The nonpartisan program will prepare 21 business-minded leaders to explore how they can make a difference in elected or appointed office. 

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Diving into a transformative journey: Meet the 21 business leaders chosen to participate in the Political Leadership Institute (PLI), a nonpartisan program dedicated to preparing individuals for impactful roles in elected or appointed office. Ready to explore, lead, and make a difference for a brighter future.

Orlando, Fla. – The Central Florida Political Leadership Institute (PLI), presented by TECO Peoples Gas, announced the selection of 21 participants for its upcoming 2023-2024 class.

PLI is a unique, nonpartisan program managed by the Orlando Economic Partnership (OEP), that 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, over 30 PLI graduates have served in public office in the Central Florida 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 Orlando region. 

The 2023-2024 PLI class includes: 

Abraham Hanze Sedgwick 
Amanda Kalantzis Sustainability Advisory Board of Maitland 
Arian L. Bryant University of Central Florida 
Barron Mills Florida Photonics Cluster 
Charlene Hotaling Seacoast Bank 
Christopher Duran Dueling Dragons of Orlando 
Daila Espeut-Jones ZelTech, LLC 
Daniel Elliott Florida House of Representatives 
Holton Mills Addition Financial 
Hugh Gravitt Advent Health 
Jerry Breckenridge Truist 
Johnmichael Fernandez Florida Apartment Association 
Kait Doulou Build Ventures 
Kaley Slattery The Southern Group 
Kevin Kendrick The Kendrick Team at EXP Realty 
Kimberly Walker Seminole County Property Appraiser 
Maria “Rocki” Sanchez JPAR Coast to Coast 
Michael Weinbaum Martin Aquatic Design and Engineering 
Quibulah Graham Orlando Health 
Rodney Thompson Fastsigns North-Orlando 
Ryleigh Wogoman-Sackos Office of US Senator Marco Rubio 

“We are very impressed with the members of this year’s class,” said Shannon McAleavey, OEP vice president of government affairs.

Now more than ever, we need candidates who truly understand both our region’s most pressing issues and opportunities. PLI will help this class grow their leadership skills and give them the knowledge they need to launch their careers in public office. 

Shannon McAleavey, OEP Vice President of Government Affairs

PLI meets from November through April and includes monthly meetings, which consist of half-day and full day sessions. A final all-day gathering will be highlighted by team presentations before concluding with a graduation. Sessions feature local, state and national faculty who share their invaluable expertise on strategies to transition from private to public life, campaign for office, land an appointment and address important public-policy issues. 

PLI is one of most unique and successful public leadership programs of its kind anywhere in the nation.

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, presented by TECO Peoples Gas, is made possible by the support of its sponsors including AdventHealth, Charter Communications, Florida Blue, Full Sail University, Lockheed Martin, Massey Services, Inc., Orlando Health, Orlando Magic, Orlando Regional Realtor Association, OUC – The Reliable One, Travel & Leisure Co. (formerly known as Wyndham), TRUIST, Tavistock Group, Universal Orlando Resort, University of Central Florida, and The Walt Disney Company. 

For media inquiries, contact Jennifer A. Marcial Ocasio | | 407-902-0221. For additional information, or to be notified when applications are available for the 2024-2025 class, please email us at


About Orlando Economic Partnership 

The Orlando Economic Partnership (OEP) is the Orlando region’s economic and community development organization that is seizing the moment to advance Broad-based Prosperity® by growing the diversity of the economy and driving investment into the region. The Partnership catalyzes the collaborative ethos of the region to fuel regional leadership and improve the region’s competitiveness. Learn why opportunity in Orlando is Unbelievably Real™ at