Former Florida Business Regulator Michael Johnston Joins Shumaker Advisors

TAMPA, Fla. – Florida’s former Deputy Secretary of Business Regulation Michael “MJ” Johnston is joining Shumaker Advisors Florida, where he will focus on helping clients advance goals by successfully navigating government and regulatory affairs.

“It is an honor to join Shumaker Advisors and have the opportunity to use my years of experience in policy and regulatory arenas to make a difference and help Florida businesses expand,” MJ said. “Empowering clients and entrepreneurs with the insights they need to succeed is a key part of growing our economy, creating jobs, and making the Sunshine State a great place to live for generations to come.”

Prior to joining Shumaker Advisors, MJ served as the Deputy Secretary of Business Regulation at the Florida Department of Business and Professional Regulation (DBPR) from 2019 through 2021. While there, he provided policy and regulatory guidance of four major industries: alcoholic beverages and tobacco; condominiums, timeshares, and mobile homes; hotels and restaurants; and pari-mutuel wagering (including cardrooms, slot gaming industries, and administering the gaming compact with the Seminole Tribe). Before serving as Deputy Secretary of Business Regulation, MJ served as Chief Information Officer (CIO) and Director of the Office of Agriculture Technology Services for the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services during the Tenure of Commissioner Adam Putnam. In addition, MJ managed a private information technology (IT) consulting firm, led a project management office for an interactive marketing agency, and directed the MyFloridaMarketPlace (state procurement) project and a benefits/payroll data warehouse for the State of Florida.

“MJ stands out as a visionary leader, especially in the hardest of times. Throughout the pandemic, he helped Florida industries stay open for business and thrive,” said Shumaker Advisors President and CEO Ron Christaldi. “We are honored to have MJ join our team and look forward to many more successes to come at Shumaker Advisors.”

MJ joins Shumaker Advisors as the firm has established itself as one of the most impressive and fastest growing public affairs firms in Florida and beyond. With offices now in Florida, Ohio, North Carolina, South Carolina, and Washington, D.C., Shumaker Advisors added over the past year former Tampa Mayor Bob Buckhorn, former Pensacola Mayor Ashton Hayward, former Hillsborough County Commissioners Lesley “Les” Miller, Jr. (also former minority leader in the Florida House and the Florida Senate) and Sandra “Sandy” Murman (also former speaker pro tem of the Florida House), as well as long-time Chief Assistant Hillsborough County Attorney Jennie Granahan Tarr, Suskey Consulting founder and CEO Alan Suskey, along with Lobbyist RJ Myers, former South Carolina Governor and Congressman Mark Sanford, Michael R. McKinley (Charlotte County’s first ever assistant county attorney), and former Congressional Chief of Staff Ryan Walker, to an already impressive team that includes Ron Christaldi, Congressman David Jolly (ret.), Amy Maguire, Mike Hamby, Andrew Mayts, and JD White.