Matthew Kussow is a registered lobbyist in the State of Wisconsin with over twenty-five years of government relations experience both inside and outside the State Capitol.
Matt served as the chief-of-staff for the Wisconsin Legislature’s Joint Finance Committee for nearly a decade. He is credited with developing some of the largest system changes in recent history, including welfare and health care reform, K-12 and higher education, and in 2004, Matt led the charge to split the WI DNR.
Matt left the State Capitol to serve as the Executive Director for the Wisconsin Council on Religious & Independent Schools (WCRIS). In this capacity, Matt successfully negotiated a tax deduction for parents of children attending private schools. To date, this tax deduction has saved nearly 40,000 Wisconsin families $180 million. Following WCRIS, Matt worked in the UW-Madison Chancellor’s office and subsequently a non-profit advocacy group representing UW-Madison alumni before starting MK Lobby in 2019.
Matt has strong bi-partisan relationships in the Wisconsin State Capitol and Washington D.C. and has an intricate knowledge of our legislative process. He is a great asset during State budget negotiations with an inside view of the decision-making process.
Outside the Capitol, public service has been a part of his life. Matt has served on many advisory boards, including the Wisconsin Conservative Energy Forum, Sportsmen for Hunger, the Waterloo Youth Sports Organization (WYSO), and is currently registered by the Wisconsin Interscholastic Athletic Association (WIAA) as a licensed football official.
Michelle Kussow spent 25 years as an executive in a statewide retail trade association, while also founding and managing an association management and legislative consulting firm. As the Executive Vice President for the Wisconsin Grocers Association, Michelle served as the association’s chief lobbyist and also managed many of the association operations. In this capacity, Michelle was responsible for numerous legislative victories, creating a strong grassroots network and raising a significant amount of political action funds.
In addition to her role at the Wisconsin Grocers Association, Michelle was a founding partner in The Capitol Group, a “hands-on” consulting, lobbying and public relations firm. Since 2002, The Capitol Group has provided numerous services to hundreds of clients including: monitoring statutory or regulatory changes or problems on behalf of their clients; drafting and reviewing legislation; legislative intelligence gathering; strategic and political guidance; assisting clients develop and manage grassroots campaigns; securing public funding and maintaining day-to-day contact with legislators, government leaders and staff.
In 2017, Michelle received the National Water Quality Association’s Honorary Member award for her work to allow a third party exam provider for the Journeyman Plumbers License. She was named as one of InBusiness magazines’ “40 under Forty” honorees in 2009. Michelle is a past president of Wisconsin Women in Government and was instrumental in raising more than $200,000 on their behalf. In addition, she was appointed by the Legislature to serve on a Legislative Council committee to address the School Calendar Issue.