SPONSORED: Experience Is The Best Teacher

Experience is the best teacher.

Louisiana-native Emily Bacque has learned the truth behind this adage after much experience in the nation’s capital. Hailing from Lafayette, The Picard Group’s director of federal affairs caught the political bug in her home state when her father served in the state legislature. She’s been a devotee to the political process in one-way or another since.

“He served one term in ’87 and I would drive with him and hang out in the Acadiana delegation offices,” Bacque said. “In college, an advisor said, ‘D.C. experience is the best experience,’ and I thought I would come here for a couple of years.”

That was 1998.

She’s been in Washington D.C. ever since. She began working as a legislative correspondent for then Senator John Breaux (D - LA) and worked with him for six years until he retired. With the backdrop of a Republican president and Congress, she began interviewing with lobbying firms and found her home at CJ Lake. In 2011, when Tyron Picard began looking for someone in the Washington area, she was able to truly connect her new home and her home state — and the D.C. office of TPG was born.

Her clients run the gamut from healthcare and transportation from her beloved Louisiana to the west coast. On Breaux’s staff, she handled issues from defense and foreign affairs to veterans and homeland security issues. Between CJ Lake and TPG, Bacque covers matters including housing, flood control, energy, law enforcement and public safety initiatives. She also has expertise in appropriations legislation and budget practices. In total, her experience adds up to a woman who is able to develop successful federal advocacy agendas for each client’s priorities.

“I love the ups and downs and the unknowns. I never have the same day,” Bacque said. “It’s always changing and we have a variety of clients from local governments and universities to healthcare — and the next day I may be working on transportation.”

Serving as a lobbyist covering a wide breadth of issues and types of clients is challenging, but Bacque is motivated by her work with TPG and how it can create change in the place she has long called home.

“I love working with the people of Louisiana because I know the people, and I love that I’m able to make an impact on people back home. I love the process. It has changed a lot since I came here almost 20 years ago — and, yet, in working for clients, we’re able to find areas of bipartisan agreement.”

Bacque embraces believing there is a future that looks different than the present in partisan politics.

“I am forever optimistic we will get back to getting things done in Washington,” she said.

And, she intends to be a part of that positive move forward.

These days, she’s balancing working with her clients and motherhood.

“My son is almost a year old, and it’s exciting to be a mom and juggle it all in a two-bedroom condo. It’s very different than how my husband and I grew up. We walk everywhere. Our son is growing up in a city. He won’t have some of the experiences my sister and I did growing up in South Louisiana with the culture and that sense of community. No one is from here, and it’s easy to make friends and establish a diverse group. He will miss out some on family and festivals, but he will have other experiences here.”

And Bacque knows firsthand the difference experience can make, even at a young age.

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