2017 marks 15 years since the founding of Cornerstone Government Affairs, and I’m pleased to announce that during the months ahead we will hold a number of activities to commemorate this milestone—a reception or two, some state-themed events here in DC, and charitable activities across the country.
We have much to celebrate here at Cornerstone. We are proud of the firm we have built, and humbled by our success. We’re proud of our team model, our track record, our brand, our position in the industry and, most importantly, our partnership with our clients.
Cornerstone began with a few folks holed up in a small office in the Reagan Building on Pennsylvania Avenue. Today, we are 65 people across 11 offices in 8 states and the District of Columbia. The founders formed Cornerstone with the goal of creating a new business model based on a true team concept that is pervasive in each of the firm’s activities. That concept is still in place today, and it is this team model, we believe, that results in superior client service.
When we opened our doors, we were immediately recognized as a premier budget and appropriations firm. While we have maintained that capability, over the years we have added key professionals with broad subject matter expertise, and these additions have helped us grow into a full-service lobbying firm representing a diverse client base at the national, state, and local levels.
How did we get to where we are today?
It starts with people. Government relations is first and foremost a people business, and we have been fortunate to attract good people who have embraced the team model, invested in our approach, and stayed with us for a long period of time. We work hard to maintain that atmosphere of teamwork. Our business model incentivizes collaboration, cooperation and communication among colleagues, which in turn helps us succeed on behalf of our clients.
We partner with clients. Similar to retaining a talented team of professionals, we have enjoyed long-term relationships with many of our clients. We much prefer to be viewed and utilized as partners with our clients, rather than hired guns. Partnerships create stronger communication, creative planning, and better results.
It pays to be bipartisan—and partisan. Cornerstone is a bipartisan firm made up of partisan Democrats and partisan Republicans. As a firm, we take no sides in the political process, but individually we support both Democratic and Republican candidates and parties. Clients are best served when their priorities are supported by both parties, even at a time when one party controls Congress and the White House. This is one of the things that I’m most proud of—at Cornerstone, partisan Republicans and partisan Democrats work side by side and collaboratively, blending their networks and putting aside allegiances in order to achieve wins for our clients.
Finally, why, after 15 years, are we stronger than ever?
Our founders didn’t want Cornerstone to be your run-of-the-mill lobbying firm. They sought to create a structure and culture that was unique, inclusive, family-focused, and most important, long-lasting. They wanted to build something that would endure long after they had moved on. Indeed, in 15 years we’ve seen marriages, divorces, babies born, graduations, retirements, and even death. We’re a family of sorts, and as such we go out of the way to support each other, in good times and bad. This spirit binds us to one another and reminds us to embody the team approach in everything we do.
Here’s to another 15 years!