Client Success Spotlights for Cook Girard - Government Affairs, Lobbying and Grassroots Management

Success Spotlights:
Every legislative session, more than 2,000 bills are introduced with varying scope and impact, yet only a small percentage are covered by the media or receive broad public attention.  An issue may be critical to the interests of a particular constituency, and receive significant attention from the legislature, but not make it on the media’s radar. Cook Girard Associate’s clients are among those impacted by many of these issues- positively and negatively, directly and indirectly. Cook Girard Associates has a record of successfully representing our clients on these issues, leveraging our superior skills at effective issue management, strategic direction, strong community engagement, dynamic communication and effective execution.  Our approach depends on the specific issue and is tailored to the client and their goals. We work to ensure passage of desired bills, amend legislation to address concerns and prevent harmful provisions from passing.
Some of these critical but lesser known issues over the past few sessions include:
  • Passage of legislation allowing Advanced Practice Registered Nurses to practice at the full
  • extent of their training   (MN Association of Nurse Anesthetists)
  • Long Term Care financing reform  (Leading Age MN)
  • Allowing schools and other entities to have and use epinephrine auto-injectors (Mylan)
  • Clarifying licensing and background check requirements for debt collectors (MN Association of Collectors)
  • Workforce development program outcome reporting and return-on-investment analysis (MSPWin)
  • North Memorial / Maple Grove Hospital - 2007

    Open or Close
    A growing suburban community. A recognized need. A policy obstacle to overcome. And competition among providers. These factors defined Cook Girard’s work in 2006 and 2007 which resulted in legislative approval for North Memorial to construct a new hospital in Maple Grove to serve the Northwest suburbs.

    The Cook Girard team worked with North Memorial Hospital executives, key legislators, community officials and important stakeholders in passing an exception to the hospital construction moratorium law. By leveraging effective issue management, community engagement, dynamic communication and strategy execution, Cook Girard secured support to allow North Memorial to build the new hospital.

    Thanks to Cook Girard’s work, Maple Grove is home to this state-of-the art, patient-centered, leading medical care facility that serves the health care needs of this growing suburban population.
  • Surly Brewing - 2011

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    They said it couldn’t be done. Since the era of prohibition, Minnesota’s three-tier system has strictly governed the production, distribution and sale of beer in the state. Despite this hurdle, Omar Ansari, founder of Surly Brewing, envisioned a “destination brewery” where he could serve fresh craft beer directly to the ever-growing “Surly Nation”. When Surly needed a lobbying team, they turned to Cook Girard.

    Cook Girard utilized our experience with challenging issues, ability to communicate with legislators, and dynamic grassroots and media relations strategy, to build unstoppable support for the “Surly bill”, allowing Minnesota breweries to open taprooms. The intense effort created the political will to change the law, which in turn created a beer boom with over 100 craft breweries now thriving across Minnesota. The new Surly Brewery has opened in Minneapolis to great acclaim and success, drawing people from around the world to its beer hall, fine dining restaurant, event center and beer garden, making it a true Twin Cities destination. When told it couldn’t be done, Cook Girard saw otherwise--and made it happen.
  • Minnesota Vikings Stadium - 2012

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    On any given Sunday from 1982 to 2013, over 60,000 fans poured into the Metrodome in downtown Minneapolis to watch the Minnesota Vikings and show their Purple Pride. For many years the team recognized that those fans and its players needed a new facility to provide the very best in fan experience and football performance. After several legislative sessions with no progress, in 2011 the Minnesota Vikings added Cook Girard to their government affairs team to make the stadium a reality.

    In a highly-charged and politically-divisive environment, Cook Girard and the Vikings successfully built a broad coalition of supporters resulting in one of the most memorable legislative victories in recent years. The process required building relationships and advocacy with nearly every stakeholder imaginable - legislators, local partners, the business community, labor leaders, city officials, the Governor, and citizens. Not unlike a 4th and goal scenario, tireless effort and unrelenting drive made way for a resounding victory.

    Thanks to the collaborative work and determined leadership of Cook Girard, the Minnesota Vikings, and their supporters, the team and their fans are seeing their dream become a reality as the stadium is nearing completion. This state of the art stadium will not only be home to the Minnesota Vikings, it will also host the 2018 Super Bowl, the 2019 NCAA Basketball Final Four, and many other events throughout the year. From policy work to grassroots engagement, and from communications strategy to issue management, the stadium bill demonstrated what the Cook Girard portfolio can accomplish.
525 Park Street - Suite 230 - Saint Paul, Minnesota 55103
Phone: 651-917-6001 / Fax: 651-917-6002 / office [at]