Governmental Affairs Team

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The FICPA Governmental Affairs team represents you in Tallahassee with full-time lobbyists on staff.  Your lobbying team tracks a host of state legislative issues affecting the accounting profession, usually over 200 bills each legislative session.  It is our goal to support the FICPA's mission to monitor and actively participate in the public-policy making process. 

With all of this in mind, the Committee on State Legislative Policy develops annual Legislative and Regulatory Policies for the FICPA.  Through the promulgation and support of these policies, the FICPA's intent is for the profession to maintain the highest possible standards of professionalism, while also protecting the needs and exceeding the expectations of the general public.

Who We Are

For general questions or information, contact us via email. To specifically reach one of our Governmental Affairs Team, please email to the following:

Deborah Curry
Image: Deborah Curry
Deborah Curry

Ext. 240

  • Responsible for the oversight and direction of the FICPA and the Governmental Affairs department
  • Main contact for all press inquiries

Rivers Buford
Image: Rivers Buford
Rivers Buford, Ext. 203
Director of Governmental Affairs

Rivers Buford brings to the FICPA almost 20 years of legislative and regulatory experience. He has served in the positions of Policy Advisor for the Florida Senate; Senate Staff Director; Legislative Affairs Director for the Department of State overseeing the Divisions of; Cultural Affairs, Historical Resources, Library and Information Services, Corporations, and a small non-controversial Division, the Division of Elections under eight different Secretaries of State.  Prior to that he served as the Legislative Affairs Director for the Florida Trucking Association.

Rivers will be overseeing the Regulatory side of issues related to the profession, including the Department of Business and Professional Regulation and Department of Revenue and well as the Florida Board of Accountancy.  Additionally, Rivers will be working on grassroots training of members, and providing reasons why you should consider strongly supporting FICPA’s Political Action Committees.  

Justin A. Thames, DPL
Image: Justin A. Thames, DPL
Justin A. Thames, DPL, Ext. 204
Governmental Affairs Manager

  • Assist the Director of Governmental Affairs in lobbying activities before the Florida Legislature and other state regulatory agencies, registered lobbyist.
  • Administer the activities and issues of the Florida CPA Political Action Committee, Inc.
  • Assist the Director in developing and maintaining a Governmental Affairs liaison program for each Chapter

Justin is a graduate of Florida State University where he received a Bachelor of Science degree.  Prior to joining the staff of the FICPA in June of 2011, Justin worked at the League of Southeastern Credit Unions where he served as the Grassroots and Political Action Coordinator from 2008-2011.  While at the League of Southeastern Credit Unions, Justin coordinated, planned and facilitated legislative meetings and events between association members and Florida Congressional and State Legislators; monitored and advocated financial institution legislation on the state and federal level; created and executed PAC fundraising programs and activities; and created a grassroots advocacy network to recruit volunteers and encourage participation in the associations state-wide advocacy efforts.

Karen E. Nuzie, Ext. 202 
Governmental Affairs Coordinator

  • Responsible for support of Governmental Affairs programs
  • Contact of general questions about legislative programs

Karen has resided in Tallahassee since 1975. She previously worked as the Communications Assistant for the FICPA. Prior to her employment at the FICPA, she worked for Restoration Assistance, Inc. as Office Manager. Karen has also worked in the executive department of PDG Environmental, Inc. and for the Florida Department of Environmental Protection.