At Cook Girard Associates we aim to not only meet our clients' expectations, but to exceed them. Our goal for every client is to provide leadership and a strong team presence. We have built our reputation on this philosophy and continue to strengthen it as we develop relationships and execute results.
Our staff profiles demonstrate that we have a team of highly knowledgeable professionals ready to meet your needs. Our diverse backgrounds and experiences have prepared us to be uniquely qualified to assist our clients in many areas of expertise. We look forward to the opportunity to work with you.
Judy Cook is co-founder and Senior Partner of Cook Girard Associates, with more than 35 years of experience in public policy and politics in Minnesota. Cook is repeatedly recognized as one of the leading government affairs professionals in Minnesota. She has an unequaled reputation for her skills as an effective communicator and advocate on behalf of clients.
Jim Girard is co-founder and Senior Partner of Cook Girard Associates. Girard has unique perspective and expertise in public policy, having served in multiple roles in Minnesota State Government. Girard’s more than 20 years as a government affairs consultant, 8 years in the Minnesota House of Representatives (1989 – 1996) and 2 years as Commissioner of Revenue (1996 – 1998) give him broad experience and knowledge on the landscape of Minnesota politics.
Sarah Strong-Belisle joined Cook Girard Associates in 2001, fresh from earning her Bachelor’s degree in Political Science from Duke University. Strong-Belisle has exhibited a natural talent for effective legislative advocacy and has worked her way up the government affairs ladder to her current position. Strong-Belisle has significant experience crafting legislative strategies and legislation, especially in the areas of commerce and workforce development.
Joe Sellwood joined Cook Girard Associates in 2013, directly coming off of statewide election campaign efforts and previously working in business to business sales. Sellwood is an important part of the Cook Girard team; working on a variety of issues, analyzing policy and gathering information, educating legislators, and coordinating with various stakeholders.
Zack Cairns joined Cook Girard Associates in 2020. He supports the team’s advocacy efforts by tracking legislation, conducting research, and gathering political information.
Zack started his career in government in 2014 when he worked for an Oregon state Senator and former Co-Speaker of the Oregon House of Representatives.