66. Cassie Gilson
Jason Kinney (No. 65) might get the headlines (good and bad), but true Capitol insiders understand how much of Axiom’s deft thinking and heavy lifting is borne by longtime lobbyist Cassie Gilson, the only female Managing Partner among Sacramento’s top five contract firms. A Stanford-trained lawyer, Gilson helped build the fast-growing firm while emerging as a go-to advocate on housing issues, maneuvering the building industry, affordable housing developers and Facebook (with its billion-dollar California workforce housing commitment) to get policymakers to “yes.” She also has attracted a star-studded portfolio of renewable energy concerns to the Axiom roster. Gilson is a presence on emerging tech issues: she made a splash early in her career guiding legislators through the Capitol halls on a Segway. Like Kinney, Gilson worked in the Gray Davis Administration.