Ron Book Brings Unparalleled Intensity to Florida Lobbying
Around the State
Mega-lobbyist Ron Book has gained notoriety as one of the state’s top lobbyists. His three-man shop brought in an impressive number in legislative fees in 2012, and many refer to Book as a “lobbying machine.” Book’s prowess and overwhelming success brings his firm to the No. 1 spot on Sunshine State News’ Top Lobbyists in Florida.
Last year, the three-man lobbying shop brought in an impressive $4.7 million in legislative fees, or about $1.57 million per lobbyist.
Joined by Rana Brown and Kelly Mallette, Book’s firm boasts a deep understanding of the need to advocate for clients’ needs. Mallette is well-versed in health care and social service issues and Brown worked in Miami-Dade County intergovernmental affairs.
Book brings a passion and drive to his lobbying work -- and there’s lots of work. He told Sunshine State News when the Legislature is in session, he’ll head into the office before the sun rises -- usually around 6:15 a.m. -- and will work well into the late hours of the night.
Book contests that long hours are necessary to yield the results clients want out of a lobbying firm.
“We’ve got a lot of clients. You can’t service those clients if you’re not working 18, 19 hours a day when the Legislature’s in session,” he explained. “I don’t think there’s any substitute for that level of hard work and intensity in advocating for your clients. You increase the potential for success by working hard. ... If we weren’t there during every minute ... during those last two weeks of session, we wouldn’t be successful.”
Deep knowledge of client issues is also a contributing factor to the firm’s success.
“We’re successful because we work hard at it ... we try to know our clients’ issues better than our clients do.”
Book and his firm represent many high-profile clients, including the Miami Dolphins, the University of Miami, West Flagler Kennel Club and AT&T. The firm also represents several cities and local governments across the state. In 2012, the firm’s average annual retainer was $63,000.
Beyond the firm’s intense lobbying practice is an underlying desire to give back to the system and the community. Book is deeply involved in representing many pro-bono clients. Book has been a strong advocate for many nonprofit organizations and currently serves as chairman of Lauren’s Kids, a nonprofit organization working to prevent sexual abuse through awareness and education. The organization is run by his daughter, Lauren Book.
He serves as board member emeritus of the Joe DiMaggio Children’s Hospital Foundation, is a member and chairman of the Miami-Dade County Homeless Trust, and is also chair of the Children’s Home Society of Florida Foundation.
“I believe that to those that much is given, much is expected ... and I practice that,” said Book. “[Working with nonprofits] is extremely important and I believe that I have a responsibility to give back [to the system].”
Reach Tampa-based reporter Allison Nielsen at email@example.com or follow her on Twitter at @AllisonNielsen.