Staff News – Taylor Lobbies for Building Envelope; van der Walt earns U.S. Citizenship

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September 6, 2018

Taylor Helps Building Envelope Industry Connect with Congress

six guys in front of gsa
Front row, left to right: Jeff Taylor, RCI President Michael Clark, RCI Director of Industry Affairs Brian Gardiner, and RCI CEO Lionel van der Walt. Back row: RCI Past President Michael Williams, and RCI Second Vice President Scott Hinesley.

If you follow RCI’s news, especially regarding advocacy, you may have heard a new name recently.

Jeff Taylor, of U.S. Government Relations Intl., LLC (USGRI), has been advising RCI’s Advocacy Committee in creating a significant and vibrant advocacy program that is well-organized, efficient, and substantive.

In his capacity as RCI’s lobbyist, and along with the RCI board, RCI’s Director of Industry Affairs Brian Gardiner, Advocacy Committee Chair Tom Gernetzke, and CEO Lionel van der Walt, Taylor has been leading the charge to give members of RCI and of the building envelope industry in general a louder voice in U.S. government.

Taylor has an extensive political resume. He is the former chief of staff to U.S. Rep. David McIntosh, (R-IN, ret.), in which capacity he was the representative’s communications advisor. According to his biography, he “also worked closely with the U.S. House Subcommittee on Regulatory Reform…which had policy oversight of all regulatory agencies in the executive branch.” He served as a political appointee at the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services in 1989 during the presidency of George H. W. Bush. Taylor is also a contributing writer to Politico, and serves on the board of directors for the International Ocean Science and Technology Industry Association (IOTIA).

RCI’s recent victory in having the U.S. House Appropriations Financial Services and General Government bill include language regarding responsible construction procurement was guided by Taylor.

RCI President Michael Clark had this to say about Taylor’s involvement:

He’s doing a great job. One of the things that he’s doing for us—because of his knowledge of the inner workings of Washington, both in Congress as well as in all of the federal government agencies—is that he is helping us get access to talk to the right people. If we had to try to figure out who within the federal bureaucracy we would need to go see about a particular issue, we would probably spend a lot more time, and in turn, money, in floundering around trying to figure out who the right person to see is. Jeff is helping cut through nearly all of that. We get to the right person right away.
Additional reading:

RCI, Inc. Works With U.S. Congress to Pass Responsible Construction Procurement Language
RCI’s Position Statement on Procurement
Advocacy Takes Front Seat at RCI

RCI’s CEO Earns U.S. Citizenship

Somehow amidst a very busy summer, which included a fire in the RCI office building, South African native and RCI CEO Lionel van der Walt managed to make the time to study for his U.S. citizenship test. On July 24, 2018, he and his wife Ilonka became U.S. citizens.

van der walts
RCI CEO Lionel van der Walt and his wife Ilonka take the Oath of Allegiance to the United States of America.
flag certification document
The flag that flew over the U.S. Capitol on July 24, 2018, the day van der Walt received his citizenship, was presented to him as a gift in recognition of his accomplishment.

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