Two Men Walk into a D.C. Party…

The early formation of the Madison Group quite a simple, yet funny, story. During my first week at the office, I took time to read all of the newspaper articles that were hanging on the walls about these accomplished lobbyists. Most had young beginnings, and they climbed the ladder very fast. Reading about them has given me a unique perspective as to who they are, versus what they portray in a professional setting. One afternoon, Robb Watters, the founding member of the firm, noticed me looking at his framed articles. He said, “I stopped putting those up years ago.” I proceeded to ask him why, they are interesting and they have a wealth of knowledge. He replied, “It’s pretentious.”

I found this to be comical because Marcus Mason, the Senior Partner of the firm, has hung many blurbs, pictures, and accomplishments on his walls. This is what makes the Madison Group a great place to work: the diversity of the backgrounds and personalities of the individuals that work there. This week, I had the opportunity to sit down and talk to Marcus Mason and Marissa Lorenzetti about the beginnings of the Madison Group. In the next upcoming weeks, I hope to sit down with Robb Watters to pick his brain.

Robb Watters left his law firm to start the Madison Group in 2004. In 2006, Robb met Marcus at an event in Washington D.C., and their partnership began over two bottles of liquor that evening. Marcus was then added as an equity partner. Later on, they brought on other partners, and now it is a team of six people. You may be asking, where does the name “The Madison Group” come from? If you look at the logo, it is a picture of James Madison’s house.

The Madison Group specializes in technology, telecommunications, trade, transportation, international affairs, and healthcare policy. Their philosophy is “to provide a measurable return on investment.” The firm also handles industry trade associations and foreign governments, and has extensive experience working with Fortune 500 companies. The Madison Group prides itself off of being a bipartisan firm. They are particularly experienced with representing clients’ interests before the House, Senate, and Executive Branch. TMG is best described as a boutique agency.

Working at the Madison Group is an unusual experience for me. Sadly, I have never seen Republicans and Democrats work together in such a seamless fashion.

I have been tasked with going to committee hearings on the Hill and take notes on the proceedings. During my first one-two weeks, I have already seen Secretary Mnuchin and Secretary Mattis. I was a bit star-strucked when I first saw them, but now I have that out of my system. After attending the hearings, we type up a memo that is sent to the client. I also contact Congressmen and Senators to gauge their interest, or disinterest, on certain issues. I am thankful that the Madison Group treats us like employees and not interns. We have attended events, been on conference calls, and have the opportunity to meet with the client with them. Everyone at the Madison Group has taken it upon themselves to show us the ropes of Washington D.C.

During the last week, I have learned that I must not discredit myself because of my age. This lesson actually comes from reading about Marcus and how he was running campaigns and the chief of staff of a D.C. office at the age of 21. He has reminded me many times throughout the week to stop thinking that I am “young.” As I reflected on this thought, I have realized that my age has not stopped me from achieving great accomplishments. I have also come to the conclusion that this mindset stems from not being confident in my work or ability. Through the next weeks of my internship, I want to work on eliminating this detrimental mindset.

When looking at my last blog post, I told myself that I wanted to start a daily journal so I would not forget all the fun details of each day. I sadly have to report that I have not been successful with this mission. There is always next week!


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