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From the staff of the Tampa Bay Times

Corrections chief of staff leaves to go lobby



After 23 years in state government, Stacy Arias is trading in her state job to move into lobbying at the Tallahassee-based firm, Southern Strategy Group.

Arias joins what the firm calls its "Jedis of Government" a group of "highly successful former public officials drawn from the top ranks of government."

The growing lobbying firm has expanded by snatching up former government officials in five Florida cities -- often to handle vendors whose contracts they previously managed -- but it has turned the transactional value of relationship-building into a sales pitch.

"Our team’s lobbyists understand government for the simple reason that we used to govern and clearly demonstrated our ability to excel in that environment,'' the firm's web site states. "This government experience provides two enormous benefits for our clients: a thorough and detailed knowledge of public policy and process and authentic and powerful relationships. These advantages often make the critical difference between success and failure in lobbying."

Arias, who served with FDC Secretary Julie Jones at the Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles, began her career in government in 1993, according to the Southern Strategy statement. She will be replaced at Corrections by Steven Fielder, who also served at DHSMV as director of administrative services.

"Stacy will leverage her extensive operations expertise to help Southern Strategy Group’s clients develop effective strategies to achieve meaningful change in Florida’s ever-evolving system of administrative policy,'' the statement said. 

[Last modified: Monday, August 1, 2016 6:55pm]


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