The Right Experience to Produce Results

In the world of governmental advocacy, many will state they have relationships with decision-makers to make a credible case for their clients. But are they the right decision makers to actually advance your business? 

Our experience has resulted in trusted relationships at all levels of government and IT opportunity leadership, from legislators, to Agency Secretaries, from IT shops to program and business leadership, along with the strategy and advocacy experience to be effective at advancing cutting edge technology solutions to government needs.


Law Practice — A Career of Advocacy

Rick has been a licensed attorney in California for 29 years.  An experienced and seasoned litigator and the founder of his own law firm; he honed his advocacy skills representing a multitude of clients in both the courtroom and negotiating solutions to multitude of issues.

Legislative Experience

        While serving in the California State Legislature, Rick was recognized by a prominent Capitol publication as a “bridge-builder” and problem-solver, highlighting his “win-win” approach to working with all parties and his regular engagement in so many of the pressing issues of the day.  See references page for some thoughts from his former colleagues. 
         Within two months of being first elected to the first of three terms in the California State Assembly, he was selected by his peers to join the legislative leadership as an Assembly Whip.  Eight months later he was promoted to Assistant Leader of his Caucus, a position he held for the rest of his years in office as a part of three successive leadership teams. 
        Here are some of the issues he undertook during his six years. 
  • During 5 of his 6 years, he was a chief adviser to the Assembly Leadership on budget and finance related issues, serving 3 years as the Vice Chair of the Assembly Budget Committee and as a lead negotiator on the State’s bicameral Budget Conference Committee.  In this role he cumulatively impacted the expenditure of 700 billion dollars in public funds.
    In 2002 and 2003, he was engaged to help create Propositions 57 and 58, the Governor’s mid-year fiscal crisis management authority and economic recovery financing packages.  
  • He was tasked to work with both parties on Props 1A through 1E Infrastructure Bonds, the largest state infrastructure investment at the time in the history of California.

  • Working with the Governor, legislative leadership and all interested parties, he was a principle negotiator and a major drafter of the overhaul of the California’s Worker’s Compensation system contained in SB 899 in 2004.
    SB 863 – 2012 Work Comp Reform Legislation
    Working with industry and the Governor’s office, he again participated in the creation, advocacy and passage of a second round of reforms contained in SB 863.
  • He authored a two billion dollar Job Creation/ Tax Incentive Package which was passed out of the State Assembly on a bipartisan vote to the Senate in 2007.
    As lead on the water storage discussions for both 2007 and 2008, he drafted the State Water Bond alternative legislation and also served as a caucus health care reform policy advisor during the 2007 Healthcare Reform discussions and as Ranking Member and Vice Chair of the Assembly Water, Parks and Wildlife Committee.
  • He served as a member and then ranking member and Vice Chair of the Assembly Utilities and Commerce Committee (4 years) encompassing all technology and energy issues.  As such he was involved in alternative energy discussions, AB32 negotiations, the telecom reform discussion and all legislation involving information technology projects and issues considered by the legislature.

  • Prior to his six years in the State Assembly, he was a member of the City Council of the City of Chico for 8 years, serving one term as the City’s Mayor, following two prior years as a member of Chico’s Planning Commission. 
    On Council, he was Chair of the City’s Finance Committee for three years, and the city designee on multiple boards and commissions including the Local Agency Formation Commission (LAFCO), the Butte County Association of Governments (the regional transportation authority) and the Butte County Air Quality Management District.
  • As Keene Consulting he represented a diverse group of clients before the California State Legislature and Governors Office, ranging from engineering to specialized publishing, to durable medical equipment providers and risk management interests.
    From May of 2013 through April of this year, to deepen his relationships within the State IT community, he took a hiatus from his consulting practice to serve in house as a Business Development Specialist IV with one of the world’s foremost analytics technology vendors to assist them with developing business opportunities within California State Departments and Agencies.  
    When brought on board, they had  very little in the way of active opportunities within California Departments, no sales pipeline to speak of, and very little brand awareness.  
    Meeting with thought leaders and decision makers within most of the state’s largest agencies and departments, he established rapport and credibility for this client, engaging C level relationships and Legislators where useful to create and advance opportunities.
    As a result, his company won successful large deployments, a robust pipeline was established and significant brand awareness was created as a platform for long term market opportunity.  Of the 11 active opportunities currently under development there, his direct advocacy engagement led to 9 of these, with four more opportunities pending.
  • He also provided assistance with establishing procurement vehicles such as the State DGS Software Licensing Program (SLP), cloud provision positioning, and provided strategy and advocacy for both departments and clients on navigating the complex and ever changing California procurement and budget processes.

  • 1992 - 2002

    Law Practice

    Practiced Law while concurrently serving as a City Council Member and a term as mayor of the City of Chico from 1994-2002.  Experience with all facets of City Government.  Many former Colleagues currently serving in various City and County Governments.

  • 2002 – 2008

    State Government

    State Assembly member, serving as Vice Chair of the Water, Parks and Wildlife, the Utility and Commerce (the Assembly Technology Committee), and as Vice chair of the State Assembly Budget Committees. Often tasked by leadership to resolve intractable stalemates on a multitude of policy priorities. Legislative colleagues and friends still actively serve in the State Legislature, Congress, and Executive Branches.

  • 2010 – 2013

    Consulting Begins

    Keene Consulting founded, helping clients create policy strategies and pursue legislative policy objectives within the Legislature.

  • 2013 – 2016

    In House Senior Strategic Advisor – Business Development

    A brief respite from independent consulting for three years serving in house as a Senior Strategic Advisor for State and Local Government Practice for SAS Institute developing and advancing business development objectives within the State and Local Governments within the State of California.

  • 2016 – Present

    Consulting Continues

    Now drawing on experience and relationships as a former Legislator, Attorney and IT Business Development Specialist, serving as a strategic advisor to recognize and create opportunities for IT solutions within State and Local Government.  Advocating at the IT leadership level, within the State’s business leadership and senior executive and legislative leadership to advance both clients and the State’s IT business priorities.

Assist both IT clients and the State provide solutions to IT priorities and challenges within State Departments, and help make market penetration and policy advances at all levels, with senior executive leadership and the legislature.