Leading Business and Cannabis Law Firm Hires Former Senior Advisor to Late John McCain as Managing Director of Public Policy, Expands Strategic and Innovative Services for Clients
SCOTTSDALE, Ariz.–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Bianchi & Brandt announced today the hiring of Rick Stilgenbauer as Managing Director of Public Policy and Nico Pento as Senior Policy Advisor and Attorney. Stilgenbauer and his team will be leading the firm’s expansion into strategic policy work, offering a wider scope of services for Bianchi & Brandt’s clients.
Stilgenbauer joins Bianchi & Brandt after years at a top-tier global law firm as a Senior Policy Advisor, where he leveraged thousands of professional relationships at the local, state, federal, and international levels to generate opportunities for effective engagement and deliver creative solutions to his clients’ complex business and policy needs.
“Rick is the most effective political operative in Arizona, and we cannot wait to see his incredible work unfold at the firm. We know the governmental affairs group will thrive under his leadership,” said Justin Brandt, Founding Partner.
Previously, Stilgenbauer was the Director of Arizona Operations and Outreach for Senator John McCain, where he developed Senator McCain’s state legislative priorities and acted as a liaison between congressional offices and campaign offices. Before his work with Senator McCain, Stilgenbauer served as Assistant Director in the Office of Federal Relations for the University of Arizona, as Project Director and Program Officer in the Congressional and Public Affairs Office of the Millennium Challenge Corporation, and as a staffer in the U.S. House of Representatives. Stilgenbauer currently serves as a board member on the West Valley Defense Alliance, the Northern Arizona Military Affairs Council, Yuma50, and the Southern Arizona Defense Alliance. He skillfully advises the Mesa Industry and Defense Council, Mesa Financial Network, COVID-19 Consortium, and the eCommerce Industry Council as well.
“I am honored to join Bianchi & Brandt during a time of dynamic growth. We have the opportunity to create something special here,” said Stilgenbauer. “Now is the time for innovation and creativity.”
Pento also joins the firm as an attorney and liaison for government agencies. He began his career at Jones Walker, where he developed an interest in public affairs. Pento later transitioned to working in the Colorado legislature before rising through the ranks at multi-state cannabis operator Terrapin, where he served as Vice President of External Affairs for the past several years.
“We are thrilled to start this new chapter with Rick and Nico,” said Laura Bianchi, Founding Partner. “Their addition brings a new dimension to the firm and gives us a powerful edge. We are poised to serve clients not just in Arizona, but across the country.”
About Bianchi & Brandt
Bianchi & Brandt offers a full suite of legal and strategic services tailored to the unique needs of complex and highly regulated industries, including cannabis, with a level of trust and expertise that is unmatched. With a deep bench of business law and regulatory specialists, the firm takes a holistic approach to client support across all operations. Bianchi & Brandt has served as a strategic partner to their clients and assisted not only with legal matters, but also risk management, compliance, M&A, and other business challenges. Since its founding, the firm has pursued its goal to help companies maximize results from founding through each new phase of growth. The Bianchi & Brandt team pride themselves on their long commitment to the industry and the deep client relationships forged by the firm’s founding partners.
Learn more: bianchibrandt.com.
Grasslands: A Journalism-Minded Agency