CLASS OF 1987
"Washington and Jefferson College's reputation preceded it," says Ellis Hyman . Two words to describe it are commitment and integrity. It has some of the best people in any school. And Hyman transferred from Washington College to W&J for those very reasons.
"That commitment and integrity were exemplified by Professor Steve Zanolli, professor of economics/business," says Hyman. Zanolli had a successful law career but wanted to teach a younger generation how to achieve the success that he had. In order to help Hyman, who had dyslexia and did not do well on written exams, Zanolli took extra time to give Hyman verbal tests. It's little wonder why Zanolli had a long-lasting relationship with Hyman, continuing to give him advice and encouragement long after his graduation.
"I appreciate that W&J gave me a second chance and helped me greatly with my success,"says Hyman in regard to his transfer from Washington College . "The liberal arts education certainly taught me how to adapt to various situations, which has helped me not only in my professional success but also in my life."
Hyman's first job was working with Senator Lowell Weicker, the only Republican to vote to impeach President Richard Nixon during the Watergate scandal. During his tenure with Weicker, he worked on drafting the Americans for Disabilities Act and rewriting the OSHA Act of 1970. Out of favor with the Republican Party because of his association with Weicker, Hyman later changed his focus from policy to political campaigns. Starting as a fundraiser on two statewide Arizona campaigns, Hyman quickly became one of the top Democratic fundraisers in the country, eventually shattering the record for most money raised by a challenger in a Congressional race. He switched gears again and moved over to another campaign specialty field, political phone consulting. In 1993, he opened his own firm, CapAd Communications.
CapAd Communications is now a leading Democratic political phone consulting firm with an impressive client list including the last three presidential contenders and candidates in 33 states ranging from U.S. senators and governors to local sheriffs. Innovation and creativity are the hallmarks of Hyman's firm that has expanded to also work with nonprofit organizations, corporations, and professional associations. "I hate to lose, even when we know the odds are against us going in," says Hyman. "But knowing that I've done all I can do and that I'm actively part of the process is its own reward."