Susan S. Gaston, President and Owner 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 before the United States Congress, federal and state regulatory agencies, the Virginia General Assembly 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 campaigns that focus on community influence and earned media. Her clients include multiple professional trade associations, Fortune 200 and 500 companies and other business interests that span the fields of housing, real estate and development, land use and zoning, commercial fishing and seafood production, thoroughbred racing, technology, telecommunications, electrical generation, financial investments, transportation infrastructure, ports operations and renewable energy.
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 and also an accomplished equestrienne, competing in dressage and hunter competitions in Eastern Virginia and North Carolina.
As an active member of her community, Susan is on the Williamsburg Regional Board of Directors for Middleburg Bank, serves on the Executive Committee and Board of Directors of the Virginia Peninsula Chamber of Commerce, where she also chairs the Chamber’s Public Policy Committee. In addition, she serves as Chair of the Governmental Affairs Committee of the Greater Williamsburg Chamber and Tourism Alliance. Recently, she was appointed to serve on the Comprehensive Plan Advisory Committee in Newport News and on the Strategic Plan Advisory Committee in James City County. A member of Bruton Parish Episcopal Church, Susan serves on the altar guild and on the Friends of Bruton Committee. Susan serves on the Presidential Advisory Cabinet at The College of William and Mary, working with other government relations professionals as they guide the College to increased influence in Virginia politics. 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.
Susan is married to Dr. David W. Gaston, Superintendent of Schools for Charles City County and a tenured adjunct professor in the Darden School of Education at Old Dominion University. They have two sons, John, who is attending the Virginia Military Institute as a Naval ROTC Marine Option Midshipman, and Henry, a junior, at Lafayette High School in Williamsburg. The Gaston’s reside in Williamsburg with their Lab puppy, Anne Morgan, and their Thoroughbred, Coletrane.