Zephyr Government Strategies | Procurement

With Illinois’ massive multi-billion-dollar budget and its countless recent vast political reforms, the Land of Lincoln is always an open customer for new services and goods. In order to actually implement and enforce the laws it passes as well as run the government in a cost-effective manner, Illinois regularly seeks contracts with commercial partners. Business with the government is highly sought after and signing a contract with the state can be fulfilling, lucrative, and an open door for future growth for your organization. If your organization is ever interested in pursuing a contract with the State of Illinois, having an experienced guide to the state’s procurement process is absolutely critical to success. 

Being the recipient of taxpayer dollars requires vendors to ensure they are effective stewards of public resources. Illinois’ procurement process is heavily governed by a web of rules and regulations to help ensure everyone does business on a level playing field. However, due to these ethical reforms, Illinois’s procurement process is full of confusing rules and complex regulations with decision-making authority split among many different officials. Complex and restrictive rules can work against you in pursuing a contract with the State of Illinois, so we can help simplify this process to best position your organization for success. Zephyr will help you succeed in procurement with the peace of mind that you do so ethically and in compliance with every rule in the book.

Our Procurement Expertise

Zephyr has extensive knowledge of the relevant procurement and ethics laws any bidders must adhere to, including gift restrictions, lobbying restrictions, communications disclosures, and relevant blackout periods. 

 How Zephyr Government Strategies Can Help Your Organization

While complying with all applicable rules and regulations, Zephyr can help position your organization and maximize your chances of success during a bidding process. Our team can speak with senior leaders at an agency to figure out how a particular procurement fits within the organization’s overall goals, mission, and priorities. Whether you’re a long-time incumbent seeking to solidify an existing business line or a new entrant bidding on a new contract, Zephyr can help you. We can help define the competition to key decision-makers and highlight your organization’s strengths. Zephyr can make it clear how your organization will be a good steward of the State’s limited resources and an effective use of taxpayer dollars. 

In addition to advising on procurement strategy, Zephyr can help you make the right connections and organize meetings for you to pitch your product or service. 

Please get in touch with us today to discuss how we can help you with your procurement needs.


What is procurement?

▪ Procurement is the process in which an entity, such as the Illinois state government, contracts and purchases the services and goods it needs from a private organization. Through its procurement process, Illinois hunts for bidders offering to fulfill a certain service needed by the government through what can be a daunting process fraught with ethics and regulatory hurdles. 

Who has Zephyr worked with in procurement?

▪ Zephyr has worked with clients in the manufacturing, tech, and cannabis industries to wrangle procurement processes around the country, granting us an expert’s familiarity with procurement. We have expertise in all the regulations and rules of procurement to allow us to help any client succeed in doing business with the state with the peace of mind that they will do so ethically and legally. 

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