Jon Gilmore - President & Co-Founder
Jon Gilmore founded Gilmore Strategy Group after serving as Deputy Chief of Staff to Governor Asa Hutchinson. Jon continues to serve Governor Hutchinson in a consulting role as his Chief Strategist on political affairs.
Previously, as Governor Asa Hutchinson’s sole Deputy Chief of Staff, Jon managed the day-to-day operations of the Office of the Governor which included a budget of over $6 million, a staff of nearly sixty individuals and the organization of state agencies under the new administration. Additionally, Jon held a Secret clearance and was the immediate point of contact in the Office of the Governor for any crisis situation, including natural disasters and security threats.
Jon managed the hiring freeze as implemented by Governor Hutchinson’s executive order. Any hire made in an executive agency of state government came to Jon for approval and he developed a reputation for cost savings and budget management. Jon was a daily resource for cabinet level directors and provided counsel on a myriad of issues and problems. Jon had direct oversight for every department within the Office of the Governor. Additionally, the Governor’s liaisons to all executive state government agencies reported directly to Jon and he was instrumental in the day-to-day agency operations.
Jon played a key role on the transition team of then Governor-elect Hutchinson. Jon worked alongside the Governor-elect and incoming Chief of Staff on the hiring of staff and agency directors. He managed the organization and structure development of a new administration and the office of the Governor which included overseeing the logistics of the incoming staff, IT infrastructure, budget development and human resources. Jon provided oversight on review of state government and management of transition team members.
Jon served as the Campaign Manager and General Consultant for the gubernatorial campaign of Governor Asa Hutchinson. Early on, Jon counseled then candidate Hutchinson that a $4 million budget would put him in a position to win. The campaign raised just north of $4 million and won the race by nearly 15% after being outspent by $2 million.
Jon has worked at every level of the political arena and in every facet of politics. Jon cut his teeth in politics working for the Republican Caucus of the Arkansas House of Representatives. He then managed the data operations for the Bush 2004 campaign in Arkansas.
Following the reelection of President Bush, Jon was accepted into the prestigious White House intern program where he worked under the direction of the Special Assistant to the President and Deputy Director of Political Affairs. Jon vetted and interviewed appointees to the President’s administration and prepared briefings for the President and his senior leadership team.
Jon then moved into the world of communications and opposition research and served as Research Director of the Republican Party of Arkansas (RPA), leading a team of researchers during the 2006 election cycle. He was promoted to Communications and Research Director at the end of the 2006 cycle and became the primary media contact for the RPA.
In the summer of 2007, Jon was approached by the Strategy Division of the Republican National Committee (RNC) to serve as Project Director reporting directly to the Strategy Director. As Project Director, Jon helped bridge the gap from data to the political world and was instrumental in the development and rollout of new political technologies. Jon also directed internal opinion research projects and managed the analysis and tracking of public and internal polling in support of Sen. John McCain for President.
After leaving the RNC, Jon spent nearly 5 years as a pollster and consultant for a major consulting firm in the Washington, DC area. Jon was a key member of the strategic teams for Governors, Senators, Congressmen and state candidates. In addition to political candidates, Jon has provided strategy and conducted opinion research for large corporations, non-profits and major league sports teams.
Rett Hatcher - Partner
Rett Hatcher is a partner at Gilmore Strategy Group. Possessing more than a decade of experience in and around the state capitol, Rett has gained insight into the unique financial framework of state government. As Governor Asa Hutchinson's initial Director of Legislative and Agency Affairs, Rett managed a staff of 15 policy analyst and agency liaisons. As a member of the senior staff, Rett met daily with the Governor to discuss his agenda and to brief the Governor on financial issues at the state level.
Rett led staff efforts to develop the Governor's broad policy proposals into legislation. He worked with the legislature and various stakeholders to receive statutory approval to implement a slate of policy proposals. These include the Soft Drink Tax Reduction (Act 141 of 2017), Tax Reform and Relief Act of 2017 (Act 78 of 2017), funding the Long Term Reserve Fund (Act 7, 1st Extraordinary Session of 2017), and the Arkansas Highway Improvement Plan of 2016 (Act 1, 3rd Extraordinary Session of 2016) along with other agenda items.
Rett oversaw the Governor's biennial budget process for FY18-19. He worked with DFA and State Agencies to develop the Executive Recommendation for the biennial budget. Rett then worked with the Legislature and various stakeholders to receive approval during 2017 regular session.
Rett is a licensed attorney and CPA in the state of Arkansas. He received his Bachelor of Science in Business Administration from the University of Arkansas at Fort Smith and his Juris Doctor from the William H Bowen School of Law in Little Rock. As an appointee of Governor Asa Hutchinson to the State and Public School Life and Health Insurance Board, he worked to maintain an actuarially sound system while managing state OPEB liability. He is a founding board member of the Arkansas Association of Asian Businesses. Rett has previously served in various roles in both the Arkansas Teacher Retirement System and the Secretary of State's office.
Sheena Gilmore - Co-Founder
Sheena brings a wealth of knowledge to our firm’s government consulting practice. Sheena graduated from Singapore Management University as the top academic student in her track. She went on to work at Ernst and Young as a management and government sector consultant advising clients including the Singapore Armed Forces. She has also worked in the Human Resources department for the Four Seasons hotel chain giving her a unique perspective on management in a Fortune 100 corporation.
Sheena studied at Georgetown University’s Capital Semester program run by The Fund for American Studies while working for the International Foundation for Electoral Systems based in Washington, D.C.
Sheena holds a Master of Arts in International Relations and Economics from The School of Advanced International Studies at The Johns Hopkins University. She consults for the International Trade Centre based in Geneva, Switzerland on trade sustainability standards and has served as Adjunct Faculty at the Liberty University School of Business. Sheena’s global experience was shaped by living, working and studying in countries and cities across the world including Washington, D.C., New Zealand, Switzerland, Italy, Hong Kong, and Singapore.