Kelly Cohen

Kelly Cohen is a forceful advocate for clients in Central Florida. In May of 2005, due to her local government expertise, Kelly opened Southern Strategy Group’s first regional office in Orlando. Kelly has been recognized for her leadership, business acumen, and unique understanding of the market. Kelly’s primary focus is on local and state government, transportation, land use, economic development, and business development. Having worked hand-in-hand with both business and government leaders, Kelly has a proven track record of delivering successful results for her clients.

Kelly has gained valuable experience in designing and making public-private partnerships work. Kelly understands the importance of the intersection between policy and politics.  Kelly has been part of some of Central Florida’s largest projects including the Creative Village, a 68-acre urban redevelopment site being led by Bank of America Community Corporation and the City of Orlando, as well as Sunrail, Major League Soccer, and Wawa’s entry into the Florida market.

Prior to Southern Strategy Group, Kelly practiced law in South Florida. Kelly opted to pursue her passion for public policy becoming a strategist and fundraiser in some of Florida’s most visible campaigns. Kelly acted as the statewide Finance Director for then State Senator Buddy Dyer when he ran for Attorney General and again in his successful races for Orlando Mayor in 2003, 2004, and 2008. After Mayor Dyer’s first victory, Kelly served on Mayor’s transition team.

Kelly has been referred to as “Jedi of networking” and has been publicly recognized as someone who works behind the scenes to effectively get things done. The Orlando Business Journal awarded Kelly the title of CEO of the Year and Women of the Year for the 40 Under 40 Competition. In 2016, Kelly was listed the 8th most powerful in Government and Politics Orlando Magazine’s annual Fifty Most Powerful Issue.  Influence Magazine featured Kelly on the cover naming her one of the top 100 Most Influential People in Politics. Florida Trend has also recognized Kelly as a “Must Know” contact in the region.

Kelly has dedicated herself to being an active member of the Central Florida community. Kelly participates on several Boards—both civic and philanthropic.  Kelly is on the Board of Directors for the Metro Orlando Economic Development Commission, Wells Fargo Community Advisory Board, Clean the World, Creative City, and Orlando Children’s Trust.