Apr 17, 2017
McGuireWoods Consulting makes leadership changes as 20th anniversary approaches
McGuireWoods Consulting LLC, a nationally recognized full-service public
and government affairs firm, will mark its 20th anniversary and
enter its third decade with a transition in its leadership early next year.
Wholly owned by the McGuireWoods LLP law firm, McGuireWoods Consulting
(MWC) first opened its doors in Richmond on January 12, 1998, with a team
of four full-time employees. Today, the group has 118 professionals, with
offices in seven state capitals, Washington, D.C., and Europe. Over the two
decades, the bipartisan firm has served more than 2,000 clients on matters
ranging from federal and state government relations to grassroots advocacy
and economic development. The National Law Journal’s most recent
ranking of more than 1,500 federal government relations firms placed
McGuireWoods Consulting in the top 20 for the fifth year in a row.
The transition plans were announced today by McGuireWoods Consulting’s
Frank B. Atkinson, its president and CEO,
L.F. Payne, Jr., and by
chairman of the law firm. All three were instrumental in the launch of
McGuireWoods Consulting and will remain active with MWC after the
transition on Jan. 12.
“McGuireWoods Consulting has been partnering with our clients for two
decades, creating opportunities and solving problems at the crucial
intersection of business and government,” Atkinson said. “We are pleased to
Mark T. Bowles and
Hodges will assume McGuireWoods Consulting’s top leadership roles.”
Hodges, a former governor of South Carolina, will succeed Payne as
president and chief executive officer. Currently a senior advisor at MWC
and partner in the law firm, Hodges joined McGuireWoods in 2009. He serves
major business clients through a national multistate practice that includes
working with governors and other state and federal leaders. In 1998, he
became the first person to unseat an incumbent South Carolina governor in
Bowles, a consultant with three decades of experience in Virginia politics,
government and public affairs, will succeed Atkinson as chairman. A leader
in McGuireWoods Consulting since its founding, Bowles serves as executive
vice president overseeing all of MWC’s state capital offices and state
practice groups. He is also a law firm partner.
Other experienced leaders of McGuireWoods Consulting’s bipartisan
government and public affairs team will assume added responsibilities in
the January 2018 transition:
Brad L. Alexander, former chief of staff to the Georgia lieutenant governor and
currently senior vice president and Georgia practice director at
McGuireWoods Consulting, will become senior advisor and the firm’s
director of business development.
Betsy D. Beamer, a McGuireWoods Consulting senior advisor in Richmond who served as
Virginia’s secretary of the Commonwealth, will take on additional
duties as director of strategic planning and special projects.
Holly B. Deshields, former chief of staff to a senior Texas legislator and currently a
senior vice president co-leading MWC’s Texas practice group, will
become director of state strategic growth initiatives.
Stephen A. Horton, senior vice president and director of the firm’s communications,
grassroots and digital practice group, MWCAdvocacy, will lead the
firm’s digital programs expansion initiative. Prior to joining the
firm, he served as deputy chief of staff and directed legislative
affairs for a Virginia governor.
Lee Lilley, former senior staff for a member of U.S. House of Representatives
leadership and currently senior vice president at McGuireWoods
Consulting, will serve as deputy practice group leader for the
Washington office as well as director of federal strategic growth
Christopher R. Nolen, a former chief counsel to the Virginia attorney general, is senior
vice president at McGuireWoods Consulting and a law firm partner. He
will become director of state and local government relations services.
Payne, a former Virginia congressman, said Hodges and Bowles will guide
McGuireWoods Consulting to even greater success over decades to come. “Jim
and Mark enjoy the confidence of clients and colleagues, and they will lead
an outstanding bipartisan team of consultants who consistently deliver for
clients with creativity and integrity,” he said.
“McGuireWoods Consulting’s growth and achievements have been extraordinary,
thanks in large measure to the remarkable leadership provided for two
decades by LF and Frank,” Cullen said. “I look forward to working with our
new leaders as McGuireWoods Consulting expands its capabilities, talent and
reach in ways that will make a big difference for our clients.”
Hodges said the innovative, client-focused approach that led McGuireWoods
to launch MWC 20 years ago will continue to guide the firm. “Our focus is
crafting strategies that achieve positive solutions for our clients, and
that often means doing things in new and creative ways. That has been the
hallmark of McGuireWoods Consulting in the past and is the key to our
“Frank and LF established a strong tradition of leadership, integrity and
relentless client service—one that Governor Hodges and I and our whole team
are determined to continue,” said Bowles. “We have a strong foundation, and
we will continue to build McGuireWoods Consulting with our clients’ needs
and goals foremost in mind.”
MWC’s Washington, D.C., office will remain under the leadership of Reagan
White House veteran
Frank J. Donatelli, a longtime Republican activist whose presidential campaign efforts
include those of Sen. Bob Dole and John McCain and Presidents George H.W.
Bush and George W. Bush. Growth of MWC’s federal practice has been aided in
recent years by the addition of high-level tax, health care, energy and
transportation policy professionals. That includes recent arrivals of
Robert Wasinger, who headed the Trump campaign’s Senate and gubernatorial
outreach and was a key Trump transition official, and Harold Hancock, a
former majority counsel for the House Ways and Means Committee.
Two new practice group directors will join the leadership team.
William D. Boan,
a senior vice president in Columbia, will succeed Hodges as director of
South Carolina government relations.
Ashley S. Groome, a senior vice president in Atlanta, will succeed Alexander as director of
Georgia government relations.
Continuing their leadership roles for the firm are
Christopher D. Lloyd (senior vice president and director of the infrastructure and economic
Theodore F. “Tray” Adams III (senior vice president and director of Virginia government relations),
John F. Dunn (senior vice president and director of Illinois government relations),
D. Bowen “Bo” Heath
(senior vice president and director of North Carolina government
Mark A. Miner
(senior vice president and co-director of Texas government relations),
Nadia C. Crisan
(senior vice president and international practice coordinator), and Martha
B. Youngblood (executive director).
When the leadership transition takes effect in January 2018, Atkinson and
Payne will become senior advisors focusing on client service and will
remain members of McGuireWoods Consulting’s Governance Committee, which
serves a management liaison function with the McGuireWoods law firm . Cullen will become chair of the Governance Committee, succeeding
McGuireWoods partner Anne Marie Whittemore.
In addition to Payne, Atkinson, and others noted above, senior advisors at
McGuireWoods Consulting include former U.S. Sen.
Rosemary D. Becchi,
James W. Dyke Jr,
Harrison J. Kaplan,
Robert Q. Lewis,
Luis J. Saenz,
Jacquelyn E. Stone,
Russell W. Sullivan.