SSG’s Kelly Cohen named one of Orlando’s 50 Most Powerful

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Good things happen to good people…

Kelly Cohen, managing partner of Southern Strategy Group, one of the largest lobbying firms in the nation, is featured in Orlando Magazine‘s annual “50 Most Powerful People in Orlando.”

For the fifth consecutive year, Cohen has been included with the most influential city leaders, including Orlando Mayor Buddy Dyer, Orange County Mayor Teresa Jacobs, President of Walt Disney World George Kalogridis, attorney John Morgan, state Senate President Andy Gardiner and U.S. Senator Bill Nelson.

“Attend a major downtown civic or cultural event and chances are you’ll bump into Kelly Cohen,” says Barry Glenn and Jim Leusner, authors of this year’s list. “For nine years, she has been the network maven running Southern Strategy Group’s Orlando office, lobbying, planning and marketing some of the region’s top political figures, businesses and start-ups.”

The magazine noted Cohen for her work as a top adviser to Mayor Buddy Dyer, Democratic fundraiser and a major downtown booster, as well as her role on the team that helped Orlando City Soccer in winning both city and county support for a Major League Soccer stadium.

Cohen has also been involved in a number of high-profile Orlando projects, such as SunRail, the planned Creative Village and convenience store giant Wawa’s push into Florida.

“No surprise, Kelly continues to climb in the power ranking each year,” said Southern Strategy Group’s founder Paul Bradshaw. “At this rate, she’ll be #1 by 2019. She probably deserves it now. We’re very proud to be on her team.”

Southern Strategy Group’s first office opened its Tallahassee office in 1999. Since then, the firm has grown to be the largest government relations group in the United States with five locations in Florida and affiliated offices in 10 states.

Phil Ammann is a St. Petersburg-based journalist and blogger. With more than three decades of writing, editing and management experience, Phil produced material for both print and online, in addition to founding His broad range includes covering news, local government and culture reviews for, technical articles and profiles for BetterRVing Magazine and advice columns for a metaphysical website, among others. Phil has served as a contributor and production manager for SaintPetersBlog since 2013. He lives in St. Pete with his wife, visual artist Margaret Juul and can be reached at [email protected] and on Twitter @PhilAmmann.