The Flagler Volusia Public Leadership Institute (FVPLI), a joint program of The Flagler County Chamber of Commerce and Daytona Regional Chamber of Commerce, is seeking applicants for a nonpartisan, free training program to teach local business-minded leaders strategies on how to engage in the policy and political process and promote a robust local economy and vibrant quality of life.
“We view this new version of the PLI as a tremendous opportunity to expand on the program’s success and strengthen the voice of small business in public affairs to promote a vibrant regional economy,” said Jorge Guitierrez, President of the Flagler County Chamber of Commerce.
The institute has had success training aspiring candidates who became elected leaders. It is expanding its curriculum beyond candidacy to teach participants how to use their business experience, skills and talent to advocate for pro-business policies, engage in political campaigns, land appointments to influential government boards and commissions or explore a future run for elected office.
“The Flagler/Volusia Public Leadership Institute was an invaluable part of my preparation to run as a County Commission candidate,” says Donald O’Brien, who was elected to the Flagler County Commission in 2016. He is now the commission’s chairman. “I still refer to my notes and the class materials on a regular basis. Mark Mills and his program are a great resource for anyone considering a run for office or for someone that wants to learn more about what it takes to be successful in local politics.”
The curriculum, taught by experts, will use an active-learning format of simulation and small group exercises to cover topics in public leadership, policy and advocacy. Course titles include: Preparing for Opportunities in Public Leadership; Understanding the Political Process and Political Environment; Strategies for Engagement; Advocacy and Policy Objectives for the Business Community; Political and Advocacy Fundraising; Building a Grassroots Coalition: Keys to Advocacy and Political Messaging and others. Elected leaders will also share their insights and experiences.
The Flagler County Chamber launched its Flagler Public Leadership Institute in 2015 with a graduating class of ten. Half of the graduates ran for public office in 2016 and two – Flagler Beach City Commissioner Rick Belhumeur and O’Brien — were elected. Other graduates participated in leadership roles on political campaigns.
The Daytona Regional Chamber of Commerce joined the local PLI effort in 2017 with the creation of the Flagler Volusia Public Leadership Institute. Sixteen graduates of that program included Eric Cooley, elected as Flagler Beach Commissioner, and Quanita May, elected to the Daytona Beach City Commission. Other graduates ran for Palm Coast City Council and Congress and were involved in political campaigns.
The 2019 program will be held on Friday, Sept. 6 and Saturday, Sept. 7 at the Daytona Regional Chamber of Commerce and Friday, Sept. 13 and Saturday, Sept. 14 at the Flagler County Chamber of Commerce. A kick-off reception will be held Thursday, Sept. 5 at 5:30p.m. at the Daytona Regional Chamber of Commerce. The sessions are open only to participants.
Applicants will undergo a competitive selection process and only a limited number will be invited to participate. A full scholarship is provided to all members, thanks to the generous support of program sponsors. Applications are available at http://www.flaglerchamber.org/pages/flagler-volusia-public-leadership-institute and must be returned by August 2.
The Flagler County and Daytona Regional Chambers of Commerce are nonpartisan organizations that do not endorse or support candidates for office. For more information, call Robbin Wilson, Flagler County Chamber of Commerce at 386-206-0954 or Jim Cameron, Daytona Regional Chamber of Commerce, at 386-566-2140.