NBFAA Places Lobbyist on Capitol Hill

March 4, 2005
Alarm organization contracts with lobbyist John Chwat to head organization's government affairs

National Burglar & Fire Alarm Association (NBFAA) members can expect a ramped-up effort from the association's Government Affairs division, thanks to a partnership with veteran lobbyist John Chwat, President of Chwat & Company, Inc., Alexandria, Va.

Chwat begins his 34th year in government affairs experience in Washington and has served both Democrats and Republicans, including Chief of Staff to the late Rep. John Breckinridge (D-Ky.) and Rep. Bill Boner (D-Tenn.), Legislative Assistant to the late Rep. Seymour Halpern (R-N.Y.). He also has extensive experience in state and federal government affairs issues representing the security industry through his work with the Associated Locksmiths of America (12 years) and the Security Industry Association (six years).

"John's experience on Capitol Hill, combined with his security industry knowledge, brings to NBFAA an increased combination of influence, vision and strategic planning in influencing state legislatures and the U.S. Congress that is difficult to match anywhere," said NBFAA Executive Director Merlin Guilbeau. "With John and his lobbying and research staff joining the NBFAA team, our members can rest assured that they have a formidable presence keeping watch and representing their interests in our nation's capitol.

"The ability to contract with Chwat, who has a long and successful record as a Washington lobbyist and a long record of service to trade and professional association and corporate clients, will also be more cost-effective than staffing the Government Affairs department internally." Guilbeau explained. "This is a plus for any non-profit association." Chwat has been active in many national organizations including the American Society of Association Executives and the U.S.

In representing NBFAA, Chwat will review, report, monitor and recommend strategies to influence state and federal legislation that impacts NBFAA and its members; recommend proactive approaches for NBFAA to take in these areas; communicate with NBFAA and its members about these activities; and develop access to key Congressional leaders and their staff. Chwat will also monitor activity that could affect NBFAA members in all 50 state legislatures and provide written materials and assistance to NBFAA members and state chapters.

"I'm looking forward to representing NBFAA in Washington and creating legislation in the 109th Congress," Chwat said. "We will have a very active year in Washington and throughout the country in pursuing a positive legislative agenda for the members in coordination with the leadership of NBFAA."

Chwat has earned a reputation as a legislative expert among his colleagues, delivering lectures on the legislative process throughout the country. He has also taught courses on lobbying at George Mason University, Trinity College, Northern Virginia Community College and the Washington Center. He holds a bachelor's degree in political science from Long Island University, a master's degree in American government from Georgetown University, and a juris doctor degree from American University's Washington College of Law.