Susan S. Gaston, Founder and President of the Gaston Group, is a government relations and public affairs consultant. Susan has been involved in the political and legislative fields for most of her life, having watched her father lobby for the oil and gas industries at the state and federal levels. With over 20 years of governmental affairs and lobbying experience in the United States Congress, the General Assembly of Virginia, federal and state regulatory agencies, and local government bodies, she has created strong relationships and contacts with elected and appointed officials on both sides of the political aisle.
Susan works with her clients to develop successful legislative strategies that include direct lobbying, public policy advocacy and message development, public testimony, media relations and coalition building. She is experienced in running effective, successful grassroots and grasstops advocacy campaigns that focus on community influence and earned media. Her clients include multiple professional trade associations, Fortune 200 and 500 companies, multi-national corporations, and other business interests that span the fields of housing, real estate and development, land use and zoning, landlord-tenant, flooding and natural disasters, water supply and water resources, ports operations, renewable and alternative energy, telecommunications and technology, the arts, seafood production and processing, commercial fishing, electric generation, casino gaming, consumer finance and economic development.
Susan is an honors graduate of the College of William and Mary with a degree in American Government and English. She holds a Master of Arts degree in Human Resources Development from The George Washington University. A former intern in the Washington, D. C. office of United States Senator Mitch McConnell (R-KY), Susan is an avid runner, a yoga enthusiast and an accomplished and dedicated equestrienne.
Recently, she was appointed to the Board of Directors for the William and Mary Libraries, and also serves on the Board of Directors for Virginia Agriculture in the Classroom. Susan also is a member of the Board Advisors for the Sorensen Institute for Public Policy at the University of Virginia, a high honor for a government relations professional in the Commonwealth.
An active member of her community, Susan also is a member of the Williamsburg Garden Club, serves on the Regional Board of Directors for Village Bank and represents her class as an Ambassador for The College of William and Mary Alumnae Association. A lifelong Episcopalian, Susan is a member of Bruton Parish Episcopal Church where her activity focuses on the altar and floral guilds. Her previous community activities include serving as President of the Junior League of Hampton Roads, President of the St. Andrew’s Episcopal School Parents’ Council and a member of the Board of Directors for the Virginia Symphony, as well as numerous volunteer activities at the Virginia Living Museum and the Peninsula Fine Arts Center, among others.
Susan is married to Dr. David W. Gaston, Ed.D., President and CEO of Gaston Educational Consulting and a tenured adjunct professor in the Darden School of Education at Old Dominion University. They have two sons, John, a graduate of Old Dominion University and a 2nd Lt. in the United States Marine Corps, and Henry, a Fourth Year at The University of Virginia. The Gaston’s reside in Williamsburg with their Labrador Retrievers, Anne Morgan and Mary Turner, and their Thoroughbred, Coletrane.