Capitol & 5th public strategies

out-of-the-box planning aimed at client success

Veteran government relations consultants Courtney Atnip, J.A. Bucy and Dustin Goforth founded Capitol & 5th Public Strategies as an independent Tennessee state government relations firm to serve corporate, government and non-profit organizations.

Capitol & 5th provides effective, top-level public policy and advocacy to help national, regional and local clients achieve their goals in Tennessee. Capitol & 5th's approach is built on decades of experience, while its winning strategies are based on outside-the-box game planning aimed at client success.

political advocacy

public relations

governmental affairs

Refining what a government relations firm should be, each of our founders brings something unique to the table from

corporate insight

As a result, we approach issues from all sides and identify new, creative ways to achieve our clients' goals. 

Courtney Atnip
Founding Partner

Courtney began lobbying over a decade ago for persons with disabilities needing healthcare and she has never stopped being a tireless advocate for clients. She manages complicated public policy issues and develops multi-tiered, targeted strategic plans to achieve positive outcomes largely through managing legislative agendas, grass roots initiatives, and public information campaigns. Atnip has built a reputation throughout Tennessee for rolling up her sleeves to find the best solution for clients. She and her husband live in Nashville with their daughter Lizzie. She holds undergraduate and Master's degrees from the University of Tennessee and is a native of Knoxville.

One thing we all have in common:
decades of experience and a proven track record.

Meet the firm

J.A. Bucy
Founding Partner

J.A. is a public policy expert with over 25 years of experience helping businesses, candidates, associations, and governments achieve their objectives by building and effectively leveraging political capital with elected officials, government employees, and the general public. He has worked in and around politics since 1984 when he was in middle school and his governmental experience includes working in the administration of Governor Ned R. McWherter, two years working in the Tennessee Senate, and three years in the Tennessee House of Representatives as Chief of Staff for the House Majority Leader.

One thing we all have in common:
decades of experience and a proven track record.

Meet the firm

J.A. Bucy
Founding Partner

J.A. is a public policy expert with over 25 years of experience helping businesses, candidates, associations, and governments achieve their objectives by building and effectively leveraging political capital with elected officials, government employees, and the general public. He has worked in and around politics since 1984 when he was in middle school and his governmental experience includes working in the administration of Governor Ned R. McWherter, two years working in the Tennessee Senate, and three years in the Tennessee House of Representatives as Chief of Staff for the House Majority Leader.

One thing we all have in common:
decades of experience and a proven track record.

Meet the firm

Dustin Goforth
Founding Partner

Dustin brings a balance of corporate experience with more than a decade of government relations knowledge on issues that include real estate, corporate business regulations, health care, food and beverage, communications, taxation, manufacturing and municipal government. He served on Capitol Hill as Research Analyst and Policy Advisor for the Chairman of the Senate Health Committee, Senator Rusty Crowe. Coupling his knowledge of government with his extensive relationships provide his clientele with key tools to be successful within Tennessee.


One thing we all have in common:
decades of experience and a proven track record.

Meet the firm

One thing we all have in common:
decades of experience and a proven track record.

Meet the firm

Meet the firm

Dustin Goforth
Founding Partner

Dustin brings a balance of corporate experience with more than a decade of government relations knowledge on issues that include real estate, corporate business regulations, health care, food and beverage, communications, taxation, manufacturing and municipal government. He served on Capitol Hill as Research Analyst and Policy Advisor for the Chairman of the Senate Health Committee, Senator Rusty Crowe. Coupling his knowledge of government with his extensive relationships provide his clientele with key tools to be successful within Tennessee.

Heather Meshell
Senior Associate

Heather has a background in advocacy that includes work with the Sexual Assault Center of Middle Tennessee as a Sexual Assault Response Team Coordinator (SART) where she collaborated with police, nurses, prosecutors, and advocates to help four counties (Davidson, Cheatham, Sumner, and Williamson) formalize protocols on responding to sexual assault. Prior to that, she worked at the Tennessee Coalition to End Domestic and Sexual Violence as the Director of Community Engagement and Advocacy, conducting legislative research and teaming up with community partners and legislators on policy initiatives. She received her Juris Doctorate from Nashville School of Law and holds a degree in Sociology from Middle Tennessee State University.


One thing we all have in common:
decades of experience and a proven track record.

Meet the firm

Heather Meshell
Senior Assoiate

Heather has a background in advocacy that includes work with the Sexual Assault Center of Middle Tennessee as a Sexual Assault Response Team Coordinator (SART) where she collaborated with police, nurses, prosecutors, and advocates to help four counties (Davidson, Cheatham, Sumner, and Williamson) formalize protocols on responding to sexual assault. Prior to that, she worked at the Tennessee Coalition to End Domestic and Sexual Violence as the Director of Community Engagement and Advocacy, conducting legislative research and teaming up with community partners and legislators on policy initiatives. She received her Juris Doctorate from Nashville School of Law and holds a degree in Sociology from Middle Tennessee State University.

One thing we all have in common:
decades of experience and a proven track record.

Meet the firm

Anna Marie DeJarnette
Associate

Anna Marie has been studying law and public policy since her interest was first cultivated years ago as a young student. She previously interned with the Legal Aid Society of Middle Tennessee, where she frequently served as a liaison between clients and attorneys. DeJarnette enjoys analyzing client needs and connecting those with the relevant policy. This enthusiasm, combined with her innate communication skills, have guided her ability to be a successful reinforcement of Capitol & 5th's goals. She holds a degree in Law, Justice, and Society from Lipscomb University.

One thing we all have in common:
decades of experience and a proven track record.

Meet the firm

Anna Marie DeJarnette
Associate

Anna Marie has been studying law and public policy since her interest was first cultivated years ago as a young student. She previously interned with the Legal Aid Society of Middle Tennessee, where she frequently served as a liaison between clients and attorneys. DeJarnette enjoys analyzing client needs and connecting those with the relevant policy. This enthusiasm, combined with her innate communication skills, have guided her ability to be a successful reinforcement of Capitol & 5th's goals. She holds a degree in Law, Justice, and Society from Lipscomb University.

One thing we all have in common:
decades of experience and a proven track record.

Meet the firm

Quick stats...

50+

Clients served

70+

combined years of experience

hundreds

bills passed

Millions

secured in direct appropriations

We Check all the boxes

Capitol & 5th has experience working with public and private entities, not-for-profits, and associations in a wide breadth of areas, like

technology

FINANCE

TOURISM

FOOD + BEVERAGE

HEALTH CARE

PROCUREMENT

More about C5's services

Capitol & 5th public strategies