Women Who Affect the Politics That Effect Your Business

August 6, 2021

Women Who Affect the Politics That Effect Your Business

Lisa Harris Jones, Managing Member of Harris Jones & Malone, LLC (HJM), founded a full-service law firm and government relations practice because she knew how intimidating navigating the complex world of state and local governments could be for nonprofits and businesses in Maryland. Opening a Black woman-owned law firm in 2000 was fraught with risk, but Jones was ahead of the curve – believing that navigating the complexities of government required a diverse team of professionals.

“The world of politics is becoming more diverse every year. To effectively communicate with policymakers, our clients need advocates that mirror that diversity.  HJM’s team not only reflects Maryland’s gender, racial, geographic, age, and political diversity, but also diversity of experience across the business and government spectrum,” said Jones.

HJM has earned a reputation for effective advocacy through strong negotiating skills, and an unmatched network of political and government contacts. HJM’s full suite of services support every client’s need: navigating procurement and government contracts; negotiating complex labor law; direct government advocacy; reducing regulatory burdens and litigation support.

Jones has earned her place as one of Maryland’s top lobbyists, becoming the first woman and first person of color to consistently rank in the top five most successful lobbyists in the State.  As one of just a few Black-owned lobbying practices in Maryland, HJM represents over 75 clients, including publicly and privately held, small and large businesses, as well as nonprofits and municipalities.

Jones takes great pride in the distinction as one of Maryland’s top advocates and HJM as one of the most sought-after firms. “I love my practice because we make a difference for our clients in a very misunderstood field.  My partner Sean Malone and Associate Attorney, Tommy Tompsett, are quick to point out that no one would appear in court without a strong advocate on their behalf – and the same holds true for anyone serious about influencing the legislative or regulatory process.”

Jones’ background and ability to navigate government translates seamlessly into the corporate board room and into the Baltimore civic community.  She serves on the boards of several publicly traded corporations and a host of charitable and cultural organizations.  “The political, business, and philanthropic worlds are more intertwined than most people realize – and they face many of the same challenges in the government and regulatory environments,” said Jones. “The ability to translate complex challenges into simple solutions is what has made HJM successful.”

In building HJM into one of the most successful government relations practices in Maryland, Jones focused on ensuring a diversity of skills and putting women in leadership roles to build HJM into the powerhouse it is today.

Caitlin McDonough, Attorney and Member, joined HJM after serving 7 years as Legislative Director to Senate President Thomas V. Mike Miller, Jr.  As a native of Prince George’s County, growing up on a steady diet of campaigns, fundraisers and politics, McDonough’s early exposure to Maryland politics developed into a passion for policy and influencing the legislative process.  McDonough has an in-depth understanding of bill drafting and construction and the legislative, budgetary, and regulatory processes, as well as strong relationships with staff and officials in all three branches of government.  McDonough represents clients in a variety of industries including energy, telecommunications, technology, healthcare, gaming, education, and labor law.

Senior Government Relations Associate Ashlie Bagwell is another key member of the HJM team.  Bagwell has earned a reputation over the past 17 years as an effective government relations operative in Annapolis and one of only a handful of lobbyists who can truly navigate the unique governmental waters in Maryland’s largest jurisdiction, Montgomery County.   Bagwell’s portfolio focuses on public health, transportation, property development, human services, business regulation and environmental law.  Bagwell also dedicates a great deal of her personal time bolstering the next generation of women in leadership in Maryland.

With 20 years of experience navigating state and local legislative bodies, Tammy Stinnett, Legislative Assistant/Government Relations Specialist, supports HJM’s clients through written testimony; tracking and monitoring state and local legislation and connecting HJM clients with state and local officials.  In 2018, Stinnett was elected to serve on the Baltimore City Democratic State Central Committee, where she currently serves as the Recording Secretary and chairs the Communications Committee.

HJM is a prime example of a modern law and government relations firm that has cultivated the talents of its diverse team of professionals for the benefit of its clients and has the track record to prove it.