About

Learn Today, Lead Tomorrow

The Central Florida Political Leadership Institute is a program that was developed by BusinessForce, the political action arm of the Orlando Economic Partnership. This unique non-partisan, pro-business, regional initiative was designed to prepare and strengthen the next generation of elected leaders before they formally choose to run for a specific public office.

Powerful Connections

The Central Florida Political Leadership Institute features a three-day political leadership school, ongoing leadership activities throughout the year and important networking opportunities. It features local, state and national speakers who share their invaluable expertise on campaigning for public office and leading once elected.

Exclusive Participation

A limited number of emerging leaders from throughout the Central Florida business community are given the opportunity to participate in this ground-breaking program. Participants are selected based on the strength of their applications and personal interviews with a screening committee.
Participants represent a diverse range of business experience, backgrounds and community involvement. Applicants must not be a declared candidate and must reside within the seven-county Central Florida region in order to be selected for the Central Florida Political Leadership Institute.

Non-Partisan, Unbiased Curriculum

Typically, campaign schools are operated by political parties and are designed for declared candidates and current officeholders. The Central Florida Political Leadership Institute takes a truly innovative approach by offering a non-partisan program to better equip business and civic leaders who have expressed an interest in becoming political candidates and government leaders. It exposes prospective elected leaders to the political process, regardless of their political affiliation.
Many new faces are entering the political arena without a track record or knowledge of how to run a successful campaign. They are coming to BusinessForce for support and an orientation on critical regional issues. The Central Florida Political Leadership Institute was designed to address these concerns, while identifying and encouraging new leaders, within the seven-county Central Florida region, who may emerge outside of the normal political party channels.

Your Political Career Starts Here

If you’re interested in learning what it takes to wage a winning campaign and become a successful elected official, begin building the foundation today. The Central Florida Political Leadership Institute can provide you with the comprehensive skills, resources and connections you need to launch your political career.

The Polls Have Spoken

Since its inception in 2008, 17 graduates from the Central Florida Political Leadership Institute have served in public office in our region. Other graduates are actively considering their candidacies for further elections. Successful graduates include:

  • State Representative Ben Albritton
  • Osceola County Commissioner Brandon Arrington
  • Polk County Commissioner Melony Bell
  • Former Winter Park Mayor Ken Bradley
  • State Representative Colleen Burton
  • Osceola County Commissioner Peggy Choudhry
  • Orange County Court Judge Eric DuBois
  • Former Orange County Clerk of the Court Eddie Fernandez
  • Winter Springs Mayor Charles Lacey
  • Former Winter Garden City Commissioner Bobby Olszewski
  • Lake County Commissioner Sean Parks
  • Orange County School Board Member Nancy Robbinson
  • Former Daytona Beach City Councilwoman Edith Shelley
  • Winter Park City Commissioner Sarah Sprinkel
  • Orange County Court Judge Elizabeth J. Starr
  • Former Seminole County Soil and Water Conservation District Supervisor Scott Sturgill
  • Orange County Commissioner Jennifer Thompson