Gov. DeSantis Taps Melanie Griffin As DPBR Secretary – Florida Politics

The appointee replaces outgoing Secretary Julie Brown, who helmed the department for less than a year.

Gov. Ron DeSantis on Wednesday appointed Melanie Griffin as Secretary of the Florida Department of Business and Professional Regulation.

A Tampa-native and lawyer, Griffin replaces outgoing Secretary Julie Brown. DeSantis appointed Brown to the position in February. She’ll serve next as Chair of the new the Florida Gaming Control Commission.

Griffin is a lawyer with Shumaker, Loop & Kendrick. She is also a senior adviser for business-to-business relationships for Shumaker Advisors Florida and the founder of Spread Your Sunshine.

Spread Your Sunshine “provides speaking and professional training services and designs, manufactures and sells inspirational products and gifts,” the Governor’s Office explained in a press release.

Griffin has advised and represented businesses of all sizes and types in commercial disputes and litigation, ranging from simple breach of contract actions, to complex commercial cases involving intellectual property issues, real estate actions, non-competition and non-solicitation agreements, tortious interference with contracts and business relationships, and substantive employment law issues, such as harassment, discrimination, and retaliation, according to Shumaker. She has also represented individuals and entities in trust and estate litigation, having handled several multi-million dollar disputes for prominent Florida families.

A Florida State University grad, Griffin is member of various boards across the state.

She is president of the Hillsborough Association of Women Lawyers Executive Board of Directors and serves on the Florida State University College of Law Board of Visitors.

She is also a Fellow of The Florida Bar Foundation. She holds a bachelor’s degree in finance, master of business administration and law degree from FSU.

DBPR oversees regulated industries such as food service, alcohol and gambling. The department also handles licensing and regulation for a wide range of professions, such as barbers, cosmetologists and real estate agents.

Griffin marks the latest of three DBPR secretaries crowned within the year.

Former Secretary Halsey Beshears stepped down Jan. 29 citing personal health issues. Beshears is a notable figure in the ongoing investigation into U.S. Rep. Matt Gaetz. A former Republican lawmaker from Monticello, Beshears was elected to the House in 2012 and was among DeSantis’ first agency-head selections in 2018.

Brown, meanwhile, served the agency for less than a year. She spent 10 years on the Florida Public Service Commission, serving as chair from 2016 to 2018. A lawyer and University of Florida graduate, she previously served on the Florida Women’s Suffrage Centennial Commission and is a former president of the League of Women Voters of Hillsborough County.

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