Meet Katie Ballard – one of the “30 under 30” rising stars in Florida politics

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Twenty-six year old Katie Ballard, Parkland-native and Florida State University graduate, entered politics because she doesn’t “like to sit back and just watch things happen.” Instead, she aspires to make a difference and has made notable progress toward such in her few years on the political scene.  Katie’s first political job was with Congressman Tom Rooney, followed by work with State Rep. Bill Hager and various state House and Senate campaigns. She now works with the Florida Medical Association, the powerful statewide membership organization representing physicians’ interests, where she is trying her hand at political fundraising and lobbying.

“I have been very fortunate to have mentors that have helped to guide me throughout my career,” says Katie. “I am grateful for the advice and counsel that each of has provided throughout the years, and they know who they are.”

The lesson Katie has already learned? Hard work pays off. And work hard she does.  The people she admires most in politics are those that make up the grassroots efforts of a campaign — i.e. those who put their energies where their hearts are. People, it seems, who are like herself in that respect. Katie can’t imagine doing anything other than work in politics which means you’ll be hearing more about her in the years to come.

Last tweet from @KatieABallard: “Love that people are rocking old school cghs shirts at Epcot!”

Here is Katie in her own words.

I am 26 years-young.

I live in Tallahassee … Am from Parkland, FL a suburb between Boca Raton and Fort Lauderdale.  …. I went to school at Florida State University. I hope to visit Parkland soon enough.

I entered politics because… I don’t like to sit back and just watch things happen. I wanted to pursue a career where I could contribute to making a difference.

One principle I always put above politics is… Loyalty

Person or people who gave me my first shot: Congressman Rooney

I’ve already worked for/on: For Federal and State Representatives. On both State House and statewide campaigns. For a statewide association.

When I begin a project or first work on a campaign, I look for… Motivated people

I’ve been blessed to have these people as my mentors: I have been very fortunate to have mentors that have helped to guide me throughout my career. I am grateful for the advice and counsel that each of has provided throughout the years, and they know who they are.

The people I most admire in politics are: The people that make up the grassroots efforts of a campaign.

One lesson I’ve already learned is… Hard work pays off.

If I wasn’t working in politics, I’d be working in (which field)… I can’t imagine doing anything else.

In ten years, you’ll read about me… In the 40 under 40.

You can connect with me via Twitter: @KatieABallard

Peter Schorsch is the President of Extensive Enterprises and is the publisher of some of Florida’s most influential new media websites, including SaintPetersBlog.com, FloridaPolitics.com, ContextFlorida.com, and Sunburn, the morning read of what’s hot in Florida politics. SaintPetersBlog has for three years running been ranked by the Washington Post as the best state-based blog in Florida. In addition to his publishing efforts, Peter is a political consultant to several of the state’s largest governmental affairs and public relations firms. Peter lives in St. Petersburg with his wife, Michelle, and their daughter, Ella.