MADISON, WI – Green Bay-based Arena Strategy Group, LLC announced today it will offer government affairs services and expand its operations to include a Madison office. Kristin Ruesch has been named Director of Government Affairs and Communications, according to Mark Graul, President and Founder of the Arena Strategy Group.

“I’m pleased Kristin Ruesch will join the Arena Strategy Group as we expand our services to include government affairs,” Graul said. “Kristin has extensive experience working with legislators and staff on key policy issues, and her focus on political communications will help us offer the highest level of service possible to every client of the Arena Strategy Group.”

Ruesch recently served as Communications Director for Senator-elect Ron Johnson’s successful bid in his first run for public office. She has also served as Communications Director for the Republican Party of Wisconsin, and worked in the state legislature for Rep. Phil Montgomery (R-Ashwaubeneon) as a legislative aide, clerk of the Assembly Energy and Utilities Committee, and as a budget staffer when Montgomery served on the Joint Finance Committee.

Ruesch will join the Arena Strategy Group full-time on December 7, 2010. Her e-mail address is kristin@arenastrategy.com.

In 2007, Graul founded Arena Strategy Group, LLC, a full-service grassroots mobilization, public affairs and public relations consulting firm that works for clients in multiple Midwestern states. Arena Strategy Group uses its extensive contacts to help businesses and organizations achieve their objectives in the public arena through coalition building, grassroots contacts, grasstops contacts, online advocacy, media outreach, and will now expand its reach to include government affairs.

Arena Strategy Group has coordinated successful advocacy campaigns for clients in the health care, manufacturing, transportation, automotive, energy and telecommunications fields, and expects its expanded focus on government affairs will meet the needs of a wide range of clients.

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Biography of Mark Graul

Mark Graul has worked in local, state and national political arena for over 17 years. He is one of Wisconsin’s leading operatives, and has managed or advised several presidential, statewide, judicial, congressional, legislative and local campaigns. Graul also served as a chief of staff in both Washington D.C. and Madison.

In 2006, Graul was the campaign manager for Mark Green’s campaign for governor. The Green campaign was recognized by the Washington Post as one of the best campaigns in the nation in 2006. In 2004, Graul served as Wisconsin Executive Director for President George W. Bush’s successful reelection campaign.

Graul came to the Bush campaign from the office of Congressman Mark Green where he was Chief of Staff from 1999-2003. As Chief of Staff, he oversaw every aspect of Green’s congressional office and managed an annual budget of nearly $1 million. Graul ran Green’s wining congressional campaign in 1998 – which was the only campaign in the country to unseat an incumbent House Democrat that year.

Graul started his career working in the Wisconsin State Assembly from 1991-1998 where he worked as a top aide to two members of the legislative leadership. He also served as an alderman for the City of Fitchburg from 1995-1996. Graul grew up in Wauwatosa, Wisconsin and is a graduate of the University of Wisconsin.

Biography of Kristin Ruesch

Born and raised in Central Wisconsin, Kristin Ruesch is a graduate of the University of Wisconsin and has worked in state and local politics for nearly a decade.

At the University of Wisconsin, Ruesch worked as a page for the Assembly Sergeant-at-Arms office. She also assisted on state and national campaigns and served in statewide leadership for College Republicans.

Following graduation, Ruesch continued to work in the state legislature for Rep. Phil Montgomery (R-Ashwaubeneon) as a legislative aide, clerk of the Assembly Energy and Utilities Committee, and as a budget staffer when Montgomery served on the Joint Finance Committee. Ruesch has managed state Assembly races, has worked as Communications Director for the Republican Party of Wisconsin, and recently served as Communications Director for Senator-elect Ron Johnson’s successful bid in his first run for public office.

Ruesch also serves on the Wisconsin Women in Government Board of Directors and has completed a graduate seminar on women’s leadership through the LaFollette School of Public Affairs at the University of Wisconsin.