In the Departure Lounge: Rivers Buford, James Call, Erin Gillespie, and more

in Statewide/Top Headlines by

Summertime often sees a flurry of personnel moves in the world of government and politics. Continuing this occasional series, we update you on who’s in the Departure Lounge.

First up is Rivers Buford, formerly the director of governmental affairs for the Florida Institute of CPAs and previous to that the director of legislative affairs at the Department of State.

On June 9, Buford wrote on his Facebook page, “Today I begin my last day as Director of Governmental Affairs for the Florida Institute of CPAs (FICPA). It has been an enjoyable journey and I had the pleasure of working with a good group of folks. I leave to take care of family business but will return to the policy (and political) arena somewhere once we get our ducks in a row.”

With Buford no longer at the FICPA, does this mean our friend Justin Thames will get a promotion? Let’s hope so.

To date, none of Extensive Enterprises’ writers have found themselves in the Departure Lounge, but veteran reporter James Call is the first. We hired Call last year to help us launch and to serve as a correspondent in Tallahassee — both tasks he performed ably. Call’s work for our magazine, INFLUENCE, was especially good. However, this publisher is probably too much of a hot stove player to stay put, so we parted ways with Call, whom we are confident will land on his feet.

Erin Gillespie is no longer the press secretary for Agriculture Commissioner Adam Putnam — but this is a good thing. Gillespie is now the communications director at the Department of Economic Opportunity.

As first noted by, Trey Price is no longer with the Florida Realtors. He has launched his own firm, Price Point Strategies, LLC, focusing on state and local government in Florida.

June 22 being Matt Dixon’s first day at Tallahassee bureau chief for POLITICO, this means he’s created a void at the Naples Daily News. The “Scribune” — the joint bureau of Scripps and the Tampa Tribune — launched with so much promise when Dixon was announced he would be leading its efforts. Now, with Dixon gone, and perhaps reporter James Rosica not long after him, it will be interesting to see what becomes of the project.

Peter Schorsch is the President of Extensive Enterprises and is the publisher of some of Florida’s most influential new media websites, including,,, and Sunburn, the morning read of what’s hot in Florida politics. SaintPetersBlog has for three years running been 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.