In state capitals across the United States, lobbyists give voice to a wide range of industries in an effort to influence policymakers, legislators and regulators.
As ambassadors of the association community, they embody the true spirit of American democracy, above all, the constitutional rights of free speech and association.
Association TRENDS Magazine, often referred to as “the bible of the association community,” annually honors those lobbyists and advocates who have become the cornerstone of a process that touches nearly every constituent nationwide.
One of those recognized in 2014 is Jon Johnson, Managing Partner of the Tallahassee-based Johnson & Blanton and the 2014 SaintPetersBlog TallyMadness Champion. With a specialty in health-care advocacy — a prime field for Florida — Johnson & Blanton has become one of the elite lobbying houses in Florida.
TRENDS singled out Johnson’s role in the 2013 legislative session, representing 16 associations, and was instrumental in passing a decisive lawsuit reform bill to protect individual engineers from frivolous wrongly.
In the 2014 session, Johnson collaborated with lobbyists on behalf of the Florida Healthcare Association, to enact litigation reform for nursing homes. It became a bipartisan effort that led to a compromise between nursing home owners and trial lawyers.
“One of the wisest association executives once told me ‘if our members don’t know about it…it never happened, which means that communication, communication and more communication is the key element to successfully representing an association,” Johnson told TRENDS.
“Having worked full-time for an association, I know well the challenges that many association executives face in trying to show value to their members,” he added. “We work very hard to partner with the association management to show value to members through legislative and regulatory advocacy.
“Working as a team with the association staff is win-win for all of us.”
Johnson & Blanton co-founder Travis Blanton says Johnson’s TRENDS recognition is “a very well deserved honor for Jon.”
“In more than 12 years Jon and I have worked together,” Blanton said, “he has been a tireless advocate for the many associations we are fortunate to work with.”