2016 Central Florida Political Leadership Institute

Recap and Highlights as Reported in Every Monday, September 26, 2016

The Central Florida Political Leadership Institute (PLI) welcomed its 2016 class last Thursday for its political leadership school at the GuideWell Innovation Center in Lake Nona Medical City. On hand to greet the 18 members of the 2016 class were BusinessForce Chair Craig Swygert, President – Central Florida Markets, Clear Channel Outdoor, and BusinessForce Executive Director Robert Agrusa.

On Thursday, during the opening session participants hit the ground running, learning about “How do you choose when to run and which public office,” “role of campaign manager and treasurer,” “social media, blogs, and online advertising,” “fundraising strategies” and “How to Qualify for Public Office.”

On Friday, several important topics critical to waging a successful political campaign – critical issues for our region, election laws, direct mail, earned media tactics, TV advertising and messaging and the PLI experience - were extensively explored by nationally, statewide and locally recognized experts assembled by Institute Director Robert Agrusa. Additionally, the 2016 class enjoyed a special guest presentation by Central Florida Partnership President and CEO Jacob V. Stuart.

Finally, the 2016 class enjoyed a spectacular Reception and Dinner attended by Central Florida Partnership leaders and several BusinessForce Board members. Chair Craig Swygert offered special welcoming messages to the 2016 class. Also attending the event were PLI sponsors Melanie Becker representing Universal Orlando Resorts, Troy McNichols representing AT&T, Shane Kunze representing Publix Supermarkets, and Leticia Adams with Walt Disney Parks and Resorts.

During the final day on Saturday, PLI attendees continued with sessions exposing them to opposition research, polling, targeting, putting together a campaign plan, grassroots outreach and a special guest presentation by Chief Judge Frederick Lauten on “What is Leadership? A Personal Testimony.”

The 2016 Central Florida Political Leadership Institute concluded with a graduation ceremony for the 18 members of its 2016 class. At the graduation ceremony BusinessForce Executive Director and Institute Director Robert Agrusa praised the exceptional diversity of the graduates and how insightful and enthusiastic the 2016 class was throughout with the Institute. Agrusa added, "The breadth and depth of information presented to Institute members over their three days, I believe, will allow this class to continue in their evaluation on whether they may one day wish to serve our region in public office."

The Central Florida Political Le adership Institute would not have been possible without the continued and strong support of its sponsors, AT&T, Central Florida Partnership, Clear Channel Outdoor, Publix Supermarkets, Universal Orlando Resort and Walt Disney Parks and Resorts.

Members of the 2016 PLI Graduating Class:

Tim Adams

Michael D. Armbruster, Ed.D.

Graduate - Leadership Orlando Class 90 Chair - Leadership Orlando Class 94

Gregory Eisenberg

Mahmoud ElAwadi

Robyn Hattaway

Robert P. Healy, Jr.

Brian Hodgers

Joshua Lazar

Member - Leadership Orlando Class 91

Carl McPhail

Yogesh Melwani

Vice Chair - Indian American Chamber of Commerce

Lourdes M. Mola

Chair - Hispanic Chamber of Commerce of Metro Orlando

Graduate - Leadership Orlando Class 82

Wes Naylor, CAPT, USN (RET)

Board Member - Central Florida Partnership

Graduate - Leadership Orlando Class 84

Twinata “Demica” Paige

Stephon Pinkston

Danny Rivera

Member - Central Florida Young Professionals Advisory Council (YPAC)

Derek Walls

Monica Wofford

Michael A. Zaharios, III

Member - Central Florida Young Professionals Advisory Council (YPAC)

See Past Graduates on our Archives page.