Former Gov. Jim Hodges has been named as the next president and CEO of McGuireWoods Consulting LLC, one of the nation’s top public affairs firms. The public affairs subsidiary of the McGuireWoods LLP law firm has offices in seven state capitals, Washington, D.C., and Europe, with 118 professionals on staff worldwide, making it one of the largest, most far-reaching public and government affairs consulting firms in the country.
Formed in 1998, 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 firm, which has placed in the Top 20 of National Law Journal’s rankings of more than 1,500 federal government relations firms for the past five years, offers a full spectrum of services that include comprehensive local, regional and national lobbying capabilities as well as infrastructure and economic development assistance, strategic and crisis communications and advocacy coalition development, and multi-state public affairs capabilities.
Payne, Jr., and by Richard Cullen, chairman of the law firm. All three were instrumental in the launch of McGuireWoods Consulting and will remain active with McGuireWoods Consulting after the transition. Hodges will succeed Payne as president and CEO. Mark T. Bowles will succeed Atkinson as chairman. Both are also McGuireWoods LLP lawyers and will continue in those roles after they assume their consulting leadership duties effective Jan. 12, 2018.
“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 announce that Mark and Jim will assume our top leadership roles.”
Hodges and his wife Rachel will continue to live in Columbia, dividing his time between the offices in Washington, DC, and Richmond, Virginia, and the firm’s offices nationwide. Governor Hodges served as a national co-chair of the Obama for President Campaign in 2008, and he regularly advises political and business leaders on a wide range of state, regional and national policy issues. He works with major business clients through a national multistate practice that includes working with governors, attorneys general, insurance commissioners and other state and federal leaders.
Hodges said the innovative, client-focused approach that led McGuireWoods to launch McGuireWoods Consulting 20 years ago will continue to guide the firm. “Our focus is on 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 future.”
As part of the transition, Senior Vice President William D. Boan will assume the leadership role in the Columbia, S.C., office as director of South Carolina government relations and overseeing the state and local government practice. Boan and Hodges started Hodges Consulting in 2003 after Boan served as the governor’s chief of staff. Boan also served in South Carolina’s House of Representatives and was chair of its Ways and Means Committee.
“Billy Boan is one of South Carolina’s most knowledgeable authorities on South Carolina state government,” noted Hodges. “He’s a trusted advisor to many leading businesses in the state and is the right person to lead our South Carolina government affairs operation in the years ahead.”
Hodges served as governor of South Carolina from 1999 to 2003, and was the first challenger in 122 years to unseat an incumbent South Carolina governor. As governor, he led numerous efforts to improve the state’s education system and the South Carolina Department of Commerce achieved record-breaking economic development results as well. In 2003, he joined the Charlotte-based law firm Kennedy Covington as a partner, and started a wholly owned subsidiary called Hodges Consulting, a business, government relations, and economic development consulting firm. Hodges Consulting spun off from Kennedy Covington in 2007, and merged with McGuireWoods Consulting in 2009.
About McGuireWoods Consulting
Founded in 1998, McGuireWoods Consulting LLC is a full-service public affairs firm offering federal, state, and local government relations, infrastructure and economic development, strategic communications and grassroots mobilization services. McGuireWoods Consulting is a subsidiary of the McGuireWoods law firm, and since 2010, has been ranked in the top 20 among the 1,500 government relations firms in Washington, D.C. by The National Law Journal. Learn more at www.mwcllc.com.
All photos by Sean Rayford