theGROUP

News

February 5, 2018
theGROUP DC, LLC Promotes Andrew Collins to General Counsel and Michelle Hernandez to Senior Associate

November 28, 2016
RLJ Lodging Trust Announces the Appointment of Art Collins to Its Board of Trustees

March 29, 2016
Michael Bennett, former BAE Systems Senior Exec, Joins as Contributing Principal

September 20, 2015
After 19 years, ‘the Saturday Brunch’ proves to be a CBC must-do — if you’re a VIP

September 15, 2015
Paul Miller joins the firm as a Principal and Michelle Hernandez joins as an Associate

May 1, 2015
Art Collins Featured in Washington Life's Power 100

November 1, 2014
Huffington Post: Will Working Moms Show Up on Election Day?

June 11, 2014
Brookings Institution Elects Art Collins to Board of Trustees

February 24, 2014
Nicole Isaac featured in CQ Weekly - On the Move

February 18, 2014
The Collins│Johnson group Announces Name Change to theGROUP

February 11, 2014
Top White House Aide Nicole Isaac Joins the Collins │ Johnson group as a Principal

October 28, 2013
Capitol Hill Veteran Darrel Thompson Joins the Collins│Johnson group as a Principal

October 28, 2013
Washington Post: Darrel Thompson, former aid to Harry Reid, joins Collins Johnson

July 1, 2013
Andrew Collins Joins the Collins│Johnson group as Counsel

December 4, 2012
Huffington Post: The Kitchen Table Politics of the Fiscal Cliff

September 6, 2011
Sudafi Henry Joins the Collins │ Johnson group as a Principal

April 4, 2011
Two Powerhouse Democratic Strategists Launch A New Strategic Consulting Firm In The Nation's Capital

After 19 years, ‘the Saturday Brunch’ proves to be a CBC must-do — if you’re a VIP

Washington Post Link

By Helena Andrews-Dyer | 09/20/2015


Political consultant Art Collins’s annual brunch — held each year in celebration of the Congressional Black Caucus Foundation’s Annual Legislative Conference — has come a long way in almost two decades.

 

“The first year we didn’t have any clients,” recalled Collins, managing partner of the consulting firm theGROUP, during his 19th early-afternoon gathering called “the Saturday Brunch.”

 

“I literally ran around the convention center handing out fliers to strangers asking them to come,” Collins said Saturday. To his surprise, 15 members of the Congressional Black Caucus showed up that first year, and in the years since, they’ve kept coming — and so have their powerful friends. Former U.S. attorney general Eric H. Holder Jr. was at the brunch last year, and Obama’s senior adviser Valerie Jarrett also has attended. This year, actor Omari Hardwick, the much salivated-over star of “Power” on Starz, made his way through the crowd at A-list hot spot Fiola Mare in Georgetown. (007 himself, actor Sean Connery, was spotted having lunch there Friday.)

 

Apt comparisons to professional connector Tammy Haddad’s pre-White-House-correspondents’-dinner gathering aside, Collins’s brunch is light on the La-la-land and heavy on the Washington heavyweights.

 

On Saturday, billionaire businessman Robert Johnson and White House Social Secretary Deesha Dyer and Reps. Bennie Thompson (D-Miss.), James E. Clyburn (D-S.C.), Charles B. Rangel (D-N.Y.) and G.K. Butterfield (D-N.C.) were among the powerful Washington crowd at Fiola Mare.

 

“This is the place to be today,” said Butterfield as he walked into the posh waterfront restaurant, much of its furniture removed — all the beter to pack in Washington’s important people, my dear. But “the brunch” is hardly one of the wall-to-wall affairs with barely enough elbow room for a handshake. The event purposely lacks the “Am I on the list?” logjam increasingly associated with the rest of the ALC’s ancillary receptions. The uninvited need not even try. We even overheard one out-of-towner whispering about it the night before. “I’m not big-time enough — yet.”



Helena Andrews-Dyer is the co-author of The Reliable Source. Follow her on Twitter @helena_andrews, and send your hot tips, sightings, and gossip to reliablesource@washpost.com.