4th Floor Files talks with Shawn Foster about fried chicken, gratitude and ballin’ with Bousquet

florida capitol at night

The latest edition of the 4th Floor Files talks with lobbyist Shawn Foster, a government relations consultant with Sunrise Consulting Group.

Foster represents about a dozen clients – mostly in the Tampa Bay area – including the Florida Blueberry Growers Association, Sarasota County and the city of Brooksville.

Here is the file on Shawn Foster.

Significant other? Children? Grandkids?

My wife, Teresa, and I have been married for 10 years. We have three children: Christian, 23; Andrew, 20; and Kaylee, 14

In 25 words or less, explain what you do.

I advocate for my clients and allow their voices to be heard by policy makers and government agencies.

Without using the words Democrat, Independent or Republican, conservative or liberal, describe your political persuasion.

I believe in personal responsibility.

If you have one, what is your motto?

It could be worse, and this too shall pass.

During your career, have you had a favorite pro bono client?

Good Samaritan Clinic of Pasco County.

Three favorite charities.

United Way, Salvation Army, and the Good Samaritan Clinic in Pasco County.

Any last-day-of-Session traditions?

I go around and thank all of the staff for everything they have done for me and my clients. I then get out of town and head home to see my family.

What are you most looking forward to during the Legislative Session?

I have a few new clients and I am looking forward to working on their behalf. Last year a few of my clients had their appropriations vetoed and we are going to make every effort to make sure that does not happen again.

If you could have another lobbyist’s client list, it would be …

It would have to be Jon Johnson. He is a dear friend and mentor.

Professional accomplishment of which you are most proud?

It would have to be several state appropriations that I have secured for my local government clients. It is an unbelievable feeling to read a newspaper article about a project that was accomplished and how it has made an impact in so many people’s lives. Whether it was to relieve flooding in a neighborhood or to boost the economy for the community. That is a great sense of accomplishment.

Lobbyists are often accused of wearing Gucci loafers; do you own a pair of Gucci loafers?

If not, why not? No, I prefer my Johnston & Murphy dress shoes.

Who is your favorite Florida Capitol Press Corps reporter and why?

I would have to say Steve Bousquet. When I was on staff in the Senate we played basketball every week and he had a mean three-point shot and was very competitive.

Other than SaintPetersBlog.com, your reading list includes …

Tampa Bay Times and the News Service of Florida.

What swear word do you use most often?

I don’t use swear words. I used to, but a while back my daughter said she didn’t like it and it bothered her. I quit.

What is your most treasured possession?

Besides my family, I would have to say my memorabilia collection. I have quite a few presidential and sports autographs.

The best hotel in Florida is …

The Ritz Carlton in Naples, but other than that I prefer staying at any Hilton hotels.

You’ve just learned that you will be hosting a morning talk show about Florida politics. Who are the first four guests you’d invite to appear?

Jeb Bush, Marco Rubio, Richard Corcoran, and Jose Oliva.

Favorite movie.

“Shawshank Redemption.”

When you pig out, what do you eat?

Fried chicken from Publix.

If you could have dinner with a historical figure no longer living, who would it be?

Ronald Reagan.

Peter Schorsch

Peter Schorsch is the President of Extensive Enterprises and is the publisher of some of Florida’s most influential new media websites, including Florida Politics and Sunburn, the morning read of what’s hot in Florida politics. Schorsch is also the publisher of INFLUENCE Magazine. For several years, Peter's blog was ranked by the Washington Post as the best state-based blog in Florida. In addition to his publishing efforts, Peter is a political consultant to several of the state’s largest governmental affairs and public relations firms. Peter lives in St. Petersburg with his wife, Michelle, and their daughter, Ella.


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