WASHINGTON, D.C. — The American Gaming Association (AGA) today announced it has hired Walton (Wally) Chalmers, a former executive director and chief of staff for the Democratic National Committee, to play a major role in legislative affairs and lobbying efforts for the national trade association. He will officially join the AGA January 5, 1998, as a vice president.
Chalmers most recently served as a partner with Smith Dawson & Andrews, a government affairs firm specializing in legislative strategies.
“Wally’s extensive legislative background will help strengthen the AGA’s lobbying capabilities on Capitol Hill,” said Frank J. Fahrenkopf, Jr., AGA president & CEO. “He has a proven track record working with Congress on a wide range of legislative issues and a solid history of meeting and understanding political challenges.”
Chalmers served as executive director and chief of staff to DNC Chairman Paul G. Kirk, Jr., from 1986 to 1989, where he managed the Committee’s daily and long-term political strategies and oversaw 120 employees. In addition to working as a 22-state regional campaign manager for Senator Edward Kennedy’s presidential campaign in 1980, Chalmers went on to establish a political action committee for Kennedy with the task of electing Democratic candidates in 1982 and beyond. He also acted as executive director of the “Nuclear Freeze Foundation/Citizens for a Nuclear Freeze” under Senator Kennedy.
“Wally’s strong Democratic affiliations will be a tremendous asset to the AGA’s bi-partisan mission,” said Fahrenkopf. “I’m confident he will be a hard-working team player who will help the AGA attain many of its congressional tasks and long-term goals.”
Chalmers’ other professional experience has included working as executive vice president at Cassidy & Associates, Inc.; director of Consumer Affairs at the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission; confidential assistant to the under secretary of the Department of Health, Education and Welfare; political editor for CBS News; and as a campaign coordinator for “Udall for President” in 1976.
The AGA represents the gaming-entertainment industry by addressing regulatory, legislative and educational issues. The association serves as a clearinghouse for information, develops aggressive educational and advocacy programs and provides leadership in addressing industry issues that are of public concern.