Navigating the government maze with confidence.


From concept to bill signing, Zephyr can assist with all legislative needs. This includes drafting bills at the Legislative Reference Bureau, testifying in committee or working a roll call in either chamber. From amendments all the way to persuading the governor to sign or veto a bill, Zephyr’s legislative expertise is unmatched. READ MORE


Illinois’s annual operating budget averages around $40 billion with the Land of Lincoln continuing to struggle with its structural deficit and paying its bills and obligations. Whether protecting a line item or inserting a last minute request, navigating the state budget process should be a priority for your organization. Zephyr’s understanding of the process – and excellent relationships – can ensure your revenue is protected. We are your advocate in the room where critical last-minute decisions are made. READ MORE

Rule Making

Once the legislature has adjourned, and the governor has reviewed all bills and taken action, our work in many ways just begins. Illinois often gives broad rule-making authority to its executive branch agencies as they seek to implement legislation. This process is complex, with rules refined over a number of years. Although State agencies have authority and oversight to implement laws, all rule-making is subject to legislative review and approval by the Joint Committee on Administrative Rules. Zephyr can provide clarity and serve as your guide through this daunting process. READ MORE


Similar to rule-making, State agencies have broad authority to issue opinions and draft advisory guidance that can affect your organization’s operations. Our excellent relationships with leadership and senior staff throughout the executive branch agencies help ensure you’re informed and able to take action when necessary. READ MORE


Due to ethical reforms, Illinois’s procurement is full of confusing rules and regulations with decision-making authority split among different officials. Complex and restrictive rules can work against you in pursuing a contract with the State of Illinois. We can help simplify this process to best position your organization for success. READ MORE


A successful lobbying strategy is not just about convincing elected and appointed officials. You need to create the context necessary for success. From managing messaging to targeting the right news outlets to reach your intended audience, our team understands that having a clear voice with consistent messaging is critical to success. READ MORE


Illinois politics ain’t beanbag, and we are prepared for every eventuality. Politics underpins every aspect of our business. Measured and strategic in our approach, with decades of political experience in running statewide and local campaigns, we remain focused on building bipartisan relationships and coalitions to deliver results and achieve wins for our clients. READ MORE

Michael Cassidy Founder and Principal

Before launching Zephyr, Michael spent more than a decade as Senior Vice President for State Government Affairs at McGuireWoods Consulting, where he counseled a diverse roster of clients, helping them define and achieve a wide range of objectives at all levels of government. In addition to his state government affairs work, Michael led the firm’s national multi-state practice, helping clients in statehouses across the country. Whether developing and executing a stakeholder engagement strategy, finding and managing teams of contract lobbyists or managing new market entry, Michael has an extensive network across the country that can help clients reach their goals.

Michael began his career as a senior legislative staffer for former Illinois House Speaker Michael J. Madigan, where he gained an appreciation for legislative dynamics, including balancing the interests of various constituencies, driving momentum by forming creative coalitions, and effectively leveraging media attention to build critical support for the caucus and its initiatives.

“We realize that dealing with government at all levels can be scary, but so is being trapped in the old school status quo. Zephyr helps our clients navigate the government maze with confidence by finding the right exit ramp and by promoting mutual wins. While valuable outcomes don’t often come easily, we believe that clear thinking and hard work is the shortest distance between two points.“

Jeremy Duffee Executive Vice President

Prior to joining Zephyr, Jeremy spent nearly half a decade working for McGuireWoods Consulting where he managed the office’s legislative tracking platform and provided analysis of all pending legislation and regulation at the statehouse and Chicago City Council. In addition, Jeremy assisted with the office’s business development initiatives through the drafting of proposals and client contracts.

Prior to joining McGuireWoods Consulting, Jeremy worked as an account executive at Resolute Consulting, an independent national public affairs and strategic communications firm. In that role, he assisted with the formulation of communications and outreach strategies for Resolute clients in the healthcare, energy, financial services, and real estate sectors. He also worked closely with the firm’s partners and other senior leadership on business development and marketing initiatives.

In addition to his experience at Resolute, Jeremy worked as field organizer on a Chicago aldermanic race.

Zephyr Recognition

April 14, 2021


June 8, 2019

Teamwork can make things happen

September 28, 2011

Good lobbyists have to be in the Capitol every day