President and CEO of Plunkett Strategies, LLC, a government affairs and public policy consulting firm based in Raleigh, NC. He will leverage his years of lobbying and political experience, as well as his deep network of statewide and national contacts, to effectively advocate and represent his clients at the state and national levels.
Plunkett has lobbied the North Carolina General Assembly for the past decade, and has been involved in North Carolina politics since 1992. He spent ten years advocating for the North Carolina Beer & Wine Wholesalers Association (NCBWWA), five of which were as Executive Director of the Association. Prior to that he did research and communications for the North Carolina Free Enterprise Foundation (NCFREE), a statewide, business-supported, political research organization, and worked on political campaigns at both the state and federal level. Throughout this career he has built an information source and contact network that has helped him earn statewide recognition for his successes in both the political and legislative arenas.
His time spent at the General Assembly on behalf of the NCBWWA has earned him a solid reputation for both his honesty and dependability, as well as his knowledge of the industry that he represents. He takes pride in knowing what is needed for his clients, as well as how to get things done for them. His network of contacts and colleagues adds to his the ability to know what is going on at the legislature at all times, and to let his clients know what issues may impact their industry and legislative priorities. His work with other advocates and coalitions, bringing together very diverse groups and interests, has served to build his reputation as a strong leader and tenacious fighter.
As Vice President, then Executive Director, of the NCBWWA he cultivated a nationwide network of contacts among fellow association executives and lobbyists. He has served on the boards of national organizations, as well as being active in numerous North Carolina groups and Associations. He has served as a board committee member for the National Beer Wholesalers Association and the Wine and Spirits Wholesalers Association, Board Member for the Wholesale Beer Association Executives, President of the NC Young Lobbyists Association, board member of the NC Professional Lobbyists Association and active member of the Association Executives of North Carolina for 10 years.
His experience immediately prior to leading the NCBWWA includes the analysis of legislative actions taken by legislators, researching and analyzing political campaign finance in North Carolina, collecting ‘insider’ campaign information during elections, and communicating all of this with the member clients of NCFREE. This gave him a special insight into the politics of North Carolina, and the experience to understand how all of these ‘pieces of politics’ fit together.
In the 1990′s he gained great experience in North Carolina politics, first helping in a statewide coordinated campaign, and then fundraising for and managing a congressional campaign in 1998. These experiences taught him the ins and outs of political campaigning, the importance of political fundraising, and the ability to understand polling and voter information, all of which can greatly affect the make up of the legislative and executive branches in North Carolina.
Originally from Canada, but a U.S. Citizen since 2007, Dean has been married to his wife Barb for over 20 years. His hobbies include golf, hockey, and keeping up to date on current affairs. He prides himself on knowing what is going on in his state, his country, and around the world, at all times.