Orlando Magazine: 50 Most Powerful People
The people on our 12th annual 50 Most Powerful list fall into many categories and influence our lives in myriad ways. There are the traditional government leaders who make our laws and carry out projects that will change the face of Central Florida for generations. Business and tourism leaders make decisions daily that affect our economic health. Educators decide on policies that will impact how our children learn. And finally, philanthropists demonstrate the power to change lives through their contributions to everything from the arts to battling homelessness. Indeed, over the years, this list has become more and more about the power to inspire.
This year we take a closer look at the top three selections—Orlando Mayor Buddy Dyer, attorney John Morgan and Florida Hospital CEO Lars Houmann. In addition, you’ll find longer features about four others on the list who have taken various paths that involved great opportunity—and sometimes tremendous difficulty. Also, be sure to check out “10 to Watch,’’ which identifies leaders who are not yet on the list but bear watching in the coming year.
46 Dick Batchelor
Business and Political Consultant, Social Advocate
» Age: 67
When local leaders need a familiar voice to get their message across on topics involving social issues and children, they often turn to Batchelor. Last fall, the former state legislator helped lead a successful effort to pass a half-cent sales tax to fund Orange County schools construction and is chairing a county panel studying family homelessness. He also co-chairs the Orange County Domestic Violence Commission, which in the coming year will focus on ways to reduce child abuse. Expect Batchelor, a longtime Democrat, to be active in raising money for Hillary Clinton’s campaign for president. Batchelor serves on the boards of the First Amendment Foundation and Leadership Florida.