Harrisburg, Pa., July 5, 2022 – Cozen O’Connor Public Strategies is pleased to announce Sam Denisco — vice president of government affairs at the Pennsylvania Chamber of Business and Industry, the state’s leading business trade association — has joined its government relations practice. The chamber’s chief lobbyist for almost 15 years, Denisco joins Cozen O’Connor Public Strategies as a principal and will work out of its Harrisburg office.
A consummate legislative strategist, Denisco has been a strong and influential voice in Pennsylvania government over the past two decades. During his tenure at the chamber, he served as a lead lobbyist on health care (PhRMA, health systems, insurance carriers, and pharmacy benefit managers), taxation, and tort — while also managing the organization’s entire legislative portfolio. He led the organization’s advocacy efforts to secure several historic, pro-business legislative victories aimed at improving the commonwealth’s overall competitiveness.
In his role as vice president, Denisco directed the chamber’s legislative, public, and political affairs initiatives — including direct and indirect lobbying, fundraising, coalition building, consultant management, policy development, and legal strategy. Working out of the chamber’s Harrisburg headquarters, he has established working relationships with Pennsylvania lawmakers on both sides of the aisle while also working closely with administration officials, legislative committees, regulators, trade and industry advocacy associations, and chamber membership groups.
“Today, possibly more than ever, it’s critically important for our business clients to have the level of representation only someone with Sam’s background can bring to the table,” said Howard Schweitzer, CEO of Cozen O’Connor Public Strategies. “As one of Pennsylvania’s most respected lobbyists, he brings an impeccable track record of helping constituents move the ball forward — particularly in the areas of health care, tort, and taxation. He’s a major add, and I’m thrilled to welcome him aboard.”
“Lobbying is a critically important part of the legislative process, and it’s important that our clients have experienced boots on the ground — not just in Washington, but in our state capitals,” added Jim Davis, managing director, Cozen O’Connor Public Strategies. “As someone who has lobbied on behalf of more than 50 percent of Pennsylvania’s private workforce, Sam is well-known and well-regarded throughout Pennsylvania. It doesn’t get any better than that.”
Denisco spent his early career working within the Pennsylvania state government, serving in executive capacities under the gubernatorial administrations of Tom Ridge, Mark Schweiker, and Ed Rendell. Most recently, he served as the director of the Office of Legislative Affairs for the state Department of Revenue, where he was a member of the senior management team and legislative director for the administration.
Prior to that, he was director of the Office of Legislative Affairs for the Pennsylvania Department of State, where he led Governor Rendell’s Prescription for PA program relating to medical licensure. He also served as a member of then-Governor-elect Tom Corbett’s health care policy committee and transition team for the Pennsylvania Insurance Department and Office of Health Care Reform.
Denisco currently chairs the state’s Health Care Cost Containment Council, an independent agency responsible for addressing escalating health costs, and is a board member of the PA Small Business Development Center Advisory Board. He previously served on the Pennsylvania Compensation Rating Bureau, chaired the United Way of Pennsylvania’s Public Policy Committee, and served as a member of the state’s Minimum Wage Advisory Board.
“Cozen O’Connor Public Strategies has a tremendous reputation throughout Pennsylvania and a proven track record of success,” said Denisco. “Throughout my career, I’ve embraced a holistic approach to government advocacy that revolves around a thorough understanding of the issues, building strong relationships, grassroots organizing, and leveraging digital technologies. I’m excited to join the Cozen O’Connor team and utilize my unique skill set to help the organization continue to grow.”
Denisco earned his JD from Widener University School of Law where he was a Law and Government fellow. He graduated from the University of Scranton with a bachelor's degree in political science.
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, Pittsburgh, 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.