Ms. Iseman graduated from Indiana University of Pennsylvania in 1990 with a degree in elementary education and ventured to Washington, where she was hired as a receptionist for Alcalde & Fay, a high-powered, high-profile lobbying firm based in Arlington, Va. She rose through the ranks to become a senior partner who, in 10-plus years, acquired a list of more than 30 clients including Carnival Cruise Lines, Paxson Communications, PriceWaterhouseCoopers, Sinclair Broadcast Group, Telemundo Network, and the cities of Miami and Palm Springs, Calif. The bulk of her work involved telecommunications.
But she always found time to assist two clients particularly close to her heart -- Homer-Center School District and Indiana University of Pennsylvania.
In 2007, Alcalde & Fay helped the school district land a $100,000 grant to develop "a science-rich environment," paying for teacher training and creating labs and classrooms equipped with the latest technology. But President Bush targeted the earmark and the district didn't get it.