Cozen O’Connor Makes Strategic Public Strategies Practice Addition with Hire of Former Virginia Deputy Secretary of Agriculture and Forestry Heidi Hertz

January 12, 2022

Richmond, Va., JAN 12, 2022 — Cozen O’Connor starts the new year with a significant team addition to the Richmond Public Strategies Practice with 15-year veteran Heidi Hertz. The former Virginia deputy secretary of agriculture joins as a principal and will assist with lobbying efforts, serve as a liaison between clients and key members of government, and analyze legislation at the local, state, and federal levels.

Hertz has worked to advance policy and budget priorities throughout her nearly two-decade career, supporting Virginia’s first and third largest industries, agriculture and forestry, as well as public health and child health. Hertz provided strategic direction for rural economic development, farmland and forestland retention, and ensuring that all Virginians have access to safe, healthy foods. Previous roles with the Office of the First Lady Dorothy McAuliffe, the Virginia Foundation for Healthy Youth, and Virginia Department of Health focused on policies and laws impacting children, youth, and families at the state and federal level related to health, nutrition, education, and access to services.

“Heidi has demonstrated a tremendous ability to balance between the development of public and private projects while always keeping the constituents’ best interests front and center. This unique talent to coalesce teams and bring people together makes her a valuable new addition to the team,” said Howard Schweitzer, CEO of Cozen O’Connor Public Strategies Practice. “Cozen O’Connor clients will benefit from her vast knowledge of legislation on the local and state levels, and she will be particularly insightful for managing and developing communications with government and the media.”

Hertz has demonstrated a proven ability to diversify strategic relationships within the Virginia state government, Virginia General Assembly, and leading industries and nonprofit communities within the commonwealth. She has worked closely with governmental and nonprofit organizations to ensure that Virginians impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic would not suffer from food scarcity or diminished resource access.

“Monitoring Virginia state and federal legislative issues and budgetary developments and their potential effect on Cozen O’Connor Public Strategies clients is essential for our ability to develop appropriate strategies and advocate for our clients,” said Thomas A. Lisk, Managing Director of Cozen O’Connor’s Richmond Public Strategies Practice. “Heidi has shown an innate ability to build partnerships from the grassroots level, and we anticipate her ability to leverage this strength for our clients when it comes to implementing strategies for capital projects in the health care, agriculture, forestry, and nonprofit communities. We are thrilled to have Heidi as the newest member of the team.”

“I am thrilled to be part of a team that keeps me rooted in the commonwealth, which has been the core focus of my professional career,” said Hertz. “I look forward to the opportunity to engage with Cozen O’Connor Public Strategies clients and to help them visualize and build proactive strategies that will help them increase their presence throughout Virginia and beyond.”

Hertz earned her M.S. from James Madison University and her B.S. from Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University. Hertz has served on various nonprofit boards, including Shalom Farms in Richmond, Va., and is active on the Virginia Tech College of Agriculture and Life Sciences Alumni Board. She received the Trailblazer of the Year Award, Greater Richmond Fit4Kids, was sworn in as Commonwealth Council on Bridging the Nutritional Divide Council Member and received the Young Dietitian of the Year Award from the Virginia Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics.

About Cozen O’Connor Public Strategies

Cozen O’Connor Public Strategies, an affiliate of the international law firm Cozen O’Connor, is a bipartisan government relations practice representing clients before the federal government and in cities and states throughout the country. With offices in Washington D.C., Richmond, Albany, New York City, Philadelphia, Harrisburg, Chicago, and Santa Monica, the firm’s public strategies professionals offer a full complement of government affairs services, including legislative and executive branch advocacy, policy analysis, assistance with government procurement and funding programs, and crisis management. Its client base spans multiple industries, including healthcare, transportation, hospitality, education, construction, energy, real estate, entertainment, financial services, and insurance.

About Cozen O’Connor

Established in 1970, Cozen O’Connor has over 775 attorneys who help clients manage risk and make better business decisions. The firm counsels clients on their most sophisticated legal matters in all areas of the law, including litigation, corporate, and regulatory law. Representing a broad array of leading global corporations and middle-market companies, Cozen O’Connor serves its clients’ needs through 31 offices across two continents.

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