Eric M. Sunstrom
The Chesapeake Group
Eric M. Sunstrom is the founder and President of The Chesapeake Group. Now
celebrating thirteen years of operation, the company under his leadership has
landed a most impressive client list, representing business and trade
associations throughout the state and nation.
Sunstrom draws on his years of experience working with a broad spectrum of clients, from tourism to mental health, and has over the years appeared before every standing committee in the Louisiana Legislature.
Sunstrom has distinguished himself by not only meeting his clients’ legislative needs, but by enhancing their operation to make them more efficient and effective. He began his career in government and public relations as the first ever Director of Governmental Affairs for the St. Tammany Home Builders Association (STHBA). Starting from scratch, he created a grassroots initiative that enabled the STHBA to become a powerful voice in local politics.
In 2000, Sunstrom was hired by the Louisiana Restaurant Association (LRA) to become the Baton Rouge Regional Director and Deputy Director of Governmental Affairs. Under his direction, the LRA was successful in passing numerous bills impacting the industry. Most notably, Act 158 of the 2003 Regular Session of the Louisiana Legislature bans frivolous obesity lawsuits against restaurants. The first of its kind in the nation, Act 158 was passed overwhelmingly in the House of Representatives and the Senate.
Over the years, Sunstrom has also successfully defended the rights of the restaurant owners against unwanted regulation. Through diligence and hard work, he delivered a message to the Legislature to protect the individual rights of business owners and free enterprise. He developed a reputation as a leader in his field, and in the process developed strong personal relationships with state legislators and governmental regulators.
In 2004, Sunstrom formed The Chesapeake Group, bringing his expertise to a wider range of clients, designing and implementing programs to promote legislative and regulatory initiatives on their behalf. Since that time he has advocated issues from industry-supported fee increases, tax cuts and pro-business legislation. After Hurricanes Katrina and Rita, he facilitated a seafood industry board made up of a wide range of both commercial and recreational fishermen to help steer federal recovery money to Louisiana.
Mr. Sunstrom holds a Bachelor of Political Science degree with a minor in History from Louisiana State University. He is a former member of the Governor’s DWI Task Force, and the Hunting and Fishing Advisory Education Council. A native of Baltimore, Maryland, he resides in Baton Rouge along with his wife the former Meg Casper and their two dogs.