Our Team

Tom Niehaus

614.464.4955
teniehaus@vorysadvisors.com

Former Ohio Senate President Tom Niehaus (R) is a principal with Vorys Advisors. Mr. Niehaus was an Ohio state senator from 2005 to 2012 and served as president of the Ohio Senate from 2011 to 2012. As a senator, Tom represented the 14th Senate District, including Adams, Brown, Clermont, Scioto and a portion of Lawrence County. A fiscal conservative, He was named a “Watchdog of the Treasury” four times and worked to keep taxes low and make government more efficient. He earned praise from 100 Capitol Square Insiders as the “best listener” and ranked as one of the top 10 “most effective” state legislators. Tom also served in the Ohio House of Representatives from 2001 to 2004 and spent 25 years working in the private sector. Read more.

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Karen Cincione

614.464.6201
kacincione@vorysadvisors.com

Karen, a principal with Vorys Advisors, provides advice on legislative and executive agency matters to both Ohio and national clients. Karen represents clients before the state legislature, in the state rule-making process, and in administrative and other proceedings before state agencies, boards and commissions and local governmental entities. She also represents health care providers on government relations issues. Karen has extensive experience counseling behavioral health and other health care providers in areas related to contracting, privacy, licensure, certification, accreditation, and other regulatory issues. Read more.

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Dave Hoeffel

614.464.5405
dlhoeffel@vorysadvisors.com

Dave, a principal with Vorys Advisors, has significant experience in government relations and administrative law, with an emphasis on legislative and executive agency representation, campaign finance, ethics and election law, government contract procurement and hearings, and matters before various regulatory agencies and boards. He previously served as a policy analyst and legislative liaison for the Ohio Attorney General’s Office. Dave also worked as a law clerk for the Ohio auditor of state, a legislative aide for the Ohio House of Representatives, and participated in the Ohio Legislative Service Commission Intern Program.  Read more

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Lou Gentile

614.464.5470
ljgentile@vorysadvisors.com

Lou joined Vorys Advisors as a principal in August 2017.  Prior to joining Vorys Advisors, Lou held numerous public service positions. He served as deputy director of the Governor’s Office of Appalachia and then as a member of the Ohio House of Representatives in 2010. In 2011, he was appointed to fill a vacancy in Ohio’s 30th Senate District. He was elected by the district’s voters to a full term in 2012.  In January of 2014, his colleagues elected Lou to serve as assistant minority whip of the senate. He was also the ranking Democrat on the Energy and Natural Resources Committee as well as the Public Utilities Committee. Lou also served on the Senate Finance Committee, where he secured 200,000 for scholarships, known as the Lou Gentile Scholarship, for students pursuing shale gas related jobs in the Ohio Valley. He served in the senate until the end of 2016. Read more.

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Vorys Advisors is supported by the Vorys, Sater, Seymour and Pease LLP government relations team, which has more than 50 lawyers with personal experience at one or more levels of government. The attorneys gained such experience while at the U.S. Congress; the Ohio, Virginia and Texas General Assemblies; and departments, agencies, commissions and local governments. Vorys Advisors is also supported by Vorys' strategic communications professionals.

Government Relations

Vorys Advisors excels in guiding clients to the right doors and helping them understand, engage and influence the policy dialogue. 

The bipartisan team has assisted clients in formulating strategic plans, devising and drafting proposed legislation, ordinances and amendments, and in preparing testimony and other submissions offered by clients, sponsors, witnesses and advocates. As former Ohio legislators, Tom Niehaus and Lou Gentile, respectively, know the intricacies of parliamentary procedure and help clients craft effective strategies to support, oppose or amend legislation. They are also experienced in advocating our clients’ positions to lawmakers, their staffs and potential supporters or coalition members.   Other Vorys Advisors principals have vast experience advising Ohio, regional, and national clients on legislative matters and governmental relations. The team helps clients achieve their objectives as promptly and efficiently as possible.

What we do:

  • Advocate our clients’ positions to lawmakers and their staffs
  • Advocate our clients’ positions to government agency employees at the local, state and federal level
  • Formulate strategic plans to ensure our clients' government relations success
  • Devise and draft proposed legislation, ordinances and amendments
  • Prepare testimony and supporting materials offered by clients, sponsors, witnesses and advocates

Vorys Advisors has built credibility and strong bipartisan relationships with key decision-makers on all levels of government.  The relationships they have formed with federal, state and local public officials provide extraordinary access to these important decision makers.

Vorys

Vorys Advisors is supported by the Vorys law firm’s government relations team, which has more than 50 lawyers with personal experience at one or more levels of government. The attorneys gained such experience while at the U.S. Congress; the Ohio, Virginia, California and Texas General Assemblies; and departments, agencies, commissions and local governments.

Economic Development

Vorys Advisors frequently works with both public entities and private businesses to structure, secure, implement and maintain state and local economic development incentives in Ohio. We understand the political, economic and cultural perspectives of communities across the Buckeye State in ways that can be indispensable to private developers, local governments or institutions of higher education seeking to foster long-term, sustainable economic development initiatives.

Our work in this area includes:

  • Private Development Projects.  We utilize our relationships and institutional knowledge to help developers assess the availability of public incentives for projects throughout Ohio.  We can work to secure government grants, low interest loans and other economic incentives, like new market tax credits. Often, these private developers work with county, municipal, village or township officials.  Vorys Advisors has worked closely with local government figures around the state, and can help manage the often-times delicate relationship between private developers and local government.  Our team also provides technical assistance in the sometimes cumbersome process of writing and submitting grant proposals.
  • Public Development Projects.  Vorys Advisors has been instrumental in providing guidance to political subdivisions as they work to create an environment that fosters robust and sustainable economic development.   We realize that the long-term economic prosperity of every community will center on the build-out and maintenance of vital infrastructure, including water and wastewater treatment and delivery systems; industrial parks, roads and bridges; and broadband access.  We advise local governments on enacting tax-increment financing districts (TIFs), bond financing, and creating joint economic development districts (JEDDs).  We have worked with counties, municipalities, villages, townships and educational institutions in establishing creative and effective funding streams for community development projects.

Industry Expertise

Vorys Advisors provides government relations and strategic counsel to Ohio businesses and a wide variety of other professionals. Most recently, they have advocated successfully in areas related to:

Public infrastructure, community improvements and workforce development

Vorys Advisors knows just how important it is for local governments—counties, cities, villages and townships—to be prepared for the economy of tomorrow.  Maintaining and building vital infrastructure is imperative for any community seeking to create a robust local economy.

We provide practical and cost-effective advice to local governments in need of water and wastewater treatment facilities, roads and bridges, industrial parks, broadband access, and workforce development pipelines.  We present our clients with as many options as possible, all in an effort to keep costs down and enhance the quality of local infrastructure.  Our work has included assistance in facilitating common incentives such as TIFs, JEDDs, New Market Tax Credit opportunities, and public funding and financing from various state and federal government agencies.

Energy

The discovery of new drilling technology that allows access to the oil and gas-rich deposits of the Utica and Marcellus shales in eastern Ohio is, has transformed our state’s economy, and placed the counties of eastern Ohio directly into the discussion about our nation’s energy future.  The exploration and production of shale gas, along with the midstream build-out and downstream potential of the Utica play have breathed new life into the region.  And Vorys Advisors is there.

Lou Gentile, a principal with Vorys Advisors, represented a portion of Ohio’s shale territory when he was a member of the Ohio House and the Ohio Senate.  He understands the region’s political, economic and cultural perspectives in ways that can be indispensable to private developers, local governments or institutions of higher education seeking to foster long-term, sustainable economic development initiatives.  Former Ohio Senate President Tom Niehaus, a principal with Vorys Advisors, personally led the negotiations and ultimately secured passage of Ohio’s landmark energy bill (SB 315).

Vorys Advisors advises local governments, businesses, educational institutions and non-profits on matters relating to shale development, downstream manufacturing opportunities, workforce development initiatives, community relations, and public funding and financing opportunities. 

Higher education

Vorys Advisors understands the many pressures faced by public and private institutions of higher learning.  Rising costs, shrinking enrollment, and internet-based competition continue to stress colleges, universities and post-secondary vocational training facilities.

We offer strategic advice to public and private colleges and universities.  Vorys Advisors provides government relations at both the state and federal levels, advocating for our institutional clients on matters pertaining to state and federal funding, programmatic issues and regulatory compliance.   

We also provide support to higher education facilities in need of grant or financing opportunities to help fund campus expansions and maintenance.  We seek creative and affordable solutions and help maximize the availability of public funds.

Health care policy, construction, innovation and delivery

Vorys Advisors works with the health care professionals and Medicaid lawyers from Vorys to provide seamless government relations and health care policy consulting services to clients.  Collectively, the Vorys team is unmatched in strategy and health policy expertise. The team’s specialized knowledge of the processes and inner workings of state and federal legislation, ability to monitor and impact its effects on our clients, and in-depth understanding of federal and state health care initiatives are valuable resources to clients. 

The team has a great degree of knowledge about the Ohio health care and insurance sectors, the important relationship between health care financing (including Medicaid and private payors) and policy, and the state operating and capital appropriations budgets.  The team’s experience is both broad and deep in shaping the policy debate and actual statutory and regulatory language, as well as advocating for clients’ needs, and our team approach affords us the unique ability to impact the budget from a variety of angles – substantive policy, advocacy, political positioning and fundraising – in a bipartisan manner.

The team has excellent relationships with the leadership in the Ohio Department of Medicaid (ODM), Office of Health Transformation (OHT), Ohio Department of Mental Health and Addiction Services (OhioMHAS), Ohio Department of Health (ODH), Ohio Department of Insurance (ODI) and other state agencies. 

Telecommunications

The telecommunications industry is broad and is impacted each day by legislation and rules passed at all levels of government. Vorys Advisors represents telecommunications companies and provides strategic advice and legislative strategies.

Our telecommunications clients include broadcasters, cable operators, wireless carriers, local and long distance carriers, internet service providers, trade associations, and other entities that offer a variety of regulated and unregulated telecommunications services.