(Columbus, OH) – Former Congressman Steve Austria and former Ohio Tax Commissioner Tom Zaino announced today the launch of ZHF Consulting LLC, a wholly-owned affiliate of the law firm Zaino Hall & Farrin LLC. ZHF Consulting will provide smart and effective public policy consulting and advocacy services for clients at the federal, state and local levels of government.
Congressman Austria will serve as President of ZHF Consulting and will be joined by a seasoned professional team including Capital Square lobbyist Charlotte Hickcox. Both Austria and Hickcox were previously part of Zaino Hall & Farrin's government affairs team. “Building upon the services provided by the law firm through a separate entity enables us to add new resources and strategically focus our efforts to provide a broader range of services and value for our clients,” Austria stated. “In addition to tax policy, ZHF Consulting will now assist our clients with the entire spectrum of government policy issues, both in Columbus and Washington DC. Helping our clients be successful with the highest degree of integrity is important to all of us.”
Building upon a foundation of trust and expertise, ZHF Consulting announced that Former Ohio House of Representatives Speaker Pro Tempore Ron Amstutz, has also joined the ZHF team as Senior Advisor. Rep. Amstutz left the Ohio General Assembly at the end of 2016 as a result of term limits. He brings a wealth of experience and knowledge resulting from more than 30 years as an accomplished state legislator. His experience includes serving as Chairman of the Ohio House Finance and Appropriations Committee and as Chairman of the Ohio Senate’s Ways & Means and Economic Development Committee. Amstutz will advise ZHF Consulting’s clients on a broad range of Ohio public policy initiatives and legislative efforts as Senior Advisor.
"We are blessed to have such a terrific team working with our clients on their government affairs and policy needs," commented Zaino. "Adding Ron Amstutz to our team is yet another example of how we leverage the most experienced and knowledgeable professionals for our clients. He will be an especially valuable resource during this year’s biennial budget process.”
Austria, who brings over 35 years of public and private sector experience, joined Zaino Hall & Farrin in 2015. He has served as a member of the Ohio House of Representatives, Majority Whip of the Ohio Senate and the US Congress. While in Congress, he served on the House Appropriations, Budget, along with Homeland Security Committees. Additionally, he has over 21 years of private sector experience as a personal and business financial advisor, and a small business owner. Austria assumed his new role as President of ZHF Consulting earlier this year.
Hickcox joined Zaino Hall & Farrin three years ago. She has served in varied government affairs roles on Capital Square, most recently serving as Director of Energy & Environmental Policy for the Ohio Chamber of Commerce. Hickcox also served in the Governor Strickland Administration as legislative liaison for the Ohio Environmental Protection Agency and an aide to a former Minority Leader of the Ohio House of Representatives. Hickcox will continue her role as Director of Government Affairs.
Zaino was a tax partner with PricewaterhouseCoopers before being drafted to serve as Tax Commissioner during the first term of Governor Bob Taft. After leaving state government at the end of 2003, he opened and managed the Columbus office of McDonald Hopkins, a Cleveland law firm. Zaino founded Zaino Hall & Farrin LLC, a boutique law firm focusing on tax controversy, tax planning and tax policy, in 2013. He also serves as Chairman of the Board of Directors for the Ohio Chamber of Commerce and as Immediate Past Chairman of the Board of Directors for the Ohio Society of CPAs. Zaino will also continue in his role as Managing Member of the law firm.