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Jax Daily Record Thursday, Oct. 31, 201905:10 AM EST

The Marbut Report: Ray Driver in line to lead JAX Chamber

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Attorney also joined the JTA board.
by: Max Marbut Associate Editor

There aren’t many blank spaces on Ray Driver’s appointment calendar.

In addition to running the law firm he started with a single partner 19 years ago that has grown to four partners and more than 20 associate attorneys,  he’s chair of JAX Chamber’s JAXUSA Partnership economic development division and in line to chair the chamber in 2021.

He’s a trustee at Jacksonville University, a charter member of the JU Public Policy Institute board of advisers and past chair of the Community Hospice & Palliative Care Foundation board of directors, among myriad other civic involvements.

“I’ve been fortunate. I don’t mind giving back a little time and a little money and this stuff is interesting,” said Driver, with the Driver, McAfee, Hawthorne & Diebenow firm.

A member of the chamber for more than 20 years, Driver sees the organization as a way to bring the business community together and “a lot of people who are willing to raise their hands and volunteer.”

He has risen through the organization’s leadership ranks and witnessed the city’s business evolution in the 21st century.

Driver cites the emergence of Jacksonville as a logistics center and the transformation of the former Navy jet base in West Jacksonville into Cecil Commerce Center and Cecil Spaceport as milestones, with more advancements in the future, such as the satellite launches scheduled early in 2020.

“Now, we’re high-tech rather than low-tech. Jacksonville used to be known for call centers,” Driver said.

Priorities include continuing the drive to attract 10,000 residents to the urban core and development of Jacksonville as a center of financial technology.

Driver was appointed in September by Gov. Ron DeSantis to the Jacksonville Transportation Authority board of directors, where he’ll help guide Jacksonville into the future of autonomous vehicle technology, said JTA CEO Nathaniel Ford.

“It is clear that he shares our enthusiasm for enhancing mobility in Jacksonville and for pursuing innovative solutions for our public transportation network,” Ford said.

“We’re at the beginning of it. Watching how fast that’s going to happen will be a lot of fun,” Driver said.

Lidija Barauskas

New associate at The Bedell Firm

Lidija Barauskas joined The Bedell Firm as an associate attorney.

Barauskas focuses her practice on matters of criminal justice and brings to the firm four years of experience as an assistant state attorney in the 1st and 4th Judicial Circuits.

She received an undergraduate degree from Emory University and a J.D. from Florida State University College of Law.

Yoga on the lawn begins Nov. 6

The Jacksonville Bar Association Mental Health & Wellness Committee’s Yoga on the Courthouse Lawn begins at noon Nov. 6 in front of the Duval County Courthouse.

The one-hour classes, facilitated by Duval County Judge Eleni Derke, are scheduled the first Wednesday of each month.

Visit jaxbar.org to register.

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