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Joe Heaton is a senior director of public affairs at Ice Miller. Joe is an experienced government affairs, policy and communications professional with nearly 20 years of experience working in the food and beverage, cannabis, tech and life sciences industries.

Skilled in state, federal and global policymaking, grassroots organizing, coalition building and international relations, Joe previously served as executive director of government affairs of a technology, analytics and data science company where he led efforts on cannabis seed-to-sale tracking, business licensing and patient registries in the U.S. He also worked on analytics and real world evidence studies in states that have legalized cannabis.  

Joe also spent six years with a national trade association representing companies producing and importing beer sold in the U.S. During that time, Joe spearheaded a successful campaign to modernize the federal excise tax on beverage alcohol. As a result, Joe was named Brewbound Magazine's person of the year in 2020. He also worked on import/export issues and tariff/trade issues associated with aluminum and glass packaging as well as other beer-related inputs. Additionally, Joe spent a decade serving in the U.S. House of Representatives as Deputy Chief of staff to Congressman John Runyan of New Jersey as well as Senior Advisor and Counsel to Congressman Michael Turner of Ohio.

Joe earned his juris doctor in 2004 from Penn State University, Dickinson School of Law. During law school, he served as managing editor of the Journal of American Arbitration and led Penn State's American Trial Lawyers Association Moot Court Team. He also served for three years on the Student Bar Association. 

Joe obtained his Bachelor of Arts in diplomacy and foreign affairs from Miami University in 2001. At Miami, Joe served as vice president for member education of his fraternity, Pi Kappa Phi. Additionally, he was awarded the W.A. Driscoll Scholarship, the Earl L. Reeder Scholarship and was a Miami University Scholar Leader. He was a founding member of Miami University's Greek-led Habitat for Humanity chapter and served on the board for Miami's Dance Marathon.

A native of Centerville, Ohio, Joe currently lives in Washington, D.C., with his husband.  Joe is a former rugby player with the Washington Renegades Rugby Football Club. He currently sings with the Choral Arts Society of Washington where he has performed with Audra McDonald on the Kennedy Center Honors, Andrea Bocceli and the National Symphony Orchestra. 
 
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