Chelsea Trotter

Chelsea works as the Executive Assistant to Rob Garagiola and second key Principals with scheduling and client intake. Chelsea is a member of the Finance Committee and assists the Controller with invoicing, accounts receivable for all businesses, and employee reimbursement processing.

Chelsea received her B.A. in Modern Language and Community Service Studies from DePaul University in Chicago, IL. She brings years of administrative support to the Compass Team from professional experiences throughout the United States and abroad.

Originally from the British Virgin Islands and a dual citizen, Chelsea enjoys visiting family on both sides of the Atlantic and the Caribbean with her husband and son.

Elly Colmers Cowan

For nearly a decade, Elly has been lobbying at the state, local, and federal levels on a wide range of topics including tax credit policy, environmental and land use issues, and budget priorities. Prior to joining Compass, Elly advocated on behalf of historic preservation, smart growth, and land conservation non-profits, and she has forged strong relationships with General Assembly leadership and other key players during her time in Annapolis.

Her years of experience in all aspects of advocacy – from public policy development to coalition building to grassroots organizing- ensure a wholistic approach to lobbying for her clients.

A Baltimore native, Elly lives in the City with her son, and three cats. When not working, she enjoys cooking, reading, and supporting small businesses in her neighborhood.

Addison Pruitt

Addison is a Principal of Government Relations and Director of Public Relations at Compass Advocacy. Wearing both hats, Addison connects the dots between government advocacy and brand strategy, helping clients on projects ranging from lobbying to logo design.

Government Relations

Prior to joining Compass in 2021, he served as the Communications Specialist for the U.S. Architect of the Capitol’s historic Cannon Renewal Project, where he coordinated messaging and outreach initiatives to House Members, staff, and key congressional stakeholders.

Addison also spent three years in the Maryland General Assembly as Chief of Staff to Delegate Darryl Barnes, Chairman of the Legislative Black Caucus of Maryland. In this role, he worked on legislation to improve equity, procurement, and funding opportunities for minority businesses and disadvantaged communities across the state of Maryland.

Public Relations

Aside from his political experience, Addison has helped several nonprofits and businesses in the Greater Washington Region, providing consulting services in branding, graphic design, website development, and multimedia. With a spirit for community and collaboration, he launched a creative pop-up event series in 2017 for young professionals to connect through arts and music.

Additional Background

Addison studied Marketing with a concentration in Product and Brand Management at Virginia Commonwealth University. He is a lifelong resident of Prince George’s County and a member of Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Inc.

Alex Shull McKitrick

Alex has a decade of legislative, lobbying, and advocacy experience at the federal, state, and local levels of government. As a former Government Affairs Director for the Port of Baltimore, she has strong relationships with members in the Baltimore region of the Maryland General Assembly as well as Hogan Administration officials. Having worked for members of the House and Senate that represented Maryland’s Eastern Shore Alex brings unique, long-standing relationships in this rural jurisdiction. In addition, Alex manages the Delaware book for Compass’ Government Affairs practice. In Delaware, Alex works to advance client objectives within Leg Hall and at the local levels of government.

Alex has extensive background on business and tax policy, particularly with respect to issues that impact the transportation and logistics industry. She has experience in cannabis, energy, and civil justice policy and often assists clients in procurement pursuits in both Delaware and Maryland. Her ties to departments like transportation, natural resources, and information and technology in both states enable clients to easily get in front of decision makers ahead of sought-after procurements.

When not lobbying in the halls of Annapolis or Dover you can find Alex hiking, running, or growing something new in her garden. She has a strong sense of community and believes in giving back often and supporting the efforts of those doing good in her area.

Jen Kidwell

Jen Kidwell brings 8 years of experience working with families in a variety of settings to her work as a Wills and Trusts attorney. She views the legal documents that are commonly used to help families plan for the future as tools for investing in the relationships, stories, and causes that ultimately create a legacy. She prioritizes a values-based planning process, and takes time with each client to educate and counsel them through potentially challenging decisions. Though she works with clients at many stages of life, she especially enjoys working with families with minor children and using legal strategies to protect the opportunities and relationships that parents value for their children. Jen also enjoys working with small business owners and ensuring that their comprehensive estate plan takes into account their years of investing their time, money, passion, and expertise in their business.

Jen and her husband live in Montgomery County with their two young children and canine sidekick. She spends free time on the Sligo Creek trail, playing music, and getting muddy in the garden.

Kirsten Ostrom

Kirsten oversees all operational aspects of Compass Advocacy. She also manages the firm’s human resources needs, including compensation, benefit administration, and employee policies. Kirsten is also a member of the Compass finance team and conducts company-wide financial audits. In addition, she coordinates firm compliance, insurance, and risk management matters.

Previously, Kirsten was a File Clerk/Policy Analyst Support to the Maryland House Ways & Means Committee and has played key administrative roles in healthcare companies including Product Manager in Product Development & Management for a Behavioral Health and Wellness corporation, and Patient Care Coordinator for an Orthopedic surgical facility.

Additional Background 

Kirsten continues to pursue her interest in medicine through research and attending lectures.  She previously volunteered at the Johns Hopkins Pediatric Oncology unit, and her interest in cancer research especially continues.  In her spare time, she enjoys outdoor adventuring and exploring nature, traveling, and cooking.

Morgan Mills

Morgan brings a deep understanding of political landscapes, policy issues, and an unwavering commitment to effective advocacy. She offers insightful policy analysis and political strategy for our clients in Maryland and on the federal level, navigating the intricacies of varying levels of government to champion the interests of our clients.

Government Relations

During her time with Compass, Morgan has spearheaded initiatives across various levels of government, from the federal arena to the State level to local governments in DC and Maryland. Whether advocating for legislative changes, forging strategic partnerships, coalition building, or mobilizing grassroots efforts, Morgan is dedicated to driving impactful outcomes for our clients.

She has experience across a broad range of legislative issues including civil justice, cannabis, youth services, healthcare, and non-profits.

Prior to joining Compass, she spent two years gaining invaluable experience in Delegate Williams’ office, gaining firsthand insight into the legislative process, and developing a keen understanding of policymaking.

Public Relations

Aside from her lobbying efforts, Morgan also assists clients navigate coalition building, communication, and political campaign strategies to help shape public opinion on an array of topics. She has assisted several non-profits and businesses get through to key-decision makers through various grassroots campaigns, substantially impacting legislative decisions.

Born and raised in Anne Arundel County, Morgan lives in the Annapolis area with her fiancé and dog. When not working, she enjoys hiking, camping, and spending time with her family.

Robert J. Garagiola

A triple threat for Compass, former Maryland state Senate Majority Leader Rob Garagiola serves as a Principal of Compass Government Relations and as the President of Compass Public Relations and Compass Law. With over 30 years of legislative, lobbying, and advocacy experience at the federal, state, and local levels of government, and nearly 25 years practicing law in D.C. and MD, Rob plays a leading role in managing the Compass leadership team and nurturing the firm’s enterprise growth and innovation.

Government Relations

As a former state Senator who served on the energy and health committees, including as Chairman of the Health Subcommittee and as Chair of the Joint Committee on Healthcare Delivery and Financing, Rob is an expert on energy, tax, healthcare, business regulation, and procurement matters, Rob lobbies for clients in Maryland, Delaware, and Washington, D.C. As a former elected official, he understands the inner workings of government. Prior to becoming a state Senator, he spent close to a decade on Capitol Hill – both as a lobbyist and senior staffer for U.S. Rep. Frank Pallone, Jr., who is now the top Democrat on the Energy & Commerce Committee.

Law Practice 

Rob is a business attorney and a business owner. He uses his legal and practical experiences to benefit his corporate clients and has represented clients on business law matters in nearly every sector, ranging from accounting firms to physician practices and restaurants to consulting firms, as well as trade associations and nonprofits. Rob advises clients on general business, employment, and commercial leasing matters, helping them form and grow companies, draft corporate governance documents, and provide counsel on various contract issues. He has been recognized as a Super Lawyer since 2016.

Public Relations

Having run for office at the state and federal levels, Rob has extensive media and communications experience. For over a decade, he has helped clients with various grassroots advocacy efforts to affect and shape public opinion on a range of issues. Rob has also worked with clients to develop innovative strategies to convey their message before traditional media, digital media, and other venues.

Additional Background

Rob served in the U.S. Army Reserve from 1995 to 2003 and received his jump wings in 2000. He is a member of various nonprofit boards, including those with a focus on the arts, healthcare, renewable energy, and public safety. He is married to Hannah Powers Garagiola, the founder of Compass Advocacy, and has five children and a Jack Russell Terrier named Oyster. In his spare time, he enjoys boating, traveling, reading, and cooking.

Practice Areas

Government Relations

  • Business Regulation
  • Energy
  • Healthcare
  • Procurement
  • Taxation & Fees

Public Relations

  • Communications
  • Grassroots & Political Campaign Strategy
  • Public Affairs & Coalition Building


  • Business Law
  • Contracts & Commercial Leases
  • Employment/Labor Law

Ellen Davis

As Vice President of Administration, Ellen leads efforts on many different fronts in Compass’s offices. She is proud to have worked with the Compass team for nearly 5 years and ensures that our government relations lobbyists, public relations consultants, and attorneys all have the tools they need to advocate for Compass’ clients.

Office Management

Ellen directs the maintenance and management of Compass’s offices, including furnishing, engaging contractors, and oversees day to day operations. She works closely with IT contractors and employees concerning all technology needs and upgrades. Ellen collaborates closely with the Vice President of Operations on various human resource matters. This includes employee sourcing, conducting interviews, hiring, and on-boarding. She also oversees the Staff Assistant and Legislative Intern positions in our Annapolis office.

In addition to Ellen’s management roles, she Chairs the firm’s Sustainability Committee where she facilitates energy-saving practices, recycling measures, and sustainable systems for Compass.

Marketing & Events

Ellen is director of marketing efforts, shaping Compass’s brand image and outreach efforts. This involves managing our website and social media platforms, organizing events, curating newsletters, and overseeing advertising initiatives. She also plans and manages all Compass events. This includes annual client receptions, staff meetings and retreats, conference receptions, and policymaker “Session Previews” with keynote speakers such as Maryland Lt. Governor Aruna Miller, House & Senate Leadership, and County Executives.

Ellen coordinates yearly firm volunteer events in our surrounding communities. The team has volunteered at Sandy Point State Park, planted native gardens at Jug Bay Wetlands, pulled invasive plants at Kenilworth Park & Aquatic Gardens, and more!

Additional Background

Ellen brings a wealth of experience to Compass, cultivated during her several years in environmental education and adventure tourism. Her journey spans from managing ski rentals and rafting trips in Colorado to working Visitor Services while living at Seney National Wildlife Refuge in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula.

Ellen made her way to Alaska to lead Road Scholar learning vacations in Denali National Park and across the state, guiding participants through the landscapes and National Parks of Alaska for multiple summers. Additionally, she served as an educator for the Chesapeake Bay Foundation Island Program, teaching students about the balance of nature and the cultural heritage of Smith Island and the Chesapeake region.

Originally from Harford County, Maryland, Ellen finds joy outside, whether birding, skiing, or fly fishing. Ellen lives in Anne Arundel County with her husband, dog, and cat. She likes to stay busy by taking her dog, Maverick, for a hike, knitting a blanket, or taking a dance class.

Tyler Bennett

Tyler has been lobbying in Annapolis for over eight years on a wide range of issues including procurement, tax policy, environmental issues, public funding, and more. He has robust experience assisting clients as they navigate procurement opportunities at both the state and local levels. His experience includes companies in the information technology, energy, utilities, and gaming space. Additionally, Tyler also has experience across a broad range of legislative issues including budget, taxes, civil justice, youth services, Chesapeake Bay recovery, and historic preservation.

Prior to representing clients before the Maryland General Assembly and throughout the rest of the State, he worked for Senate President Thomas V. “Mike” Miller, Jr. where he staffed the Senate Budget and Taxation Committee. Tyler has used his time working with the Senate Budget and Taxation Committee, learning the ins and outs of the state budget process to leverage the relationships he built to represent and help clients secure millions in both state operating and capital budget funding, as well as positioning procurement clients to expand their public sector footprint.

He is a proud graduate of West Virginia University where he studied political science and economics. A lifelong Marylander, he currently resides in Baltimore City. When he’s not walking the halls of Annapolis, you can typically find him on the golf course.

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