Meet Our Team



Stuart Goodman
Principal
David Schwartz
Principal
Brandy Petrone
Senior Associate
Rachelle Giles
Senior Associate
Stuart Goodman
Principal

For over a quarter of a century, Stuart Goodman has been serving public and private sector clients at the State Capitol and local governments throughout Arizona.

Having prior service in state and local government, Goodman possesses significant experience in the practices of Arizona government with a wide-ranging focus on state agencies, regulatory boards and gubernatorial and legislative process and operations.  

Prior to establishing the firm in July 2000, Goodman served as a senior policy advisor to former Arizona Governor Jane Dee Hull. During his tenure in the Hull Administration, he provided policy and management advice for 47 cabinet level and regulatory agencies within state government.   

Before joining the Hull Administration, Goodman directed the City of Glendale’s Intergovernmental Relations program.  He also served as the principal policy advisor to Mayor Elaine Scruggs and the City Manager for state and regional issues. 

In addition to serving the interests of elected officials, Goodman has also directed the legislative and media programs for the Arizona Department of Administration and was the associate director of government affairs for the Arizona Multihousing Association. 

Goodman has contributed his talents to a number of civic causes and is a past president of Public Affairs Professionals of Arizona.  He is a recipient of the Phoenix Business Journal's Forty-Under-40 Award (Class of 2006). 

Goodman presently serves on the Arizona Constable Ethics, Standards and Training Board, recently appointed by Governor Jan Brewer.  He is a past chairman of the Arizona Board of Athletic Trainers, serving two terms.

Continuing his commitment to public service, Goodman received his commission in the U.S. Navy Reserve in 1999 and served honorably through 2009.  In 2003, during Operation Iraqi Freedom, Lieutenant Goodman served as a Division Officer in the Persian Gulf and Indian Ocean aboard the aircraft carrier USS CONSTELLATION (CV-64).

Goodman holds an undergraduate degree in Economics and a Master of Public Administration, both from Arizona State University.  He also completed the Program for Senior Executives in State and Local Government at Harvard University’s John F. Kennedy School of Government.

As a Phoenix native, Goodman survives the Arizona sun by playing ice hockey in two local leagues.  Goodman and his wife, Liz, live in Central Phoenix and have four children along with two Italian Greyhounds. 

David Schwartz
Principal

David Schwartz, a principal with the firm, manages the local government relations, association management and community outreach practices for the firm. 

When clients need local government relations assistance, David utilizes the experiences he gained from his decade-long service to the City of Phoenix, where he served as Council Assistant, Mayoral Assistant and Deputy Chief of Staff to then Mayor Skip Rimsza.  In these roles at City Hall, he learned the importance of the symbiotic relationships between local elected officials, city management and staff, boards and commissions, community leaders and other impacted stakeholder groups.  It was through these years of service at the municipal level of government that David learned the importance and impact of community involvement and its bearing on the governance process.

While every project and client at the firm benefits from a diverse team approach, David often leads the community outreach, grassroots mobilization efforts and stakeholder involvement projects.  David currently has the honor and privilege of serving as the Executive Director and Chief Administrator for three non-profit organizations:  Friends of Transit (501c3), the Support Sky Harbor Coalition (501c4), and the Arizona Association of Providers for People with Disabilities (AAPPD), also a 501c4 non-profit organization.  He has served in those roles with Friends of Transit and Support Sky Harbor Coalition since their inception in 2001 and 2002, respectively.    

Throughout his career, David had extensive experience in voter behavior trends and campaign mechanics, both from an academic and professional perspective.  Building on those lessons learned, he has over 20 years of experience in promoting issues.  Over the course of his career, he has managed or advised several high-profile, grass-roots, political campaigns throughout the Region, including significant transportation measures. 

Based on the knowledge gained from these various transportation policy initiatives and campaigns, along with his ongoing efforts managing transportation coalitions, David is often called on to speak to other budding transportation based coalitions across the country.

In addition to his notoriety in professionally organizing coalitions, David also attempts to volunteer his talents and enthusiasm for various causes and organizations.  He currently serves on the Board of Directors for the Greater Phoenix Chamber of Commerce.

David’s educational background includes an undergraduate degree in Business Administration from Arizona State University, along with a Master of Mass Communication from the Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Telecommunications at Arizona State University.

David and his lovely wife Sharon have been married 26 years.  They are blessed with four remarkable boys – Justin, Tyler, Ryan and Brandon.  When David is not busy working or attending his sons’ sporting events, he enjoys spending time up in Northern Arizona.

Brandy Petrone
Senior Associate

Brandy Petrone has been representing and assisting the firm's private and public sector clients at the state and local level since October of 2006 and is a key contributor to the strategic and tactical advice given on legislation and legislative strategy.  Brandy has strong expertise in legislative drafting, amending and analysis.  Brandy also helps coordinate and manage the firm's internship program and provides event management and planning services for the firm's clients.

Prior to joining Goodman Schwartz Public Affairs, Brandy worked in the nonpartisan Research Staff Department of the Arizona State Senate. Brandy spent most of her time in the Senate as the Analyst for the Commerce and Economic Development Committee.  She also served  on the  Appropriations and Health Committees.  In addition to her analyst duties,  Brandy helped to grow the competitive legislative and executive internship program, the program that helped her get her start in public affairs, as the Internship Program Coordinator.

Brandy holds a B.S. in Business Administration, with an emphasis in International Marketing, and a B.A. in Spanish from Northern Arizona University.  

Outside of work, Brandy enjoys spending time with her husband, her two young children and the "oldest child", Brodie, the beagle.

Rachelle Giles
Senior Associate

Rachelle is the firm’s resident event coordinator and technology & communications guru. She oversees the firm’s non-profit associations and community outreach clients, and ensures that clients have personal, timely and accurate updates.

A proud North Dakota native and graduate of North Dakota State University (go Bison!), Rachelle holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Political Science, History, and Pre-medicine studies.

Rachelle first cut her teeth as a Staff Assistant and Research Analyst in the office of North Dakota Governor John Hoeven.  In 2009, Governor Hoeven appointed her to the State Board of Higher Education where she proudly served until 2010.  Rachelle next joined Governor Hoeven’s 2010 campaign for U.S. Senate as the Assistant Director of New Media and Research.  Following a successful campaign, she continued in the Senator’s regional office as Special Projects Coordinator.

In 2012, Rachelle worked with the Romney for President Campaign advance team, to plan events and coordinate local and national media during their national bus tour.  From there, she was hired as Campaign Manager for the 2012 Janice Arnold-Jones for Congress campaign in New Mexico.

Immediately prior to joining Goodman Schwartz, Rachelle served as the Research Analyst for Phoenix Councilwoman Thelda Williams, coordinating district events and assisting constituents with neighborhood issues and city services.

A life-long animal lover, Rachelle’s dogs, Dixie and Doris, have earned their titles of office mascots and sunshine coordinators and take up residence at the Goodman Schwartz Office each week. Outside the office, Rachelle spends weekends renovating her dream/nightmare home near historic Downtown Phoenix and has served as President of the Phoenix Alumnae Chapter of Kappa Alpha Theta since 2014.  During her down time, you’ll find Rachelle hiking, riding horses, or reading.  An avid traveler, she hopes to visit all 50 states by the time she’s 30.  Just six states to go and one year to do it!

Brandi Lease
Associate - State Government Relations
Melissa Oister
Associate - Community Relations and Association Management
Madison Groves
Operations Manager
Brandi Lease
Associate - State Government Relations

Brandi Lease joined the Goodman Schwartz team in December 2018. Prior to joining the firm, she worked in the Arizona State Senate as a Legislative Research Analyst. Most recently she staffed the Education Committee and previously staffed the Natural Resources, Energy and Water Committee. She got her start in Arizona government in 2014 through the Arizona Legislative Internship Program where she developed a passion for public policy and the legislative process.

Brandi holds a BA in Political Science from Northern Arizona University. Brandi is from Gilbert, Arizona and lives there now with her husband Gabe and little poodle dog Prince. Her favorite hobby is playing photographer and manager of the family dogs’ Instagram account, but she also enjoys spending time with family and salsa dancing.

Melissa Oister
Associate - Community Relations and Association Management

Melissa assists with operations, event planning, and communications for the firm’s non-profit clientele.

A recent Arizona State University graduate, Melissa earned her Bachelor of Science degree in Public Service and Public Policy with an emphasis in sustainability. Having devoted much time and energy into her studies, she graduated Summa Cum Laude and plans to further her studies with a Master’s degree in Public Administration.

During her academic career, Melissa worked as an Intern Lead and Deputy Organizer for a non-partisan, environmental non-profit where she campaigned to increase youth voter turnout and environmental awareness. She served in the organization’s editorial and research committees, and assisted in event planning and hosting, community/voter outreach programs, and training initiatives for new volunteers and interns.

Outside of the firm, Melissa leads a very active lifestyle. She is happiest when she is outside; hiking, kayaking, paddle boarding, and camping are just a few of her favorite activities. To “keep her Zen”, she practices yoga almost every single day. She also loves to cook and does it often for her friends and family. 

Madison Groves
Operations Manager

Madison oversees the day-to-day operations of the firm and assists with state and local government relations clients.

Prior to joining Goodman Schwartz Public Affairs, Madison worked at the Arizona House of Representatives in the Page Program & Internship. As a page, Madison staffed the Elections, Appropriations, and Commerce Committees as well as Republican Caucus. In 2017, Madison was promoted to Lead Page and oversaw the program and daily operations of the House of Representatives.

In December 2018, Madison graduated with honors from Arizona State University and received a Bachelor of Science degree in Public Service and Public Policy (Law & Policy). While completing her undergraduate degree, Madison was concurrently enrolled in an accelerated Master’s degree program and will be graduating with a Master of Public Administration in August 2019.

When she’s not at the firm or busy with schoolwork, Madison can be found cuddling with her cats and binging reality TV shows with her fiancé. Beyond being a homebody, Madison spends her weekends wedding planning, taking artsy photos, and avidly thrift shopping.

 

Firm History