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UNF President Delaney To Join Prominent Government Relations Agency And Law Firm

The Daily Record

University of North Florida President John Delaney will join a strategic alliance formed by the Rogers Towers law firm and The Fiorentino Group government relations provider.

Delaney will join the alliance June 1. He retires May 31 from UNF after 15 years as president.

Before joining UNF, he served as Jacksonville mayor for two terms from 1995-2003.

Rogers Towers Managing Director Fred Franklin said Delaney’s professional career “has been one of the most unique and diverse of almost anyone I know and he brings to our clients’ needs a special perspective that will be of great value as they deal with legal issues as well as the ever-changing landscape of both the political world and government affairs arena.”

Franklin said Delaney’s background and knowledge provides “a distinct perspective, his political and government savvy is matchless.”

Franklin served as city general counsel from 1995-97 during Delaney’s first term and serves on the UNF board of trustees.

Jacksonville-based Rogers Towers is one of Florida’s oldest law firms. It was established in 1905.

The Fiorentino Group, led by president Marty Fiorentino, says it is Jacksonville’s largest full-service government relations and business development firm.

“John has been a part of some of Jacksonville’s most successful public policy initiatives,” said Fiorentino.

Rogers Towers and The Fiorentino Group jointly announced the alliance this morning.

Delaney became UNF’s fifth president in 2003 and leads a campus of more than 16,000 students, 600 faculty and more than 1,000 staff.

Each year, 4,000 students graduate from the university's six colleges.

The announcement said the 1,381-acre campus is considered an economic driver in Northeast Florida with an annual impact of nearly $1 billion.

“His decades of experience in local, state and federal politics and tenure as president of one of Florida’s leading educational institutions has involved him in many complex issues where his leadership has had a real and positive impact,” Fiorentino said.

He said the addition of Delaney “will provide exceptional added-value services as we develop winning strategies for our clients to influence public policy.”

As mayor, Delaney led the successful effort for voter approval of The Better Jacksonville Plan, a $2.2 billion program resulting in new public facilities and other amenities.

The announcement said he also created the Preservation Project, a land conservation program giving Jacksonville the distinction of having the largest urban park system in the United States.

Before serving as mayor, Delaney was chief assistant state attorney and general counsel for the city.

He also served as interim chancellor of the State University System of Florida and served on nonprofit and corporate boards.

Delaney said that as he decided to retire from UNF, he looked “for a new chapter to open in my career that offered me the chance to bring together the skills and experiences I have harnessed since starting out as a young lawyer working for former Mayor Ed Austin, when he served our community as state attorney.”

Delaney said he has known Franklin and Fiorentino personally and professionally.

“We collectively started a conversation that led to this decision. I look forward to working with the two of them and their teams to represent clients in a variety of areas both here in Northeast Florida and around the state and nation,” Delaney said.

Rogers Towers and The Fiorentino Group formed the strategic alliance five years ago and it focuses on areas such as integrated business and government affairs issues; business counsel; higher education issues; complex environmental matters; and other government affairs needs at the local, state and federal levels.

Hints about the move surfaced in early March, when Delaney said he would resume his law career and join a large Jacksonville firm, but didn’t say which one.

Fiorentino said three weeks ago his group would relocate from The Carling on the Northbank to the 13th floor of Riverplace Tower on the Southbank because it was growing and he wanted to be near the Rogers Towers law firm, which operates in the 28-story building at 1301 Riverplace Blvd.

Fiorentino said his team of nine will expand with the addition of one person in the next several months and the hiring of two to staff his Tallahassee office. He expects to move in May.

Rogers Towers has offices in Jacksonville, Ponte Vedra Beach, St. Augustine, Amelia Island and Fort Lauderdale. It provides legal services in banking and financial; litigation; construction; corporate; labor and employment; environmental; eminent domain; elder law; family law; health law; Immigration; intellectual property; land use; public finance; real estate; taxation; transportation and logistics; trusts and estates; and wills.

The Fiorentino Group, founded in 2002, is a full-service government relations and business development firm with offices in Jacksonville and Tallahassee.

It says it provides consulting services to Fortune 500 and other clients that seek to influence public policy and create business opportunities.

“The firm is distinguished by their unparalleled relationships with decision-makers, their work on complex issues and their more than 50-years of combined experience in state, local and federal government relations,” said the announcement.