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AIF Hires Two New Vice-Presidents and Creates New Political Team

January 12, 2011

As we enter 2011 and prepare to represent our members in the halls of the Capitol on issues critical to employers across the state and also get ready for what many feel will be one of the most important election years in 2012, we are pleased to announce to our members that AIF has added two highly skilled, energetic staff members to our team. 

Vice President of External Relations

We have hired Brewster Bevis as our new Vice President of External Relations.  Brewster comes to us from Washington, DC where he was the Senior Director of Legislative Affairs for the National Association for Builders & Contractors.  In this position, he gained extensive experience lobbying business issues.  He also served as a legislative aide to former Congresswoman Katherine Harris and was a Presidential appointee as Legislative Officer to the US Department of Labor.

Along with meeting companies all over Florida to promote the value of AIF, he will also help bolster our lobby efforts during session and will be part of our newly created political team.  Brewster will make an immediate impact on the immigration issue that all AIF members are concerned with as he has dealt with this issue at the federal level and therefore will add a great deal knowledge and experience to our efforts.

Brewster will also continue his efforts in Washington as he now provides AIF with an experienced lobbyist on many federal business issues.  Over the years we have seen more and more federal issues that are a concern to the Florida business community such as Card-Check, Pay Roll Fairness Act, Immigration and various other labor issues.  Brewster will give AIF a veteran lobbyist on the federal level to help with issues such as these.  He has already been asked to serve on several policy committees of the National Association of Manufactures (NAM).  These include Employment and Labor Policy Sub-Committee, Labor Relations Issue Group, the Employment and Labor Steering Committee, and the OSHA Steering Committee.

Vice President of Political Operations

When we were looking at different possibilities for our Political Operation department, we knew that we wanted someone energetic, fearless and passionate about Florida politics.  We feel certain that we have found that person in Ryan Tyson, the former Chief Legislative Aide for Senator Charlie Dean. Ryan will be our new Vice President of Political Operations.  Along with being a key person in the Senator’s office on policy matters and serving as his aide in the Florida Senate, Ryan also served as the Senator’s Campaign Manager on his 2007 & 2008 campaigns.  Ryan has worked with many of our members through the years and his political acumen and prowess are known to many in Corporate Florida. 

The dawn of this decade has brought a new era of campaigning to Florida, and the opportunity for Associated Industries to make an even bigger impact in the 2012 election cycle and beyond.  Ryan brings to us a wide-range of experience in all levels of House, Senate and even local campaigns.  His resume includes soft and hard dollar fundraising and organization, polling, focus groups and subsequent messaging, as well as electioneering. We are excited to have Ryan’s leadership in our political department and the vision he brings to continue our success in future election cycles.

AIF Political Team

For years, the AIF lobby team has been second to none and is highly regarded as the best of the best in the State Capitol.  We have decided to apply this “team approach” to the political side so that we can enhance our efforts, strategies and effectiveness for our members.  The political team will be led by Ryan Tyson, the new VP of Political Operations.  The other two members of the team will be Steven Shiver, from The Advocacy Group at Cardenas Partners, and Brewster Bevis, our new VP of External Affairs.

Steven Shiver is highly respected all over the state for his wealth of political experience, and most of our members are aware of the great work he has done on the policy side as a member of our AIF Lobby Team for the past several years.  His policy experience as House Majority Liaison for Republican Majority Leader Mike Fasano, and also as a Chief Executive Assistant to the Speaker Tom Feeney, has made him one of the finest lobbyists in the Capitol. Steven’s political experience is equally impressive.  He has spent nine years for the Republican Party of Florida as a staff member and consultant managing statewide and legislative campaigns, including serving as Campaign Manager for Senate President Tom Lee’s bid for Florida Chief Financial Officer in 2006.  For Lee, Shiver organized and orchestrated one of the state’s most elaborate cabinet level campaign organizations -- overseeing a staff of 14, raising over $4.5 million, and winning a contested three-way Republican primary. 

In 2004, Shiver served as Executive Director of Political Affairs for the Republican Party of Florida (RPOF).  There Shiver oversaw the political apparatus of the state party through the historically successful election cycle of 2004. Shiver also served as Executive Director of Victory 2004, working closely with officials of the Republican National Committee and the Bush-Cheney 2004 campaign in implementing one of the largest volunteer campaign programs in the history of Florida politics.

The third member of our political team is the new VP of External Affairs Brewster Bevis, who brings a wealth of experience in all facets -- legislative, corporate and political.  On the political front, Brewster managed the Bush-Cheney 2004 campaign in 36 of Florida’s 67 counties, including supervising and directing 16 of the field directors covering 7 regions around the state; and he was the youngest Regional Political Director for Bush-Cheney in any of the key battleground states.  He was also instrumental in creating the Bush-Cheney “get out the vote” and earned media strategy.  Brewster was also involved on the ground in several congressional races in 2010.

We believe that these moves will position us in the best possible posture to be more effective in all facets of AIF -- corporate, legislative and political. You will get a chance to meet both Brewster and Ryan in the coming months at upcoming AIF events.