Mr. Thomas serves as Senior Counsel to Hurt, Norton & Associates, primarily regarding matters affecting the coastal region of Georgia. He served as the U.S. Representative to Congress for the 1st Congressional District of Georgia from 1983 to 1993, during which time he was highly active in Agriculture, Natural Resource, and Energy issues through his positions on the Energy and Water and Military Construction Subcommittees of the House Committee on Appropriations. After serving in Congress, Mr. Thomas held a number of prestigious positions including President and CEO of the Georgia Chamber of Commerce and Senior Vice President of Governmental Relations for AGL Resources. Although Mr. Thomas officially retired in 2009, he continues to serve on the boards of the University of Georgia Press, the Georgia Chamber of Commerce, the University of Georgia Southern Wildlife Center, the International Conservation Caucus Foundation, and serves as an honorary board member of the Congressional Sportsmen’s Foundation. Mr. Thomas and his wife Nancy live at Grace Acres Farm in Screven, Georgia.
Robert P. Avary, Jr
Mr. Avary is a Senior Associate of Norton & Associates. Mr. Avary focuses on energy, defense, congressional relations, and business development at the firm. He assists clients in targeting and pursuing federal/state/commercial energy efficiency and renewable marketing opportunities and source project financing. Bobby has over 30 years of experience advising domestic and international clients on legislative and regulatory issues. Clients he has worked with have had interests in defense, energy, health, tax, trade, and financial services. As a partner at Wagner, Hines & Avary he helped engineer one of the first grassroots lobbying campaigns. Bobbys Capitol Hill experience was as Executive Assistant/Legislative Assistant to Senator Herman Talmadge and Chief of Staff to a Georgia House Member. He has a Bachelors of Arts degree from Davidson College.
Miss Dean is the Executive Assistant for Hurt, Norton & Associates. She assists principal and senior associates in areas such as defense community interests, federal funding, and public relations. She also helps manage the office and performs in depth legislative research and analysis. Miss Dean is experienced in federal budgeting, targeted research, and strategic defense communications. She is a former fellow of the Department of Commerce in the Economic Development Administration in Washington, D.C., and a former intern for the Foreign Commercial Service in Brussels, Belgium, where she helped U.S. defense companies navigate European Union export control laws and target near-term NATO procurement opportunities. In her prior roles, she served as a Legal Assistant for Jehl Law Group, PLLC and as an intern for the Regulatory and Public Affairs Communications office of FedEx Services Headquarters. Miss Dean has a B.A. in Political Science from Rhodes College in Memphis, TN.
Carol Graves Holladay
Ms. Holladay specializes in education, health and congressional relations for Hurt, Norton & Associates. Her previous roles include serving as university administrator and adjunct faculty member as well as Director of Educational Programs and Public Policy for the National Association of Student Personnel Administrators. Ms. Holladay also founded and chaired a consortium of non-profit associations to generate more visibility for non-profit education associations on Capitol Hill. She previously worked at The Catholic University of America, Emory University and The University of Alabama, and has experience as the liaison to faculty committees, university task forces, commissions and grant programs. Ms. Holladay was an adjunct faculty member at the University of Alabama and The Catholic University of America, where she taught developmental enrichment courses. She received her B.A. in Marketing and Advertising from Middle Tennessee State University and an M.A. in Education Administration and Policy from Central Missouri State University.
Mr. Kay focuses military and defense community issues, military installation-related appropriations, public relations counseling, news monitoring and analysis, and writing and government research for Hurt, Norton & Associates. He retired from the U.S. Marine Corps in 2006 after a 20-year career. In the last 4 years of his career, he served as the U.S. Marine Corps' Deputy Director of Public Affairs, orchestrating the Corps' communication efforts in the Global War on Terrorism. From 2001 to 2002, Mr. Kay served as Senator Zell Miller's (D-GA) Military Legislative Assistant under the congressional fellows program. In this capacity, he advised Senator Miller on all military, veterans and homeland defense issues, and handled appropriations in these areas. He holds an Associate of Arts degree from Young Harris College and earned a B.S. in Political Science and Criminal Justice from Georgia Southern University. He received a Masters Degree in Military Science from the Marine Corps University.
Chris W. Payne
As the Executive Vice President of Hurt, Norton & Associates, Mr. Payne specializes in defense acquisitions, intelligence, and appropriations work as well as congressional relations and corporate counseling. He retired from the U.S. Army in 2009 after a distinguished 20-year career that included Congressional relations tours with the Army’s appropriations liaison office and the U.S. Special Operations Command’s liaison office. He also served as the Military Legislative Assistant to Congressman Jack Kingston (GA-01) under the Army’s Congressional Fellows program. Mr. Payne served multiple tours with joint commands, special operations forces and intelligence community agencies. Additionally, he worked extensively with budgets and acquisition programs for the Army, the intelligence community, and SOCOM, and directly interfaced with various Congressional Committees and Member offices. He is a graduate of Presbyterian College and holds an M.S. from the National Defense Intelligence College and an M.A. from the Notre Dame Graduate School at Christendom College.
William K. Takakoshi
Mr. Takakoshi handles on defense installation issues, defense procurement and defense-related appropriations for Hurt, Norton & Associates. His government career includes more than 8 years of service as Senior Executive Service Special Assistant to the Under Secretary of the Army, during which time he was responsible for overseeing the Army's restructuring, budget, base closure, and legislative liaison and emergency relief functions. He was extensively involved with the Office of the Secretary of Defense during the 1988 through 1995 BRAC rounds. Mr. Takakoshi also worked on procurement and acquisition reform issues as a Legislative Fellow on the House Armed Services Committee. Prior to that assignment, he served as Director, Program Review, Office of the Assistant Secretary of the Army (Research, Development and Acquisition). Mr. Takakoshi began his 28 years of government service as an Industrial Engineer with the Department of Navy. He holds a B.S. in Industrial Engineering from the University of Illinois and an M.S. in Industrial Engineering/Business Administration from Purdue University.
Katharine Calhoun Wood
Mrs. Wood provides office management, ethics compliance, and client relations functions for Hurt, Norton & Associates. She has more than 20 years of experience at the federal level in legislative and regulatory processes. Mrs. Wood served as an independent political, fundraising, and special events consultant to several entities including the National Republican Congressional Committee. Her Congressional staff career began in 1973. She served as Senior Legislative Assistant to U.S. Representative Bill Hefner (D-NC), and later she became Chief of Staff to U.S. Representatives Andy Ireland (R-FL) and Dan Miller (R-FL). During 1977 to 1981, she served as Confidential Assistant and Senior Policy Advisor to the Commissioner of Public Buildings and Grounds of the General Services Administration (GSA), and as Executive Director of the GSA Board of Contract Appeals. Ms. Wood holds a B.A. in Political Science from Hollins College and is a graduate of the Senior Managers in Government Program of the Kennedy School of Government, Harvard University.