Spotlight On: Marty Fiorentino, President, The Fiorentino Group

Spotlight On: Marty Fiorentino, President, The Fiorentino Group

2023-03-10T12:56:18-05:00March 10th, 2023|Jacksonville, Professional Services, Spotlight On|

2 min read March 2023 In an interview with Invest:, President of The Fiorentino Group Marty Fiorentino discussed the state of lobbying and advocacy work in Florida today, Northeast Florida’s economic momentum and the factors he expects will determine the region’s future, including a robust healthcare and fintech ecosystem supported by a strong foundation of academic institutions. 

What were some recent highlights for the firm? 

Our firm has been involved with some of the biggest projects in Northeast Florida. Last year, working with the legislature, we were able to get an $80 million appropriation for the UF Health Jacksonville Leon L. Haley Jr., MD, Trauma Center. Dr. Haley was the CEO of UF Health Jacksonville and was tragically killed in an accident. This new state-of-the-art trauma center is a tribute to his life and the difference he made in our community. It’s one of the larger state appropriations ever in Jacksonville and the fact that Governor DeSantis personally made the check presentation at the hospital was a testament to the way our community comes together. 

What is TFG’s role in Northeast Florida’s economic growth?

I see Northeast Florida as a late bloomer in relation to the rest of Florida, but it’s definitely blooming. I can see cranes, construction and green space from my office window all across downtown Jacksonville. There is a lot happening in our region. A few projects come to mind, one being the NFL stadium, which will need to be upgraded. The Jaguars are developing an entertainment and sports complex around the stadium. Professional sports franchises are becoming economic development catalysts for local communities. The Hart Bridge overpass blocking the vista to the river was an impediment to this progress and our firm was able to work with the federal government to get a grant to take down the overpass. This will create a beautiful view for a Four Seasons Hotel and other commercial and office space, which are being developed adjacent to the stadium. We were also able to work with the Jacksonville Transportation Authority on another federal grant for a project called U2C, which is an autonomous vehicle project along the river from the entertainment district to the JTA transportation hub.   

How did you address talent acquisition this year?

It’s an issue for everyone across the board. There is a job for everyone who wants one in Northeast Florida, but we have a gap in training that needs to be addressed. Jacksonville is focused on job training and workforce development. The Duval County School System, along with our colleges and universities and Worksource, are focused on job training and workforce development.  

What legislation are you watching?

Given our recent election, Florida’s legislature will present a strong, Republican majority in the House. That means we should closely watch what the Governor does, which will include issues like workforce and affordable housing, ESG and continuing to open up school choice opportunities for Florida families. Infrastructure will be a big item where he will use our state budget surplus to supercharge transportation projects and reinvest in our roads, bridges, airports and seaports.       

How have client expectations evolved over the past few years?

Clients are customers and they demand results. They pay for performance and that’s how it should be. Our clients want transparency and to know what the process is and what the political climate will be. We like to work collaboratively with our clients. Today, clients are looking for ethical and transparent lobbying and advocacy work. There is no room for error here. Clients want their advocates of any kind to ensure there is a high level of integrity in every step of the process. Our motto is “Influence with Integrity”, which is why we have been so successful in our growth and client partnerships for over 20 years.   

What do your priorities look like for the upcoming year?

There are a lot of opportunities at the local level because of the amount of federal funds being sent to the cities and states. Those funds can backfill where businesses have been hurt by the pandemic. Public safety is another focus for local and state governments and we’re exploring ways to address those needs. Our firm has done a lot in the transportation space and we expect that work will continue and grow as governments at all levels reinvest in their infrastructure. 

How do you foresee Northeast Florida growing down the road?

Northeast Florida will continue to grow which will broaden our tax base. I foresee exponential growth in medical and healthcare research. Our medical and healthcare institutions are second to none and create a lot of high paying jobs. On the fintech side with FNF, Black Knight, FIS and Dun & Bradstreet there are a lot of companies that will grow and continue to relocate here. This will create an opportunity for our education providers, with Flagler College, UNF, EWC, Jacksonville University and other academic institutions to create more high-tech, high-wage jobs. I also foresee a stronger partnership with the University of Florida and Jacksonville, as Jacksonville is the closest urban center to Gainesville. With UF here, that partnership will strengthen. As a native of the region and Gator alum, I always hoped this would happen and I’m excited for what’s ahead as this partnership is strengthened.  

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