The Central Florida Political Leadership Institute (PLI) welcomed its 2013 class last Thursday afternoon for its annual political leadership school at the Roy E. Crummer Graduate School of Business on the campus of Rollins College in Winter Park. On hand to greet the 24 members of the 2013 class were Business Force resident Mike Ketchum, 2015-16 BusinessForce Chair-elect Craig Swygert, President – Orlando Division, Clear Channel Outdoor and John L. McReynolds, Senior Vice President External Affairs of Universal Orlando Resort who was instrumental in the creation of the PLI in 2008.
That evening the 2013 class was officially welcomed at the traditional Opening Reception and Dinner attended by Central Florida Partnership leaders and several BusinessForce Board members. Winter Park Mayor Ken Bradley, a 2008 PLI graduate, and PLI sponsor Linda Landman Gonzalez, 2013-14 Business Force Chair and Vice President, Community Relations and Government Affairs for the Orlando Magic appeared to offer special welcoming messages to the 2013 class. Also attending the event were PLI sponsors Marva Johnson, Corporate Vice President, Government and Industry Affairs of Bright House Networks, Troy McNichols, Regional Director, External & Legislative Affairs for AT&T Services, Inc., and Jeffery Q. Jonasen, Shareholder, Gunster and and 2007-2008 BusinessForce Chair.
Throughout the day on Friday, several important topics critical to waging a successful political campaign – targeting voters, direct mail, advertising and messaging as well as opposition research were extensively explored by a faculty of nationally recognized experts assembled by Institute Director Christina Johnson. In addition, the 2013 class heard a timely and thoughtful luncheon address from Dean Craig McAllaster of the Rollins College Crummer Graduate School of Business on “Power and Influence.”
During the final day on Saturday, PLI attendees continued with sessions exposing them to fundraising strategies, earned media, putting together a campaign plan and a presentation by Central Florida Partnership President Jacob V. Stuart on “Critical Regional Issues and Resources for Political Leaders.”
The 2013 Central Florida Political Leadership Institute concluded with a graduation ceremony and reception for the 24 members of its 2013 class. At the graduation ceremony BusinessForce President Mike Ketchum praised the caliber of the 2013 program presented by Institute Director Christina Johnson and called the 2013 class “outstanding.” He noted how “energetic and astute” the 2013 class was throughout with the Institute faculty.” He added, “The breadth and depth of information presented to Institute members over their two and one-half days with us 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.”