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James Madison Institute announces top under-40 Florida leaders for 2015

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The James Madison Institute released its 2015 Leaders Fellowship list Wednesday, featuring more than 100 under-40 leaders from across the Sunshine State.

The JMI Leaders Fellowship is a yearlong program designed to network young leaders and educate them on key public policy issues and the impact they have on the state’s economic development. The Tallahassee-based think tank started the program last year, and JMI CEO Dr. Bob McClure said applications “flooded in” for the second class.

The fellowship has representation in the Tallahassee, Jacksonville, Tampa, Orlando, Palm Beach and Miami regions, though McClure said JMI hopes the program grows to include more regions.

Among the names on the list are Hill+Knowlton VP Ryan Duffy, Strategic Access Group’s Evan Power, Americans for Prosperity Deputy State Director Skylar Zander, Department of Business and Professional Regulation legislative affairs director David Mica Jr., and Toby Philpot, the chief of staff for the Florida Agency for Healthcare Administration.

Vance Aloupis, one of the founders of the fellowship, said the program develops smart ideas and strong leadership.

“In every way through this fellowship, JMI has filled a void in which young professionals who believe in the ideals of the free market can discuss ideas, grow professionally and most importantly, build long-lasting relationships.”

In addition to his role on the fellowship’s executive committee, Aloupis works as the statewide director for the Children’s Movement of Florida, an organization chaired by legendary retired Miami Herald publisher David Lawrence Jr. that advocates for increased investments in early childhood education.

The fellowship’s executive committee also includes Chester Spellman, a veteran of the nonprofit sector who has headed up Volunteer Florida since 2012. Adam Giery of Strategos Group is the regional leader for Tampa and Glen Gilzean, the interim president for Central Florida Urban League, is the Orlando-area leader.

Drew Wilson covers legislative campaigns and fundraising for SaintPetersBlog and FloridaPolitics.com. While at the University of Florida, Wilson was an editor at The Independent Florida Alligator and after graduation, he moved to Los Angeles to cover business deals for The Hollywood Reporter. Before joining Extensive Enterprises, Wilson covered the state economy and Legislature for LobbyTools.

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