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Sunburn – The Morning Read Of What’s Hot In Florida Politics- 6.3.21

Deno Hicks’ new gig is with Converge Government Affairs, leading its Jacksonville office. 

  By Peter Schorsch    

Good Thursday morning.

A top-of-Sunburn birthday shoutout to my brother from another mother, Reggie Cardozo. Florida and D.C. politics know Reggie as a former Obama White House staffer and a top-flight political strategist, but I know him as a dedicated husband to Stephanie, father to MadisonFallon, and Sutton James, and a trusted friend to many. He’s also my boat buddy, a fellow connoisseur of Bloody Marys and dirty martinis, and just funny as hell.

Happy birthday, brother.

Faith Based Events


Now, let me give you updates about two good dudes.

Converge Government Affairs has added top Jacksonville lobbyist Deno Hicks as a partner in the firm.

Hicks will lead the firm’s Jacksonville office as a managing partner, overseeing the firm’s growth and client service across Northeast Florida.

Hicks comes to Converge from government affairs firm River North Strategies, where he represented a diverse mix of clients, including real estate developers, transportation and maritime companies, technology companies, and government procurement clients.

He brings with him nearly two decades of experience in government advocacy and advising in the region. He also has deep roots in state and local political affairs.

“Deno’s reputation, relationships, and deep knowledge of the Greater Jacksonville market are as good as they get. We were seeking a partner who is an A-player in the region and who has the ambition to build a top-tier presence for our firm. Deno will deliver tremendous value to our firm’s clients,” said Converge Chairman Jonathan Kilman.

Hicks added, “I could not be more excited about joining the team at Converge. Their innovative approach to advocacy for clients goes beyond just lobbying — they provide 360-degree problem-solving. I look forward to building on the firm’s incredible brand and capabilities for clients.”

Hicks has gained deep knowledge of Florida and Jacksonville government and politics through service in a wide variety of appointed government and political posts. He was also elected Republican State Committeeman in Duval County and Chairman of Congressional District 4, where he served a four-year term.

Converge Government Affairs provides state, local, and multistate government affairs services, communications services, and digital services to private and public sector clients.


Trent Phillips has joined Consensus Communications, where he will help develop client strategy and communications.

Phillips comes to the firm from the Florida Senate Majority Office, where he served as a Legislative Analyst, advising members of the Republican caucus on policy, strategy, and communications. In 2018, he served as Deputy State Director with the Florida Republican Senatorial Campaign Committee, where he managed political operations in battleground districts.

“Trent brings a unique blend of communications, legislative and political experience to our team,” said Ryan Houck, a partner with Consensus. “His work for the Senate Majority Office and noted GOP lawmakers will help our clients shape message, develop content, and pair new tactics with time-tested strategies.”

Phillips joins Consensus on the heels of the firm’s hardware-heavy awards season, which included five Pollies, four Reed Awards and 11 Tellies.

“No one does creative or communications better than Consensus,” said Phillips, who joins the firm as a Director. “I’m excited to join this exceptional team, work in this collaborative climate, and create communications that help our clients succeed.”

Before joining Consensus, Trent also served as Legislative Assistant to Sen. Jeff Brandes and Rep. James Grant, helping advance policy proposals that embraced innovation and technology.

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