Meet the Team

We are committed to employee development and success, and encourage learning, creativity, and risk taking within our team of staff and consultants. 

Nick Caston, Golden State Government Relations
Nick Caston, President and Chief Strategic Officer

In this role, Nick provides clients a full spectrum of regulatory and legislative services, including: state and federal legislative efforts; land-use planning; state and local government relations; compliance; and regulatory affairs.

Nick has worked in public policy for over fifteen years, including serving in the office of former Assemblywoman and State Senator Noreen Evans. During his tenure in the public sector, Nick developed an expertise in California environmental and land-use policy. He has worked on sustainability campaigns focusing on land-use, transportation, and working families from the State Capitol and throughout California. In addition, Nick has had extensive experience in California’s political sphere, garnering awards for his political consulting efforts. Each week, Nick Co-Hosts the “CannaBiz” radio segment on The Drive with Steve Jackson, streaming at Mondays at 4:20pm. Nick is a Co-Chair of the California Democratic Party’s Resolution Committee.

Previously, Nick served as the Vice-Chair of the City of Santa Rosa, CA Planning Commission, Vice-Chair of the California Democratic Party Environmental Caucus and was a member of the California Community College Trustees Board of Directors.

Dr. Jennifer Price, D.C., Director of State Compliance

Dr. Jennifer Price, D.C. is the Director of State Compliance, and one of the founding officers of Golden State GR. She has a professional background as a practicing chiropractor and published researcher. Dr. Price began working in government relations in 2016 and has become a regulatory and compliance expert in age-restricted markets.

Dr. Price holds a B.A. in Psychology from U.C. Santa Barbara and a B.S. in Human Biology from Cleveland Chiropractic College Los Angeles, in addition to her Doctor of Chiropractic degree. With over 10 years of private practice as a chiropractor in Scotland and California under her belt, she has also worked in research, managing a clinical trial and publishing multiple papers in peer-reviewed research journals. Jennifer has also appeared as a guest speaker on the "CannaBiz" radio segment on The Drive with Steve Jackson on KSRO. She now applies her research, writing, and communication skills to influencing the regulatory landscape of California’s age-restricted markets and bringing businesses into compliance with state requirements for operation.

Alexandra Gallardo-Rooker, Senior Policy Advocate

Born in Mexico City and a graduate of Cypress College, Ms. Alexandra Gallardo-Rooker is an accomplished leader in the political arena at both the national and state level. Her insight into the inter-workings of California’s legislative and political process has proven to be a valuable asset to her colleagues in the Democratic Party and the individuals she represents as the Legislative Advocate in California for the Communication Workers
of America (CWA).

Ms. Rooker has a proven track record as a leader and on many issues and possesses a deep understanding of the CA legislative process. During the past two decades Ms.Rooker has taken on a variety of roles w/ CWA Local #9400 ranging from Shop Steward to Vice President.

In addition, she was elected to the position of Second Vice Chair of the California Democratic Party in 1997 and currently serves as Female Vice-Chair, a position she has held since 2001. Her unfailing commitment to Democratic values and proven leadership skills are among a list of attributes that has made her a valuable member of Democratic National Committee and Governor Howard Dean’s Transition Team. As a former recipient of the “Si Se Puede Award For Distinguished Service,” from the Los Angeles Chapter of Labor Council for Latin American Advancement, Ms. Rooker has routinely demonstrated her commitment to Democratic values through her continuous efforts to fight for a better quality of life for hard working Californians across the state.

Andy Russell, Legislative Advocate

Andy's background ranges from strategic policy consulting to legislative advocacy. He has a plethora of experience building grassroots coalitions between governments and key constituency groups. In the non-profit sector, he has consulted rare-disease patient advocates and affordable housing developers on federal/state/local legislative and grassroots strategies while providing assistance in building coalitions to support legislation. Additionally, he has worked for multiple municipalities including the Cities of West Sacramento and San Rafael, and the League of California Cities focusing on community relations, community development and policy, respectively.

Andy graduated from Pitzer College, with a bachelor’s degree in Political Studies and Anthropology. Additionally, he holds a Master's degree in Public Administration from University of Southern California. Andy enjoys learning about new cultures and countries and has spent years working, living, and studying abroad.

Kathleen Hohnstein, Compliance Associate 

Kathleen’s journey began and blossomed in Sonoma County where she was born and raised, after completing courses at SRJC she transferred to Sonoma State University where she obtained her BA in Anthropology. She worked as a Law Clerk for several years before going back to school to get a Legal Assistant certificate through UC San Diego.

Kathleen has worked in a variety of fields, but her passion for law and communication led her to GSGR. In her capacity as a Compliance Officer she will be working to read, comprehend, and articulate state laws to ensure client compliance. She is thrilled to be working with such a diverse and talented group of individuals, now lets get to work!

Lauren Funaro, Marketing and Event Associate  

Lauren graduated from Sonoma State University with an English degree and minors in Philosophy and Psychology. Since then, her experiences have taken her across Sonoma County. In the non-profit sector she has worked with Becoming Independent, the largest organization supporting and enriching the lives of adults with disabilities in the North Bay. While serving there as an instructor and member of the social media committee, she also worked as a house manager for various events at the Petaluma Arts Center and freelanced as a Genre Critic for Storybook Alley, an independent publishing company.

With GSGR, Lauren works alongside an incredible cast of dedicated workers and innovative thinkers. Her position as the Marketing and Event Associate bridges the gap between business and consumer, creating content that is inventive, educational, and accessible. Here, Lauren uses her dual passions for people and the written word to create something that is wholly unique to fit the client’s vision.

Patti Cook, Golden State Government Relations, Our Team, Consulting Company
Patti Cook, Executive Assistant to the President and CSO      

Patti’s role in the Golden State Government Relations team provides direct support to Nick Caston, President and Chief Strategic Officer.  Patti is a motivated administrative professional with fifteen years of experience supporting senior executives in the healthcare, real estate, and hospitality industries. Patti brings a collaborative approach and has the ability to successfully coordinate complex schedules and critical projects. She will use these various talents to fully uphold her team as well as our GSGR clients. Patti is a multi-functional core member of GSGR, and will be involved in all areas of the business.

Savannah Johnson, Administrative Assistant

Savannah graduated with an associates degree in Global Studies with a focus on language. Further, she has completed courses on administration at Santa Rosa Junior College. Savannah accrued a strong background in both customer service and operations, where she developed organizational, attention to detail, and communication skills. She born and raised in Northern California

As the Administrative Assistant at Golden State Government Relations, Savannah oversees the daily operations and tasks necessary to maintain a well-organized and functional office space. She is just beginning her professional career and is excited to develop with a company that has such strong values and varied experiences that contribute to an amazing work environment.