Ronald G. Khoury


Ron is an experienced leader in legislative advocacy, appropriations and political fundraising. He brings decades of experience to the table with extensive relationships in all branches of government representing every region in our state.

Ron has achieved countless success’ on behalf of his clients. These accomplishments include securing millions of dollars for development projects throughout the state, growing small community foundations into multi-million-dollar entities and advocating for effective policy. Two of Ron’s accomplishments include achieving full funding for the Michigan Indian Tuition Waiver and helping to create the Governor’s Council on Genocide and Holocaust Education to include and promote the study of the Armenian Genocide.

Ron began his career as a finance assistant on the George Herbert Walker Bush campaign for President in Washington DC. He has served as deputy finance director for the Michigan Republican Party, followed by the finance director role for the Michigan Senate Majority Leader and the Senate Majority Caucus. Ron has an understanding of the process from the inside out. Additionally, this experience has provided opportunities to build and maintain relationships spanning many years.

He received his B.A. degree from Central Michigan University.


Stephanie Johnson

Managing Partner

“Reliability and integrity” is how clients describe working with Stephanie Johnson. Few lobbying professionals in Michigan command her level of respect among clients, in part because she is known for living the adage of “treating others how she’d like to be treated when it comes to handling client issues.”

Stephanie specializes in labor, agriculture, education and human services issues. Her attention to the finer details of each relationship she builds has garnered her the respect and admiration of lawmakers and clients alike.

Johnson’s dedication extends to each project; she is known for her ability to understand issues and the people behind them, and lawmakers know they can trust her word and expertise. That’s how she is able to deliver huge wins for clients like Operating Engineers Local 324, who will build the Gordie Howe International bridge to Canada, or Michigan’s most vulnerable residents, who saw in-home care expanded under a bill she helped move through the Legislature.

It’s why the National Association of Acupuncturists named her Lobbyist of the Year. It’s why lawmakers trusted her expertise when rewriting the state’s horse racing laws to allow the industry to modernize in Michigan.


Andy Leavitt


Leavitt has extensive background in leadership roles at both the state and federal levels. He is driven by collaborating with great people and organizations to deliver policy outcomes that maximize their goals and benefit society.

Leavitt regularly demonstrates his ability to create effective coalitions on behalf of his clients supported by the management of effective grassroots campaigns. His vast network spans Michigan and Capitol Hill. These lobbying skills are enhanced by his ability to partner on economic development and investment planning projects.

He served as Chief of Staff to Congressman Dan Kildee and Michigan Senate Minority Leader Jim Ananich. In these roles, Leavitt supported great leaders and tackled a lot of difficult policy and diplomatic questions. The results were bringing millions of federal dollars to aid Michigan communities through a complex federal housing program.

During Leavitt’s tenure as Senator Ananich’s Chief of Staff, the Flint water crisis struck his district and required a variety of critical response roles. He organized local community partners, overseeing crisis communications, and implementing his legislative agenda – ultimately securing over two-hundred million dollars to benefit residents.

Leavitt holds a bachelor’s degree in political science from Central Michigan University.


Ryan Burtka


Ryan Burtka’s intellect and capacity to absorb and advise clients places this professional among the short list of top young talent in Michigan. Burtka specializes in all aspects of healthcare. Around Lansing, he holds his own in public policy conversations with the most seasoned pros in town and the former Marine veteran isn’t shy about sharing his knowledge, perspective and strategy.

As state lawmakers debate the complex healthcare issues that impact Michigan businesses and families, KJL’s healthcare clients follow Ryan’s lead on strategy. The six years he spent as a top legislative director in the Michigan Senate before coming to KJL give him understanding, connections and a clear sense for what’s coming next and how to meet challenges.


Kirstie Sieloff


With a decade of experience working in and around state government, Kirstie finds great personal gratification in serving people and guiding diverse groups of stakeholders through the legislative process.

In her capacities as legislative staff, she supported tribal stakeholders in raising awareness of Indian boarding schools and worked to secure funds to encourage teaching this history in Michigan schools. She provided strategic input to efforts to increase the State’s Earned Income Tax Credit to support Michigan families. She became well-versed in special education and disability issues and helped launch an internship for students with disabilities to gain competitive integrated employment. And, Kirstie worked with numerous advocacy groups and organizations to navigate legislation seeking to curb prescription drug overdose deaths through a prescription drug Good Samaritan law.

Regardless of the issue, she’s known for her integrity, trust, and work ethic, and her compassion for people is evident.

Kirstie’s tenure includes positions as staff in the State Senate, State House, Administration, and non-profit arena. She is a Michigan State University graduate with a B.A. and B.S. degree and an alumna of the Fulbright U.S. Student Program and Michigan Political Leadership Program.


Brian Clark


Over a decade of commitment to our firm has provided Brian with diverse exposure to a variety of clients and their needs. He has played an influential role with our association management and legislative advocacy clients. His overall commitment to client services makes him a strong team member both internally and with our extensive list of clients. Simply said, Brian is the perfect example of a team player with commitment to helping our firm and our clients achieve excellence.


Taylor Lawrence


EMAIL Taylor

Mike Zimmer

Director of Business Development and Strategic Planning

Mike has a distinguished career in state government, he most recently served as Cabinet Director for former Governor Rick Snyder. He has also served as the Director of the Michigan Department of Licensing and Regulatory Affairs and Deputy Director of the State Office of Administrative Hearing and Rules. Mike will play a pivotal role in providing strategic council on state and Federal regulatory policy and business development for KJL’s clients. He earned a Bachelor’s degree from Michigan State University and his Juris Doctorate from George Washington University.


Nicole Rodriguez

Client Relations and Legislative Specialist

Nicole’s journey at KJL began in 2019 with a summer internship, where she realized her niche in both public affairs and fostering strong client connections. With her dedication and expertise, she has taken on additional responsibilities, including leading our successful internship program. Nicole is instrumental in managing our social media platforms, providing regular updates about the firm, sharing noteworthy client news, and engaging our community.

Additionally, Nicole plays a pivotal role in delivering comprehensive legislative tracking reports, enabling clients to navigate policy landscapes effectively and achieve their desired outcomes. She has also launched “A Key to the Inside,” a podcast that offers valuable insights into relevant issues impacting our clients. Through engaging interviews with key legislators and government officials, the podcast provides an inside perspective on matters that directly affect our clients.

Nicole is currently pursuing her B.S. in Business Administration and focusing her studies on Public Administration.


EMAIL Nicole

Kate Upton

Office Manager

Kate serves as the initial contact with the KJL team and facilitates connections with legislative offices, department officials, and the Executive Office. These responsibilities also include managing the firm’s intern program and daily office operations.



Copyright © 2024 KJL. All Rights Reserved.