Press Release

Central Florida Political Leadership Institute Announces 2022-2023 Class 

The nonpartisan program prepares business-minded leaders to explore how they can make a difference in elected or appointed office. 

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Orlando, Fla. – The Central Florida Political Leadership Institute (PLI) has announced the selection of 20 participants for its upcoming 2022-2023 class. The unique, nonpartisan program managed by the Orlando Economic Partnership (the Partnership) prepares business-minded leaders who have an interest in exploring future leadership opportunities – either as a political candidate or appointee to a government board or commission – and discovering how their experience, skills and talent could address critical policy issues.

Since its inception in 2008, 30 PLI graduates have served in public office in the Orlando region.  

A selection committee reviewed the strength of applications, conducted interviews, and selected the participants, ensuring representation from a wide range of business, civic and community organizations across the region. 

The 2022-2023 PLI class includes: 

Alexis Miranda Lok Compass 
Andrea Small African American Chamber of Commerce of Central Florida 
Arnold Sánchez Goodwill Industries of Central Florida 
Austin Arthur Stars and Stripes Management Systems 
Daniel Vanegas  Heart Of Florida United Way 
Danny Kavanaugh Holland & Knight LLP 
Dawnn Williams Allstate Insurance Company 
Deidre Graybill Graybill Realty & Associates, LLC. 
Dr. John Gyllin Seminole State College 
Erin Huntley Independent Contractor  
Frances Nevill Teach For America 
Joel Kaiman  TJM Communications 
Karen Monteleone Community Leader
La-Zondra C. Randolph LCR Legal 
Puja Aggarwal Orlando Health 
Rajal Patel Lariyen Investments 
Samuel Gaslin 4Acre Commercial Real Estate 
Steven Miller State Attorney’s Office 5th Judicial Circuit 
Thomas Melton AdventHealth 
Vanessa Bershad AdventHealth 

“We are helping to grow future elected leaders who understand the issues that communities, businesses and families face on a daily basis, and work collaboratively to solve shared challenges and take advantage of new opportunities as they come,” said Rachael Kobb, the Partnership’s vice president of public affairs and communications.

“PLI prepares these new leaders within our Orlando region to rise to the occasion by teaching them new skills, providing important resources and helping them make the connections they need to launch successful political careers.”  

Rachael Kobb, Partnership vice president of public affairs and communications

PLI meets monthly from October through March for full and half-day sessions, culminating with a final all-day gathering that concludes with a class graduation. Sessions feature local, state, and federal officials who share their invaluable experience with how to transition from private to public life, campaign for office, land an appointment and address important public-policy issues. 

“PLI’s curriculum equips and empowers future public leaders to step to the starting line already prepared and positioned to succeed, using their experience, skills and talent to make a difference for our region”

Mark R. Mills, PLI consultant and president of Mills Strategic Communications, Inc.

“The curriculum is engagement-based and practical. Everything we do is intended for class members to emerge encouraged and educated with a strategic plan for clearing the personal, professional, and political obstacles for engaging in the process and stepping to the starting line prepared and positioned to succeed and lead.” 

PLI was developed by business leaders in Central Florida and is geared toward applicants who are not declared candidates but are considering a run for local office or who want to serve on a local government board. 

There is no cost to apply or attend the program. PLI is made possible by presenting sponsor TECO Peoples Gas and the support sponsors including AdventHealth, CNL, Duke Energy, Florida Blue, Full Sail University, Lockheed Martin, Massey Services, Inc., Orlando Health, Orlando Magic, Orlando Regional Realtor Association, OUC – The Reliable One, Tavistock Group, Travel & Leisure Co., Truist Financial Corp., Universal Orlando Resort, University of Central Florida, and The Walt Disney Company. 

For additional information, or to be notified when applications are available for the 2022-23 class, please email us at