McHugh Koepke Padron Government Relations is a government relations firm specializing in advocacy, public affairs, research, and analysis for clients throughout California. It devises and implements effective lobbying and communication strategies, analyzes the impacts of proposed legislation and regulations, organizes grassroots advocacy efforts, and drafts legislation, regulations, and technical amendments.

The firm was established in December 2000; however, its partners, Gavin and Shari McHugh, Dawn Koepke, and Naomi Padron represent over 40 years of lobbying experience in Sacramento. They have successfully advocated the interests of their clients and have developed the relationships and expertise necessary to develop and promote legislation and regulation before California’s State Senate, Assembly, Governor, and state agencies.

Prior to opening his government relations firm in late 2000, Mr. McHugh was Senior Vice President, Government Affairs, for the California Manufacturers and Technology Association (CMTA). He was responsible for overseeing CMTA’s advocacy program before the legislature and administration. Gavin’s top priorities included improving the state’s business climate by accomplishing meaningful reform of California’s regulatory, tax, and tort laws. From 1991 to 1997, Gavin served as Manager of U.S. Public and Government Affairs for Texaco in Sacramento where he worked to foster pro-growth legislation. Prior to his assignment with Texaco, Gavin was a legislative advocate from 1984 to 1991 for the California Correctional Peace Officers Association (CCPOA) and served on the staff of Senators Bob Presley and Dan McCorquodale.

Prior to joining the firm in 2003, Mrs. McHugh served as Senior Vice President of the Coalition of California Insurance Professionals (CCIP) where she was responsible for managing all of the legislative and regulatory issues facing insurance agents in California. For 8 years prior to joining CCIP, she served as the Senior Vice President of the Professional Insurance Agents (PIA). Shari has worked diligently over the years to develop and maintain working relationships with legislators, legislative staff, regulatory officials, Constitutional officers, administration representatives, lobbyists, media personnel and industry representatives. Ms. McHugh graduated from California State University, Sacramento with a degree in Political Communication and Government.

Prior to joining the firm in 2003 as a legislative advocate and becoming a Partner in 2012, Dawn Koepke served in the Davis Administration, working directly for the Governor. She has been a key asset to the firm, handling advocacy for clients in the policy areas of natural resources, environmental safety, and toxic materials; public safety; health and human services; and education. She is an integral member of many pro-business lobbying coalitions including the Thursday Group, WATER Coalition and as the co-chair of the Green Chemistry Alliance, working to ensure a science-based framework is developed to implement the Green Chemistry Initiative in California. Ms. Koepke graduated from San Francisco State University with a degree in International Relations and from California State University, Sacramento with a Master’s in Public Policy & Administration.

Prior to joining the firm in 2017 as a legislative advocate and becoming a Partner in 2023, Naomi Padron served as a consultant to the Senate Governmental Organization Committee. In this capacity, she forged consensus on key policies, analyzed proposals before the committee, and provided comprehensive counsel to the Chairman.  Since joining the firm, Ms. Padron has been a key asset to the firm, handling advocacy for clients in the policy areas of privacy, telecommunications, insurance and financial services, mental health, alcohol beverage, taxation, and employment.  She graduated from the University of La Verne with a Bachelor’s degree in Political Science.  She is also an alumna of the Hispanas Organized for Political Equality (HOPE) Leadership Institute.

2009 Small Lobbying Firm Award

Charitable Giving

  • Asian Pacific Islander Capitol Caucus
  • Autism Speaks
  • Blue Oaks Elementary
  • Capitol Network
  • The Child Abuse Prevention Center
  • Coalition for Clean Air
  • Crime Victims United of California
  • Empty Bowls
  • Equality California
  • John Burton Foundation
  • Moretti Memorial Scholarship Foundation
  • St. Francis School
  • Jordan's Guardian Angels
  • Team Blackout Youth Basketball
  • Wounded Warrior Project
  • Susan G. Komen
  • Maddy Institute
  • Governor’s Cup Foundation
  • Asian Pacific Youth Leadership Project
  • John Burton Advocates for Youth Book Fund
  • North Valley Community Foundation’s (NVCF) Camp Fire Relief Fund
  • Hillsides
  • Captain Joseph House Foundation
  • Californian’s Against Waste
  • Letters for Santa
  • Hispanas Organized for Political Equality (HOPE)
  • Family Promise of Sacramento
  • Albie Aware Breast Cancer Foundation
  • Sacramento Food Bank & Family Services
  • North Valley Animal Shelter
  • UC Davis Health System Development
  • ALS Association
  • St. John's Program for Real Change
  • Brain Tumor Network
  • W.A.Y.S.
  • Children's Cancer Therapy Development Institute