PERRY M. OCHACHER, ESQ.
Founder and President
Perry Ochacher has a career spanning both the public and private sectors as an attorney, political consultant, and lobbyist. Prior to launching Willett Public Affairs in 2018, he served as partner, managing partner, senior vice president, and counsel to several high-profile Albany lobbying firms, providing strategic legal, legislative, and communications counsel to clients in the healthcare, transportation, insurance, real estate, retail, financial services, racing and gaming, construction, and telecommunications industries.
After graduating from Georgetown Law School, Ochacher practiced corporate and securities law with a major New York City law firm. He then served in senior positions on several political campaigns on the federal, state, and local levels and worked as legal counsel to a popular and long-serving member of the New York State Assembly. In addition to his legislative and political experience, Ochacher also practiced real estate, land use, and development law with a leading Westchester County law firm.
From 2002 to 2007, Ochacher served as Clerk/Chief of Staff to the Westchester County Board of Legislators, which is the highest-ranking appointed position in the Westchester County legislature. Prior to this position, Ochacher served as the Director of State Government Affairs for Cablevision Systems Corp., where he helped develop policy positions and government relations strategies to enhance the regulatory environment for this leading telecommunications, media, and sports company.
Ochacher has lectured frequently on various topics related to lobbying and public policy and has authored and co-authored several articles on the legal and business aspects of lobbying, as well as an array of other legal subjects. His articles have appeared in publications such as the Westchester County Bar Journal and New York Law Journal.
Ochacher is regularly successful in navigating the complex worlds of government and politics in New York, by lobbying and passing important legislation and resolving other complex public policy matters for his clients.
Ochacher is a Phi Beta Kappa graduate of the State University of New York at Binghamton. He received his J.D. from Georgetown University Law Center and is admitted to the New York State Bar, and the U.S. District Courts of Southern and Eastern New York.
MATTHEW H. LESIEUR
Senior Vice President
Matthew Lesieur has more than 25 years of government relations and public policy experience in New York, with a strong concentration in healthcare policy. His portfolio as Senior Vice President at Willett Public Affairs includes presently serving as the Executive Director/Consultant of iHealth, a statewide collaboration of community-based care management agencies.
Lesieur is a New York City Mayoral appointee to the New York HIV Health and Human Services Planning Council, which is responsible for setting priorities and determining how $100 million in Ryan White Part A federal funds are awarded in the New York metropolitan area. He was unanimously elected Community Co-Chair of the Planning Council through 2020.
Prior to iHealth, Lesieur served as Director of Public Policy at VillageCare, a leading New York City-based, multi-platform, non-profit healthcare provider that offers services to the frail, elderly, and persons living with HIV/AIDS, and other chronic, complex medical conditions.
At VillageCare, Matt coordinated the implementation of local, state and national policies and programs that impacted the lives of persons living with complex health conditions.
He also served as: Vice President of Public Policy at the National Association of People with AIDS (NAPWA); Director of Public Policy for the New York AIDS Coalition, an advocacy group representing 150+ community based AIDS service providers throughout New York State; and Administrator for the NYC Department of Health and Mental Hygiene, where he managed the City’s $60 million HOPWA program.
Lesieur has a Master’s degree in Political Science from the University at Albany and undergraduate degrees in Political Science and Economics from the University at Albany, New York.
ARNOLD I. LINHARDT
Willett Public Affairs is pleased to announce that veteran Westchester political strategist and lobbyist Arnold Linhardt has joined the firm. “With Westchester’s growing economy, we were seeking to acquire a lobbying practice that could complement and contribute to our continued growth,” said Perry Ochacher, President of Willett Public Affairs. “Our objective was also to broaden our reach into the non-profit and public interest sectors, particularly for lobbying services related to grants and funding from federal, state, and local government. This is an area that Arnie excels in; his joining Willett will provide our client base with access to a respected strategist that can further help them navigate the complex process of obtaining government funding or grants to move their projects forward.”
Arnold Linhardt is a lobbyist and political strategist with a 50-year career in the government and non-profit fields. Prior to Linhardt joining Willett, his company, Strategic Services, provided political consulting, public affairs, and community relations services to political candidates, commercial enterprises, and non-profits seeking government grants and funding. Previously, Linhardt was Chief of Staff to former New York State Congressman Eliot Engel.
As President of Strategic Services, Linhardt helped clients such as the Tarrytown Music Hall, Hudson River Museum, Arts Westchester, and the Holocaust and Human Rights Education Center secure vital program funding and other grants from federal, state, and county government, allowing these treasured local institutions to grow and thrive.
Linhardt is currently an adjunct professor in the political science department at Fordham University. He was also an adjunct professor of government at Baruch, Lehman, Manhattanville, and Mercy Colleges. He received an Executive Master’s degree in Public Administration from Baruch College, City University of New York, and he has a BA degree in Political Science from Fordham University.
Esteban Maccera joins Willett with 15 years of experience in state government and lobbying. He has spent several years lobbying New York State and New York City governments on behalf of a broad range of industries and non-profits. Esteban has worked with clients to draft and pass complex legislation, and has secured vital state funding for his non-profit and tourism-related clients. Esteban has also negotiated with the governor's office and state agencies on behalf of clients in numerous industries to ensure regulations are implemented appropriately.
Prior to becoming a lobbyist, Esteban served in the New York State Senate as Legislative Director for two Senators; Jose Peralta and David Carlucci. Beyond directing legislative efforts for both Senate offices, Esteban aided the senators in developing funding projects and communications.
Esteban helped usher numerous bills through the Senate related to issues such as public school funding, property tax rebates, codes inspections, consumer protections, and environmental matters. He was also Committee Director for the Senate Committee on Social Services, and the Senate Committee on Consumer Protection, where he presided over committee meetings and planned committee hearings throughout New York State.
Esteban graduated from SUNY Albany with a BA in Policy Theory and Rhetoric, and he has a certification from New York University in Public Relations and Campaign Management.
Anna Torpey is a recent honors graduate of Fordham University with a BA in Political Science. During her time at Fordham, Anna participated in public speaking, debate, and archival and political research with publications in two journals. She also worked on a New York City mayoral campaign and at a New Jersey-based lobbying and government affairs firm. Anna hopes to attend graduate school for international relations, humanitarian studies, or women’s and gender studies and ultimately pursue a career in international affairs and human rights advocacy. At Willett Public Affairs, Anna assists with general research, client outreach, and bill tracking.