Florida Association of Professional Lobbyists to gather for annual summit

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More than 90 members of Florida’s lobbying corps will gather this week in Tampa. The Florida Association of Professional Lobbyists will hold a three-day conference at the Grand Hyatt beginning Wednesday.

More than 30 speakers have been scheduled including Tampa Mayor Bob Buckhorn, Rep. Dan Raulerson, and the Florida Chamber’s Director of Political Affairs Mike Grissom.

The conference’s opening-day focus is on ethics.

“We have two faculty members from the USF-St. Petersburg’s Bishop Center for Ethical Leadership teaching, ‘Calibrating your Moral Compass,’ followed by a lecture by Chris Anderson General Counsel of the Florida Commission on Ethics,” said Mark Landreth, FAPL’s executive director.

Anderson will discuss new ethics legislation.

The FAPL’s mission statement calls for a commitment to high standards and ethical conduct. Landreth said the conference’s roundtable discussions and lectures are an opportunity for attendees to earn a Designated Professional Lobbyist appellation. A DPL recognizes an in-depth knowledge of the legislative and political processes, their rules, regulations and ethics.

“The DPL is a voluntary opportunity to strengthen skills and effectiveness of government relations personnel who are self-employed or employed by lobbying firms,” said Landreth. “FAPL is leading the way as the only state lobbyist organization offering such a program.”

Tampa Mayor Bob Buckhorn leads off the conference’s second day, scheduled to speak at Thursday’s breakfast. The breakfast will be followed by breakout sessions on compensation audits and social media. Also on the agenda is Florida State University professor Jerry Osteryoung.  A business mentor and coach, Osteryoung is director of an entrepreneurs institute and will speak on “How to manage your lobbying practice and find your niche.”

The afternoon schedule includes a roundtable discussion with reporters, the Associated Press’ Gary Fineout, the Orlando Sentinel’s Aaron Deslatte and Scripps’s Matt Dixon on the topic of “Press or Play Ball: a Topic of Electoral Importance.”

The conference concludes Friday with Republican consultant Adam Goodman and Democratic consultant Steve Schale leading a discussion of “Partisan View of the Coming Election.”

The conference runs Wednesday, Thursday and Friday at Tampa’s Grand Hyatt.

Tickets are $375 for FAPL members and $500 for nonmembers.