COLUMBUS, Ohio -- Barefoot, Marrinan & Associates, the compliance consulting firm, has opened a Washington, D.C., office. Establishing the office will help the company communicate better with federal regulatory agencies, legislators, and trade associations, said Jo Ann S. Barefoot, the company's president.

"It will strengthen our capabilities in both forecasting and monitoring regulatory compliance issues and trends for our clients - a necessity in today's ever-changing fair-lending environment," she said.

Martha Ellett has been named director of regulatory services and will be based in the new office.

Ms. Ellett was previously with the Washington law firm of Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher, where she specialized in representing banks before regulators.

Before that, Ms. Ellett was a senior attorney in the Fed's supervision and regulation division, and a staff attorney with the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency.

Barefoot, Marrinan's Washington office also will be staffed by Janet Gordon, managing consultant for community development.

Barefoot, Marrinan, with more than 3,000 clients, runs a third office out of Minneapolis.

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