J. William “Bill” Pitcher: Lifelong Lobbyist, Attorney, and Legend of Maryland
J. William Pitcher, better known as Bill, is one of the most recognizable names in the legal and governmental spheres of Maryland. He has served under many different governors and supported the needs of a broad range of companies, professional bodies, and non-profit organizations. At every turn, however, he has served the needs of Maryland and the communities that call this state home.
In fact, Bill comes from a long line of people in the Pitcher family who have devoted their lives to the service of Maryland and its people. His grandfather, Reverend John W. Pitcher, was a key figure in the state’s Pentecostal Church throughout the mid-twentieth century and one of the leaders of his community. John W. Pitcher’s son – Bill’s father, Paul T. Pitcher – would become a county executive in the family’s adopted home of Anne Arundel, later serving as a circuit court judge in the area. He would become well-known for pioneering the early planning and development of Maryland Route 100, a highway that now bears his name.
It is no surprise, then, that J. William Pitcher would follow in these prestigious footsteps himself, embarking on a career that would see him practicing law, lobbying in the highest offices of the state, and serving his country in the armed forces.
Along the way, Bill (William Pitcher) married Susan, his loving wife and companion throughout his remarkable journey. Bill and Susan have two children, to whom they pass the torch as the next generation of the Pitcher family: daughter Julia and son Paul. Julia Worcester, nee Pitcher, followed on her father’s path and worked alongside him for many years, before forging ahead on her own journey. Paul Pitcher is the co-founder of First Down Funding and SharpShooter Funding, among other ventures. He is committed to supporting the same local small business needs his father has championed, just in a different way.
Starting Out on a New Journey
Bill Pitcher’s journey into the legal and political sphere began in 1969 when the future lobbyist and attorney enrolled in an undergraduate program at Washington College. Washington College is among the most venerable of all the United States’ institutions of learning, and it became the first chartered college in the newly established United States of America when it was formed in 1782.
This long heritage was something that excited and energized Bill in his studies, as he worked towards a history degree. He was based in Chestertown, MD, and studying at Washington College enabled him to stay close and connected to his native Maryland throughout his time as an undergraduate.
Following graduation, his academic career took him further away from home, to the University of Arkansas in Fayetteville, AK. It was here, in 1973, that Bill enrolled in the institution’s Graduate School of Business, achieving an M.S. in Operations Management two years later in 1975. By now, the young man’s career was beginning to take shape, and a view of his own future began to galvanize and solidify in his mind.
The next phase of Bill Pitcher’s academic development would take him back to his native Maryland and to the University of Baltimore. He graduated from the university’s School of Law in 1979, giving him the perfect foundation from which to begin his legal career. By this point, Bill had developed a keen interest in all things legal, and he applied his enthusiasm and knowledge in any way he could. While studying at the University of Baltimore, he served on the Law Review, writing and editing articles that would add to the growing conversation in the legal sphere.
After graduating in 1979, Bill’s legal career began to accelerate quickly. His first role was as law clerk to the Chief Judge of the Maryland Court of Special Appeals, the Honorable Richard L. Gilbert. Starting out in his career, he learned much while working for Judge Gilbert. The Honorable Richard L. Gilbert himself went on to even more prestigious roles, including an eight-year spell as a Judge of the Superior Court between 1983 and 1991, including time spent as a Presiding Judge, a law and motion judge, and a general trial judge. In 1994, Judge Gilbert opened his own practice, providing a range of alternative dispute resolution services to clients.
Moves into the World of Lobbying
It wasn’t long before Bill himself was admitted to practice, first by the Court of Appeals of Maryland in 1979 and by the United States District Court in 1980. This would set the stage for Bill Pitcher’s future successes as an attorney, and he served as a prosecutor in the State Attorney’s Office in Anne Arundel County, Maryland, between 1983 and 1985. But the event that would shape his future career had already taken place. In 1977, following his graduation from the University of Arkansas’ Graduate School of Business, he served as an intern for the then-Senate President Steny Hoyer.
As of 2020, Steny H. Hoyer is a Democratic Congressman in the Fifth Congressional District in Maryland. His notable achievements include sponsorship of numerous bills aimed at protecting the Chesapeake Bay and the Potomac, Patuxent, and St. Mary’s rivers, and supporting environmental sustainability for farmers and agricultural businesses in the area. Back in 1966, after graduating from the Georgetown University Law Center, he won a seat in the Maryland Senate, aged only 27. Nine years later, he became the youngest ever President of the Senate in Maryland state history, and it was during his three-year tenure here that Bill Pitcher began his service as an intern.
The experience of interning with such a young and promising Senate President was a fruitful one for the even younger Bill Pitcher. This was the point in his developing career that he was first introduced to the world of lobbying and an area at the confluence of law and politics that would eventually become one of the defining aspects of Bill Pitcher’s professional life and work.
Gaining Experience in the Office of the Governor
After leaving his role at the Anne Arundel County State’s Attorney’s Office in 1983, Bill Pitcher moved to the state capital at Annapolis where he served under another Senate President, Melvin “Mickey” Steinberg, this time in the more senior capacity of Principal Legislative Assistant. Micky Steinberg, at this time, was already broadly experienced in the corridors of power, as well as in courtrooms and legislative offices across Maryland. He had also served active duty in the United States Navy from 1955 to 1957.
When Bill Pitcher joined his office in 1983, Micky Steinberg was already 50 years old and had been serving in the Maryland Senate since 1967. He was elected to the position of President of the Senate in the same year that Bill Pitcher began working with him. He had acted in different Senate leadership roles, including serving as the Chairman of the standing Finance Committee, the Rules Committee, and the Joint Committee on Ethics.
Bill Pitcher would serve under Senate President Steinberg for the first two years of his four-year tenure. In 1987, Steinberg left the Senate to join the gubernatorial ticket of Baltimore’s serving mayor and future governor of the state of Maryland, William Donald Schaefer. This began an eight-year partnership that would see them win two elections and steer Maryland into a new and exciting decade.
By this point, Bill Pitcher had already moved on to the next phase of his career – a role as a practicing attorney and lawyer with Blumenthal, Wayson, Downs, and Offutt, a law firm of good standing operating out of Maryland’s state capital at Annapolis. Here, Bill Pitcher would put his legal experience and expertise to good use, handling a range of general litigation, honing his skills, demonstrating his knowledge, and becoming a seasoned legal professional. He would also apply the lobbying experience he had gained in his time serving under two Senate presidents, working with local business owners to assist with the ongoing development of the local economic and commercial spheres here in Maryland.
Serving in the Armed Forces
In addition to his work as a practicing lawyer in the private sphere and as legislative assistant in public offices of governance, Bill Pitcher has given much of his time, effort, and legal skill to the armed forces of the United States. In 1968, a year before he continued his education at Washington College, Bill enlisted in the Navy, driven by a strong and proud desire to serve his country.
Still a young man with relatively little experience or qualification in the field of law, Bill did not initially pursue this angle of service. Perhaps he was still unaware, at that time, that it was possible to pursue a legal career in the United States’ armed forces. As such, his journey into the Navy was much like that of other recruits. He was eventually called up for active service, at a time of great turmoil and uncertainty for the United States military and her people. The Cold War was at its height, while the conflict in Vietnam had already escalated to unprecedented proportions. It was against this backdrop that Bill Pitcher saw his two years of active service.
Following this period of service, Bill Pitcher remained in the United States Navy and continued to serve as a reservist. As a sailor with active service experience and full complement of training and orientation, Bill would undoubtedly have been very useful to the Navy and a welcome addition to their reserve forces. Conversely, as a man with a developing set of aims and objectives in mind, being on reserve duty in the Navy gave him the flexibility he needed to pursue his education and his flourishing career while still pledging his service and allegiance to the armed forces.
As a Navy reserve sailor, Bill would have had to fulfill a certain time commitment of service within the Navy. Currently, the minimum commitment for those on reserve service in the Navy is one weekend each month and two weeks per year. This time commitment is subject to change, however. The Navy is a branch of the United States’ armed forces like any other. So, if there was a sudden need or emergency, a reserve sailor like Bill could find himself suddenly mobilized or called up active duty even if he had completed his service commitment for that year.
This is a relatively rare occurrence, but not an impossible one. As noted, this period of global history was an especially fractious and uncertain one. Bill would certainly have had the possibility of an unexpected call-up and a return to active duty hanging over him as he went about civilian life.
Life in the Judge’s Advocate Group Corps
As it transpired, the call up did not come. Bill was able to enjoy life with a degree of flexibility, achieving the qualifications and experience he needed to pursue the career he loved while retaining his sense of duty and responsibility to his country. In fact, Bill found that he could combine both of these aspects of life – civilian and otherwise – within his work with the armed forces. It was this realization that led to his involvement with the U.S. Navy’s Judge Advocate General’s (JAG) Corps.
The JAG Corps operates alongside the armed forces’ existing – and separate – legal system. It is widely understood that, while the armed forces must abide by civilian codes and regulation, under license, they are also governed by their own specific set of legal mandates. The armed forces are afforded certain rights and responsibilities because of the unique service they offer to our country and our people. As such, they have internal systems that uphold the rule of law and represent their own personnel during legal matters.
Making sure justice was served and providing sound and expert representation to naval personnel would have been among Bill Pitcher’s key duties during his time with the Navy’s JAG Corps. This corps works in the same way as a civilian court system would operate, and it is made up of its own personnel, known as Judge Advocates. All of these advocates are fully qualified and licensed attorneys in the civilian world. But in their capacity as advocates, they represent the legal needs of the naval branch of the armed forces in all legal matters.
Most civilians have heard of the court martial process, in which discipline is meted out following infringements of armed forces code. This is, of course, a big part of the duty of the JAG Corps, and it is something that Bill Pitcher would have had to apply his legal skill and expertise to during the time he spent in the corps. However, the JAG Corps’ remit actually extends beyond this and covers a wide range of legal matters.
Civil litigation cases are also handled by the JAG Corps, in the event that the Navy finds itself in need of legal defense following a civilian matter. In addition to this, tort claims, labor law disputes, and issues relating to international legal matters would all be handled by the corps, as well as a number of other legal matters of all types and magnitudes.
Retirement from the Armed Forces, and Life Moves in Another Direction
At this point in his career, Bill Pitcher was already pursuing his education and professional development in civilian life and was molding a rich future as an attorney and lobbyist. This means he was not able to devote his life full-time to work within the JAG Corps. Instead, he provided his services as a Navy reservist, meeting his annual minimum time commitment quota. During this time, Bill Pitcher earned significant experience in the legal field that he was able to transfer to his civilian career, helping to hone his skills and develop a strong understanding of legal procedures in both civilian and military life. In total, Bill Pitcher served 27 years in the military and rose through the ranks over those years, thanks to his strong performance across a number of cases and the exceptional results he was able to achieve. When he eventually retired from the armed forces in 1995, he had achieved the rank of Commander in the Judge Advocate General Corps.
By the time of this retirement from the armed forces, Bill’s civilian career had also recently taken another turn. In 1991, he left the Annapolis law firm of Blumenthal, Wayson, Downs, and Offutt, deciding to strike out on his own with his own practice. This was something of a dream come to true for Bill. While he still credits his former employees and colleagues for helping him to become the seasoned attorney and lobbyist he would eventually be, for an independent-minded individual like Bill, the end goal was always to become the head of his own operation, applying his knowledge and experience in the right way.
The Law Office of J. William Pitcher, as the practice is still known to this day, is located in Maryland’s state capital Annapolis. The practice’s office is found on Cathedral Street in the city, part of Annapolis’s historic downtown district. Bill Pitcher was very clear early on in the development of his new practice exactly what he wanted to achieve with the Law Office of J. William Pitcher. He outlined a mission statement that covered both the legislative and regulatory aspects of lobbying, in addition to the traditional legal services that the practice would also provide.
Bill Pitcher states that each and every case is handled with the very highest caliber of skill, experience, and integrity, and he and his team bring together their formidable legal, legislative, business, and political experience in order to achieve the needs of their clients. As the practice is a small one, Bill is able to provide a personalized, tailored service to each and every client he takes on, setting him apart from many of the larger legal firms in the area.
Governor Robert Ehrlich Jr. and the Maryland Slot Machines Amendment
As part of his work with the practice, Bill Pitcher applied his lobbying skill and legal experience to work with a number of clients in the gambling industry. These included Camden Plaza, a hotel developer providing licensed gambling facilities; Cloverleaf Standardbred Owners Association; and Spielo Manufacturing, a firm that produces gambling equipment.
In 2003, the gambling and games industry was placed under increased scrutiny in Maryland as Governor Robert L. Ehrlich Jr.’s slot machine legislation failed to be passed. Ehrlich Jr. – who came from a family background of legal work and military service – was elected to the Governor’s Office of Maryland in 2002, becoming the 60th governor of the state. One of his key legislative priorities was the introduction of licensed slot machines in facilities across the state, in a bid to mirror the economic boosts that such legislation had brought to other states nationwide.
However, these bids were met with opposition from within Maryland’s political system. In 2004, the moves toward legislation were dealt a significant blow yet again, despite both the House and the Senate passing their own versions of the bill. Problems arose from the fundamental differences that existed between the two versions of the bill, and the two chambers went back to work in agreeing on a unified bill that could be enacted by state legislature.
By mid-April of 2004, however, the time came for the Assembly to adjourn – a consensus had still not been reached, and the potential change in legislation was defeated. It was the view of many that this defeat put Maryland behind many other states in the region and across the USA. With careful regulation and oversight, many other states had achieved significant economic benefits through the implementation of slot machine gambling, and this potential was not lost on many key figures in government and in the industry.
Numerous bodies within the gambling industry, including potential venues for slot machines as well as the manufacturers of the machines themselves, decided to pursue the issue through the state’s registered lobbyists. Documents disclosed by the lobbyists themselves showed that companies within the gambling industry spent around $600,000 on engaging the services of 23 lobbyists across the state. One of those lobbyists was Bill Pitcher himself, working through his practice at The Law Office of J. William Pitcher.
Despite this concerted effort from the industry, and despite the skill and experience of lobbyists like Bill Pitcher, these attempts were not immediately successful. The repeated failures to get the bill passed had an impact on the local economy almost straight away, as Spielo Manufacturing – one of Bill’s clients – announced that they would be withdrawing their interest in the state of Maryland.
Speaking to The Baltimore Sun in 2005, Bill explained how this could have long-term effects for the economy of the state:
“[Spielo] are not going to be retaining me to push it any more,” he said, before referring to the disagreements during the Assembly session that put the brakes on the bill. “I don’t think anybody is really encouraged about slots, the way [House Speaker Michael E. Busch] put an ultimatum on the table.”
It would be several more years before slot machine gambling was permitted in Maryland. In 2008, the Maryland Slot Machines Amendment, alternatively known as Question 2, was added to the November 2nd ballot as a legislatively referred constitutional amendment. The amendment was approved with a total of 1,482,295 votes – or 58.69% of the ballot – which made Maryland the 38th state in the country to permit this style of gambling.
Under the amendment, the government of Maryland was given the power to grant five licenses to facilities across the state, enabling these facilities to offer slot-style gambling on their premises. A total of 15,000 slot machines could be implemented in Maryland across these five locations. Proceeds from the application and delivery of these licenses went to an Education Trust Fund designed to provide much needed capital and support to public schools in the state. This resulted in better conditions within schools and better resources for teaching staff and for school administrators. This is in addition to the broad-ranging economic benefits that the legislation brought to the local state.
Raised Taxation on Alcohol and Tobacco Is Challenged
The government – on a federal, state, and local level – has long generated significant revenue from duties paid of alcohol and tobacco products. This makes both products highly valuable to communities right across the United States as they help to fund development and growth in key areas.
However, this taxation has to be tempered with the right approach to business. If tax is too low, communities lose out on tax revenue and may suffer in this way. If the tax is too high, small businesses will find themselves hit hardest, and this will cause a knock-on effect across society.
By 2002, pressure to increase tax rates on tobacco products was growing strong, and a bill was passed to raise tax on cigarettes by 34 cents, hitting $1 per pack for the first time. Revenue generated from this scheme was used to fund education and related resources in the state, just as the Slot Machines Amendment was deployed to the same ends.
The initiative proved successful, raising significant funds for education – so much so that, just a single year later, the Senate was back once again, considering a further increase of 36 cents per pack of cigarettes. This scheme was projected to generate $85 million per year, but only if the increased tax did not damage small businesses in the process.
This was not the only tax increase that was on the cards in 2003. Lawmakers put forward a tax on beer, wine, and hard liquor, designed to provide a boost of around $40 million per year for the coffers of state of Maryland. This would mark the first time in almost 50 years that distilled spirits and hard liquor experienced a tax increase – the previous increase was in 1975 – while beer and wine taxation rates had remained unchanged since 1972.
But there was considerable opposition to these proposals, with critics warning that such increases could be severely negative. Opposition began in the House of Delegate, where counter-debaters put forward alternatives to such tax raises, including a potential increase of sales tax or an income tax surcharge for the wealthiest individuals in Maryland.
It was a similar story in the Senate, where opponents to the increases said that further elevations of the tax level would be difficult for small businesses to bear. Lobbyist groups, including Bill Pitcher’s own practice, were among the fiercest critics.
“This is going to be counterproductive,” Bill Pitcher told the Baltimore Sun. “You are hurting these small businesses. You’ve probably reached a saturation point with this tax in terms of driving people to quit.”
Governor Ehrlich himself had already said that he would veto increases in sales tax, while a spokesperson for his office said he would aim to block “sin taxes” on alcohol and tobacco.
Increases were implemented eventually, as Maryland increased taxation on alcohol from 6% to 9% in 2011 and mooted a potential further increase to 10% in 2021.
The State Ethics Commission and a Difficult Time for Governor Ehrlich Jr.
During Governor Robert L. Ehrlich’s administration, the process of lobbying within the state of Maryland was brought into question. This was escalated to a complaint of wrongdoing on the part of Attorney David Hamilton, a complaint that was eventually dismissed. David Hamilton is the personal lawyer of then-governor Robert L. Ehrlich, as well as an associate of Bill Pitcher, which meant that the period was an unpleasant one for all concerned.
This chapter of Bill Pitcher’s story begins in 2003, with Common Cause Maryland, a grassroots group that describes itself as working to restore the “core values of American democracy.” Common Cause joined forces with another group, who was not named in the subsequent report, to bring a complaint regarding the conduct of Attorney David Hamilton to the State Ethics Committee. The complainants alleged that David Hamilton was conducting illegal, unlicensed lobbying activities in the state.
However, after a process of deliberation and analysis, the Ethics Commission cleared David Hamilton of any wrongdoing. The Commission’s Executive Director Suzanne Fox stated that the complaints that had been leveled against David Hamilton by Common Cause Maryland and by their co-complainant did not call for further investigation.
David Hamilton is the head of the government relations department at Robert L. Ehrlich’s former law firm, Ober/Kaler. It was here that Hamilton developed a close professional relationship with Governor Ehrlich, who retained his services as a lawyer when he assumed office. It was also while working in this department that Hamilton made the professional acquaintance of Bill Pitcher, and the two would find themselves working in similar circles within the Annapolis, Maryland government relations field.
While David Hamilton is certainly permitted to work alongside government clients and other professionals in public office as part of his role as head of government relations at Ober/Kaler, he is not registered with the state through the proper lobbying channels. This means that he is not legally allowed to engaging in lobbying activities in Maryland.
The complaint, and its eventual dismissal, centered on this. Common Cause and the other complainant alleged that the meetings that David Hamilton held with members of state government, including Ehrlich himself and his officials, were evidence of illegal lobbying activities taking place.
Hamilton obviously disputed this. His position required him to meet with government officials, both party political and public servant officials. It also required him to adhere to a strict code of conduct, and David Hamilton maintained that he did so every step of the way. While his accusers were able to draw upon appointment calendars under the Public Information Act of the State of Maryland, these appointment calendars showed only that the meeting had taken place, not that any illegal lobbying had taken place.
During the investigation, David Hamilton affirmed that he referred all lobbying activity required by his clients to Bill Pitcher and to his practice at The Law Office of J. William Pitcher. As Bill was at this point – and still is – a legally registered lobbyist within Maryland, there was no legal wrongdoing on the part of David Hamilton or anyone else involved.
In the end, the State Ethics Commission agreed, and the complaints were thrown out, bringing to an end an unpleasant portion of Bill Pitcher’s career.
The Next Generation of Pitchers, and Work with the NPAM
One of the proudest chapters of Bill Pitcher’s career has come while working with the NPAM or the Nurse Practitioner Association of Maryland. Bill has represented and consulted for the association for a great number of years, and he is heavily active for the group in other ways also. As well as his representation, Bill has also served as a guest speaker at the NPAM’s annual Lobby Night and as a guest writer for The Oracle, the NPAM’s quarterly newsletter.
In his role as Legislative Consultant and lobbyist for the NPAM, Bill and other members of the team worked tirelessly to improve the legal and professional status of Nurse Practitioners within the state of Maryland – a campaign that was highly successful and brought about significant positive changes to healthcare across Maryland.
Some of the lobbyists and legal professionals who worked alongside Bill Pitcher include Pamela S. Metz, a skilled professional with a long and prestigious career, known for working on social and civic matters, the similarly experienced Deron Johnson, and Bill’s own daughter, Julia.
Julia Worcester has demonstrated that she has what it takes to carry the Pitcher baton onwards to the next generation. Not only this, but she has also shown that she has her own skills and techniques to bring to the table, immediately setting herself apart from her famous father and establishing herself as a force to be reckoned with in her own right.
Bill and Julia began working together with the NPAM back in 2002 and spent 12 years together at the association. Julia’s talents quickly came to the fore. And, in Bill’s own words, Julia eventually became “[the NPAM’s] ‘prime’ lobbyist, and I was more of an assistant to her.”
In 2019, after well over a decade of great work together, the professional paths of father and daughter diverged, as Julia left the NPAM to accept a post as Policy Director at the Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America. As is so often the case in life, balancing a growing family with a developing career necessitated a change of role. Julia now had kids of her own – a whole new generation for the family and grandkids for Bill and wife Susan – and was looking to grow her professional skills in the government relations and policy fields, both following in her father’s footsteps and moving in her own direction at the same time.
As Julia had been such a unique asset to the NPAM and to their team for so long, it was impossible to simply replace her. This meant that Bill Pitcher had to carefully consider what his next move would be. In the end, he decided to merge with another Annapolis law firm in an effort to free up some of his own time and resources, which could then be spent with the Nursing Practitioners Association of Maryland. We’ll discuss this merger in a little more detail later on.
With a new deal ironed out, Bill found that he could apply more of his skill, experience, and tenacity to work with the NPAM once again. Alongside the Legislative Committee, Bill and his colleagues got to work drafting the new legislative agenda for the 2020 season. Bill also took the experience he’d gained at two State Legislator conventions and applied this to the new agenda, noting in The Oracle that 2020 promised to be a “very busy year” indeed.
During 2018, there was a period of great change within the Maryland state legislative office. Around 40% of the office’s personnel did not achieve re-election in 2018 and were instead replaced by new blood. These new State Legislators tend to be more eager and driven than their longer-standing counterparts, mainly because they have had certain ideas and aims bubbling up for quite some time with no outlet in the legislature. With this in mind, Bill Pitcher expects 2020 and beyond to be interesting and eventful for the NPAM, and for healthcare across Maryland, to say the least.
However, he feels confident that his professional background and his capabilities as a lobbyist – as well as those of the team members who surround him – will be able to achieve the right outcomes for the NPAM in the coming years.
After Almost 30 Years in His Own Practice, Bill Pitcher Expands His Focus Yet Again
In 2019, after almost 30 years of work within his own practice at The Law Office of J. William Pitcher, Bill Pitcher decided it was time to expand his focus yet again and to pursue new opportunities that could benefit the city of Annapolis and the state of Maryland as a whole.
He also found that it was difficult – in fact, impossible – to replace his daughter Julia Worcester when a growing family and a fantastic opportunity to develop the government relations and policy side of her work saw her leaving the NPAM after 12 years of hard work alongside her father.
This led Bill to a merger with the Bellamy-Genn Group, a collective firm that focuses on government relations at federal, state, and local levels providing clients with any kind of advocacy services they need. Bellamy-Genn is also based in Annapolis’s historic downtown district, and its offices are found on Prince George Street in the city. Under the leadership of their founder, Lorenzo Bellamy, Esq. and lead partner Gil Genn, Esq., the Bellamy-Genn Group is a firm that is committed to diversity and inclusion at all levels, and it is one of the key champions of majority-minority owned legal and government affairs firms in the state.
The team has a formidable background in legal advocacy and representation in matters of state and governance, and draws upon an excellent track record of getting the right results for clients and the citizens of Maryland. In this sense, the firm was a good fit for Bill Pitcher.
Writing about the Bellamy-Genn Group in the NPAM’s quarterly publication The Oracle, Bill had this to say:
“I have known and worked with both Lorenzo Bellamy and Gil Genn for many years on a myriad of issues,” Bill wrote. [I] have the utmost respect for their intellect, ethics and experience.”
Bill worked alongside the Bellamy-Genn team during the tail end of 2019 and for the first few confusing months of 2020 – a year in which much of what we felt we knew about society and the world seemed to suddenly be turned on its head. It was during this time that he caught the attention of a firm based over the state border in D.C.
This connection with D.C. began when Husch Blackwell Strategies, a lobbying firm with a national outlook based in Washington D.C., hired the Maryland lobbyist Sarah Peters. Husch Blackwell Strategies made the move in order to establish themselves in the Maryland capital of Annapolis. And, Sarah Peters – herself an experienced lobbyist and veteran of numerous campaigns during Governor Larry Hogan’s tenure, including a number of resounding wins for Maryland’s Department of Transport – represented the perfect addition to their team.
Fostering connections like these helps Husch Blackwell Strategies to set up their first office in the state of Maryland, expanding their practice to the Maryland capital at Annapolis.
At the time of her hiring, Sarah Peters had recently been working for Lorenzo Bellamy and Gil Genn at the Bellamy-Genn Group. Here, she demonstrated her finely honed skills and techniques while also working alongside other experienced and well-regarded lobbyists. One of these was Bill Pitcher.
So, when Sarah Peters came aboard with Hush Blackwell Strategies and the HBS team sought to expand their Maryland-based team still further, the first name on the team sheet – so to speak – was Bill Pitcher’s.
By June of 2020, Bill was on board, too, signing up to work with the HBS firm. HBS’s acquisition of Sarah Peters and Bill Pitcher, as well as their opening of a new practice center in Annapolis, means that the company now practices in no less than five different states, as well as in the District of Columbia itself.
All parties were understandably excited about the new deal. Gregg Hartley, theHusch Blackwell Strategies CEO, had this to say:
“The opportunity to add Bill’s connections and intimate knowledge of Maryland’s business community is a big addition for our firm.” Meanwhile, HBS CFO Andy Burch described Bill’s presence as one of “guidance and reassurance” during times that are uncertain.
This is a very exciting move for Bill. Husch Blackwell Strategies is already renowned for representing a wide range of high profile clients, including such names as Facebook, Altria, the World Wide Fund for Nature, and the American Forest and Paper Association, among others. Bill will have the opportunity to do what he loves yet again: applying his skill and experience to a fresh set of challenges and causes.
Still Going Strong in His Role as Lobbyist and Attorney
That brings us just about up to date with the life and career of J. William “Bill” Pitcher. Although, as you can see, the story is far from complete. Bill is still going strong in his role as lobbyist and attorney, and he is preparing for the next set of challenges that his career will throw his way, as well as looking forward to new successes. Check back here for future updates to this remarkable story.