President and CEO
Gmerek Government Relations Inc.
Gmerek founded his Harrisburg-based government relations firm in 2009 following seven years as president of Wolf Block Government Relations.
He said the two major political parties used to see compromise as the key to successful governing. “Now, compromise is not seen in the same way,” which reflects a sea change.
Most rewarding “is the ability to accomplish things in Harrisburg – legislatively, administratively and/or otherwise – that make Pa. residents’ lives happier and/or healthier without them necessarily knowing who did it,” Gmerek said. The most challenging aspect concerns those who lobby and simultaneously fundraise and/or run campaigns. “It seems to me to be a conflict but, at the very least, it creates the appearance of a conflict.”
When Gmerek was first hired as a lawyer in the state Senate, “the two people who taught me the lessons of politics that I still use today were Sen. Robert Jubelirer, my boss, and David Atkinson, my co-worker and one of my lifelong friends. While working in the Senate, I learned what I liked about lobbying and what I didn’t like. Gene Knopf … was a lobbyist who possessed what I liked: He was ethical, honorable, collegial and knowledgeable.”