Built from the ground up through the ambition, determination, and passion of Rocco Pugliese, Pugliese Associates is one of the most respected lobbying firms in Harrisburg. The firm today has a team of individuals behind it who meet the high expectations and standards of the owner. Together with strong values and work ethic, they work intensely to represent the interests of their clients.
Rocco founded Pugliese Associates in 1980 after working in the Pennsylvania Legislature as a State Senate researcher and later an aide for the House Transportation Committee –an accomplishment itself for a person coming from humble beginnings, and a testament to his lifelong drive and determination.
From within the Capitol, Rocco was hired as a government relations lobbyist with the PA Food Processors Association (PFPA) and when the PFPA uprooted from York to Harrisburg in 1980, Rocco was inspired to branch out on his own.
Starting a lobbying firm was bold and particularly challenging at the time, as the market was mainly dominated by Corporate and Trade Association lobbyists. Only a few contract lobbying firms were in existence in the early 1980s and those few were already solidly established. Assuming the anticipated risk, Rocco started to grow his new firm by continuing to work on behalf of PFPA. He perfected his lobbying expertise and increased his presence in the state capital as he acquired new clients.
Rocco then realized the next step was creating a team. From the hiring of his first employee, an administrative assistant hired a year after opening his business, to now, Rocco has formed a team around his core beliefs and has grown his successful business through mentoring others.
A Team of Distinction
By the mid-1990s, Rocco was no longer a solo-practitioner, and Pugliese Associates was counted among Harrisburg’s most successful and established lobbying firms, largely due to the development of the firm’s reputation, its expanding client base, and its highly qualified and respected staff.
In 2006, the firm branched out beyond Harrisburg to establish an office in Philadelphia. The increasing amount of business coming from Philly made the move a natural fit. Additionally, Rocco and his team greatly enjoy contributing to and being part of the city’s diverse and vibrant community.
Today, Rocco and the staff at Pugliese Associates continue to build the firm’s name with ethical client representation in the halls of the State Capitol and Philadelphia City Hall. This is the Pugliese Associates that exists today.
Ethics in Lobbying
One of Rocco’s core beliefs—and one that separates Pugliese Associates from several other lobbying firms—is the idea that doing both political campaign work and legislative representation is questionable, since, in Rocco’s view, the two professions need to be separate and independent. For Rocco, it is straightforward—offering both services puts a firm in an ethically grey area that can potentially result in negative consequences for the firm and its clients.
“As a lobbyist, I don’t believe I should be lobbying a legislator on a piece of legislation and at the same time working on that legislator’s campaign,” he said. “It just creates a perception that I think it’s best to avoid. If a firm thinks it can do it and do it ethically, then so be it. However, for our team, lobbying yes, campaigning no.”
“Experience. Integrity. Results.”
While others have tried to requisition Pugliese Associate’s identifying tagline as their own over the years, the Pugliese Associates motto – Experience. Integrity. Results. – has been around since the firm’s founding in 1980. Not only does it encapsulate everything Rocco stands for, it perfectly captures the qualities he looks for in his team.
It’s easy to see why others would try to duplicate the firm’s success. Thankfully, legislative leaders, influencers and decision-makers in Harrisburg and Philadelphia know authenticity when they see it. They also know what they’re getting when they work with Pugliese Associates: experience, integrity, and results.
If you’re looking for a lobbying firm to represent your agenda in Harrisburg or Philadelphia, call Pugliese Associates today.