Nestled away in Tallahassee is Metz, Husband & Daughton. Since 1999, the lobbying group has established a reputation of providing, ranking them No. 10 on Sunshine State News' Top Lobbying Firms in Florida.
Metz, Husband & Daughton is comprised of a nine-member team of both lawyers and nonlawyers.
Founder Jim Daughtons work in lobbying seems to hardly come as a surprise to those who know him -- when he was in college, he received the William Armory Underhill Award, which is given to students likely to have a positive impact on government.
Steve Metz has vast experience in both politics as well as law -- he served as a legislative staff member as well as an assistant attorney general before he became a lobbyist. Gov. Jeb Bush appointed Metz to serve on the Florida Sports Foundation, where he served eight years.
Warren Husband served in the U.S. Air Force before making his way to law school and later to lobbying -- Husband has significant trial experience through the Florida Division of Administrative Hearings.
Jim Daughton told Sunshine State News that the firms understanding of clients needs is what sets them apart from other lobbying shops in Tallahassee.
As government gets more and more complex, the clients needs are different, he said. I think we have a real strong ability to understand from a clients perspective of what they need, and what solutions they need.
Even though the legislative session lasts a mere 60 days, that doesnt mean Metz, Husband & Daughton stops working. Daughton explained that spending time with clients is imperative, not only during session but all year round.
With meetings and traveling, the lobbying process becomes a full-time engagement.
If you consider the legislative session as just 60 days, you probably don't have a full-time practice, he said. We're on the road, we're talking to members, we're developing policy issues with our clients.
Metz, Husband & Daughton represents a great deal of corporate clients. In 2013, its top client was The Florida Bar, but others included Amscot Financial, Florida Restaurant and Lodging Association and Walt Disney World. In total, the firm had 49 clients with an average retainer of $43,000.
Jim Millson of the Florida Academy of Family Physicians told Sunshine State News the connections Metz, Husband & Daughton have developed over the years have proved to be extremely helpful in their lobbying work.
Their reputation speaks for itself, he said. The fact that they are involved with and represent a number of different for-profit and nonprofit groups ... that balance helps us, because it opens doors with organizations we might not have a relationship with otherwise.
Beyond their numerous connections, Millson said the firms success comes from the teams ability to work well with clients.
Theyre very likeable people and down-to-earth so it makes [them] easy to work with, said Millson.
For Metz, Husband & Daughton, the ever-changing world of Florida politics is what makes their jobs so worthwhile.
Because issues change every year, it does kind of keep it interesting, said Daughton.
Reach Tampa-based reporter Allison Nielsen at Allison@sunshinestatenews.com or follow her on Twitter at @AllisonNielsen.
Sunshine State News staff and researchers analyzed thousands of Floridas legislative lobbying compensation reports filed within the databases and official records maintained by Online Sunshine and the Florida Lobbyist Registration Office in Tallahassee.In order to determine SSNs rankings, we considered a combination of three factors: a firms total billings, a firms average client annual retainer and the sum of a firms total 2013 fees divided by the number of lobbyists it employed last year.