Mike Hightower, Chief Public Affairs Officer
Mike joined JEA in 2015. Mike brings over 35 years of Governmental & Legislative Relations experience to JEA. Mike also served 16 years on JEA’s Board of Directors and served 2 two years terms as JEA Chair.
Mr. Hightower joined Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Florida in 1981 as the Director of Governmental and Legislative Relations. In 1985, he was named the Vice President of Governmental and Legislative Relations. Mike worked closely with key political leaders in the federal, state and local government, after three decades of a successful career at Florida Blue, he retired in late 2014, he then joined the Holland and Knight International Law firm as a Senior Policy Advisor prior to joining the JEA Senior Leadership Team.
In addition to his professional accomplishments, he has dedicated his time, talents and leadership to numerous boards and commissions over the last 35 years. Presently Mike chairs the following: Florida Governor’s Mansion Foundation, JaxBiz and Florida College System Foundation. In addition, Mike is the Senior Vice President, Special Projects- Florida House, Florida’s Embassy in Washington DC, and Vice President, Florida Association of Professional Lobbyists. He also serves as an active Board Member of the following: OneJax, Florida Ounce of Prevention, and Five Star Veterans Center
Previous to joining JEA, Mike has chaired the following Civic and Trade Associations: United States Naval Academy, Jacksonville Chamber of Commerce, Florida House, Florida’s Embassy in Washington DC, Associated Industries of Florida, Florida Insurance Council, Florida News Service, Jacksonville Library Foundation, Jacksonville Political Leadership Institute, Duval County Republican Party and the Cecil Field Base Closure Commission.
In 2006, Florida’s Leadership leaders appointed Mike to the Florida Energy Commission. The nine-member panel was charged with making recommendations to the Florida Legislature on ways to secure Florida’s energy future.
In 2010, Florida’s legislative leadership appointed Mike to the Public Service Commission Nominating Council, charged with interviewing and recommending qualified candidates for gubernatorial appointment to Florida Public Service Commission.
Mike, a 1972 graduate of Jacksonville University, resides in Jacksonville with his wife Sue, an Elementary Special Education Instructor. The couple has one son, Parker, daughter-in-law Maggie and a new granddaughter, Gracie. Mike is a third term 2003, 2005, 2007 University of Florida Graduate School Adjunct Instructor, “Principals of Lobbying”.