Lobbying compensation: Top 25 firms post strong Q1 reports
Image via Colin Hackley

Here’s your rundown of the No. 25 to No. 16 top lobbying firms through the first 3 months of 2024.

The state’s biggest lobbying firms may be scooping up $2 million-plus every quarter, but there’s still plenty of work to go around for the rest of the lobby corps.

In fact, many of the firms lingering just outside the Top 15 are putting up numbers that could go toe-to-toe with the bluebloods if team size is considered.

Here’s a rundown of how some of the rest of the firms in the Top 25 fared in the first quarter.

But first, a primer.

Florida Politics estimates how much firms earn based on the middle number of the per-client ranges they list on their compensation reports. Contracts are reported in $10,000 increments. Compensation reports also include firm-level ranges, which can give outsiders a rough idea of their minimum and maximum earnings.

No. 25: Becker & Poliakoff

The team at Becker cracked the Top 25 in Q1 with a $720,000 haul, nearly all of which it earned lobbying lawmakers.

The South Florida-based firm reported an estimated $715,000 in pay across 71 legislative lobbying contracts, with three clients splitting the top spot in the $35,000-per-quarter bracket: the City of Miami, R3 Education and Vertex Pharmaceuticals Incorporated.

The team at Becker earned a spot in the Top 25 with a $720,000 Q1.

Government Affairs practice chief Bernie Friedman led the 10-person team, which also includes former Sen. Ellyn Bogdanoff, Jose Fuentes, Yolanda Cash Jackson, Max Losner, Nicholas Matthews, Cody Rogers, LaToya Sheals, Bryony Swift and Jileah Wilder.

Beyond the clients at the top of the sheet, Becker represented a host of South Florida interests, many of them hailing from its home turf in Broward and nearby Miami-Dade. The list included Broward County Public Schools and the Broward County Sheriff’s Office as well as the city governments for South Miami, Homestead, Lauderdale Lakes, LIghthouse Point, Miami Springs and North Lauderdale.

The firm’s executive branch report listed the same set of clients, but the only paid contract on that side of the fence was a $5,000 deal with Advanced Green Technologies.

At minimum, Becker raked in $500,000 from its Q1 clientele, with the firm’s top-end estimate coming in at around $1 million.

No. 24: Shumaker Advisors Florida

Shumaker Advisors Florida has been a consistent presence in the Top 25 since it doubled down on its lobbying operation by acquiring Suskey Consulting — and Alan Suskey’s lobbying acumen — three years ago.

It remained a top firm in the first quarter, with legislative and executive reports showing a combined $740,000 in earnings.

Shumaker’s reports were evenly split at $370,000 apiece and both listed an identical set of principals — the firm represented 68 clients in all during the January-through-March reporting period — all of which were listed in the same compensation brackets in each report.

Alan Suskey led the Shumaker team to $740,000 in earnings through the first three months of the year.

The firm’s top clients in Q1 were Conduent Incorporated, FARM-ED, Florida Power & Light Co., the Florida Public Defender Association and Revival Ministries International. Each chipped in $15,000 for legislative work and $15,000 for executive branch work.

Local governments were another moneymaker for Shumaker, with several municipalities — many of them in Pinellas — trusting the firm to handle their business in the state capital. The list includes Gulfport, Madeira Beach, Oldsmar, Pensacola, Safety Harbor, St. Pete Beach and Treasure Island.

In all, the eight-person team led by Suskey reported earning at least $500,000 in Q1. The top end of per-client ranges indicate incomes may have been as high as $1 million.

No. 23: The Vogel Group

The Vogel Group entered the Top 25 last quarter after amassing an estimated $785,000.

The bulk of that cash — $490,000 — was earned via legislative lobbying with an additional $295,000 coming in for executive branch work.

Lobbyists David Childs, Gary Hunter, Kyle Langan, Andrew Liebert, Chad Revis and Eileen Stuart represented 42 clients for all or part of the quarter.

Vogel is one of the new kids on the block, but it’s already competing with established firms.

The firm’s legislative report featured six $35,000 contracts, including one with Blackberry, the tech outfit that over the past decade has gracefully transitioned from the world’s top smartphone manufacturer to a leading cybersecurity and IoT corporations.

Vogel’s executive branch report listed the same set of clients, most of which were listed a rung or two down on the pay scale compared to the legislative report.

Still, there was a trio of $35,000 clients: the Association of Florida Community Developers, Forestar Real Estate Group and Mosaic Fertilizer were in a three-way tie for the No. 1 spot at $35,000 apiece. They were followed by the American Resort Development Association, JEA and the SAS Institute at the $25,000 level.

Overall, Vogel Group reported earning between $250,000 and $500,000 on each of its reports, making its quarterly minimum $500,000 and its maximum $1 million.

No. 22: The Fiorentino Group

Led by veteran lobbyist Marty Fiorentino, The Fiorentino Group has long been considered one of the Jacksonville area’s preeminent firms and that remains the case in 2024.

New reports show Fiorentino and partners Melissa Braude, Earl Jones, Cody McCloud and Joe Mobley collected $430,000 lobbying the Legislature and $365,000 lobbying the executive branch for a grand total of $795,000 in Q1.

Marty Fiorentino & Co. represent a who’s who of Northeast Florida interests.

As expected, the firm’s reports include many well-known Northeast Florida interests, such as UF Health Jax — the firm’s top legislative client at $25,000 — as well as Crowley Maritime, Flagler College and Florida East Coast Railway.

The Fiorentino Group is also the go-to firm for Jacksonville’s municipal government and the county government in Flagler. Both entities paid the firm $15,000 for legislative lobbying, and Jax chipped in the same amount for assistance in the executive branch.

According to the min-max disclosures on The Fiorentino Group’s reports, the firm collected no less than $500,000 in Q1, while a top-end estimate places the firm in the $1 million range.

No. 21: Ramba Consulting Group

The firm led by David Ramba opened the year with an $815,000 haul, $735,000 of which came in through its work in the Legislature.

Ramba Consulting Group, which also has newly installed Republican Party of Florida Chair Evan Power in its stable of advocates, handled more than 50 clients in Q1.

David Ramba
‘Air Ramba’ is still flying high in Florida Politics’ lobbying firm rankings.

Its most lucrative contract by far was a $75,000 deal with the Florida PACE Funding Agency, an entity that promotes the at times controversial property assessed clean energy program, a financing vehicle where homeowners repay the cost of certain improvements on their annual property tax bill. The same client chipped in $25,000 for executive lobbying, making for $100,000 in retainers paid overall.

Another of the majors on Ramba’s reports was the Republic National Distributing Company, which showed up at the $45,000 level in the Legislature. The Florida Chiropractic Association and Florida Optometric Association — an association on one side of the so-called “eyeball wars” — followed at $25,000 apiece.

The bottom line of the firm’s reports show it earned between $500,000 and $1 million in the Legislature and between $50,000 and $100,000 in the exec. Per-client ranges show it may have hit the ceiling on each report, with potential earnings of $1.1 million in Q1.

No. 20: RSA Consulting Group

Just as TFG is a Northeast Florida powerhouse, Ron Pierce and the roster of lobbyists at RSA Consulting Group have established themselves as one of the Tampa Bay area’s preeminent firms.

All signs are that it will continue this year, with the firm’s opening reports showing an estimated $850,000 haul from its stable of 85 clients.

Many of Tampa Bay’s biggest businesses have Ron Pierce and the RSA team on speed dial.

If one rolled a ‘T’ in Scattergories, and the topic was RSA clients, it’d be a cinch to fill the page well before the buzzer went off.

A smattering of in-bounds answers: Tampa Bay Builders Association, Tampa Bay Partnership, Tampa Bay Thrives, Tampa Family Health Centers, the Tampa Bay Lightning, Tampa Bay Sports Commission, Tampa Hillsborough Film and Digital Media Commission, Tampa Theatre, Tapper Ventures Tampa Sports Authority, Treasure Coast Community Health, Triangle Capital and the Trinity School for Children.

Like many firms, RSA splits its reports down the middle. Founder Pierce, COO Natalie King, VP Edward Briggs, Director of Government Relations Matthew Herndon, Government & Community Affairs Coordinator William George and lobbyists Melody Arnold, Natalie Brown did so again in Q1, with each report measuring in at $425,000.

Both reports listed overall ranges between $250,000 and $500,000, indicating the firm kicked off the new year with at least $500,000 in earnings and could have reached the $1 million mark.

No. 19: The Mayernick Group

The Mayernick Group finished the first quarter with an estimated $900,000 in pay, $800,000 of which flowed in through their efforts in the Legislature.

Led by husband-and-wife duo Frank and Tracy Mayernick, the firm opened 2024 with 58 legislative clients, including two that showed up in the top bracket for range reporting: The Manatee County Mosquito Control District and State Farm.

Tracy and Frank Mayernick’s four-person shop continues posting big-firm numbers.

The “good neighbor” insurer isn’t the only household name represented by the firm, and it may not even be the best-known. Using the most literal interpretation of that phraseology, that honor would go to The Home Depot, which has 153 Florida locations — nearly double the store count of the Peach State, which houses its HQ.

AT&T, Florida Power & Light Co. and U.S. Sugar are also among the powerhouses represented by The Mayernick Group, though their portfolio also includes a bevy of state-level interests such as the Florida Association for the Education of Young Children, Florida Behavioral Health Association, Florida Health Care Association, Florida Medical Association and the Florida Network of Youth and Family Services.

The Mayernicks and lobbying partners Rob Johnson and Brooke Evans listed 51 executive branch clients, all of which overlapped with the legislative list. Each paid contract on that side of the fence was listed in the up-to-$10,000 range.

Overall, the firm reported earning between $500,000 and $1 million in the Legislature and between $50,000 and $100,000 in the executive, making for a top-end earnings estimate of $1.1 million.

No. 18: Rutledge Ecenia

Rutledge Ecenia snagged the No. 18 spot last quarter after posting reports that combined to $935,000 in earnings and potentially crossed the seven-figure mark.

Lobbyists Gary Rutledge, Andrew Rutledge, Stephen Ecenia, Diana Ferguson, Jessica Janasiewicz, Richard Lindstrom, Corinne Mixon and Matt Puckett listed 67 contracts that combined to $695,000 in earnings on their legislative compensation report.

Shareholder Gary Rutledge and the team at Rutledge Ecenia cracked the Top 20 last quarter.

That sheet was topped by Miami-Dade County in the $45,000 bracket, followed by the Florida Police Benevolent Association and Hillsboro Mile Property Owner at $35,000 apiece.

The firm’s executive branch compensation report listed a subset of the same clients and was responsible for $240,000 of the firm’s Q1 haul. A trio of $15,000 contracts split the top spot. The clients: Oak Point Partners, Savvas Learning Company and T-Mobile. The remainder of the firm’s executive clients were marked down in the up-to-$10,000 range.

Firm-level ranges list earnings between $500,000 and $1 million in the Legislature and $100,000 to $250,000 in the executive, indicating the firm earned at least $600,000 in Q1 with a top-end estimate of $1.25 million.

No. 17: Anfield Consulting

Anfield Consulting snagged the No. 17 spot in the rankings on the back of a $715,000 haul in the Legislature and $250,000 addendum in the exec.

Al Balido, Frank Bernardino, Rosanna Catalano, Brett Cyphers, Natalie Fausel and Edgar Fernandez represented 58 clients in the Legislature for all or part of the quarter with 55 of those also relying on the firm to ply the Governor, Cabinet and state agencies.

Anfield Consulting is on track for a $3 million 2024.

While the Canadian consulting juggernaut WSP was the No. 1 legislative client at $45,000, the firm’s county and municipal governments were the backbone of the firm’s Q1 performance.

Anfield’s list of local governments last quarter: Gulf County, Indian River County, Monroe County, Palm Beach County, Polk County, St. Lucie County, Flagler Beach, North Miami Beach, Broward County, Punta Gorda, Wildwood, Cutler Bay and Sunrise.

Those were joined by a couple of special districts, such as the Englewood Water District — not-so-fun fact: Even though it starts with an “E,” the small Charlotte County town’s property crime stats make the notorious Inglewood, California, seem like a safe place to leave your leave your car unlocked. This writer learned that the hard way.

To Englewood’s credit, though, its water quality is leagues above what you can find in the LA metro area, and Anfield’s advocacy no doubt plays a part in keeping it that way.

Unsolicited anecdotes aside, Anfield’s legislative report fell into the $500,000 to $1 million range while the exec sheet showed earnings in the $100,000 to $250,000 range, giving the firm a $600,000 floor and $1.25 million ceiling.

No. 16: Continental Strategy

It may be the youngest firm in the rankings, but Continental Strategy is already the lobbying equivalent of a super middleweight, and after a few more quarters in the gym, it has the potential to climb a weight class or two.

Co-founded by former state Representative and U.S. Amb. Carlos Trujillo, the state-level lobbying practice cemented itself as a Top 25er in 2023 — its first full year in the game — and it’s keeping up the pace this year with just shy of $1 million banked in Q1.

The firm co-founded by Carlos Trujillo may be new, but it’s already going toe-to-toe with some Florida’s most established firms.

Over the past two years, Trujillo, who recently added Senior Advisor at Marcman Solutions to his growing résumé, has assembled a team of lobbyists that includes veterans and promising up-and-comers alike. The roster: James Card, Lauren DeHooghe, Tom DiGiacomo, Gangul Gabadage, Brennan Garcia, Courtney Larkin, Mark Pinto and Ashley Spicola.

The firm’s 57 clients led them to a $585,000 tally in the Legislature and $385,000 haul in the exec last quarter, for an overall total of $970,000.

Continental’s top client in the Legislature was Miguelez Law, which cut the firm a $45,000 check, while Belvedere Terminals Company and World Wide Technology split the No. 1 spot in the executive branch at $35,000 apiece.

The diverse client sheet also includes Sazerac — the company behind Stagg Bourbon, which is rightfully climbing out of criminally underappreciated territory — as well as one of the biggest of the Big Tech companies, Google.

The sum of Continental’s overall ranges indicates the firm earned at least $750,000 in the first quarter, with the high end approaching $1.2 million.

Drew Wilson

Drew Wilson covers legislative campaigns and fundraising for Florida Politics. He is a former editor at The Independent Florida Alligator and business correspondent at The Hollywood Reporter. Wilson, a University of Florida alumnus, covered the state economy and Legislature for LobbyTools and The Florida Current prior to joining Florida Politics.


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