In 1984, after serving 28 years as executive vice president of the Illinois Association of Realtors, Robert E. Cook decided to pursue part-time consulting in his retirement. His reputation for integrity and his 37 years of experience in association management and lobbying prompted many to seek his advice and counsel. What started as a part-time vocation quickly became a full-time second career.
In 1985, Randall F. Witter, the director of governmental relations for the Illinois Association of Realtors, approached Cook about forming a partnership to do full-time lobbying, and in October of the same year, they founded Cook-Witter, Inc.
Bruce Kinnett joined the firm in 1988 with a background in government relations for not-for-profit associations. He became a partner in 1992.
The Cook-Witter, Inc. staff represents more than 100 years of lobbying experience with contacts established at all levels of government. The firm provides a full range of governmental affairs services individually customized to client needs. Although Cook has since retired and moved to Colorado Springs to be closer to his grandchildren, Cook-Witter, Inc. retains his name and the reputation for integrity he established.
The firm’s experience and reputation for integrity enables Cook-Witter, Inc. to accomplish client objectives effectively and efficiently. Health care, banking, manufacturing, real estate, transportation, revenue, local government and agricultural organizations rely on the firm to achieve their legislative and administrative goals. Cook-Witter, Inc. specializes in representing the association community, and many associations utilize the firm’s services to further enhance their governmental relations programs.
Cook-Witter, Inc. establishes a presence for their clients at the State Capitol, and keeps clients abreast of the ever changing legislative and regulatory environment. In addition to maintaining a web site that provides links to helpful sources of information on state government, the firm’s legislative tracking allows clients to continuously monitor all legislation of interest and share that information with their membership. Cook-Witter, Inc. also monitors the Illinois Register and electronically notifies each client of new and proposed regulatory changes affecting its industry.
Cook-Witter, Inc. will help plan and prepare testimony before legislative or regulatory bodies on behalf of its clients. In addition, Cook-Witter, Inc. can assist clients with coordinating legislative events at the State Capitol.
Establishing a network with administrative agency liaisons is another important service provided by Cook-Witter, Inc. The firm’s associates work with administrative agencies and the Joint Committee on Administrative Rules and other legislative oversight agencies to provide input into the rule making process.
Cook-Witter, Inc. works with each client to create a customized legislative tracking file that includes electronic updates targeting specific bills of interest and timely legislative reports.
Cook-Witter, Inc. assists clients in establishing, promoting and distributing funds from political action committees to maximize their impact, and advises clients on ethics compliance and lobby reporting requirements.
Cook-Witter, Inc. recognizes the importance of grass-roots development as a part of an overall legislative strategy. Our associates will assist clients in identifying and establishing strategic contact networks with key policy makers and help coordinate legislative grass-roots campaigns.