Monday, January 2, 2012

Keith Arnold and Brett Bacot Bolster Fowler White Boggs Government Relations Practice

Tampa, Fort Myers, Tallahassee, FL – Fowler White Boggs is pleased to announce that J. Keith Arnold and Brett Bacot have joined the Firm’s Government Relations and Lobbying Practice Group in Fort Myers and Tallahassee.

J. Keith Arnold
Mr. Arnold is a fifth generation Floridian from Fort Myers who served in the Florida House of Representatives for 16 years.  In 1982, at 23 years old, he was the youngest member elected to the House, and at the age of 28 became the youngest majority leader in state history.  He has served in a number of other leadership posts, including Chairman of the Tourism and Cultural Affairs Committee and Chairman of the Postsecondary Education Committee.  From 1992 through 1996, he was Chairman of the Appropriations Sub-committee on Education, responsible for the state's $14 billion education budget including all Pre K, K-12, Community College, and State University funding.  Mr. Arnold received his M.A. from Barry University in Pastoral Theology, his B.S. from Florida State University in Government and Economics and his A.A. from Edison State College in Government and Economics.

Brett Bacot
Mr. Bacot is a registered lobbyist with more than 11 years experience in the legislative process and during that time has worked on various issues, specializing in healthcare, appropriations, and local government issues.  He has worked as a legislative aide in the Florida House of Representatives and has done grass roots advocacy work on public interest issues with the California Public Interest Research Group.  Mr. Bacot will practice out of the Firm’s Tallahassee office.  He received his M.S. from Florida State University in Applied American Politics and his B.S. from Florida State University in Political Science.

“By combining my experience and clients with Fowler White’s clients, connections and people, we will be able to accomplish things together for the businesses and communities of Florida that I could not have done on my own,” said Mr. Arnold.  “The expansion of our government relations practice is a strategic step in our continued successful growth as a business law firm and as a business friendly state,” said Rhea Law, CEO and Chair of Fowler White’s Board of Directors.  Ms. Law serves on the Governor’s Council of 100 and was the Immediate Past Chair of the Tampa Hillsborough Economic Development Corporation, seeking to expand business in Florida. “The addition of Keith Arnold to our Ft. Myers office enhances our position as one of the ‘go to’ firms in southwest Florida,” added Joe Coleman, President of Fowler White Boggs and Managing Shareholder of the Ft. Myers Office.
Fowler White’s Government Relations and Lobbying Practice has consistently been ranked among the leaders for more than twenty years.  The practice is led by John McKager "Mac" Stipanovich and includes former heads of state administrative departments, former chiefs of staff for governors, agency heads and other career administrative personnel, all of whom bring a wealth of legal, political, and governmental experience when representing a wide range of clients before the executive and legislative branches of state government.  “Keith Arnold adds a breadth and balance that will allow us to take our practice to the next level statewide,” said Mr. Stipanovich, the former Campaign Director and Chief of Staff for Governor Bob Martinez, and Senior Advisor for the Jeb Bush for Governor Campaign.  Stipanovich and James P. Magill, a government affairs consultant, have been named among the top most important opinion brokers in Florida byPolitics Magazine.  Kim McGlynn, also a government affairs consultant, has 17 years’ experience and has held various positions with the Republican Party of Florida. 

 “With the addition of Keith Arnold, we will be able to assist our clients in getting almost anything accomplished that makes sense in Florida,” added Linda Shelley, leader of Fowler White’s Government, Environment and Real Estate Practice, Managing Shareholder of the Tallahassee Office, and former Chief of Staff for Governor Lawton Chiles, General Counsel for Governor Bob Graham, and Secretary of the Department of Community Affairs.  Ms. Shelley played an integral role in helping rewrite Florida’s growth management laws during the last legislative session.
Providing comprehensive legal services to our clients for nearly 70 years, Fowler White Boggs is one of Florida’s most respected law firms.  The Firm is internationally connected with a Florida focus with 130 attorneys in five offices located in Fort Myers, Fort Lauderdale, Jacksonville, Tallahassee, and Tampa.


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