Former Gov. Jim Hodges may have retired from politics, but he never stepped away from trying to shape public policy.
Hodges, 60, will do that as president and CEO of McGuireWoods Consulting LLC, one of the nation’s top governmental relations firms, effective in January 2018.
“This is a great firm,” says Hodges, who served as South Carolina’s governor from 1999-2003. “As a group, we’ve really been able to grow. I’m excited for the opportunity to lead the firm into a new growth age.
“At this stage of my career, it’s a great opportunity.”
After leaving office as South Carolina’s only Democratic governor since 1987, Hodges joined the Charlotte-based Kennedy Covington law firm as a partner. He also started a subsidiary called Hodges Consulting, a business, government relations, and economic development consulting firm.
“It evolved,” Hodges said. “My interest was in business, law and public policy.”
Hodges Consulting spun off from Kennedy Covington in 2007 and merged with McGuireWoods Consulting, based in Richmond, Va., in 2009. “It allows me to stay involved with public policy issues and with business matters.”
Hodges served as a national co-chair of the Obama for President Campaign in 2008. He also has advised political and business leaders on a wide range of state, regional and national policy issues. His job with McGuireWoods has him working with major business clients through a national multistate practice that includes working with governors, attorneys general, insurance commissioners and other state and federal leaders.
Another big move for McGuireWoods Consulting is the promotion of Senior Vice President William D. Boan to Hodges' current job as director of South Carolina government relations, overseeing the state and local government practice. Boan and Hodges started Hodges Consulting in 2003 after Boan served as the governor’s chief of staff. Boan also served in South Carolina’s House of Representatives and was chairman of its Ways and Means Committee.
“Billy Boan is one of South Carolina’s most knowledgeable authorities on South Carolina state government,” Hodges said. “He’s a trusted advisor to many leading businesses in the state and is the right person to lead our South Carolina government affairs operation in the years ahead.”
According to the company’s news release, the public affairs subsidiary of the McGuireWoods LLP law firm has offices in seven state capitals, Washington and Europe, with 118 professionals on staff worldwide.
The transition plans were announced by McGuireWoods Consulting’s chairman, Frank B. Atkinson; its president and CEO, L.F. Payne Jr.; and by Richard Cullen, chairman of the law firm. All three were involved in the launch of McGuireWoods Consulting and will remain active with McGuireWoods Consulting after the transition. Hodges will succeed Payne as president and CEO.
Mark T. Bowles will succeed Atkinson as chairman.
Hodges and his wife, Rachel, will continue to live in Columbia, dividing his time between the offices in Washington and Richmond, Va., and the firm’s offices nationwide.