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(TALLAHASSEE) – Adams and Reese is pleased to announce the hiring of Laura DiBella as a Government Affairs Advisor in the law firm’s Intersection of Business and Government (IBG) Practice. She will reside in the firm’s Tallahassee office. DiBella was appointed as Florida’s first female Secretary of Commerce. She was also the former FloridaCommerce President of Business Development and Enterprise Florida President/CEO.

“Laura epitomizes economic development in Florida and is one of the most well-connected, forward-thinking, and knowledgeable business ambassadors in our state,” said Herschel Vinyard, a leading IBG Partner at Adams and Reese and Jacksonville’s Partner in Charge.  

DiBella continues significant growth in Adams and Reese’s Florida offices.

Adams and Reese recently launched an Aviation and Aerospace practice with the addition of attorneys Marc Warren and Paul Alp, formerly with the FAA and Boeing, respectively. Warren is admitted to practice in Florida and DC. DiBella has an aviation industry pedigree and serves as Chair of the Aerospace Alliance. DiBella has recruited global aerospace and defense companies to Florida, along with those in the niche eVTOL aircraft industry. In addition to aviation, she is a certified maritime port executive, the former Florida Harbor Pilots Association Executive Director and Fernandina Ocean Highway and Port Authority Port Director.

“Florida is at the forefront of aviation and aerospace development, and Adams and Reese is positioned to assist clients in this emerging industry with the addition of Paul, Marc, and now Laura,” said Vinyard. “Our Florida roster is consistently growing. We’re adding economic development leaders and agency executives who can connect business leaders to federal, state, and local government officials, where regulatory issues, business and political concerns, and legal questions all intersect.”   

DiBella brings more than 25 years of experience in economic development and government relations strategy, lobbying for clients at the legislative and executive branches with knowledge of state and local government processes, and assisting them in site selection, recruitment, and retention project assistance. Across the nation, DiBella works with domestic and international businesses looking to maximize their investment opportunities.

“We view Laura as a game-changer for our clients and prospective clients throughout our footprint,” said Brad Lampley, Adams and Reese IBG Practice Group Leader. “She understands business in Florida and the Southeast and understands how to get things done at all levels of government.”

DiBella oversaw a $21.8 million budget as President/CEO of Enterprise Florida, while also serving as President of the Florida Opportunity Fund, the venture capital arm of the state. DiBella was instrumental in strengthening partnership ties with the international business community, conducting trade missions to Japan, Taiwan, South Korea, Israel, United Kingdom, and South America during her tenure as Secretary. Her contributions elevated Florida to the 14th largest economy in the world and fastest growing economy by GDP, at $1.6 trillion.

As the first-ever, full-time executive director of Florida Harbor Pilots Association, DiBella helped pass legislation that prevents citizen initiatives from interrupting commerce at Florida seaports, protecting the state’s ability to conduct international trade and welcome tourists. As the Port Director for the Fernandina, Ocean Highway and Port Authority of Nassau County, she assisted in the award of MARAD America’s Marine Highway M-95 Fernandina Beach to Charleston Barge Service designation and subsequent $1.29 million equipment grant.

DiBella said that in her new role, she looks forward to accomplishing her clients’ business interests and policy goals, while working in lockstep with government agencies, lobbyists, and partners. “Florida is one of the most desirable locations for companies to grow and flourish – a gold standard for business freedom and prosperity,” DiBella said. “As a passionate ambassador to the business world, I look forward to this opportunity at Adams and Reese to connect all parties to drive economic development.”

Adams and Reese’s Jacksonville and Tallahassee offices recently added Construction Litigation Partner Frank Moya, litigation attorneys Chris Earle and Josh Gostel, and Government Affairs Advisor Patrick Gillespie, former Florida Dept. of Management Services Deputy Secretary for Business Operations.