New Deal Advisers brings together three decades of public affairs experience in San Francisco. We have strong relationships with decision-makers at all levels of government and a reputation for building consensus. We take a client-centric approach to our work, which means we listen to deeply understand our clients’ needs, provide informed strategic advice, and work tirelessly to produce the results they seek. Here is what we do best:
We help our clients get it built.
Construction in San Francisco is a complicated process, but we understand it well. The New Deal team has helped drive over 100 projects from planning to completion. We have helped entitle major projects, including the Salesforce Tower – the tallest building west of the Mississippi – and fun projects, like Bourbon and Branch, which GQ Magazine named one of the best cocktail bars in America. We are honored to represent homeowners, schools, and businesses, in addition to some of the largest real estate investors in the United States.
WE HELP Win Contracts.
We have helped our clients secure over $13 billion in government contracts. As our name implies, New Deal Advisers has a passion for infrastructure projects. We track potential business development opportunities and help our clients produce winning bids – advocating for them every step of the way. We represent engineering firms, builders, transportation companies, technology companies, and anyone who values government as a customer.
We Solve Problems.
We know how to build consensus for legislative or administrative change. On behalf of our clients, our team helped pass significant legislation, including a pre-IPO tax exemption and legislation to eliminate the payroll tax in San Francisco. We have a strong record of success in lobbying governmental bodies and navigating administrative processes to solve problems large and small.
WE Give Back.
We provide our services for free to select San Francisco non-profit organizations doing important work in our community. Most recently, we helped entitle and win approval for Family House at UCSF. Last year, we helped United Playaz purchase and renovate their clubhouse in SOMA. We assist Lava Mae, which provides showers to people who are homeless. It is our privilege to support these incredible organizations making a difference in San Francisco.
Chris Gruwell is CEO of New Deal Advisers and brings a 14-year track record of successful lobbying in San Francisco. Prior to founding New Deal, Chris was the co-owner and President of SF Platinum Advisors.
In his tenure in San Francisco, Chris has helped his clients secure over $13 billion in government contracts. He also successfully entitled the Salesforce Tower, the tallest building west of the Mississippi. On behalf of the tech community, Chris passed major tax legislation, including the pre-IPO tax exemption and legislation to eliminate the payroll tax in San Francisco.
Prior to his work in public affairs, Chris was California Lt. Governor Gavin Newsom’s finance director during his successful San Francisco mayoral campaign and an aide to the California Assembly Majority Leader.
Chris serves on the Board of Directors of the San Francisco Host Committee and civic technology incubators Tumml and SuperPublic. He is the Chair of the SPUR Good Government Awards and a Founding Trustee of the Laborers’ Community and Training Foundation. Additionally, Chris is a delegate to the San Francisco and the San Mateo Labor Councils. A former U.S. Army Ranger, Chris has served as a Veterans’ Affairs Commissioner for the City and County of San Francisco. He is a graduate of UCLA.
Dan Dillon brings three decades of San Francisco lobbying experience to New Deal Advisers. For the last 12 years, Dan was a lobbyist at SF Platinum Advisors, where he specialized in issues related to permitting, building regulations, major events, and the hospitality industry. Dan has served as a legislative aide in Washington, D.C., Sacramento, and San Francisco’s City Hall.
For the past decade, Dan has also worked with the PGA Tour on five professional tournaments and with the USGA on two U.S. Opens in San Francisco. He served as General Chairman for the 2015 WGC Cadillac Match Play Championship, the Charles Schwab Cup Championship (2011, 2013), and served on the Host Committee for the 2009 Presidents Cup. He was instrumental in securing the 2020 PGA Championship for TPC Harding Park – the first time one of the four Majors will be contested on a municipal course.
Currently, Dan is President of the Board of Directors of The Olympic Club.
Laura Hilgart is an effective advocate with experience serving a wide range of clients on both coasts. Before joining New Deal, she worked as a lobbyist for SF Platinum Advisors and at O’Neill and Associates – a public affairs, government relations, and crisis communications firm in Boston. Previously, Laura worked at the French Consulate in Boston, Senator Kerry’s Office in Washington D.C., and the Associacion de Igualdad y Justicia in Buenos Aires, Argentina. She is currently a member of the Urban Land Institute, the SF Bike Coalition, SPUR, Leadership San Francisco, the Alliance Francaise de San Francisco, and the Associate Board of Generation Citizen. Laura graduated from Brown University with a B.A. in International Relations.
Brian Sheehy leads New Deal Advisers’ hospitality practice. As the Founder and CEO of the Future Bars Group, Brian launched a collection of nine premium cocktail bars and three artisanal beverage retail stores known as "Cask" in the San Francisco Bay Area. The most notable bars include the much lauded Bourbon & Branch, Rickhouse, Local Edition, Devil's Acre, Pagan Idol, as well as Tupper & Reed in Berkeley. Now, Brian is bringing his real world expertise to New Deal to help our hospitality clients with their challenges. Brian has deep experience navigating the varied paths of licensing and code compliance with state and local municipal agencies.
Prior to founding Future Bars in 2002, Brian held management positions at the Sheraton Hotel Munich, Marriott International, and Kimpton Hotels in the United States. He has also served as a bar design consultant for Starwood’s W Hotels, Marriott Hotels, and Ritz Carlton properties in Southern California and the Bay Area. Though his earliest years were spent in Boston, Brian grew up in Ireland, where he completed his degree in Hotel and Business Management at the National University of Ireland, Galway.
Davi Lang, a San Francisco native, brings six years of experience in public policy, political and legislative campaigns, issue advocacy, grassroots organizing, fundraising, and campaign finance compliance. Prior to joining New Deal Advisers, Davi served as Finance Director for the Jane Kim for State Senate 2016 campaign, as a legislative aide to San Francisco Supervisor Jane Kim, and as Campaign Manager for Jane Kim for Supervisor 2014. She also has an extensive background in animal welfare, having worked for the Animal Legal Defense Fund and the Foundation to Support Animal Protection. Additionally, she served on the San Francisco Animal Control and Welfare Commission. Davi earned her B.A. at University of California, Berkeley and her Master of Public Affairs at University of San Francisco. Davi is a member of the South Beach District 6 Democratic Club, the San Francisco Young Democrats, and the San Francisco Berniecrats. She is also an elected member of the California Democratic State Central Committee.
Matt Curwood, the Founder and CEO of Curwood Consulting Group, has spent his career developing innovative transportation solutions that deliver maximum benefit to his clients and those they serve. His exceptional leadership combined with his operational management and business development expertise have made Matt a valuable asset to private and public industries with diverse transportation needs. Regardless of the challenges his clients face, Matt is able to utilize his skillset and vast network of professional relationships to achieve outcomes that meet and exceed expectations. His key to reaching this level of success starts with his motto, which is: “Get to know your customer—their challenges, their desires, and their expectations. Then do whatever it takes to execute what you promise.” This degree of personal
understanding, commitment, diligence, and follow-through have allowed Matt to shine in the transportation marketplace and beyond.
As Vice President and President of Loop Transportation, Matt won and managed the accounts of some the most demanding and innovative companies in the world, including Google, Apple, Facebook, LinkedIn,Twitter, Onyx, Genentech, and Visa Corporation. Matt steered Loop through a 5-year period of unprecedented exponential growth to become the largest and best
private transportation provider in Silicon Valley, and the 4th largest privately owned operator in the United States. In recognition of Matt’s remarkable achievement of improving the daily lives of people who live and work in Silicon Valley, he received a Letter of Commendation from San Mateo County and October 10th is known as Matt Curwood Day.
Matt consolidated his more than 16 years of executive transportation and business experience into establishing Curwood Consulting Group in 2017. Relationships continue to be at the heart of his success and he collaborates with an outstanding team of partners and associates on cutting-edge projects spanning both the public and private sectors.
Born and raised in Australia, Matt obtained his Bachelor of Science in Urban Planning and Design from the Royal Institute of Technology, Melbourne. He is a Viola Leadership Graduate, a Board member of the Australian American Chamber of Commerce, and a Vistage International member.
Matt has lived in the US for the past 17 years, with his better half, Kristine, and his three children Max, Ryan, and Rosie. Matt loves to ski, hike, paddle board, or golf—almost anything that takes him into the great outdoors!
Terence Tracey has been working in construction, project, and event management since 2005. Terence has successfully managed all phases of multimillion-dollar construction projects for government and private-sector clients. He currently works as the client liaison at the $500 million Moscone Expansion Project, which will be completed in December 2018.
Prior to moving to San Francisco in 2008, Terence worked as a civil engineer in Montego Bay, Jamaica for two years and Belfast, Ireland for one year prior.
Terence grew up in Ireland where he completed his degree in Construction Engineering at the University of Ulster.
Alaina Fuata serves as New Deal Advisers' Business Operations Associate. Prior to joining New Deal Advisers, Alaina was a Policy Fellow in San Francisco Supervisor Jane Kim's office. Before that, she completed a fellowship with the Jane Kim for Senate 2016 campaign. She is currently an Assembly District 17 Delegate for the California Democratic State Central Committee and a member of the Hawaii Chamber of Commerce of Northern California. Alaina earned her B.A from San Francisco State University in Political Science and a minor certificate in Global Peace, Human Rights, and Justice Studies. Alaina is originally from Hilo, Hawaii and brings the Aloha Spirit to her work.
Our team has represented a wide range of clients in three decades of work in San Francisco:
- Atwater Tavern
- Beumer Group
- Black and Veatch
- Blue Bottle Coffee
- Boston Properties
- Brown and Caldwell
- Campaign for Tobacco Free Kids
- Carmel Partners
- CDM Smith
- Chicago Bridge & Iron
- City Park
- Clear Channel Airports
- Clear Channel Outdoor
- Crescent Heights
- Cubic Transportation
- Dominion Voting
- DPR Construction
- Equity Office
- Equity Residential
- Family House
- The Fairmont Hotel & Resorts
- Fluor Corporation
- Golden State Warriors
- GOLUB Real Estate
- HBK Engineering
- HDR Inc.
- Hearst Corporation
- James Hardie
- JMA Ventures, LLC
- The John Buck Company
- Ken Fulk
- Laborers Union Local 261
- Lava Mae
- Lennar Multifamily Communities
- Live Nation
- Mark Cavagnero Associates
- Minerva Project, Inc.
- Motorola Solutions
- One Kings Lane
- Parsons Brinckerhoff
- The PGA Tour
- PMA COnsultants
- Polaris Pacific
- Restoration Hardware
- San Francisco Fire Fighters Local 798
- San Francisco Parking Association
- San Francisco Zoo
- Serco Inc.
- Seven Hills Properties
- Shaw Environmental
- Shorenstein Companies
- Super Shuttle
- Teamsters Joint Council 7
- Teamsters Local 665
- Tidewater Capital
- Tishman Speyer
- Trumark Urban
- United Commercial Food Workers
- United Service Workers West
- University of San Francisco
- US Renewable Energies
- Veolia Water
- Wasserman Media Group
- Woods Bagot
- World Wildlife Fund
- Young’s Market