Our Valued Partners
Commissioner Pete Clarke
Former Orange County Commission, District Three
Commissioner Pete Clarke, a distinguished leader with a rich background, has navigated a journey shaped by military roots and a commitment to public service. Raised in a military family with global stops, including Germany and France, Commissioner Clarke's diverse experiences contribute to his well-rounded perspective.
Armed with a Marine Biology degree from the University of West Florida and dual master’s degrees in education/public health and management, Commissioner Clarke possesses a unique blend of scientific knowledge and organizational expertise. His service in the US Air Force and his dedication to public service culminated in his election to the Board of County Commissioners in 2012—a position he successfully reclaimed in 2016.
With a family-oriented mindset, Commissioner Clarke, a husband and father of two adult sons, embodies a deep commitment to community values. His and his wife's active involvement in various not-for-profit organizations reflects a genuine passion for making a positive impact beyond the political arena.
Commissioner Clarke's foray into the race for Orange County Mayor in 2018 marked a significant chapter in his political career. Running against Sheriff Jerry Demings and Rob Panepinto, Commissioner Clarke, in his second term on the Board of County Commissioners, showcased resilience and community resonance, securing a substantial runner-up finish despite stiff competition.
In the dynamic media and public relations landscape, Commissioner Clarke's association with Hawksley Media Group has seamlessly transitioned to J & Washington due to the merger between HMG and Myers & Washington. The enduring strength of Commissioner Clarke's relationship as a client speaks volumes about the effectiveness and trustworthiness of the services provided by the merged entity.
Commissioner Pete Clarke's story is one of resilience, dedication, and an unwavering commitment to positively impacting both in the political realm and through continued collaboration with J & Washington.
2020 Republican Nominee for U.S. Congress FL-10
Vennia Francios, an accomplished attorney with a wealth of experience, has dedicated many years in service to her country, initially in Washington, D.C., before returning to her roots in Central Florida. As a first-generation American, born and raised in the heart of Central Florida, Vennia's journey reflects a deep connection to her community.
A distinguished member of the Florida Bar, District of Columbia Bar, and the United Supreme Court Bar, Vennia's legal expertise is extensive. Her early career saw her serving as an intern for Congressman John Mica, and she later transitioned to Senator Mel Martinez's staff, where she played a vital role as a policy advisor—a role she continued with George LeMieux. Notably, her time with the SEC focused on protecting the public from fraudulent and deceptive financial practices, showcasing her commitment to justice and integrity.
Vennia's relationship with Hawksley Media Group, now J & Washington, began during her congressional bid for District Seven in 2018. Despite facing a challenging Republican Primary, she persevered with the support of HMG, navigating a strategic shift to Congressional District Ten. With Joel Hawksley's guidance, she secured a primary win, demonstrating resilience and adaptability in the face of unexpected challenges.
The partnership between Vennia Francios and HMG, now J & Washington, goes beyond the professional realm—it's a friendship that has weathered political ups and downs. In her bid for Florida House District 46, despite facing a defeat in a competitive Republican Primary, Vennia's determination was unwavering.
J & Washington takes pride in its collaboration with Vennia Francios, standing with her through political challenges and celebrating victories, both big and small. The firm's commitment to supporting clients against insurmountable odds, when the cause is just, is evident in its continued cordial relationship with Vennia. In the world of politics and media, Vennia Francios stands as a testament to resilience, dedication, and the enduring strength of partnerships forged in the pursuit of justice.
2020 Orange County Commission, District Five Candidate
Anjali Vaya's political journey has been closely intertwined with the expertise of Hawksley Media Group (HMG), marking a partnership that extends from the inception of her campaign career. From the outset, HMG was thrilled to collaborate with Vaya in crafting a brand that transcends the bounds of Orange County politics, reflecting her vision for a community-driven approach.
The alliance faced a significant test during a contentious commission campaign where unexpected dynamics emerged. The entry of former State Representative Mike Miller in the eleventh hour of qualifying introduced the challenge of navigating a split Republican Vote in a nonpartisan election—a situation where the political landscape remained discernible despite the absence of party labels. In this context, HMG stood by Anjali Vaya, navigating the complexities of a fiercely contested race with strategic acumen.
The Winter Park Commissioner race pitted Vaya against Kristopher Cruzada, creating a unique situation due to the close relationships between both candidates. Recognizing the potential for conflicts of interest, J & Washington, the evolved form of HMG, responsibly recused itself from either campaign, upholding a commitment to ethical and impartial conduct.
One of the standout achievements of this collaboration was the implementation of the highly competitive branding campaign titled "Creating Stronger Communities." This campaign resonated with Vaya's core values, emphasizing unity, strength, and truth to build stronger communities. HMG, now J & Washington, took pride in executing a campaign that showcased Vaya's vision and positioned her as a leader committed to community development.
As the political landscape evolved, the relationship between J & Washington and Anjali Vaya transitioned into a nonpolitical realm. Despite the shifting dynamics, the collaboration continues, focusing on Vaya's broader business interests. The commitment to a nonpolitical relationship underscores the enduring nature of the bond forged between Vaya and J & Washington, emphasizing shared values and a dedication to community betterment beyond politics.
2020 Republican Nominee for Florida House District 49
Robert Prater's journey in the political arena is a testament to resilience and the power of grassroots efforts. In 2018, he stepped into the realm of Orange County School Board candidacy, facing a challenging race against former Orange County Mayor Terresa Jacobs. Despite a devastating loss, Prater refused to be deterred and, recognizing the potential for positive change, sought a strategic partnership with Hawksley Media Group (HMG).
Joel Hawksley, the owner of HMG and co-founder of J & Washington, was specifically chosen by Prater for his integrity and honesty. In an industry often swayed by heavy hitters and well-funded campaigns, HMG distinguished itself by rolling up its sleeves and working tirelessly for the underfunded political underdog.
The collaboration between Robert Prater and HMG reached a significant milestone in the 2020 election when Prater became the Republican Nominee for Florida House District 49. Facing incumbent Rep. Carlos Smith without Party support, Prater initiated the impactful "Legislator, not a demonstrator" campaign. Despite the odds, the grassroots effort orchestrated by HMG made this election the closest contest of Smith's political career, paving the way for Smith's eventual defeat in the following election to Susan Placencia.
HMG's pride in the campaign's results goes beyond the immediate victory or defeat. It underscores the agency's commitment to working with clients who may not have the financial backing of more extensive campaigns but have a genuine passion for change. The collaboration with Robert Prater exemplifies the belief that every voice matters in the democratic process and that grassroots efforts can create significant political ripples.
While the 2020 election ended in a loss for Prater, the campaign's impact reverberated, setting the stage for future change. The story of Robert Prater and Hawksley Media Group is one of tenacity, commitment, and the belief that even in the face of formidable challenges, a dedicated grassroots effort can bring about meaningful shifts in the political landscape.
Broker/owner of Jupiter Properties Inc.
and 2020 Democrat Candidate for Orange County Property Appraiser
Muneer, an influential figure in Orlando's business and economic landscape, holds key positions in various chambers of commerce, reflecting his commitment to fostering economic growth and diversity. As an executive committee member of the Orlando Economic Development Commission and former president and president-elect of the Asian American Chamber of Commerce, Muneer plays a vital role in shaping the business landscape.
His active involvement extends to several other chambers, including the Central Florida Brazilian American Chamber of Commerce, the Florida Arab American Chamber of Commerce, the Moroccan American Business Alliance, and the Muslim American Chamber of Commerce of Greater Orlando. This multifaceted engagement underscores Muneer's dedication to promoting collaboration and understanding among diverse communities.
Muneer's political journey gained momentum when he decided to run for Orange County Property Appraiser, driven by a desire to bring trust, transparency, and accountability to the office. Hawksley Media Group (HMG) stepped in to roll out the impactful "Experience Matters" Public Relations campaign, showcasing Muneer's qualifications and commitment to the community.
Muneer faced challenges in a political landscape marked by unexpected twists as Florida House Representative Amy Mercado entered the race with substantial Democrat Women support. Despite limited resources, Muneer, guided by a never-quit mentality, chose to stay in the race against the advice of HMG. The dynamics shifted further when Muneer, against counsel, launched a late bid for the Democrat nomination for Congressional District 10, the seat vacated by former Congresswoman Val Demings.
The enduring partnership between J & Washington and Muneer goes beyond the political arena. Despite differences in strategy and decisions, the relationship remains strong, built on mutual respect and a shared commitment to finding the right person for the right job. J & Washington prides itself on providing honest advice, prioritizing the best interests of their clients over financial considerations.
In the world of politics, where the landscape can be unpredictable, Muneer's story is a testament to resilience, determination, and the importance of aligning with partners who prioritize integrity and shared values. The ongoing business relationship between J & Washington and Muneer underscores the strength of their collaboration, transcending the ups and downs of the political sphere.
Past Orlando Mayoral Candidate
Aretha Simons, a candidate with a vision for a new direction and a fresh voice, embarked on a transformative journey with Hawksley Media Group (HMG) in 2019. On February 1, HMG rolled out the impactful "We're Ready for this" campaign, echoing Simons' call for change and a new era in Orlando.
Recognizing the need for strategic guidance in the competitive political landscape, Simons transitioned her campaign to Meyers and Washington, a general consulting firm. Facing the formidable incumbent campaign of Mayor Buddy Dyer and contending with financial constraints, Simons sought support to navigate the challenges ahead.
HMG, primarily a public relations firm, enthusiastically embraced the opportunity to assist Simons in finding the right political consultant for her campaign. The collaboration between Simons and HMG was part of a series of partnerships that eventually contributed to the formation of the current company merger, giving rise to J & Washington.
Simons' campaign, driven by a desire for change and a fresh perspective, faced hurdles in terms of funding and incumbent competition. However, the strategic support provided by HMG and the subsequent transition to Meyers and Washington underscored a commitment to helping clients navigate challenges and find the right expertise for their specific needs.
The story of Aretha Simons is not just about a political campaign; it's a narrative of collaboration, adaptation, and the evolution of partnerships. The eventual merger into J & Washington reflects the dynamic nature of the political and consulting landscape, emphasizing the importance of finding the right team to bring about positive change.
As J & Washington continues to thrive, the foundation laid by collaborations like the one with Aretha Simons remains a testament to the company's commitment to supporting clients in their pursuit of meaningful and impactful campaigns, even in the face of formidable challenges.