Lobbyist profile: The Giddens Group
By Scott Faughn
The Giddens Group is one of the fasting growing lobbying firms in Jefferson City, and one of the reasons they point to is that they focus exclusively on lobbying.
“We love what we do and we are very passionate about our clients,” Nancy Giddens, principal at the firm, said. “We devote 100 percent of our time to [our clients]. Running an association or doing campaigns would divert our attention from them and that is not a trade we are willing to make.”
The Giddens Groups is comprised of Gidden, former state Rep. Shannon Cooper, and their newest addition Jessica Land.
Giddens describes her entry into the lobbying field as a “total fluke.”
“It just sort of fell into place,” she said. “I was a marketing person and this was a unique opportunity. With term limits there was a shake up and created an opportunity for me, and I’ve never left this field because I’ve never been bored.”
Cooper is a former legislator and was the first-ever chairman of the powerful House Rules Committee.
“I have a perspective on legislation that is unique,” he said. “I enjoy the process and I knew there were opportunities for people who understand the process and know the rules.”
Land was formerly on the staff of Sen. Rob Mayer, R-Dexter, and only recently made the transition to lobbying.
Many of the Giddens Group’s clients are based in Kansas City, including Hallmark, Blue Cross Blue Shield, American Express and Lilly USA.
“We love our clients, they are so great to work with and succeed with,” Giddens said.
Some of their favorite legislators to work with are Sen. Jolie Justus, D-Kansas City, and Rep. Noel Torpey, R-Kansas City, who they were opposing on an employment law issue.
“That is one of the great things about working in this building is that you can have differences on issues you can still have great relationships and be great friends after it’s over,” said Cooper.
“We really enjoy working with some of our colleagues like Mike Winter, Bill Gamble, and John Bardgett, they are friends of ours,” Giddens said. “You really get to build strong relationships here and that is what our job is about. Whether you’re a Republican or Democrat, we like to work with everyone and that is what produces the best results for our clients.”
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