5 Questions for Rob Eshenbaugh
OLA President Featured in Cleveland.com Newsletter
OLA President Rob Eshenbaugh was recently featured in the Cleveland.com's Capitol Letter newsletter. Here are the five questions he answered.
Rob Eshenbaugh is the president of the Ohio Lobbying Association, which represents about 350 lobbyists at the Ohio Statehouse.
1. For those who don’t know the Ohio Lobbying Association, what does it do?
“We provide continuing education through our certification program, which is voluntary. …We also have a mentoring program -- younger lobbyists that come into the profession can be mentored by a lobbyist with over 10 years’ experience. And then we have various events that we do with legislators and staff and other people around the Square.”
2. How did you get involved in lobbying?
“I kind of fell into lobbying. I was practicing law, and a buddy from law school told me about a lobbying job that was available at the Ohio Home Builders Association. ...I was chosen to do it, and I haven’t looked back since. ...That was in 2005, 2006.”
3. What advice would you give to new lobbyists?
“My advice would be to meet as many people as you can, talk to everyone, and – most importantly – be in the Statehouse as much as you possibly can, because you never know what you’re going to find out over there.”
4. What do you mean?
“An example just came up the other day. I was working on a separate issue, on legislation, and a totally irrelevant amendment came up that would have affected one of my other clients. And I would not have known about it if I wasn’t at the Statehouse.”
5. Is lobbying any different now than when you first started?
“I think it’s a lot different. …There is not as much relationship-building as there used to be, even in the short time that I’ve been a lobbyist. I used to be out with other lobbyists, legislators and staff, either in the Statehouse or after hours, or before committees, talking a lot more to people. However, that really doesn’t happen much anymore.”