We have decades of experience in both the legislative and corporate arenas, providing clients valuable industry-specific knowledge, strategic insights and access to business and policy decision-makers.
We aim to be the go-to public affairs firm for clients facing high-impact issues and opportunities in Wisconsin. Our goal is simple – deliver results.
Buddy Julius founded The Firm Consulting in 2010 and serves as managing partner and president. He works closely with clients based across the country to create and implement government relations strategies at the state and local levels in Wisconsin.
With nearly two decades of experience working with the Wisconsin Legislature, corporations with significant presences in Wisconsin and local trade associations, Julius brings unique expertise and understanding of how to effectively and efficiently solve his clients’ challenges. His clients have spanned diverse fields, including transportation, healthcare, high-tech initiatives, procurement, startup initiatives, education, real estate and financial services. Julius represents the majority of his clients on a multi-state, federal and municipal level.
Prior to establishing The Firm Consulting, Julius spent nine years as the director of government affairs at AT&T, where he developed and managed legislative initiatives at the state level. Previously, he served as policy director for the Metropolitan Milwaukee Association of Realtors. Earlier in his career, he spent six years as a senior legislative assistant in the Wisconsin Legislature. Julius has also worked on numerous state and federal legislative campaigns.
A community leader and avid volunteer, Julius currently serves on the VeTransfer Board, is an active mentor to the startup community, and is a member of the Metropolitan Milwaukee Association of Commerce (MMAC). He is also a UWM Graduate School Cabinet member.
Ryan Murray serves as a partner at The Firm Consulting. Murray joined The Firm Consulting after serving as deputy chief of staff to Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker during the most pivotal years of the Walker administration. He is currently the most senior member of the Walker administration serving as a public affairs consultant.
As deputy chief of staff, Murray oversaw the development of Gov. Walker’s public policy agenda during a time when Wisconsin became a national leader in government reform. He also managed his relationships with the state legislature and worked closely with cabinet secretaries on policy implementation, management and communications. Murray was intimately involved in the development and negotiation of the state’s biennial budget and shepherded to passage much of the governor’s most influential legislation. Murray also served as policy director for Gov. Walker’s 2010 campaign.
Murray previously served as deputy secretary and chief operating officer for the Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation (WEDC). Appointed by Gov. Walker in 2012, Murray led efforts to reform the agency after the discovery of numerous internal systems failures and oversights. Murray also oversaw the creation of new business development and marketing programs, leading WEDC and its partners in the creation or retention of over 60,000 jobs and assisting over 6,000 businesses and more than 180 Wisconsin communities.
Before joining the Walker administration, Murray served as a senior aide to both legislative and statewide political campaigns and spent six years in various roles in the Wisconsin State Legislature, including as a senate chief of staff, communications director for Senate Republican Leader Scott Fitzgerald and committee clerk.
Murray has a depth of relationships on both sides of the aisle and because of his experiences at the WEDC, has a unique knowledge of how funds are allocated and where nonprofits may have an opportunity to procure government funding or support.
In addition to his government service, Murray was a founding board member of the Brightstar Wisconsin Foundation and was a board member for the Wisconsin Manufacturing Extension Partnership. Murray is a native of Superior, Wisconsin, and attended the University of Wisconsin-Superior and Macalester College.
Ben Bartling is a technology policy consultant at The Firm Consulting, where he helps implement government relations strategies and conducts research for clients with high-tech initiatives.
With a passion for software development and entrepreneurship, Bartling has become an active player in the technology startup community. As a strong believer in lean, web-based software solutions he started his first venture, ZoomShift, before graduating. ZoomShift, a scheduling technology for the restaurant business, has received numerous state and regional awards for its unique business model and innovative solutions.
Bartling’s unique experience as a software developer and founder of a successful technology company enables him to bridge the gap between technical product development and business, which is key in helping policy makers and other stakeholders understand the needs and challenges of high-tech companies.
Bartling received his bachelor’s degree in finance and entrepreneurship from Marquette University, and is a self-taught software developer and designer. His unique bridge between technology and business has been a key component for his ventures and his work at The Firm Consulting.