Frequently Asked Questions
What is the Central Florida Political Leadership Institute?
BusinessForce, the political action arm of the Orlando Economic Partnership, has developed a groundbreaking, non-partisan initiative, uniquely designed to equip and strengthen our region’s next generation of elected leaders before they formally choose to run for specific public office by thoughtfully introducing them to the “rough and tumble world of politics.” The Central Florida Political Leadership Institute is receiving national attention for educating prospective local leaders on the basics of political campaigning, leadership skills for effective governing and critical public policy issues.
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 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.
What will be the curriculum for the Central Florida Political Leadership Institute?
During the Central Florida Political Leadership Institute, those fortunate enough to be selected for participation will hear from prominent local, state and national experts on a broad range of topics – government, media, campaigning, fundraising, ethics and key public policy issues.
Who will guide the Central Florida Political Leadership Institute?
This year’s class will be led by Robert Agrusa, Executive Director of BusinessForce and the Director of the Central Florida Political Leadership Institute. Agrusa, a Florida native and a veteran of several state and local campaigns across the State of Florida, is the Executive Director of BusinessForce, the political action arm of the Orlando Economic Partnership. Prior to joining the team at the Orlando Economic Partnership, Agrusa moved to Orlando in 2011 to serve as the chief political liaison between Senator Andy Gardiner’s legislative office and his responsibilities as Florida Senate President Designate. In this role, Agrusa was immersed in Gardiner’s political, fundraising and campaign-related activities – including his 2014 re-election campaign and his state Political Action Committee – and built quality and key relationships between members of the business community, elected officials and organizations from across the State of Florida.
In December 2014, Agrusa was promoted to Director of Candidate Fundraising at the Florida Republican Senatorial Campaign Committee where he successfully raised nearly $1 Million total in campaign contributions within a 60-day period for the 10 incumbent Republican members of the Florida Senate. Agrusa’s extensive political experience also includes Jeff Atwater for Chief Financial Officer, the Florida Senate Majority Office, the Republican Party of Florida and working in several state and local political campaigns. Additionally, Agrusa is a 2013 graduate of BusinessForce’s Central Florida Political Leadership Institute and he holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in Political Science from the University of Florida.
What is the application and selection process?
A limited number of emerging leaders from throughout Central Florida 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 the selection committee. Current participants represent a diverse range of business experience, backgrounds and community involvement. There is no requirement that applicants be declared candidates in order to be selected for the Central Florida Political Leadership Institute.
Ideally, participants are business professionals and community leaders who may be considering elected public service in the future. Application materials are available by clicking the Register tab in the menu at the top of the page. Completed applications must be submitted no later than Friday, July 21, 2017. A selection committee consisting of Investors and Members of BusinessForce will review the strength of applications, conduct personal interviews and select participants from the seven-county Central Florida region, ensuring representation from a wide range of business, civic and community organizations.
What is the cost to participate in the Central Florida Political Leadership Institute?
There is no participation fee. The Central Florida Political Leadership Institute is made possible through the generous financial support of the BusinessForce Board of Directors and its sponsors, like you, who are committed to equipping and strengthening the next generation of elected leaders at local, state and national levels who will guide the future of our Central Florida Region.
Want to know more about the Central Florida Political Leadership Institute?
Please direct your questions to:
Executive Director of BusinessForce
Director of Political Leadership Institute
P.O. Box 1234
Orlando, Florida 32802-1234