The Gober Group
This month, AAPC caught up with our very own Austin Conference Committee Member, Chris Gober, Managing Partner at The Gober Group.
Our newly launched Volunteer Spotlight feature puts our amazing volunteers front and center in the AAPC Community! We want to use this unique opportunity to thank the wonderful individuals that continuously donate their time and energy to help AAPC thrive. We encourage all AAPC members to connect with these star volunteers to thank them for their hard work! To be featured in our next Volunteer Spotlight, or to volunteer for an upcoming event, contact Angela Pubal at firstname.lastname@example.org.
AAPC: Tell us about yourself and what you do.
Chris: I am Managing Partner of The Gober Group, a law firm with a national client base operating primarily in the political and corporate law space. Whereas most law firms will tell you what they do by rattling off their practice areas, we like to describe ourselves by the type of client we serve. And that’s companies, causes, and influencers, whether it be entrepreneurs that want to disrupt an industry, companies that need to protect their reputation and assets, or politicians trying to win at the ballot box on Election Day.
A native Texan, I grew up in a small town in North Central Texas more than an hour away from the nearest shopping mall. In 1999, while I was a student at Texas A&M, I took my first job in politics working for George W. Bush’s then-exploratory committee for president. I then attended Harvard Law School and joined the 2004 re-election campaign three days after taking my last law school exam. During the Bush Administration, I served as Counsel in the Office of Legal Policy at the U.S. Department of Justice, Deputy Counsel to the Republican National Committee, and General Counsel to the National Republican Senatorial Committee before moving back to Texas to enter private practice.
AAPC: When did you become an AAPC member and what prompted you to join?
Chris: I officially joined the AAPC in 2012 just prior to AAPC’s Annual Pollie Conference in Austin, TX. That was my first introduction to the AAPC, and I now consider the Annual Pollie Conference a must-attend event even though there are no Pollie categories for us lawyers!
AAPC: Tell us about your volunteer experience with AAPC–what you’ve worked on in the past or upcoming projects.
Chris: This year I’ve helped organize the Regional Conference in Austin and the Annual Pollie Conference in Nashville. For the Annual Pollie Conference, I’m particularly focused on our “The Business of Politics” sessions, which I want to more closely resemble a session at the Inc. 5000 conference than the typical AAPC conference. As an entrepreneur and business-book junkie, I’m really excited about “Revenue is Vanity. Profit is Sanity. Cash is King,” which is our session focusing on scaling political businesses.
AAPC: Why did you decide to become a volunteer?
Chris: The Annual Pollie Conference already does a wonderful job featuring (and debating) the newest trends for winning elections, but I think the AAPC can do more to develop our members and train them how to be better professionals and business owners. As someone who is active in Entrepreneurs’ Organization and a two-time Inc. 5000 winner that has attended dozens of business conference and trainings, I believed I could offer a unique perspective for enhancing the AAPC’s programming in that area.
AAPC: What is your favorite part about being a volunteer?
Chris: The opportunity to offer my unique perspective and experience leading other organizations, such as Entrepreneurs’ Organization, while working with top-notch industry professionals from both sides of the aisle.
AAPC: How has volunteering with AAPC impacted your career?
Chris: So far, it’s the exposure I’ve gotten to other leaders in the political consulting industry who I previously did not know or had not worked with. But as my relationships with other AAPC volunteers evolve, I believe the most significant impact is yet to come.
AAPC: What is the benefit of volunteering with AAPC?
Chris: Not only is it personally rewarding to volunteer my time and efforts to improve our profession, but it’s beneficial and important to have a seat at the table when discussing the future of the AAPC and the political consulting industry as a whole.
AAPC: Why do you think it is important to give back to the industry?
Chris: Everyone needs to define and own their own experience, and for me that means going the extra mile to be a respected leader in the political consulting profession and making a positive impact on others. I think giving back to the industry through my AAPC work is a waypoint during that extra mile.