Courtney James at The Southern GroupTallahassee, FL – Courtney James joins The Southern Group’s Orlando team, bringing with her extensive connections in Orlando and Central Florida local government. With an impressive track record in government relations and community engagement, Courtney brings even more strength to an already talent-laden Southern Group team.

“Courtney’s experience immediately impressed us. Her innate ability to understand complex issues will ensure she can help our clients navigate ever-changing policy. We look to hire policy heavyweights and Courtney’s winning attitude will serve our clients well,” said Kelly Cohen, Managing Partner of The Southern Group’s fast-growing Orlando office. “Her professional background and work ethic allows her to assist clients not only in local government and economic development, but in the education space as well.”

“Courtney has demonstrated her knack for cultivating strong relationships with local elected officials and leaders in the Central Florida area. We are thrilled she is bringing those important connections to our firm,” said Paul Bradshaw, chairman and founder of The Southern Group.

Courtney’s distinguished career includes a range of accomplishments, most recently serving as the Assistant Director of Policy, Legal, and Government Relations at Valencia College in Orlando. In this role, she worked closely with elected officials, steering legislative strategies to advance the college’s priorities. Notably, her adept navigation of the Florida College System’s complex funding landscape resulted in the securing of $5 million in Public Education Capital Outlay (PECO) funding for Valencia College’s Lake Nona Campus. Beyond the institution, Courtney played a pivotal role in advocating for a new funding model that was successfully implemented across the Florida College System through legislative channels.

“The addition of Courtney to The Southern Group’s Orlando team will undoubtedly pay dividends to clients statewide.  She is a rising star and brings with her rich experience in state policy matters, impressive advocacy skills, and a deep commitment to serving others,” said Bill Mullowney, Vice President of Policy and General Counsel for Valencia College.

Courtney’s passion for politics and community engagement has always been clear. During her undergraduate studies at Bowling Green State University, she led grassroots efforts for President Obama’s reelection campaign, promoting student involvement. As a result of her efforts and local volunteers, her county had the largest turnout of student voting that year and flipped the county from red to blue.

Her commitment to political involvement continued during her paralegal career in Orlando. Here, she monitored legislative bills affecting the Florida College System, gaining intimate knowledge of the legislative process, and cultivating relationships within the State Capitol.

Courtney received her BA in political science from Bowling State University and her master’s degree in public administration and policy from American University. She currently lives in Sanford with her husband, Joshua, and their children.

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