Jenna Persons, 34

2 Posted by - October 12, 2017 - 2017, Charlotte-Lee-Collier 2017, Lee-Collier

Partner, Strayhorn & Persons

As a sixth-generation Lee County resident, Jenna Persons says she knew she wanted to come back to the area after law school.

“I knew that when I graduated, I wanted to come home and start my practice here in my hometown,” says Persons, a graduate of George Washington Law School. “My roots, my family and my history here are so important to me.”

Less than a year out of law school, Persons was laid off from her first legal job during the recession. “As a young attorney, what do you do if no one is hiring?” she says. Her answer — start her own practice.

Persons has succeeded in that venture. She focuses mostly on land use and development matters and advocating for clients through local and state governments at her boutique law firm.

Persons made another big move in 2009 when she ran for mayor of the city of Fort Myers — at 26 years old. “My heart’s always been in Fort Myers, and I really believed and I do believe that I had a different and great perspective to bring to a lot of the policy issues in the city,” she says. “I knew I could do the job and I had the heart to do the job and a heart for the people.”

Although she lost the election, Persons says the experience was worthwhile. “The best thing about running,” she says, “was knocking on doors and talking to folks and hearing what they cared about.”

She has stayed active in local campaigns since then, and she’s considering running for the Florida House, in District 78, in 2020 to represent Fort Myers. Says Persons: “I’m excited to get back in there and talk with the people and campaign and hear what’s important to them.”

— Grier Ferguson

Survey says

Name: Jenna Persons

Age: 34

City of residence: Fort Myers

Twitter handle: @jenna_persons

Employer: Strayhorn & Persons

Title: Partner

Birthplace: Naples

Years on the Gulf Coast: 34

Marital status/children: Single. Mom to a cocker spaniel named Lovie

Alma mater/degree: George Washington Law School

Best place to network: Social House aka SOHO

Messy desk or clean workspace: Organized mess

Eat lunch out or at your desk: Out

Best business lesson ever learned: Always be prepared

A website that makes your job easier: Google

App you use the most: Mail and Messages rival one another

One thing you do everyday: Thank God

Community group you’re most involved with: Tiger Bay of SWFL

Favorite off-hours activity: Tennis

Two people, dead or alive, you’d like to have dinner with: Abraham Lincoln and Thomas Jefferson

What you would be doing if you could pick another career: Author

Top item on your bucket list: Skydiving, which I already checked off and overcame my fear (see biggest fear below)

Your happy place is: My hometown

Your biggest fear: Falling

Skill you’d like to learn: Fly

Who would play you in a movie about your life: Carey Mulligan

Describe yourself in three words: Dedicated, determined and driven

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