JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. – Jeffrey Altmann is a Missouri-man: He’s the three piece suit wearing, deer and turkey hunting, grandma loving, rugby playing, lobbyist-in-charge of Viceroy Government Relations. He started the company earlier this year. Among his clients are tech startups, developers, and municipalities. One his biggest clients is Anchor, a boat ride-sharing tech startup – which some are calling “Uber for boats.” He is also representing the City of Ellisville against any proposed St. Louis City/County merger.
While Altmann is personally professional, really he is professionally personal. In his conversation with The Missouri Times, he talked about his six-year involvement in Missouri politics where he would come to the Capitol and, “as organic friendships grew with other Representatives, I’d come up for fundraisers… it was purely making new friends and learning about issues. I think people valued that authenticity.” While in Jefferson City, he would build relationships in order to create a network for his true passion: lobbying.
“The simple truth is that I am a lobbyist,” Altmann said.
Altmann is a brand-oriented, background operator. When Anchor, which exclusively runs out of the Lake of the Ozarks, ran into an issue with the Ozarks’ Captains Association, CEO Zach Hatraf was grateful for Altmann and Viceroy’s support.
“There were some folks who raised some concerns and Viceroy did a good job helping us with those relationships,” Hatraf said. “Viceroy got us through a successful summer. I can’t say it’s 100 percent because of them, but they definitely pitched in and carried their weight.”
Altmann and Hatraf were fraternity brothers at Missouri State University. They also play on the same St. Louis’ Hornets rugby club team together. Around Anchor’s inception in 2016, Altmann proposed representing Achor’s interest at the local level and when Hatraf agreed, the two friends and teammates became business associates.
Altmann’s father is an attorney and Director of Intellectual Property at Emerson Climate Technologies and his mother is an administrative assistant of Mehlville school district.
“I think I have my dad’s brains, but my mom’s personal skills,” he said, jokingly crediting his mother for his “award-winning personality and five-star charm.”
It was her, he said, who taught him how to listen.
“You have to listen to what people are telling you. You have to listen to what your clients’ needs are… what they want to see. How can the government help them out without reaching too far?”
He plans on growing Viceroy into a lobbying group based on both personal and professional relationships. For Jeffrey Altmann, his best strategy is to listen and understand how his clients are and where they want to be. “Everyone deserves to have their voices heard, and I enjoy the opportunity to [educate] people on behalf of my clients,” he said.
“Everyone deserves to have their voices heard, and I enjoy the opportunity to educate people on behalf of my clients,” he said.
–By Mike Layer
(This story first ran in The Missouri Times.)