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    TAMPA, FL – August 14, 2018 – GrayRobinson announces that two of its attorneys have been selected for Leadership Florida’s new classes. Brian J. Fender, chair of the Firm's Public Finance practice and a shareholder in GrayRobinson’s Tampa office, has been selected for Leadership Florida’s Cornerstone XXXVII class and Ashlea Edwards, an attorney in GrayRobinson’s Jacksonville office, has been selected for Leadership Florida’s Connect IX class.  This is the thirty-seventh year Leadership Florida has brought together the best and brightest leaders in Florida.

    “I am thrilled that both Brian and Ashlea have been asked to participate in this prestigious program,” said Mayanne Downs, president and managing director of GrayRobinson. “As leaders in our Firm as well as in the community, this is a well-deserved opportunity for both of them and I am confident that they will contribute to carrying out Leadership’s Florida mission to work for a better Florida.”

    Leadership Florida is a year-long program designed to educate and expose leaders in Florida to the social and economic issues affecting the state and encourage them to use their knowledge and ability to seek solutions for the public interest. The program was created to build a sense of statewide community by identifying and training individuals with the passion and commitment to help make great things happen. The Cornerstone Program is designed for established leaders in the community while the Connect Program is designed for up and coming leaders.

    Fender focuses his practice on public finance and represents a variety of clients. He has been involved in more than 450 public finance transactions and has represented clients in the issuance of more than $30 billion of tax-exempt and taxable debt. Active in the community, he currently serves on the board of directors for the Tampa Downtown Partnership and the Dean’s Council for the University of South Florida Honors College. He earned his undergraduate degree from the University of South Florida and his law degree from the University of Florida College of Law. 

    Edwards focuses her practice on commercial litigation, bankruptcy, appeals, and corporate transactions.  Edwards is a member of the Litigation and Bankruptcy & Creditors’ Rights Law practice groups. Outside of her law practice, she serves on the Board of Governors for both the Young Lawyers Section of the Jacksonville Bar Association and the Young Lawyers Division of the Florida Bar as well as the Alumni Board of Directors for Florida Coastal School of Law. She earned her undergraduate degree from Louisiana State University and her law degree from Florida Coastal School of Law.


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