July 28, 2017

State Perspective

I’ve worked in state politics my entire career. When I finished law school, my first job opportunity was with Johns Hopkins University & Health System as an associate director of government affairs. Working the regulatory, policy, and public affairs portfolio for the world’s leading healthcare provider was a once in a lifetime experience. I spent nearly a decade learning the intricacies of local, state, and federal health policy; building relationships with stakeholders; and engaging lawmakers at events, happy hours, and committee rooms.

This formative experience created a tremendous opportunity for me with Cornerstone Government Affairs—and almost two years ago I was asked to join the firm and help launch its Maryland practice with two other colleagues.

It’s been an incredible experience leaving Maryland’s premiere public sector institution to enter the competitive world of contract lobbying in Annapolis. In these two short years, we have developed a broad and diverse set of clients that we are extremely proud to represent, influenced some very important public policy debates and had some fun doing it.

As most know, information travels fast in this business, and Cornerstone’s expansion into Annapolis was no exception. Word spread quickly as to the effectiveness of the new team in Annapolis. I firmly believe that we would not have achieved all that we have thus far without Cornerstone’s unique team-based approach to advocacy.

Our current clients—as well as prospective clients—know that our Maryland practice is backed by Cornerstone’s 15 years of success and experience. This unique team-based approach allows us to offer our clients Cornerstone’s force multiplier of experience, expertise and relationships. I recall several occasions where my colleagues in D.C. – and other nine state offices – helped me deliver on important issues for clients. Our D.C. office provides an inside track on federal actions that bolster our advocacy efforts in Annapolis. Maryland’s budget and policy are directly linked to federal actions, due to its proximity, number of federal agencies and federal employees that work and reside in Maryland, making our relationship to our D.C. office an invaluable one.

Cornerstone goes out of its way to bring us all together. The work is often technical and wonkish, the stakes are always climbing, and every client wants your undivided attention—but Cornerstone is quite deliberate about bringing us and the most important people in our personal lives together in fun and fellowship. It is at these gatherings that I’ve forged deeper relationships with my colleagues. These gatherings allow us to talk shop and compare notes on hot button issues being debated in state and local governments across America, as well as in Congress.  It truly is a family environment and one that not only promotes but rewards communication, collaboration and cooperation among colleagues.

Sharing these experiences keeps us all connected—because no matter which Cornerstone office we work—there are just some things that don’t change in politics. “We’re in this together.” It’s an attitude fostered and nurtured within the firm, and in turn, that ethos is passed along to our clients. That’s the part I love most about my decision to join Cornerstone.