The Central Florida Political Leadership Institute (PLI) announced the members of its 2017 class. This innovative, groundbreaking program is designed to strengthen and equip the region’s future leaders with training prior to their decision to run for public office. Since its inception in 2008, 17 graduates have served public office in the Central Florida region. Twenty-one finalists were chosen from Central Florida including Brevard, Flagler, Lake, Orange, Osceola, Polk, Seminole and Volusia.
A Selection Committee consisting of Investors and Members of BusinessForce reviewed the strength of applications, conducted interviews and selected the participants, ensuring representation from a wide range of business, civic and community organizations across the Central Florida region. They include:
Denise Beamer | Florida Office of the Attorney General
Zane Beard | Florida Department of Financial Services
Melissa Byrd | Orange County Public Schools
Rob Campbell | CNL Financial Group
Lyndon Carter | Lowndes, Drosdick, Doster, Kantor & Reed, P.A; Chair, Young Professionals Advisory Council (YPAC)
Harry Ellis | Next Horizon
Wilfredo (Will) Fonesca | La Rosa Realty
Mike Gorritz | Avant Healthcare Professionals
Eric Gray | United Against Poverty Orlando; Graduate, Leadership Orlando, Class 66
Lori Hagey | Feeding Children Everywhere
Brock Hankins | Allen, Dyer, Doppelt + Gilchrist P.A.
Amer Hatoum | ACR Solutions, LLC
Susan Makowski | Orange County Government
Natalie Martinez Varela | Align Public Strategies
Kahalid Muneer | Jupiter Properties, Inc.; Board Member, Orlando Economic Partnership
Amy Pennock | Pennock Consulting Group
Gonzalo Senior | IRM-Investments, Real Estate & Management
Raleigh (Lee) Steinhauer | Greater Orlando Builders Association
Heather Trick | Jordan Law FL P.A.
Matt Weber | ROAR! Internet Marketing
Kari Whaley | President/CEO, St. Cloud Chamber of Commerce
“The Central Florida Political Leadership Institute trains those considering a future bid for public office on how to campaign, teaches leadership skills for effective governing and educates participants on the critical public policy issues that are affecting our community,” said Craig Swygert, chair of BusinessForce. “We are thrilled with the incredible diversity of the selected applicants and look forward to their thoughtful determination if elected office is part of their future,” continued Swygert, of Clear Channel Outdoor Orlando and a corporate sponsor of PLI.
The 2017 Political Leadership Institute sessions will be held Thursday, September 21 through Saturday, September 23, 2017 at the GuideWell Innovation Center in Lake Nona Medical City. During the course of the bipartisan three-day session, Institute participants will hear from prominent local, state and national experts discussing a broad range of topics – government, media, campaigning, fundraising, grassroots efforts, ethics and key public policy issues. Following the campaign school, participants will undergo numerous leadership activities throughout the year and important networking opportunities.
There is no cost to apply or attend. PLI is made possible by the support of its sponsors including AT&T, BusinessForce, Clear Channel Outdoor, Orlando Economic Partnership and Universal Orlando Resort.
For additional information, please contact Robert Agrusa, Executive Director of BusinessForce and Director of the Central Florida Political Leadership Institute at 407.907.8082 or via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.