A new vision of adapting to change

Derrick Clay, Vice President, New Visions Group LLC

Derrick Clay, Vice President, New Visions Group LLC

After the 2010 statewide election resulted in a drastic political party upheaval, New Visions Group found itself facing an unfamiliar landscape. Vice President Derrick Clay and his associates knew they would have to find ways to help clients navigate the new system.

It was a challenge not altogether unheard of for the company. The very nature of the government relations and lobbying firm means it constantly operates in the capricious realm of politics as it positions businesses, not-for-profit organizations and trade groups for business opportunities with Ohio municipalities, the state legislature and statewide government agencies. But Clay and his team strive to be adaptable, using established experience to develop new strategies. Clay’s ability to make knowledgeable political predictions and, more importantly, his ability to acclimate keeps the company on top of government change so it can best cater to client needs.

Because of this, Smart Business, U.S. Bank and Blue Technologies named Clay to the 2011 class of Columbus Smart Leader honorees. He told us how New Visions Group has kept on top of challenges, such as the recent political regime change, and continued to provide the company’s usual caliber of service — all while working to give back to the community.

Give us an example of a business challenge you and/or your organization faced, as well as how you overcame it.

Although people across Ohio anticipated some changes in the state’s political landscape during the 2010 statewide elections, many were surprised to see a complete sweep of the statewide offices from the GOP. New Visions Group has been through many elections where incumbents were voted out of office; however, this election was different. It forced us to re-evaluate our strategy so that our clients would be in the best possible position with the new administration. The day after the election, our staff did a S.W.O.T. analysis of our company. We spent time discussing each of our clients and how we could continue to provide them with quality service while learning the intricacies of the new administration. The result was beneficial in the end because, through our self-evaluation, we used our strengths to position our clients at the local level and neutralized our weaknesses by outsourcing our technology.

In what ways are you an innovative leader, and how does your organization employ innovation to be on the leading edge?

The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum hired New Visions Group a few years ago to assist them with government relations in the state capital. Although the RRHF is an international icon, many members of the Ohio legislature and people outside of Cleveland had not experienced this wonderful museum. So, in addition to a series of tours and visits to the RRHF, we organized an annual legislative lobby day at the statehouse to educate the members of the legislature about the RRHF and its enormous economic impact on the state. We also incorporated the wonderful members of the RRHF board to engage with legislators and community leaders on the importance of its existence and to garner support for the brand new RRHF Library and Archive at Cuyahoga Community College.

How do you make a significant impact on the community and regional economy?

Community involvement is not only important to me but to all of New Visions Group. I am on the Executive Committee of Action for Children and serve as board chair of the Mid-Ohio Regional Planning Commission. MORPC and the board are responsible for approving millions of dollars in transportation, housing, sustainability and environmental projects throughout Central Ohio. The projects that we approve trickle down to our member governments. From there, those counties, municipalities, townships and villages contract with local businesses who hire local residents to do the work, which feeds our local economy. MORPC is very important to our region, and I am glad to be a part of it.

How to reach: New Visions Group LLC, (614) 280-1299 or www.newvisionsgroup.com

See all of the 2011 Columbus Smart Leaders on the next page.