Our Team

Annette Cruz


A builder of meaningful bipartisan relationships across a wide network of top government officials, lawmakers and business leaders, Annette’s ability to effectively engage and inform the right people on issues of importance has led to an exceptional track record of policy and advocacy successes.

With more than two decades of senior-level experience guiding policy and government affairs agendas, Annette’s adeptness in the advocacy space and expertise in policy making, in particular, health-related policy, uniquely positions her to advise and advance the organizational priorities of HBS clients at both the state and federal levels of government.

As a Principal at HBS, Annette continues to serve as Vice President of Public Policy & Advocacy for LeadingAge Wisconsin, a statewide association, where she plays a central role in executing the Association’s state and federal government relations strategies. At LeadingAge Wisconsin, Annette is responsible for developing and overseeing state legislative and congressional relationships, collaborates with Association leadership to identify and advocate for priority issues that would benefit the Association and its members, and coordinates with external partners and stakeholders in developing coalition building efforts.

Annette’s past experience in government includes serving two former Governors of Wisconsin in key policy positions, advising and directing their respective health-related policy agendas. Prior to her service in the Governors’ Offices, Annette served as a policy analyst to both a former Wisconsin State Senate Majority Leader and a former State Assembly Majority Leader.

Her previous work in the private sector includes having served as a health policy consultant to a multi-state Association where she collaborated with organization leadership to shape public policy critical to large, self-funded employers.  She also served as director of government affairs in a consultant role for a national health care insurer, where she represented the CEO and executive staff on policy and regulatory communications with the state legislature, state agencies, and the federal Department of Health and Human Services.

Throughout her career, Annette has taken an active stance in serving the public good. Among her many contributions, she is currently an active member and sits on the Steering Committee of the Wisconsin Women’s Health Foundation, is a current member of the American College of Healthcare Executives, and previously served on the Child Abuse and Neglect Prevention Board.

A Badger through-and-through, Annette is a graduate of the University of Wisconsin – Madison, where she earned a Master of Public Administration degree in Healthcare Management, and a Bachelor of Arts degree in Behavioral Science & Law.