K Street Files: TechAmerica Continues Bulking Up Staff

Posted April 2, 2012 at 4:39pm

TechAmerica has expanded its ranks once again, adding a defense policy expert and two membership-focused positions, even as talk of a technology association merger still swirls.

Gregory Keeley, former communications director for Rep. Ed Royce (R-Calif.) and Sen. John Barrasso (R-Wyo.), joined TechAmerica last week as the new vice president of defense and homeland security policy. He came from Monument Capital Group, a Washington-based defense- and intelligence-focused private equity firm, where he served as senior vice president.

On the membership side, Peter Kaminskas, the former director of membership services at the Business Software Alliance, came on board last month as senior vice president for business development and will be responsible for recruiting new members. Meryl Hickman, a veteran of the National Association of Manufacturers, also joined last month as the senior director of member relations.

The announcement came two weeks after the association, which represents more than 1,000 technology companies from BAE Systems to Apple, brought on Shawn Osborne as its new president and chief executive officer. He replaced Phil Bond, who left in the fall.

The association’s leaderless months fueled rumors this winter that TechAmerica would be an eager third party in a proposed merger between two other leading technology associations: TechNet and the Information Technology Industry Council.

The Washington offices of technology companies have been abuzz for months with talk of a united technology trade association that would stand as the voice for the increasingly powerful sector.

But the issues of interest to technology firms are diverse, from cybersecurity to sales taxes, and association leaders are moving quietly and tentatively. Some companies are outright enemies, like Google and Microsoft, which routinely trade barbs publicly and privately over competition issues. Others are split over how government affairs resources should be spent and the importance of political giving.

Official talks among the associations have yet to start, but industry sources say preparations are in the works. Stephanie Craig, a spokeswoman for TechAmerica, declined to discuss the status or the association’s involvement.

“We want to make sure that tech issues are really thought of as a whole,” she said. “We look at technology the same way we look at other industries; the issues that affect tech tend to be across the board.”

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