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The Association of Government Relations Professionals had its coming-out party at a Washington, D.C., hotel Thursday, two days after the lobbying trade group announced it had officially dropped its original name, the American League of Lobbyists.

Before dozens of lobbyists gathered at the Washington Court Hotel for the organization’s annual meeting, AGRP president Monte Ward unveiled the group’s new logo and a mockup of its new website. Ward said the 34-year-old group now is about “more than just lobbying,” noting that its members also are concerned with political action committees, social media and grassroots work, among other matters.

“When we went through the strategic-planning process, it became very clear that our members are different than they were 20 years ago or even in 1979, when we started,” Ward said.

The name change came with 83 percent approval. Of the group’s 1,300 members, 35 percent participated in the rebranding vote, which ran from Oct. 15 to Nov. 15.

But the rebranding faced high-profile opposition.

Howard Marlowe, who preceded Ward as the group’s president and disapproved of the end of the American League of Lobbyists name, said last month that the change is “entirely about the stigma” associated with the word “lobbyist.” He was notably absent from this week’s annual meeting.

Ward said the group will continue to serve the lobbying community and encouraged members to join a transition team to help it as it settles into its new Association of Government Relations Professionals name.

“Our job isn’t done,” Ward said. “We still have some more work to do.”

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