JEFFERSON CITY, Mo — A handful of Missouri’s most prominent Capitol lobbyists have announced the start of their own firm.

Rodney Boyd, Kate Casas, Brian Grace, and Kelvin Simmons have left global law firm Dentons and launched Nexus Group, a lobbying firm to be headquartered in Jefferson City.

“We had a great relationship with our partners at Dentons,” Casas said. “The firm is huge, and we thought we could serve our clients better on our own.”

The firm will provide governmental relations, contract procurement, and public policy services. They are looking forward to continuing close relations with Dentons, with Casas stating they have “great synergy.” Boyd will hold the title of Senior Counsel with Dentons, which will enable Nexus Group to provide its clients access to Dentons legal services.

“It was the right move at the right time,” Casas said. “People have been really supportive.”

A great response from clients and a great response from the rollout on Monday has settled some of the nerves associated with launching something new, said Casas.

The new firm’s clients include some of Missouri’s largest and most influential businesses and organizations, including Civic Progress, Express Scripts, Centene, Major Brands, Lyft, the St. Louis Blues, Teach for America, the Kansas City Sports Commission, Anthem, Spire, the Kansas City Zoo, Shelter Insurance, Leggett & Platt, and the Missouri Economic Development Council.

“The team at Nexus Group is second to none in building relationships and helping organizations like ours stay connected and informed about important public policy initiatives,” Regional Business Council President and CEO Kathy Osborn said.

“We have long relied on their wise advice and counsel, and congratulate them on the start of their new firm,” Civic Progress Executive Director Tom Irwin said. “Some firms are good at monitoring legislation or defeating bad bills, but the Nexus Group leads a short list that has a track record of passing big bills and moving the region forward.”

Lobbyists at the Nexus Group tour successes including leading the effort to enable statewide ride-sharing services; securing funding in the state budget to place teachers in underperforming school districts; protecting corporations, like Express Scripts, from “burdensome regulations that threatened their business model;” passing tort reform measures that “will protect insurance companies and their customers from frivolous lawsuits;” securing state environmental remediation funds for the redevelopment of an abandoned automotive assembly facility; and passing a law that will eliminate the ability of municipalities to use their court systems as “debtors prisons for citizens with minor traffic and municipal violations.”

Alisha Shurr is a reporter for the Missouri Times and Missouri Times Magazine. She joined the Missouri Times in January 2018 after working as a copy editor for her hometown newspaper in Southern Oregon. Alisha is a graduate of Kansas State University. Contact Alisha at alisha@themissouritimes.com.