Life and politics from the Sunshine State's best city

Meet Marlene Williams, one of the ’30 under 30′ rising stars of Florida politics

in Statewide/Top Headlines by

When General Motors needs the Legislature to know its concerns, it turns to Marlene Williams.

She’s the Southeast Regional Manager of Government Relations for the auto company, responsible for Florida, Alabama, and South Carolina.

Williams learned her trade in the capital, having been legislative affairs director for the Department of Management Services under Gov. Rick Scott. She began in lobbying at a private law firm.

She and her husband, Andrew, live in Tallahassee with their daughter, Mae Marie.

Here’s Williams in her own words:

I am … 28 years old.

I live in … Tallahassee.

I got into politics … by accident. Unsure what I wanted to be when I grew up, I decided to give “the process” a whirl. One session and I was hooked.

One principle I always put above politics … is integrity. It is the key to success in this industry and in life.

Person who gave me my first shotBob Harris.

I’ve already worked on … a number of issues for a multiclient firm, an executive branch agency, and now, a company that sits among the top 10 in the Fortune 500 rankings: General Motors.

When I begin a project or first work on a campaign … I look for the facts. One must be educated on an issue in order to develop a winning strategy.

I’ve been blessed to have these people as my mentors … my grandmother, Marlene McGinn, and Stacy Arias.

The people I most admire in politics … are those who have mastered the work-life balance.

One lesson I’ve already learned … is where there’s a will there’s a way.

If I wasn’t working in politics … I’d be working as a procurement consultant.

In 10 years, you’ll read about me … hopefully, you won’t read about me. I prefer to stay out of the limelight.

Before joining Florida Politics, journalist and attorney James Rosica was state government reporter for The Tampa Tribune. He attended journalism school in Washington, D.C., working at dailies and weekly papers in Philadelphia after graduation. Rosica joined the Tallahassee Democrat in 1997, later moving to the courts beat, where he reported on the 2000 presidential recount. In 2005, Rosica left journalism to attend law school in Philadelphia, afterwards working part time for a public-interest law firm. Returning to writing, he covered three legislative sessions in Tallahassee for The Associated Press, before joining the Tribune’s re-opened Tallahassee bureau in 2013. He can be reached at

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