Accountability, Responsibility, Focus and Teamwork are four words that have guided Derrick Clay throughout his professional career. His passion for politics and business date back to his days as student body president in high school and later as president of the Undergraduate Student Government at his alma mater, the University of Akron.
Recognized by Ebony Magazine as one of the nation's 30 young leaders of the future, Business First of Columbus as one of its “40 under 40” business leaders and by Smart Magazine as one of its “smart leaders,” Derrick has established his position in politics and business.
Derrick is Senior Vice President at the Shumaker law firm, specializing in government and regulatory affairs. Prior to joining Shumaker Advisors, Derrick spent nearly two decades with the government relations and lobbying firm, New Visions Group, where he started as Vice President and Partner in 2004, and moved into the position of CEO when he acquired the firm in 2014.
Previously, he served as Midwest Political Director for the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee, Ohio State Director for the Gore-Lieberman 2000 Presidential Campaign and a staff member of the historic Florida Re-count Committee. He also was the Ohio State Director for the Service Employees International Union (SEIU) Hero Program and Field Director for the Ohio Democratic Party.
Early in his career, Derrick served as the Executive Director of the Ohio Legislative Black Caucus (OLBC), as a legislative aide in the Ohio House of Representatives to former Assistant Majority Leader and Finance Committee Chair Vernon Sykes and to the late Representative Jack Ford.
A proud University of Akron “Zip,” Derrick is a 1994 graduate with a degree in business and organizational communication. In February 2001, he received an honorary certificate from the University of Akron's Bliss Institute of Applied Politics, and in 2004, he was awarded the Distinguished Alumni Award from the University of Akron's Office of Multicultural Development.
His affiliations include the Ohio Lobbying Association and Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity Inc. Derrick is also a board member of the Ohio Legislative Black Caucus Foundation and serves as the board secretary to the Columbus Symphony, the Mid-Ohio Regional Planning Commission (MORPC) where he was the former board chair. He is also a Commissioner with the City of Columbus Recreation and Parks commission and the Columbus Chamber of Commerce government affairs steering committee. Derrick is also a regular political commentator on WOSU’s "Columbus on the Record" and WCMH NBC 4’s "The Spectrum" television programs.
Derrick enjoys cooking, golf, music, traveling, and, spending time with his wife Sydnee and their children Kennedy, Kole, and Ethan.