Former Deputy Secretary of Business Regulation Michael “MJ” Johnston has joined Shumaker Advisors Florida, the firm announced Tuesday.
Johnston served as Deputy Secretary at the Department of Business and Professional Regulation from 2019 through 2021, providing policy and regulatory guidance related to alcoholic beverages and tobacco; condominiums, timeshares and mobile homes; hotels and restaurants; and pari-mutuel wagering.
He previously served as Chief Information Officer and Director of the Office of Agriculture Technology Services for the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services under former Agriculture Commissioner Adam Putnam.
At Shumaker Advisors Florida, he will help clients navigate government and regulatory matters.
“It is an honor to join Shumaker Advisors and have the opportunity to use my years of experience in policy and regulatory arenas to make a difference and help Florida businesses expand,” Johnston said. “Empowering clients and entrepreneurs with the insights they need to succeed is a key part of growing our economy, creating jobs, and making the Sunshine State a great place to live for generations to come.”
Shumaker Advisors President and CEO Ron Christaldi added, “MJ stands out as a visionary leader, especially in the hardest of times. Throughout the pandemic, he helped Florida industries stay open for business and thrive. We are honored to have MJ join our team and look forward to many more successes to come at Shumaker Advisors.”
Shumaker Advisors is a subsidiary of Shumaker, Loop & Kendrick, one of Tampa Bay’s largest law firms. It was formed in 2017 to “provide a bridge to government, government agencies and legislators that shape the future of business.” Shumaker got into the lobby game with its Shumaker Advisors team in Ohio in 2013. It now has offices in North Carolina, South Carolina and Washington.
The firm has recently expanded with the addition of former Tampa Mayor Bob Buckhorn, who will focus on economic development opportunities and urban development strategies in Tampa Bay and across the state.
Shumaker Advisors also recently merged with Suskey Consulting and tapped Alan Suskey to lead the firm’s Tallahassee practice and serve as managing principal of state affairs.