Story by Liesel Schmidt
Most people have heard of lobbyists, but few know what they actually do. By definition, they are professional advocates who work to influence political decisions on behalf of the individuals and organizations of a community. It’s important work that leads to the proposal of new legislation or amendments of current laws and policies. For Ann Harbour, making that kind of impact is the very thing that drives her in her work as a lobbyist with CareFirst BlueCross BlueShield.
“Throughout my career, I have sought out professional opportunities that allow me to pursue public policy goals that put the health and well-being of our communities, with an eye to equity, at the forefront of decision making,” says Harbour, whose 13-year career began in the Virginia House of Delegates. “CareFirst has a demonstrated history of actualizing this philosophy, and I am passionate about educating policymakers and our broader community about the healthcare delivery system. The more we seek solutions to promote quality affordable healthcare, the greater the health outcomes.”
Her involvement with the community extends far beyond professional duty, and Harbour is active with a number of organizations. Currently serving on the Alexandria Commission for Women, she is also Chair of the Advisory Committee for the Governor’s Health Sciences Academy at TC Williams as well as a member of the Board of Directors for the Center for Alexandria’s Children. She was also previously the chair of the Public Health Advisory Commission. “My professional interest in advocacy crosses over to my personal interest in helping to shape the future of our city,” says Harbour.
With so great an involvement with the affairs of Alexandria, Harbour naturally gravitated towards the Alexandria Chamber of Commerce. “I’ve had the pleasure of serving as the Government Relations Committee Chair for the past two years as well as a member of the Chamber Board of Directors,” she says. “Working with a diverse group of business leaders has afforded me greater insights into the city I call home, and understanding the business climate from the perspective of business owners has diversified my expertise in a way that would not have happened were it not for my membership in the Chamber. It also allows me to inform my organization of the needs of the businesses we serve as a health plan. Now, more than ever, I believe we are seeing the benefit of collective advocacy, and the Chamber provides its members a chance to come together to inform policymakers of the challenges business face and offer solutions that allow them and our city to flourish.”
For more information on The Chamber ALX’s General Assembly Breakfast on March 25, contact firstname.lastname@example.org