Personnel note: Wendy Dodge bolsters The Southern Group’s growing education practice
Wendy Dodge. Image via The Southern Group.

Wendy Dodge 2023 copy
Dodge has nearly 25 years of experience as a fierce advocate and respected thought leader in the education industry.

No one in Florida has served longer as a public school system Legislative Affairs Director than Polk County’s Wendy Dodge.

Now she’s bringing her nearly 25 years of experience as a fierce advocate and respected thought leader in the education industry to The Southern Group and its growing education team.

Working from TSG’s Tallahassee office, Dodge will leverage her deep expertise and experience to provide advisory and consulting services for The Southern Group’s clients.

“Wendy has been a staple in shaping education priorities for Central Florida and across the state. Our education practice is a priority for us, and we know Wendy will make an impact for our clients,” said Southern Group Managing Partner Rachel Cone.

Most recently, Dodge served as Senior Director of Legislative Affairs, Policy, and Legislative Liaison in the Polk County Public School System, the seventh-largest school district in the state. There, she effectively managed all legislative matters pertaining to the school district, playing a pivotal role in the development and implementation of state and federal policy priorities.

Over 23 years, she secured millions in funding for Polk County to advance the interests of students, families and teachers. Her proudest work for PCPS includes advancing student-centered policies that provide options and flexibility today for students and families in areas of promotion, graduation requirements and assessments.

“Wendy has been an exceptional asset to our school district, consistently providing invaluable advice and strategic insights that have propelled our school district forward. Her dedication, expertise, and unwavering commitment have been instrumental in shaping the future of our students,” said Polk County Public Schools Superintendent Fred Heid.

Dodge also served as the coordinator of government affairs for Badcock Home Furnishing & More. In this role, she managed legislative issues at the federal level and across seven southeastern states on behalf of the company. Her contributions also extended to developing a grassroots lobbying initiative for independent store owners.

Dodge is also active with associations. She currently holds the position of Secretary/Treasurer of the Florida Educational Legislative Liaisons, where she works to bridge the gap between education and legislation. She previously served as a member of the Board of Directors for the Florida Association of Professional Lobbyists and as the Legislative and PAC Chairperson for the Florida Association of School Administrators.

“Wendy has a remarkable network of statewide relationships and has consistently demonstrated a deep understanding of K12 education policy. She will be an unrivaled asset to pave the way for strategic collaborations with local school districts,” said Bill Montford, a former state Senator and CEO of the Florida Association of District School Superintendents.

Wendy earned her bachelor’s degree in telecommunications from Michigan State University. She lives in Lakeland with her daughter, Amber.

Drew Wilson

Drew Wilson covers legislative campaigns and fundraising for Florida Politics. He is a former editor at The Independent Florida Alligator and business correspondent at The Hollywood Reporter. Wilson, a University of Florida alumnus, covered the state economy and Legislature for LobbyTools and The Florida Current prior to joining Florida Politics.


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