Matthew R. Cox
Matthew R. Cox
Matthew Cox is the founder and President of Capitol Partners. Matt has more than 20 years of experience as a lobbyist, attorney, political operative and public relations consultant. His government experience includes service with the Ohio Auditor of State as well as the position of Senior Deputy Attorney General in the office of Ohio Attorney General Jim Petro.
Matt has managed multiple campaigns at the county and state levels and has performed nearly every campaign function, including grassroots development, media, fundraising, and staff and volunteer management. His lobbying practice includes representation of business organizations and associations, private companies, charter school organizations and nonprofit entities.
Matt is a graduate of John Carroll University and Cleveland Marshall College of Law. He is active in the community, currently serving on the boards of United Cerebral Palsy of Greater Cleveland and Cleveland After School All Stars. Matt has also served on the boards of the YMCA of Greater Cleveland, School Choice Ohio, John Carroll University Board of Regents and the Ohio Lottery Commission. Matt lives in Avon with his wife Diane and their three children Benjamin, Emily and Lauren.
Eric D. Weldele
Eric D. Weldele
Eric brings 16 years of Government Affairs experience along with more than seven years of utility expertise to Capitol Partners.
Eric most recently served as the Chief of Staff of the Ohio Public Utilities Commission and on the Executive Committee of the National Association of Regulatory Utility Commissions. He was responsible for the day-to-day operations and policy oversight of the PUCO. Among his many accomplishments, Eric successfully implemented electric deregulation separating out the generation assets of the Electric Distribution Utilities and introduced new market participants to the State of Ohio.
Prior to serving in this role, Eric was a member of the Government Affairs and Utility Practice of Tucker, Ellis & West, LLP. He also served as the Director of Special Counsel for Attorney General Jim Petro where he was responsible for over $300 million in outside counsel contracts and the management of those cases. Prior to that role, Eric served as Director of Government Affairs for Capitol Consulting Group and served in the Administrations of Governors Voinovich and Taft.
He holds a law degree from Capital University Law School and an economics degree from Ohio Wesleyan University.
Rob Frost is an attorney with the law firm of Tucker Ellis LLP and has served as Chairman of the Republican Party of Cuyahoga County since January 2005. He currently is serving his second term on the Cuyahoga County Board of Elections.
During his more than two decades in public service, in private law practice and as a business owner himself, Frost has gained valuable experience in a wide range of legal issues, particularly in the areas of governmental law and public private partnerships. He credits his considerable experience with the political process and democracy initiatives, both here and abroad, for instilling in him a passion for the importance of the integrity and sanctity of every person’s vote and the need for persons of all political persuasions to solve problems working together.
Frost is a former city councilman for the City of Rocky River and has been Counsel at Tucker Ellis LLP since 2008. He graduated with honors from the Case Western Reserve University School of Law, where he was named a Gund International Law Fellow. In 2004, he received the American Marshall Memorial Fellowship. He earned his bachelor’s degree from Emory University. He is a native Clevelander who currently resides in Lakewood.
Mike joined Capitol Partners in 2017 as a Partner. Prior to joining Capitol Partners, Mike served as the Managing Director of State and Local Government Affairs at a mid-sized law firm in Ohio. Mike has an established record of counseling his clients on a variety of matters regarding how best to navigate various challenges and opportunities that exist with governmental entities. Specifically, Mike frequently advises clients on the best methods to:
- Secure operating and capital appropriations from state government;
- Secure economic incentives for capital improvements;
- Revise state law to align with client and public policy interests; and
- Establish rules and regulations at the agency level of interest to clients.
Prior to becoming a registered lobbyist, Mike was a policy analyst for the President of the Ohio Senate. In that capacity, Mike was involved in the operating, capital and transportation budget writing process. His knowledge of working legislation through the Ohio General Assembly, combined with his experience with political campaigns gives Mike the unique knowledge of ushering through politically sensitive issues without bypassing the necessary channels of communication throughout the legislature.
Mike currently serves on the Board of Directors of United Cerebral Palsy of Greater Cleveland, is a Member of the Public Affairs Council with United Way of Greater Cleveland, serves on the Finance Committee of Lakewood Country Club and formerly served as President of the Bay Village Board of Education. Mike received a B.A. in Political Science from John Carroll University in 1998.
Dora Pruce is Vice President of Capitol Partners and has 20 years of experience in state and federal government in addition to local, state and federal direct lobbying experience. While Assistant Vice President and Director of Government and Community Relations at John Carroll University for the past 7 years, Dora managed direct advocacy at the local, state and federal levels in addition to special projects at the university, including interim secretary to the Board of Directors and oversight of the NBC/JCU Meet the Press fellowship in honor of alumnus Tim Russert ‘72. She continues to play an advisory role at the university.
Previous to her higher education experience, Dora was the District Director for U.S. Senator George Voinovich in the Cleveland office where she served as the Senator’s primary liaison in Cuyahoga, Geauga, Lake and Lorain Counties. She represented the business community at the state and federal levels as the Director of Government Affairs at the Greater Cleveland Partnership and COSE, and started her career in the Ohio Statehouse working for State Representative Kerry Metzger and Legislative Liaison at the Ohio Department of Drug and Alcohol Addiction Services.
Dora holds a B.A. in Political Science from the College of Wooster. She resides with her family in Chagrin Falls.
Vice President of Government Relations
Based in Capitol Partners’ Columbus office, Rebecca has more than five years experience successfully lobbying for clients on a broad range of issues spanning areas such as energy, health and human services, transportation and economic development. Rebecca’s deep knowledge of the state legislative process is an asset to the firm and its diverse clients in the government relations arena.
Prior to becoming a lobbyist in 2011, Kuhns worked as a legislative aide for the Ohio Senate and House of Representatives. As an aide to legislators who held leadership positions, she was intimately involved in the state budgeting process and worked to facilitate passage of a wide range of legislative provisions. In this capacity, she worked closely with legislators and staff, local public officials, administration liaisons, constituents and other lobbyists, while developing key relationships within state government.
Rebecca received a B.A. in Strategic Communications from The Ohio State University. She lives in Grandview.
Kelsey joined the Capitol Partners team in May 2017 as an Associate in the firm’s Columbus office. Her work focuses on client relations, office management, and support of the firm’s legislative and executive lobbying efforts.
Kelsey came to Capitol Partners from the Ohio House of Representatives, where she served for two-and-a-half years as Legislative Aide to State Representative Louis Blessing III. Previously, Kelsey was a Fellow in the Ohio House of Representatives Republican Caucus for the Ohio Legislative Service Commission. In that role, she was assigned to the House Speaker’s Office as well as five Representatives from across Ohio.
Kelsey also was a Victory Captain for the Ohio Victory for Romney/Ryan campaign in Richland and Warren Counties in 2012.
Kelsey holds a B.A. in Political Science, with minors in International Studies & General Business from Xavier University in Cincinnati. She resides in Columbus.
Gina M. Piacentino
Gina M. Piacentino
Gina M. Piacentino is the Managing Partner at The Weldele & Piacentino Law Group Co., LPA.
After graduating from the University of Akron School of Law, Gina assumed the management of the Piacentino & Piacentino Law firm. Established in Marion, Ohio, for more than 75 years, the prestigious firm specialized in litigation.
Gina was then charged with creating and establishing the Columbus office of O’Connor, Acciani & Levy. At the time, the Cincinnati based partnership had no presence in Central Ohio. Within three years her leadership and skill grew the office so that the practice quickly became a very reputable firm in Columbus. At the firm, Gina specialized in personal injury and workers compensation.
Gina M. Piacentino remains active in the Columbus area community and serves on several boards and committees. She has presented in several venues, speaking by invitation on a wide array of topics including subrogation, ethics, client management and business ownership.