D.C. consultancy changes name in reshuffling

Correction: An earlier version of this story incorrectly stated that Art Collins served as a senior adviser on Obama’s 2012 reelection campaign and led the public policy and government affairs practice at Bryan Cave. It is Broderick Johnson who held these positions previously. This version has been corrected.

February 18, 2014
D.C. firm changes name in reshuffling

The Washington consultancy founded in 2011 by two former advisers to President Obama has renamed itself, simply, the Group, the firm plans to announce Tuesday.

The policy and communications consulting firm was originally called Collins Johnson Group after its two founding partners, Art Collins and Broderick Johnson. The name change is part of what firm leaders are calling a “brand refresh” as the company undergoes a personnel shuffling. Johnson is heading back to the Obama administration as assistant to the president and Cabinet secretary, while Nicole Isaac, an Obama adviser on legislative affairs, joined the firm last week.

In October, Darrel Thompson, a former deputy chief of staff to Senate Majority Leader Harry M. Reid (D-Nev.), joined the firm. Thompson is running for the Ward 6 D.C. Council seat.

“We are excited about our direction and the message behind our new name,” Collins said in a statement. “It symbolizes who we are — a diverse team of experienced advisors assisting our clients as they navigate through complex administrative, legislative and regulatory environments.”

Collins and Johnson are former lobbyists. Collins ran the political consulting firm Public Private Partnership, and Johnson lobbied for companies including AT&T, Microsoft and Verizon, though none of the firm’s strategists are currently registered to lobby. Johnson served as a senior adviser on Obama’s 2012 reelection campaign and previously led the public policy and government affairs practice at Bryan Cave.

Catherine Ho

Natural gas prices rise on high demand

Natural gas prices rose to a nine-day high as a storm that dropped snow across the Midwest headed for the Northeast and Mid-Atlantic states, boosting demand for the fuel at a time when stockpiles are at a 10-year seasonal low.

Prices climbed as much as 4.9 percent. A winter storm that may drop up to six inches of snow on Chicago and Pittsburgh will reach the East on Tuesday, AccuWeather.com and National Weather Service said Monday. New York may get 1 to 2 inches before the storm switches over to rain, while Boston may receive 1 to 3 inches.

Prices are up 29 percent this year.

Stockpiles of the heating fuel declined for a 13th week to 1.686 trillion cubic feet in the seven days ended Feb. 7, the lowest for the time of year since 2004, according to the Energy Information Administration.

Supplies will drop to 1.33 trillion cubic feet by the end of March, when the heating season draws to a close, the EIA said last week. About 49 percent of U.S. households use gas for heating, according to the Energy Department’s statistical arm.

— Bloomberg News

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— From news services

Coming Today

10 a.m.: National Association of Home Builders releases housing market index for February.

Earnings: Coca-Cola.

Catherine Ho covers law and lobbying for the Capital Business section of The Washington Post. She previously worked at the LA Daily Journal, the Los Angeles Times, the Detroit Free Press, the Wichita Eagle and the San Mateo County Times.
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