|The Navigation Group||
Robert S. Thoms, Partner & CEO
Robert brings to bear a unique mix of experience in federal and state government; the private sector and the military, allowing him to provide distinct value to clients' vital interests in the regulatory and legislative processes.
He also possesses an expert acumen for public affairs positioning as he has worked closely with industry and government leaders at the highest levels during his 20 year career as a Public Affairs Officer in the United States Navy and as a congressional staffer on Capitol Hill. He has a command of how to understand and dissect complex issues and challenges facing clients and utilize public and government relations tools to execute strategies to maximize client goals that create positive and sustained results for clients.
Robert has more than 20 years of experience in the private and public sectors representing the interests of both elected officials and industry leaders. He has worked directly with Fortune 500 companies as well as start-ups clients both in Washington D.C as a legislative analyst for Dutko Worldwide and most recently as a Vice President at Thompson Smitch Consulting Group in Washington state. Robert has an intimate knowledge of military and legislative issues impacting Washington State having worked in the Capitol in Olympia prior to serving on Senator Maria Cantwell's staff from 2000 – 2007. Robert was integral member of Senator Cantwell’s staff, he served as a senior policy advisor on military issues and policy impacting the State of Washington and DoD as a whole. He was also key to managing all policy and political issues impacting the state were he served in many important position including Eastern and Central Washington Director; South Sound Director and finally Deputy State Director managing offices in Spokane, Richland and Tacoma, Washington respectively.
Prior to joining Senator Cantwell’s staff, Robert was the Eastern Washington Campaign Manager for the Cantwell for Senate 2000 campaign. He worked as Chief of Staff to then Rep. Jeff Gombosky from 1998 – 2000. He also has extensive federal campaign experience having served as campaign and field mangers in congressional races in 1994, 1996 and in the 5th Congressional district in 1998 after moving to Washington state from Washington DC to attend graduate school at Gonzaga University.
Before calling Washington state home, Robert worked on Capitol Hill from 1991- 1997. From 1991-1993 serving as Navy legislative liaison for the SeaWolf program before congress. 1993-1995 as legislative aide to Congressman John LaFalce from Buffalo, NY working on Small Business Administration and Military issues. 1995-1997 Robert worked for Dutko Worldwide, one of the most respected government relations firms on Capitol Hill, he specialized in researching federal legislative issues for clients including US West, 3M, Coca Cola and the American Health Care Association.
Robert is Veteran of the Persian Gulf War and currently serves as a Public Affairs Officer in the United States Navy Reserves stationed at the Pentagon’s Chief of Naval Information Office. Robert is also an Adjunct Instructor to the Navy Prospective Commanding Officers School in New Orleans teaching Communication and Congressional Affairs courses.
Robert received his BA in Political Science from State University of New York, Buffalo and his MA from Gonzaga University. Robert and his wife Beth are the proud parents of William and Charlotte Thoms and live in Tacoma, WA.
John W. Jolibois, Partner & COO
John brings with him over 18 years of experience having honed his skills within numerous local, regional and national sectors of the government, politics and private business. John has a bold flare for creative problem solving and for delivering positive results based on sound strategic planning.
John’s private sector experience was developed working with firms with national and international clients and offices around the United States. John most recently was a Vice President with the Thompson Smitch Consulting Group, where he worked with clients in the energy, tribal, economic development, technology and natural resource arenas. Prior to that, John was the Director of Public Affairs for an established government and public affairs firm located in Seattle. John was tasked with creating and implementing media and community outreach strategies for clients.
John’s public sector experience as been built working for elected officials and municipalities. As the Manager of Government Affairs for the Port of Tacoma, John collaborated with federal, state, local and tribal governments as well as labor unions and ports nationwide to develop legislative strategies on policy and funding for maritime and supply chain security, economic development, international trade, transportation and environmental projects.
John worked as the Deputy District Director for Congressman Norm Dicks from Washington’s 6th Congressional District. He worked with Native American Tribes, municipalities and businesses across the district to bridge the gap with the federal government to help build infrastructure, ensure natural resources remained viable and bring assistance to distressed rural communities and create jobs. John also worked for Congressman Adam Smith’s district office where he was responsible for outreach to Native American Tribes and the business community.
After graduating from Eastern Washington University with a Bachelor of Arts in Political Science, John worked on and managed local Legislative, Port Commission, Judge and Congressional races around the Puget Sound. John also served a full-term on the City Council for his hometown of Fircrest, WA and is a member of the Turtle Mountain Band of Chippewa Indians, North Dakota. John lives in Gig Harbor, WA raising his two young sons Jack and Luke where he is active on many boards, commissions and foundations in the community.