Central Florida Leadership Institute taking applications for new class of aspiring politicians

Leadership Road Sign

Aspiring to a political career? There’s a class for that.

Future political candidates in seven Florida counties are encouraged to apply for the 2015 Class of the Central Florida Political Leadership Institute (PLI).

PLI is an innovative initiative designed to prepare the next generation of civic leaders to run for elected office.

Applications are now being accepted through Aug. 21.

So far, the first six PLI classes have produced 14 graduates who have been successfully elected, or appointed, to state and local public offices in Central Florida.

The bipartisan 2 1/2-day sessions are scheduled for Oct. 8 through Oct. 10 on the campus of the Roy E. Crummer Graduate School of Business at Rollins College in Winter Park. Applicants will come from seven Central Florida counties: Brevard, Lake, Orange, Osceola, Polk, Seminole and Volusia.

Participants will hear from a roster of prominent state and national experts on a broad range of topics – from the government and media to campaigning, fundraising, ethics and significant public policy issues.

Clear Channel Outdoor Orlando Division President Craig Swygert, who’s the 2015-2016 chair of BusinessForce and leads the PLI effort, calls the initiative a valuable “primer” for prospective candidates. There is no cost to apply or attend.

“PLI prepares our future officeholders with the public policy tools they need to represent our region well at the local, state and federal levels,” Swygert said.

PLI sponsors include AT&T, Bright House Networks, Central Florida Partnership, Clear Channel Outdoor, Orlando Magic, Roy E. Crummer Graduate School of Business at Rollins College, and Universal Orlando Resort.

Among those behind the PLI program are BusinessForce President Michael Ketchum and Christina Johnson, president of On 3 Public Relations and director of the Central Florida Political Leadership Institute.

Submissions will be evaluated by a Selection Committee made up of investors and members of BusinessForce, who will determine the strength of each application and conduct personal interviews. They will select 25 participants who represent a range of business, civic and community organizations across the Central Florida region.

Applications are online at www.orlando.org/pli. Additional information is through Ketchum at (407) 835-2464 or [email protected], or Johnson at (850) 391-5040 or [email protected].

Phil Ammann

Phil Ammann is a Tampa Bay-area journalist, editor and writer. With more than three decades of writing, editing, reporting and management experience, Phil produced content for both print and online, in addition to founding several specialty websites, including HRNewsDaily.com. His broad range includes covering news, local government, entertainment reviews, marketing and an advice column. Phil has served as editor and production manager for Extensive Enterprises Media since 2013 and lives in Tampa with his wife, visual artist Margaret Juul. He can be reached on Twitter @PhilAmmann or at [email protected]


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