Tuesday, January 6, 2004

Lobbying firm's new senior consultant: Stanley Aronoff

Inside Ohio's Capital

Debra Jasper and Spencer Hunt
Enquirer Columbus bureau

Former Ohio Senate President Stanley Aronoff is joining forces with the powerful lobbying firm State Street Consultants, run by Neil Clark and Paul Tipps.

"All of the sudden I realized the day of the independent consultant, lobbyist, government affairs combination was becoming extinct," said Aronoff, who will be a senior consultant and development director.

During his tenure in the legislature, Aronoff secured millions of dollars in public-works projects for hometown Cincinnati. His bricks-and-mortar legacy includes the Stanley J. Aronoff Center for the Arts in downtown Cincinnati and the Aronoff Center for Design and Art at the University of Cincinnati.

He stepped aside as Senate president in late 1996 and formed Aronoff and Associates, a government relations firm. He says he is looking forward to working with Tipps, former chairman of the Ohio Democratic Party, and Clark, who was chief financial officer for the Republican caucus before he left the Senate in 1986.

State Street Consultants is the largest lobbying firm in Ohio, employing more than a dozen lobbyists with about 80 clients, including racetracks, trade groups and nursing homes.

Aronoff says he will bring 20 to 25 clients to the firm. He says joining the large firm will give him more resources to give clients more timely feedback.

"Because of term limits and technology, clients see a need for immediate response and action," Aronoff said. He said some clients want two or more e-mails updating them on progress each day.

"When I saw my stacks of e-mails grow to almost as high as my small stature I said, 'Wow, this is a lot for one person to be doing,'" he added, laughing.

He said he also hopes the merger gives him more time with his family. "I'll be doing less direct consulting. Like everyone else, I was profoundly influenced by 9-11, and I started to think about smelling the roses and being home more."

NEW PLAYERS: Aronoff isn't the only powerful Statehouse figure making changes in the New Year. Brian Hicks, former chief of staff for Gov. Bob Taft, just announced that he has formed a new public affairs firm, Hicks Partners, LLC.

Hicks says the firm will provide "strategic consulting, business development, issues management, corporate and media relations and political support for clients."

And it promises that Hicks Partners, with its executive level network of contacts in Ohio and Washington, will deliver "powerful results for clients in the critical area where government, politics, media and business intersect."


Debra Jasper (djasper@enquirer.com) and Spencer Hunt (shunt@enquirer.com) cover the Statehouse.

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