Keene Consulting - A Governmental Consulting and Advocacy Firm
 




"Our belief that our clients' needs and objectives are of the utmost importance and results speak for themselves. "
 
-Rick Keene



The Right Experience to Produce Results
In the world of governmental advocacy, many will state they have relationships with decision-makers to make a credible case for their clients.  But are they the right decision makers?

Relationships in State Government
For 16 years he has built influential relationships, both with the internal IT and business decision-makers within the State Departments and Agencies, and at the Legislative and Executive leadership levels.  

A partial list includes DHCS, EDD, MHSOAC, BOE, DOJ, DSS, CalPERS, CalSTRS, SCIF, CDCR, Energy Commission, CalTRANS, DPH, DGS, FTB, and the Departments of Insurance, Resources, Industrial Relations, Public Utilities Commission, Finance and the Governors Office.  

Many current members of the California State Legislature and the U.S. Congress on both sides of the aisle are former colleagues and long-term friends and he has worked on legislation with many.

Legislative Experience
While serving in the California State Legislature, Rick was recognized by a prominent Capitol publication as a "bridge-builder" and problem-solver, highlighting his "win-win" approach to working with all parties and his regular engagement in so many of the pressing issues of the day. 

Within two months of being first elected to the first of three terms in the California State Assembly, he was selected by his peers to join the legislative leadership as an Assembly Whip.  Eight months later he was promoted to Assistant Leader of his Caucus, a position he held for the rest of his years in office as a part of three successive leadership teams. Below are some of the issues he undertook during his six years.

State Finance
During 5 of his 6 years, he was a chief adviser to the Assembly Leadership on budget and finance related issues, serving 3 years as the Vice Chair of the Assembly Budget Committee and as a lead negotiator on the State's bicameral Budget Conference Committee.  In this role he cumulatively impacted the expenditure of 700 billion dollars in public funds.

In 2002 and 2003, he was engaged to help create Propositions 57 and 58, the Governor’s mid-year fiscal crisis management authority and economic recovery financing packages.  
 
Infrastructure Bonds
He was tasked to work with both parties on Props 1A through 1E Infrastructure Bonds, the largest state infrastructure investment at the time in the history of California.

Workers Compensation Reform
Working with the Governor, legislative leadership and all interested parties, he was a principle negotiator and a major drafter of the overhaul of the California’s Worker’s Compensation system contained in SB 899 in 2004.
 
SB 863 – 2012 Work Comp Reform Legislation
Working with industry and the Governor's office, he again participated in the creation, advocacy and passage of a second round of reforms contained in SB 863.

Miscellaneous Negotiations
He authored a two billion dollar Job Creation/ Tax Incentive Package which was passed out of the State Assembly on a bipartisan vote to the Senate in 2007.

As lead on the water storage discussions for both 2007 and 2008, he drafted the State Water Bond alternative legislation and also served as a caucus health care reform policy advisor during the 2007 Healthcare Reform discussions and as Ranking Member and Vice Chair of the Assembly Water, Parks and Wildlife Committee.

Energy and IT
He served as a member and then ranking member and Vice Chair of the Assembly Utilities and Commerce Committee (4 years) encompassing all technology and energy issues.  As such he was involved in alternative energy discussions, AB32 negotiations, the telecom reform discussion and all legislation involving information technology projects and issues considered by the legislature. 
 
Experienced Local Government Leadership
Prior to his six years in the State Assembly, he was a member of the City Council of the City of Chico for 8 years, serving one term as the City's Mayor, following two prior years as a member of Chico’s Planning Commission. 
 
On Council, he was Chair of the City's Finance Committee for three years, and the city designee on multiple boards and commissions including the Local Agency Formation Commission (LAFCO), the Butte County Association of Governments (the regional transportation authority) and the Butte County Air Quality Management District.

Business Development
As Keene Consulting he represented a diverse group of clients before the California State Legislature and Governors Office, ranging from engineering to specialized publishing, to durable medical equipment providers and risk management interests.

From May of 2013 through April of this year, to deepen his relationships within the State IT community, he took a hiatus from his consulting practice to serve in house as a Business Development Specialist IV with one of the world's foremost analytics technology vendors to assist them with developing business opportunities within California State Departments and Agencies.  

When brought on board, they had  very little in the way of active opportunities within California Departments, no sales pipeline to speak of, and very little brand awareness.  

Meeting with thought leaders and decision makers within most of the state's largest agencies and departments, he established rapport and credibility for this client, engaging C level relationships and Legislators where useful to create and advance opportunities.

As a result, his company won successful large deployments, a robust pipeline was established and significant brand awareness was created as a platform for long term market opportunity.  Of the 11 active opportunities currently under development there, his direct advocacy engagement led to 9 of these, with four more opportunities pending.  

Procurement
He also provided assistance with establishing procurement vehicles such as the State DGS Software Licensing Program (SLP), cloud provision positioning, and provided strategy and advocacy for both departments and clients on navigating the complex and ever changing California procurement and budget processes.

Law Practice – A 27 year Career of Advocacy
Rick has been a licensed attorney in California for 27 years.  An experienced and seasoned litigator and the founder of his own law firm; he honed his advocacy skills representing a multitude of clients in both the courtroom and negotiating solutions.

Why it Matters
IT decision makers and mid level business leadership within the State departments and agencies are where most technology and IT spending decisions are made in California. Waiting for RFPs, RFOs or RFIs can often cause a company to have to play catch up, having lost the opportunity to position or influence a deal before they even have a chance to make their case.

Employing both a bottom up/top down approach can be useful to get traction to help a solution stand out from the crowd, ahead of procurements.  

In addition to working with the mid level department influencers, C level department directors, cabinet secretaries and the Legislature can be usefully engaged to move an issue or solution to the top of mind and to create demand through issue and brand awareness.

From hands on executive and legislative experience with running a city and state budgets to drafting and passing legislation, from advocating for technology solutions with pivotal IT and business decision makers within state departments, to finding paths for procurement, we have the executive level relationships, legal skills and expertise needed to advance your companies interests in the State of California.

Thanks for considering Keene Consulting.

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