November 30, 2004
TALLAHASSEE — Associated Industries of Florida (AIF) today named veteran lobbyist Barney T. Bishop III president of the state’s premier business advocacy organization. Bishop also will serve as president of Associated Industries of Florida Service Company (AIFSC), the group’s management company, and Florida Business United (FBU), its political arm.
“Barney Bishop has earned the trust and respect of lawmakers from both political parties,” said Jon Shebel, who will remain at AIF in his role as chief executive officer. “He is clearly the right person at the right time for AIF.”
During recent years, Bishop has served as the chief lobbyist and political officer for the AIF companies on a contract basis. He founded the Tallahassee-based Windsor Group, a lobbying firm with a diverse group of clients that included AIF. Bishop will now lead the organization’s 13-member lobbying team as president, while executive vice president and chief operating officer Steve Trickey will handle the day-to-day operations. Along with Shebel, Bishop and Trickey will constitute a management committee to coordinate planning and implementing Board policy. Bishop also will serve as the spokesperson for all AIF Tallahassee-based companies.
“Associated Industries has set the standard for business advocacy in Florida,” said Bishop. “I’m proud of the strides we’ve made to protect and promote business in Florida, and I’m excited about the possibilities ahead.”
According to Shebel, who initiated the reorganization, Bishop will have his hands full from day one as AIF plans to initiate a major tort reform effort in the Legislature immediately after the first of the year. All of AIF’s assets and resources will be brought to bear on tort reform during the 2005 and 2006 sessions of the Legislature.
Shebel added: “Barney will be our officer in charge of putting a coalition of businesses and business groups together to take this battle to the trial lawyers. It’s a big challenge for a new President, but the full AIF team will be behind him and when the battle is over he will feel like he has been the President for a decade.”
Associated Industries of Florida is a membership organization of over ten thousand (10,000) member companies who are large and small and range from Florida to national to international companies. AIF was founded in 1920 in Jacksonville, Florida and is commonly referred to as “The Voice of Business” in Florida, being the most active of all Florida business organizations in governmental affairs and political operations.
AIF also has extensive insurance operations based in Boca Raton, Florida. Associated Industries Insurance Company, Inc. (AIIC) was the #3 writer of workers’ compensation in Florida in 2003. Associated Industries Insurance Services, Inc. (AIIS), the AIF insurance services company, recently took on the management of Technology Insurance Company, Inc. in Florida, which is programmed to write significant premium volume starting in 2005.