Founded by former California Democratic Party executive director Joseph Cerrell, and now headed by Cerrell and 23-year agency veteran Hal Dash, Cerrell Associates is still among the best-connected public affairs firms in southern California. It was the firm contracted to handle special event and logistical planning related to the Democratic National Convention, for example, and first firm BP Amoco called to address local concerns related to its acquisition of ARCO. Other clients include the Southern California Association of Governments; Bank of America; the Agua Caliente Band of Cahuilla Indians; and the Italian American Democratic Leadership Council.
Cerrell maintains six specialty divisions, focused on public affairs and government relations, environmental affairs, transportation and infrastructure planning, media relations, special events, and political campaigns. Although its traditional strength is in environmental and transportation issues, the firm has been expanding its technology capabilities, helping to fuel growth of about 25 percent this year, enough to take the firm past $4 million in revenues for the year. New business successes include the Automobile Alliance of America, to address electric vehicle mandates, and Lucent Technologies, for local outreach on sitting issues.