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Hard Count, Inc.
Austin, TX 78748
Phone: 512-280-6423
Fax: 512-280-0707

Billy Horton , Owner;

Billy - was raised in Texas grass roots politics and activism, He grew up organizing campaigns in the Dallas/Ft. Worth metroplex and across the State of Texas. Mr. Horton has worked with, and managed numerous campaigns from the county to the presidential level. He served as a senior level advisor to 3 Presidential Campaigns; and has also managed 2 Governor's races in the state of Texas (1990, 2002), served as a consultant to three US Senate campaigns, managed a statewide race for Lt. Governor in Georgia and consulted and managed numerous legislative races in both Texas and 4 other States.

Mr. Horton has consulted with or worked on political campaigns and initiatives in Texas , Georgia , Florida , Mississippi , New York , New Jersey , Ohio and Pennsylvania

Mr. Horton has also served in numerous capacities for several State and Federal agencies including, the Texas General Land Office, Attorney General's Office of Texas, Texas Comptroller of Public Accounts, the EPA, NOAA and the Marine Spill Response Corporation. He has extensive public policy experience in environmental affairs and local government issues

Mr. Horton also worked for the advertising agency of GSD&M where he managed a statewide field organization developed to monitor the Texas Lottery Program. He developed a program that has since been become a model for most every lottery organization in the country.

Under his direction Hard Count became involved in managing Local Option Initiatives and Campaigns in 2000. Since beginning their involvement Hard Count has managed more than 30 local option efforts which have resulted in the collection of more than 125,000 signatures and a 100% ballot placement percentage.

Billy Horton founded Hard Count, Inc. in 1992. Hard Count was the first Grass-Tops business to be founded in Texas that specialized in Grass-Tops / Grass-Roots and Public Policy Strategies. Over the past 13 years Hard Count has performed work for numerous fortune 500 companies, various associations and several cities and counties. Mr. Horton, his wife Lisa and their three children currently reside in Austin , Texas .

Mike Smith, Field Operations Director / Fundraising Director;

Mr. Smith is an accomplished attorney and also possesses a life long history of grass-roots political involvement. For Mr. Smith grassroots is more than a concept or a buzz word because he has been involved in grass-roots activism for more than two decades. This involvement and leadershipin numerous political campaigns and grass-roots efforts has afforded him an unparalleled understanding of specialized grassroots communications.

In 2002 Mr. Smith became a full-time fundraising consultant and has advised several State-wide and legislative campaigns in 3 States. Mr. Smith now manages the field operations on all major local option efforts that Hard Count undertakes. He most recently managed the largest two petition effort in the State of Texas (24,000 signatures) which was completed in a record time of 29 days.

Claudia Graham, Field Operations Director ;

Claudia is one of the most accomplished campaign and legislative operatives in the Southeastern United States . Ms. Graham has served as a senior staff member or consultant on numerous legislative and political campaign efforts in Georgia , Alabama , Florida , South Carolina and North Carolina . Ms. Graham is responsible for building the ground operations in some of the most contentious campaigns throughout the region. She is responsible for developing plans that offer innovative and insightful strategies that are tailored specifically to the advocacy needs of our clients, and that can Hard Count achieve maximum impact on your issues. Ms. Graham understands how to provide our clients with a combination of unparalleled strategic field expertise and complete advocacy resources that deliver your message to the appropriate constituency or decision maker.

Don Nicolini, Director of Business Development : Don

Mr. Nicolini is a highly recognized and very accomplished land and business developer in the South. He has played a major role in the development of several major companies and has been a key facilitator in the governmental affairs of numerous companies including several fortune 500 corporations. In addition to his successes in the business arena. Mr. Nicolini has a resume that includes involvement in numerous political campaigns and State agencies at the most senior levels. He is close personal friends with numerous decision makers in both the executive and legislative branches of both the Texas and Federal government.

Curtis Boyles, Technical Advisor and Research Director ;

Curtis has helped develop several very successful companies in the energy and freight industries. He has performed technical analysis and research on numerous multi-million dollar projects and understands how to develop a research plan that is most effective for your needs. Mr. Boyles is currently the lead facilitator for a client that is developing a site for a coal gasification electric generation facility in Texas .

Jerry Edler, Director of Indian Acknowledgement and Federal Contract Awards;

Jerry is a respected and recognized business leader in the Native American community. He has developed several successful businesses that are primarily involved in consulting with and assisting Native American tribes with the development of business plans and grant acquisition plans. He has been instrumental in developing and diversifying the business interest of several tribes throughout the United States . Mr. Edler also is very knowledgeable in the Federal Tribal Acknowledgement process and has advised tribes on acknowledgement.

Lisa Hernandez , Office Manger / Business Development;

Ms. Hernandez has an extensive background in both the retail and wholesale food business. She has worked for and advised several companies including a fortune 500 company. She has worked for Hard Count since it's inception and is a major factor in the business development and diversification of the business to offer a full service “One-Stop” governmental affairs and campaign management / consulting alternative.

Information regarding company, project and employment opportunities (for employment on listed projects--contact project manager)