Mike R. Hightower
V.P. Gov. & Legislative Relations - Florida Blue (Jacksonville)
Michael Hightower joined Florida Blue in 1981 as Director of Governmental and Legislative Relations and was named Vice President in 1985. In both his role with Florida Blue and in his personal life, Mike works extensively with leaders from state and local government, the business and academic communities, and volunteer organizations to effect positive changes that enhance Floridians’ quality of life.
Mike has served as Chairman or Finance Chairman for over 416 successful State, Local or Federal Candidates since 1972. In addition, he is credited with assisting in raising over $97.3 million for both Charitable and Candidate/Political Party Campaigns.
In 1976, he joined the Carter/Mondale presidential campaign as a congressional coordinator. During 1976-1977, he served as the North Florida Region Field Director for Florida’s State Comptroller.
In 1977, President Carter appointed Mike, Florida State Director of the Farmers Home Administration U.S.D.A. Appointed at 31, Mike was the youngest State Director to date to be appointed to lead this Statewide Federal Agency.
Mike launched his career in 1966 as a shift supervisor for the Hudson Pulp Paper Corporation in Palatka, FL, and served in the U.S. Air Force from 1967 to 1971.
In 1972 to 1973 Mike served as a Civics teacher at Northwestern Junior High School in Jacksonville, Florida. In 1973 to 1976, he was appointed Accountability Design Specialist with the Duval County School Board Administration.
Mike, a graduate of Jacksonville University, resides in Jacksonville’s Riverside-Avondale Historic District with his wife Sue, an Elementary Special Education Instructor. The couple has one son, Parker and daughter-in-law Maggie. Mike is a third term Graduate School Adjunct Instructor, Principals of Lobbying at University of Florida.