More than just gathering data, we're trying to capture elements that make each community distinctive.
» Must-Know Contacts
» As president of the Walt Disney World Resort, Meg Crofton oversees a workforce of nearly 62,000 employees.
» David Brown, CEO of Broad & Cassel law firm, is a major behind-the-scenes player who had a big hand in luring Scripps Research Institute to Florida.
» Cari Haught Coats, a longtime local consultant and influential business leader, was recently named executive director of the Center for Entrepreneurship at Rollins College.
» Kelly Cohen, principal, Southern Strategy Group, is an up-and-comer who can get most of the people on this list to return her calls.
» Orange County Mayor Rich Crotty, a Republican, is being term-limited out of office and is expected to run against U.S. Rep. Alan Grayson, D-Orlando.
» Orlando Mayor Buddy Dyer has steered downtown resurgence since he was first elected in 2003.
» Deborah German, founding dean of UCF’s College of Medicine, has been in town only three years but impressed people with her work to build a med school from scratch, raising enough money to fund full-ride scholarships for the entire first class.
» James Seneff Jr. is chairman and CEO of CNL Financial Group and a major political fund raiser.
» University of Central Florida President John Hitt played a key role in steering the school’s new med school to the Med City complex at Lake Nona.
» Lars Houmann, president and CEO of Florida Hospital, is active in the state’s growing biotechnology sector.
» Hal Kantor, partner, Lowndes Drosdick Doster Kantor & Reed, is a well-known land-use attorney and leader in philanthropic efforts such as United Arts of Central Florida.
» Harris Rosen is president and CEO of Rosen Resorts and a major philanthropist who gave UCF $18 million to build its School of Hospitality Management.
» Fred Leonhardt, a partner at GrayRobinson law firm, is a well-respected leader at both the local and statewide level.
» Marcos Marchena, senior partner in the law firm of Marchena and Graham, chairs the Hispanic Leadership Council for Florida Republicans and the Florida Transportation Commission.
» Harold Mills is CEO of labor contractor ZeroChaos.
» Philip C. Rampy and business partner Craig Ustler get much of the credit for redeveloping downtown neighborhoods such as Lake Eola and Thornton Park.
» Clarence Otis runs Darden, one of the two Fortune 500 companies in Orlando.”
» Rasesh “Sesh” Thakkar is senior managing director of Tavistock Group.
» Al Weiss worked his way up to president of worldwide operations for Disney parks. He also is known for his charity work.