategic high-level initiatives for RJL Solutions’ clients including policy development, legislative efforts and partnerships at the local, state and federal levels.
Perry also actively monitors legislative and regulatory activities and is responsible for heightening the focus on policy that impacts any industry throughout the state. Overall, Perry works to best promote RJL Solutions’ clients’ market position both in and out of the legislative session.
“Eric was a strong candidate as he demonstrated a strong attention to detail and his ability to tackle even the toughest of issues. His unique strengths and experience will allow him to make insightful and well-rounded decisions on behalf of our clients,” states Ryan Ritchie, Director of Government Relations. “He is a great asset to our clients and our team.”
Prior to his position at RJL Solutions, Perry worked as a Legislative Assistant for two legislators at the Indiana State Senate where he headed legal research, drafted bills and managed constituent services. Perry was also a Campaign Manager for a political campaign in which he oversaw campaign donations and expenditures and strategized messaging using voter research to maximize outreach.
“I hope to continue RJL’s tradition of excellence by aiding the team with my extensive knowledge of state legislature and the public sector,” states Perry. “I am certain that my passion for policy, legislation and government, combined with my passion for service, will serve our client base well.”
Eric graduated from Butler University with a Bachelor of Arts in Political Science and Spanish with a minor in Business Law. In his free time, he enjoys hiking, skiing, camping, golfing and anything outdoors.
Wabash River RDA submits READI proposal for West Central Indiana for nearly $300 million in projects
West Central Indiana – The Wabash River Regional Development Authority (RDA) submitted its comprehensive READI proposal this week, totaling nearly $300 million in projects for West Central Indiana.
Through the Regional Economic Acceleration and Development Initiative (READI), the Indiana Economic Development Corporation (IEDC) tasked regions across the state to submit proposals with idea-ready and shovel-ready projects that address the overall quality of life for their region. The Wabash River RDA submitted projects spanning Clay, Knox, Parke, Sullivan, Vermillion, and Vigo Counties with over $73 million in matching READI asks.
“Our application is a compilation of 42 unique projects,” states Greg Goode, President of the Wabash River RDA. “Each project is categorized into workforce development, tourism and quality of life, and entrepreneurship and innovation.”
West Central Indiana’s proposal is one of 18 regional proposals expected to be submitted. The IEDC plans to award $500 million in funding across the state. With the IEDC’s advice to utilize regional planning efforts and creative visions for the future, the Wabash River RDA submitted its proposal knowing it was bold and transformational.
“Understanding every state agency will play a role in the funding efforts over time, we didn’t want to sell our region short,” states Goode. “Our proposal demonstrates our region’s ability to uniquely compete and offer the state a profitable return on investment.”
Under the ‘workforce development’ section, projects address talent attraction and retention, specifically in terms of educational opportunities, library expansions, and career pathways. The section also includes four housing projects, each unique, as well as a project dedicated to access to quality healthcare and the important role it has in attracting workforce to the region.
The ‘tourism and quality of life’ section narrates a range of projects including aquatic features and community pools, a sports complex, museum expansions and updates, community centers, regional wayfinding, hotel projects to cater to the increase in visitors, and more.
The projects within the ‘entrepreneurship and innovation’ section include diverse projects that present a range of solutions which encourage start-ups and entrepreneurism and attract regional investment.
The Wabash River RDA’s proposal was submitted under a regional umbrella comprising of the Wabash River RDA, Thrive West Central, and West Central 2025. Together, the three regional organizations are dedicated to creating the best region to live, work, and play.
“Our region prepared for this opportunity for some time,” continues Goode. “This proposal was truly a collaborative effort with compiled planning over the last three years. So many leaders in our region came together creating the data, foundation, and projects to create such a transformational vision. This proposal showcases the best of West Central Indiana and energizes us for all the great things to come.”
The IEDC expects to make their decision on which regions will receive funding by the end of the year.
RJL Solutions, an Indiana government affairs and communications firm, launches RJLU, an evolution of RJL’s original internship program designed to create robust, real-world experiences for students. Internship sections include Government Relations, Marketing, Public Relations, Grant Writing and Design with the opportunity to create positions for candidates, as needed.
Short for RJL University, RJLU is intended be an extension of students’ college and university curriculum, with an emphasis on the university experience. Students who are required to receive course credit through internships can obtain such requirements through the program. RJL also accepts students who do not need certain course credit and ensures that each intern will still find it supplemental to their college curriculum. Interns have the opportunity to attend weekly professional development opportunities, work on team-based projects, and have potential travel opportunities throughout the state, Washington, DC and other areas where RJL’s reach extends.
“RJLU is a platform in which the university experience is molded with the real-world, applicable experiences that students will have post-graduation,” states Rose Holtrey, RJL’s Content
Strategist and RJLU Program Director. “Our program offers project freedom, mentorship and unique opportunities to learn amongst our team and client-base.”
Students from all over are welcome to apply. Positions will be based out of RJL’s Terre Haute or downtown Indianapolis offices and last the duration of approximately 12 weeks as seen on the schedule below (dates are subject to change).
Fall 2021: August 30 – November 19
Spring 2022: January 10 – March 31
Summer 2022: May 9 – July 29
Earlier this year, RJL Solutions was honored as the For-Profit Employer of the Year during the Indiana INTERNnet Impact Awards. Presented by the Indiana Chamber of Commerce, the award celebrates internship excellence within the state, understanding experiential learning is a key strategy for retaining Indiana’s top talent.
RJL Solutions first founded its internship program in 2018 because its headquarters was strategically located in Terre Haute, a city consisting of four higher education institutions. Wanting to capitalize on what schools were offering within their curriculum, the company hoped to provide additional value to the students, the institutions and the community as a whole. With the company’s expansion to the Indianapolis area, RJL serves clients from across the state and beyond. With that expansion, the internship program evolved and offers a more comprehensive approach to the internship experience.
For students interested in attending RJLU for the fall semester, applications are due August 16 and can be found at www.rjlsolutions.com/internships.
Saying that RJL has provided us with anything less than the best internship experience would be a crime. Under any other circumstances, waking up at 3:30 a.m. to catch a flight would be crazy. While daunting, we jumped at the opportunity to shadow Ryan, Director of Federal Relations at RJL, in Washington, D.C. Getting to walk in the footsteps of the delegates who make the decisions that impact us in our everyday lives was unforgettable. The atmosphere in and of itself was unforgettable. Washington is truly a melting pot with little tastes of the whole world. As we were headed to one of our meetings, we saw military officials from Colombia, businessmen from France and China, and ambassadors from the Middle East.
Moreover, being able to be a part of the process and begin to navigate and understand the inner workings of the private side of government advocacy was incredible. In meeting up with some of Ryan’s former coworkers from the Hill, it was encouraging to learn that people our age hold important positions in House and Senate committees, the U.S. State Department and at the White House. As we return to work in the Indianapolis office, we will use this trip as motivation to continue learning and growing as RJL interns so we, too, can one day contribute to the robust government affairs industry. Having this adventure under our belts has solidified our goals as well as our sedulousness.
RJL Solutions, Indiana-based Government Affairs and Communications Firm, hires former RJL intern as an official RJL team member. T.J. Collett, a graduate of the University of Kentucky, interned at RJL during the winter of 2020 while obtaining his master’s in interpersonal communications.
As an undergrad, Collett studied business and organization communication. In addition to his degrees, Collett played on the University’s baseball team where he won several athletic achievements including the University of Kentucky Mr. Wild Cat award for community service, academics and sports, and the NCAA Senior Award.
A life-long resident of Terre Haute, Collett says he’s ready to use his unique talents to contribute to the prosperity of his hometown, it’s surrounding communities and the entire state of Indiana.
“I am energized to start a career that can directly impact communities, organizations and people throughout Indiana. Growing up in Indiana, I have always wanted to come back home, and Rachel Leslie and the RJL family have given me the opportunity to do just that,” states Collett. “I am looking forward to learning my full potential and working with a team that pushes me to be my best.”
As Relationship Development Specialist, Collett is responsible for the creation and upkeep of client relationships. His take on client care is simple - make friends and keep friends. Each client, much like each friendship, is unique.
As the face of RJL Solutions, Collett will use his excellent communication skills to manage high-level customer service, assist in the development of client retention initiatives and strategies and serve as the point of contact for clients. RJL Solutions is a “No Worry” firm, and Collett is the driving force which makes this statement true. He works seamlessly as the community liaison when attending meetings, events, conferences and other networking opportunities where our clients may need us most. Collett will also play an important role in furthering RJL’s client reach and its potential markets.
"Hiring T.J. just made sense," states Vittoria Meyer, Director of Public Relations. "His approachable and personable character, combined with his ability to think quickly on his feet and create well-rounded, thoughtful solutions gives our team and our clients a unique approach to the work we do, the services we offer and the relationships we create.”
RJL Solutions is thrilled to have Collett onboard and ready to watch him grow in his professional endeavors.
RJL Solutions, Indiana-based government affairs and communications firm, has grown its team with the addition of four talented summer interns. Cole Trent and Gabe Tierney are diving head first into advocacy at the RJL Solutions Indianapolis office, and Trevor Revesz and Jackson Krieg continue to expand the Terre Haute office’s Community Development and Marketing teams.
Trent, of Indianapolis, Indiana and a student at Purdue University, is double majoring in Speech, Language and Hearing Science in the College of Human and Health Science and Pre-Law, with a minor in Philosophy and Political Science. Before his time at RJL Solutions, Trent served as a Legislative Intern for Indiana Senators Jack Sandlin and Scott Baldwin. At RJL, he will cultivate a skillset built on policy and client research, meeting preparation, media and government relations, lobbying reports and other designated projects.
Tierney, of Terre Haute, Indiana and a senior at the University of Colorado Boulder, is majoring in Political Science. Prior to this internship, Tierney served as a Seasonal Construction Supervisor for Habitat for Humanity Metro Denver in Denver, Colorado. There, he developed a love for public service which fuels his passion for policy and client research.
Revesz, of Terre Haute, Indiana and a student at Indiana State University majoring in Marketing, is aiding the RJL marketing team in creating content in the form of social media, blogs, newsletters, website edits and design. A self-taught digital marketing creator, Revesz has already brought tons of creativity and talent to the table.
Krieg, of Princeton, Indiana and a student at Indiana State University, is double majoring in Management and Finance. A current member of ISU’s Impact Club, Krieg uses his devotion to his community and attention to detail to aid in research efforts for the Community Development team.
“Internships can change the trajectory of a person’s life, and I like to think RJL is doing just that,” states Rose Holtrey, Internship Program Director and RJL’s Content Strategist. “Our interns this term are making RJL history. They are high-achieving and continue to prove themselves as key members of this program. We are happy to have them on-board.”
Ryan Ritchie, Director of Federal Relations, visits Washington, D.C. on behalf of clients
"These are uncertain times."
"It’s just the new normal."
"There is light at the end of the tunnel!”
If I had a nickel for every time I’ve heard these cliches since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, I’m certain I would not be writing this blog and would be sun bathing on my million dollar yacht in Capri. Unfortunately, I didn’t receive any such funding, so this is my next best option!
Although overused, these sayings rang true as the RJL Advocacy Team returned to Washington for in-person meetings. Navigating which of the many topics to cover in the seemingly short meetings was daunting. How do you prioritize issues when each of them seem equally pressing? Nonetheless, we made the most of our time with a number of elected officials covering topics of utmost importance to you – our clients. From broadband development to stimulus funding to mental health priorities to federal grant opportunities, we covered it all.
Equally perplexing was figuring out the mask situation in our nation’s capital. Now I know many of you reside outside of Indianapolis, so you may have already returned to casually walking into public establishments without donning a mask; however, I haven’t had the pleasure of doing so since March 2020 (except for the time I forgot to wear one at the grocery store and received my fair share of disapproving looks). Surprisingly, this changed for me when I arrived on the Hill and was told masks were encouraged but not mandatory in the office buildings. After trudging up the (literal) Hill in 90 degree heat, I capitalized on the opportunity and enjoyed the fresh, government laden air. What a thrill!
I know what you’re thinking… “Why does Ryan think we care about his personal problems?”
I don’t. But I do think you’d care to know that things are returning to normal. Nature is healing, people are gathering, relationships are being formed, important conversations are being had; and to take advantage of the many opportunities that await each of our clients, I am proud to say that the RJL Team is back in D.C.
Each and every day, we at RJL Solutions strive to find real solutions to our clients’ most complex issues. We don’t call ourselves a “no worry” firm for nothing. Whether your needs relate to community development, advocacy, communications, or public relations; know that each member of our team is committed to doing what’s best for you and your organization.
RJL Solutions, Indiana-based Government Affairs and Communications Firm, has grown their Community Development team with the hiring of Community Development Specialist, Anwyn Payonk. Payonk, an intern at RJL Solutions from Summer of 2020 to Spring of 2021, spent the last year exploring the firm’s Strategic Communications and Community Development departments as a Communications Associate.
“Anwyn has been an integral part of RJL Solutions for over a year. Her ability to take on new tasks and float between departments is amazing,” states McKenzi Kumpf, Director of Community Development. “She is thoughtful and pays close attention to detail, making her the ideal choice for my growing department.”
Payonk graduated Magna Cum Laude from Saint Mary-of-the-Woods College in May of 2021 with a Bachelor of Arts in English and Minors in Professional Writing and Women’s Studies. During her internship, Payonk gained professional experience from each department including copy editing, writing, social media graphics, public relations and grant writing.
“My time at RJL Solutions has taught me invaluable skills that I look forward to strengthening. Working as an intern in the Community Development and Strategic Communications department has allowed me to grow and embrace my talents in a business setting,” states Payonk. “I’m grateful to be given the opportunity to stay on at RJL and to work under the Community Development department.”
As Community Development Specialist, Payonk will aid Kumpf in grant writing, grant applications and research, as the two continue to serve Indiana communities. RJL Solutions looks forward to the positive impact Payonk will have in and outside of the firm.
a message from Lily Pesavento, Communications Coordinator
If you were to sit and reflect on your career so far, what comes to mind? Is it the pay? Is it the hours? Is it the years of experience? Does it bring you joy? Are you following your dream?
For as long as I can remember, I have wanted to be a writer. As a kid I told stories to anyone who would listen. Needless to say, I was an annoying child who required lots of attention; my parents deserve an award. Most children wish to be astronauts or presidents or veterinarians. I imagined myself being published. It didn’t matter where, and it didn’t matter when, but I felt an innate need to have my words read by people I would never meet. Perhaps this longing to be recognized by strangers is a sign of an impending God Complex. Perhaps I’ll bring it up in future therapy. Or … I’ll use it to my advantage.
I have written short creative stories, countless essays in college, hundreds of news articles as a journalist and now a handful of blogs and press releases at RJL Solutions. If I had to pick my favorite platform or style, it would be blogging. Each blog I create is carefully thought out and curated to the audience. What will they take away from spending five to ten minutes reading my blog? Will they want to visit or explore the topic I’m covering? I use my personal experiences to make the blog relatable to readers, an example being my pottery date night blog. This piece was effortless to write and even more fun to relive. Every detail is as it happened, from my lack of pottery sculpting skills to the feeling of the clay under my fingernails. Even though I wasn’t a pottery expert, I thoroughly enjoyed my time at Deming Park Pottery’s Date Night class and did my best to convey that energy to my readers. My hope is that each blog post, such as my Date Night blog which you can read on See You in Terre Haute’s website, inspires readers to explore the places and events I write about. I encourage readers to make their own experiences and enjoy the town we call home.
When I sit down to write, the swirling thoughts in my brain quiet down. My ears stop ringing, mind stops buzzing. The world around me melts away. It’s an odd experience, fully immersing yourself in your passion, letting the rush take you over until you become the very words you’re writing.
Sure, there are hard days where I really don’t want to write anymore. I become easily frustrated if the words don’t come to me quickly. I become very critical of my abilities. So critical, in fact, that I may fall into the dark blue abyss of mediocrity. And deep within the abyss, lives Writer’s Block, a horrifying monster with hollow eyes and a smarmy yellow grin. He whispers gently in my ear of due dates and upcoming projects. He taunts me in my dreams and keeps me up at night. He seems so intimidating in the dark, but he is nothing in the light. When I feel overwhelmed, I seek the guidance and support of my coworkers. Words of encouragement flow through the office like a rushing river. I swim up through the murky abyss and grab at the bright outstretched hands until I am floating peacefully on the surface.
RJL Solutions accepts me for who I am and finds my quirkiness charming… I think. I’m the girl with seven succulents in her office window and crystals on her desk. I’m the girl who, while everyone else is checking the paper, I’m checking my horoscope. I’m the girl who heard the printer go off while she was left alone in the office and immediately thought, “Ghost. It’s totally a ghost, and I’m stuck here with the ghost.” No, the office isn’t haunted, I am simply paranoid of the paranormal.
Bottom line, RJL Solutions takes you as you are and helps you grow, much like my window succulents. I see myself becoming a better writer under the guidance of my coworkers. I see myself taking on more Public Relations responsibilities and creating more blogs. I see myself staying at RJL Solutions for the long haul, making a positive impact on my community. This is more than just a business. This is a second home, and my coworkers are a second family. We share our worries and our faults. We share our successes and our good news. We go on weekend adventures and discuss our favorite books. We build relationships and trust.
The trust and relationships aren’t exclusive to employees. We extend the same offer to our clients who trust us with something very precious, their vision. Our job is to make your job easier. We provide you the tools to make your dream a reality. Whether it be in the form of social media, public relations, relationship building, advocacy, grant writing, lobbying, marketing or blogging. Blogging offers a unique perspective, an inside look, into your business. Blogging adds a personal touch to marketing campaigns and business models. Consumers want to see the people behind the big business. Who or what do you want to highlight in our next blog?
If I were to reflect on my career so far, I’d find that I am thankful for my past, content in my present and excited for my future and the content I’ll produce for you at RJL Solutions.
a message from Taylor Hollenbeck, Government Relations Associate,
Holtrey brings to the team a passion for design, branding and digital marketing, each founded on her devotion to serve. As Content Strategist, Holtrey will be an important element to RJL’s Strategic Communications department as she will focus her craft on content planning and development, design, analysis, social media and digital marketing strategies. Holtrey is a recent graduate of the University of Louisville where she studied Communication and Sociology. Her experiences are lined in unique internship and leadership positions for renowned companies and brands such as Love Your Melon and J Wagner Group.
"As a creative and one who has a deep passion for the service of others, I am grateful to have a place at RJL Solutions, understanding that everything the company offers is based on solution finding," states Holtrey. "I am certain my skillset will fit perfectly within the team and offer our clients even more solutions and opportunities."
Pesavento joins RJL Solutions as Communications Coordinator where she will be responsible for scheduling, managing communication requests, providing support in project management and leading various communications initiatives in areas including public relations, community development and marketing. Pesavento’s drive comes from storytelling and sharing the elements of any story, large or small. She is a graduate of Indiana State University where she received her bachelor’s degree in Communication with a concentration in Journalism. As a former journalist and consumer representative in the behavioral healthcare industry, Pesavento brings robust knowledge and a deep-rooted love for community.
"Everyone has a story and even the small ones have the potential to make a big difference in the lives of our community members. RJL Solutions has offered me the unique opportunity to seek and find individuals in Indiana waiting for their stories to be told,” states Pesavento. “I'm honored to learn from the leadership team here and find where I fit into RJL's story."
“I had the privilege of being RJL's first intern and now I have the opportunity to work one-on-one with each of our interns as head of the program. Leadership is an integral value at RJL Solutions. Our internship program is designed to support industry related studies, but most importantly, it's designed to create emerging leaders who are well equipped to take on the workforce,” states Anna Madden, Director of Strategic Communications.
RJL Solutions founded its internship program in 2018 because its headquarters was strategically located in Terre Haute, a city consisting of four higher education institutions. Wanting to capitalize on what schools were offering within their curriculum, the company hoped to provide additional value to the students, the institutions and the community as a whole. Today, the company has expanded its services to a downtown Indianapolis-based office where it serves clients from across the state and beyond.
“I believe to better our communities, our state and our nation, we must work together to mentor and offer opportunities to our emerging leaders,” states Rachel Leslie, CEO. “From our first intern, Anna Madden, and beyond, we’ve seen them already make significant, positive impacts in society. Those impacts will make lasting impressions that we’ll be witnessing for some time. I’m thankful to the Indiana Chamber, the Indiana INTERNnet program, their staff and volunteers, and those who were nominated alongside us, for believing in a shared mission.”
Interns at RJL participate in weekly professional development workshops, engage with and are mentored by RJL team members and present a final project presentation at the end of their tenure. Overall, interns are each given real-world and high-level projects to work on, generating an added sense of professionalism, responsibility and trust.
“Our program would not be successful without the institutions who provide the best students, and of course, our interns who continuously bring a unique spark, perspectives and personality to our team each and every semester,” states Madden. “Thank you, Indiana INTERNnet, for recognizing RJL Solutions and our interns.”
RJL Solutions is looking forward to continuing its internship program throughout the state and expand its reach for Hoosier students. To learn more about our internship program, visit www.rjlsolutions.com/internships.html.
An update from Anna Madden, RJL Solutions
Marketing is changing by the minute thanks to a more digital prone world due to events from this past year. The hardest thing you will have to do as a marketer is to re-find your clientele now that homes are major office hubs, and some counties are still requiring businesses to be at half capacity. Marketers are working hard at the beginning of this year to research the new trends and changes in the industry and how we can make this year profitable for our clients after a year that tanked for some industries. Your RJL Solutions’ Strategic Communications Team has made this a goal too. This past month, our marketing team had the opportunity to attend a virtual and rich marketing conference held by the American Marketing Association (AMA). This conference featured speakers from Lucidpress, Sitecore and Tealium, marketing companies with niche focuses on data, branding and digital marketing. Here is what we learned that you need to know while planning your 2021 marketing.
Utilizing Data Effectively
Telling a consistent story through your brand
Brand consistency is of the upmost importance. To feel confident in your brand, it’s imperative that you feel confident in your understanding of two MAJOR players in your game: your consumers and your employees. “24.54% stated that inconsistent branding creates confusion in the market. An inconsistent brand prevents customers from fully recognizing a company and its messaging, which in turn, impacts sales conversions and lead generation,” states Lucidpress, AMA conference guest speaker. The best way to avoid inconsistency is to create (or outsource a marketing agency to create) clear and resourceful brand guidelines. In addition to brand guidelines, you’ll also want someone (or, again, a marketing agency) to monitor your brand and help your company make major decisions, down to smaller decisions such as how a post should be created and the do’s and the don’ts of social posting.
A new trend that was influenced as a result of the pandemic is that sales are shifting from a non-face-to-face format to potential consumers wanting to use text, chat or research on their own. Because of this, it is important that your online content clearly shows your brand with little to no changes in colors, fonts, and design elements. You should include your logo when you can and consider refreshing or adding to your brand through a structured process to allow for more fluidity on the internal creative process. Additionally, what’s being published through marketing channels needs to be consistent with talking points that sales representatives are using. “Sales and marketing alignment helps off set brand inconsistencies, improves communication across teams and ensures your content best reflects customer needs,” states Lucidpress.
Digital Marketing Trends
"Ryan joins the team with an array of knowledge. His extensive understanding of federal initiatives and how they directly impact local and state municipalities and organizations will allow our team to ensure our clients are taking advantage of every opportunity," states Andrianna Hji-Avgoustis, Director of Government Relations. "Ryan's skill-set is certainly a competitive edge and we are happy to have him working alongside us."
Ritchie will work directly with RJL’s clients by providing analyst level support, coordinating legislative efforts by working with state, local and federal government officials and legislators, and implementing strategic high-level initiatives through policy development, relationship-building and intentional partnerships.
“I am deeply honored to join the RJL Solutions Government Relations division. Advocating and finding solutions for issues on the state and federal level has long been a passion of mine,” states Ritchie. “I look forward to working alongside the talented team at RJL Solutions to serve our clients’ needs.”
Ritchie earned his bachelor’s degree from Ball State University and is currently earning his Master of Public Affairs (MPA) from Indiana University. In his free time, he enjoys spending time with family and friends, attempting new recipes, and reading non-fiction works.
As the firm’s Advocacy and Government Relations Interns, Hensley and Dinkins are tasked with providing supplemental support to the RJL Solutions advocacy department. With the 2021 legislative session in full swing, Hensley and Dinkins are immersed in policy and industry research, client communications and political happenings in and around the state legislature.
Dinkins, a Political Science major at Indiana State University, is passioned with writing and policy analysis. Her previous internship experiences at the U.S. Congress – House of Representatives and Indiana GOP have heightened her political drive and legislative knowledge.
Hensley is obtaining a degree in Communication – Public Relations at Indiana State University. Her past internship experiences and tenure as Student Body President elevates Hensley’s innate ability to lead and facilitate high-level conversations.
Kendall joins the RJL team as the Marketing and Design Intern where she will delve into content creation and planning for RJL and its clients through social media, SEO, web and video design and other digital marketing platforms while analyzing digital relevance and account trends. Kendall is a student athlete at Saint Mary-of-the-Woods College and is studying Business Administration.
“Each semester, we partner with our local higher institutions to offer some of our region’s best and talented students an internship opportunity,” states Anna Madden, Director of Strategic Communications and head of the internship program. “Our program is designed to provide our interns with a unique, hands-on and experiential learning experience. We hope that through our program, they find a deeper appreciation for their craft and find added skills and confidence to better prepare themselves for the workforce. We are grateful to have these three on board.”
Anwyn Payonk, Communications Associate, continues her extended internship experience this semester as an integral part of the RJL Solutions team.