Workspace: Ginny Myrick, Myrick Policy Group
Ginny DeMain Myrick has owned seven companies since earning bachelor’s and master’s degrees in speech pathology from the University of Central Florida and pursuing a doctorate from Texas Tech University.
She was groomed to run a business, however.
Born in a military family and raised as an only child by her mother in Syracuse, N.Y., Myrick worked her way through college, selling cemetery plots, processing photos at a photography studio and taking catalog orders for J.C. Penney Co.
Her mother worked as a secretary, commuting by bus, and eventually was able to buy a suburban house and a car, with no outside financial assistance.
“It left a work legacy with me and with my daughter,” Myrick says. Daughter Laura-Meade Myrick, 29, works in management for the Bright Horizons early-learning company in Seattle.
The most recent of Myrick’s seven companies began last November when she set up the Myrick Policy Group, a state and local government relations firm, to focus on clients seeking Florida economic development incentives to relocate and grow in the state. She calls it “happy lobbying” because political leaders are “eager to talk to you” about job creation.
The Myrick Policy Group shares office space in the Bank of America Tower Downtown with the Holland & Knight law firm, where Myrick was a senior policy adviser for eight years. She’s not a lawyer. She is an independent consultant and a strategic partner with the firm.
“Creating jobs is the big ‘it’ topic in the United States,” says Myrick, also a veteran of the JAX Chamber. She researches and networks to identify potential clients before they decide where to move or expand. “Someone brings me in as a value-added service,” she says.
Her experience includes past ownership of a convention planning firm with another former City Council member, Elaine Brown. Myrick served on Council from 1987-94. After a run for the Florida Senate in 1994, she worked as director of state legislation for former Mayor John Delaney and then as vice president of government relations for the Jacksonville Port Authority.
The Holland & Knight association was forged through her friendship with former Congresswoman and Council member Tillie Fowler, a Holland & Knight partner who died unexpectedly in 2005.
Myrick’s association with the law firm has taught her the value of high expectations for quality and the value of her time. She spends some of that time in community volunteerism.
Those are faith-based, serving on the St. John’s Cathedral Vestry; nonprofit, serving as treasurer of the Cathedral Arts Project; and professional, working on the management committee and as program chairwoman of the Urban Land Institute North Florida District Council. She also mentors young professionals.
“I’m happy to do it,” she says.