Our Team

Our Team

Patrick Sullivan
Principal/Lobbyist

“What’s Patrick’s take on the bigger picture here?”

From his days as a freshly minted deputy commissioner under Governors Meskill and Grasso to today, Patrick is recognized as one of the most influential and intuitive lobbyist in Connecticut, mastering the art of putting together deals and making things happen within state and municipal governments. As the chief strategist at Sullivan & LeShane, Inc. (S&L) and a partner at Sullivan & LeShane Public Relations, Inc., (SLPR) Patrick leverages his vast experience and networks on a daily basis for the benefit of clients.

Patrick began his lobbying career with the Hartford Chamber of Commerce, and then with Connecticut’s largest beverage trade association. In 1983, he joined his partner Paddi LeShane in founding S&L and, five years later, they joined with Gene Sheehan in founding Sullivan & LeShane Public Relations, Inc. (SLPR). Today, Patrick is continually sought after by business and community leaders, professional associations and elected officials for his institutional knowledge, extensive network and keen insights into national, state and local politics. With SLPR, he brings deep knowledge of how things work between the media and political sectors in delivering for our clients in the most challenging of public relations scenarios.

A veteran political strategist, Patrick has played key roles in the presidential campaigns of Gerald Ford, Ronald Reagan and former Senator Robert Dole, as well the campaigns of former Congresswoman Nancy Johnson, Senator Joseph Lieberman and several Connecticut governors. Most recently, he has served as a senior adviser for two U.S. Senate campaigns. He is a graduate of Fairfield University with a BS in Sociology.

ACCOMPLISHMENTS

  • Secured the initial state funding needed for UConn to build Gampel Pavilion.
  • Led the government relations team for several industry mergers requiring approvals from the Office of the Attorney General, State Legislature and other regulatory bodies.
  • Created special taxing district and secured authorizing legislation for a major urban renewal project at Harbor Point in Stamford, resulting in $240 million in infrastructure funds.
  • Sought after political strategist with close ties to every major statewide and local political leader in the state.

COMMUNITY INVOLVEMENT

Patrick founded and coached the Connecticut Basketball Club (CBC) to bring together the state’s top high school basketball prospects, several of whom are now playing in the NBA. CBC has become one of the top Amateur Athletic Union (AAU) programs in the country, including two recent Final Four appearances. Additionally, Patrick is a longtime member of the National Association of State Lobbyists and several other professional organizations. He lives with his wife and business partner, Paddi LeShane, in the historic West End of Hartford. They have three adult sons and eight grandchildren.

CELL: 860.614.4223
EMAIL: psullivan@ctlobby.com

WHY WE ARE HERE
“We’ve been nationally recognized for our integrated public relations/government relations services as well as leveraging social media to impact government actions; we set the tone for building a prosperous future for our clients. Any problem can be solved and any issue can be resolved with strategic thinking and bringing the right people to the table. That is our culture at Sullivan & LeShane.”

 


Paddi LeShane
Chief Executive Officer/Lobbyist

“Call Paddi – get Paddi in here fast!”

Time and again we hear this when clients need creative solutions to problems or issues that seemingly can’t be found. This is where Paddi shines brightest, when the missing pieces to the puzzle need to be found and that outside-the-box solution needs to be surfaced. Buoyed by her expertise in local/state government relations, message development, strategic media relations, reputation management, crisis communications and market entry strategies, Paddi thrives under pressure in delivering what clients need on a daily basis.

Prior to starting Sullivan & LeShane, Inc. (S&L) in 1983, Paddi served as Director of External and Public Affairs for a highly respected statewide medical and vocational rehabilitation organization. In her roles in public/community relations liaison and leadership development, she created as statewide network of community and political leaders, which served as the perfect segue into lobbying.  As managing partner at S&L, Paddi leads the agency’s day-to-day operations and personally lobbies on behalf of many of our most prominent clients. A partner in S&L’s sister company, Sullivan & LeShane Public Relations, Inc. (SLPR), Paddi brings that same culture of strategic thinking and problem solving to help keep clients in a positive public light.

Paddi is a member of the University of Saint Joseph Board of Trustees and Vice Chair of the Washington-based Public Affairs Council, a professional association of corporate/national organizations. In 2017 she was honored as “Practitioner of the Year” by the Greater CT chapter of the Public Relations Society of America (PRSA).

Paddi holds a Master’s Degree in Healthcare Finance from the Rensselaer Lally School of Business and a Bachelor’s of Science Degree in Leadership and Community Development from Springfield College. She has participated in select executive level programs at Stanford University and McGill University.

ACOMPLISHMENTS

  • Developed and implemented several Connecticut market entry initiatives for a global banking interest, outpatient medical and behavior health facilities and a renewable energy company.
  • A respected, trusted lobbyist with members of both sides of the aisle within her network.
  • Led several multi-organizational coalitions to pass landmark legislation on scholarship funding, tort reform, energy deregulation, managed care regulation and tax initiative opposition.
  • Drives business strategy and best practices for two separate and widely respected companies.

COMMUNITY INVLOVEMENT

When not at work or rallying her large Irish family, Paddi volunteers at a wide range of Connecticut community organizations, leading governance, strategic planning and fundraising projects. She is a member of the leadership team of the Greater CT PRSA, the Connecticut Women’s Council, the Connecticut Chapter of the International Women Forum, the Governor M. Jodi Rell Center for Public Service at the University of Hartford and the University of Saint Joseph Women’s Leadership Center. She recently completed an 11-year tenure with the City of Hartford Parking Authority, the last five of which she served as Chair. She has been recognized and honored for her efforts by numerous organizations, universities and publications.

CELL: 860.614.3991
EMAIL: pleshane@ctlobby.com

WHY WE ARE HERE
“I love what I do. I love puzzles. I’m curious and enjoy working with a team to find solutions to the challenges presented to us. Each day is different and I get to pull together a diverse group which shares a common goal to improve a situation. Add politics to the mix and where else could you find such a daily adventure?”

 


Michael Johnson
Director, Government Relations/Lobbyist

“Mike always finds a way to get the job done – he gets results because he never gives up.”

A respected and notable presence at the State Capitol for more than a decade, Mike combines an infectious, boundless energy with his well-honed expertise of how government works, especially in the hallways of the State Capitol. As a skilled problem solver and confidante, Mike has an uncanny savvy for securing financial assistance from the state for a variety of job-creating economic development projects. You know Mike is in the room when you hear his resounding voice and witness firsthand his skill of pinpointing exactly what clients need in order to prosper.

Mike has spent his entire career in and around politics, refining his skills as an influencer and innovator. Prior to joining S&L, Mike worked for a Hartford-based lobbying firm for several years, specializing in trade associations and human services. He also worked for the state’s largest municipal trade association, where he served as the day-to-day lobbyist on energy, human services and environmental issues. Mike began his career, in Albany, NY, working as a staffer in the New York State Senate.

As Director of Government Affairs for S&L and the day-to-day manager of many of the agency’s lobbying campaigns, Mike leads the state government team and directly lobbies lawmakers to consistently deliver results for clients.

Mike graduated from Sacred Heart University with a BS in Government/Politics and Business Management. He is currently enrolled in the Public Affairs Council’s Certificate in Public Affairs Management Program, and also completed Leadership Greater Hartford’s Leadership Challenge. He has been recognized on many occasions for outstanding lobbying efforts on behalf of clients.

Accomplishments

  • Successfully managed the implementation of landmark ridesharing legislation in the State of Connecticut.
  • A highly recognized and trusted lobbyist with an extensive network throughout state and local government.
  • Successfully represented numerous consumer product associations regarding statewide packaging, administrative regulations and other regulatory matters.
  • Secured significant state assistance for the expansion and job-creating growth of numerous small to mid-sized businesses in Connecticut.

Community Involvement

Mike is a current member and Past President of Association of Connecticut Lobbyists, and has been actively involved in numerous charitable and philanthropic events throughout the state. He is a member of the Zoning Board of Appeals in West Hartford and a past volunteer coach for West Hartford youth league basketball. He lives in West Hartford with his wife, Colleen, their daughter Elizabeth and their whoodle Marshall, the newest member of their family.

CELL: 860.614.3990
EMAIL: mjohnson@ctlobby.com

WHY WE ARE HERE
“Sullivan & LeShane is the perfect fit for me because it allows me to do what I do best; illustrate to clients what can happen when pragmatism meets persistence. What we do is not just meaningful to clients, but fun for us, because we get the privilege of sharing that success with them.”

 

 


Ryan Bingham
Senior Government Affairs Manager/Lobbyist

“At age 22, Ryan was called Mayor by the city of Torrington.”

Ryan first rose to prominence in 2005 when he became the youngest elected mayor in Connecticut’s history. From that day forward he has established himself as a proven, tireless leader who knows how to build consensus and grow meaningful, valuable relationships across the board. Ryan’s unique skillset makes him adept at crafting win-win deals which benefit all parties involved, and his public/private sector experience enables him to create innovative, winning solutions for any issue.

After making history when elected Mayor of Torrington in 2005, Ryan served three highly successful terms. During that time he established himself as one of the rising stars on Connecticut’s political landscape, leveraging public-private partnerships and understanding the science and art of managing a $70 million+ municipal government enterprise. Following his tenure as Mayor, he worked in corporate and government relations at a leading Connecticut environmental management company.

As a Government Relations Associate at S&L, Ryan focuses on lobbying state and municipal leaders on behalf of clients in the energy, environment and government administration sectors, as well as expanding opportunities for client growth within Connecticut’s borders.

Ryan holds a BA degree in Political Science from Marist College and a Master’s Degree in Public Administration from the University of Southern California. He has been honored with Connecticut Magazine’s 40 Under 40 Award and also received Marist College’s Distinguished Alumni Medal.

ACCOMPLISHMENTS

  • An accomplished leader and consensus builder who is able to bring various competing stakeholders together to resolve problems.
  • Successfully led a complex lobbying campaign to protect the Connecticut recycling industry from potentially harmful and costly legislation.
  • Secured the successful entry into market of an innovative health care facility, working at both the local and state level in Connecticut.
  • Worked with numerous clients to increase market share at the local level through a statewide network of municipal contacts.

COMMUNITY INVOLVEMENT

In addition to his eight years as Mayor of Torrington, Ryan was past president and continues to work with the Connecticut Conference of Municipalities. He is the founding board member of the National Community Leaders of America Organization, a board member of the Torrington Police Athletic League, a board member of the CT Main Street Center and a past chairman of the American Cancer Society Northwest Connecticut Gala. He also serves as a board member for the CCARC Impact Team, an organization serving people with disabilities. He resides in his hometown of Torrington with his wife Jennifer and two children, Blake and Ellie, whom he considers his greatest accomplishments of all.

 

CELL: 860.601.0221
EMAIL: rbingham@ctlobby.com

WHY WE ARE HERE
“My passion is working with a variety of clients from different industries, ranging from cities to the private sector to the not-for-profit world. It’s all about finding wins for the client, and Sullivan & LeShane gives me the opportunity to do that on a daily basis.”

 


Chelsea Neelon
Legislative Associate

“Chelsea’s legislative experience ensures clients have the information they need before they even know they need it.”

A reliable, consistent presence in the Legislative Office Building for the past three years, Chelsea has cut her teeth in the high-pressure world of Connecticut legislative politics and policy, earning the respect of people in that building as someone who is up to any task given to her. Confident and well-organized, Chelsea is a skilled multi-tasker who is at her best when things are moving fast and need to get done ASAP.

As Legislative Associate at S&L, Chelsea is responsible for organizing and coordinating indirect lobbying activities for the government relations team. These include oversight and implementation of S&L’s bill-tracking system and monitoring the activities of specific legislative committees and state agencies, as well as the State House and State Senate. Additionally, Chelsea oversees data collection, research and written materials to support S&L lobbying activities, and also supervises and directs sessional interns.

Prior to her role at S&L, Chelsea worked for several years as a Legislative Aide in the Legislative Office Building and State Capitol, working for numerous state lawmakers and serving as their front line access to constituents and their needs. Chelsea graduated from the University of Connecticut on the Dean’s List with a BA in Political Science and Philosophy.

ACCOMPLISHMENTS

  • Managed day-to-day schedule and calendar activities for as many as nine state lawmakers at a time, including constituent outreach, bill tracking and other legislative needs.
  • Possesses excellent inter-personal and organizational skills as well as a strong network of contacts within the State Capitol.
  • Provided valuable support for numerous successful political campaigns, including putting in many hours as a tireless campaign volunteer.

COMMUNITY INVOLVEMENT

Chelsea is an active member of the MetroHartford Alliance’s Hartford Young Professionals and Entrepreneurs (HYPE). While at UConn Chelsea was active in community service, volunteering for social service-based initiatives that included working with the homeless. She was active in intramural sports there and remains an avid fan of UConn sports. In her spare time she enjoys playing basketball, travel, dogs and impressing people with her expansive knowledge of song lyrics. Chelsea is a new resident of West Hartford and looks forward to getting involved in the community there soon.

 

CELL: 860.614-3992
EMAIL: cneelon@ctlobby.com 

WHY WE ARE HERE
“Sullivan & LeShane Inc. is a place where I learn from the very best in Connecticut government relations, and where every day brings a new and exciting challenge my way. It’s a privilege to bring my knowledge of the State Capitol and the legislative process to the table in the work I do day in and day out on our clients’ behalf.”