NAIOP | Maryland Chapter

Legislative // Legislative Representation

Tom Pilon, Chairman, NAIOP Maryland State Legislative Committee & Sr. Vice President for Land Development, St. John Properties

Mr. Pilon, is the volunteer Chair of NAIOP Maryland’s State Legislative Committee where his strong technical stills and political savvy lead the committee’s management of NAIOP’s legislative and regulatory agenda.  During Mr. Pilon’s tenure as Chair, the NAIOP Legislative Committee has reviewed and taken positions on nearly 900 General Assembly bills affecting commercial real estate. 

Mr. Pilon is Sr. Vice President for Development at St. John Properties where his primary responsibilities include project feasibility, entitlements, design, subdivision and permitting. Throughout his 17-year tenure at St. John Properties he has overseen the entitlement and permitting of more than 25 St. John Properties business parks comprising over six million square feet of space.

Mr. Pilon holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Civil Engineering from the University of Maryland and is a licensed professional engineer. He is a member of the NAIOP Board of Directors and serves as Chair of the Trinity School Board of Trustees. Mr. Pilon resides in Fulton, MD with his family.

James F. Knott, Jr. – Chairman, NAIOP Maryland Political Action Committee & President, Knott Realty Group

James F. Knott, Jr. is President of Knott Realty Group and serves as Chairman of the NAIOP-Maryland Political Action Committee. (NAIOP PAC) The NAIOP PAC and its Board of Trustees fundraise and scrutinize contributions to members of the Maryland General Assembly who have influence over commercial real estate issues.  Under the leadership of Mr. Knott, NAIOP PAC fundraising and contributions have increased, the Board of Trustees has been expanded and the PAC has closely aligned its contribution strategies with NAIOP’s legislative interests. 

As President of Knott Realty Group, James is responsible for all facets of the company, including financing, development, construction, leasing, and property management. James has developed and constructed approximately 2 million square feet of office and industrial product for Knott Realty Group in five of Maryland’s seven largest jurisdictions.  Residentially, he has rezoned and developed over 750 home sites.  James also works directly on building and land transactions, land development, budget management, and building construction – both inside and outside the State of Maryland.  James holds a Bachelor’s degree in Finance from Boston College.  In the past he was seated on the board of the Knott Foundation and served as Vice President of the Greater Ruxton Area Foundation.  Currently, Mr. Knott is Past President of NAIOP MD, an advisory board member of the Johns Hopkins Sidney Kimmel Comprehensive Cancer Center, serves as a Commissioner on the Baltimore County Economic Development Commission and is an active member of the Young Presidents Organization.

Tom Ballentine, NAIOP Maryland Vice President for Policy and Government Relations

Tom Ballentine is Vice President for Policy and Government Relations for NAIOP Maryland and is NAIOP’s full-time industry representative before the Maryland General Assembly, and state agencies. He has more than 25 years of experience in land use and construction related policy development. 

Tom has represented NAIOP’s member companies before the Maryland General Assembly since 2009, and has submitted testimony at more than 500 bill hearings and work sessions on industry related legislation on issues ranging from planning and zoning to environmental and land development regulations, construction codes, asset management and tax law. 

Mr. Ballentine also represents the industry before state and local regulatory agencies and has been appointed to represent both the commercial and residential building industries on more than 30 commissions and policy advisory groups dedicated to issues such as funding Chesapeake Bay cleanup, storm water management, infill and redevelopment, infrastructure and land capacity.  Among his current appointments are to the Maryland Sustainable Growth Commission, the Governor’s Advisory Committee on Water Quality Trading, and the Mitigation Workgroup of the Maryland Commission on Climate Change.

From 1988 to 2009, Mr. Ballentine represented the Home Builders Association of Maryland (HBAM) before state and local governments. He was named Director of Government Affairs in 1992 and served in HBAM’s top staff policy position until 2009.  During that time, he had extensive involvement in planning, zoning and land development policy development at both the state and local levels.  In addition, he frequently provided technical analysis and represented the industry during negotiations over infrastructure finance techniques including impact fees, excise taxes and special taxing districts and managed a series of industry political action committees. 

Mr. Ballentine has managed projects recognized by eight national awards of excellence, most recently for the legislative reform of Maryland’s commercial mortgage tax laws, the use of GIS mapping in legislative advocacy as well as a National Smart Growth Achievement Award for work that institutionalized the use of land supply and demand analysis in Maryland comprehensive land use plans.  He is a full member of the Urban Land Institute and holds a B.A. in History from The College of Wooster in Wooster, Ohio.  Tom and his family are residents of Roland Park in Baltimore, Maryland.  


NAIOP Maryland’s Contract Lobbying Team at Manis Canning, Associates

Nicholas G. Manis

Nicholas G. Manis, the son of MCA co-founder George Manis and managing partner of the firm, has presided over legislative and special event successes on behalf of clients such as the Motion Picture Association of America, the Baltimore Ravens, the Maryland Association of Certified Public Accountants and Pfizer.

Nick has been an accomplished lobbyist and legislative analyst for more than 20 years and has played an instrumental role in forging innovative and economically enhancing business partnerships among clients. He is proud to see MCA continuously ranked as one of the top lobbying firms in Maryland and the growth the firm has experienced during his time here. He has represented clients in matters related to sports entertainment, taxes, professional licensing, gaming, transportation, insurance, franchises, business regulation, information technology, environmental regulation, mergers and acquisitions, pharmaceuticals and healthcare.

In 1989, Nick’s business bent led him to co-found Manis & Wright Realty, a premier residential and commercial realty firm that grew from modest beginnings to a successful 40 associates company that merged with the largest real estate company in Maryland.

Nick graduated from the University of Maryland, College Park in 1980. He was the captain of the varsity lacrosse team during his time at College Park.

A native of Annapolis, Nick is involved in many local business and community organizations including the Annapolis and Anne Arundel County Chamber of Commerce, the University of Maryland Marlene and Stewart Greenebaum Cancer Center Board of Advisors, Annapolis Youth Lacrosse Association, and the Maryland Chamber of Commerce. He was presented the Louis L. Goldstein Award in 1998 in recognition of his efforts on behalf of the Maryland Alcohol Beverage Industry. He is married with two children.

John F. Favazza, Esq. 

Accomplishing goals in Annapolis depends in large measure on mutual trust and mastery of the legislative process, two attributes that John F. Favazza, Esq., has honed through his experiences in Annapolis and applies now as a member of the MCA firm.

These traits coupled with his legal training and ability to deal effectively with complicated and sometimes controversial subject matter, give added strength to the Manis Canning team in work for their wide array of clients.  He has a deep understanding of the nuances and subtleties of the legislative process and state government, and advises clients on strategies to accomplish their goals.

John spent 13 years working inside the legislative process in Annapolis.  He served as Counsel to the House Economic Matters Committee for four years, and then spent nine years working for the Speaker of the House, the last six as Chief of Staff.   Working with the Speaker and House leadership, John gained insight into the larger strategic decisions that underpin the legislative process in Maryland.  He was involved in a broad array of substantive and policy issues, but with a focus on business, environmental, gaming and tax structure issues.

John holds undergraduate and graduate degrees in History from Towson University and Villanova University respectively and a law degree from the University of Maryland.   A member of the Maryland Bar, John lives in Annapolis with his wife Erin, and their three children.

Joseph C. Bryce, Esq.

A long-time trusted advisor to Maryland policymakers Joseph C. Bryce, Esq., is regarded as one of Maryland’s top governmental program architects and advocates. He brings his reputation for creative and insightful problem solving and ability to manage large, complex projects and issues to MCA.

Joe has brought his ability to handle controversial issues in a professional manner to the firm. This skill, combined with his detailed and extensive knowledge of all levels of government, has proven invaluable to our clients.

For nearly twenty years, Joe distinguished himself working at the highest levels of government. He worked with two Maryland Governors, the Maryland Senate President, and the University System of Maryland. In all of these positions, Joe provided senior policy and budget advice, and implemented legislative agendas in areas such as health, environment, gaming, tax policy, energy, and social and criminal justice.

Joe served as Governor O’Malley’s Senior Policy and Legislative Advisor (2007-2012); the University System of Maryland’s Associate Vice Chancellor for Government Relations (2002 to 2007); Chief Legislative Officer for Governor Glendening (1997 to 2002); and Chief of Staff to Senate President Thomas V. Mike Miller (1994 to 1997).

Joe graduated from the University of Maryland, College Park in 1989. In 1993, he graduated first in his class from Georgetown Law School. He is the recipient of numerous professional and academic recognitions and honors and currently serves on the Board of the Maryland Stadium Authority. Joe, his wife, Kristin Jones Bryce, and children Joey and Madison, reside in Odenton.

Andrea E. Mansfield 

With more than 20 years of government relations, management, and administration expertise, Andrea E. Mansfield brings her ability to successfully execute advocacy efforts and programs to Manis Canning. Her broad experience and involvement with the Maryland Legislature on policy, fiscal and budget matters; and her ability to work with diverse groups and build consensus on complex issues will be an asset to the firm.

Andrea has extensive experience at the state and local level, having led and coordinated policy efforts for the Maryland Association of Counties (MACo) and implemented the legislative agendas of state agencies. As MACo’s Legislative Director, her last six years were spent advising, crafting, and implementing the common agendas and legislative goals of Maryland’s 23 counties and Baltimore City.

In state government, she worked within three Administrations in positions of increasing responsibility, serving as legislative liaison to the Legislature for the Department of Budget and Management, and the Department of Labor, Licensing and Regulation (DLLR); and Special Assistant, Director of Financial Aid, and Assistant Secretary of Finance Policy with the Maryland Higher Education Commission. Andrea has successfully implemented legislative agendas in the areas of tax and fiscal policy, finance, transportation, and student financial aid. She has also managed programs totaling more than $110 million and established the first Office of Governmental Affairs at the newly created DLLR in 1995.

Andrea has a Master of Policy Sciences from the University of Maryland, Baltimore County and a Bachelor of Arts in Government and Politics from the University of Maryland, College Park. Andrea, her husband Bob, and their three children, reside in Odenton.