Meet CFM’s New Owner-Partners
CFM’s new owner-partners relish challenges, whether it is helping a client achieve success, coaching a Little League baseball team or chasing a prize steelhead in the Rogue River.
They strongly believe collaboration paves the way to success.
“I thoroughly enjoy the work we do at the federal level,” says Joel Rubin who leads CFM’s federal affairs team based in Washington, DC. “We interact with some of the most amazing community leaders on projects and legislation that improve lives and create opportunities. Whether its waterfront redevelopment in Vancouver, brownfield cleanup in Tigard or economic revitalization in rural Marion County, we see the positive impact of our team-based approach to advocacy and take great satisfaction in helping our clients succeed.”
“We are proud of our clients’ work and are diligent in positioning them for success in Salem,” explains Dale Penn II, who leads CFM’s state affairs team.
“I’m a firm believer in collaboration as the best method for success in the political process. Finding common ground and working together to achieve victory creates relationships and builds partnerships that last beyond a single legislative session.”
Joel and Dale assumed ownership of CFM the first of this year, but they have played leadership roles in the firm for many years. They have earned reputations as hard workers, creative problem-solvers and knowledgeable, principled advocates for their clients. And they know when to leave work behind and enjoy life.
In the spring, Joel plays baseball and now coaches his nine-year-old son’s Little League baseball team. Playing ball is a stress reliever, while coaching 11 nine-year-olds can be challenging. “Coaching young kids feels a lot like House Speaker Paul Ryan trying to corral his unruly GOP caucus.”
To relax, Dale hops on his Harley for rides through Willamette Valley’s fertile fields near his home in Keizer, plies his trade as a budding photographer or heads to the Rogue River to fish for steelhead. “I’m a native Oregonian who grew up in Salem and became a lifelong fisherman.” Dale also is active in many community groups and boards, including the Rotary Club.
Joel began his career on Capitol Hill working for former Washington Congressman Brian Baird. The highlight of his first day on the job was high-fiving his new congressional boss in the middle of Independence Avenue near the Capitol. “We had just met two weeks before that,” Joel recalled. “I didn’t think he would recognize me.”
After graduating from Emory University, Dale wanted to work in the Oregon state capitol, regardless of the position. He landed a job in the 2015 session working for the Senate Judiciary Committee, which provided a great window to watch the legislative process unfold and develop relationships with policymakers and lobbyists.
Working as insiders in Congress and the Oregon legislature have given Joel and Dale insight into how things get done and what it takes to achieve success. It also gave them respect for the men and women who serve in public office and the staff members who play a key role in advising elected officials.
“We are fortunate to have such a great congressional delegation in Oregon and Washington,” Joel says. “It may be a cliché, but it’s clear to me they are all in DC to solve problems on behalf of their district, state and country. Even in a town that turns the brightest optimists into skeptics, we are blessed to have a group of Members that work hard and stay connected to the issues important to the Pacific Northwest.”
As a lobbyist, Dale has extensive experience representing the interests of Oregon’s nationally respected long-term care delivery system at the Capitol. In the 2011 and 2013 legislative sessions, Dale helped shape complicated healthcare discussions through coalition building, grassroots mobilization and effective issue advocacy, applying lessons he learned and tapping relationships he cultivated.
“I believe in active, diverse communication strategies with clients, legislators and community partner organizations to promote compelling and successful issue advocacy,” Dale says. He has served as co-chair of the Human Services Coalition of Oregon and helped create the Campaign for Oregon Seniors and People with Disabilities, two of Oregon’s largest and most influential coalitions focused on protecting vulnerable populations.
Dale adds, “My father instilled in me a strong work ethic, a desire to participate in the public process and a commitment to serving the community. I could not have gotten to this point without his support and his guidance.”
“Every day is a new challenge, especially in a place as dynamic as Washington, DC, but that’s what I love about government affairs,” Joel explains. “Our federal affairs team is always proactive and engaged with our clients, federal agencies and congressional offices. We know our clients appreciate this comprehensive approach to service that delivers real results.”
Joel and Dale are looking forward to their new roles, which includes adding management responsibilities to their to-do lists. The transition has been smooth and seamless for CFM clients.
“I’m excited about this new era for CFM,” Joel says. “Gary, Dave and all the partners at CFM have laid the groundwork for Dale and me to be successful. We want to continue the tradition of credible advocacy with the highest regard for ethics and integrity.”
Dale echoes Joel’s remarks. “I’ve had the pleasure of working with and learning from amazingly talented and ethical individuals in this industry. Whether it was Gary Conkling and Dave Fiskum at CFM, Jim Carlson at OHCA, Rick Bennett at AARP or many others along the way, they have given me a foundation and guidepost for excellence that I hope to continue going forward as the new CFM State Affairs Partner.”
Joel and his wife Sarah live in Chevy Chase, Maryland and have two children. Dale and his wife Samantha live in Keizer with their two dogs, Nova and Molly.