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Vice President

Richard Bitonte serves as the Vice President of ZHF Consulting, LLC. Rich has over 25+ years' worth of government affairs and legislative/regulatory experience, knowledge and relationships in and around the Ohio statehouse, as well as Washington D.C.

Prior to joining ZHF Consulting, Bitonte was the President and owner of his own firm, Bitonte Group LLC, for nearly 10 years. Bitonte Group was an independent lobbying and consulting firm in Columbus, Ohio, where he represented multiple clients in the government affairs arena as it related to all legislative and regulatory matters at all levels of government - the state, local and federal level. Most recently, Rich’s general expertise is in the areas of health care, pharmaceuticals, Medicaid, higher education, technology, as well as workforce development, the state budget process, and the state procurement process, to name a few.


Before venturing out on his own and creating his own company, Bitonte Group, Rich served as the managing partner and as VP of two different local lobbying firms in Columbus, where he represented multiple clients in the areas of health care, banking, insurance, gaming, procurement and technology, to name a few. Prior to that, Rich served in the public sector with the state of Ohio in a variety of capacities, in Governor’s Bob Taft’s administration. The most recent being his service as director of legislative affairs for the Ohio Department of Administrative Services (DAS), & also before that he served as the senior legislative liaison at the Ohio Department of Job and Family Services (ODJFS). While working for the state for over 12 years, that allowed Rich to gain an invaluable experience in the areas of state procurement, health care, Medicaid, human services, workforce development and unemployment compensation issues, among many others.


Rich started his career in the mid-90’s as the legislative aide for then, State Representative John Carey (and former Chancellor at the Ohio Dept. of Higher Education and now Director of the Governor’s Office of Appalachia), when he was a member of the Ohio House of Representatives. As Carey's senior legislative aide for nearly six years, this is where Rich really learned the legislative process, as well as how to navigate the always intriguing budget process and how a bill really becomes law.  Rich was responsible for the representative’s legislative agenda, managed the day-to-day office operations and staffed the Health & Human Services Sub-Committee of Finance and Appropriations, where he worked closely with thousands of constituents, most state agencies and many advocacy groups.


Rich is a graduate of the University of Rio Grande, Rio Grande, Ohio, with a Bachelor of Science degree in Communications and Public Relations. He played soccer on the men’s varsity soccer team and is a member of the Alpha Sigma Phi national fraternity and currently serves as the VP of their Delta Epsilon Alumni chapter. Rich is also a proud Eagle Scout, and a member of the Association of Ohio Commodores!

Click here to read articles written by Rich Bitonte.

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